Wednesday, December 29, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Yes, the Merion Inn *did* re-open.

There was a fire in Sea Isle, too.

The Jitneys continued to work through the snowstorm. I swear that those things are indestructible.

This Chicago Tribune piece has an interesting tie to Cape May. Here's a direct link to that blog.

And since this is technically a travel blog: I wrote a piece for AOL Travel about gifts for travelers, which ran while I was away. They're all great, but the two to note are Scrabble Flash and SailorBags. I have been bringing Scrabble Flash to bars, and it's PERFECT in that setting. And I'm in love with the SailorBags. I have two, and they will be my shore bags for 2011.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merion Fire

Sad news about the Merion Inn in Cape May: it caught fire on December 23. The blaze broke out on the second floor of the building, and owner Erik Watson had to be flown to the Temple Burn Center.

There's two pieces of good news: First, Eric is expected to make a full recovery. Second, the fire stuck to the second floor, so the restaurant and kitchen were not damaged. They'll be re-opening today. So if you're in Cape May, stop by for a drink. They lost out on two major days for the business - Christmas and Christmas Eve - so they could use a boost.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas from Jen & Em! I'm away next week, so I'll blog you all after the holidays.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Update AGAIN: Keystone Cops in Wildwood & Sea Isle

This just keeps getting more interesting.

Ralph Grassi from funchase.com emailed me about the Keystone Cop that I said was from Fun City in Sea Isle (RIP) but I was then told was a Keystone Cop from Hunt's Pier in Wildwood (also RIP).

Well, apparently both are true. Says Ralph: "You're right about Fun City in Sea Isle once having Keystone Kop figures. I too remember them being there. Years ago on one of my visits to Fun City I saw they had been removed. I asked an employee as to their whereabouts and that I was interested because I knew that the Keystone Kops had originated in the Wildwoods. He went on to tell me that Fun City's Keystone Kop figures had indeed come from Wildwood but wasn't sure what happened to them once they were removed. As fate would have it years later I salvaged many of the Keystone Kop figures and other props from that ride. In fact I restored and donated the two that are now in our Wildwood Museum."

He also makes minis of the Keystone Cops. He's got buckets more information on Wildwood, including photos of the Golden Nugget teardown. Hard to believe that was almost two years ago.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Update: He's a Keystone Cop!


Thanks to everyone who commented and emailed me about this picture. I guessed it was from Fun City in Sea Isle (RIP). But several of you told me you thought it was a Keystone Cop from Hunt's Pier in Wildwood (also RIP).

I emailed Jack Morey of Morey's Piers in Wildwood (they now own what used to be Hunt's Pier), and he said he thought it was a Keystone Cop, too, and pointed me in the direction of Anthony's Mr. Boardwalk to verify. Unfortunately, the email bounced back, but I'd go with Jack's hunch. So thanks everyone for your help!

The Keystone Cop, by the way, is located at Media in Motion, a sign design shop. As far as I know, it's not for sale (sorry, dad).

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For Jersey Shore Brides & Grooms: Wedding Planning

Got an email today that reminded me engagement season is coming (holidays, New Year's, Valentine's Day).

If you are planning a shore wedding and want to ask questions PLEASE FEEL FREE. I don't mind. Hit me up at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Now, I won't plan your wedding for you, but I can help. I've done everything from putting a couple in touch with the right wedding planning people at a casino to finding a kosher deli open in November.

Of course, there's a plug: My book makes a great item for guest gift bags and/or presents to your bridal party, especially if they're traveling in from out of town (c'mon, I had to say it). If you're planning on buying a lot, let me know and I can see about getting you a bulk discount direct from the publisher.

You don't need to buy a ton to get the deal, either - and this goes for anyone who would want to buy in bulk (ahem, Realtors). If you're buying 6-11 copies, it's half off plus fright. For 12-249 copies, it's half off with free freight. The new edition will be out in April - full color! If you want them signed, we can figure that out too...

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland


Oh, how fun that was. I spent the weekend in Cape May for a mini winter getaway. I stayed at Congress Hall, which is doing a bunch of "Winter Wonderland" themed events through December, including running a kiddie sized train around the grand lawn. I almost paid $3 to ride, but by Sunday, which is when I thought about actually doing it, the wind was so bad that the train didn't appear to be running. This photo is of the tree in the Congress Hall lobby. It's nothing compared to the 40 foot tree outside! Tip: if you want a great room, as for a corner room. I was in 432, and got to watch the sun rise from bed. It was stunning.

This is really odd, but I had some terrible service this weekend in Cape May. Exceptions: Congress Hall (of course); the Ebbitt Room, which was offering a $60, four course tasting menu, which is a STEAL there; and the bar at Elaine's Dinner Theatre. I went there to meet a friend and was surprised to find a fabulous old wooden bar inside that you could go to even if you weren't going to the dinner theatre show. This is absolutely going to be added to my must-visit bar list.

The other thing I took care of this weekend was Christmas shopping. I am now done. But check out what I saw while going out to Flying Fish Studios:


This has GOT to be from Fun City, the old amusement pier in Sea Isle City. Of course I forgot to write down the name of the store, which is right next to Flying Fish. So, my Cape May and West Cape May people, what's the name of this place? I MUST find out how they got their hands on this

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Deck the Halls

As promised, here's my story in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about holiday decorating tips from the pros.

I included the Chelsea in Atlantic City and Congress Hall in Cape May because - really - they do a fab holiday display, and the Chelsea reminds me of the engagement party scene in White Christmas. Can't wait to get down there later today...

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Shore Notes - I Heart Emily edition

A few notes to roll you into your weekend:

1. Today is the five year anniversary of when I adopted my sweet sweet Emily. Dog, it's been quite a ride, full of belly rubs, long walks and maybe a few dead bunnies and birds along the way (hey, it's what terriers are bred to do). She's a wonderful dog - and a reminder that if you are looking for a dog, please consider adopting an adult dog from your local animal shelter. She was four (we guesstimate) when I adopted her from the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees. She's been just the right pet for me (and bonus: she was already trained!)

2. I'm going away this weekend, down the shore of course. NO I'm not going to tell you where I'm staying (until the post-weekend post, of course), but there will be a lot of food involved. Dinner at the Ebbitt Room? Yes, please.

3. If you're up at the North Jersey Shore, there's an arts and crafts fair in Manasquan this Saturday.

4. I have an article about holiday decorating in Friday's Philadelphia Inquirer - shore location included!

5. My latest for Aol Travel is about places that have seen a tourism boost because of a movie. ROCKY!!!!!!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Yes, Strathmere is STILL trying to secede from Upper Township.

