Welcome Joel. Hope you stick around a while!
Ito En is definately a must see TEAspot when visiting NYC, just be careful what you pick up when there. I picked up a 400 dollar kyusu and almost dropped it when I saw the price.
But the whole atmosphere is stellar.
I tried a few sencha when I was there last in March and came away with a few really unique Kagoshima offerings and a single estate Kabusecha from UJI that was out of this world. I had wanted to try the Chiran, but since it was so close to new harvest time, I did not want to over buy. (Kagoshima is possibly my fav prefecture for sencha)
It is also nice that you can buy an ounce of this and an ounce of that...and they are happy to brew a sample for you to try at no charge. [/b]