The In-Between Travels

Entry #23 / 11th to 15th July 2022

Despite wanting to cling to the good and inspiring emotions I felt in Brooklyn on Saturday, it seemed like a totally different life when the next work week began. It felt like my alien ship crashed and landed back into a reality that no alien would ever want to crash land into.

            Though, as the week processed, I realised one of the reasons I was in a shitty mood.

            ‘Even in travel, you can never escape the fact you are a woman.’ The responsible voice sighed heavily one morning as I packed in one of my mensural pads into my backpack.

            I didn’t feel so bad about being isolated from everyone this week. It hit me mostly on Monday, but as the days went on, everyone seemed… okay? I was invited to eat with some people on campus, and we had amusing conversations, though they did most of the talking.

            I think my day in Brooklyn helped me more than I initially realised. As I didn’t feel so dependent on everyone liking me or wanting to hang out… I knew that the path that I was going down was the one that I was meant to go down alone—for the most part. But it doesn’t mean I can’t have nice conversations with those around me.

            But as I was feeling more and more crap as the days went on, the universe showed me kindness.

            One instance was when I was making my way into the Pleasantville town centre, and I had just left the campus when a honk was sounded.

            Confused, I glanced toward the road, where the familiar yellow school bus with a familiar driver stopped near me.

            “Hey!” Carl, the school bus driver who always dropped us off at the university campus, exclaimed. “Where you off to?”

            I forced myself to overcome my stunned state and shouted back: “7-Eleven!”

            The school bus doors whipped open, “Climb on in. I’m heading that way.”

            Not needing to be told twice, I jumped into the bus and sat in the front seats.

            Once we had reached the destination, I eagerly smiled at Carl as I climbed out. “Thank you so much!”

            He returned the smile, “You have a good evening.”

            “You too!”

            There were other ways that kindness found me that week, but that memory will always stand out the most.

            Another way to get over my low mood was to get excited about the next weekend, especially my trip to Philadelphia.

            I knew this was what I wanted to do the moment I came back from Washington, D.C. The only reason I didn’t do it the next weekend was that I thought it was important to have a breath in between distance-based travels. However, it turned out to be not much of a breath, as my day in NYC/Brooklyn was just as impactful as Washington, D.C.

            And that made me both excited and terrified for the impending impact of Philadelphia.

Disclaimer

This blog is a personal diary, and the content shared here is based on my own experiences, thoughts, and opinions. I am not a professional in any field, and the information provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only.

I do my best to ensure the accuracy and validity of the content I share, but I cannot guarantee the completeness or timeliness of the information. The content may evolve and change over time as I continue to learn and grow.

Please keep in mind that any advice, tips, or recommendations I provide are based on my personal experiences and should not be considered as professional advice. Before making any decisions or taking actions based on the content of this blog, I recommend consulting with qualified professionals or experts in the relevant field.

I am not responsible for any consequences that may arise from following the information provided on this blog. However, I will do my best to ensure any sensitive topics will be warned prior to each post. Your use of this blog and its content is at your own discretion and risk.

I value respectful and constructive discussions, so I welcome comments and feedback. However, I reserve the right to moderate and remove comments that are offensive, spammy, or violate the blog’s policies.

By accessing and using this blog, you agree to abide by this disclaimer and all applicable laws and regulations.

Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.

Connection

Entry #22 / 10th July 2022

There wasn’t too much to Sunday. Honestly, Sunday was kind of the pause day that I needed before the full five-day week of work. I joined other internationals at the camp itself to have a swim, but that was… It’s not as relaxing as I thought it would be. I felt so out of my skin that I thought my bones would call it quits and just put me out of my misery.

            Connection is probably one of those basic human needs that keeps us going. Right now, I am making that connection with people on the other side of the world.

            Is it the other side? I briefly thought, my geography was as crap as it was back in school.

            It was days like today that I was utterly grateful for people like the Ashleys, Evan, and Zara in my life. Even though they weren’t with me physically, they were with me in spirit and spoke to me as often as possible, cheering me on as I made each milestone and grew another petal.

            Or thorn.

Disclaimer

This blog is a personal diary, and the content shared here is based on my own experiences, thoughts, and opinions. I am not a professional in any field, and the information provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only.

I do my best to ensure the accuracy and validity of the content I share, but I cannot guarantee the completeness or timeliness of the information. The content may evolve and change over time as I continue to learn and grow.

