Monday, August 27, 2007

West Wildwood

If you’ve never head of West Wildwood, you’re not alone. I hadn't either, and it took me and my dad a few tries to find it. He hadn't heard of it either, but someone he works with has a house there, so we decided to check it out after riding bikes on the Wildwood boardwalk Sunday morning.

West Wildwood is located over a bridge on 26th Street in Wildwood. It’s the only road on and off the island. Most of the area is residential, but it has its own borough with its own fire department, police department, mayor and everything else a township needs, though it doesn’t have any traffic signals. No need – it’s that small.

The bar in town, Westside Saloon (770 West Glenwood Avenue, West Wildwood 08260, 609-729-1488), is the kind of place where everyone knows your name, and if they don’t, they’ll probably ask. It looks like it belongs in the Alamo, not the shore. There's also a golf course and a few marinas, but that's it for businesses.

West Wildwood is prone to flooding, which is why most of the houses look like they’ve been lifted up on cinderblocks. Some literally were -- they started on the ground but were lifted up because of the floods. Residents take the flooding in stride – one pointed out two areas of higher ground where people park their cars until the water levels drop back down.

You won’t find much in West Wildwood in terms of nightlife or action, which is why most people like it. It’s close to the water and has the same benefits of the shore, but without a lot of traffic, both of car and people variety, or noise. I did a quick real estate search -- the prices aren't ridiculous like they are in Avalon or Stone Harbor (though still higher than I could hope to aff0rd), and you probably won't have as many drunks stumbling up your street.

What I'm Listening to: Guster on Ice: Live from Portland by Guster.

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