Monday, February 28, 2011

Avalon's Marble House - again

In 2009, I wrote about how the Marble House in Avalon - aka a monstrosity made of marble down the shore - was up for sale for $12,900,000.

According to Ann Delaney, it's for sale again - at $7,500,000.

I don't understand who will buy this house! And apparently no one else did either for the price to drop that much (with one price stop in between, apparently).

The place always bothered me. Who builds a marble house down the shore? Even as houses ballooned to more opulent and expansive (and kinda of gross) mega-mansions - thus destroying the charm of beach town living in Avalon and Stone Harbor - THIS one house in particular bothered me.

Still does.

**UPDATE** Ann just posted the listing in the comments. Click here for more.

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Shore Shades

Long story short: last week was a bad week, so I clicked over to and indulged:

I've been looking at buying Ray-Bans for about two years, but balked at the expense. Maybe it's a good thing I waited because this slight change in design is a much better fit for my face, and they're cheaper than what I've seen, too.

I'm leaving for Tampa bright and early Wednesday morning. You KNOW these will be in my carry on bag. Great time to break them in for summer. They'll be perfect for the shore.

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Friday, February 25, 2011

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

THE BEES! (love the cartoon, by the way).

Winners from the Sea Isle Polar Plunge.

And here's some pictures!

The Mad Batter in Cape May is having an Oscar party.

I didn't know Sea Isle had a taxpayer's association...

Bye bye beach pipes!

In my news: book edits are done. Wheee!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011


Word out this morning that the Dave Matthews Band is going to be playing a three-day music festival in Atlantic City from June 24-26.

This is big, folks. According to the Press of AC, this will involve three stages set up on the "defunct Bader Field Municipal Airport." I cannot think of a better use of this area, or a better place for a late June music festival.

Speculation as to who will fill those three stages for three days is running wild (DMB will most likely close every night on the main stage). My younger brother is hoping for Pearl Jame or Phish. I'm pulling for Guster.

Who do you hope to see?

P.S. I posted this up on Twitter this morning. You can follow me here.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Getting in the quirks

"Hit the Carousel, which isn't really a carousel but an outdoor sandy bar spot that's attached to the Springfield Inn (also not an inn)."

Either that's really funny, or I've read through my manuscript one too many times, and I should put the editing pen down since it's past 10pm.

This is a direct quote from the new book, and I post about it now for three reasons:

1. I'm trying to post more. The redesigned blog will be up in March, so expect a LOT more from me.

2. This quote captures the quirkiness of the Jersey Shore. What bar calls itself an inn if it isn't an inn? And has an outdoor bar attached to it named the Carousel without a carousel? Well, the Springfield Inn, of course, and for those of us who have been going down the shore forever, it makes perfect sense. I really worked on getting these kinds of tidbits into the book (like the sauce hose, like the surfboard/mannequin cream & sugar holder at the Positively Fourth Street Cafe, like the Doo Dah Parade, like what it takes to make salt water taffy, like the entity that is known as Twistie's), which is why the second edition took just as much work to put together as the first one. I'll write more on this at a later date because I'm already getting "oh, it was just a quick update, right?" Not on your life.

3. This quote is from a new feature you'll see in the new book called "48 hours." At the end of every chapter, I give you an itinerary if you've only got, well, 48 hours for the towns in that chapter. Then, if you have more time, I also give suggestions to extend your stay. I wrote all the 48 hours sections at the very end of the initial book writing process. It forced me to make sure I had included EVERYTHING that needed to be in there (because if I put it in 48 hours, why would I not put in the main text), and served as a wrap up to the section.

Anyway - I'm done for the night. The more I read through the book in PDF format and see the full color pictures and read through what makes this edition so different from the first...well, I can't wait for you guys to read it.

P.S. And now I'm up late working on the book and listening to Guster. I've been in this spot before (in book one and book two, over and over again). But you know what? It feels good. This book writing thing, and trying to write about the real Jersey Shore when stupid cable channels make you believe that the shore is something's draining. Thank goodness this new book will be out soon so I can SHOW you what I've been working on.

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Restaurant week is almost here

Atlantic City restaurant week is almost upon us. It's a great way to eat cheap in Atlantic City.

I'm currently working on a big article about restaurants in AC. It has a wonderful dining scene - trust me. Restaurant week is the best time to check it out if you haven't already.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting There

This is a print out of the PDF version of my book.

In some ways, this is the hardest/most anxiety inducing stage because this is my final edit. If I don't catch it here, I'm not going to catch it anywhere before it rolls onto the presses and becomes a book that (hopefully!) you'll buy.

It's also the first time I've seen what a full color format will look like and I have to say: she's gorgeous.

What you see here is the first pages of the Sea Isle/Strathmere chapter. Yes, that is my dog. She's very excited to be in the book. That or she really likes the treat I just gave her.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vintage Vantage

I should write about clothes more often.

