USA Travel Magazine

           New York Travel Guide

Merle Exit Joins The Celebration Of The 19th Amendment, Visits The Susan B. Anthony House, And Dine's At La-Tea-Da

It was once again on my journey list to Jetblue back to Rochester. The focus of this trip was: to cover the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment with a celebration at the Susan B. Anthony Park; see what Rochester had to offer in the way of being a travel destination; and explore the Erie Canal from Rochester to Syracuse. Here, I will concentrate on the Rochester portion.

Saturday, August 21st, 2010 was the 90th anniversary of the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote. What better way to celebrate but at the Susan B. Anthony House and Susan B. Anthony Square, here in Rochester. Deborah Hughes, Executive Director of the Susan B. Anthony House was on hand to open the ceremony as politicians Louise Slaughter and Sandra Frankel delivered speeches and proclamations.

There are four buildings dedicated to this Susan B. Antony complex. The house itself is a museum with items that were donated by her family. A tour of the home is offered for a small fee. Note that when you visit you'll find that the Front Parlor is the room in which Susan B. Anthony was arrested by a U.S. Marshall for voting in the 1872 election. A second building abuts the house and used as a Visitor's Center complete with a gift shop. Behind this center sits a Carriage House...more like a replica. It is used for exhibits as well as lectures and Tea. I suspect that the tea idea emanates from the two bronze statues in the park; that of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass having tea and most likely discussing what would be the 19th amendment. The fourth building, btw, is across the street from the house and used for the administrative offices.

Afterwards, Esther, Eunice and I found this most darling place to have lunch. It's called La-Tea-Da! located at 258 Alexander Street at the corner of Park Avenue in an old purple painted Victorian home. This tearoom and parlour is owned by Maureen Becker, whose title is "Lady of the House".

It appears that if you are going to have an afternoon tea you might as well play the part. Various old hats are provided to set that Victorian mood. However, it's the young girls who get the whole "dress up" experience with dresses, boas, hats, etc. Needless to say, children's tea parties are one of Maureen's mainstreams. Play date for mom's brings them and their daughters for lunch and tea. That's not to say that grown ups, including some men, don't flock to La-Tea-Da! for a fabulous afternoon, where one should expect to spend at least a few hours enjoying both the teas and delicious morsels of food. Waitstaff are referred to as "Nippies". Your table is set with a large tea pot as the centerpiece and you are equipped with a bell to ring when you require the assistance of a Nippy.

Maureen purchases the loose teas and bags most of them. I think that it makes it easier to clean out the pot. Black, English, White, Green, Herbal and an entire category dedicated to Rooibos, my favorite. This is a "tea" that derives from a honey bush and usually from South Africa. I had the pleasure of sampling the Roobois "teas" of Belgian Chocolate, Red Mango, White Palace Marzipan, and Florida Orange. As for the food, what could be more richer or tastier than Blueberry Soup? Hey, that's even more antioxidants! Add a sampling of salads and a croissant of turkey, cranberry and gouda. Yummy!

When it comes to desserts, a scone with Devonshire Cream (her most delicious version) and jam, is the one that stands out and goes with the tea experience. It is not your ordinary scone. Maureen has created a more warm and moist recipe that looks and tastes as if a slice of biscuit-y cake is being served. La-Tea-Da! has a veranda option for dining outdoors with a view of a lovely garden below.

As for Esther and Eunice, they said "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its tea."

 By Merle Exit

Getting There:

To learn about the Susan B. Antony, and events like the Susan B. Antony Festival held in Mid August visit http://susanbanthonyhouse.org/index.php.

To view menu options and events at La-Tea-Da! visit

Use this link to go to the New York Travel Guide