The Best and Worst Of A Long Island Summer

The Best and Worst Of A Long Island Summer

The hub of New York summers

Long Island is just 118 miles of land that over 7.5 million people call home. As a true Long Islander, there is nothing better than knowing the semester is almost over and being able to return to my favorite place on Earth. It's home to some of the most beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, top notch restaurants, and some pretty great places to kill time. The only problem with returning home is that everyone else is migrating there. Along comes summer, and along comes the summer vacationers. Your days won't go as planned, but there is always something else to do. As a true Long Islander, you know you can interchange places to go and things to do.

After spending two semesters at school, I look forward to a lot of things about being home: driving, not having to shop online, not having to eat the same food every day, etc. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one with the same idea. You want to go shopping at Tanger in Riverhead? Don't try it unless you plan on going right when it opens or an hour before it closes. Actually, want to go anywhere in Riverhead? Not going to happen as long as Splish Splash is in full Summer operation. Ralph's Italian Ices or Carvel? Flooded by the upstate and out-of-staters who are just dying to try this phenomenon. Beaches are crowded, that's even if you can find a parking spot. Restaurants are a good idea, but a hard no unless you plan on hitting the early bird special. Adventureland and the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center are also guaranteed to be packed full of people who couldn't go to Splish Splash, actually. It's the downfall of living in such a beautiful place that many dream about: at some point, they are going to come visit. And boy, do they visit. Long Island Bucket Lists are in full effect, and there is no escaping the outsiders.

My little island of perfect summer days becomes overcrowded and it's generally full of people who somehow think they know better than you because they can afford to vacation here. What these people fail to realize is that a Long Island summer isn't just Instagramming a picture of you sitting on a beach with a Long Island Iced Tea in your hand, or with your friends in Montauk with clothes that say "The End" on them. A Long Island summer is the hot days in your pool, on the beach, exploring the wonders this wondrous island has to offer. It's Fourth of July BBQ's with the sparklers you definitely shouldn't own, but do anyway. It's the hot days at Snowflake in Riverhead. It's a June weekend at Splish Splash when it's just a little too cold to be comfortable, but nothing will stop you from the nostalgic feeling of reliving your childhood down the Lazy River. It's Lewin's Farm Stand and strawberry picking with your relatives. It's concerts and tailgating at Jones Beach and a day trip to Fire Island is always an option. And at times, it's sitting in an hour's worth of traffic on your way to do simple errands. You simply cannot mimic a Long Island summer, because there is nothing like it. Try as they might, they won't be able to take away the greatness of three months of pure Long Island fun.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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If You Find Yourself Dealing With A Broken Heart

How to get over a loved one

Recently, I ended a relationship with someone that held a big deal in my life for the past few years. This heartbreak was a wake up call for me. I realized that I should not let this affect other aspects of my life. I tried different remedies to focus on myself rather than on him, which eventually worked. So here are the top three things you can do to get over a break up:

1. Remove him on every single resource

Since social media plays such a great role in today’s society, it is so easy to be reminded of your former partner. For this reason, removing him on every single platform is important. If you also see him in person, avoid him and create distance.

2. Treat yourself

Like I said previously, the main focus should be on yourself. Go outside and do what makes you happy. For example, go to the nail salon, get a massage, or go shopping. Even better, go surround yourself with people that support you, like your friends or family. You deserve to treat and respect yourself.

3. Time heals all

This step is the hardest and will definitely take some time. You will never get over him, you will miss him time to time, and you will have the memories but do not turn back. Accept your negative emotions and let it out. Then, remind yourself that you are worth more and you will eventually find someone that treats you better.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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10 Places That Will Make Russia Your Next Vacation Destination

Explore the famous landmarks that play a vital role in Russia's history.

Russia...the underrated and often forgotten tourist destination. Places such as Italy (home to the Roman empire), France (the site of the Eiffel Tower), and England (the famous Big Ben and red telephone booths) are where millions flock to on their summer holidays. So how does some new inspiration for a vacation sound?

Picture this: Moscow, the city of golden domes visible from every street, with brick Kremlin fortress standing for almost a thousand years. St. Petersburg, the northern Venice of the former capital, home to the festival of White Nights, with the sun setting at 1 AM.

1. St. Basil's Cathedral

Built in 1555, St. Basil's is Russia's most famous church and the face of the country. Located on the Red Square in Moscow, its architecture and color scheme is unrivaled, as it was designed to resemble a flaming torch spiraling up to the sky. What makes it so unique is that it is actually nine churches in one, each chapel leading to another in a series of winding staircases and narrow hallways.

2. The Moscow Kremlin

Built at the end of the 1400s, the Moscow Kremlin serves as a fortress, surrounding five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Walls with their towers, the central one serving as a clock tower that faces the Red Square. It also serves as the official residence of Russia's president.

3. The Cathedral Square

The square of five cathedrals, the oldest one dating back to 1326, is located inside the Moscow Kremlin. The Cathedral Square has served as the site of coronations and funeral processions of all the Russian tsars of Moscow in history. Today, the inauguration ceremony of Russia's presidents take place in this famous place.

4. Moscow City

Looking for a break from a long day of touring? Head over to the modern business district of Moscow City. Home to offices, financial districts, and malls, it is home to the second tallest building in Europe and the unique spiraling Imperia Tower pictured above. The mall is the perfect place to try authentic Georgian cuisine, do some shopping and relax.

4. Palace of the Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich

Built in 1667 and located outside of Moscow in Kolomonskoye, the palace of the Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich consists of 26 buildings attached through a maze of winding corridors. Without a doubt, the inside will leave you breathless.

5. The Kremlin in Izmailovo

Built in 2007, the Izamilovo Kremlin serves as a wooden complex consisting of a church and a cultural complex, modeled after fairytale descriptions of old Russia. Here you can have a laugh in museums dedicated to bread, folk art and even vodka, and watch multiple weddings take place here in one day.

6. Peterhof

Located outside of St. Petersburg, Peterhof sits on the Gulf of Finland. Laid out on Peter the Great's Orders, it is a complex of palaces, fountains, and gardens known as "The Russian Versailles". The grounds were the king's family's summer residence as to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city during that time of year. From its endless fountains to its perfect location on the gulf, Peterhof never fails to amaze visitors.

7. The State Hermitage Museum

Located inside St. Petersburg's Winter Palace complex, the State Hermitage Museum is a museum of endless hallways consisting of everything from one of Da Vinci's paintings, historical artifacts to an Orthodox chapel as well. Bring your walking shoes and be prepared to spend several hours walking through its breathtaking beauty.

8. The Splitting of the Drawbridges

One of the most famous features of St. Petersburg is the series of the opening of the several drawbridges, the first one beginning at 1 AM. Why so late, you ask? Up north, the sun sets very late in the summer, so therefore passengers begin their boat tours at midnight and take a cruise through the city to watch the different colored bridges open up before their eyes.

9. The Catherine Palace

Located in the town of Pushkino in the Tsarskoye Selo, the palace was built as a summer residence for Catherine I. The complex consists of sprawling land, gardens and a well-kept property, making it a popular tourist destination.

10. The Peter and Paul Fortress

Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, the fortress was St. Petersburg's original citadel in the shape of a star. It is also a part of the St. Petersburg State Museum of History today. In the time of the Russian revolution, it also held prisoners. You can walk into their former cells and take a tour of their former living quarters, as well as the church in the other building.

Although 10 places could hardly capture the timeless and unique beauty of Russia, it gives tourists a new destination to add to their bucket list. The largest country in the world has much for its own people to explore as well.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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