More on the state's plan to take over part of Atlantic City :::shakes head:::

Will they do something about stuff like this? The Garden Pier, which is home to the Atlantic City Arts Center and Atlantic City History Museum, has been deemed unsafe. If I were a betting woman - which I'm not - I'd be on "no."

Really interesting piece on tear downs - the practice of tearing down an old shore house to build up something that I'd call "monstrous" in its place.

Tony Luke's finally opened in Wildwood Crest (yes, the sign said that it would be coming in summer 2010. Whoops).

Shesh, I'm not finding much nice stuff today: more flat screen TV burglaries from shore homes, this time in Ocean City.

Don't worry, folks. It's still Hoy's, no matter what the sign says.

And a dolphin died in Stone Harbor?! I give up.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

Lucy the Elephant becomes an inn - for one night

Wow. I just got notice that a couple is going to be celebrating their 23rd wedding anniversary at Lucy the Elephant in Margate. "At" is not quite accurate. They're going to be staying in Lucy. Yes, overnight.

The lucky couple are Peter Guttman and Lori Greene. Guttman is a travel author and journalist. Greene is an executive producer of BBCAmerica.com.

Pretty cool. Now, can they do anything about her broken tail?

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All roads lead down the shore

If you listen to NPR's Marketplace Money show, you'd have heard Saturday's edition, which was all about the history of healthcare and its roots in Philadelphia (if you don't listen, subscribe to the podcast. It's free and invaluable).

One of the reports, which you can hear here, is about Philip Physick, a Philadelphia doctor who is called the "Father of American Surgery" (click on the "Surgical Ampitheatre icon).

Name sound familiar? It should. His grandson, Emlen Physick, built the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May. Emlen was also a doctor but, after graduating with his medical degree, promptly moved down the shore for good. If I remember correctly from my Physick Estate tour, he didn't practice medicine in town.

Atlantic City also got a shout out in this report about the history of annual physical, which took a stop at an AMA conference in Atlantic City in 1900.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

A church in Stone Harbor blesses...solar panels.

Convention stats are looking good for AC (which again makes me wonder about an article in a major daily newspaper recently that questioned whether or not AC had enough conventions...um, hello?)

This study says that new legislation regarding Atlantic City casinos and the so called "tourism district" will not stop slumping gambling revenues. Well, duh. This does nothing about the fact that there's increased competition in the area. And this statement that they need to make AC more than just a gambling destination? OLD NEWS. They've been saying this FOR YEARS. But I guess someone had to do something to save face. Harumph.

Not a huge shocker to those of us who cover casinos: Harrah's re-brands as Caesar's.

As soon as I saw this headline, I *knew* the story was about Ann Delaney :-) Fun fact: Ann's given my book to visitors of her house. Apparently, it was very popular with a few German tourists.

Brian Donohue of the Star Ledger is doing a project on which NJ towns should merge. If you don't play along with NJ politics, the sheer number of separate teeny tiny towns that refuse to share services with other towns is a big reason NJ property taxes are so high. I've said to him a few times that absolutely, without a doubt, all four towns that make up the Wildwoods should become one. They are four small towns on one piece of land. West Wildwood is .25 square miles - and has its own fire department! I haven't heard a good argument yet that would make me even consider a reason for them staying apart. If you have one, hit up the comments.

On a non-shore note, my latest piece for AOL Travel is about former banks that have become something else. This topic fascinates me, and that B.A.N.K. restaurant in Minneapolis is one of the coolest buildings I've ever seen. So enjoy.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Jersey Shore Holidays

The Jersey Shore doesn't roll up the welcome matt and lock the front door at the end of summer. The holidays are a busy season. I know a lot of people who continue to go down the shore right through the fall and always have Thanksgiving dinner at their shore homes.

Even if you don't have a shore home (c'mon dad...you keep sending me real estate listing...), there's plenty to do. I'm going on a Cape May weekend getaway in December myself. More on that later. But for now, here's a sampling of what's going on.

Black Friday alert! The Atlantic City Outlets-The Walk is....Every Tuesday and Wednesday through December 22, they'll do free wrapping on up to three gifts at the Holiday Headquarters.

The Quarter at the Tropicana goes out all for the month of December for their Sixth Annual Holiday Spectacular. The highlight - for very silly reasons - is the Running of the Santas on December 11. Yes, it involves the Hooters girls, but the writer in the jeans and tshirt MIGHT be the one asked if she needs a pimp.

The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor is having a Holidays Hoopla on Saturday, November 27 from 9:30am-4pm. They'll have live animal demonstrations, crafts, and offer discounts at the Tidepool Shop.

There is SO MUCH going on in Cape May that my brain can't process all the activities. Do yourself (and myself) a favor and check out everything that the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities has going on, including Christmas Candlelight House Tours, the Mad Batter Beer School and Christmas themed trolly tours.

I just finished writing an article about how to learn from holidays displays at hotels and public spaces to spruce up your space. One hotel I name checked was Congress Hall. Their holiday spectacular kicks off on Friday with their annual tree lighting except this year the tree has moved out of the lobby and onto the grand lawn. It's over 40 feet tall and has a train (yes, big enough for kids to ride) ringing it. The "Winter Wonderland" opens at 10am on Friday with tree lighting at 5pm. Then on Saturdays starting this Saturday through December 18, you can have breakfast with Santa. That'll be $14.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids. Also on those Saturdays - and free - is storytime with Mrs. Clause at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm. You can do holiday ceramics on those Saturdays, too, from noon to four (I don't have a price on those so call to ask if you'd like to know).

This obviously isn't everything that's going on. I'll be tweeting and re-tweeting shore events over at twitter.com/jerseyshorejen through the holiday weekend.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Cape May VIP - Worth it?

The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce announced that it's starting a "Cape May VIP" card program.

The premise is simple: You buy the card, and get discounts at Cape May spots.

I don't know if I'd recommend it just. Twenty bucks seems a little steep considering how few businesses are signed up. Unless you absolutely positively go to some of these places, I'm not sure it's worth it.

This could change as they add more businesses to their roster. Would you use this card enough to make back your $20?

Speaking of discounts - the "New Jersey Resident" program is still working, though you can only get it at the Chelsea in Atlantic City at this moment (Beach Shack is closed for the year). So if you're planning to stay at the Chelsea and you have an NJ Driver's License, make sure to get your 30% off and $30 per day resort card.

