New York City: What Went Down

On a whim, I went to New York City with my little sister this week. My little sister is 16–and strongly believes she is invincible (like most teenagers). She also believes no one or anything exists beyond her small town, quaint family home with my dear mother and father, but when it does spread open for her come college, the world will welcome her with open arms, zero troubles and blunt honesty.

Not so much, my little dear sister. The world doesn’t work that way. And a flicker of experience in New York taught me that she would take everything juicy that New York City had to offer her and plop her back into her small little town in Minnesota with a different outlook on life. A different mindset that the world never apologized, and it was bigger than her but smaller than she thought.

I also wanted to go to New York because I wanted to eat Nuts 4 Nuts in Times Square and wear big sunglasses in SoHo and hope someone gave me a second glance as Emma Stone–or you know, whatever.

So my parent’s sent us off (I promised to make sure little sister didn’t wander off/and strap her to my side) and we woke up at 4am for our flight to JFK, tickled and chugging orange juice and coffee for energy. Even though, deep down, I don’t think we needed it.

We arrived. And we couldn’t wait any longer to have our lungs fill up with hot dog steam and clammy subway air.

Here’s what we did:

1. We went to a small bistro in SoHo for lunch.

Paninis. Wraps. Roast beef. Ham. Pastries. Sugar. Jelly. Cinnamon. Orange juice. San Pellingrino.  All of the cafes in New York have so many sandwich/dessert choices, I panic with sensory overload and order something totally unreasonable for my liking. In this case, we both ordered dry roast beef sandwiches and had five bites. Then, we smiled wickedly and rushed back upstairs for the fluffiest, moistest macaroon I ever had.

Little sister ordered a jelly tart. Then, she put the sugar dust on her nose and giggled.

“Does this look like crack? Take my picture!”

16-year-olds are growing up too fast these days…


2. We admired the relaxing goodness that Central Park gave us (and it’s so BIG). With compulsive duo photo taking and quirky glances when squirrels got freakishly close for comfort.

Little sister loved Central Park. We had been walking for a while, so we were both tired–and we rested on top of a slab of rock like two sweaty lizards. Except, lizards aren’t sweaty…

After our sweet Minnesota nice allowed a young man to try and sell a bike ride around Central Park to use in his large leather basket carriage, we squirmed out of the park and looked through the map. And discovered after walking through for nearly an hour–we’d covered (not even 1/4) of the park. With one more longing glance at the man on the bike, we walked toward Gucci on 5th avenue for some air conditioning.

I loved this photo because of the color contrast. And the city softly in the background. Central Park is so lush–and the city becomes an after thought.

City. Carnival. Contrast.


It looks like we're in Africa. Jokes not on us.

3. We went to my favorite place–Washington Square Park. Leave it to me to love a place where college thrives strong. NYU is nearby.

Some nature symmetry.

Creeping up on my little sister for another "pondering in NYC" photo.

4. We walked down 5th Avenue and pretended we were silly rich.

Little sister and I stood in front of Gucci with our mouths open, tired from roaming around Central Park all day. My feet wedged into my Target sandals and were full of mud splotches from a previously rainy afternoon in the park.

“This is the real Gucci.” -Little sister said in a monotone and tired-thick voice.

The doors swung open and a man dressed in a suit ushered us inside. “Come look and see! Come on in!”

My sister was honest and cute, “We can’t afford anything in there.”

He laughed gallantly and brought us inside and after leading us past cases of $100,000 jewelry showed us to an elevator. He had a sweet smile,

“Go upstairs to the third floor and walk around. I promise, you will enjoy. Then–come back down here and tell me what you think!”

And we did. The elevator brought us to a large, caramel colored room. Full of Gucci everything. There were vacuum lines in the carpet. I gingerly placed my dirty feet into the room. And we touched $37,000 fur jackets and glittery, diamond pumps. Adele played in the background and empowered both of us. We drooled and admired.

When we came back down to the first floor, the nice man in a suit smiled at us, “Did you like!” Our glowing girlish skin told him yes. “Do you love the purses? I’ve purchased at least 30 of them already. Woman love them as gifts.”

The display case at Tiffany & Co.

Material Dreams

5. We went tourist and explored Times Square. I knew little sister loved that the most (even though she said she loved ‘everything’) because she took the most pictures there.

I snapped a few photos of the sexy Guess ads. My favorite. 


6. In a starving rage–we accidently went to Sbarro in Times Square twice. So uncool compared to finding a trendy speak easy or a sweet little bistro in Soho. Oh well, maybe another time.

By the way–NEVER go to Sbarro in Times Square. You can’t find anywhere to eat your pizza besides a musty basement–and the pizza/pasta is expensive and not satisfying. It’s an easy way to panic and find food, but waste five minutes and AT LEAST cross the street for some Olive Garden.

7. We found FAO Schwartz and couldn’t leave.

Little sister loved all of the large versions of normal sized candy (i.e. Tootsie Pop suckers, lollipops) and I loved daydreaming about finding my sugar daddy in the store (sans children of course). We were only a few blocks away from the upper east side.

Large candy obsession: Case A

This stuffed horse is more expensive than my real horse. Sad and awesome.

8. We bought at least 8 bags of Nuts 4 Nuts during the entire trip. That’s $14 dollars in cinnamon and sugar almonds. Every warm crunch was worth every penny.

9. We spent $5 on a small (and pretty) cup of coconut gilato. And didn’t talk as we ate it in five (little spoon paddle) bites.

10. I fell on the stairs of the subway, coming up into Grand Central Station. I tripped with utter gusto-falling on top of my suitcase and ripped the thick skin on my right big toe. I bled all the way to JFK Airport in the taxi. Photo not provided. 

We had a wonderful time there. And the best part about the entire trip was the quiet and calm ride back home in my car. Little sister sat in the passengers seat with her painted toenails hanging out the window. She looked at me with a renewed innocence that I couldn’t help but smile at before she spoke,

“I love it here.”

Thank you, New York City.

And then today–she sent me this text:






Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Read


University of Saint Thomas graduate. Minnesota-bred and happy to talk about the weather any time you’d like! Strongly believes any situation can be bettered by a slice of generously buttered toast or Phil Dunphy. Would get arrested to touch Justin Timberlake’s face. Always trying to be a better person by not wishing horrible karma on people driving slow in the fast lane. Hear more: @twitter @instagram


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s