Sunday, August 5, 2007

Built to Last

You can't walk a block down any shore shopping area without being bombarded by shops trying to sell you a t-shirt, sweatshirt or pants with the town's name blazed across them. And why not? Most tourists will want to take a bit of the shore home with them in a form that won't go stale before you can hit the Atlantic City Expressway.

But not all t-shirt shops are created equal. Here's four spots that sell goods a cut above the rest:

Flying Fish Studio (130 Park Boulevard, West Cape May, 609-884-2760)
If the town-across-your-shirt souvenir doesn't cut it, take the walk to Flying Fish. They make catchy beach themed gear, like sweatshirts with a big lobster on the front, or retro-designed shirts dedicated to Cape May’s smaller beaches, like Poverty Beach. They also provide gear for Cape Mays' annual Lima Bean festival. Some of their items are also sold at the Exit Zero store in Congress Hall (251 Beach Avenue, Cape May, 888-944-1816).

Henry's Fine Jewelry (1236 Boardwalk, Ocean City, 800-214-4435)
Yes, they have jewelry -- and plenty of it -- at Henry's, but they also sell Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) jackets and such, made with goods by Gear. They're rugged, and the letters are stitched on, so it'll last you far beyond next summer.

It’s All Good (2307 Dune Drive, Avalon, 609-368-0001)
It's not cheap cotton tees at this optimistic store. They have screened town names, too, if stitching isn't your thing. They also stock Margarittaville flip flops. Watch out for that pot pot.

Wave One Sports (324 Washington Street Mall, Cape May, 609-884-6674 and 225 96th Street, Stone Harbor, 08247)
This one's my personal favorite -- I have one regular sweatshirt (Avalon), one hooded sweatshirt (Cape May) and one hat (Avalon) from Wave One. The bases they use -- the sweats, shirts, pants, hats -- are top quality, and the stitching is impeccable. They have a slew of options, too, from what you're wearing to what town you want to boast. My favorite section is the sale bin, which is where odds and ends are piled together, unfolded and ready for you to sift through. Stone Harbor has the bigger bin, but last time I was in Cape May, I snagged the white sweatshirt you see in this picture from their bin. That's the Cape May Lighthouse is shining through the letters. I like it, even if it's a bit strange. Then again, so am I. And I have no idea why my mom's making that face.

What I'm Listening to: Recurring Dream: The Very Best of Crowded House by Crowded House.

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