Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 42: It's Turtle Season

If you are driving down the shore this week, PLEASE BE CAREFUL. It's egg laying time for the terrapins, and they cross the roads and causeways to get from point A to point B. If you see a turtle, please slow down or, if it's safe, help the turtle across the road. I was in Strathmere this time last year and spent a good 15 minutes just helping them along.

This is a crucial time for the terrapins, and no matter now many good citizens help, a lot will be killed. If you see a dead turtle on the side of the road, you can still help - the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor can harvest their eggs and hatch them at the Institute. Here's a website with more information.

Just wrap the turtle in a towel that you don't care about because they will still bleed after they RIP.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 41: The Ocean City Music Pier is a Great Rest Stop

Need a break while making your stroll up or down the Ocean City Boardwalk? Take a stop at the Ocean City Music Pier. Not only does it have bathrooms (a BIG plus if you've been on the beach all day), but it also has shaded benches on a pier over the sand, and it has a tourism office as well. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: if you're looking for deals, always stop in the shore town's tourism center. They'll have coupon books with discounts on food, rides, shops, and just about anything you'd spend money on down the shore. It's a cool place, too, built in 1928.

The Ocean City Music Pier has events as well, and is usually the location of Ocean City events.

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

She's Here!

So remember when I said that the book wouldn't be out until June? Guess what: She's now shipping from BN.com and Amazon.com!

The Nook version is also available, but I'd hold off on Kindle - right now it looks like the Kindle version is still the first book.

I'm also going to be doing a signing in Avalon on Thursday night - more details on that later this week.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 40: It's Summer!

Grab your bathing suit, your suntan lotion, and your best iPod mix. It's shore time.

Today isn't really the first day of summer, but for a lot of us, this kicks off our summer - and shore - season. Sure, the ocean's probably too cold for swimming. And the kids still have to go back to school on Tuesday. But you can feel it. You can almost taste it, too, if you're yearning for Mack & Mancos.

The forecast is hot and humid, so expect EVERYTHING to be busy. So good luck. Keep your patience, even if you're stuck in that backup on the AC Expressway. You're getting there.

I met up with reader Dina this morning to give her a copy of my book. She's from California and new to Philly. She and her husband and heading down the shore for the first time. I hope they have as great an experience as you guys who have been going down every summer since you were born.

Have a great weekend.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 39: Two Atlantic City Classics Team Up with Casinos

I've started doing media interviews in connection to the book, and the first question every asks is: What's new down the shore this year?

The most interesting thing to me has been traditional Atlantic City restaurants joining up with casinos. As far as I know, this hasn't really happened before.

First up: White House Sub Shop. I have waxed poetic about this hoagie place many times on the blog, and in print. As of yesterday, they opened up a spot inside Trump Taj Mahal. That's a boon to people who don't want to drive out to the original spot (though I HIGHLY recommend it).

Second: Harry's Oyster & Seafood Bar is opening up at Bally's in June. This is from Frank Dougherty of Dock's Oyster House and, as he told me while interviewing him for Edible Jersey magazine, he sees this was what seafood places in Atlantic City used to be, which was good, fresh and not over the top expensive.

Frank also talked at length about how the dining scene has changed in Atlantic City, especially post-casino era. That article will be out shortly in the summer issue of Edible Jersey Magazine. I'll put up a link when that article's available online.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BEA: Salt Water Taffy Edition

Yesterday, I hit up Book Expo America, the largest publishing conference in North America. I've gone to BEA for the last five years, but as a journalist looking for story ideas. This was the first time I went as an author.

(Sorry for the not great picture. My publicist is great at what he does, but is not apt at taking iPhone photos - hi Tom!)

The 50 books my publisher brought with him were gone in under a half hour. And what a half hour! I only had one person make a snarky Jersey Shore comment, and after talking to him about the region for two minutes, he took a book. Some of you blog readers found me, as did my Twitter friends (hey guys!), but what was really nice were the people who were about to breeze by, and stopped when they saw the four boxes of salt water taffy. I could see the switch of nostalgia flip on in their brain. "I haven't had this in years," said one woman from California. And of course she took a book.

I couldn't have asked for a better day, though it was an exhausting one.

