Brighton Beach Postcards

Since I am going to make a sn@p album, I wanted Brighton Beach postcards since I bought post cards for Coney Island. Unfortunately, they don’t sell post cards in Brighton Beach and I made my own. On Friday, I’m going to order these two from Canva. I’m quite happy with the outcome.

On Saturday evening, I was too exhausted to stop at one of the shops near Friedman’s after I ate, so I decided to go into a Hudson News in the train terminal. Sadly, they didn’t sell NYC post cards, but they did sell key chains that I bought for my girls at my full-time job. I was going to make a few, but I found some of the NYC post cards I bought last year.

I can’t wait to start this album.

Brighton Beach | 27 August 2022

This weekend was my Labor Day since next Friday I am getting a wisdom tooth out. I plan on relaxing and recovering next weekend.

The digital train schedule is growing on me. Still miss the old fashioned train schedule.

On Saturday I took a day trip to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York. I left the house at 7:15 am and was at 3oth Street Station by 7:50 am. I overslept and didn’t get a chance to have gluten-free Wegmans rice krispie cereal before I left, so I stopped for some hash browns and an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I made my way to the bench, ate and started talking to a guy with a Pink Floyd shirt and another guy waiting for a train to Daytona. Interesting people, to say the least. The Pink Floyd shirt guy was nice.

Once boarding was called, I met Chi Chi and family, who are from Arizona and were in town to drop one of their daughters off at Lafayette College in Easton. My cousin graduated from there in 2011 and I told them it was a great school. They were visiting New York for the day and they agreed to a selfie with me before we boarded the train.  I had Chi Chi’s husband take the selfie, since he had longer arms.

Chi Chi and family.

 decided to mask while riding the train. It was an uneventful ride and I made it to Manhattan in 90 minutes.

I had to walk to 34th Street, Herald Square, to catch the Q to Brighton Beach. The B, the express train, only runs during the week and had to take the local. I had fun sight seeing while walking to the subway station and fortunately, the Q arrived quickly.

In 40 minutes, I made it to Brighton Beach. En route, a homeless man hopped on at Prospect Park and he asked for $5. Before I gave him $5, I asked him to take a photo for me. He did and was grateful for the help. It was also nice to see the Brooklyn Bridge out the window while entering Brooklyn.

My $5 photo. He was actually a great photographer.

When I arrived to Brighton Beach, I stepped out of the air conditioned train, and humidity hit me. Graffiti greeted me, seagulls serenaded me, and the sea smelled heavenly.

Stepping in Brighton Beach is like stepping in Russia, no passport required! I decided to check out the 99 cents store, to get something to drink for the beach. I wanted to see what kind of Russian candy they had and the only candy that seemed to be gluten-free was from Poland. I assumed it was gluten-free because the wheat was crossed out, the rest of the bag was in Polish. I don’t know how I would have felt about chocolate covered plums and for $5.99, I didn’t buy it. But, I did take plenty of photos and plenty of photos of the other products. I bought a bottle of vitamin water and headed to the beach.

The water was perfect. It was 91 degrees on Saturday and the water was cool. It was a great way to cool down. As I was walking up from the beach with my camera, I heard a dog yapping. A little wiener dog greeted me and I asked the Russian family if I could pet her, as well as take a photo. They agreed and Neena loved the attention. Her owner came back, and she took some photos of me with Neena. So grateful.

I swam for an hour and a half and saw a kite flying. The kite was gorgeous and I saw a Ukrainian flag flying from one of the windows. Brighton Beach’s population isn’t only Russian, it’s also Ukrainian, Uzbecki, Slovakian, Czech, and Polish. It’s really Little Eastern Europe. I digress, as I was taking photos, I saw a guy sitting near the kite. I asked him if it was his kite, but it wasn’t. We talked for a good 15 minutes, Tarik lived locally and he agreed to a photo with me. The guys sitting next to him agreed to take the photo with my DSLR; he ended up taking several since he was a photographer. I gave Tarik my number to keep in touch, he called, but my phone was on airplane and the one time my phone doesn’t tell me when someone called while it’s in airplane, it’s someone I wanted to keep in touch with! Hopefully he texts. Oh well. The photos turned out nicely!

I had a very Russian lunch at Tatyana. Cold borscht, salad, and vodka with cranberry. It filled the spot and kept me satisfied for the rest of the afternoon.

When I got back to the beach, I decided to write in the sand. I wrote this, but I didn’t send it to Brian. I was a bit nervous. Yet, I could send him a selfie where I’m hanging out with vodka in my hand, bikini photos, and other beach photos. I remember when I did this for Lucky Logan last year and he didn’t really say much. I was probably nervous about that happening again. Ah, well, this will be for my sn@pbook.