Please keep in mind that any advice, tips, or recommendations I provide are based on my personal experiences and should not be considered as professional advice. Before making any decisions or taking actions based on the content of this blog, I recommend consulting with qualified professionals or experts in the relevant field.

I am not responsible for any consequences that may arise from following the information provided on this blog. However, I will do my best to ensure any sensitive topics will be warned prior to each post. Your use of this blog and its content is at your own discretion and risk.

I value respectful and constructive discussions, so I welcome comments and feedback. However, I reserve the right to moderate and remove comments that are offensive, spammy, or violate the blog’s policies.

By accessing and using this blog, you agree to abide by this disclaimer and all applicable laws and regulations.

Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.

The Perspective of Destiny

Entry #21.5 / 9th July 2022

Half an hour later, I wandered down the streets of Brooklyn, attempting to locate a gift shop. I wanted to get a top or a hoodie (preferably a hoodie to add to the ever-growing collection) with Brooklyn written across it—something to cement how incredible this day has been—something that I can wear as a reminder of what happens when I follow my own path.

            But that’s the thing – your own path can lead you to so many unexpected places.

            After walking a good mile next to the East River, I adventured into the streets of Brooklyn, faithfully following Google Maps’s directions. However, after a good couple of minutes of being in my own world and staring at my phone like a Genie Bottle, I glanced upwards.

            My feet stopped before my mind fully caught up. I didn’t understand what I was looking at – it was just endless tall buildings, all styled in unique ways, and a bridge (was it for cars? Or walking?) not too far from where I stopped. I frowned, trying to place this area… It was oddly familiar but not at the same time.

            The city’s busy streets were suddenly replaced with the racing beat of my heart, and I looked around, curious as to what my body was responding to. There was no danger or anyone I knew about…

            Forcing my feet to move, I pulled out my earphones as I took in the area, slowly getting closer and closer to the bridge—a bridge that oddly looked familiar—more familiar than the area itself.

            Eyes narrowed, I came to a soft pause, the familiarity of the bridge now screaming at me. I could’ve been standing there for hours, but when it finally hit me –

            “No…” I shook my head, my body slowly turning in the direction I needed for the familiarity to slip into place. “It can’t –”

            It can be.

            Air evacuated from my being as my eyes settled on the building side across the street. A building that was nothing special. A building that was one of the first few buildings I saw when I first came to New York at fifteen. A building that inspired me to develop a hobby in photography.

            There it was.

            It was a bit different from when I last saw it. I mean, it has been over a decade since. It was bound to change. For one the fire escape stairs were no longer there, and the ground floor windows were gone. Only the first and second floor windows were still in place.

            It was apparent that if someone heard the differences from what it was initially, they would question me on if it was actually the same building.

            But it was the same building. Not only because the bridge was pretty much the same from what I remembered, but… Call it intuition or instinct, but I knew it was the same building, adapted and changed over time.

            Like me.

            Taking a seat on one of the nearby benches just opposite the building, my whole body went into an emotional shock state. Everything around me no longer mattered, as the universe had taken over.

            This… this can’t be a coincidence.

            Many people may scoff at this, but in recent years, I have come to believe the universe speaks to us – speaks to me – to highlight to us that we are on the correct path. It can happen with recurring places, phrases, words or a building.

            The NYC Public Library. Brooklyn Bridge. The photographers. Washington Street. Cecconi’s Dumbo. Pebble Beach.

            There were so many moments today—unforgettable, happy, independent—where my individuality shined as the sun did, where I finally began to understand the world, understand why I am here…

            I was meant to see this. I was meant to see Washington DC, NYC, Brooklyn and any of my upcoming future travels…

            And it’s meant to be just me.

            I stared and stared at the building. Another piece of the puzzle of my life fitting into place. That, despite all the doubts, disbelief and opinions of others, I was headed down the right path. My path isn’t as simple as a single job, a house, marriage and kids…

            My path is something completely different.

            And the universe is screaming at me to embrace it.

***

The rest of the day was a joyful blur. I couldn’t find the gift shop I was looking for, but it didn’t bother me too much. I already felt much more fulfilled than when the day started—the hoodie would’ve just been an added bonus. However, I strolled through some neighbourhoods and got the photo my sister had requested.