Reaction so far has been fantastic. I'm mailing out about 20 books tonight, too. If you'd like a signed copy, let me know and I'll arrange on getting one to you (they're only $20 and make great Father's Day gifts)

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 38: Revel is Scheduled to Open May 15

The CEO of Revel Entertainment announced yesterday that the new casino will be open on May 15, 2012.

Can I file this under "see it when I believe it?"

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 37: "A trip to Atlantic City" was part of the bin Laden plan

This is interesting: According to the Wall Street Journal, "A trip to Atlantic City" was a code phrase used to describe the planned mission to get bin Laden.

I cannot make this stuff up, folks.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Expo America Book Signing

For anyone going to the Book Expo America conference: I'll be signing copies of my book on Tuesday at 11am. I'll be at booth 3424. AND I WILL HAVE SALT WATER TAFFY.

If you're not going to BEA, sorry to clog up the blog feed :-)

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 36: Gunnison Beach is still a nude beach

Given all the chatter this fact of the day stirred up, it's only right to dedicate a post to a New Jersey beach that is still for the nekkid: Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook.

I have never been there - I've only been to the non-nude beaches of Sandy Hook. In the same shore issue for which I wrote about Higbee, New Jersey Monthly wrote up Gunnison.

The write up is good, but even better? This blog post by Colin Archer of Agency New Jersey on his assignment to photograph that story.

Can you blame him?

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

How you get here

Every week, I peek into my stat counter to see how the site is doing (hi Ocean City Patch readers!) The keywords people use to find the site can be surprising, informative and hilarious. A sampling, with commentary:

do people go to jersey shore before memorial day (yes, they do)
back roads from philadelphia to avalon nj (you're welcome!)
bed and breakfast cape may nj yappy hour (that would be the Billmae Cottage)
the diving horse gay club (Diving Horse is in former location of Club Tru)
tram cars atlantic city (no, they're in Wildwood. Sex and the City is not always accurate. Shocker, right?)
john bolaris south beach (I'm not even going to go there)

So, weekend readers, how did you find this blog?

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Friday, May 20, 2011

My Shore Backroads

In today's Philadelphia Inquirer, I shared - finally - my Jersey Shore backroads. Turns out they're a lot more serpentine than what most other people follow.

I debated about whether or not to do this story. Should I share? Will it make these routes more crowded? I doubt it'll make a huge difference. Also, I rarely take backroads anymore because I don't drive down or back from the shore in the weekend prime time hours. The beach can be really pretty when you get there at 7am.

The original draft for that story, by the way, had this intro: "When I tried to write down my Jersey Shore backroads, my notes included phrases like 'past the car dealerships,' 'that farm stand with the peaches,' 'that graveyard' and '666.' I couldn’t name one road except for Route 42. That’s because my backroads, which run from Bellmawr to Clermont, N.J. (right outside of Avalon, N.J.), were passed down from my parents, who got them from my grandparents. Anthony and Elizabeth Verzella started their annual treks down the shore before the Atlantic City Expressway opened in 1964, and before the Garden State Parkway finished in 1957."

I wouldn't normally post that, but I liked that bit of the story that didn't make the cut.

I also have a piece in that same issue about bay-side delights. You can read that here.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 35: The Hoff will be at the Pool at Harrah's on Saturday

Yes, really. Thank you, Harrah's, for the opportunity to post that clip.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 34: Hoy's 5&10 turns 75

Happy Birthday, Hoy's 5&10, the best "we have everything you need" at the South Jersey Shore. Seventy-five is a good long life - with many more years to come. I hope. Please?

And does anyone remember the water ice/snow cone set up that used to be at the front of the Stone Harbor 5&10? I didn't dream that, did I?

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

New Jersey shore towns are shrinking.

This is horrifying. It's not hard to guess what shady stuff can happen at casinos, but this...this is just awful.

Trump name removed from Trump Marina. I must have just missed this since my room at the Water Club gave me a view of Trump Marina.

Oh no! Ted Prior, the Elvis impersonator who was usually at Ocean City events, has died.

Wildwood is once again trying to jump start the downtown district.

Allegedly, the casinos are not enforcing smoking laws (I still think it should be banned entirely. Gross).

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 33: Spots still open at Tri for our Veterans

Triathletes! Spots are still available for Sea Isle's Tri for our Veterans, which takes place on May 28, the Saturday of Memorial Day. You can sign up for the full tri, which is a sprint tri, or the duathaon.

