Zolivia takes NYC : part 2

Hello humans of the internet!

Hopefully you read Part One of this NYC blog series and you're all briefed on who Olivia is & why we're in New York together. 

Because in THIS post I'll be getting into the traveler's details of anything and everything we have to say about this trip! (myself speaking for Olivia, cause again - we're basically the same person)

So if you're heading to NYC anytime soon, or just want to live vicariously through us - this post should be satisfying to both of those situations!

Day 1 : Sunday

After navigating buses, subways, and the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, we arrived at our AirBnb with great relief around 2 in the afternoon. I'm gonna preface this whole experience by saying there wasn't a day of this trip that we didn't break a sweat because of the high temperatures. Which you wouldn't really expect from a trip to New York? But in the summer it's just heat, radiating off of a city built of asphalt and reflective buildings. So that's the perspective. Thanking the Lord for the breezes, air conditioned establishments, and countless iced drinks that kept us going.

Now that you know how hot we were. Let's move on. 

Next on Sunday's schedule was to meet up with my friend Elise, who had recently moved to Brooklyn from Minneapolis. We met at Dough Doughnuts on Franklin and OH MY GOSH. We took it upon ourselves to taste test a LOT of doughnuts on our trip, but these win. Hands down. They were even vegan. I could eat one of their pistachio doughnuts every day. 

Also - it was never a question of how many doughnuts we were going to get. Half dozen or bust. 

After some catch-up chats and savoring the doughnuts made by angels, we were all off to catch the 5:00PM service at Hillsong Church in Manhattan! 

I love experiencing different churches when I travel and being able to come together with other believers that I don't even know & worship our Creator together. We have Christ in common and that's all we need. It's also so refreshing to hear different speakers and gain new perspectives from what they have to say. It was all so, so good. Grateful for that time.

After the service, we were all pretty hungry, so we headed over to 12 Chairs Cafe in East Village, which served a fusion of Middle East & Eastern European cuisine. 

More simply put: their food was incredible.

I got a fresh mozzarella sandwich, Live got a Brie sandwich, and Elise got the most amazing salad. ALSO LET'S DISCUSS THE POTATO PRODUCTS ON THE TABLE. We all shared sweet potato fries and their 'house fries' (the plate with round fried potato slices) and they were both just so fresh and good. Not pictured - our appetizer - which was the MOST amazing hummus served with warm pita. Even now that I'm back home, I still crave that fresh hummus. I'll be eating some Sabra and I'm like. What even is this. Where's my 12 Chairs Hummus. Need that. 

So after our dinner, we said goodbye to Elise and grabbed an Uber to Webster Hall for a concert. 

FUNNY THING about this concert - one of my best guy friends was in the band that was performing. Hence why we were even there. BUT GUYS - this whole thing is really exciting. Just because of the fact that we're both from the midwest, hailing from the Minneapolis area of Minnesota, and THERE WE WERE in NEW YORK CITY together?? Like. The chances of being in the same city (of 8.5 Billion people) at the same time as one of your closest friends (1200 miles from your homes) completely coincidentally? YEAH WE THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY RAD.

Oh also it's Kyle. Kyle Featherstone is the guy. HI KY. 

I've known Kyle for 4 years and our friendship is one of my favorites! He's one of the people in my life who knows the realest, rawest version of me, and I love that. We like to pretend to be really cool in photos but we're probably two of the biggest dorks you could find. Even when we're in NYC.

After shooting some photos & listening to their set, we called it a night and made the journey back to the AirBnb. 

The only two requirements we really had during our online search for the perfect AirBnb was :

1 : a bedroom with white walls & good lighting. 

2 : rooftop access for photo and hangout purpose 

Bet your bottom dollar that's exactly what we booked.

So Sunday night, we headed straight for the rooftop when we got 'home' and spent some time up there before calling it a night. 

Day 2 : Monday 

We let ourselves sleep in a bit, then started our day by grabbing brunch and coffee at Brunswick Cafe

9/10 would recommend because of the cozy yet modern aesthetic vibes, good food - and Olivia really enjoyed her drink. 

What? Does that a mean I didn't enjoy my drink?  

No. i really really didn't. I got a chai latte. And it tasted like a chai tea that had been left to steep for 30 seconds. I was basically drinking poorly spiced water. So. If you go here - get a regular latte! Get the avocado toast! Get the bacon & egg croissant! But avoid the chai at all costs. 

After we got our fuel for the morning, we set out to do what we do best!

