Seven Places You Need To Go On Long Island This Summer

Seven Places You Need To Go On Long Island This Summer

If you haven't been to these places on Long Island you're missing out.
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Summer is the best time of the year. The weather is beautiful, no homework or papers to do, and a lot of free time on your hands. Not only is Long Island my home, but it is the best place to be during the summer.

The north and south coasts of Long Island are about 40 minutes apart, and the Island is extremely expansive, spanning about three hours from east to west. I know a large portion of UMD students are from Long Island, or have friends who are, so I suggest you take advantage of it.

The North Shore



All along the northern coast of Long Island are bays, villages and other attractions. Towns such as Huntington, Northport and Cold Spring Harbor in Suffolk Country, and Oyster Bay, Manhasset and Port Washington in Nassau County are just a few. Each town has its own character and attractions, including countless restaurants, shops, bars, waterfronts and private bay parks.

The North Fork



Part of the North Shore, yet way out east on the Island, the North Fork is very different than the rest. It is the "upper fin" of the fish-like shape of Long Island, and it is abundant with wineries, vineyards, farms, small towns and bays. While there you can go on wine tours, go fishing, crabbing and clamming, and visit the several seafood restaurants in the towns.

The beaches

The southern coast is abundant with beaches. From Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) all the way out to Montauk Point, there are public and private beaches. The largest among them are Long Beach, Jones Beach, Robert Moses Beach, Fire Island and the Hamptons. All are unique in their own way, but all are beautiful.

Fire Island



One of the main beaches I spoke about is also home to one of the most unique places in Long Island. Fire Island is about a quarter of a mile in width, off the southern coast of Long Island. It can only be accessed by a ferry or boat, and because of this there are no cars. Everyone travels by foot or bike, so it gives the unique community a sort of peacefulness and old-time feel. It consists of a small, beautiful village on the northern part, and beach houses all along the island down to the southern beach. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been, and there is a lot to do there. You can take a day trip, get food, go to the beach and check out the shops, and even rent a hotel and go to the several bars.

Montauk


Montauk Point is one of the most famous places on Long Island. Located at the easternmost tip of the Island, it is known for its lighthouse and tranquil beach, as well as the town. The lighthouse is a large tourist spot, since it is the fourth oldest lighthouse in the United States, and is quite a sight.

The Hamptons



The Hamptons are another famous part of Long Island, and probably best known for being inhabited by many celebrities throughout the summer. The large majority of the South Fork is dominated by the several towns in the Hamptons, and it is comprised by many beach communities, bars, restaurants and enormous estates and private beaches. Definitely worth a day trip.

Music venues

Long Island is home to several, somewhat underrated, music venus that feature many major artists and performances. I'll list the main venues you should attend.

Nikon Theater at Jones Beach



My favorite venue, it is located right on the water, and can even be attended by boat. With extremely affordable tickets, and multiple great concerts of all genres, I strongly suggest you attend.

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum




Soon to be extinct, the age of this venue gives it a lot of character. What used to be the home of the New York Islanders, the coliseum hosts many good concerts, and it is located in the heart of Nassau County.

NYCB Theater at Westbury



Unique for its circular, rotating stage, NYCB is a very nice theater. The seating is set up in a circle, so that the rotating stage can reach all of the audience. This theater attracts a surprisingly popular list of performers.

The Paramount



Located in the heart of Huntington Village, this theater is in perfect location for a nice meal and a walk in the Village before the show. It was recently renovated, and is unique for its open floor setup.

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I Visited The "Shameless" Houses And Here's Why You Shouldn't

Glamorizing a less-than-ideal way to live.
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After five hours of driving, hearing the GPS say "Turn right onto South Homan Avenue" was a blessing. My eyes peeled to the side of the road, viciously looking for what I have been driving so long for, when finally, I see it: the house from Shameless.

Shameless is a hit TV show produced by Showtime. It takes place in modern-day Southside, Chicago. The plot, while straying at times, largely revolves around the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. While a majority of the show is filmed offsite in a studio in Los Angeles, many outside scenes are filmed in Southside and the houses of the Gallagher's and side-characters are very much based on real houses.

We walked down the street, stopped in front of the two houses, took pictures and admired seeing the house in real life. It was a surreal experience and I felt out-of-place like I didn't belong there. As we prepared to leave (and see other spots from the show), a man came strolling down on his bicycle and asked how we were doing.

"Great! How are you?"

