Urban Oasis

Detour: New York

Too many choices can be just as annoying as having too few. And in New York, the effect can be paralyzing. ("Oh hell, I'll just go shopping.") If NYC's on your business calendar this month, here are some diversions that won't disappoint.

Hotel hiatus

Even Red Star sellers on eBay will be impressed by the crew over at Christie's, one of the world's premier auction houses. On the block this month: entertainment memorabilia, including Bette Davis's 1938 Oscar for her role in Jezebel. If you don't have time for the main event, just stop by for a browse. Either way, it's free. 20 Rockefeller Plaza; www.christies.com

Escape the airport

Grounded at LaGuardia because of stormy weather in Phoenix? Fuhgeddaboudit. Hop into a cab, and zip on over to the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum. Indoor galleries feature works from all periods of Noguchi's influential 60-year career. But the real draw? Serenity now: The outdoor garden of stone sculptures, pine trees, and cherry trees makes for a peaceful oasis that will cure even the worst case of on-the-road rage. 32-37 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens; www.noguchi.org

Ditch the convention center

If you're stuck in town for a trade show when you'd much rather be teeing up a Titleist, take a break at the Golf Club at Chelsea Piers, within easy walking distance of the Javits Center. There's a 200-yard driving range, a SwingCam, 52 hitting stalls, and an automated ball-tee-up system. Still can't straighten out that slice? Head to the Chelsea Brewing Co., right next door. Pier 59, at 23rd Street and the Hudson River; www.chelseapiers.com/gc01.htm

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