In our second photo-essay of vaccinated Brooklynites, we talked to locals about how getting vaccinated brought them the promise of traveling in 2021. Many say they plan to travel to other places to visit loved ones, while others say they miss the excitement of visiting new places. 

While New York City won’t officially open up until July 1, vaccinated locals are finding solace by temporarily leaving as the pandemic abates. 

Here are some of their stories.

Divine Jones

Divine Jones at her workplace, Friends NYC on Bogart Street.

Divine Jones, a salesperson at Friends NYC, will be able to attend in-person classes at her university, Hunter College, and visit her family in Puerto Rico. 

“I want to go to graduate school and it’s a good opportunity to visit places and see campuses as opposed to online tours. I have been thinking about interning abroad or getting a fellowship to intern abroad, so hopefully within the next year we are able to go places.” 

“My mom’s family is from Puerto Rico, and I haven’t been able to go over there because it is a smaller island and I think that COVID has been bad over there. I definitely want to visit them.”

Ernest Davis

Ernest Davis sitting outside Abracadabra Magic Deli on Knickerbocker Avenue.

Ernest Davis, a videographer, will be able to continue his work in New York and travel to California. 

“We’ve been through the ringer, and I am hopeful that by the end of the summer that people are able to celebrate and get back to work again. We are a city of networkers. I am very optimistic, and I feel COVID fatigue from staying away from people and staying inside. I am just itching to hang out, be with friends, and work on projects.” 

“I am doing an apartment switch. I am going to Joshua Tree with my friend because she lives there, and that should be fun. I look forward to that.” 

Lucia Rollow

Lucia Rollow developing film inside the Bushwick Community Darkroom.

Lucia Rollow, founder and director of Bushwick Community Darkroom, says she will be able to visit her best friend in New Hampshire, who she hasn’t seen since before the pandemic. 

“My best friend is 85 and lives in New Hampshire, I haven’t seen her since November of 2019. I am going to see her in June because she’s also vaccinated.” 

“At the Bushwick Community Darkroom, we just had our first art show in over a year. In June, we are going to restart group classes. We will be having our regular shows again, make everyone continue wearing masks, keep this door open all summer, and hope for the best. The whole thing for me is it’s a community darkroom, it’s about having a space to gather. Not being able to gather in person has been gutting. This is not why I built this place, and I am looking forward to having people come back for social events and art events.” 

Madeleine Messenger

Madeleine Messenger at Maria Hernandez Park.

Madeleine Messenger, who works as a salesperson at a jewelry store in Manhattan, is planning on taking a trip with her friends to Texas. 

“There’s more of a comfort level being with friends. I am making plans to get on a plane to go to a concert in Austin, Texas, and we are getting an Airbnb together. I am also going to a wedding in two months so that’ll be the first time I see my family in over a year.” 

“I also have work trips coming up, so I am looking forward to those trips to Nantucket, Newport, and other places. That is another avenue of my job that is opening up.” 

Briana Vazquez

Briana Vazquez at Maria Hernandez Park.

Briana Vazquez, who recently moved back to Bushwick after living in Europe, is hoping to travel and visit her friends abroad. 

“I have been living all over for the last eight years. I have friends in Thailand. I have friends in Iran. I have friends in California. Since I have the vaccine, my friends will feel comfortable for me to visit.” 

“I have also been able to see my grandma because she was vaccinated. We were able to sit closer, and have a conversation and share food. I was able to see her and hang out, rather than social-distance.”

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All images: Nereide Kluger.

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