Money raised from the tri benefits the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and Sea Isle City's VFW Post 1963. It is also a lasting testament to the work Matt McCulley did in raising funds to help those who served our county. He was not a vet himself but said, "I have only one goal: to give something back to the veterans who have fought in our previous battles and those who fight in today's wars."

I think about Matt almost every time I'm down the shore. He is sorely missed. So if you have a slot in your race calendar, sign up for this one.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

She's here!

Not going to lie. I hugged her.

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Cape May, Atlantic City, and all the places in between

Just before I left for Cape May on Friday, my publisher's publicist emailed me to say that he was holding a copy of my book in his hand. My reaction? "GIVE IT TO MEEEEEEE" (we get along, if you can't tell). I should have a copy today (?) or tomorrow.

So it was fitting, then, that I hit most of the towns in the book this weekend.

The trip didn't start out on the best foot - literally. On Friday morning, the dude broke his toe. This meant, we thought, no running for him, and no real walking around. So instead of driving right down to Cape May, we stopped first in Sea Isle, and I took him on a short bar tour (where I did not drink, of course, since I drove).

First stop: Dead Dog Saloon. This is one of those old, worn in bars that's packed in season but a cozy place before the summer madness begins. The second floor was closed. The Phillies game was on. I think everyone at the bar were Sea Isle friends, most reuniting for the first time since they shut down their shore homes last year. Two of those groups asked us where our Phillies gear was from (Spring Training). Very chill and relaxed crowd, which will change soon as people pack both floors of the place. If you do eat there, get the nachos. I am sad to report, though, that the women's bathrooms no longer have ash trays in the stalls. No one smokes in there, and I don't support smoking (duh, I run), but it was one of those old throwback details I liked. Ah well.

Then we hit the OD, simply because the dude had never seen the place. It was pretty empty with a younger crowd around the bar. The bartender and I tried to explain what the place looked like during the weekly No Shower Happy Hour parties. A bit hard to do without jamming a couple hundred more people in there.

Next it was south through Avalon to the Concord Cafe, which sits right on the Avalon/Stone Harbor border. I thought it would be busy but not as jammed as it was. We had to wait 20 minutes for a table, but it was worth it for those buffalo cheese fries. Our bill with alcohol came to just over $25. Another reason this place is so popular. A very high recommendation.

Then it was onto our final destination: The Beach Shack in Cape May. Friday was the first night they were open for the summer season, so let's consider some of the oops to be first night jitters. They put us in a room next to the Rusty Nail, which is a great bar, but not exactly what you want to sleep next to if you have a 10k in the morning (if you book here, make sure you ask to stay in the building away from the bar if this is a concern). They were great in moving us, but the room we moved into was very musty and dank. Again, I imagine it's because it was the first night and not everything was up and running yet. I still think it's a great property, and it needed to stretch a bit to be really ready. I zonked out as soon as we got into the new room, so it served its purpose.

Then the 10k, the Great Cape May Footrace. When I came back from Wawa getting pre-race food (hash browns) and fuel (coffee and gatorade), I opened the room door to see the dude lacing up his running shoes. He was just going to test how it felt.

Well, testing lead to actually running the race, and he swears he felt fine. The 10k course is flat with a lot of twists and turns through the more residential area of Cape May with a trip through Coast Guard housing. It doesn't go through the heart of Cape May, so if you're looking for a scenic run, this is not it. But after recent obscenely crowded races (Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Broad Street Run), hilly races (Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon) and insanely windy races (Asbury Park Half Marathon), this course was a nice change. Kudos to John Cooke, president of the Cape May Chamber of Commerce, for asking for my feedback after the race (I do this now, so I guess I'm an expert). Next year, expect paper instead of plastic cups at the water stop.

I finished with a 49:45, which is not bad and inching closer to my pre-injury times. I finished 5th woman and 3rd in my age group - but that's out of 210 runners, so take that with a giant shaker of salt.

Post race food (burger and boardwalk fries) and drink (extra spicy bloody mary) was back at the Rusty Nail. I'm glad to see they got the bonfire issues figured out - last time I was there, the city had said they didn't want bonfires at the outdoor bar, but it was lit and running on Saturday. It was nice eating at outdoor picnic table, even if the weather wasn't exactly cooperating.

