I got off work an hour early at Calypso in order to pick up my wonderful little sister from Penn Station. I found her smiling alone amongst a crowd of busy people. It was good to see this beautiful being. I’ve rarely get to see her in the last few years because I’m always at school during the school year, and interning in some far-off place during the summer. She came to visit me for my last 10 days in the city. Her friend from Germany was planning on joining us after a few days. It was going to be a very tight squeeze in my apartment, but I was glad she would have someone to hang out with while I was busy with work.
I showed her around my summer stomping grounds, and dropped her bags off at my apartment. We walked down 5th Avenue to Madison Square Park. I love this park. It’s small, but so secluded from the rest of the New York world. My sister hadn’t eaten anything all day, so it was necessary that I introduce her to the workings of the Shake Shack. She’s one of the many Americans that are obsessed with In-N-Out Burger, which I don’t really fathom. To me, it’s only the slightest step above McDonalds quality. If you’re looking for a greasy/unhealthy burger joint, however, The Shake Shack takes the cake as being the best in the nation.
My sister is the definition of a shopaholic, so of course there were a lot of stores that I needed to take her to. She’s really good about shopping, however. She won’t buy anything over $30 and she always finds the craziest deals for the cutest clothing. Then again, we are of Jewish descent, so I r-e-a-l-l-y wouldn’t expect anything less. There isn’t very good shopping back home in Idaho, and even there she manages to be the queen of ordering rare fashion accessories from China. Though these items were surely made using child/slave labor, she’s managed to purchase some pretty interesting pieces. I don’t know why she doesn’t want a career in fashion. It seems to me like that’s where her heart is and I wouldn’t think of her as copying me at all.
We walked all the way to the bottom of Union Square and planned on getting some adorable miniature cupcakes from Baked By Melissa. I have always wanted to try the little place out, but even the sign said, “Cupcakes Are Meant For Sharing,” so I wasn’t about to go get cupcakes all alone. I wanted to go here at some point because my boss had told me that, originally, the owner was selling “special” treats in college. Thus people were getting baked, thus the name—Baked by Melissa. It could just be a rumor, but knowing the history of places in the city makes them 10x better. We settled on a $3 box of bite-size-muffins. I can’t remember the flavors, but they were definitely a step in the direction of managing obesity.
After shopping around a little, the clock struck 10, and it was time to head home. My sister had a long day of exploration ahead of her, and I had the last Friday of my second-to-last week of work. Walking all the way home (around 20 blocks), my sister’s feet started to hurt. Of the four items I told her to bring (tooth brush, camera, my new ID, and sneakers), she forgot the sneakers. If you’re really planning on being a tourist and making it to all the happening places in New York, a pair of good walking shoes is an absolute must. Honestly, if I were in the city for the mere point of tourism, I’d strap on my running shoes and face the city in my jogging attire.
Alena Netia Horowitz