6 Can't-Miss Camping Spots in the Northeast

Looking to escape into the woods? Look no further.

Have you recently been tormented by visions of dreamy campfires, tents, starry skies and a truly socially distanced vacation spent deep in the woods?

Seems like you're fantasizing about going camping, and if so, you're not alone. Many Americans tired of social distancing, but not quite ready to return to public spaces, seem to have turned to camping as a method of escape over the past few weeks.

It's incredibly important that if you do decide to go on any sort of vacation this quarantine, you wear a mask, wash your hands, and properly socially distance (and avoid going anywhere if you're sick or immunocompromised).

But if you're feeling prepared to brave the outside and are ready to hit the woods, here are some beautiful escapes to try.

1. Acadia National Park, Maine

This pine-tree-laden, blueberry-scented wild paradise that is Maine's Acadia National Park tops most lists of top campgrounds, and for good reason. Maine's breathtaking ocean views and its wildly glorious landscapes make this a memorable escape.

Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island, and boasts two campgrounds—the slightly more populous Blackwoods and the quieter, more remote Seawall.

2. White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

White Mountain National Forest New Hampshire

White Mountain National Forest

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New Hampshire's White Mountains are unrivaled beauties. Located at a crossroads between the Appalachian Trail, Quebec, Boston, and other notable ports of exit, these mountains cover about a quarter of New Hampshire and offer majestic views all year round.

If you're not up for roughing it at a campsite, the White Mountains offer many scenic driving routes that will take you through mind-blowing mountain scenery.

3. Delaware Seashore State Park, Delaware

Delaware Seashore State Park

Delaware Seashore State Park

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Sleep cradled between to the Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay at Delaware Seashore State Park, an oceanside campground that offers a multitude of ocean-related activities. Try crabbing, clamming, sailing, or living it up on the beach, and pick any of its 37 camping sites (many of which come complete with RV hookups) for a place to set up camp.

4. Nickerson State Park, Brewster, Massachusetts

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Nickerson State Park

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A few miles away from the bustling beachside towns of Cape Cod lies a scattering of over 400 campsites, built around eight lakes formed by glaciers thousands of years ago. A visit to Nickerson State Park offers a wide variety of experiences, ranging from peaceful cabin retreats to totally secluded forest getaways. This beloved spot is also perfect for hiking, biking, and other day trips that will guide you through towns, around lakes, and possibly into other parallel dimensions if you find the right portals.

5. Cathedral Pines Campground, Maine

Seeswim - Cathedral Pines

Cathedral Pines

Seeswim

If you're the type of person who finds more religious symbolism in forests than in any church, you'll enjoy Cathedral Pines campground. Pray, sing, or start a cult beneath the stern faces of this forest's pines, located only 30 miles from Canada. This is truly a natural wonderland, a place to remember our reciprocal relationship with the Earth and to work on dissolving the boundaries that separate us from the world around us. High altitudes, abundant wetlands, and a welcoming community make these woods well-worth the trek.

6. Shawme-Cromwell State Forest, Massachusetts

Shawme-Cromwell

Alltrails.com

East Sandwich, Massachusetts' dense woods offer many secluded places to hide away and do whatever you've been longing to do this whole quarantine, be it scream at the sky or something else equally cathartic. 700 acres of trail wind through the pines, offering perfect hikes or biking ventures.


These are just a few of the Northeast's abundant forests.

Be sure to do your research before going—many of these parks are still closed—and be careful. That said, if you are lucky enough to go, enjoy every minute.

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What's Up with All These Fireworks?

New Yorkers have been hearing constant explosions throughout the night. Is it a conspiracy?

If you live in a large metropolitan area like New York City, Black Lives Matter protests likely aren't the only things you hear making noise in the streets.

In the past couple of weeks, as Black Lives Matter supporters march in memory of George Floyd and countless other Black people killed by police, the sounds of fireworks can be heard virtually every weekend. More than just your average Fourth of July shindig, these explosions often trail into the wee hours of the morning.


According to Gothamist, there were 6,385 total "311" complaints about fireworks in New York City from June 1 to June 19—up from 27 during the same time period last year. "This is not the simple firecrackers and little small toy-type rockets, but it was very elaborate," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told Gothamist. "That in itself is raising a high level of concern with me... When you see the large displays along Brooklyn and in Manhattan, Upper Manhattan, you're seeing extremely sophisticated type fireworks displays that can be extremely dangerous in the hands of the wrong people."

Anything more powerful than a sparkler is illegal in New York, but that hasn't stopped regular folks from buying the type of fireworks you'd see in a professional display. But who is buying these fireworks, and what are they trying to accomplish? There are some wild theories.

NYPD, FDNY appear to let illegal fireworks show play out, video shows

NYPD, FDNY appear to let illegal fireworks show play out, video shows nypost.com

As author Robert Jones, Jr. pointed out in a lengthy Twitter thread, antics by "bored Black and brown kids" tends to be the general assumption made by most mainstream media. "My neighbors and I believe that this is part of a coordinated attack on Black and Brown communities by government forces; an attack meant to disorient and destabilize the #BlackLivesMatter movement," Jones wrote.

One goal Jones proposed was that white people were the ones setting off the constant fireworks in an attempt to "stoke tensions between Black and Brown peoples." Many have voiced their frustrations online about the sheer volume of the fireworks they hear, and a shared annoyance is growing.

Another motive Jones proposed was that the fireworks are being used as a desensitization method to acclimate citizens to the sounds of the blasts—which often sound like gunshots. "When they start using their real artillery on us we won't know the difference," Jones wrote. "It's meant to sound like a war zone because a war zone is what it's about to become."