Then it was up to Atlantic City. Now, I hate shopping. Hate it with a passion that boils my soul, but we stopped at the Atlantic City outlets anyway to visit the Nike store. My haul:

Two pairs of short tights, two singlets, and eight pairs of socks.

I only do this once or twice a year. Last year, the woman working at the counter couldn't believe how much money I spend on socks. But they're running socks!

Well, if you're a runner, you'll get it. If you're not, consider them my version of a fancy purse, but actually practical.

We hit Adidas and Puma with less luck, though I'll be testing out new Adidas running shoes tonight (Mizuno, why did you make the Waverider heavier, huh?) - another running thing that most of you probably don't get.


Then it was to the Borgata, which was a zoo. I didn't know what I expected. It is, after all, a Saturday in May. People everywhere, including the New Yorker who cut us off in line to check out at 3pm.

The first night, we stayed in the original Borgata tower, which was nice, but didn't have a flat screen TV. I don't say that to sound like a snob. *I* don't have a flat screen TV, but it seemed like a bit of a disconnect.

We were there for the AtlantiCare Foundation Gala, which was, of course, lovely. Pre-event, I got a blow out at the Borgata salon. Despite the price ($75), I'd say it was worth it. Sue, the very nice woman who did my hair, took my head of tangles and made it into a smooth, bouncy sleek style.

Not the best picture, but it's all I've got.

For those who are curious, this was the dress, which I bought at Lord & Taylor. His tuxedo and tie/pocket square are from Boyds.

The next morning, we moved over to the Water Club, Borgata's new tower. If you can stay here, STAY HERE. The room was gorgeous, and the new tower wasn't as crowded or loud as the main one. There isn't a casino in this tower, and, yes, the rooms did have flat screen TVs. But you must book directly with the Water Club. We had to check out and check back in because they operate on two different systems.

It was pretty funny watching hung over bachelor and bachelorette parties scramble to check out by 11am. Their hangovers looked epic.

We did a whole lot of nothing on Sunday, most of it at the Water Club's pool. Now, there are two pools: the free one (to registered guests of course), and the spa pool, which you can get into for free if you're using the spa, or for $30 if not. The free one was more than fine, though I imagine it gets pretty crowded in season.

Dinner Sunday night was at Izakaya, which bills itself as a modern Japanese pub.

This is how I know it's good: the dude is Japanese-American and a former chef. He is critical of Japanese restaurants. He loved it. Absolutely loved it and wants to know when we can go back again. I loved it, too, but I'm not as picky as he is. We tested the sweet corn ice cream that will go on the menu this summer. It's divine. A high recommend.

For fun, we headed to mixx after. I didn't know what to expect on a Sunday night. At first, a group of 40 and 50 something women in what looked like a bachelorette party were tearing up the dance floor. They were having so much fun, and they were fun to watch. Later, though, it started to turn over into a more typical nightclub experience. We stayed off to the side (that toe was still broken) and watched mini dramas unfold: the young Catherine Zeta Jones look alike swat off potential suitors, the three guys in bottle service who looked like they didn't know what they were doing, the two girls who tried to crash and then got kicked out of bottle service, and then one of those girls immediately sucking face with one of the bottle service guys. The music was good, though at the start what I'd describe as "Bar Tampa 1999." Bar Tampa was "the" bar to go to when I was in college, and they played a lot of the same songs as mixx did that night. A lot of Biggie Smalls.

I'm guessing this was industry night when a lot of people who work in the area have off after a long weekend. We left just as the featured dancers started tearing up the bars. Hey, we're not 21 anymore, and - again - the broken toe.

Monday morning we headed down to Downbeach Deli for breakfast and then meet up with my girl. Her tail's getting fixed!

I haven't been in Lucy in a while, and the dude had never made the trip. It was informative, and just cool to be inside a 60 foot wooden elephant. Make sure you go up to her howdah if you make the trip. Even though it was very foggy on Monday, the view was still worth seeing.

If you REALLY like Lucy, you should come to my book launch party, which is a fundraiser for Lucy, too. Details here.

Then it was south to Ocean City to pick up some salt water taffy from Shriver's. I'm doing a book signing next Tuesday at Book Expo America, a major book publishing conference, and will be giving out salt water taffy, too. The conference is a jumbled, lovely mess of book people, so I need to do what I can to stand out. Salt water taffy usually helps.

