A quick FYI: I've mentioned Dusk, the new DJ AM club opening in Atlantic City, before. It's a new nightclub scheduled to open at Caesars this summer.
Of course it needs to be staffed, and now they are hiring. Pass it along -- a lot of hospitality folks in Atlantic City have lost their jobs, so this could be a good opportunity.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
A quick FYI: I've mentioned Dusk, the new DJ AM club opening in Atlantic City, before. It's a new nightclub scheduled to open at Caesars this summer.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Could the Tropicana have a new owner soon?
Atlantic County homes on the market are priced 42% too high?!
The Strathmere Library is now taking book donations.
More weddings down the shore!
Here's a piece on Heritage Surf & Sport.
You might not be able to take your gambling debt with you to the grave.
And, finally, Blackfish in Stone Harbor is set to open in the old Henny's spot on Mother's Day Weekend. I popped by last time I was in town, and it still looked like Henny's. We'll see if they can beat the clock...
Memorial Day means a lot of things. In Sea Isle City, it now means the annual "Tri for Our Vets" competition, which takes place this year on May 23.
Good news! It's sold out! So over 500 athletes will be swimming, running and biking through Sea Isle that Saturday. The US Coast Guard will have a boat in the water and a helicopter overhead, and there might even be a flyover (details still in the works).
But this isn't just about athletics. Last year, the tri raised over $35,000 for the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and the new Sea Isle Veterans’ Memorial. Can they break $40,000 this year? We'll see!
I won't be participating, but I will be cheering on. I'll also be running the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on Sunday (and not in 90 degree temperatures!) Anyone else? I know a bus group comes up from Ocean City every year...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Cabanas in Cape May is doing an interesting promotion Wednesday night: a V.I. "Key" night. Key? You can pick up a "key" to Cabanas for $10 and you won't have to pay cover for the entire summer. If that's your "go to" spot for the summer, it can be well worth the cost.
I like Cabanas. It's a fun place to hang out, though I prefer Martini Beach, which is upstairs (and owned by the same people). The promotion is labeled for locals (e.g. if you live here all year, here's a way to get around summer cover), but I'm sure they won't mind if you take a trip down to pick up a key.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
...if you're sunburned. I am not a lobster, but I am sporting a shade of pink on my skin today.
My toasting was not gotten down the shore, but I heard from many people who were there and said it was packed. Anyone else have a story about the weekend to share? I bet the beach was packed but water, well, not so much.
Speaking of stories, here's one I had in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about a North Wildwood condo renovation. Neat piece! I love writing about how people turn a property into a home -- especially down the shore.
Now, let's take notice of this weekend: it was the last weekend in April. That means May is literally around the corner. May means the kick off the Shore Season -- May 22 is closer than you think!
But the shore, as always, is coming to you early on this blog. I was just handed a major travel assignment about the Jersey Shore -- the ENTIRE Jersey Shore -- an out of the five weekends in May, four will be spent researching (yes, even Memorial Day weekend, which I was supposed to take off. Ah, well). So expect a lot of pictures and stories from all of Jersey's coast for the next month.
And that one weekend I'm not working on the shore story? I'll be in Key West. Key West! I've only been once, and it was a brief stop on a cruise wedding, so I am looking forward to four days in the keys! At least I'll already have a base tan...
Friday, April 24, 2009
It's going to be a HOT one this weekend -- well, hot for April. Upper 80 degree temps? Expect it to be busy down the shore, hence a special edition of Your Shore Weekend.
Ben Folds is at the House of Blues tonight. It's not quite rocking my suburb (which he did -- played right in Collingswood!) but close enough.
Stephen Lynch plays the Borgata tonight and tomorrow.
Ocean City's holding a Downtown Arts Celebration that will feature artwork by local students. The art will be in Asbury Park stores, but check outside for free face painters, caricature artists and sidewalk chalk designs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Like music? A few folks from the Ocean City Pops Orchestra will perform at 1 p.m. and the Ocean City High School Jazz Band will perform at 2 p.m. at the 9th and Asbury Avenue are area. From 10 a.m. until noon, children can create their own artwork at the Fine Arts League, 608 Asbury Ave. There will also be merchant sidewalks sales and restaurant specials.
