By Lóa Schriefer

I arrived in New York at 11:00 after a seven-hour long car drive. The city was bustling, as everyone was out for Valentine’s day. My family searched for the address of where we were staying and finally found our apartment. When unloading the car, I overheard not one but two Valentine’s day quarrels between two different couples. When we got to our apartment the outside looked bland, just a white building in between two massage studios. The apartment was nice and had complementary snacks. That was the first night.

Day two, my family and I went to a series of galleries. We walked through Chelsea, going in and out of shows. We ended up seeing a show curated by Hilton Als about James Baldwin at the David Zwirner gallery. The show was a mix of photographs and videos, showing different artists’ influenced by James Baldwin. The show aims to demystify the elements of Baldwin’s character that have so often been represented incorrectly. Then we went to Mathew Marks and saw new works by Jasper Johns. After that we wandered in and out of several contemporary galleries with a diverse display of mediums. That day we ate lunch at Café Habana, which is given the title of “The best Cuban sandwich in New York.” It is a small and lively place with authentic Cuban food. Then for dinner we went to Jasmine Thai in China Town and got their famous Pad Thai.

The third day we went to the Guggenheim museum to see the Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography show and then to Hilma af Klint’s show again. We ate lunch at Café Gitane, a small French café in Nolita. After eating we walked around China Town, popping in and out of small stores. There were lots of pop up stores from all around the world. We ended the day by going to Dean and Deluca (a grocery store) to pick up something for dinner.

The last day there was a Chinese New Year celebration and we walked around watching the parade. Everything was covered in bits of red confetti, and flyers were being handed out left and right. The floats were beautiful and very intricate. After we had watched for a while, my family got our car and drove back through the city and then home.