Final Half Day in Brighton Beach/ NYC | 21 August 2021

I didn’t sleep well Saturday morning – fell asleep at 2am according to my Fitbit and was up at 7am. I was a little sore with the tattoos and I wanted to wash them. (Twice or three times daily.) Crush’s star compass design was a little red, but the “stay” in “stay curious” was really red and raised. The “stay” was on the bone, so in my mind it made sense. I texted Anna and Christina and they said it was normal for that area. Thank God for my two besties.

After the Aquaphor dried, I got dressed, and made my way to the kitchen. Natalyia was on the phone, but as soon as she was done the conversation, she joined me in the kitchen. She wanted to see my new tattoos, so I showed her, and she loved them. Natalyia has always wanted to get a tattoo, but she’s a bit nervous of needles. The one artist she found was overpriced, and I recommended Daredevil to her. My two were $156 ($25 tip) and it was cheaper than the work I had done in both Philadelphia and Asbury Park. Adrien was also an amazing artist, I loved Daredevil, and that is going to be my studio from now on.

As we were chatting, the Russian guest that came on Friday joined us. As she was preparing breakfast, chopping the onions and vegetables, she was talking to Natalyia in Russian. I wasn’t sure if she spoke English, but once she sat across from me, she began talking to me in English. Her name was Eva and she was visiting from Moscow. We chatted for a good two hours and she was a joy to chat with. Eva felt a bit insecure with her English, but I told her she is doing fabulously. I told her I studied English in college and was on the fence about teaching English overseas. English is a hard language to learn and she grasped it well.

I left at 10:45 but before I left I had to get a selfie with Eva. I wanted to put this experience in my Happiness Box and she felt honoured to be part of my project.

I decided to walk to the Ocean Parkway MTA station since that was a closer walk from the Air BNB than the Brighton Beach MTA station. Ocean Parkway was a 2 minute walk, Brighton Beach was 5. It wasn’t much of a difference, but with my luggage, those three minutes do make a difference.

Such a lovely view from Ocean Parkway as I waited for MTA. I didn’t want to leave.

When I hopped on the subway to head to Herald Square for lunch and to wait for Amtrak, I thought there was a comic con going on since someone was dressed as Spiderman. Maybe for the new movie? I liked his outfit, however.

It was a 45 minute ride and in those 45 minutes, I chatted with a woman about New York City life, tattoos, and everything in between. She got off at the stop before mine, but it felt wonderful to chat with her for 25 minutes (she hopped on at Prospect Park).

When I finally arrived at Harold Square, I was only 6 minutes away from Friedman’s. Friedman’s is my favourite Jewish deli in New York City. They’re comparable to Philadelphia’s Hymie’s, as they both have delicious gluten-free options at an affordable price. Felt great to visit – haven’t been to Friedman’s since March 2019.

Since I am fully vaxxed, I could sit inside. I was seated next to the bar and as I was waiting for my waiter, “stay curious” started to hurt a little. I know I made a face when I looked at the Black girl sitting at the table next to me.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t make the face because of you. I was tattooed yesterday and I’m a bit sore.”

She smiled and said, “I was tattooed yesterday too and I feel the same way!” That sparked a thirty minute conversation; her name is Dorian and we chatted about our stories. She finished up way before me, but I asked her if I could get a selfie for my Happiness Box. Dorian enthusiastically agreed and asked if she could take my photo as well as a selfie. Dorian took a photo of me, I snapped my selfie and she snapped her selfie. We exchanged Twitter handles and we’re going to keep in touch.

Then my gluten-free Reuben came out and it was so delicious! It held me through my trip back home.

I ended up just sitting at Penn Station for two hours and waited for my train. I was tired and I wanted to relax. My train came at 3:15 and I was back home, in King of Prussia, by 6:30. I made it out of NYC before TD Henre hit.

I can’t wait to go back to NYC and I’m thinking of a day trip in the winter. One of my cousins on my dad’s side lives in Harlem, I want to see her and she wants to see me. It’s been 8 years. I also want to ice skate at either Bryant Park or Rockefeller Center.

I love NYC and Brighton Beach! Such an awesome vacation; wonderful memories made and I met so many lovely, kind people.

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 “Final Half Day in Brighton Beach/ NYC | 21 August 2021”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    You crammed lots of fun and interesting activity into your trip to NYC and Brighton Beach. Clearly you feel at home there. I hope you can make your dream of living there someday a reality. I am very happy to read about your positive encounters with strangers. You were kind in helping Russian visitor Eva with her English and giving her positive feedback and reassurance during your conversation.

    I am most impressed by how you handled the situation at Friedman’s when you grimaced in pain due to the soreness of you tattoo the moment you happened to be gazing in the direction of that young woman of color. By taking time to explain to her the reason why you made a face, you turned a potentially awkward encounter into a very pleasant one and possibly gained a new friend. The food you were served there looks delicious!

    I hope your “stay curious” tat is healing properly so that you can put it out of your mind as you start your new job. I know you will make the most of this new opportunity, and I wish you great success.

    Have a wonderful week, 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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s