Written by Sean Barrett
If you are a resident of South Boston, you may have been aware of the mayor’s initiative to create a family friendly beach inside of the L Street Bath House. My stomach turned when the mayor announced his plan to make the M street side “family friendly” – and not because it wasn’t a good idea – the problem with the initiative is that the idea of “family friendly” should’t have to exist. Directly next door to the new “family friendly” City of Boston beach is the giant frat party beach which is M Street Beach – a DCR beach. Although the entire beach – and neighborhood for that matter – should be “family friendly” – this is what Southie has become – a neighborhood where “family friendly” zones need to be clearly marked.
I was never really a beach guy and I didn’t rush back to the beach this summer since last year I witnessed a seagull one-gulp a dead floating rat by the M Street fence – but with dad bods in style, I figured I would head to the beach with my wife and almost 3 year old son last week. It was a beautiful day, but it was low tide at M Street Beach when we got there. Now if you’re not familiar with this beach, it’s a rocky walk to get down to the water at low tide. It’s treacherous! So I took my son and headed to the “L” aka the Curley Rec. Center to check out the family friendly option.
I signed up for a one year membership along with a family membership to the newly created “family friendly beach.” The total cost was $105 – basically less than one month at CrossFit. Within 5 seconds of walking through the door, a family of four from Milford greeted my son with handshakes and hugs. Their mother told me she drives into the city four times a week to keep busy. There were a handful of other families using the beach.
The family beach was fantastic. It was nice smooth sand all the way to the waters edge even at low tide, and we didn’t have to worry about getting spike-balled by the Alpha Betas at M Street. The kids played together. There are picnic tables with umbrellas and Wicked Free WiFi which is great when you’re trying to keep up on twitter.
Outside the fence, next door at M Street Beach, the State Police is patrolling to try and make it family friendly – but if you want to ensure a fun safe environment for your kids to play, I highly recommend spending the five dollars (extra for non residents) to join the BCYF beach. You do not need a general membership to use the beach, and it is easily the best five dollars I have spent all summer. So check it out!
Sean Barrett is a lifelong resident of South Boston, USAF Veteran and father of three whose “left of center” views aggravate his family and friends.