It's the Sensational 60s weekend for Wildwood! Check out everything they have to offer -- and expect it to be BUSY.
And this weekend is the kick off of Cape May's Spring Festival, which I wrote about for today's Philadelphia Inquirer. It'll have 10 days of events dedicated to spring (though it'll feel more like summer!)
As for me, I'm having dinner in New York City tonight and will be at a bridal shower then Shad Fest in Lambertville and New Hope for the weekend. If you get the Philadelphia Inquirer, check out the Sunday real estate section for a piece I wrote about a condo in North Wildwood. Yah spring and summer!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival will be held July 30 to August 2. Why news? The festival's revamped and the new website is live.
Yeah people coming back down the shore for the season!
The Cape May Salt! It's a tasty oyster (and, no, not the one that made me sick on Easter Weekend).
Apparently, New Jersey residents want sports betting.
Airtran starting flights to Atlantic City prompts Atlanta to ask: what's in Atlantic City and Ocean City?
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Toay kicked off "shore speaking season" -- I gave my first shore talk of the year to the literary society of Leisuretowne, a retirement community in Southampton, N.J.
I love talking to retirement communities. I talk about my "route to writing about the shore," starting back from when my grandparents settled in N.J. after WW II. Then I open up the floor for the audience to share their shore memories, which can be funny and fascinating. I was there for well over an hour today and learned a lot -- I don't think I'll ever know absolutely everything about the shore, but I can sure keep on trying.
On that note, I have three appearances coming up so far this spring:
April 30: I'll be at Dinner with an Author, Celebrating 25 Years of Literacy. This event, which benefits the Literacy Volunteers of Burlington County, will be held at Braddock's Tavern in Medford, N.J. with a cash bar at 6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m. The dinner isn't with just me -- Vince Papale will be there, too. I'm not upset that he's on the flyer -- no, not at all ;-) Tickets are $50. The invite says RSVP by March 1, but if you'd like to see if there's any wiggle room, call 609-877-5566.
May 5: This one is JUST ME -- I'll be speaking at a fundraiser for the Collings-Knight House. The dinner will be at the Collings-Knight House in Collingswood, N.J. The 6 p.m. dinner costs $17.50. I speak at 7:30 pm., and the speaking part is free and open to the public. If you do pay the $17.50, I promise to be highly amusing and try not spill anything on you. For the dinner, you must reserve your ticket by April 30. Call 856-240-7098 to do so.
Memorial Day Weekend: I'm not sure of the date yet, but I'll be signing books sometime during Memorial Day Weekend at Jamaican Me Crazy in Sea Isle City. I'll update when I know.
And if you'd like me to talk to your group or do a book signing -- hey! let me know! I'm friendly. Drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com. Also, if you're buying a lot of books and want them signed (realtors, they make great closing gifts and Cape May brides, they're perfect in welcome bags) we can try to arrange that, too -- and I can get you a discount when buying in bulk.
Not great news out of Galloway: Marriott is severing ties with the Seaview, a very nice and upscale golf resort complex outside of Atlantic City.
It's being switched over to a Dolce Hotel -- not that there's anything wrong with Dolce, but Marriott put a lot of money into expanding and renovating that complex. Them leaving is not a good sign.
The change will happen mid-May, so if you've got points you want to use there, get on that ASAP.
Hey hey, it's Earth Day! In my humble opinion, every day should be Earth Day. But we'll work with what we've got.
In honor of Earth Day, check out this piece I did for New Jersey Monthly about composters (second item).
I'm going to close the "Caption Contest" of the post below at midnight tonight. Got a caption? Comment!
Posted by Jen A. Miller at 7:46 AM
Monday, April 20, 2009
On Friday, Cesar "The Dog Whisper" Millan spoke at Resorts in Atlantic City. He then headed to Boogie Nights, which is where this picture was taken.
So: How would you caption it? Best caption gets a free copy of my book.
Some interesting news came out this weekend: restauranteur Stephen Starr has sued the Pier Shops at Caesars, saying that they duped him into coming into the complex. The suit alledges that not only is the third level of the pier "half full" but that the folks who developed the pier lied to him about what other clients were coming.
