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The Conversation: Beach Etiquette


Sunny relaxation. Cigarette butts. Clear blue skies. Boomboxes cranked to 11. Rolling ocean waves. Men in Speedos. The beach is quite possibly the most double-edged sword of the summer. If we were in a Facebook relationship with the beach, our status would be “Its Complicated.” Because while we love spending our summer days “reporting” from the South Shore, sometimes fellow beachgoers give us more than we bargained for. Here to discuss are Press staff writers Kaitlyn Piccoli, Jaclyn Gallucci and Brad Pareso.


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Jaclyn

Don’t pee in the ocean.

Kaitlyn

Jac, wish all you want—everyone pees in the water at one point in their life. And many even more than that. But hey, at least the ocean ebbs and flows; it doesn’t stay stagnant like, you know, sand, which has seemingly become the public’s ash tray. Yes, the beach is outdoors. Yes, there is proper ventilation. Yes, you can move to another area of the beach if you choose not to inhale secondhand smoke. But none of that makes it OK to dump your butts in the sand. And no, burying them is not OK either.

Brad

“Wait, you think *cough cough* I shouldn’t smoke *hack wheeze* at the beach? There’s so much *lung collapse* air!” I’d say kids are 8,000 percent more likely to find buried cigarettes than treasure.

Jaclyn

Cigarettes are the least of my worries at the beach. I have a childhood horror story involving a lime green G-string, a woman who shouldn’t have been wearing a lime green G-string, a crashing wave, and me—all under water. It doesn’t end well. Moral of the story: I’m all for being proud of your body, but your rights end where mine begin. Smoke all you want, but don’t wear a G-string in rough waters.

Brad

I’m not a G-string proponent, but in their defense, the beach has all things that make people wear less clothing: high temperatures, sunlight and the ocean. If I have to see a little more than I bargained for, well that’s what sunglasses and naps are for. If it wasn’t for sunburn (I HATE SUNBURN), I would sleep on the beach as often as possible.

Jaclyn

They can enjoy the high temps, sunlight and ocean all they want on the other side of the Fire Island Lighthouse. The first time I went to Robert Moses I wanted to find the perfect spot, so I walked along the shore until I ran into a naked smiling man holding a fishing rod. I had found the nude part of Fire Island. If you didn’t know it existed, now you do, it’s not what you imagined, and you’re welcome.

Kaitlyn

Just be glad you don’t live in Europe, where every beach is a nude beach year-round. Honestly I don’t mind a lack of clothing at the beach. As long as you’re not disrupting anyone’s visit, go for it—but make sure you apply PLENTY of sunscreen. To me nudity is much less offensive and easier to ignore than blaring music or shrieking children kicking sand around, which there seems to be an abundance of on our shores. In fact, it’s so abundant that over the years I’ve scoped out some generally peaceful beaches. I would tell you where they are, but then I’d have to kill all of you.

Brad

Is one of them Long Beach? I love Long Beach but more for the boardwalk—to run on—than the beach—to lay on. I’ve been there by 8 a.m. and seen surfers finishing their morning rides. I guess Long Beach is the anti-beach.

Kaitlyn

The anti-beach? What does that mean? Can a beach be anti-itself?

Brad

Long Beach has that 4-mile boardwalk home to runners, cyclists and high school sports teams in training. I guess other beaches have boardwalks too, but Long Beach also seems to be totally devoid of tiny children. It is like the South Shore’s Xanadu or something.

Jaclyn

Unless you have access to a private beach, shrieking children are a staple. The only way to avoid them is to get there early, which is fine with me; it’s the dirty diapers and the people who leave their kids drink boxes in the sand. And I’m squirming even saying this, but I’ve seen tampon applicators almost as much as I’ve seen jellyfish on the beach. Now, seagulls eat a lot of crap, but I think even they draw the line there.

Kaitlyn

We are a classy bunch, aren’t we? I guess the consensus here is when it comes to our beaches, Long Island is lacking in the etiquette department. We don’t seem to show much respect for each other or Mother Nature. But we’re still better than those Jersey Shore people, right?

Brad

I’ll take used condoms and shards of glass from broken beer bottles over a “Bro! Get outta the sun, ya screwin’ with my tan! You wanna fight?” Actually, we have that here too.

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