            I didn’t want to leave Brooklyn. I wanted to stay in this universe-talking-to-me bubble for as long as possible, but even I knew it was probably best to leave before sunset. I didn’t know the streets at all, where it was safe to be, or what to avoid. So, once finishing my round of self-timing pictures, I headed towards the Brooklyn Bridge and crossed it for the second time before catching a subway back to Grand Central.

***

When I returned to Pleasantville, I was in no hurry to return to the university campus. Instead, after getting some food from 7-Eleven, I stopped by the small park near the campus – Oppermans Pond Park.

            Sitting on the fishing platform, I watched the beauty of the sunset, which coloured the sky pink and purple, and the pond responded to the gentle colours with its tiny sparkles and smooth waves. While I’m not a massive fan of fish, I could even appreciate the sight of various fish swimming in their natural home.

            It was a perfect way to end a perfect day.

            ‘Note to self!’ The bright voice returned, though her voice felt more like a hum than its normal exclaims. ‘Always end the day on a sunset!’

            I smiled at the thought, refusing to move as I watched the day end.

Cool, free pizza!

Entry #21.4 / 9th July 2022

Once I stepped onto the Brooklyn grounds, I made my way to Washington Street, which had that famous filmlike view of the Manhattan Bridge. Luckily, a few tourists helped me take some photos standing in the street, and then I managed to get a few good self-timer photos that consisted of me sitting on the street with the bridge in the background (the self-timer photos turned out better than the full street ones).

            It was surreal to stand in a place I had seen so many times in films and TV shows (Gossip Girl, looking at you) that you thought wouldn’t match reality, but it was definitely better in person than on screen. The only difference was the overwhelming crowds around me – which surprisingly was easy to tune out with the amount of wanderlust roaring in me.

            Though, that wasn’t the only thing roaring in me.

            Once I was satisfied with the photos I took, I looked up restaurants within the area and, after seeing the costs on the menu, settled on Cecconi’s Dumbo.

            Making my way through the centre building, where a whole lot of restaurants were held, I joined the small queue for Cecconi’s Dumbo and was eventually served.

            “Hello there, welcome to Cecconi’s. How many are we serving today?”

            “Oh, ugh, just me.”

            The server just kept her bright smile, though. “Oh perfect! Would you mind sitting at the bar?”

            I returned the bright smile. “Yeah, that’s fine.”

            I followed the server to the bar and sat near the open doors, which overlooked the scenery of the Manhattan Bridge.

            Once I got comfortable on my bar seat, the server returned, whose bright smile never wavered for a second. “Here’s the menu. Is there anything you want now, or do you want to look first?”

            I pushed my lips together. “Do you have orange juice?”

            “Yes, we do.”

            “Can I have a glass of orange juice, please?”

            “Comin’ right up.”

            Even though I was reading through the menu, I already knew what I wanted—the cheapest food item on the menu.

            Pizza.

            Soon, my glass of orange juice was in front of me, along with a jug of water with a glass filled with ice. Which I was grateful for as my water bottle was running low – is it wrong to use it to fill my water bottle?

            “Are you ready to order?” The server – Maddie, on the name tag – asked once all the items were settled on the bar.

            “Ugh, yes, can I have the Margherita pizza, please?”

            “Of course!”

            The rest of the time I was waiting for food, I charged and scrolled through my phone. I saw some photos of Coney Island from the others on Instagram and was surprised by the lack of desire—the lack of “oh shoot, I should’ve gone.” This was mainly because I was having such a positive and bright day. I didn’t need anything else on top of it, nor really anyone else.

            At some point, two girls sat down at the further end of the bar and soon ordered their own food and drinks.

            Minutes went into minutes, and my stomach was begging for some food. But I understood how busy they were as many more people were coming in, so I didn’t ask for an update or anything.

            Almost twenty minutes after they arrived, the two girls got their order – Margherita pizza.

            I narrowed my eyes slightly but saw it as a positive. Since they have gotten their pizza now, I should be getting it now, too.

            But I didn’t; minutes rolled on until Maddie stopped by, and her eyebrows raised.

            “Have you not got your pizza yet?”

            I shook my head, “No, not yet.”

            A flash of determination sparked in Maddie’s eyes as she set off behind the bar and to the kitchen area to find out what was happening.

            Another five minutes later, Maddie returned with the pizza in question. I lit up at the sight of food, and once it was placed in front of me, Maddie met my eyes.

            “This is on the house.” I blinked in surprise. Your pizza was accidentally given to someone else. So, this is on us.”

            “Oh,” I breathed out before rushing out: “Thank you!”