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

More on Miss America

I have a weird fascination with Miss America. When I was writing the book, they were in limbo between Atlantic City and Las Vegas, and before their headquarters moved out of the Sheraton Atlantic City, I got the chance to tour their offices which - surprise surprise - were very girly.

That why I'm making a post about this piece in the Press of Atlantic City rather than just putting it in a news round up.

WHY DO I CARE?! WHY DOES ANYONE CARE?!

If you have any insights - or feel the same way - hit up the comments.

Speaking of dressing up, I'm going to the Meridian Gala at Ocean Place in Long Branch on Saturday. No, I will not be wearing a tiara.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Writing for AOL Travel

I picked up a new gig that's just shown its face on the mighty mighty interwebs: I'm now a contributing writer for AOL Travel.

My first piece, which is about using debit vs. credit cards while traveling, went online yesterday.

My next piece is about a topic that I've wanted to write about for a while - and no, it's NOT about the Jersey Shore. I love it, of course, but I've written travel about other areas since I started freelancing. My first piece was about a tea shop in Oxford. That was probably back when I still had an AOL email address. Full circle...

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Boardwalk Empire in the New Yorker

Ben McGrath has an interesting short piece in the New Yorker about fact checking the HBO show Boardwalk Empire.

Can I fact check this? First, Revel is not an unfinished high rise. It's an unfinished mega-casino. Second, Phish at the "old convention hall"? I don't think that's the best way to describe Boardwalk Hall, which is an amazing - and recently renovated - building of its own right.

I quibble, yes. But hey. It's my territory.

UPDATE: I went and wrote a letter to the editor. I doubt it'll run, but at least I had my say.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Winter Wonderlands

Calling all shore folks: I'm going to be writing a post for the week before Thanksgiving of what holiday things are going on in my favorite place in the world. So if you know of something (yes, all two of you PR people who read this site), let me know what's cooking!

Side note: I've been planning two trips for December: one for Washington, DC, and one for Cape May. I've been reaching out for advice on DC. But Cape May? I think I've got that covered :-)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vintage Shore Tees

If you've read this site long enough, you KNOW I love vintage shore stuff. So you can imagine how I feel about these t-shirts being offered by retrophilly.com.

I'm PARALYZED by the options. Do I get the jitney tshirt? Mr. Peanut? Or honor the Anchorage, which is still one of my favorite shore bars? Or SKEEBALL?

Way too many decisions to make at once. At least I have some time before Christmas.

Hat tip to Enrico for the link.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Cape May knitters: click here.

Well, this is good news - spending on things OTHER than gambling has gone up in Atlantic City.

Though this news about the city's credit rating isn't great.

I saw a version of this in London. Hysterical - and in Cape May!

I usually lament "small town politics" when linking to stories about Cape May, but this week, Sea Isle gets in on the action.

So this has nothing to do with Stone Harbor, NJ (it mentions a Stone Harbor Resort) but I had to link anyway because the guy's name IS JACK MONEYPENNY. Awesome.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Resorts gets a revamp

And boy do they need it.

Resorts, which was Atlantic City's original casino, a mismash of the old Haddon-Chalfonte Hotel and gaming, is going retro. They're being re-themed to harken back to the 1920s. Good time to play up on the Boardwalk Empire trend that's going around.

It could be fun, and Resorts could use something new. I've only really gone for the Boogie Nights club nights - which is STAYING, thank God. Maybe this will bring back new life to the original AC casino.

Sorry again for the relative blog silence. I've been adjusting to life as a full time employee, and probably went on shore overload while finishing the book. I'll be back. Promise :-)

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Who's That Girl?

New book means new publicity campaign means new headshots. So here they are:


Is it wrong to say I'm really happen with them? Well, I'm really happy with them. Marc did a spectacular job. Fortunately, we picked a September day that looked and felt like summer.

Next up? New book cover. The design's still being tweaked. I'll post it when I have it.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Pie me

Add this to the list of fun things I've done: I'm judging an apple pie competition.

I'll be at the Collingswood Farmer's Market this Saturday from about 9:30 to 11:30am tasting pies. Well, I'll be sitting and chatting with people, too. I'll bring some books in case someone still wants one (and why don't you have it already?!) Or if you'd like your book signed, come on down.

It's a great time to be at the market, too. Vendors are still bringing in fresh Jersey produce and the apples - oh my goodness the apples. Great place to get your Halloween pumpkins, too.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Atlantic City club update. I haven't been out until sunrise in AC for a while, so this is probably your better guide at this exact moment in time.

Here's a nice piece about AC's Chicken Bone Beach.

WHERE ARE THE FLUKE?!

Update on a new gaming plan for New Jersey, which of course includes Atlantic City.

Interesting article about HBO's Boardwalk Empire in the Wall Street Journal.

For a .25 square mile town, West Wildwood has some political issues right now.

New cheese shop in West Cape May!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Looking back

If you have some time today, check out this page of vintage photos from Strathmere. How AMAZING.

And don't you now really really really want that Strathmere Beach Patrol jacket? I do.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

BOO in Cape May.

Update on the Beach Theatre in Cape May.

Can't say this is a huge shock: warnings of layoffs sent out to Resorts employees.

Like Disney? Head to Stone Harbor this weekend.

This could help a lot of people: signs to the "shortcut" to Sea Isle from the Garden State Parkway. There isn't a direct exit from the GSP coming north to Sea Isle. You can get there by cutting through the rest stop - though it's not marked. Yet.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Southwest Buys AirTran

Word came out today that Southwest Airlines will be buying AirTran.

This could be great news or a disaster for the Atlantic City International Airport. AirTran is a major flier out of Atlantic City. Ever since Spirit Airlines lost its mind and started charging to CARRY ON bags, I along with a lot of other people have stopped using the airport.

If Southwest takes over the routes and keeps flying out of Atlantic City? That would be phenomenal. But they haven't pledged to keep all the routes open. If they leave Atlantic City, the progress the airport has made will be seriously jeopardized.

I hope they stay. It's a good airport. Plus, wouldn't it be fun to see what kinds of ads they'll do for Atlantic City?

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Will the Golden Nugget be coming back to AC? Maybe.

Cape May County's looking ahead to winter and prepping for more storms.

The Sea Isle "lighthouse" is no more.

Cape May convention center. Again.

But where are the pictures of the bachelors from this Cape May event?!?! I hope Exit Zero is on that.