Our final stop, of course, was Mack & Mancos. I wasn't really hungry, but how could I resist?

Despite the cruddy weather, I had a great time. Staying over on Sunday night was a great idea because we could relax all day without that Saturday crowd.

It's nice seeing almost everything open again. Oh, summer, can you please hurry up?

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 32: Higbee Beach was once a nude beach

It was! Really! Higbee, which is known now more for being dog-friendly and birder-popular, used to be a nude beach. That ended in 1999, though as I mentioned in this piece in the June issue of New Jersey Monthly, not everyone honors the ban.

I learned that in September when I took a post-book-deadline trip down the shore to sit on the beach and do nothing. I tried Strathmere first, but the bugs to got to me, so I headed down to Higbee with what may or may not have been an alcoholic beverage.

And this happened.

Emily is also a fan. She learned how to swim in the teeny waves on that beach. I'll try to bring her back down to Higbee this summer.

I am back from my shore tour and am working on a post of all that happened. A few highlights: a broken toe (not mine), a casino salon, Bar Tampa's 1999 club mix and Lucy the Elephant's new tail. VERY interesting weekend.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 31: Hot Dog Tommy's Will Open May 20

I make this a fact of the day because I was in Cape May this weekend, running, and couldn't get a hot dog from Hot Dog Tommy's. Oh no! But he'll be open next weekend, for sure.

And now that I'm writing about them, I want a hot dog again. GAH, Tommy.

Lots to share from the weekend. I'm actually still down the shore...stay tuned!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 30: The Diving Horse Cabaret was once Club Tru

Folks, sorry for the delay on this one. Blogger.com, which hosts the blog, had a major mess up today, which deleted posts (now restored) and prevented me from posting the fact of the day this AM. But I'm here now.

Last night, the dude and I went to check out The Diving Horse Cabaret so I could see for myself whether or not it's a strip club.

It's not. It's a place in line with other clubs in Atlantic City, like mixx, mur.mur, Providence, and Dusk. There's featured dancers and, yes, stripper poles, but they're not naked. The shoes are sky high and some of the bikinis electric day glow, but no nudity.

It's not a burlesque house, either, which was slightly disappointing given the video on the website.

The steakhouse portion is separate from the dance floor, though it's not open yet. There are, I'm told, going to be additional spaces and lounges and rooms opening up throughout the summer. The club and steakhouse, though, will be open May 20, I was told.

I think it will do well. It's a club-like experience without dealing with a casino. If they market it right, I think it'll be very popular this summer.

They also have the old horse diving horse from the Sands (RIP), which is where the name comes from. It's lit up and hanging from the ceiling over the dance floor.

Now, for that fact: The building itself used to be Club Tru, which was either a gay club, or a rave club (read: lots of E), or both. Definitely a gay club - it used to host the Miss'D America pageant. The rave thing is based on conversations from years ago that I won't relay here to protect the ravers. To think what they're doing now...you'd never know.

Anyway, I'm off to the shore. Cape May tonight and tomorrow, then Atlantic City through Monday. I'll be tweeting along the way, including Foursquare checkins. You can follow along here.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Diving Horse...Cabaret?

On Tuesday, I got an invitation to check out the Dining Horse Cabaret, a new burlesque show/steakhouse that is opening in Atlantic City this summer.

Cool, I thought, then watched the video on their website. You can watch it here, but I'm warning you: NSFW.

If you're not going to watch, there's a lot of boobs and stripper poles. So of course I asked, is this a strip club?

I'm curious as to what you think. I talked to their marketing director, who said it is cabaret and there is no nudity (and I specifically asked if it was fully nudity or topless and she said: no nudity). I'm going to the preview tonight to, um, see.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 29: Tina Fey Vacationed in Wildwood

Tina Fey's from Upper Darby. Any surprise that she also spend summers down the shore? Here's an excerpt from her new book Bossypants about when she was 13:

"Wildwood is a huge wide beach--the distance from your towel to the water was often equal to the distance from your motel to your towel. And 'back in the day' the place was packed exclusively with very, very tan Italian Americans and very, very burnished Irish Americas. As a little kid, I almost always got separated from my parents and would panic trying to find them among dozens and dozens of similar umbrellas."

