Things to Do in Quincy, MA

Things to Do in Quincy, MA

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Recently, I've moved to Quincy, Massachusetts. I was skeptical of moving here at first because I've always seen Quincy as like a "mini-city" comparing it to Boston. Don't get me wrong, I love Boston and Quincy, but being in a city seems like it would be too busy for me. Quincy actually has that feel to it where you're close enough to the city but you're not actually in it. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Quincy so far, and also some things I'm dying to check out while I'm here.

1. Quincy Quarries

Located near the Granite Links golf course, the Quincy Quarries used to be these big quarries full of water back in the day now it is all filled in with grass and the giant rocks. The quarries consist of rocks covered in artwork and graffiti. If you're looking for a new place to hike and looking for views of, not just the quarries, but of some great art work too, they are a must see.

2. Wollaston Beach

Wollaston beach is not the best beach for swimming, but it definitely is a beach with a view. Sit on the sand and watch the planes fly into Boston or take your boat out into the water from their beautiful yacht club. In the summer time, one of my favorite things to do is enjoy some seafood and ice-cream from the restaurants near the shore, The Clam Box and The Ice Box.

3. Granite Links

If you're in to golf, you'll love Granite Links golf course. Play a few rounds with a view of the Boston Skyline in the background and even enjoy some fine dining at their beautiful restaurant on the hill.

4. Marylou's Coffee

The infamous Marylou's coffee shop has a few locations in Massachusetts but one of them would be in Quincy on Willard Street. Marylou's is most known for it's hot pink store and it's creativity when it comes to coffee and frozen drinks like the "Oreo cookie monster". If you're not feeling coffee, you can try their red-bull infusion drinks as well which come in a variety of flavors.

5. Marina Bay

Marina Bay is beautiful area where you can sit and watch the boats come in, or shop amongst the stores, take a nice stroll along the board walk, or sit down for dinner. The pictures of Marina Bay are so incredibly beautiful so I cannot wait to experience this for myself.

6. Adam's National Historical Park

Take a dip in to the history of not just Massachusetts, but the background of our country's leaders through this historical park.

7. Take the T in to the city

With multiple red line stops, it is super easy to grab a train in to the city of Boston. With the night life and so many things to do, being this close to the city without actually being in the city is quite nice.

Cover Image Credit: Richard Batista Quincy

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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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Bon Voyage! College Of Charleston Takes You On A Semester At Sea

I recently learned about a super unique and intriguing opportunity offered through the College of Charleston and just had to share!

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On Monday, I had the privilege (thanks to the hospitality club) to tour the Spirit of South Carolina which is a 140-foot sailing vessel. Spirit gained its fame after defeating a fleet of British yachts and winning what is now called America's Cup. The ship was built from South Carolina live oak, cypress, and long leaf yellow pine. With the staff's continuous care of the ship, it's always well maintained and looking beautiful. Even if you're not into sailing (like me), touring Spirit was a really cool experience. It was obvious how much hard work is put into the ship.

While on tour, we were told about the studying opportunities offered. I had never even heard of "a semester at sea" but after learning all about the program, I wanted to share it with other C of C student! Spirit is actually supposed to be in the Caribbean right now with CofC students for the marine biology program but the trip was canceled because not enough students had signed up for it.

My prediction is that not enough students signed up for the trip because they are not aware of the option. Each trip has a different destination and most times, you make fun stops along the way! The current trip being planned is for the fall is going to start in Boston and makes its way across the east coast.

What's really cool is that you learn to sail while on the trip, no experience is necessary! There are crew members on board but the students are responsible for learning the process and all the steps to sailing as well. While on board, you're still held accountable for completing all school work. There is usually a professor on board but many students just take online classes.

Certain trips are more major oriented, the trip planned to go to the Caribbean was geared towards marine biology majors. Each trip deals with a different major but all students are always welcome. The trip is student-oriented and the crew of the ship is always open to suggestions.

I thought this was an interesting option for anyone looking to study abroad but doesn't think they can afford it. A semester at sea is more affordable and still full of fun! This opportunity allows you to travel, learn, and experience new things.

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