Summer Spots: Castle Island, Sugar Bowl, and Pleasure Bay

Summer Spots: Castle Island, Sugar Bowl, and Pleasure Bay

Homes of peace in South Boston, MA
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The sun is scorching hot, you have the day off, and you want to get out of the house to a Summertime spot. The question is: where exactly can you go?

Three excellent options are Castle Island, the Sugar Bowl, and Pleasure Bay, all located right next to each other in South Boston, MA. These places are perfect for a walk, jog, bike ride, and relaxation. You will also find a variety of historical significance. Let's take a look at what is inside!

Here we are: the entrance of the island. On a nice weekday afternoon or weekend day, you may find that the parking lot is full. However, when the weather is not as good, there may actually be more seagulls than cars on the pavement.

One of the first and most notable things you will find on the island is Sullivan's, the food joint that offers hot dogs, burgers, seafood, and so much more.

Fun fact: I used to work here!

This is my favorite place to get a burger and fries.

The business of this restaurant also depends on the weather conditions and the time of day; during busy times, which is usually in great weather and when people are off of school and work, you may find an intimidating long line. But have no fear -- it moves fast because there are five registers and a hard working crew. On rainy days, Sullivan's will likely close early because not many people come to the island to begin with. So if you want to visit and the weather seems iffy, make sure you call them to find out when they plan to close.

Once you receive your food, you can enjoy it at the tables outside, on the rocks of the side of the building, or on the hill. Don't forget to go back in for ice cream!

As you stroll around Castle Island, you will be going around not only a peaceful area, but also the granite star fort known as Fort Independence.

As read in the photo above, it was placed on the island in 1634 and was previously called Castle William in honor of King William III of England. It served as a command post for British troops until 1776 and was also the first location of the Boston Marine Hospital.

Fort Independence is open to the public for tours and a Twilight Skyline Viewing at certain times over the Summer. They are the only ways you can walk inside and on top of the Fort.

On the edge of Castle Island, you'll find an obelisk facing Boston Harbor that serves as a monument to Donald McKay and the clipper ships that he built in Boston.

You'll also find the South Boston Korean War Memorial, which salutes the twenty South Boston natives who gave their lives in the Korean War.

There is a memorial of Robert M. Greene, who was a former Boston firefighter that passed away from multiple injuries after he fell from a building on Alpha Road on November 27, 1978. He had 14 years of service.

You will find some people fishing on Castle Island as well. The area pictured above is a common area to reel in some catches.

Linked to Castle Island is the Sugar Bowl, which loops around the water. It is another great trail like the one around Castle Island.

This view of the horizon is too perfect.

A walk around both Castle Island and the Sugar Bowl counts for a total of about 1.8 miles. Sometimes, you can't help but take a seat and enjoy sights of the area.

At the end of the Sugar Bowl is the South Boston World War II Memorial. It commemorates the 216 soldiers from South Boston who passed away in the line of service.

Between Castle Island and the Sugar Bowl is Pleasure Bay, a 170 acre lagoon surrounded by a pedestrian walkway that goes along South Boston's coastline and leads directly to Castle Island. It is a place my mother used to take me for beach days.

In front of Pleasure Bay is a monument of John E. Powers, who was the President of the Massachusetts State Senate in the 1950s. Powers helped in creating Pleasure Bay.

One of the best possible nights to visit Castle Island is the Fourth of July. Yes, it will be packed, and the line at Sullivan's will be extremely long. But you will be able to get decent views of fireworks. If you visit the island on the Fourth of July in 2018, you will also get to see the USS Constitution as it does its turnaround cruise from its Charlestown berth to Castle Island where it will exchange a 21-gun salute with a battery at Fort Independence.

Castle Island, the Sugar Bowl, and Pleasure Bay are possibly three of the most peaceful places to go to. They have meaning to me because I grew up visiting these attractions a lot, and they are some of my favorite ways for me to enjoy nice weather, whether I am with my family, friends, or myself. All is especially right with the world when I am relaxing on the grass and gazing at the water.

Cover Image Credit: Sullivan's Castle Island

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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The Disrespectful Nature Of My Generation Needs To Stop

Why choosing phone games over a Holocaust survivor was my breaking point.

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While many students that attended Holocaust survivor Hershel Greenblat's talk were rightfully attentive, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a few outlier students tapping away on their phones. They were minute movements, but inappropriate nonetheless.

Immediately I became infuriated. How, I thought, fuming, did my generation become so blithely unaware to the point where we could not proffer basic respect to a survivor of one of the most horrific events in human history?

Perhaps the students were just texting their parents, telling them that the event would run a bit long. 10 minutes later, my eyes diverted from Greenblat back to the students. They were still on their phones. This time, I could see the screens being held horizontally—indicating a game or a show was being played. I wanted to get up, smack the distractions out of their hands, and ask them why they thought what they were doing was more important than a Holocaust speaker.

I will not waste any more time writing about the disrespectful few. Because they could not give Greenblat the time of their day, I will not give them mine. Instead, I want to focus on a massive trend my generation has mistakenly indulged ourselves in.

The Greenblat incident is only an example of this phenomenon I find so confusing. From young, it was instilled in me, probably via Chinese tradition, that elders should be respected. It is a title only revoked when unacceptable behavior allows it to be, and is otherwise maintained. I understand that not everybody comes from a background where respect is automatically granted to people. And I see that side of the story.

Why does age automatically warrant respect? It is the fact that they have made it this far, and have interesting stories to tell. There are exceptions, perhaps more than there are inclusions.

But this fact can be determined by the simple act of offering an elderly person your seat on public transportation. Sure, it can be for their health, but within that simple act is a meaningful sacrifice for somebody who has experienced more than you.

Age aside, at Greenblat's talk, majority of the disrespect shown might not have been agist. Instead, it could have been the behavior students just there for the check-in check-out extra credit that multiple classes and clubs were offering. While my teachers who advertised the event stressed the importance of attendance not just for the academic boost, but for the experience, I knew that some of the more distracted students there must have been those selfish, ignorant, solely academic driven cockalorums.

I stay hopeful because majority of my classmates were attentive. We knew to put aside our Chromebooks, regardless of note-taking, and simply listen to what Greenblat had to offer.

It would be wrong to label my generation as entitled— that's a misnomer for the generation before. We are still wavering between the line of automatic respect and earned respect, but we need to set a line for people whom we know the stories of. Especially a Holocaust survivor.

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