I'm not exactly shocked by this. The Pier was plagued with construction delays, missing the sweet spot of the summer shopping season at the shore. I remember getting press packets with information about the tenants, including Rum Jungle and English is Italian, that never materialized. Starr's suit says that those tenants did not have binding leases, so when construction delayed, they pulled out -- but the developers ensured Starr that they DID have binding leases.
It's bound to get messy. It's also bad PR for the area since it means Starr's restaurants on the pier are losing money. Without the Continental and Buddakhan, well, that third floor is in big trouble.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This weekend is the Cape May Jazz festival. The event, held twice a year, brings droves of people to Cape May (smart to have it pre-season, yes?)
I'm sure the excellent weather we have on tap for the weekend will help bring more people to the Jersey Shore, too. How many people can't wait to hit the beach, even if it's to stroll in rolled up jeans and a t-shirt (and why couldn't we have had that last weekend?!)
I digress. Here's a line up of everything going on at the Jazz festival.
As for me, I'll be in Philadelphia seeing these guys. I haven't seen them in concert since the summer I finished my book (which is now a year old by the way). I. Can't. Wait.
And remember...doo dah!
Atlantic City unemployment rate jumps to 8.3 percent.
Yikes -- a boy almost drowned at Harrah's.
Here's why penny slots are good for casinos.
There's going to be an investigation about the Lady Mary, the boat from Cape May that sunk, killing all but one crew member.
J.P. Morgan downgrades Boyd Gaming, which owns the Borgata. One of the reasons? They expect a slow recovery in Atlantic City and Vegas.
Sheri Oteri was in Sea Isle last summer and gives the town a shout out in this article.
Speaking of Sea Isle, they'll be having a town-wide open house this weekend. So if you're looking to check out a lot of shore houses, this would be the weekend to do it.
**SAD UPDATE** The boy who nearly drowned at Harrah's has passed away.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tax Day! The day the 24-hour post off puts my hometown of Bellmawr on the map! My mom used to drop her taxes off on tax day specifically see the crowds. I passed on that and mailed in my taxes (and money since I make estimated quarterly payments) last week.
Still, it's never fun to hand over sizable chunks of money to the government, or wrangle through Turbo Tax on a Tuesday night. So, to celebrate the end of today, may I suggest Ocean City's Doo Dah parade?
On Saturday, about 500 basset hounds and other dogs (a lot of Beagle/basset mixes) strutting down Asbury Avenue and the Ocean City boardwalk. I went last year and had a grand old time.
Unfortunately, a certain Jack Russell Terrier mix would be joining them this year. But if you go, things kick off at noon.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Well, that was fast.
I saw this sign in Sea Isle over the weekend. Gillians, probably most known for Wonderland Pier in Ocean City, has already started construction on their new Sea Isle project to be called "Funland." Target date? Memorial Day 2009. This summer! About six weeks away!
I like the two parts of the name: "Fun" a hat tip to "Fun City," which was the name of Sea Isle's old ride pier and "land" to connect it to "Wonderland." At least that's my guess behind it.
I had a nice albeit busy weekend down the shore -- all fun, minus the oysters from one Cape May restaurant that shot me to the bathroom (and, no, I'm not saying who it was). I was surprised at how many people were actually out in Sea Isle. The Dead Dog Saloon was bumping. I feel bad for the bartender, who was obviously overwhelmed working the room by himself, but the crowd didn't seem to mind too much. He also wasn't able to enforce their "collared shirt" rule for men. Speaking of collars, I was also startled about the number of popped collars in the crowd. I thought that was passe? Or at least put away for the winner? Though I do give props to the gentleman who showed up with a collar AND a rockstar mullet on Saturday night to Dead Dog. Well played, sir.
Also, what was up with the string instruments on Saturday night? Both O'Donnell's Pour House and the OD had bands with string instruments (a cello at Pour House and violin at OD). I'd guess that you won't see that this summer.
My favorite spot was Braca's. I took a walk after the oyster incident to see how I felt and ended up having a drink at the bar. I've never been there as a bar spot, and I just might have to go in the future -- but not before a trip to Funland. No way I'm getting on a ride with alcohol in my belly or else I might be shot to the bathroom again.
