Brooklyn, NYC
August 25, 2017

I just returned home from a fantastical trip to Brooklyn, New York! I’ve wanted to explore Brooklyn for several years, but in my visits to New York it hasn’t been something I’ve been able to do. When my college friend Arlene invited me to her home in BedStuy I jumped at the opportunity.

Arlene and I met on the very first day of college at Sarah Lawrence. We were busy unpacking our next door dorm suites when our fathers bumped into one another. They share the exact same birth date and were dressed identical that day in orange polos, dad shorts, sandals, and socks pulled all the way up.

I remember dad storming into my bedroom telling me he’d found a friend “her name is Arlene and she likes to cook, too.”


You can go years in between seeing someone and find yourself flooded by memories and remembering why you fell into friendship in the first place. In Arlene’s Brooklyn brownstone, I gave praises once again for her place in my life. She is a blessing.

On our first morning in Brooklyn we visited Saraghina Restaurant, it was lovely– our waiter let me into the backroom to photograph the pizza oven. It was another reminder of many on this trip of how truly thoughtful New Yorkers are.



After breakfast we visited one of Ar’s favorite, local boutiques. We spent some time visiting with the owner who unfortunately had her dog stolen from her recently. Ar found a perfect, floral skirt. I love what she chose! From the moment I arrived in BedStuy, I kept thinking about how close it felt to watching “Crooklyn.” There is a magic there. It’s evident immediately.

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Thanks to historic street signs and Ar being a Brooklyn native I learned so much area history: like how Brooklyn was founded by the Dutch {no surprise there} and that if separated from NYC proper it would rival Chicago in size. In my mind Brooklyn was always small, quaint– Crooklyn and Sex and the City Brooklyn, and it is quaint, but its own flavors shine.


The sandstone fences of Brooklyn brownstones make perfect camera tripods. This is a photo I will cherish forever. I love this lady!


Arlene and I then drove out to Long Island to visit some of her family. It was a beautiful drive. I’ve always been oddly curious about Long Island. I think because it’s a place people reference and then there’s that Lifetime movie, “Long Island Call Girl.” Ha 😉 It reminds me of older parts of Minnetonka. Very quaint and cute.

Back in Brooklyn we made plans with a grade school friend of mine, Erika, who moved out to NYC a while back. Arlene served me the most delicious pink lemonade with real rose petals. I don’t think a fancy spa could outdo it. I forgot how HOT and humid New York in August is, and these were so refreshing. On a walk before our dinner date I was reminded of God’s goodness and truth:


Sunday morning I got to meet my friend Mica in person. We’ve been Facebook buddies for a while and she recently moved to Harlem. It was hysterical to sit and talk the morning away while sipping coffees and waters out of little, vintage teacups. I’m so grateful to social media for being a connector of people who have things in common.


Arlene and I were able to squeeze in some cooking and baking, the hobby that brought us together all those years ago :) We made two pies: Dutch apple and strawberry. It is so wild to grocery shop in NYC– everything is SO busy. I imagine if I lived there I’d Prime as much as I can. You can’t just jump and do a quick run to the store like you can in MN. I forgot how things take a long time…

On Sunday Arlene planned an eating tour for us in hipster Williamsburg. We started our morning off with coffee, of course. I love this little shop just a few blocks from Ar’s place. It’s called Anchor Coffee and their cold press was divine.


Our tour started at Gottlieb’s, a Hasidic Jewish restaurant. We had delicious knish that tasted more savory than sweet, not what I was expecting. It was divine. All the while people were sharing eclipse glasses, we had a great view for it in Williamsburg!


From there we walked to the infamous rainbow bagel bakery. The gentlemen there were so kind to allow me to step behind the bar and get some closer shots. New Yorkers are the best.


I loved the dumplings we had, our tour guide did a fantastic job of explaining the changes in Williamsburg over the years. I loved how informed she was.


We ended our tour at Martha’s Bakery… the cakes and pies were divine. After feeling stuffed from earlier we didn’t end up eating anything, but I loved capturing the cakes in their natural habitat…


We ended our day with a healthy, homemade dinner and a few glasses of wine. In Bed-Study the liquor store is totally bullet proof– you just point to what you want. Arlene had me laughing so hard, “I could have taken you further to the store that’s already gentrified, but I knew you might like this one better.” She was right.


On my final day in New York all three of us went on another tour: the Brooklyn bridge and DUMBO neighborhood tour. This was a much longer tour and involved meeting in downtown NYC and walking over the bridge to Brooklyn. Suddenly, I had a few memories of when my dad worked in downtown NYC for a client he had briefly when I was in high school.

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It was such a wonderful, perfect trip. I am very grateful to have such a dear sister-friend after all these years, and her patient husband who put up with our antics and silliness. New York, I love you, and I will be back!

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