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Castle Island - Perfect "Get-Away" Close to Uphams Corner

Castle Island provides a perfect pause for those of us living in Uphams Corner, a way to take a deep breath and forget about our worldly responsibilities or, better still, to look at our lives afresh.. Close by, beautiful and relaxing, this state park needs to be on our list of nearby treasures. Two local residents in need of one more stretch of vacation, spent a wonderful couple hours there - story and photos.

Link to Facebook Page - Castle Island Album

Castle Island, South Boston Castle Island, South Boston

State Park Close to Uphams Corner

On Tuesday, July 30, the two of us (Cynthia and Nancy), after just arriving home from different out-of-town locations, decided it was "Time to catch up." Why not take a quick walk on Castle Island in South Boston on the shore of Boston Harbor. We could talk and catch a bite to eat at Sullivan's. What a wonderful welcome home to Uphams Corner that would be - one last quenching taste of vacation, and a respite from having to transition so quickly back to normal life.

You can drive to Castle Island in just over 10 minutes. At under four miles, you can walk there in just over an hour. Or relax on the MBTA. Using about three commuter lines (Uphams Corner bus, Red Line / Commuter Rail and a South Boston bus), you can arrive safely to Farragut Street but then you will have to walk another 0.7 miles. Hmmm. Sounds like roller skates might be better.

Cynthia drove and in less time than I could tell one good story, she was parking her car. With a tight schedule, we set a timer for 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back, giving us just enough additional time to order food and relax at one of the community tables. Almost no matter where you walk, Castle Island leads to the ocean with spectacular views of East Boston and ocean worthy vessels, both large and small.

Uphams Corner to Castle Island

Friendly Park Visitors and Great Food

This year (2013), the rainy weather has helped maintain the park's verdant grasses - shining like Spring time. Everywhere people dotted the landscape, scattered across the walkways, on the beaches or relaxing on the many park benches. Some were outgoing and friendly, others calm and reflective, still others, engaged in meaningful and purposeful conversation (Look at that ship out there . . . What do you want to order?).

The sky was filled with billowy cumulus clouds and we watched our sun dropping ever more quickly westward like a flight at nearby Logan descending to a distant invisible.

One young woman with an absolutely precious puppy whose paws appeared bigger than its head, was excited to share her thoughts about the future of her little "Great Dane." I asked her: "What does your puppy want more than anything else?" "Love," she said. (Typical) "Actually, no," I gently commented.

I recommended she read "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz which debunks the usual myths of anthropomorphised misinterpretations of dogdom and which ranks a NY Times best seller. Her friend, nearby and attentive to our interaction with the soft, bluegray, mini-monster dog, came to life. "Yes," she said. "I've heard of that book."

According to Ms. Horowitz, the attribution of "love" to dog behavior is people projecting their own thoughts onto creatures who are very different. Dogs human? Nope. And what do dogs want? More than anything else, dogs want food or to roll across the mushy remains or a dead animal (perfume).

Oh ... and wouldn't ya know it. Puppy's male owner is afraid of dogs. Good luck with that one, especially when the Great Dane starts to take over.

A Little History

Boston was founded in 1630 and four years later, in July 1634, a group of 20 men including Governor Winthrop visited Castle Island, declaring it perfect for a fortification. Deputy Governor Roger Ludlow of Dorchester was elected to supervise construction.

Castle Island saw military activity at the start of the American Revolution, during the War of 1812 and during World War II. It also served as the first state prison in Massachusetts in the late 1700's.

During World War II, German magnetic mines had the ability to detect an increase in magnetic field when the steel in a ship concentrated the Earth's magnetic field over it. Techniques referred to as ship degaussing were developed to counter the magnetic effect and avert disaster. Retrofitting ships to handle the magnetic field effect was Castle Island's final military function.

Originally a real island and inaccessible from shore (without using water transportation), today Castle Island is connected to the mainland because expanding shipping facilities extended the mainland out towards the island.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation now operates Castle Island as a state park and it is open to tours in the summer.

Castle Island, South Boston Castle Island, South Boston

Time to Eat

Sullivan's, long serving the public at Castle Island with freshly cooked seafood, hotdogs, "the works," drinks and ice cream, has been operating there since June of 1951.

Cynthia and I shared a box of food for just over $10 - a generous helping of crinkle fries, a large piece of fried fish and a fish sandwich with tartar sauce and ketchup on the side. Almost too much food for the two of us but very tasty with the seafaring winds wafting a breeze of kelp and other ocean flavors our way.

If you haven't been to Castle Island or haven't visited recently, plan to do so soon. Bring a book, your walking shoes, your dog, your paints or sketching pencils. You will look back on a day well spent both by you and your spirit.

Note :  A great big thanks to Uphams Corner resident Cynthia Tyler for making this story possible.

Castle Island, South Boston Castle Island, South Boston

Castle Island, South Boston Castle Island, South Boston

Posted: July 31, 2013 Nancy J Conrad

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