Brighton Beach / Coney Island | Day 2 | 3 April 2023

I woke up at 7:30 and I walked to the beach as David slept. I decided to take a polar plunge and the water felt great. It was 37 degrees on Monday morning, the ocean had to be about that temperature too. Someone walking the beach took photos for me and I was able to go up to my abdomen and I dunked my head into the waves. After the plunge, I wrapped myself in towels, sat on the beach for a bit, and meditated. Not very many people were there, and it was peaceful to listen to the waves and gulls. The beach is my happy place, regardless of the season. When I headed back to the Air BNB, two pigeons greeted me. Pigeons are one of my favourite birds and I loved seeing them.

I changed when I got back to the Air BNB and I decided to walk to the bodegas near us. I was hungry and I knew that rice pudding wouldn’t be enough for me. I walked to two different bodegas and the last one I walked into, they had mini bowels of GF cheerios. The clerk gave me a cup of milk, free of charge. When I got back to the Air BNB, David was awake. I had my breakfast, then we had the oysters and pudding. That was David’s first time having a raw oyster. I’ve been eating them since I was 6 years old and I showed him how to eat them. I also told him the sauce is delicious. David enjoyed the oyster.

Monday was Russian day. I wanted to show David the Riegleman Boardwalk and I wanted to give him a tour of Brighton Beach. We walked the boardwalk and made our way to Tatiana Café in Brighton Beach. David and I split a borscht and I wanted him to try the pelmeni. Pelmeni is meat filled Russian dumplings. I learned about them from my Russian Jewish group, except I had to make mine gluten-free. I knew I couldn’t get the pelmeni GF at Tatiana, David was excited to try them. He thought both the borscht and pelmeni were amazing. He also loved the compote drink. I’ll have to make the GF pelmeni for him some time. They almost reminded him of a crossover between a pierogi and wonton.

After lunch, we walked the beach and I showed him some of the Russian shops near the beach. Before we went to dinner at a Ukrainian restaurant, I would give him more tours of Brighton Beach off the beach. At this point, it was getting windy and it was a bit windy on the beach. I brought my ace flag, I wanted to get a photo on the beach and before Pride month, and while I was able to get it around me, it was a bit of a challenge. We also sat on the gazebo and keeping the flag still was a challenge. I managed and the pictures did come out nice.

We made it back to the Air BNB at 3:30 and we watched Sing 2 on Netflix, then Seven Deadly Sins. We wanted to relax before we walked back to Brighton Beach for dinner. I’m glad we did because when we headed out at 6:30, the wind was brutal. When we made it to Brighton Beach, I showed David the different Russian shops and buildings before we went to Skovorda for dinner.

David loved Skovorda and he and our waiter, Erich, really got along. Erich saw my back tattoo and loved it. He talked about the wings he has on our back and we made a few jokes. I’m glad David loved the Ukrainian restaurant because it is one of my favourites.

David didn’t feel like walking back and I suggested riding the subway. It was his first time riding the subway and I was his guide. I knew the subway and I knew how to get back to our Air BNB; we were staying two blocks from Stillwell Ave.

Since I am used to Brighton Beach and Stillwell Ave., I guided us back with no issue. David seemed to like the subway.

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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 / Coney Island | Day 2 | 3 April 2023”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    It was fun to read Part 2 of your Brighton Beach Memoirs, dear friend. (BBM refers to the semi-autobiographical play by famed playwright Neil Simon.)

    I have been following you a long time, and know that you never shy away from taking a polar plunge. With the air temp at 37 degrees, you were probably the only person in the water that entire day. I am very impressed with the feat, and glad you had gulls and pigeons to keep you company on that lonely beach.

    Back at the BNB, you introduced David to raw oysters and later, at the restaurant on the boardwalk, you got him to try Russian dumplings . I’m happy to know that he enjoyed sampling those exotic foods and beverages with you. He is experiencing many new things, thanks to you, and vice versa.

    Yessum, I can see that the brisk wind was blowing your hair. I’ll bet it was doggone chilly, especially seated in the shade. It sounds like it was even colder later on when you went out for dinner at the Ukrainian restaurant. I’m happy to learn that David enjoyed the cuisine and trusted you to know the subway system (another new experience for him) well enough to get the two of you safely back to the room.

    Mrs. Shady just now looked at your post and remarked that you live life to the fullest. How true! Enjoy the rest of your day and week, dear friend JM!


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