Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Emily

Today we're celebrating two momentous occasions in the Down the Shore with Jen household:

1. It's Emily's birthday -- at least according to the adoption papers. She's now eight years old and officially a "senior dog," even if everyone who meets her thinks she's a puppy. I am still waiting for her AARF card to show up in the mail.

2. Four years ago this week, I adopted Emily from the Animal Welfare Association in Voorhees, NJ.

I never expected this 14-pound ball of fluff to wind her way around my heart. I cannot imagine life without her. I've had her almost as long as I've been a full time freelancer, and since before I bought my house. I adopted her the day before I moved into a second story apartment in West Collingswood. When I started looking for my home, one of the requirements was that it have a fenced in back yard.

In honor of this important week, here are a few Emily pics. I do this, not only because I have an iPhone and take pictures of her all the time, but to show that a shelter dog -- an adult shelter dog -- can still be the perfect dog. No offense to puppies and breeders, but if you're looking for a new pet, please visit your local shelter and give a look.

That last picture was taken as Emily laid under a blanket with me. I've been quite sick these last few weeks, and she's stuck by my side the entire time. Good dog.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday Shopping, Shore Style

I am not going Black Friday shopping. Ever since that Black Friday a few years ago when a woman knocked me hard trying to get a pair of boots at Strawbridges (R.I.P.), and my brothers saw a fist fight at Best Buy, I have spent the day after Thanksgiving at home. This year, I'll be winding my way to New York City to see Guster at the Beacon Theatre, but still -- no shopping.

However, I know some of you love a deal, so here's some shore spots that can answer your call.

Outlets at the The Walk in Atlantic City are opening early, and offering deals, which can be found on their website. Don't forget the special offers page, which lists more deals.

If you're a Harrah's Total Rewards member, you can shop at the Pier Shops at Caesars on Friday at 8 a.m. - MEMBERS ONLY (as in having the card, not the awesome jacket). Here's a listing of their deals and specials.

Ocean City's putting their 2010 beach tags on sale on Black Friday -- you can pick it up at City Hall (9th and Asbury Avenues) from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday. Tags are $15. For an extra $2, they'll put it in a holiday gift box. Tags go on sale online December 1 at (gift box available when buying in person only). Asbury Ave. will also be hosting a "Miracle on Asbury Avenue" holiday event from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday. Pictures with Santa are on Saturday. Details here.

Our favorite shore independent book store, Sun Rose Words & Music in Ocean City, is having a few holiday specials as well. On Friday and Saturday, they're having secret sales where you can save 10% to 50%. There's book signings on Friday and Saturday as well. Sunday is customer appreciate day with refreshments, gift certificate giveaways and, as they say "lots of fun." They'll be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. all weekend. As always, my book (which they stock) makes a great gift... :-) If you want a signed copy, drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] come and we'll talk.

This is not the be all and end all of Black Friday shopping at the Jersey Shore -- best bet is to call your favorite town's chamber to see what's happening.

Also, mark your calendars. The Tropicana's Running of the Santas will be on December 12. If it's anything like last year? Insanity with a dash of pimp.

And for readers who follow my running training, here's a report on Sunday's Philadelphia Half Marathon. Ouch. I propose a new rule, too: folks running the marathon and half marathon get not one but five shirts. That way, we can wear one for every day we are in major pain post-race so twits at the grocery store won't chide us for walking slowly down the grocery store aisle, as happened to me a half hour ago. Really, lady?

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Given the Power

Want to check out a cool video in time for Thanksgiving? Then click here for a short piece called "Given the Power," which interviews immigrants who have settled and thrived in NJ. It's a nice piece just in time for Thanksgiving.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Last Dance

Martini Beach in Cape May is shutting down for the season on Saturday. That means specials galore! On Friday, all food will be 1/2 off while supplies last. They're recommending that you make reservations.