            I glanced over to the two girls on the other end of the bar, finishing up on the pizza as one thought ran through my head:

            Cool, free pizza!

***

Once I had eaten the pizza and filled up my water bottle, I paid for the two orange juices I had and left a big tip for Maddie. She was one of the most enthusiastic servers I ever met, and she made sure to take care of me, so it was the least I could do.

            I then headed back to Washington Street to walk through Brooklyn Bridge Park. It beautifully looked over the East River and New York City. But then, as I walked further into the park, I saw a crowd of people in one part. I couldn’t understand why at first, as the view of the location was blocked by trees and bushes. It was only when I rounded across the pathway that I understood why.

            It was a beach—Pebble Beach—where many people were on the pebbles, dipping their feet in the East River’s waters or completely standing in them. There was even a bride and groom on the pebbles, with a photographer taking photos of them.

            It was a gorgeous view. The Brooklyn Bridge was not too far away, and NYC was in the distance. The sun was very high in the sky, making the small beach glow and twinkle.

            Stepping down the steps to the beach, I slowly removed my trainers and socks. Putting my bag in a safe distance and my phone in my back pocket, I went down onto the pebbles. With a few soft and sharp pokes from the stones below, my feet eventually met the cool waters of the East River.

            Oh gosh, I thought as the water splashed on my legs and my toes wiggled in the sea; I dipped my feet in the waters of Brooklyn. How many people can say they’ve done that?

            I laughed out loud then, joy and wonder matching the strength of the shining sun above.

            “I don’t want you to miss out on anything.”

            Rightness cascaded against me with the waves of the river, the world fitting into another puzzle of understanding as Brooklyn charged itself around me.

***

Photos on the Bridge

Entry #21.3 / 9th July 2022

Why the hell are we trusting Google Maps again?’ The responsible voice weighed in as I stumbled onto one of the subway trains. Everyone glanced my way as I slightly tripped to an available seat. I double-checked the subway number on the notice boards above as it left the station. ‘We’re just asking for disaster at this point.’

           I paid no mind to the responsible voice as music erupted into my ears. Over the past few years, I’ve been able to deal with crowds much better than I had, but being on my own in a completely new place was enough to make my anxiety tinkle a little.

           It wasn’t long until I arrived at the destination, and soon, climbing out of the subway tunnels, I was back on the streets of New York and heading towards the main attraction for the day.

           The Brooklyn Bridge.

           When I briefly spoke to others who had been to the bridge, I was deflated to hear that they didn’t fully enjoy the experience or that it wasn’t worth all the buzz. It was cool to see, but nothing spectacular.

           However, as soon as I laid eyes on the bridge as I rounded a corner, I knew my experience would be far different from theirs.

           Excitement – no, what’s a better word?

           A fire of exhilaration festered through me. The crowds slowly became a blur with each step I took towards the bridge. Childlike wonderment makes my bones nearly spring out of its covered skin. And to the many strangers on the street, I probably looked like a blonde maniac.

           (Which I probably am one hundred per cent of the time.)

           At this point, I wasn’t even on the bridge yet.

           It took a few minutes of politely pushing past people when I finally took my first steps on the bridge.

           Words couldn’t, and will never, fully explain how beautiful the views were. It wasn’t, at first sight, the views – you had to walk a bit further into the bridge to see and appreciate the views that it indeed offered. But once you did…

           What the fuck were the others on about?

           I felt the anxiety of the crowds around me diminish as the views… Beautiful, gorgeous, breath-taking… No description I could ever come up with could genuinely capture what I was seeing. The sun was glistering in the sea below. The high buildings shine proudly. Cars rushing below our feet sound like a constant heartbeat on the bridge. I was walking on something that could be built anywhere, but the flowing energy the bridge held within its stands… It felt more like I was meeting an old soul who had seen and lived through it all and still created such authentic originality that held its own purpose in this world.

           Pausing to truly take in the sights and take a few photos, I then came across another market stand—of sorts.

           It was a woman standing off to the side with a sign advertising Polaroid photo-taking. I saw the woman (who was obviously working it) taking a Polaroid photo of a couple with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

           Titling my head to the side, I slowly approached the woman’s stand as she finished with the couple and looked at the sign.

           “$5 for a Polaroid!”

           “Hi there!” The woman welcomed me as soon as she noticed I was reading her sign. She had such an infectious, enthusiastic smile. “Would you like a photo?”