Police don't seem too concerned. The New York Post shared a video this week of fireworks being set off behind an NYPD precinct in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. No officers appear to deter them. A similar video in Harlem, Manhattan also shows a flock of police cars—none of which seem to mind the explosions.


Another video shows what appears to be Brooklyn firefighters setting off fireworks:

Video shows FDNY firefighters light off illegal fireworks in Brooklyn

Video shows FDNY firefighters light off illegal fireworks in Brooklyn nypost.com


Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he was forming a task force to combat the illegal fireworks. "Illegal fireworks are both dangerous and a public nuisance," he said. "We're cracking down on this activity at the source to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers and the ability of our neighbors to get some sleep."


But if over 6,000 complaints have been made about fireworks to seemingly no avail, it seems a task force won't merit much of an improvement.

Many seem to agree with the theory that inconspicuous government officials have been offering fireworks to Black children, newly on summer vacation and hungry for ways to ease their quarantine boredom. As with many issues going on in America, these constant fireworks will probably be just another way for the government to further discriminate against marginalized groups.

At least we can always rely on memes to spread the good word.

I don't know about you guys, but working from home has taken a serious toll on me. It started off really well. I was sticking to my usual routine as much as possible, but I've been slowly becoming less and less productive.

I noticed my sleep schedule had completely changed. I was rolling out of bed a few minutes before I was due to start work, and sometimes even working from my bed. I ate lunch at the desk and worked straight through my scheduled breaks. I was sleepier throughout the day, unable to focus as much, and just feeling less motivated overall.

So I looked into what I could do that would help me out of my slump. I tried a few things. Some were so simple I never thought they'd make much of a difference, and some I wouldn't have thought of at all, but now I'm back feeling more productive than ever.

Here are my three tips for working from home:

1. Get up early

Yes, it seems so simple. But it's super important to stick to a normal routine if you can. Not only do I get up early, but I shower every morning and cook myself a nutritious breakfast before I start work. This definitely helped me feel more energized and motivated throughout the day.

2. Have a designated workspace

This is important because it separates your work from your home. Our homes are associated with relaxing, so designating a space that will be used only for work will help you concentrate on work while you're in that space. I also found that doing this helped me actually take appropriate breaks. When I left the space I was in relax mode, and once I came back, I was ready to work again.

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3. CBD supplements

When looking into ways to improve my focus and sleeping patterns, I came across an article about CBD supplements, specifically a brand called Prima. I'd never bought into the whole CBD craze, but when I read that you can try Prima's Rest Easy, Go-To, and Brain Fuel elixirs by purchasing their Trifecta for just $26 with shipping, I thought why not?

The elixirs are powders that you can mix into any beverage. The Prima Trifecta has a few samples of all three. The Brain Fuel elixir is to be taken in the morning, so I mixed it into my coffee, and I was awake and alert and able to throw myself into my working day.

Their Go-To elixir should be taken around noon. My daily midday productivity crash had gotten so much worse while working at home, but taking this elixir helped keep me sharp through the remainder of my work day.

The Rest Easy elixir is taken at night to help you get a good sleep. Since I started taking this my sleep schedule has greatly improved. It was so much easier to get up early again. It left me feeling well rested and ready to start my day.

I never realized how much simple things, like setting out a specific workspace, and getting up early would help me escape my unproductive rut. I wasn't expecting Prima's CBD supplements to help as much as they did, but they definitely had the biggest impact for me.

After trying the Prima Trifecta, I ended up buying the full size of all three elixirs. If you're having problems with sleep, focus, and productivity like I was, I'd recommend ordering the Prima Trifecta.

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Everyone knows that working out in ratty clothing isn't very motivating.

Studies have shown that the right workout gear drastically determines how hard we push ourselves on cardio or at the gym. But high-end fashion clothes are never high on our shopping list, and a well-fitted pair of spandex can run up a hefty price tag. But as quarantine has forced us all to reevaluate our workout routine, workout clothes matter now more than ever.

But instead of blowing the big bucks on white-owned brands like Under Armour, we should use this time as an opportunity–while BLM protests happen across the country–to put our money towards black businesses as much as we can. This, of course, includes workout clothes. So here are some reliable Black-owned brands that are high quality and won't break your bank.

Yema

Yema

Founded in 2016, Yema Khalif and his wife, Hawi Awash, opened this fitness brand to help educate and feed the latter's home country of Ethiopia. All proceeds go towards helping to educate and feed at risk children in Ethiopia, and their fitness offerings are all beautiful and hand-made.

Culture Fit​

Culture Fit

Designed specifically for black women, Culture Fit's sleek design and well-ventilated workout gear is worth the money. Designed by women of color, each matching pair of active wear also can include a matching yoga mat, so you can really be looking your best when you hit your zoom yoga class!

Vero Mastodon

vero mastodon

Made popular by men and women who served in the military, Vero Mastodon offers breathable, flexible fitness clothes for all the heavy lifters out there. Their exclusive app also offers training programs by certified trainers and power lifters to help you get shredded and transformed.

Pru Apparel

Pru Apparel

Focused on its message of community and pride, Pru Apparel is for every type of woman. Inspired by Africa's culture and rich history, the breathable clothing sets feature Kente cloth and come in a wide array of sizes. Not to mention, the prints are super trendy.

Glamourina​​

GlMOURINA

This gorgeous activewear was born for the culturally conscious. Made for women of all skin tones and shapes, the workout gear was designed for the sole purpose of empowering and motivating. Their high-waisted spandex and quality mesh provide a collection of breathable fabrics that move however you do.