She also mentions how you could listen to General Hospital if you turned the radio down to a low number on the FM dial. This is how my dad sometimes listened to 6ABC Action News.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DMB Caravan Update: The Truth about One Day Passes

"Only 3-day GA and 3-day VIP Packages will be offered for the Caravan festivals."

This is from an email forwarded to me by reader Jon. In April, Jon contacted Music Today, which is an entity of Live Nation, about passes to the three-day DMB Caravan tour coming to Atlantic City in June. He asked if single day passes would be available. The response is above.

I presented Jon's emails to the concert organizer, but they have not answered my request for a statement.

Jon, smart guy that he is, contacted Michael Rapino, Livenation CEO directly. Rapino's response: "I dont know the details but in many cases the event intends to sell only 3 day passes and if they don't sell out they then go to 1 day passes. As the ticket seller we are not brought in the loop until they make those decisions."

So guess what folks: we were right. They planned to sell one day passes if three day passes didn't sell well, despite the insistence otherwise.

Jon has gotten a partial refund, though he's working on getting a full one, and I can't blame him.

I don't like being harsh on an event that will bring a lot of people to Atlantic City. But I never liked the way this was presented, and I had a feeling that a lot of people would feel duped if they bought a three day pass only later to find out that one day passes could be purchased (those go on sale Friday, by the way).

Thanks to reader Jon for sharing his experience.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 28: The Absecon Lighthouse is NJ's Tallest Lighthouse

It's true! The Absecon Lighthouse is NJ's tallest lighthouse, and the third tallest in the country. It's also an urban lighthouse - a rarity. Instead of being located on a beach, or a crag, or a rocky cliff, it's right in a city.

Right now, the lighthouse is open Thursdays through Mondays. In July and August, it'll be open every day. If you go, check out the website for $1 off coupon.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tony Luke's to Finally Open in Wildwood Crest?

According to Wildwood 365, yes. The grand opening for the Tony Luke's in Wildwood Crest is scheduled for May 21.

I poked fun at Tony Luke's in a recent post, and for good reason.

The dude's friends were in Sea Isle in July and drove down to Wildwood Crest to get cheesesteaks because they saw an ad about Tony Luke's opening in "Summer 2010." When they got there,though, nada. For the rest of the week, "driving to Wildwood to get a cheesesteak" was a running joke.

Then the opening was pushed back to September 2010. Then November 2010.

This opening looks more promising. I hope it sticks.

**UPDATE** Apparently, it's been open Thursday through Sunday for a few months. I guess it's a PR stunt? Seems like an odd one considering the delays.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 27: The Great Cape May Foot Race is on Saturday

The 32nd annual Great Cape May Foot Race will be held in Cape May (of course) this Saturday. I'll be running the 10k, though there is also a 5k run/walk option.

I've never run this race. I've seen it. I even went into packet pick up and considered running. But I didn't have my running shoes, and I'd been up way too late the night before celebrating my father's wedding with my new step siblings, a celebration that may or may not have involved shots in the Brown Room. I do remember they had great weather that year. I bought a $5 bikini and enjoyed the sun at the Congress Hall pool all that Saturday instead.


The race starts at Beach and Stockton Streets, which is the location of the Beach Theatre, and from what I remember in 2008, packet pickup was inside the lobby. As of a ruling handed down last week, the Beach Theatre is going to be demolished.

This has been a long, drawn out battle for the Beach Theatre, and who knows if this is the last chapter. I wrote about it in 2008 for Preservation Magazine. The opening scene of the story? The Great Cape May Foot Race packet pickup.

I will have a few updates on the DMB Caravan single day pass vs. three day pass issue. Someone did reach out to me with an email sent to him from Live Nation saying that one day passes would never be made available. I'm checking in with the concert organizers to get a statement before moving ahead with a new blog post.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

DMB Caravan: Single Day Passes

I hate doing the "I told you so dance," but I'm doing the I told you so dance.

Single day passes for the DMB Caravan in Atlantic City go on sale Friday at 10am.

When this three-day concert was announced, big to do was made that you could only buy a three-day pass for $195. Well, I called BS and guessed that single day passes would become available closer to the concert date.

And viola.

They'll go on sale here. No price for said passes has been released. If you already bought a three day pass and you're trying to figure out how to get a refund, let me know - and if you're successful.