I sent Brian this one instead. It was well-received and he sent me some photos of Nashville.

I drew this, for scrapbooking purposes. I took it at different angles.

I went back to the beach for another 2.5 hours. I met Mark and his dad who were having a water gun fight. His dad threw the water gun to me because he wasn’t feeling the water gun fight. Mark and I got into a water gun fight. Another little boy had his water gun and joined us. His mother, Jasmine, introduced herself, then Jacob, and Joanna, his sister. Jacob and Joanna joined in the water gun fight and we had a lot of fun for an hour. Mark, his dad, Jasmine, Jacob, and Joanna had to leave, so I gave Mark back his second water gun and thanked him.

I met some others and had fun swimming with them for another hour. They were local and gave me some great restaurants and supermarkets to check out. They agreed to a go-pro selfie and it was priceless.

I needed to take a water break and when I went back to my tent, I had a surprise waiting for me. As you all know, I love pigeons. There was a pigeon waiting for me, sitting on my towel. I was verklempt and I thought, “my child has come to visit!” Yeah, I love pigeons just as much as cats. Unfortunately, my camera and cell phone were behind him and I didn’t want to disturb. Ah well, I have my memory. 🙂

Brighton Beach is my happy place. I left the beach at 4pm, after 4.5 hours there. I did apply sunscreen religiously, but still got some sun. I packed up and I walked the Riegelmann Boardwalk to Coney Island. It was a hot walk, but I did visit Brooklyn Beach Shop and bought a small Brooklyn pennant I’ll use for the sn@p album. I took some photos of the boardwalk and met some people who took my photo, then agreed to a selfie. They were visiting from Ohio.

I left Coney Island/Brighton Beach at 4:30 and made my way to Manhattan for dinner. I was going to go to Friedman’s at Harold Square before I headed home. For some reason, the Q heading to 96th Street was delayed and then detoured. It took me an hour to get to Herald Square, and I made it to Friedman’s by 6pm. My train left at 7:53 and I was happy that I had plenty of time for dinner.

When I got off at Herald Square, there was a popup that looked strange. It was an obstacle course of sorts. It made for great photos. I also noticed a lot of gals dressed up, looking like they were going to an anime convention. A K-Pop pop-up store was near the obstacle course, so it could have been.

At Friedman’s, I sat with a group of other gals. They were dressed up like they were going to an anime convention and I asked the one why everyone was dressed up. She wasn’t friendly, but she did mention that Harry Styles was playing at Madison Square Garden. When she left, a nicer group of gals came who were also seeing Harry Styles, but they weren’t dressed for an anime convention.

Nia was my wait staff and they were great! Nia made sure my meal and dessert were gluten-free. Nia was a great conversationalist and once I mentioned that I scrapbooked, they were overjoyed to hear that and shared that they also scrapbook. I asked Nia for a selfie, for the scrapbook I’m going to make, and they agreed. Nia said, “I’m non-binary, I use they/them pronouns.” Noted. 🙂

The friendlier gals I sat with, Meghan and Rebecca, from D.C. They were a joy to chat with too. Selfie for the scrapbook. The gluten-free Rueben was to die for. I ate it all. I haven’t had a GF Rueben in so long and I was looking forward to it. Friedman’s also had delicious GF chocolate chip cookies.

Madison Square Garden, where Harry Styles was playing, is right next to Penn Station. Before I went in to wait for my train, I had to take photos of everyone dressed up for Harry Styles.

I left NYC at 7:53 pm. On my way home, I sat in the quiet car. As I was placing my bag and beach tent in the rack above me, an African American woman walked over to me, tapped my shoulder, and asked, “How was your day? I hope you had a great day at the beach! I’m so glad to see you because I enjoyed talking to you this morning on the bench.” I smiled and I told her that I did. I asked her how her day was, her day was wonderful too. Hmmm… I probably talked to her in Philadelphia before I met Chi Chi and family. Wow, I guess I do leave an impression on people and they remember me. Maybe I do touch lives.

I made it home at 10:15 pm. I showered and went to bed. I was exhausted. I can’t wait to go back – Brighton Beach and New York City in general are my happy places. I met so many wonderful people and as one of my friends said to me, “you seem to bring out the best in people.” I’m thinking about going back for the polar plunge on New Year’s Day.

Thankful Thursday 25 August 2022

Ah, the last Thankful Thursday of August! I can’t believe we’re almost 8 months through 2022 and there’s only 4 more months left. 2022, like years before, has been flying by!

