Monday, May 4, 2009


On Friday night, I was hunkered down at the bar of Daddy-O in LBI, interviewing patrons about why they go there. Regular readers of this column know that LBI is generally north for me since the blog has traditionally focused on the South Jersey Shore. That's about to change.

This year, I was asked by several magazines and newspapers to write articles about the entire Jersey coast. Of course, I obliged. I'd explored much of the northern part of Jersey's Coast last spring, summer and fall, and I made trips back to check things out this winter. As much as I don't like some smarmier towns at the shore (you can fill in the blank there), I grew to love towns like Sandy Hook, Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and, yes, LBI. It wasn't a prejudice against northern beaches that kept me away. My book was about the Southern part of the shore, and I write for Philadelphia markets, so that's where my focus stayed.

I'm not abandoning that southern bent, but I'm going to stretch, especially in weeks to come. I'll be up on northern shores this weekend, and roaming around the area for the same reason I was interviewing people in a bar in LBI on Friday night: work. It might not be as fun as it sounds talking to quasi drunks in a bar, but it's a living, and I'll take it. Stretching's good for you, right?

Oh, and my Daddy-O tip: Make sure both headlights are working properly when exiting the bar. I made it about three blocks before an officer pulled me over. I had this happen in Avalon, too. Shore cops are vigilant, and anything wrong with your car can be a red flag. He let me go without a ticket (as did the officer in Avalon -- I wasn't drinking, which they have to be looking for, and I have a clean driving record), but make sure you learn from my lesson and make sure your car's in tip top shape before heading down -- or up -- the shore.

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The JerseyNut said...

Discovered your blog via Twitter...think it's funny that LBI is "north" to you. I'm in Old Bridge, which is pretty east-central, and LBI is still about 90 miles south of me. OF course, there is still 60-odd miles of parkway to go before you hit Cape May...

Meanwhile, my friends who live near the GW bridge call me South, and LBI is the "deep south". And yet to some (like you), it's still considered too north to be south.

Funny state. Wish taxes were lower, though.

Jen A. Miller said...

JerseyNut - Ah, the age old question of where the line is. You will love this blog:

Though I think we can all agree on the tax issues!

John and Lisa Howard-Fusco said...

Very cool. If you ever want to get together around our neck of the woods, let us know. - John

Rob Wilson said...

Well it's about time!!!!! It was the only thing your blog was missing (IMHO) was LBI info. I will be down there (up there for you) memorial day weekend (sister has a house there) LBI Rocks...and don't forget about one of the most requested beach portrait photographers in LBI! err shameless plug

I enjoy your blog, great job on it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen!

Have you ever checked out Atlantic Highlands? It's very charming and kitschy. I know you like to vintage shop and there is a great store there - Vintage Variety. Some great restaurants and The Flakey Tart, my fav bakery ever.


Jen A. Miller said...

Rob - Ha, I know how you feel about LBI. The thing about the blog -- and has always been about the blog -- is that it's a 'volunteer' effort, so it dovetails with whatever I'm covering. No assignments in LBI? No blogging. But I'm glad that's changing and I have the chance to write more about the entire shore, both for publication (e.g. $$!) and the blog!

Dani - I have not! I look forward to it, though!

John - When you admit that you're in central jersey, maybe ;-)

RickW said...

I really am clueless about the beaches north of Atlantic City. I was Barnegat Light years ago, but that's about it.

Cool blog.