And, finally, HBO's Boardwalk Empire has been renewed for a second season. I watched the premiere on Sunday. It's gorgeous, but I'm not much into gangster shows, so I don't think it'll be a weekly thing for me (and that has nothing to do with HBO telling me I couldn't go to the AC premiere because I'm only a freelancer...)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Photo of a photo shoot


I had my picture taken in Ocean City yesterday, and what a gorgeous day. Not only was it warm, but it was a great sky for the Ocean City airshow. The ocean was way too rough for swimming, but the surf was fun to watch. Reminded me how powerful the ocean was.

When I got onto the boardwalk around two, I thought it was way too hot for pictures. But as soon as I stepped into the shade, it was almost too cool. That's the big difference between summer and fall. It's almost here - glory days down the shore.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Picture Perfect

So you see that picture of me on the left hand side of the blog?

Time for it to say bye bye. It's a good shot, but too wintery looking for a book that most people will read in summer.

I'm having new pictures taken on the Ocean City boardwalk on Sunday. Start time is about 3pm, and we're hoping to set up around Shriver's and the Music Pier. If you have a book you need signed, this is probably the best time to get it done.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Naked Guy

On Friday, I took the day off with one goal in mind: to sit on the beach for the entire day while talking to as few people as possible. Hey, it happens. I needed a day post-book to recharge.

I reached both goals with the bulk of my beach time spent on Higbee Beach.

I love Higbee. Two years ago, I took Emily there every day while on vacation in Cape May. It's a tiny beach on the Delaware, so the waves are small. It's quiet. The only people you'll usually see are locals, other dog lovers and birders.

Higbee also used to be a nude beach. That ended in 1999. Someone on Friday apparently didn't get the memo because he got on the beach, dropped his stuff, dropped his pants, and ran into the water.

Shocking? Maybe. But I was so blissed out on sun and beach that I didn't really care. Plus, he was far enough away that I didn't see the details. When he came back onto the beach, he toweled off, put his pants back on, and left.

I guess he, too, knew exactly what he wanted to do that day.

(Naked dude not featured in photo)

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The End


The book is done, boxed and ready to be mailed. Goodnight everybody!

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News from Around the South Jersey Shore

"Stone Harbor police charge two men with hiding cocaine in pizza boxes." Yes, but But whose pizza boxes did they use?! The travel guide writer needs to know!

Police find a guy in Sea Isle with an air rifle in his car. Jeez, what's going on down there?

It's fall, which means it's time to check in with our birding friends.

A Cape May team won the people's choice award at Saturday's Red Bull Flugtag. I was there. It was awesome - except for the event being billed as a Philadelphia event when it took place in New Jersey. Idiots.

AGAIN with the parking meters. Cape May, I love you. But sometimes you're tedious.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Photo Day

The text of the book is one read through away from being done, so today I'm working on the photos: sorting, editing, captioning. Here's a selection that haven't made it on the blog yet. Enjoy.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

25,000 reasons to run the Atlantic City Marathon

Well, this is an incentive: anyone competing in any Atlantic City Marathon Weekend race - be it the 5k, 10k, half or full marathon - you can enter into a contest for $25,000.

That's CRAZY! And a crazy good (albeit expensive) way to promote a marathon that, last year, changed hands. If you sign up for a race, you'll get your bib with a tab that you drop into a canister from which the winner will be pulled.

If I wasn't going to a friend's wedding that weekend, this prize might prompt me to sign up for at least one of the races, though probably not the half because I'll be running this one on November 6. But hop in a 5k for a chance at $25K. Why not?

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Poor Lucy!


Poor Lucy! Due to an errant wedding tent, Lucy's tail is busted, as I reported on the blog before. Problem is, this pachyderm doesn't have a lot of money and a very high "wind deductible" (no, I am NOT making it up), she hasn't been able to have her tail repaired. I give her handlers props. That white thing on her tail? It's a bandage. Pretty funny, though still sad.

What can you do?

1 Visit. Your entrance fee will help.
2. Eat at Bella Luna, a restaurant that has been set up SOLEY TO HELP LUCY.
3. Help me plan a fundraiser. Seriously. I think I can do this. When the second edition of my book comes out in the spring, maybe I can do a fundraiser at Lucy where all proceeds from book sales will be donated to our favorite wooden elephant. Maybe then we can add something onto that - buy the book and you get 10% off in the Lucy store (those sales ALSO help Lucy). And then maybe a local business (hey casinos! I know you do this!) will match the money raised from book sales. So if I raise $50 from selling books, they'll donate another $50 on top of that.

Do you think that could work? It would sell books and maybe get some more people to Lucy. I have a very Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney "we're going to save the farm" vibe going on here. Maybe it's because I did a whirlwind shore tour this afternoon. Maybe it's because I'm tired from working a day job and writing the book at night. But maybe it could work.

But...c'mon. Doesn't it look fun?

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Hello, Thy Name is Earl

I'm not a meteorologist. I've written about one and dated another, but that doesn't make me a weather predictor, so I can't tell you where Hurricane Earl is going to go.

This picture is a good reference for me right now, enough to say "hey, let's all be careful out there, OK?"

Ann Delaney, who lives very close to the ocean in Stone Harbor, has tips on how to get ready. If you're down the shore today (as I will be - whee!), you must be careful of riptides. Here's a good primer on what to do if you're caught in one.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Update on Storm Chasing

Looks like this is going to be a non-event down the shore. Party on!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Storm Chasing

I'm paying special attention to the path of Hurricane Earl - as all the shore should be. If it's not going to be THAT bad, I might hunker down in Atlantic City on Thursday night to cover and/or watch what happens.

I've sat through two shore hurricanes and one Florida hurricane, so I know that this is no joke. But if it's going to be a tropical storm and I can get a room that's secure? You bet I want to be on the beach for the day after.

How is the impending storm affection your Labor Day weekend plans?

Also, if you're a shore merchant and trying to make up for cancellations of people who are backing because of the storm, let me know and I'll post whatever information I can.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Cape May's in this post - promise.

Home prices in Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic Counties are up.

YAH FOR BUSCH'S!!!!!!!!!!

Hockey's coming to Atlantic City.

Get good deals in Stone Harbor while you can. Ann Delaney gave it a write up too (P.S. to Ann - nice new blog design!)

Say cheese!

Take THAT, Cape May bike thieves!

I think the headline of this one says it all: "Coast Guard rescues kayaker near Cape May after she falls asleep and drifts into marshes."

Cape May's getting a Renaissance Festival.

This isn't about the Jersey Shore, but I think it highlights a huge sector of shore real estate market: vacation homes that are a self-run business.