Today is Kelcee’s birthday. Kelcee was one of my best friends in high school and we haven’t seen each other in person since I graduated from high school 14 years ago. I’ve been trying to catch up with friends from high school and college, see them face to face and spend time with them. Kelcee agreed to get ice cream for her birthday and she would bring her boyfriend.

We met up at Frosty Falls at 4:30.

Always so nice to meet up with a friend and meet her awesome boyfriend. Thanks for the laughs and stories. We do have to do this more often!

Happy birthday, Kelcee! It was so much fun celebrating you!

I’m thankful for Brian. I’ve been reading The Great Alone and it’s a depressing book. It’s well written, but Kristin Hannah has me in my feels. I was explaining to Brian that this book has me feeling blah, but sometimes when I’m tired and worn out, I feel depressed too. He’s been sending me comics that we both love. I’m so grateful for him and I’m so grateful that I met him.

I’m also thankful for Tina. She encouraged me to follow my heart and didn’t judge me for following my heart. We’ve been chatting and running creative ideas through one another.

Lastly, I’m thankful for my other friends, family, and co-workers from both jobs. What are you thankful for today?

Philadelphia, Round #2 | 20 August 2022

On Saturday, I decided to go back into Philadelphia. I wanted to visit old haunts, while keeping cool. The heat and humidity was back, so the Franklin Institute was calling my name. It felt so good to see two different planetarium shows. It felt great to see the jellyfish, and it felt so good to take selfies in space.

Saturday would have been Dimebag Darrell’s 56th birthday. After the Franklin Institute and shopping at the Reading Terminal Market, I went to one of my old haunts, which I haven’t been to since January: Barra Rossa. I ordered a black tooth grin, Crown, Seagrams 7, and coke, which was created by Dimebag. I toasted in his honour, along with gluten-free pizza.

Saturday was also another special day. Star Compass and “Stay Curious” turned 1. My Ink Day celebration happened when I got home and had coffee ice cream.

They still look great! I can’t believe it’s been a year already – it feels like yesterday I was in China Town, NYC at Daredevil Tattoo chatting with Adrian as he inked me. I can go for some more ink!

Friday Night Entertainment at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is Back!

Two weeks ago when I was at the Art Museum, one of my security guard friends told me that Friday night entertainment is back. I decided to go this past Friday and I was pleasantly surprised with the harp player.

I decided to scrapbook while listening to the music, but realized I didn’t bring tape or scissors. I went upstairs and noticed that they had a craft table set up for kids. I decided that I would help myself and scrapbook. Some of the kids and staff members loved watching me.

I was talking to one of the staff members and she let me have the beautiful washi tape for my scrapbook. Thank you. I’m grateful.

Before I went to the Art Museum, I stopped off at the Reading Terminal Market for some gluten-free cheese curds and funnel cake. All the tables were full, but I saw one table had an opening. I asked the two guys if I could sit with them and they agreed. Their one friend came back and we got chatting.

CJ, Brian, and Jason from Long Island. They let me sit with them and treated me to a drink. We exchanged contact information, and we all agreed to keep in touch. 🙂

What a wonderful Friday evening!

Thankful Thursday 18 August 2022

Happy Thursday! I know I haven’t posted since last week; I’ve been talking to a few new people, with one being very promising. I’m taking it slow and enjoying the ride, day by day. I’ve also been scrapbooking the concert.

On Saturday I went roller skating. I haven’t roller skated at the River Rink since last September and it felt so good to be back. I had to hold for a little bit, until I found my groove and was zipping around.

After roller skating, I headed back to Market Street and met a nice guitarist. He played for me, and we chatted a bit. So grateful for the lovely music and chatter.

On Sunday, Terry let me come over and swim. I’m so grateful for her kindness and that I’m welcomed any time. It means the world to me.

On Monday, my full-time job celebrated Valentine’s Day in August. They left me a sweet Valentine’s in my mailbox. I thanked them for the kindness. I felt verklempt.

Today I sort of had a little wardrobe problem. I need either double sided tape or a camisole for underneath. I sent the new person I’m talking to these photos. I felt like an angel in the morning, but realized by afternoon I looked more devilish. He liked the photos.

When I was filling in for the receptionist after lunch, my two favourite ladies helped me fix my dress. They let me go into their office to switch it around. So grateful. So grateful for their friendship too.

Christina joined the Navy and I received my first letter from her. I haven’t read it yet, but I am so grateful she is keeping in touch.

I’m also grateful for other friends, the new crush, family, and co-workers. What are you grateful for today?

Thankful Thursday 11 August 2022

Ah, Thursday is here again and the weather finally cooled a bit after an awesome thunder storm last night. It’s now 86 degrees with a breeze. I’ll take it and I’m thankful.