It fell silent as the man stopped in front of the Gallagher house, opened the gate, parked his bike and entered his home. We left a donation on his front porch, got back to the car and took off.

As we took the drive to downtown Chicago, something didn't sit right with me. While it was exciting to have this experience, I began to feel a sense of guilt or wrongdoing. After discussing it with my friends, I came to a sudden realization: No one should visit the "Gallagher" house.

The plot largely revolves the Gallagher family and their continual struggle with (extreme) poverty. It represents what Southside is like for so many residents. While TV shows always dramatize reality, I realized coming to this house was an exploitation of their conditions. It's entertaining to see Frank's shenanigans on TV, the emotional roller coasters characters endure and the outlandish things they have to do to survive. I didn't come here to help better their conditions, immerse myself in what their reality is or even for the donation I left: I came here for my entertainment.

Southside, Chicago is notoriously dangerous. The thefts, murders and other crimes committed on the show are not a far-fetched fantasy for many of the residents, it's a brutal reality. It's a scary way to live. Besides the Milkovich home, all the houses typically seen by tourists are occupied by homeowners. It's not a corporation or a small museum -- it's their actual property. I don't know how many visitors these homes get per day, week, month or year. Still, these homeowners have to see frequent visitors at any hour of the day, interfering with their lives. In my view, coming to their homes and taking pictures of them is a silent way of glamorizing the cycle of poverty. It's a silent way of saying we find joy in their almost unlivable conditions.

The conceit of the show is not the issue. TV shows have a way of romanticizing very negative things all the time. The issue at hand is that several visitors are privileged enough to live in a higher quality of life.

I myself experienced the desire and excitement to see the houses. I came for the experience but left with a lesson. I understand that tourism will continue to the homes of these individuals and I am aware that my grievances may not be shared with everyone -- however, I think it's important to take a step back and think about if this were your life. Would you want hundreds, potentially thousands, of people coming to your house? Would you want people to find entertainment in your lifestyle, good and bad?

I understand the experience, excitement, and fun the trip can be. While I recommend skipping the houses altogether and just head downtown, it's most important to remember to be respectful to those very individuals whose lives have been affected so deeply by Shameless.

Cover Image Credit: itsfilmedthere.com

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Every Now And Then You Should Say Goodbye To Social Media, Especially On Vacation

It shouldn't play with your mind and desire to effectively enjoy your time off from the daily hullaballoo of life.

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Being active members of the 21st-century, we are automatically guilty of indulging in extensive use of smartphones and social media. But, we need to be more aware of the fact that there is a life outside of smartphones and social media. Unfortunately, the existence of smartphones and social media have made face-to-face conversations and the little joys of everyday life are nothing more than just a simple thought bubble. Even when you are out on vacation and doing things that you absolutely love, the constant thought of checking your Facebook, Instagram, etc. will bewilder you from enjoying the little things in life that actually count.

At the end of the day, you will begin to realize that the significant time spent viewing other people's Facebook statuses, Insta stories, or anything about others, in general, will reduce your chances of creating meaningful moments in your life. After all, it is only in your hands to live the life that you want and to make exceptional use of your time! In fact, not going on social media for a huge chunk of my time during vacation is one of my New Year's resolutions and it should be yours too if you are a teeny-bit guilty of it too.

Moreover, a vacation is the deluxe getaway from the everyday conundrums and perplexities of work, school, and routine activities. It is an outstanding opportunity to explore new things and to experience the wonders of life with family and friends. It shouldn't be the time to constantly be on your phones and on the lookout of the pics and statuses of others. A vacation is truly your chance to shine and it shouldn't be spent browsing through your Facebook or Instagram non-stop.

A temporary farewell to social media will further revitalize your experience and encourage you to live in the moment more. Apparently, a person's ability to live in the moment is constantly inhibited by their OCD-like tendency to check their phones chronically. This. Needs. To. Stop. This type of behavior is actually doing more harm than good in the lives of many people who deserve to be completely happy. Honestly, we aren't fully immersed during vacation if we are already preoccupied with our phones. Modern technology is a boon to our developed and constantly developing world but it shouldn't be exploited as a weapon that can steal the precious moments of life.

Therefore, the use of social media should be limited during vacation if you want to wholeheartedly engage in exciting adventures. It shouldn't play with your mind and desire to effectively enjoy your time off from the daily hullaballoo of life. Thus, don't forget to say sayonara to social media especially when you are on vacation!

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