           I pushed my lips together, contemplating, before a shrug took over my body. “Yeah, sure, why not?”

           After a few directions from the woman and positioning myself flatteringly, the photo was taken, and the five dollars were well spent.

           However, as I approached the bridge’s connection, I saw people standing up on the stands and taking photos. I glanced around, seeing many tourists in the surroundings, but none that looked… trustworthy. And I didn’t feel like I could approach the ones that were.

           Looks like I’ll have to make do.

           Once a spot became available, I hurled myself into one of the stands, sitting on the edge and tried to think of ways to take a photo.

           ‘You could always balance it against your bag again, ‘ the bright voice advised, though the uncertainty in her voice highlighted the nerves of doing that.

           It was fine to do it at the library, but with the number of crowds on the bridge, The moment my back is turned, or I’m too far away, someone will probably see it as a chance to nick my phone.

           I can’t afford to get a new phone in America or anywhere else.

           So, I settled on taking a few selfies, which wasn’t jaw-dropping, but it’s something.

           However, on my pause and as I accessed a way to make a great selfie of myself and the bridge, a man—somewhere between his late fifties and mid-sixties—approached me with a camera in his hands.

           “Would you like a few photos?” He asked with a small smile.

           I hesitated.

           ‘It’s probably going to cost some money.’ The responsible voice concluded.

           But I don’t have to buy them? I argued back thoughtfully. At least not all the ones he takes. If he takes one I like, I can just buy that one.

           I nodded enthusiastically, shifting my sitting position on the stand as the man backed up. I then posed – one just smiling towards the camera, then another pose with my arm up in the air with an excited expression. A few minutes later, after a few poses, the man approaches me again with the camera screen turned towards me.

           He showed me the photos, including the non-flattering one he took before speaking to me.

           “How much?” I asked after a few moments of looking.

           “Sixty dollars.” The man said after a few moments of contemplating.

           I grimaced, “how about for just two photos?”

           “Ten dollars.”

           I nodded. “Can I just have two, then?”

           The man nodded, “Which ones?”

           I then stared thoughtfully at the set of photos, “Hmm…” I freaking hate being an adult sometimes.

           “How about thirty dollars for all of them?” The man then suggested after a few long moments of silence (well, not complete silence. We were on the Brooklyn Bridge).

           I frowned, “Are you sure?” I’m not messing with this man’s livelihood!

           He smiled again, though, “Yes, I’m sure. It’s only a few photos.”

           After plugging his camera into my phone and downloading the photos onto my phone, I paid him and thanked him repeatedly before continuing across the bridge into Brooklyn.

***

A Meaning of a Name

Entry #21.2 / 9th July 2022

Going to the Treasures Exhibit was another good decision that day. While there were a lot of histories in there to wrap my head around, it was still amazing to see and learn about. One of the items there was Congress’ Declaration of Independence—I’m pretty sure it was also one of the original copies.

            I also saw the teddies that inspired Winnie the Pooh’s creation. It was so weird to see the exact models that the stories were inspired by instead of the cartoon versions. It made the whole thing much more… authentic

            And then I came across Charles Dickens’s desk and chair. According to the information stands, this was likely the desk and chair Dickens used to write some chapters of Great Expectations.

            I have never read Charles Dickens’s works, much to my disappointment. Part of me always wanted to, but… I always felt that famous authors like Charles Dickens were way too smart for me. Plus, as I grew older, it was hard to find the time to read what I wanted, let alone anything else.

            It may be time to change that.

            Everything else in the Treasures Exhibit was a bonus. And I couldn’t help feeling an intimate connection as I read about each treasure within this Exhibit. It could’ve been down to the room’s low lighting or how closed everything was, but these items, no matter how insignificant they may seem at first, meant something. They were essential to those who were important to history.

            It made me think of items that were important to ordinary people—to me. We were all important in our ways. We all made history just as much as we are part of it and contributing to it still.

            I wonder if, at the end of our lives, instead of having our lives flash before our eyes, we had some kind of personal museum, holding each item that was important to us and that helped us live our lives in the ways we did.

            What would be in my museum? My two childhood teddies – Teddy and Kaitlyn? The first story I ever wrote – first on that electronic whiteboard and then in that small handmade paper booklet? That hoodie I got when I first came to New York back when I was fifteen that was still stashed somewhere in one of my many memory boxes?