Today would have been our 9 months together, and today I’m celebrating not getting super depressed and doing what was best for me. Our relationship had been falling apart for a few months, especially since he had a wandering eye. I made a post on Facebook and this is what I wrote:

I broke up with Tommy on Monday, after he pulled away last Thursday. While I tried, his Asperger’s made it extremely difficult. I was often doing all the compromising and I felt like a babysitter. This was his 10th time pulling away in 8 months.

I feel more relief than anything. All I can say is that I hope that he finds his way. I’m grateful for the lessons and growth from 8 months together. Upward and onward.

I received a lot of nice comments, I’ll share a few with you:

We learn from our relationships. Sending hugs. I am glad you are looking at it in a positive light 💜

(My reply: Heidi, thank you. Since I went through something really traumatic almost 9 years ago, he really helped me learn how to trust and open up to others.)

Hugs! I know this was tough for you to decide and am happy you’re feeling some relief. Exactly right, upward and onward ❤️

As long as you’re okay! I know he meant a lot to you, but you have to take care of you first! I’m here if you need to talk ❤️

I’m thankful for all the kind words. I’ve cried many times in the last few months, especially when I found out what his wandering eye was capable of, and now I just feel relief. I’m grateful for my courage.

I’m still chatting with Brian and we’ve been chatting a lot for the past three days. We have a lot in common and I’m grateful I met him.

I’m also thankful for family, friends, and co-workers. What are you grateful for today?

Letting Go

Sometimes we all have to make difficult decisions and while they are not entirely joyful, they can lead to it in the future.

On Monday night I broke up with Tommy. I’m grateful for the almost 9 months we were together; I grew and I learned to trust more. However, all of this pulling away is too much for me. I simply outgrew the relationship.

I’m grateful for the lessons he taught me – he helped me open up, especially about the rape, and realize that I can be loved even though something horrible has happened to me and I can be loved even with PTSD. He helped teach me to trust a bit more too.

Saturday Adventures and Roger Waters with Brian (6 August 2022)

On Saturday I decided to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art, for a day of self care. While I was there, I saw a guy wearing a Rammstein shirt with the lyrics to “Du Hast” written out. We got talking and that talking turned into an hour and a half chatting about music, Beavis and Butthead, life experiences, that we realized we had some things in common. I thought it was awesome that he was seeing Roger Waters, he had an extra ticket and Brian invited me to see Roger Waters with him.

We decided to grab a late lunch, early dinner and before we did, we took a walk around the art museum and took photos of the Center City skyline. He did agree to a selfie with me.

We went to Rotten Ralph’s for a late lunch/early dinner. They had gluten-free options, so I had shrimp tacos and he had a Reuben, which is one of my favourites too. This was both of our first times at Rotten Ralph’s. We enjoyed it. It felt great to share conversation about topics we were both interested in. He let me talk and I let him talk.

Brian is also a freelance photographer, and he does work full-time for a company (not photography). We walked around Old City, I gave him a little tour, and we had fun taking photos. Brian and I shared a lot of laughter during this time, and even met a nice woman who saw we were hot and parched, who offered us water. Brian decided not to go to the piercing place and I would meet him back at Red Owl Tavern.

I got pierced and had my friend pierce me. I was telling him about everything and I said, “I’m on a break with my boyfriend. He’s single and he said he wants to be single. I’m free to do whatever I want.” Zach nodded his head in agreement and said, “have fun with the new guy! Sounds really nice and sounds like you’ll have a kick ass time!”

Brian knew Tommy pulled away and I told him that he says he wants to be single. Anyway, I texted Brian and let him know I was on my way back. When I got back, he was lounging and asked me how the piercing went. I showed him. Brian thought it looked awesome.

About 30 minutes later, he ordered Lyft and we headed to the Wells Fargo Center. Since he bought us dinner, I bought us some drinks. That was the agreement. The show started at 8:30 and it was amazing. Brian and I have the same favourite Pink Floyd songs and we sang to each other. It felt so good to be able to go to a concert and sing with the person I went with. We both smiled at each other as we sang, and I won’t lie, my heart fluttered.

he show ended at 11:30 and we took the subway back to Center City. The bars were crowded, so I ordered a Lyft back to where he was saying and we had a drink at my favourite restaurant, Red Owl, which is part of the hotel he was staying in. I ordered a Spayside and he had a shot of Jim Bean. We toasted to a great evening and wonderful memories.

Brian and I hugged. He wanted me to check in when I got home, to make sure I made it safely. We agreed to keep in touch and we’ve been in touch.