Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Where the Hell is Strathmere?

Forgive me for cursing in today's headline, but it's not so bad if I read it off a bumper sticker, right?

"It's an old joke around town, among some people," wrote the woman behind the bumper sticker, and, in a recent email (and she'd rather not share her name -- I tried). "But some Strathmere people don't like the saying."

Strathmere is a slip of a town stuck between Sea Isle City and Ocean City. My first visit was the day after my junior prom. We used the beach as a place to party, digging holes in the sand for the kegs. It was a really nice day for April -- about 80 degrees -- though I spent most of the day petrified that I would get arrested for drinking underage, even though I didn't drink at the party -- just watched as everyone else drank, got drunk, got sick, and had to go home.

Not the best start to my relationship with Strathmere, but it's improved since. A friend of mine has a house there, and we spent many evenings on his porch, watching the waves and the fisherman. I even had my 21st birthday party at his house (where, yes, I did have a drink. Or five).

"Strathmere is a small, quiet old fashioned seaside town with old beach houses, a trailer park and a few restaurants. Nothing touristy," the lady also wrote. "We've managed to hold off condo-nization and overdevelopment. It's a close community and the quiet, quaint quirkiness is what people love about Strathmere."

Every time I've driven through Strathmere on my way from one shore town to another, tried to stop on the beach, which does not require beach tags. It's still largely unknown compared to the rest of the Jersey shore, and has a few great restaurants, like Midred's (609-263-820, 901 Ocean Drive, Strathmere) and the Deauville, (609-263-2080, 201 Williard Road, Strathmere), which I've written about before.

I've got Strathmere on the mind because I'm about to hit another milestone today: the Sea Isle chapter is just about ready for fact checking. Strathmere is wrapped into this chapter since the two towns share the same island, even if their image and mentality are completely different.

I also wanted to highlight this column from the Courier Post by Steve Wood about Saturday's 10 mile race in Sea Isle. Um, yeah, I'm not too upset about missing that one.

Speaking of Sea Isle, is Shoretalken about the town today. Given yesterday's post about Avalon, I'll be staying tuned.

What I'm Listening to: Funeral by Arcade Fire.

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