Last summer, I walked by what remained of the Sea Isle lighthouse every weekend at least twice. It's hard to believe it was actually a lighthouse, and it's in terrible shape. So I don't know how I feel about this. It seems slightly ridiculous, but probably because we'd kind of make fun of the fact that the ramshackle place used to be a lighthouse.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boardwalk Buzz

"It's one of the most visually sumptuous and detailed productions ever shown on the small screen..."

This is one of the great quotes from New York magazine's piece about HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Read the rest of the article here.

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Finally

Remember this? I don't blame you if you don't. It's been a while.

In April 2008, I worked the salt water taffy line at Shriver's in Ocean City for an article into which I then poured my heart and soul.

It never ran. I'd rather not get into why it never ran, or steam might come out of my ears.

I almost sold it to another publication, which loved loved loved the piece, but it didn't fit their schedule since I pitched it to them so late in the summer season. So I tossed it in the archives and figured it would never see the light of day.

Until now. It's going into the second edition of the book - updated and revised, of course.

Writing can be a tricky business. I don't think the essay was bad. I still don't. The fact that another publication seriously considered buying it tells me that, and when the book comes out in April 2011 - a full three years after I wrote the piece - I'll offer it as excerpt to magazines.

I hope you enjoy it - when it finally comes out in April 2011.

Talk about full circle, too. Marc, who took the picture above that was SUPPOSED to run with the story, is taking my new headshot on September 19 on the Ocean City boardwalk. He's been doing great shore work lately, too. Check out his latest photos here.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Man Vs. Food at the Jersey Shore

The Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food is at the Jersey Shore in the episode airing on Wednesday night. They visit three spots at the North Jersey Shore. While I don't mean to bash our northern brothers, I'm annoyed.

This pizza segment is so flat. Yes, those beaches are closer to New York, but they couldn't consider coming to Mac & Mancos to watch pizzas flying around the store and being sauced by the sauce hose? Or down to Wildwood for a Mack's vs. Sam's smack down?

I'm sure the pizza place they visited is great, but it just didn't seem as special or even visually interesting as what we've got down here.

Small quibble. There's some nice stuff in here - the Chicken or the Egg segment is great, and I learned that the kind of pizza we eat down the shore is called Trenton style pizza. I should be happy that they did a nice spot about our beaches. We'll be getting plenty of coverage on next season's Diners, Drive Ins and Dives as Guy Fieri was just filming at George's in Cape May and Quahogs in Stone Harbor.

But, hey, they asked my opinion. Let me know what you think when it airs on Wednesday. Here's a preview.

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Getting there

The book so far. This'll all come together somehow. I hope.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

News from around the South Jersey Shore

Will Busch's live to see another day?! Maybe! (This isn't great news for the owners but wow would I like to keep this one around).

FINALLY. Hopefully more shore towns with dwindling school populations will follow.

KABOOM! Manholes are exploding in Atlantic City.

It's not a news update this summer without something about the Cape May Convention Center.

Ooo, a new train! Well, an old train, but new again.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cookies & Beer?

While on vacation in Sea Isle last month, I was introduced to something that sounds like it would be disgusting: cookies with beer - Entenmann's soft chocolate chip cookies with Yeungling, to be precise. While this pairing doesn't necessarily need to be eaten together down the shore, I was told that something about the salt air (and probably being on vacation) makes this combination taste even better.

Weird, right? But you know what? It's true.

A chocolate chip cookie with a beer shouldn't work, but it does. I can't even explain why. And even though I enjoyed a combo last night of homemade chocolate chip cookie with a Pabst, something about the founding pairing and ocean breezes makes it worthy of beach snack standard status.*

Anyone else ever try this? Or have a weird beach snack that they'd like to share? I'm partial to goldfish crackers and plums.

*This post does not condone drinking alcohol on the beach. I'd never do that. Right.....

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Checking In

Sorry it's been a little quiet around here. I'm plowing through the work that needs to be done on the revision of my book. I'm very happy to report that, as of Sunday morning, the Atlantic City and Sea Isle chapters are done. Well, done except for the final read through I'll do in September. It's nice to put a big, black Sharpee line through them on my "to do list" - and it's not a good Sharpee either. It's one with a tip that's been beaten up through use, so that big, black line is looks mean. I cross you off my list, you town!

So while I start in on Cape May, here are two shore related articles I've written. The first is about a couple in Cape May (with a nice surprise at the end!) The second is about a family in Wildwood Crest. Enjoy!

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Asbury Park App

The creative folks at the Asbury Park Boardwalk have put together a knock out app for the iPhone and iPad. I played with it over the weekend, and as someone who has spent a good deal of time in Asbury but don't live there, it's incredibly helpful. The best part for me is the events listing. Since I don't live nearby, I have to make a special trip up to Asbury, and by scrolling through the app, I can plan ahead.

Here's a video showing the features. Best part? It's 100% free!

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Things aren't looking good for the Borgata these days.

STILL with Convention Hall in Cape May.

Did you know there was a lighthouse in Sea Isle? I did, but only because it would be pointed out to me every weekend last summer on the way to the bar. It's not a lighthouse as you'd think of one, but some folks tried to save it. Apparently, they failed.

Rumor is true: Stockton is buying Seaview.

I scratched my head when I heard this one on NPR. NOTHING about the state takeover of part of Atlantic City? And a glancing mention to corruption?

After getting yelled at by a biker on the Wildwood boardwalk - while I was standing in a non-biking lane - I have to agree with North Wildwood on this one.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rude or genius?

As seen in North Wildwood on Saturday. So, brain trust: is this rude? Or genius?

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress

Today's a good day, folks, for a few reasons:

1. I appeared in a Philadelphia Daily News article about the BS show on MTV and how it's awful. It is the first interview I've given about the subject, and I said what I really wanted to say: ‎"I'm going to throw a party when they're all either bankrupt or in porn."

2. I finished my last major research trip for the book today

3. Three chapters are fact checked, with fact checked information put into the manuscript, which means...three of six chapters of the book are almost done.

PHEW! Oh, and 4. I got to spend a few hours on the beach after the last research trip was done.

Can't forget that last one. Important!

Now here's where I'm going to ask you for some help. New in this edition is a "48 hours" section at the end of every chapter. It's where I will tell you what to do if you only have 48 hours in each shore town. So what are your must dos?

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fictional Me

A few months ago, Terry O'Brien asked me if it would be OK to include a fiction me in his next murder mystery saga to be published in Exit Zero. I said sure, and then forgot about it.

Well, it's out. Enjoy.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

From Martha

Thanks to everyone who listened and called in to Martha Stewart Living Radio! I loved the stories the callers told, and it's nice to talk to people from all over the country who love the Jersey shore as much as I do.