I also give props to Mack and Mancos for serving up a fantastic Easter lunch of two plain slices of pizza with a large birch beer. The Ocean City boardwalk was PACKED, and everything open on Easter, which surprised me. All in all a great day. Ten more degrees warmer, and it would have been perfect.
I'm away from the shore for a bit, but still writing about it (of course). More about the Doo Dah Parade (which I can't go to -- HARUMPH!) later this week.
A journalist contacted me today asking if I could recommend an Atlantic City male revue for an article she's working writing. I can give her names of shows but haven't been to any (yet -- my sister's bachelorette party isn't until October).
So: if you have been and can talk to her about which one and about the experience, drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.
Posted by Jen A. Miller at 3:50 PM
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Hoppy Thursday! Easter weekend is the unofficial preview to the summer shore weekend. A lot of places that have been shuttered through the winter will open back up today, even if they close right back down again until Mother's Day weekend. Expect a lot of boardwalk strolling (I bet the folks in Wildwood are breathing easier now that their boardwalk reconstruction is done).
So here's a few things going on:
Nothing says Easter like...fighting! While I'm at Easter Vigil mass on Saturday night, Resorts is hosting a mega mixed martial arts night with at least 20 bouts on tap. There's also wrestling in Wildwood, an event that wraps up on Saturday. And Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall will host "Brawl in the Hall," a fight between Derek "Pooh" Ennis and Ismail "The Arsenal" Arvin for the U.S. Regional Junior Title.
Sheena Easton's at the Atlantic City Hilton Friday, and Big Head Todd & The Monsters are at the House of Blues inside the Showboat.
Jimmy Fallon and Seal are both at the Borgata, also on Saturday. But not at the same time.
The Tropicana will have a special Easter buffet on Sunday. Two Trop restaurants are running deals, too: Carmine's is adding a special rack of lamb to the menu, and Corky's has a $12.95 meal deal.
Get on your Easter bonnet! Ocean City's "fashion" promenade will take place on Sunday at 1pm at the boardwalk music pier.
Cape May's Easter parade starts at 1pm on Sunday at the Washington Street Mall.
Check out the Atlantic City Spring Family Fun Fest on Saturday, which will be held from 1-5pm at O'Donnell Park.
Wildwood's having a free Easter egg hunt on Sunday at 12:30 pm -- well, free for kids 12 and under.
And finally, for your future plans: Caesars is opening a new club this summer called Dusk. Pretty cool, eh?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Beach tag prices in a lot of towns are going to stay the same this year. Bonus: expect more free events, too.
Cape May's Beach Theatre plans on showing movies this summer, but their lease is up.
Wildwood boardwalk improvements are finished in time for Easter Weekend. But not everyone's happy with the use of rainforest wood for the repairs.
Blackfish is opening on Mother's Day weekend in Stone Harbor.
Sway from MTV is going to host a Rock Band competition at Harrah's on May 7.
AC casinos cut 400 jobs last month.
Sad update on a sad story. Don't drink and drive, folks (and I don't know of anyone who feels sober enough to drive after 10 cocktails).
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
This summer is not going to be the year of a lot of openings down the shore, but I do have one to share: Ocean City Seafood is opening another location on Thursday. It's an eat in/take out/delivery seafood place that, right now, is open Thursday through Sunday. After Memorial Day Weekend, it'll be open seven days a week.
Check out more information at www.oceancityseafood.com.
Monday, April 6, 2009
On Friday, I went to Boogie Nights at Resorts and had A BLAST. My peach dress was a hit -- some of the girls working at the club wanted to know where I got it. The music selection was retro, up beat, and fun (though I wondered how "Ice Ice Baby" fit into the 70s mix, but, hey, it was fun). Perfect for groups -- lots of space, and you could either sit down and hang out or dance. I danced. A lot.
Here's a few pictures. How cool was the light up floor!
Yes, that's me and Danny Bonaduce, who at one point took his shirt off, then climbed the light scaffolding. Weird, but he liked my glasses.
BUCKETS! I tried out the coin slot machine and lost $5. But I did get a few buckets as a souvenir.