On Saturday, they'll offer an open bar/ all you can eat buffet with live Jazz from the Eddie Morgan Trio. Doors open at 5 p.m. Cost is $25 for the open bar and $10 for the buffet.

Tempting, isn't it? I'm running the Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday morning (AT 7 A.M?! WHAT'S UP WITH THAT, PEOPLE?) so I'll be sticking close to home. I hope to make it down the shore soon, if this awful head cold would finally leave...

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Boardwalk Empire

Pretty, isn't it?

The producers of HBO's upcoming series, Boardwalk Empire, allowed press to visit the set this week (WHERE'S MY INVITE, HBO?)


It's a series about Atlantic City in the 1920s, and based loosely on a true story of mobsters and booze, all set inside the height of the debaucherous Jazz Era. So of course it's going to look beautiful, even if it's being filmed in New York.

To have seen Atlantic City back then. I'm not advocating the gangsters and booze rings, but before glitz meant chandeliers at Trump Taj Mahal. I'm looking forward to this one, even if my press invite got lost in the mail.

**UPDATE** I spoke with the HBO publicist for the show today. Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bye, Bye Beach

Here's a video from the Press of Atlantic City following the storm. It looks bad, but make sure you get to 3:30 for a few laughs.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Storm Damage

The shore was pummeled by a nor'easter last week. The pictures and articles I've read are scary.

I was supposed to head up to Asbury Park on Friday night, but had to cancel my plans -- both because of illness (yes, I am STILL sick) and because of concerns about the storm. I was also supposed to go watch the Atlantic City Marathon on Sunday but stayed home because I was sick.

So I haven't seen any of the damage. Have you? Hit up the comments. If you have pictures you'd like to share, you can email me at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

10 Things that ARE My Jersey

Yesterday, I had my say about a new MTV "reality" show whose premise seems to be "make fun of New Jersey.

Does that culture exist? I've heard of it, but never seen it. It's not the Jersey Shore I know.

So here is my list of 10 things that ARE my Jersey, working north to south. I've stuck to the Jersey Shore, but feel free to add shore and non-shore items in the comments.

1. History House in Sandy Hook
2. Tater Tots at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park
3. Beach bonfires in Long Branch
4. Long Beach Blvd. in LBI (and all the names it's called on the island)
5. Atlantic City Marathon -- 51st running on Sunday. Good luck, guys!
6. Pizza with birch beer at Mack & Manco in Ocean City
7. Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor
8. International Kite Festival in Wildwood
9. Rocking chairs at Congress Hall in Cape May
10. Sunset at Sunset Beach

So what's your Jersey?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not My Jersey, Part II

This ridiculous show is set to come out soon. It's another in a recent line of reality shows that takes a small part of New Jersey's worst culture and blows it up as a representative of the entire state. Not only is it inaccurate, but it's lazy. Shame on you, Bravo and MTV.

If you've read this blog since I started typing away in July 2007, you know that the show does not depict the typical Jersey Shore experience. Me saying that isn't going to change how people view the state because of the show, nor will it stop people from pointing and laughing at New Jersey because of it. But I had to say it...because I'm like that, and I stand up for my state.

I wish the people who sign up to be on this garbage would consider how much harm they cause before they act like fools in front of the nation because it hurts the rest of it. I also wish NJ Tourism would be proactive about these reality show attacks on the state, but I haven't seen anything so far to combat the trashy image we get. Another reason I keep writing.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Update on the Queen Mary -- that scallop boat from Cape May that sunk this year.

A story about the Atlantic City airport as an alternative to Philly (Why are you telling people? It's my secret!)

Hey hey! The Cape May bridge gets a name!

And the Cape May Lighthouse turns 150.

It's Sherlock Holmes weekend in Cape May! ONE time -- just one -- I am going to go. It'd give me a chance to carry around my magnifying glass in public. This weekend, though, my sister's getting married. So, ah, I might be busy (and, yes, that makes two family weddings in one year if you're counting along. Think what you may about what my year's been like).

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