Caller Debbie, if you're reading, please get in touch with me! Debbie grew up in Ocean City and married a Mac & Mancos pizza guy. I'd love to talk to you more and maybe include that story in the second edition of the book, which will come out in Spring 2011.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Tune In

On Tuesday morning, I'll be talking about classic Jersey Shore foods on Martha Stewart Living Radio, which is an XM/Sirius show. I'm scheduled to start yammering at 7:30am. So if you have satellite radio, make sure to tune in on your morning drive!

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scenes from a Jersey Shore vacation


I'm back from the beach. I'm not weeping, but I'm close to it. What a wonderful week - sunny and hot almost every day, with good friends and family around for the week. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I hardly recognize myself in the mirror given how tan and blond I am after a week in the sun.

This didn't start as a work trip, but it will end as one. I haven't done a Jersey Shore vacation since 2006, and this week reminded me WHY this is a vacation destination. I remembered why I fell in love with the region, and what you want to know when you're down the shore for the week. This is exactly what I needed right before I start the sprint to the book deadline. It's going to change the book, in a very good way.

Speaking of change...I'm starting a full time job on Monday. Don't gasp! This is a good thing. It won't affect any shore coverage. It might mean more since I'll have more time freed up to do fun work, not work work. Freelancing has been a challenging and rewarding career, but an incredibly stressful one. So when a great job fell into my lap, I took it - after a lot of thought, but I took it. So we'll see how it goes!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

And the winner is...

....Eric Cortes! I used a random number generator to pick our winner - number 18 was Eric, so he wins the tshirt that will look like the one below:


That's not Eric's t-shirt. That's mine. They gave me one for running the contest. It's on top of the laundry basket that holds my clothes for the next week. On Saturday morning, I am going on vacation. Where? Down the shore. Might not sound like a surprise, but the last time I did an honest to God week down the shore in the height of summer was 2003. I am bringing my computer, but I don't plan on working other than my Saturday morning meeting.

I'll be back on July 24, which is when I'll explain why I've been pretty quiet on the blog. Big changes coming...but good changes.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

CONTEST!

As you may or may not know, I'm a sponsor of the awesome "Jersey Doesn't Stink" campaign, which is out to set the record straight about our lovely Garden State.

As such, I'm running a Jersey Doesn't Stink contest on this blog. Wheeee!

Here's all you have to do: in the comments, post your story as to why you love New Jersey. The winner gets a free Jersey Doesn't Stink t-shirt. (I'll pick the winner through a random winner generator rather than make the decision myself - easier that way).

You have from now until 5pm EST on July 16 to enter. All you have to do is comment below. That's it. And keep it clean folks. Remember, the Marples are reading.

If you tweet your answer, make sure you include @NJdoesntstink (the campaign) and @jerseyshorejen (me) in your tweet.

So go ahead. Tell me why you love NJ.

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

HBO's Boardwalk Empire (series about prohibition times in Atlantic City) will premiere on September 19.

Gambling revenues are down again in Atlantic City.

I'm late to this one, but it's still nutty: P. Diddy's event essentially shut down the Pool at Harrah's over July 4th weekend.

This one's for the birders.

A few Flyers prospects hung out in Stone Harbor.


Who wants to name a snow leopard at the Cape May County Zoo????

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I have the best fans


You guys rock!

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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Southern Comfort

A few people have asked me if the Jersey Shore would pick up tourists this summer from the oil spill in the gulf. Well, here's your answer.

Instead of grousing about how an actual tourism campaign would have brought even MORE tourists here this summer, I'd like to welcome the Southern visitors to our shores. I hope you enjoy. Might I suggest my book as a guide? Also - those guys wearing speedos? They're Canadian. Don't want you to think we're that ridiculous.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Holiday Weekend!


You ready?

This is one of the biggest weekends of the year down the shore. Plus, Monday is an official holiday, making it a long weekend for most folks. I'll be home - we have a big ol' family tradition of invading my uncle's pool and eating all his food. Pool + beer + food + family = awesome in my book.

Oh, and then there's that book thing that's due in September, so I'll be socked away in my Bat Cave for a good chunk of the weekend.

But I did get down to Ocean City today for more research. While my feet didn't touch the sand, I did stop at Mack & Manco's for a slide of heaven (with birch beer, of course. I may or may not have ordered a second slice).

What are your Fourth of July plans?

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Don't try it with the fake IDs, kids.

Sea Isle's got a farmer's market on Tuesdays.

Bless Jack Wright of Exit Zero for sticking with the convention hall issue in Cape May. I'd have bored me to tears. In fact, it already has - and I'm just reading about it.

Putt putt! Side note: my dad and younger brother (who is out the hospital, thank God) nicknamed my high school boyfriend "Putt Putt" because he played golf - all state, if I remember right. But he was never very good a mini golf. Go figure.

The New York Post offers up their Atlantic City recommendations.

Nature Center of Cape May has a new exhibit.

Sure you want to put bars on the boardwalk and extend bar hours, Wildwood?

I want to go to there. I do. I really do.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Be Nice to NJ Week

July 4-10 has been declared "Be Nice to New Jersey Week" by Affinia Manhattan Hotel. For the entire month of July, they'll be offering New Jersey residents 13% off rates, Jersey themed menus and complimentary cocktails named after Joseph P. Rose, a Newark restauranteur from the 1920s.

You can check out the details here.

Of course, every week is Be Nice to New Jersey Week around here, but we'll take all the help we can get.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Draft

Tada! There it is - the first draft of what I'm calling "V2." It's far from finished - I still need to rework the events sections, do on-the-ground research in three towns and write up the new "48 hours" section of each chapter where I'll recommend itineraries if you're spending the weekend in one particular shore town. I'm waiting until I have a roughly finished list of places I'm including to create those. Then there's adding in sidebars gleaned from research done on shore articles for the last three years and new photo lists.

In short: there's still a lot to do. But I feel better about my progress now that I have a structure in place, and I can start expanding from there. I'm light years away from what I call a "hard edit" where I go over every single word and period and line break while reading the chapters out loud. Yes, I said out loud. I catch a lot of errors that way.

I promised myself that I wouldn't work during vacation, but I might just have to. Oh, well. At least I won't have to drive far this time.

Unfortunately, I had to miss Steve's wedding in Atlantic City this weekend. The good news is that my brother could be discharged from the hospital today. What a scary ride. Thanks to everyone who emailed me privately to wish him well.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Big bus crash on the Atlantic City Expressway. These busses scare the crud out of me - be careful if you see one.