As a snippy PR person told me this morning, they never entirely ruled out single day passes, so I'm guessing there was legalese included in your purchase to make sure you couldn't get a refund when the inevitable happened.

Yes, I'm being negative. But the three day pass only thing struck me as dumb. With so many good bands playing, I'm glad that people can now just go for one day if they'd like.

I don't know what I'm doing yet. The dude's family is going to be in town, and I might be so burned out from book promo that I'm going to want to sit in the sun and read all day. Also, Guster is playing both Asbury Park and Philadelphia in August, so I could see them there.

What are you going to do?

Oh, and this is the I told you so dance

**UPDATE** Apparently day passes are $85 each. Yikes.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 26: Mother's Day is a kick off

The shore season starts in waves. Here's how I see it:

1. Year rounders. These are the places that hunker down in the winter and keep their doors open for whoever appreciates the Jersey Shore for more than just a beach. Examples: almost all of Atlantic City, Congress Hall in Cape May, the Princeton in Avalon. Some places stick around all year but are only open on weekends. Mid-week in some shore towns can be a very desolate place.

2. Love Birds. You see this a lot in Cape May - places that start showing signs of life again in early February, opening up in time to capture the Valentine's Day weekend crowd.

3. Bunny Hop. It's relatively quiet until Easter. Then that weekend - BAM - the Boardwalks are packed with people and stores flinging open their doors to capture that crowd and some warm spring sun. Easter was late this year, which I'm sure hurt a lot of businesses, but it was hot and humid on Easter Sunday - a boon.

4. I Heart Mom. I'd say about 90% of Jersey Shore places are now open, at least on weekends. We don't have much time until the big kick off, so it's good to have a few weeks to work out the kinks, and you have folks like me who are coming down a shade early to beat the crowds that'll be here later in the month.

5. Happy Memorial Day. If you're not open by then (ahem, Tony Luke's in Wildwood - last year, not this year), then you're missing the boat.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 25: The First Issue of Sports Illustrated Featured the Jersey Shore

Yes, really, from August 16, 1954.

If you have time this Friday, read the whole thing. It's fascinating. Well, at least it is to me.

Thank you to Ted Spiker for sending that one my way.

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 24: Grace Kelly was an Ocean City Girl

Grace Kelly might have been a movie star who married into royalty, but she started out as a Philly girl whose family had a house down the shore - specifically Ocean City. Her brother was even a lifeguard. She visited the Ocean City home every summer, even when she was Princess of Monaco, until she died. People magazine has a fascinating article on their website from the first summer she didn't come home.

The Kelly home was at 26th street and Wesley but has been demolished. The Press of Atlantic City has a great article about that, too, which you can read here.

She was beautiful, wasn't she?

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 23: You Can Have Breakfast on a Ferris Wheel

Starting in July, Morey's Piers is bringing back "Breakfast in the Sky." Here's how it works: you take a ride on the Ferris wheel - about 160 feet up - and have breakfast.

I haven't done it, but I've heard from a few people who had, and they said they enjoyed it. It's not cheap, though: $85 for one car. That can cover one or two people. Additional people in the car are $40 each.

Why bring this up now? It's available on limited days this summer, and reservations are required. So if you know what week you'll be down the shore and that you absolutely must do this, make your reservation now.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 22: Shrivers Makes Salt Water Taffy on the Boardwalk

Here's your first chance to read part of the book: a piece I wrote about making salt water taffy has been excerpted in the May issue of SJ Magazine.

Shriver's is the only place that makes its salt water taffy right on the boardwalk. It is as fresh as you can possibly get, and I was lucky enough to step behind the window (because they let you watch) and take a whack at it. It was a fun, sugar-rushed day.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 21: The Ocean City Half Marathon is on October 2

I give this tip because yesterday was the Broad Street 10 mile run in Philadelphia (and owie do my legs hurt - but my hair got a lot of sun, so that's a plus). Some folks were posting on facebook after that they were considering a longer race for the fall.

I'm not paying $75 for what used to be the Philadelphia Distance Run. Instead, I think I'll be doing the Ocean City Half Marathon, which is being held on October 2. I've heard good things from folks who ran it last year, and the time of year is right.

Also - if you google "Ocean City Half Marathon" and get a link to something in April, skip it - that's the OTHER Ocean City.

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