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Reconnecting with my sister in New York 

When I was in elementary school, my sister was attending UCLA. In retrospect, it wasn't a huge driving distance—maybe 45 minutes—but she was a young adult figuring out her next move and I was ... I don't know, playing kickball during recess.

What I do remember us doing is sending each other letters on Sanrio stationary, keeping in touch as much as we could. I also remember that once she got an apartment off-campus she would pick me up on the weekends to spend the night and we would hit the town in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. It felt like I was exploring a whole other world with her.

click to enlarge BUILDINGS AS TALL AS THE SKY Contrary to what others say, I didn't feel that New York was crowded or too busy. In fact, I found it kind of relaxing. - PHOTOS BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photos By Karen Garcia
  • BUILDINGS AS TALL AS THE SKY Contrary to what others say, I didn't feel that New York was crowded or too busy. In fact, I found it kind of relaxing.

Fast forward to 2019, and my sister is married and a mother to my now 4-year-old nephew. While we get to hang out when I visit my family in Southern California, we hadn't really had a day trip to ourselves. So we decide to make it a four-day trip to New York City during the first week of May.

We stay in Midtown Manhattan near Grand Central, which is the perfect place to be because it feels like we're in the middle of everything we want to see.

Full disclosure: We don't visit too many tourist sites because the point of the trip is just to spend time with each other without having to rush off to the next thing. That being said, we check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where my sister was very loudly told by a museum employee not to touch a piece of art that's on display. I'm still laughing about that!

We go to the New York Public Library, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, and Grand Central Terminal.

We spend most of our days exploring other areas, walking around, and taking the subway to Lower Manhattan, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and Soho.

It's great to just spot a coffee shop, bakery, or local business that we think the other would be interested in; we sit down in the park and talk about whatever comes to mind or people watch.

Although it's only a few days, it's nice to reconnect with my sister and pick her brain as I continue to grow as an adult. It feels like I'm 7 again and we're grabbing lunch just before heading out on our adventure.

click to enlarge SISTER NIGHT If you're looking for a bar to go to with your girlfriends, I highly recommend the fun atmosphere of While We Were Young. - PHOTOS BY KAREN GARCIA
  • Photos By Karen Garcia
  • SISTER NIGHT If you're looking for a bar to go to with your girlfriends, I highly recommend the fun atmosphere of While We Were Young.

Now, my sister's favorite part of the trip: our dinner in Greenwich Village at Olio e Piú. I highly recommend the Fusilli e Manzo (pasta with braised beef) and meatballs. Afterward, we walk around looking for a place to grab a drink and we stumble upon While We Were Young, a restaurant and cocktail bar. It's definitely a female-focused bar. We both get a cocktail called If You're a Bird, I'm a Bird (yeah I know, The Notebook, it's cute, sue me) that consists of Grey Goose La Poire, honey, lavender, pear juice, and lemon. We share some laughs with the best waitress around (but forget to ask what her name is), and then we are off to find dessert. My sister has her sights on Magnolia Bakery and their famous banana pudding. OK, it's not your average pudding cup—it's layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and creamy vanilla pudding. I can't even begin to describe how amazing and not slimy the consistency of the pudding is. All in all, my sister says she's living out her Sex and the City fantasy of a night on the town.

My favorite part was all of it—but mostly getting to have some quality time with my sister. Δ

Staff writer Karen Garcia is still thinking of her next sister trip at kgarcia@newtimesslo.com.

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