Yes! Taking sticker pictures was on our bucket list to do with Piri and we were able to cross it off during our recent trip up to NY.
It was taken at a store called Little Japan located in Edgewater, NJ, in the same shopping strip where Mitsuwa Market is. We always go to Mitsuwa Market when we visit NY/NJ and this time when I walked into Little Japan, I noticed a sticker picture booth. I hesitated a whole lot whether I should ask the store folks if I can bring Piri inside just to take a quick picture and decided not to and walked out of the store only to turn back to just ask because I knew I would regret and be in a crumby mood for a better part of the day.
But you see there was a reason for my hesitation.
I was coming off of a not to great encounter at Kinokuniya Bookstore near Bryant Park just the day before. I had called them a week before we left for NY to see if dogs were allowed inside their bookstore and if they were also allowed inside doggy strollers. I was given a yes (the girl who picked up the phone checked twice with the store manager). She said that dogs inside bags or strollers are ok but just on their second floor cafe, which I completely understood. We also had a friend who asked her Japanese colleague call and converse with a Japanese bookstore staff to double confirm whether dogs were ok while Yangkyu and I were walking over to the store. She was also told yes that dogs were allow inside the bookstore as long as they are inside a bag or a carrier. It was pouring out and we were looking for a place to take a breather but also to browse gifts to take back home, but we were denied entry at the door by the security person. I told him we got the ok over the phone and for him to double check with the manager. I saw him converse with someone (I am not sure if he was the manager) and they both came back to us and he said that dogs are not allowed in stores in NYC, to which I said he was wrong and that there are many dog friendly stores in the city. He kind of said "ok ok" and then said that just for today we can come inside the bookstore with our dog as long as he doesn't come out of his stroller.
There was something about the whole interaction that didn't sit well with me. I think I pay attention to the person's demeanor, body language, eye contact, voice tone -- they speak volumes to me than the words that they are actually saying. And this conversation just didn't make me feel good. It made us feel cruelly unwelcomed and I didn't need his pity. I needed him to understand that their store needed to come up with a policy on dog friendly-ness and that they couldn't say one thing over the phone and do another when we actually got there.
I told I didn't want to go in the bookstore if the policy says dogs weren't allowed and we walked back out in the pouring rain.
And so the next day in Little Japan, I hesitated. I didn't want to be perceived as that dog owner (you know, the irresponsible, overbearing ones who are overly demanding) but I also wanted to make memories with Piri and asking doesn't hurt, right? And so I walked up to a young guy working at the store and said, "Would it be alright if we quickly brought our dog in - I won't set him down to walk around in the store, we'll hold him - and quickly take a sticker picture and quickly leave?" I was going to go on and assure him that he wouldn't pee or make any mess and that he's clean(!) but the young store worker shrugged his shoulders and had a smile and said, "sure! why not?" And I looked at him like he had three heads because his answer was so simple and so matter of fact. And I said, "are you sure? He's a dog." And that's when a second worker, a woman this time, came by and asked if Piri was big, to which I said he was not. She assured me that it was fine and that they are ok with it.
I felt like doing 10 freakin cartwheels.
And inside we literally did just that - quickly came back, quickly took pictures and while I did the final editing part (there is an option for you to decorate your photos), Yangkyu and Piri quickly exited and went back to the car.
And so we crossed off another thing on our bucket list with Piri. Thank you Little Japan!
PS - You can now also download your sticker pictures on your phone as well. Wha??