            I wonder what would be in my Dad’s museum, Zara’s, Jonesy’s, Mitchy’s, Evan’s, and any others I loved. I wonder what would be in their exhibits. I wonder what seemingly insignificant items would be shown to highlight who they are and how they became who they are.

            It added so much meaning to the Treasures Exhibit overall that when I finally crept out, I felt like I was in a deep slumber and had finally woken up.

            Feeling a mixture of heaviness and lightness, I continued to explore the library, my head deep in thought as I took everything in.

            Everywhere I turned and walked down was beautiful. Some of it was modernised here and there, mainly with a few security cameras glaring down at me, but overall, from what I could tell, the library kept to its original design. What was the most gorgeous area, though, was the top floor. 

            I gasped as I took in the ceiling art. It briefly reminded me of the painting that my Dad (for whatever reason) has/had. It seemingly depicted some sort of heavenly battle, with the men either topless or naked (why are they always naked?) waving some sort of weapon as they floated about in the air.

            It was beautiful. Something that definitely caught your eye.

            However, once I had fully absorbed the ceiling, with a jaw-dropping experience, a few photos, and a video, I assessed the area overall. There were three directions I could walk through—one was a singular room, another possibly led somewhere else, and another seemed to be an insect exhibit.

            I wandered through the open entryway to the first room to the right – which was Edna Barnes Salomon’s Room. It seemed to be an extensive study area open to the public to walk through, take photos and sit at the many tables. It was interesting to walk through, and I couldn’t help but wonder how many writers, academics, and other important people have worked here. Writing various stories, researching and developing projects, or even writing arguments to support their causes. 

            With those wonderments, I couldn’t help but feel a little intimidated and was grateful to let out a long breath as I exited the room. That was until my eyes landed on the room opposite. 

            Rose Main Reading Room.

            It felt weird. Having my name written on the stone of the NYC Public Library wasn’t my full name, but – you get my point.

            Once upon a time, I felt uncomfortable with my name. At first, growing up, I never felt like I lived up to the image of the world’s most beautiful flower. Whether it was down to insecurity or… well, that, I felt that pressure to hold that same outer beauty.

            It seems stupid, but that’s how a young mind works. As I got older and became a writer, I realised that a name is important to the person as a whole.

            A name doesn’t define who you are. Heck, I changed both my middle and last names. But whenever I created a character, their first name needed to be perfect. To represent their path, to symbolise, in some way, who they are as a person. It didn’t have to be down to the meaning of the name itself, but something that was deeply important in the story and added more weight to the character and the story as a whole.

            And then, back in 2020 (before all the chaos), on my flight to Amsterdam, I read the beginning chapters of Light is the New Black by Rebecca Campbell, who expressed her own spiritual meaning towards her name and how it made sense for the way her life was going and where it was headed.

            It made me see my own name in a new light and comforted me.

            As a rose is a flower, and what are flowers meant to do? Grow

            It would be years later, just before I came to America, that a new meaning was added to my name.

            But even as I had grown accustomed to and even liked my name, seeing it written somewhere important—even if it wasn’t directed towards me—made me feel uncomfortable.

            This is what made the first year of living in York a bit awkward at times. A large part of Tudor history is rooted there—the Yorkshire Rose, the Tudor Rose, and the English Rose

            I got used to it after a while—until someone pointed it out to me, and then I would have to overcome my uncomfortableness with some kind of stupid joke.

            However, I was curious about the opposite room and walked more towards it. I saw a line of sorts outside, with security manning the entrance. From the looks of things, tourists weren’t allowed in. I could see people on the inside, leading me to suspect only certain people were allowed in.

            Tourists were being denied just as they approached, though that didn’t stop them from taking some photos from where they stood before moving on.

            Looking around briefly, I saw a sign that informed people that no photos were to be taken inside and that they must only read, handwrite, or use a computer inside to work.

            My eyebrows rose, and curiosity got the better of me. I got in line as a person was being let inside.

            When it was my turn, the security guard looked up at me expectantly, seemingly preparing to turn me away.

            “Sorry, but I was wondering,” I began, my voice a bit higher in pitch as nerves overtook me. “If I bring a laptop to do some work, am I allowed in there?”

            A tiny smile lifted the security guard’s stony lips. “Yes, of course.”

            I let out a breath, “cool. Thank you!” I left the line, feeling enthusiastic and excited for the next time I came here.

            I mean, how many people can say they did their writing in the NYC Public Library?

***