Wander around and take photos. We hit up the Brooklyn Bridge & Dumbo areas of Brooklyn 

We knew we were going to call it an early night because we wanted to get back to the AirBnb rooftop in time to take sunset photos - 


We went into West Village for dinner because we had our hearts (and eyes and stomachs, and basically every part of us) set on experiencing The Butcher's Daughter - a 'vegetable slaughterhouse' with an earthy boho, yet clean and modern vibe. The whole place was fresh, in every sense of the word - including the sick music which was being queued up by one of the waiters, who noticed I was vibing and singing along with every song between bites, and came over to recognize my appreciation for his selections. (one of the songs, newer to me, was a song called Panic Chord - Hucci Remix. Do your ears a favor and go listen after reading this post FOR SURE. Make sure you're listening to the remix though.) 

*sorry there are no photos of the food we ordered, but this was one of those 'we're so hungry and this food looks so good, I don't even know what a camera is right now'* 

After the flawless Butcher's Daughter experience we hopped back onto the subway and made it back to our place in Brooklyn just in time to get some golden hour rooftop photos :

Day 3 : Tuesday 

This day was the day we had planned to meet up with Jess (IG : @life_is_sweeeeet) for lunch and then explore and take photos for the rest of the day. 


We took a whirl at another donut shop we had our eyes on : Dough Doughnuts

the Hibiscus (pink frosted) and Cafe Au Lait (left of hibiscus) were the best ones. Their glazed and sugar ones were just sort of average. Also these doughnuts were huge. We honestly only took about two bites of each, and combined that was about 3 doughnuts finished between the 2 of us together. These doughnuts were just HUGE. Between the flavors and the size, we just preferred Dun Well over Dough HANDS DOWN.  

So after doughnuts and walking around the botanical gardens (which were also a bit of a letdown) our day picked up when we met Jess for lunch.

We went to a small Parisian cafe whose backyard outdoor dining was a dream.

I was in desperate need of some protein because all we'd been consuming was carbs, carbs, carbs, so as soon as I saw "Peach and Salmon Roe" on the menu I thought - YUM! Salmon with a peach sauce? Cool. That sounds great. I'll have that. 

Olivia : "What's 'Roe' ? "

Me : "I don't know Live I just really want Salmon."

So we ordered, talked, I went off to the bathroom and when I came back, Olivia looked like she definitely knew something I didn't know. Then she said :

"Well. We found out what 'Roe' means...

It's fish eggs."

So on a plate in front of my eyes was a a caramelized peach cut open and in place of where the pit would have been, little orange jelly spheres overflowed. Little fish eggs. I was about to eat fish eggs. THE MENU DID NOT SAY CAVIAR. UGH.

I was a good sport and tried them out, and they did in fact last like salmon, just in little flavor beads.

They lacked the true texture and sustenance I would have experience had a REAL salmon been on my plate. This is my sob story. All I wanted was some protein. Not a warm peach stuffed with salmon eggs for $17.00 

Yes. That's the other sad part to this story. Tears about that money. 


We went to Sweatshop which is a coffee shop in Brooklyn known for putting ice-cream in their coffees. That's right. I got a cup of espresso + vanilla ice-cream + sprinkles. And it was lovely.

Midwest coffee shops, get on that. 

After Sweatshop, we adventured around Williamsburg, which is where Jess took most of the photos found in my last blog! 

This is Jess! ^^ had to snap a few of her during our adventures :) The light coming through this fence was just too cool. 

After walking around Williamsburg, we headed back to Jess's apartment in Queens because she had two Shiba Inus we needed to meet. 

Jess also had killer rooftop access that we took advantage off. And we may also have snuck into the next apartment building over to use their rooftop as well :) 

Day 4 : Wednesday

This was our last FULL day in NYC so we decided to get up at sunrise and go to the roof to do some portrait shooting of each other. We went back to bed promptly after our half our shoot. 

after waking up for the second time that day, we decided to go to Toby's Estate for some avocado toast & coffee. This day basically consisted of us going around to coffee shops and thrift shops, until we made it to Little Italy for dinner at the most delicious (and expensive) Italian restaurant. Afterwards we were on our way to meet my cousin in Central Park where 'Opera in the park' was happening. It was a nice low-key day in the city, only documented on our iPhones, which was a nice break after non-stop shooting the past days. 

Day 5 : Thursday (BYE)

This was our travel day. We woke up, packed up, went to a juice bar down the street that we went to the very first day we got here, and hopped on the subway to make it to Port Authority. I think 5 days was just enough to freely explore and experience just enough of NYC to fix our travel bugs. Eating good food, drinking good drinks, and getting a fresh creative spark that can only be found when you leave your familiar for a bit. And getting to experience it with someone you love so much? Bonus. 

Here's us leaving our AirBnb and thinking about all the subways, buses, and airplanes we were about to deal with for the day. It was the saddest moment when we realized we had to say goodbye to each other on the shuttle at the airport. Back to Missouri for her - Back to Minnesota for me. But then we were texting each other again within a few minutes ... so, it's not so sad.