Monday, September 28, 2009

Trouble for the Atlantic City Marathon

So so sad for people on a training program for it: The Atlantic City marathon has been postponed, and looks like it's to be cancelled.

If you were training for that marathon -- oh my gosh, I want to give you a hug. I've never trained for a marathon, but I'm working on my half marathon training, and if the race was suddenly dropped? I'd be devastated.

If you were training for it, what are your plans now? Run the LBI 18 mile run on October 11? Switch to another marathon? I was hoping to hop into the 10k that day, but now I'm stuck.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bye, Bye Beach Theatre

Some unsurprising news out of Cape May: the Beach Theatre is going to be demolished -- and soon.

I wrote about efforts to save the theatre for Preservation last year. Read up on the old movie house here.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Book Sale

On Saturday, I'm running the Collingswood 5k. Since the library is involved, they've asked authors running the race if they wanted to sell books post-finish. I of course said yes.

If you haven't gotten the book yet or want to buy one as a gift, this is probably the best time to buy. First, I'll sign it. Second, I'm selling them for $10. Yes, $10.

Here are the details about the race. I'm not running my fastest these days, so I guess I'll finish in around 25 minutes, then be ready to sign. Hope to see you there!

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Happy Birthday, Boss

See you at the Spectrum in October.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bad news for the Pier Shops at Caesars

Word out today that the group that owns the Pier Shops at Caesars is writing over $100 million off the value of the property and will stop subsidizing the stores.

This is a major blow to the property, and the city. The Pier Shops has been held as a glittering example of the new Atlantic City. I tell people about it. It's fun, but it has not lived up to its proclaimed potential. I'd heard rumblings of trouble before, and they first spouted out in April when Stephen Starr sued the owners and landlord of the Pier about a deal that brought him to open two restaurants there.

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Monday, September 21, 2009


I'm just back from Minneapolis where I ate a lot of cheese, took a lot of pictures, drank a lot of local beer, and slept in every single day I was there. Except today -- I had a 4:45 a.m. wake up call so I could catch my flight home (which I did, just barely).

I know it's not sure, but it did involve a river, so I'll post pictures soon.

Until then, two food notes:

1. John and Lisa of that great food blog are running a contest having to do with LBI's Chowder Fest. Go go!
2. The Pier Shops at Caesars is having what looks like a fab wine event on Friday. Details here. I'm so very tempted to go, but I'm running a 5k on Saturday morning. And how could I turn down a chance to be part of this?

They're also doing something special with authors running the race, and I'll be selling books after the run. So if you still haven't grabbed a copy, come on down!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

The Atlantic City airport's doing well this year. I'm happy for it, but I just hope it doesn't lose it's small airport charm. I'm serious about that -- I love flying out of AC when I can, usually to Tampa.

Headed to Cape May? It's food & wine festival time.

Sounds like the plot of a Shakespeare comedy.

This is pretty funny. I ate at this restaurant this summer and was bummed by the blocked view. Storm took care of that.


This isn't good -- wind blew glass off the new Revel casino project in Atlantic City.

The Boston Globe goes to Cape May.

Did a Wildwood meter man take the meter money?

Wildwood's having "Rowdy House" hearings on Friday. That's their title, not mine. Seriously.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Say hello to my little friend

Meet iJen, the latest member of the "Down the Shore with Jen" team. I've wanted one for a while, but couldn't justify the cost. Then, I got horribly lost in North Jersey on Saturday and nearly blew an important interview, so it was either buy a GPS or just get the iPhone. I chose the latter.

I'm hoping this will provide more immediate reporting, and I won't have any of those "I wish I had my camera" moments. Granted, my camera's better, but this one will always be with me. I'll also feel less anxious leaving the office behind when I'm on the road, which I hope will be a nice change (rather than me becoming addicted to connectivity, which would be a bad change).

The real test will be Thursday when I fly to Minneapolis for the weekend to visit Bill. For the first time in a long time, I won't be bringing my computer with me. Will iJen be up to snuff? We'll see.

