Boston-Area Beaches: Still Gross, But Less So

1214925970A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I decided we wanted to go to the beach. In years past, we would have rented a Zipcar and drove to scenic Wingaersheek Beach, or even made a trek down to my home state to Narragansett Town Beach. But since the price of gas has raised the price of renting a car, we decided to try MBTA-accessible Carson Beach.

As a complete beach snob, I was skeptical. And it seems that many Bostonians can’t get wrap their minds around the fact that beaches around the city are usually fine for swimming.

Much like Pavolv’s dogs, the city’s beach bums are conditioned to believe that the water in beaches near Boston Harbor is dirty.

“I’d have to be really hot to go in, and then maybe I’d only put my feet in,” said [Corinne] Harutunian, 57, of Melrose [of Nahant Beach]. “I’m not going to take any chances. I’d rather just look.”

“We used to worry about creeps, but it just feels safer now,” said Lynndsay Holden, 16, who lives in the neighborhood [of Constitution Beach] and has come to the beach for years. But she refuses to swim in the water. “I’m not going there.”

I felt the same way about the water at Carson Beach. With jets flying over frequently and the industrial-looking buildings within sight of the beach, my friend had to coax me in. And even then, I only went up to my knees.

“What’s that in the water?” I asked. “It looks like carpet fibers.”

Carson Beach did have remarkably clean sand for the amount of people that visit, which is thanks to a state-of-the-art sand sanitizing machine that combs the shore. For now, it will do for a impulse sunbathing trip. But once the water gets warm enough for swimming, I think I’ll invest in a trip to a spot that isn’t so close to the harbor.