Brighton Beach / Brooklyn | Day 3 | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday, indeed! It was such a windy day in Brighton Beach that my tent blew away. A Russian guy helped me get it, then he and his wife helped me pitch the tent.

“Spasiba,” I kept saying. They were happy to help, then we all laughed.

Many more people were on the beach and in the water compared to Wednesday. I chatted with a Russian woman for a good twenty minutes about life in Brighton Beach. I eventually want to move there and I said, “if you don’t mind me asking and I don’t mean to pry, but how much do you pay in rent? I want to start saving.” She told me and it’s comparable to King of Prussia. I thanked her and 10 minutes later, I excused myself to put on more sunscreen.

After waiting the 15 minutes after the sunscreen application, I went back into the water:

I met Sal, who was from Bosnia Herzegovina and served in the Yugoslavian army back in the 1960s. He told me his stories for about an hour and a half, showing me his army tattoo. Sal wanted a selfie and since I could add it to my Happiness Box, I obliged. He was interesting and has been a Brooklyn resident for 48 years.

I stayed at the beach until 3:30 AND I DIDN’T GET SUNBURNED! Woohoo! It was 85 with high humidity, so that was a feat in itself.

Before I headed to the subway, I decided to visit the beach again to get photos in my beautiful outfit. I met a mother and daughter, the daughter took my photo under the boardwalk sign. Once I was on the beach, I met a photographer and he took my photos on the beach.

After my photoshoot, I walked to the subway and saw a street performer. He was pretty good!

I had reservations at Tanoreen in Brooklyn at 6:30. I hadn’t been there since I came back from Toronto in April 2016. I was so happy that they had gluten-free options. I used to fry a whole fish and they had it gluten-free, baked without the flour.

I chatted with the waiter and told him how I love Chef Rawria and I used to check out her books all the time from the library. Since going gluten-free, I’ve been trying to convert the recipes. He smiled, went into the back, came back and presented me with Chef’s newest cookbook, signed, and gifted it to me. The book has many delicious GF Middle Eastern recipes, including a GF flatbread. I was verklempt and very grateful.

After dinner, I decided to go to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. I never been there before and thought the view of the city would look gorgeous at night. As I was walking, I asked a woman if I was going the right way to catch the R subway. She smiled and said, “I have to head that way anyway, follow me. I live across the street from that station.” We walked the 8 minutes and chatted as we walked. Such a friendly woman and we both admired the full moon illuminating Brooklyn.

When I arrived at Brooklyn’s City Hall, I made my way to the Promenade. I was behind two men; one older middle age and the other one probably a few years older than me. He was tattooed. I decided to say hi and I asked them if they were local. The older gentleman was. Since I had to show my vaccine passport to dine in restaurants, I asked him if I had to do the same for tattoos. He didn’t think so and as long as I remain masked, I’ll be fine.

The younger one and I began to chat, and he showed me his tattoos. He showed me his Cedar tree since he’s Lebanese and that started a whole other conversation. I was delighted to learn they were also going to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

I learned that his name is Ryan and he was visiting too and his friend was giving him a tour. They were a joy to walk and chat with.

Before they left, I asked Ryan if I could get a selfie with him. His friend suggested something better: he took the photo for us, with NYC in the background.

Lebanese, we chatted in Arabic for a little bit. He’s still learning, I’m not yet fluent, but fun nonetheless. He gave me his Instagram handle to follow.

I continued on and continued taking photos of the skyline. I met a young woman and asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking a picture of me with the city as the backdrop.

I thanked her and told her about Ryan. I said, “he also gave me his Instagram username and he was cute!” We both giggled and she wished me good luck. Such a friendly young lady. My photos turned out beautifully too.

I continued walking and came to a bench. I had to take some selfies from the bench! Here are the city photos too.

I made it back to my Air BNB by 10:30 and Angelina was up. We chatted for a good half an hour and even though she was 12, it was interesting chatting with her. I learned a lot about the Brighton Beach/Coney Island area from her. We both laughed too.

When we both yawned, it was 11:15 and time for bed. I went into my room, took some Melatonin and fell asleep, thinking of what Day 4 would bring.

I had a lot to be grateful for last Thursday and I am still feeling verklempt about all the kindness I experienced in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and NYC. NYC gets a bad rap, but New Yorkers are kind and they can be friendly. However, I have found that since I am a naturally kind and friendly person, people often respond positively to me.

I start my new job on Monday and I heard from the person who hired me. I will go to the DA’s office, then I will be shown my new office and get instructions regarding orientation. I am really excited and I am grateful for this opportunity.

I’m also thankful for friends and family. What are you thankful for today?

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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 “Brighton Beach / Brooklyn | Day 3 | Thankful Thursday”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Although, from the looks of it, you didn’t have ideal weather at the beach, you made the most of it. I am surprised you didn’t get your fair skin burnt by the sun. As per usual, you encountered friendly folks and collected selfies to remember them and their kindness always. New friend Sal must be Shady’s age or a little older. Fish and potatoes (in various forms) is my favorite dinner combination. You collected lots of great pictures on your trip as well as many new happy memories. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could live in the area someday and visit that beach on a regular basis?

    Best of luck as you start your new job and a new chapter of your life, dear friend JM!


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