(And, yes, I am wearing a Donald Duck circa 1985 t-shirt in this picture. REPRESENT.)

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Friday, September 11, 2009


I went to Long Branch today to work on a story involving Pier Village. After the interview, I headed closer to the water to grab some lunch. Today was the windiest I've ever experienced at the Jersey Shore. I had to walk sideways to stay upright, and even put on my parking brake to keep my car from swaying while parked.

I like the shore in storms, but yikes it was a windy one today.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away

I'm headed to Long Branch this morning to work on an article. I had hoped for a sunny day so I could stroll a boardwalk or something. Doesn't look like it's going to happen -- it's cold and raining outside.

I don't know what to do on a rainy day at the beaches north of LBI. Suggestions?

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spam, ma'am

If you got a funny email from me offering you a laptop, please ignore it. My email account was hacked. My apologies.

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News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Good news for Revel, what will be a new casino in Atlantic City.

Ocean City's casting a wider net for visitors.

Shore residents say "bye, bye, shoobies."

More on that old home in Stone Harbor being torn down.

SO GLAD I did not go to this (and, yes, I was invited).

Once again, it's birding season!

This I didn't know: seven shore towns have laws that say it's illegal to eat on the beach.

Said it before, and I'll say it again: DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More on the Chelsea

Why did the Chelsea associate itself with this? I mean, really. It's not even a GOOD rap video. The cash at the end? Ugh.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Starr Leaves the Chelsea

Bad news for the Chelsea: Stephen Starr is leaving the building.

Can I say that I'm not surprised? Well, I'm not. While Chelsea Prime got great reviews, Teplitzky’s was a mixed bag. I said it before, and I'll say it again: I do not think the nightlife plan put in place for this summer was a good idea. I think it alienated a lot of people from the Chelsea, which is truly a beautiful hotel, and out from the restaurants. Would you want to have a nice steak dinner next to this? (scroll down to "The crowd at the Cabana Club was, um, interesting...")

It didn't fit. Still doesn't. I haven't been back since late June.

Hopefully this will be a wake up call for the Chelsea to go back to what seemed to be the original plan for nightlife: an upscale bar experience, not butt dancing and bottle service. It won't bring Starr back (and, to be fair, he seems to have lost is interest in AC overall), but it'll be a start.

The Cape Resorts team certainly has the tools to make this happen: the Blue Pig Tavern and Ebbitt Room are superb locations, and I'm liking the Rusty Nail. The Brown Room? A knock out bar that I recommend to everyone who visits Cape May, and what seemed to be the goal of the Game Room, which is what the entertainment area of the Chelsea was originally called.

If they can bring THAT experience to Atlantic City, I think these spaces, no matter who manages them, will do well. Use the fall and winter as a transition season, re-group and start again.

I like the Chelsea. I think it's needed in AC. I hope that this change, whatever PR smear it leaves, is a place for them to start from again.

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Romancing the Realtor

Disclaimer: I don't know this real estate agent. I've never called him, emailed with him -- I haven't even seen his signs. But an ad for his agency popped up in my gmail account, and given my interest in the subject, all I could think of is this:

Doesn't Dustin Laricks sound like the name of the hero in a romance novel?

He sorta looks like one, too. And the picture with the pup? PRICELESS!

So I turned to all-things-romance-novel expert, Sarah Wendell, to tell us what kind of romance novel hero he'd be based soley on the name.

Her analysis: "He's totally a low key guy, utterly secure and quiet, almost beta in quality, until you see him with a little kid or working with an indecisive couple or even mowing his lawn and you get a shot of bicep or a hint of his smile and PFFT. You're done. Sneak up and smack you silly with the romance, that one is."

Dustin, if you're reading, I say this all in good fun. You have a good site and a good blog, too. And, hey, the google ad worked!

