Days 4 & 5 | Asbury Park & NYC

Thursday was an interesting day. I booked a photo shoot – I actually booked two photo shoots for this trip. I didn’t buy any souvenirs except some Asbury Park postcards. I was going to buy NYC postcards, but I am going to make my own. Anyway, I wanted to experience an Air bnb offered photoshoot experiences. Money that would have went to gifts went to photos that are meaningful to me and I can put into a scrapbook. While scrapbooks are things, I would rather have scrapbooks than trinkets. I avoided buying trinkets. Anyway, Asbury Park’s photo shoot was scheduled for Thursday and DUMBO, Brooklyn was scheduled for Friday since I was going to be in town for the tattoo convention. Ariana rescheduled Thursday’s shoot for Friday morning because of the storm. I told her I had a shoot in NYC at 2, and it had to be early. I also told Paris, the photog in Brooklyn, about what happened. Both were understanding. I was telling Jim about this, he laughed and said, “definitely make the Asbury Park shoot for 9:30. On a Friday, you will want to be out of here by 11:15 to get to Brooklyn on time.” I heeded John’s advice and Ariana agreed to a 9:30 am shoot. Both photogs were understanding and we had constant communication back and forth.


I headed to Asbury Park for the beach day. Thursday would be my relax day and I went to the beach before the storm. I managed to get three hours of beach time in and since I forgot to take my t-shirt coverup out of my bag, it was wet and I went swimming without one. I made sure Wraith was covered every half an hour and a young woman sitting behind me helped me with my back. I got sunburned everywhere except for where my tattoo is located. Wraith was safe! I think it’s because I was applying every half an hour for him, an hour and a half for the rest of my body… Asbury Park had nasty rip currents too and I think the roughness wiped that lotion off quickly. I didn’t get badly burned, just some pink, but I am glad Wraith is pale as could be.


I was hoping to meet up with Jared and his new girlfriend on Thursday. I told him Friday was going to be jammed packed and Thursday would be better. It started to rain at 4, I went to Silverball Arcade and played games for a half an hour. I love retro arcade games and I could play them for hours if I could. Actually, next time I go, I should make a day of it because a full day pass is $15, a half an hour was $10. It was a great way to beat the rain. After, I went into Bettie’s Bombshell and tried on an exact shade of Marilyn Monroe’s lipstick. I looked pretty and it lasted me the entire night. Jared didn’t want to venture out in the storms, so I enjoyed Jams on the Sand in the Stone Pony.


I think it was a Grateful Dead tribute night. The bands sounded just like them, the opening act even more so. It was fun watching the Deadheads dance around and for some of them, I was wondering what they were on because they had something groovy going on. I’m still laughing about what I saw. Pile of a Dog wasn’t bad, but I liked Taz better. He’s an up and coming guitarist, I would say no more than 18 years old, and he sounded amazing. I met him after, took a Polaroid photo with him and he signed it. It’s in my Happiness Box now. I’m going to keep tabs on him because I want to hear more of him.


Friday was the scorcher and twas my jammed pack day. John and Jim made sure that I brought plenty of water (one thing they always asked me—do I have plenty of water and they left free water bottles for me to take). They asked me if I was ready and told me to have fun. John even said, “I admire all that you are doing. We like to see our guests busy and taking in all that this town and the surrounding towns around us have to offer.” Jared and I talked about meeting up possibly later, although I was probably going to be home around 9 from NYC. We would play it be ear.


My photoshoot with Ariana was a lot of fun. First we took photos on the beach, of me in a bikini. I wanted some tattoo photos for my scrapbook and I thought a professional’s eye was the way to go with the kind of beach pictures I wanted. She had me stand on the rocks and I’m glad she suggested it because those photos turned out pretty. After, I changed and we took boardwalk photos. Ariana is a gifted photog and I am happy with the photos she took – she sent me all 468 photos (for $50, that wasn’t bad at all). Our shoot ended at 11, and I hopped on the 11:50 train from Long Branch to NYC.

I was twenty minutes late to the Brooklyn shoot, but Paris was very understanding. She said, “it’s okay! Today is a day for Jessica and it was meant to happen this way!” She was also young and a fresh out of college. She was fun to work with and I loved walking around DUMBO. This shoot was 45 minutes and she will send them to me on Tuesday most likely. Both Paris and Ariana stated I was a natural and easy to work with. I can’t wait to see them. After, I hung out in DUMBO for a bit because I wanted to take my own photos of the bridges. I also bought Carvel ice cream from the ice cream truck and enjoyed it before the tattoo convention.


My first convention was so much fun. Someone’s brother bought her a weekend pass and she knew she wasn’t coming back for the weekend, she got me in on her pass and asked for $15. The admission was $35, so it was a bargain. I knew I wasn’t going to get another tattoo, I want to wait, but I met a lot of cool artists. I’m thinking about getting tattoo #2 when I get to Canada because the Montreal artists  were down to Earth. This one Belgium artist tempted me because their drawing of a cat dressed as a Geisha was too pretty. I wonder if their work is copyrighted because the cat was on a sticker and if maybe after some thought, if I want it done in Montreal, I wonder if they could.


I bought some travel sized tattoo lotion, learned more about tattoo care and had a Brooklyn artist look at Wraith. He confirmed Wraith wasn’t sunburned AND he said the tattoo healed up nicely, I’m taking great care of it.  Hearing this, I felt over the moon and don’t feel anxious anymore. I also met the Inked crew and Meghan agreed to a photo, which also went into my Happiness Box. I bought an Inked tee and magazine – in total, I spent $48 at the convention. Friday was my most expensive day and I ended the evening with dinner from the Little Beat. $9 and it was enough; next time I’ll go to Friedman’s. I’m glad I did that because NJ Transit took forever because of the weather, Jared texted and said everyone was leaving Asbury Park and we would catch up some other time, and I missed the train to Bay Head, so I had to take a cab from Long Branch to Neptune City.

Published by


Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Days 4 & 5 | Asbury Park & NYC”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    No one has more jam-packed days of adventure and fun than you, dear friend! Seems like it rained at least for a while every day of your vacay, but you didn’t let that put a damper on your mood. You remained flexible and adjusted your plans accordingly. I am happy to learn that you remembered to protect The Wraith tattoo while swimming and that you found out at the tat convention it is safe and sound and healing properly.

    I’m glad you got to visit the arcade as you did the last time you headed over to Asbury Park. It must have been fun listening to the bands and people watching at that Grateful Dead tribute night. I doubt those dancers were on a “natural high.” 🙂

    I can’t wait to see some of the pictures taken during those two photo shoots. Having professionals compose the shots will ensure they are worthy of your Happiness Box. You should have had somebody take pics of you while you were wearing Marilyn Monroe’s lipstick the day before.

    In the summer of 1983 I took a date to NYC for a weekend. I well remember the oppressive heat of the city. The heat coming up off the sidewalks was like a blast furnace. I wish I would have had bottles of water along as we walked the city streets walled in by skyscrapers. Unfamiliar with the meaning of DUMBO, I learned it is a neighborhood in Brooklyn near the bridge that used to be called Gairville. It sounds like a groovy section of town and seems like you had lots of fun down there.

    Enjoy your Wednesday, dear friend JM!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s