New show coming to Cape May Stage.

Birders will be happy about this osprey project.

Out of typical blog coverage range but I'll share it anyway: I wrote a short piece about a house up for auction in Monmouth Beach on Sunday. Got about $3 million in cash to spend? Might be for you.

Sounds like an obvious thing to say: DON'T CAR SURF.

MARBLES!

WINE!

Film series coming to Atlantic City.

Interesting bit here - the headline is "3 portfolio managers drop anchor at Stone Harbor." The Stone Harbor referenced is Stone Harbor Investment Properties, based in Manhattan. Methinks the headline writer is a Jersey Shore fan!

I could make a joke about this, but I'm tired - write your own.

Tired because my brother has been in the hospital since Sunday - he had his appendix removed and is having complications. Any good thoughts/karma/juju you could send his way would be much appreciated.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More to Jersey



Blog friend and good friend Steve Chernoski set out with his camera on Saturday to show more of NJ than what New York lazy media producing reality TV would like you to see.

Speaking of which - Steve's getting hitched on Saturday! I'll be at the wedding in Atlantic City. Expect a full report...

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frugal Finds?

I'm almost ALMOST done the first draft of the book. Whipee! The process has been to take the manuscript from the first edition, tear it apart, put it back together again, then hit the ground for research to make sure the book is as up to date as possible.

This research has lead me to think of adding a "Frugal Finds" section. In each shore town, there's a few out of the way outlet shops that might not look like much from the outside but can be bargain centers on the inside. Some are obvious, like the Walk Outlets in Atlantic City, but some are a little bit tucked away, like the Cape May Linen Outlet in Cape May, and the Attic in Stone Harbor.

Would you find this kind of information, in its own separate part of each chapter of the book, helpful?

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

News from around the South Jersey Shore

Beer pong! (and not just the outside your Avalon shore house kind)

A group called the Happy Seniors had a great time in Cape May. I saw a lot of seniors down there yesterday, and a group of I think Amish folk.

Speaking of Cape May: this again.

CUTE!!!!

Bye, bye Busch's.

Two snow leopards were born at the Cape May County Zoo.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One day sale

The Chelsea in Atlantic City is offering a big sale if you book your room today. The prices range from $49 for room mid-week in June to $179 for a Friday in July or August (no word on prices for Saturday, so I'm guessing those don't change since they're so in demand).

Even that $179 on the high range of this deal is a fantastic deal for a nice spot to stay in July or August. So if you looking to do a shore night soon, jump on this.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Summer Solstice in Atlantic City

On June 26, Atlantic City will host its first Summer Solstice parade at 1pm on the Boardwalk. It celebrates the longest day of the year. It'll start at the Showboat and feature a bunch of floats. I'm tempted to go just to see the Miss'd American entry into the parade.

I'll actually be in Atlantic City that day for a wedding - the wedding of this guy to be exact. The parade starts at the site of their reception. Coincidence? I think not.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

News from around the South Jersey Shore

Newsweek published a big piece about why gambling's taken a hit in NJ.

I don't get why this is a secret beach. Strathmere or Higbee beach, maybe...

Careful out there.

Peter Max is back.

Wildwood, you are going in the WRONG DIRECTION. What are you thinking?!

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Blurb Me

I filled out a bunch of forms this morning that my publisher will use in marketing the second edition of the book. This got me thinking - I should probably put some nice blurbs on there.

The first time around, I didn't have any, but the book earned so much great press that for the new version, we'll print some of those nice words on the cover.

I'd like to get some names to drop good praise on the book, though. This is usually where some recognized authority of the area will say a nice thing about me or the book that I can use to say "hey, please buy this!"

I'm stumped. Suggestions?

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gem of Jersey!

Big thanks to AOL Travel, who named me a "Gem of New Jersey" in a piece that went live on their site this week.

I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do as a gem. As I type this, I'm wearing a circa 1990 MGM Studios Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular t-shirt and sweatpants with "University of Tampa" logo on the leg. I don't think gold eye shadow would quite match.

(And I know that's a picture of Jem with a J - but close enough)

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Boardwalk Empire at BEA


That's me with Nelson Johnson, author Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City at Book Expo America (if I look shiney, I apologize - it was about 9,000 degrees in New York that day).

I interviewed Johnson for a story that, unfortunately, will not be published in its original form. It was written for a magazine of an airline that flew to Atlantic City at the time, but doesn't now. A version of it will appear in the second version of the book, which will come out next year, and I'm probably going to run it on this blog when HBO's version of the book in the form of a TV series debuts in September.

Not sure related, but thiswas the best book I saw at the expo. It's, uh, not for kids.

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Ocean City's Hobo

No, it's not what you think. Hobo was a dog - and he had a great story as part of Ocean City's history. Check it out here.

I came across Hobo's story while working on the Ocean City chapter of the book. Nice to see that a lot of places have added or upgraded their website. It makes the first draft much easier (after this is done, I'll head down and double check everything, look for what's new, what should be cut, etc...)

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jersey Doesn't Stink


I think I'm in love. Please look at this site. DO IT NOW.

I found it on a lark. I'm tracking down who's running this and seeing if this blog, small as it is, can be a sponsor.

Spread the word, people. Someone with some sort of funding and creativity (because we all know how NJ Tourism is on THAT front) is finally stepping to the plate for the Garden State.

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News from around the South Jersey Shore

Somers Point is getting new swanky digs.

Watch out for the casino falcon.

This again?! Jebus, Cape May. I hope that I don't see any more stories about parking meters and/or the Convention Center this week...

Review of Conan O'Brien's Borgata show.

Good good good.

Bad bad bad.

TERRIBLE: Three people set fire to an Ocean City lifeguard boat. Way to go shoobies.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome, Ms. Hathaway

Anne Hathaway has been known to hang around Cape May. Now, mom Kate Hathaway has a role in I Hate Hamlet, an upcoming show at Cape May Stage that runs June 16 to July 17.

We we be seeing the younger Hathaway this time around? Maybe...

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Shore Tunes

Writing of The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May, Edition 2 is in full swing. I'm pulling apart the first edition of the book and shuffling the order of things, rewriting entries, cutting out places that have closed or I don't think are worth mentioning anymore, updating and revising the history portions and marking where I'll need to take photos.

Even though it's technically a revision, this is a lot of work, and I usually can't do this kind of work without some kind of musical background. In the last month of writing the first edition, I listened to Guster On Ice - Live From Portland, Maine 25 times. Yes, 25. In fact, I'm listening to it right now, and turned it on as soon as I set in on revising Atlantic City History, which was my project for the morning.