**UPDATE** Dustin's wife responds! Check out the comments!

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End of Summer Mixtape

The folks at asked me to do an end-of-summer mixtape for them. Click here to check it out! You might be surprised at what I chose.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Asbury Bike Ride

On Sunday, my dad and I hitched our bikes to the back of his car and drove to Asbury Park for a bike ride. I also strapped a camera to my waist in a belt bag -- NOT A FANNY PACK as my dad joked. Laugh all he wanted, but I got some good pictures. And it's really called a belt bag. Stop laughing.

From inside Convention Hall:

Candyteria on the boardwalk:

I wore my Garmin Forerunner 405, a running watch with GPS, on the ride, so here's a map of where we rode:

Bikes are allowed on the Asbury Park boardwalk until noon -- not 10 a.m. like I thought. Also, I love my road bike, but for boardwalk cruising? Not the best ride, but I managed.

After our ride, we headed down to Ocean Grove for brunch at Nagle's. Hi dad!

I love the old signs, too:

On a sad note, Kitch & Kaboodlein Ocean Grove is closing. I bought a great double boiler for $3 at the closing sale, but I always liked that store.

I brought my bathing suit, but it wasn't a great beach day -- windy and a bit cold, so we headed home. I ran 5 miles (at a 8:37 min/mile pace -- SUCK IT, SHOULDER SURGERY), then spent the rest of the day on the couch watching Law & Order marathons.

It's gloomy out today, and even though I can detect some lingering humidity, it feels like summer's on the way out. I'm hoping for a few more heaters, though, so I can bring Emily down the shore (No beach tags! And no one yelling about my dog!) I'm probably going up to Long Branch later this week to work on a story, so my shore season definitely isn't over. I'm realizing this year that it's never really over for me -- I'm always writing about it. It's just the season that changes.

If I could re-do the summer, I'd have spent more time on the beach. I might have scheduled my surgery for the fall or spring so wouldn't have lost a month of shore time, but at least it's out and gone.

What would you have re-done about the summer? Or, for a positive spin: what will you do different next year?

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

End of Season

Yesterday morning, I was in Cape May to work on an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer. After, instead of going right home, I hit the beach in North Wildwood and hung out with a few friends (Bill left for Minnesota yesterday, so I figured I could take some time off).

Cape May seemed busy, but I didn't go too deep into town. But North Wildwood? DEAD. Sure, people were on the beach, but the streets were empty, I had no problem finding a parking spot, and most of the bars were closed -- not that I was looking to get bombed, but our group did want to have a post beach drink. We ended up at Keenan's, which was practically empty.

The reason? School's started in some areas, plus Labor Day is as late as it can be this year. It doesn't feel like summer anymore, either. I had a t-shirt on by the end of my beach stay, and it was downright chilly last night.

I know I herald the start of fall, but I wish I'd had more summer this year. Personally, summer went all over the place between surgery and Bill leaving. I feel like I lost a month or two. But I'm glad I got some beach time yesterday -- when the clouds passed, it was toasty warm.

It should be a beautiful weekend, and I'm guessing the beaches will be packed. Dad and I settled in Asbury Park for our bike ride (which will be more town than boardwalk). We'll get in that one last breath of summer.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Best Boardwalks

Forbes Traveler named Atlantic City as having the Boardwalk with the best arcades.

Now, notice that this isn't a best boardwalk list -- best boardwalk arcades (Wildwood, Ocean City, Seaside Heights and Point Pleasant are on the list, too, in that Jersey order).

We could argue endlessly which beach has the best boardwalk because there's so many criteria we could use: arcades, rides, food, family friendly, beach bars, even peace and quiet (hi Avalon!)

I've been thinking about boardwalks this week since I'm going boardwalk bike riding with my dad on Sunday. We haven't picked which boardwalk yet. I'm leaning toward an all-over-town ride since bikes are kicked off the boardwalks mid-morning. Asbury Park has a Bike Church, and we are riding on a Sunday...

If you had to pick, where would you go?

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Happy September!

Happy September! I love the fall, especially down the shore. Yes, I'm a little sad that I didn't get too much time on a hot hot beach but it's so much easier to move around when the temperature drops off a bit. You?

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