Long Island In The Summer, A Timeless Combination

Long Island In The Summer, A Timeless Combination

It will change you forever.
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Any LI native can tell you that without a doubt, living on an island will provide you with some of the best childhood memories around. From the mom and pop diners that provide you your favorite late night eats and early morning treats to the never ending seaside parkways, LI holds a special place in every natives heart.

I, of course, am a little biased but let me provide you outsiders with some proof as to why Long Island summers will change your life...

1. Views

No this is not just a funny spin on Drake's hit song. The sunsets and oceanfront views are like no other and available in any 15-20 minute direction from inland. All colors of the rainbow blend together and shine from every point of the island that can brighten anyone's day, especially after enjoying a long day at the beach or walking out of a long day at work to your favorite view. And NOTHING is better than rolling all the windows down on a warm night with music blasting and your favorite people to watch this view on the long stretch of ocean parkway.

2. Food

Diners, diners, diners, and hidden gems in between. Enough said. These traditional and best kept secret spots of LI will more than sufficiently satisfy your taste buds. Diner By The Sea, All American Hamburger, Thomas' Diner, Witches Brew, Burgerology, just to shout out a few. No matter the name, they will all provide you with some of the best grub you've ever had.

3. Big Island, Small World

It is almost guaranteed that Becky's mom went to high school with your dad and her cousin dated your mom's best friend and their uncle was married to Theresa's great aunt and you will be caught discussing your family tree in the middle of Whole Foods when you run into a familiar face, because no matter how far from your hometown you travel, you are bound to bump into someone you know in any public place. Before you know it, a trip to get groceries turns into a public party.

4. Location, Location, Location

There is no more convenient place to live than the island. Want to go shopping? There's a mall most likely within 15 minutes from you wherever you are. Wanna go to the beach? Head 20 minutes in one direction and you'll find one. Want to go for a hike? Head down the road to the nearest state park, and don't forget to take an Insta pic to document it.

5. Tradition

To every LI native, nothing is more sentimental and exciting than summer traditions. Nikon concerts where you tailgate from noon to 1 am with your childhood besties and rock like a wagon wheel as the sunset passes behind the theater. Belmont Stakes where we can all pretend to be fortune 500 company owners and waste away our paychecks on bets and overpriced beer. And you can't forget the one we've been attending since toddlers, the Jones Beach air show where you used to watch what seemed to be ginormous metal monsters fly over you and shake the beach in early summer.

Whether you've lived here your entire life or just occasionally come to visit from time to time, it is almost guaranteed there is something you'll find to love about the place so many of us call home. Hop in your convertibles or family minivans and make the trip, I promise it's worth it.

Cover Image Credit: CSP Daily News

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.

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I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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