What tunes do you use to get you through the day? I've used Pandora a few times for a mix, but I'm more of an album person. matt pond PA and Pete Yorn also work for me. What suggestions do you have?

P.S. to Guster. Could you rush that new album along so I can have it by my writing side this summer? K, thanks.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How Was Your Memorial Day Weekend?


That's me taking a break in Clayton Park, NJ, where I went mountain biking yesterday. It's only my second time out. I did not break myself. I consider this a success.

If I wasn't worried about getting caught in shore traffic, I'd have tried to zip over to Asbury Park after the bike ride. Seemed like a nice beach day.

So how did you guys spend your weekend? I ended up working quite a bit, napping, and reading an excellent book that, unfortunately, has some inaccuracies in the chapter where the family goes to Atlantic City.

P.S. To check out pics from the bike ride, check out Garrick Goh's excellent Flickr account.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Jen on Good Day Philadelphia - sort of (plus an orange mohawk)

Hey, here's that Fox 29 segment I referred to in my previous post.



I had no idea they were going to do it - lucky for me a friend saw it and I grabbed the video.

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Are you ready?

Hello new followers! Whether you came here through KYW1060, Philly Burbs or this morning's Fox29 broadcast, welcome. And if you came here from Fox29, how did the blog look on the iPad? I didn't see it - friend tipped me off.

Looks like we're going to have an OK weekend down the shore weather wise. Crowd wise, I'm sure it'll be packed. I'm sticking close to home this weekend, but will be down soon. I got the advance check for the new version of my book. I should probably get on that ;-)

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

We're the Best!

Hey, congrats to the South Jersey Shore. Six of the ten best beaches in NJ were from our section of the state. WOO HOO! Also - Atlantic City Boardwalk was named a best boardwalk by Travel + Leisure magazine.

It's fitting this comes out the day this BS article's published. What they're doing isn't shore towns working together to help each other. It's two counties trying to take the Jersey Shore crown when everyone at the Jersey Shore should be working together. It also shows the massive failure of NJ Tourism not doing its job. How can they let them do that?

I love all the beaches, but I hate how those two counties are trying to push out everyone else.

Sorry guys. You are not THE Jersey Shore. We all are, and we've got the best beaches. You need us. Won't you stop pretending that we don't exist?

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where to Watch the Stanley Cup

The Flyers have so nicely interrupted Memorial Day Weekend schennagins by going to the Stanley Cup. Game 1 is on Saturday, so here's my recommendations of where to go down the shore to watch the game:

Atlantic City
Game On! Most TV screens, hands down, plus usually a great and fired up bar crowd.
Firewaters. I love this place. Smaller, but they have 101 different beers, so you can sample around the world as you watch the Flyers CRUSH the Blackhawks. If it's too crowded, you can always pop over to Hooters, which is across the hallway, or up to Adam Good Sports Bar (all three are inside the Tropicana)

Margate
Maynard's. Great vibe any time, and I'm going to guess that the outside area will be open this weekend. It'll be rocking on Saturday. I've also been told that Robert's Place is a good bet, though I've never been.

Ocean City
Haha, just kidding.

Somers Point
The Anchorage. I watched some of the Olympics here. Great place to be, lots of screens.

Strathmere
The Deauville. If it's nice, you can sit outside and still watch the game. I've seen a few Phillies game here. If you're on Foursquare, check in here - they have specials.

Sea Isle
La Coasta. I'm not picking the OD because I think it'll get too crowded too fast with people who won't care about the game. La Costa has plenty of space and a big bar.

Avalon/Stone Harbor
The Princeton. I went back and forth on this one for the same reason I waivered about the OD. The question is: will they be charging cover at 8pm? I don't know. If they are, give the Windrift a try.

Wildwood
Owen's Pub. Not as insane as some of the other North Wildwood bars, and with plenty of TVs.

Cape May
Cabana's. Yes, there is a fun, down and dirty bar in Cape May. More spacious than the Ugly Mug, though that's a fine option, too.

Where will you go?

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Memorial Day Run Up

Hey, it's almost here! Summer 2010, which will start on Friday - at least in shore season terms.

I'm not going to be there this year. Why? A few reasons. I'm away two days this week at Book Expo America (Wheeee! It's fun). I have stuff to do here, and to be honest? I'm not a big fan of the OMG IT'S FINALLY SUMMMMMMERRRRRR crowd. Call me cranky, but I do most of my research during the week when I can find parking spots and not sit in traffic.

Of course I'm jazzed for the start of the season. What are you looking forward to?

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Dogs on Board!

I have a piece in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about dolphin and whale watching down the shore. If you've read my book, you know that I love whale watching. You also know that I got sick the first time I went. That was short lived. I try to go once a year now.

I learned something new in researching this piece - you can bring you dog on at least one dolphin watching boat. I have not brought Emily aboard...yet.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

News from around the South Jersey Shore

The Claridge is getting a makeover.

Oh, this again.

Interesting use for trollies in Cape May.

Wildwood has to cut its school budget. So does Wildwood Crest. Hey guys - you wouldn't have this problem if you merged. Your town are ridiculously small. If property taxes are such a concern, why do you need to have separate school boards and - to look at the bigger picture - separate governments? Ugh. I'm having one of those days where I wish I didn't know so much about NJ politics.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Shore 2010

New Jersey Monthly's annual shore issue just went live, and should be available in stores soon. If you love the shore as much as I do, or you want to learn more about it, I urge you to get yourself a copy. It's my favorite issue of the year to work on. It's pretty, too, if that helps.

I wrote two pieces for this issue:
1. Stay in Style. It's a feature on cool places to stay down the shore, and I was part of a team that wrote this one. I covered many of the southern spots - The Chelsea (Atlantic City), Golden Inn (Avalon), Starlux (Wildwood), Caribbean (Wildwood), Sandpiper (Cape May) and the Beach Shack (Cape May).
2. A Swampy Phosphorescence. This is about that super cool and super secret new ride in Wildwood. An update as to what it is will go online on June 1.

**UPDATE** I wrote THREE pieces. Whoops. Check out some NJ-related summer reads here.

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This is the World's Largest Elephant



If you follow me on Twitter, you know I put on quite a campaign to get Alex & Luke, two Canadians driving all over North America, to come to New Jersey (because, you know, THEY don't have their act together to do such a thing).

They spent Mother's Day Weekend in Atlantic City and, before they left on their next adventure, visited Lucy. Catchy song. I'm glad they had a good time!

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