Before Boogie Nights, I stopped in at the Tropicana's Philadelphia party (which was really a Phillies party but they couldn't say "Phillies"). Voila:
That is the one and only Geator with the Heater, the Boss with the Hot Sauce: Jerry Blavat. He's been spinning golden oldies in the Philadelphia and shore area for decades. Very friendly guy. He had a following, too. They do a very good Bristol Stomp.
Allow me to explain this one: after Boogie Nights, I took the pedestrian bridge from Resorts to the Trump Taj Mahal to check out the Casbah (also fun!) On the way over, I passed these fish. They looked very angry. I wondered why the fish were angry, so I sat with them and pretended to be angry with them. It was silly, but, like the entire evening, fun.
Friday, April 3, 2009
That, ladies and gents, is the dress I will be sporting to Resorts Boogie Nights party tonight. Because there's NO WAY I'm going to a retro '70s/'80s party without looking like my mom circa 1976.
It's not her dress but one I picked up at Sazz Vintage in Philadelphia, a perfect confection of peach sherbet and man-made fabric. I can't wait.
It's a big retro weekend in AC -- as of 2pm today, coin slots are back.
But that's not the only big thing going on in Atlantic City this weekend -- the Tropicana is throwing a Philadelphia party on Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. to celebrate the kick of of Phillies baseball on Sunday. The in-the-casino block party will involve a free, property-wide party and $5 Philly-style menu and drink specials throughout the casino (with proceeds going to the Food Bank).
Of course there's guest appearances: Swoop (6:30–8:30), Philadelphia Cheerleaders (7-9), Fralenger’s String Band (7:30– 10) and none other than DJ Jerry Blavat to spin some golden oldies live in The Quarter (8–10).
I'll be stopping by early in the evening to check things out -- and no, not in the peach dress. Some things should stay in the past -- or at least in a retro dance party. And if I make it out to zee Casbah after Boogie Nights, I will change again. Sorry, peach dress. Maybe if I have you cut short into a cocktail dress this summer...
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Let's get the bad news out of the way: the Atlantic City Surf is no more. The Surf never really caught on. It's sad -- their games were a family friend option in AC.
But I've also got excellent news: as of yesterday, Lucy the Elephant is open for the season! I just happened to be driving by yesterday and saw cars in the parking lot. The folks working in the gift shop were practically giddy. Nothing says happy like a giant elephant, and nothing says silly souvineer like Lucy in a Santa hat. On a nightshirt. That was half off.
Can you blame me? Moving on...
Here's more good news: Forbestraveler.com named Atlantic City a top-ten golf cities in America story. AC ranks 6th to be exact.
Another tax hike for Strathmere? Yikes. No wonder they wanted out of Upper Township.
Looks like the Trop might finally have a buyer.
No more no-dealer poker in AC.
Want a Wildwood shore home? You might want to check out this auction.
Looks like summer rentals are OK, though.
Bank robber caught in Atlantic City!
This looks like fun: new tours in Cape May this year!
AC spas got a great write up in the New York Times.
Could be at least ONE new construction project in Atlantic City.
Wildwood's downtown will be getting a redevelopment grant (sorely needed -- sorry guys, but parts of the downtown scare me).
Hey, thanks for naming this a "Best Blog."
The 30th Annual Great Cape May Foot Race will be on May 16. I wanted to run it last year, but it was the day after my father's wedding, and I had the foresight to realize running at 9am would not be on the top of my priority list. Hopefully I'll be able to go right ahead and run the 10k this year.
And tomorrow was the kick off of a Resorts' retro weekend - coin slots are back, and Boogie Nights bumps on Friday and Saturday. More on that tomorrow...
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Hello from Atlantic City! I'm in town working on a story (of course). Yesterday wasn't that adventurous as I had my head buried in a notebook for most of the day. I did get in a run on the Boardwalk and didn't do too bad (though my legs looked at me this morning and asked me "why?") I also had the absolute best potato leek soup ever at Trinity, which, bargain shoppers, has a great $3 bar food menu. That, combined with the salmon appetizer, was a great meal after a long day.
Speaking of running, I'm going to give these Nike tights that go to the knee a try (though I bought them at the Atlantic City Nike outlet -- no way I'm paying $59!) If I get my act together, I'll take another run down the Boardwalk to test them out, or give it a go in Ocean City. If my legs let me.