A bunch of you got in touch with me about yesterday's post about what I chose as skirt of the summer, and about the little blurb at the bottom about my vintage dress hunt. It was cute, but not quite right. This is:

This is a 1960s mod dress that I bought yesterday from Couture Allure, a FANTABULOUS vintage site that's based out of Boston. I contacted the owner a few months ago telling her what I was looking for with my sizes. This is actually my third purchase from her, but the first that had "summer" in mind. She posted the preview picture on Facebook yesterday and I stalked the site, waiting for details and price to go online. She beat me to it, and emailed me as soon as the dress was available.

Finding good vintage can be hard. There's a lot out there, but finding what you want, from the right time period and in good condition AND sized right - well, I'm glad I had someone else looking out for me.

I'm still looking for more. I think this is more TV dress than book party, but wherever I wear it - won't that be fun? I'll be in Tampa (TWICE!) in March, and will have to take a vintage break.

I'm starting to get excited for the book to come out, folks. Won't be long...

P.S. If you also love vintage, check out this book. It's a fun book - it'll be perfect for beach reading this summer.

P.S.S. I completely expect to see someone walking down Dune Drive in Avalon in this.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Skirt of the Summer

I'm headed to Florida in a few weeks and went hunting for some new casual skirts (I'm SO OVER shorts, which is why) and found this skirt from Athleta:

I liked it so much that I bought it in another color, and I'm seriously contemplating getting one more.

The fabric is light but not flimsy - and it's made of wicking material. It has a zip pouch in the back. Best of all? It's very flattering. If you see me down the shore this summer when I'm not on the beach, I'll probably be wearing one of these skirts.

Here I am wearing the skirt (in another color) on Saturday. It's really not that short - hits just above the knees:

I'm still on the hunt for book launch party dresses, BTW. I'm scouring vintage sites hoping for something truly unique. Nothing yet...though if the party was going to be in AC, this would be tempting.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

News from Around the South Jersey Shore

Group wedding day in Atlantic City! Well, it was yesterday. When I get the official PR photo, which has always been great, I'll post it.

Jack Morey is up to "it" again.

Wildwood is getting some FEMA money.

Interesting NJBiz poll on Atlantic City.

America's Next Top Model scouted in Atlantic City. Darn. There goes my chance...

Sea Isle's Polar Plunge will take place in a different spot this year because of construction.

Here's my outlook for Cape May County Tourism in 2011: PLEASE GET BACK TO ME. I've been trying to partner with Cape May County Tourism because my new book covers that area but...crickets. No, I don't get it either. Also, that Jersey Cape name? I don't get it, and as a branding thing. Well. I don't think a lot of other people get it either.

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Hottenstein family sues...everyone

With Polar Plunge weekend comes the sad reminder that, in 2009, 35-year old Tracy Hottenstein died that weekend, apparently for extreme hypothermia coupled with intoxication.

Her death was ruled and accident, and having read the reports and seeing where she died, that seems like exactly what it was.

But now her parents are suing:

The City of Sea Isle
The bars where she was at that night
The people who hosted her for dinner that night
And the last person they believe saw her alive

In total, 19 people are named in the suit.

It's a very sad thing to happen, and I cannot image what her parents are going through, but this is not the answer. She was a grown woman. The city of Sea Isle is not responsible for her death, I believe.

Thoughts? I have a feeling I'll get yelled at for saying this.

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Full Stop

Thank you to EVERYONE who contacted me about old postcards. I have been inundated with selections from your personal collection, and I can't tell you how much it means to me that you guys reached out to help. That said, I've got everything I need.

I'm also ironing out the details for not one but two book launch parties in May, and it looks like at least one is going to be open to the general public. The idea is insane. But it just might work.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Post Cards?

I'm in crunch time for my Jersey Shore book, and we're looking to add one more thing to make it sparkle: images of vintage post cards.

Unfortunately, though, my collection is a little thinner than I thought. So I'm turning to you guys: do you have anything that I could possibly use? You know, those cool, vintage postcards? They would need to be from Atlantic City to Cape May towns only. In exchange, I will give you a credit and a free book if I use the photo.

Scans are fine - if you can't scan, I can tell you where to mail, and I'll pay you for your postage.

Comment below, or email me at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.


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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Taking the Plunge

Now that I'm back to the land of the living (sort of...)

This weekend is Sea Isle's Polar Plunge, one annual shore spectacular that I have not seen nor care to be a part of. Sorry, guys. There is nothing about running into the Atlantic Ocean in February - without a wet suit - that appeals to me.

But it's a big event anyone. Anyone going? Why do you do it? You don't have to be a Sea Isle plunger, either - I'm curious about the appeal (other than drinking that early in the morning...I reserve that activity for post-race celebrations and Gasparilla)

**UPDATE** This is NEXT weekend - I guess I'm not quite back to the land of the living yet.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

One man wrecking machine

I know there is a lot going on in Atlantic City right now (hey there), but, uh, here's what's been going on.

On Friday, I was hit in the head by a piece of ice falling off a building in Center City. Hello, concussion! I started to feel better on Sunday, so went out on a seven mile run. Five miles in, I was struck with quite possibly the worst stomach virus I've ever had. That was one long half hour walk back to the car.

Today is Thursday. I still feel ill. My attempt to eat real food last night was a spectacular failure.

So stay tuned with the Press of AC for this story. They're all over it.

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Please be careful

Be careful when driving tonight - especially down the shore. Two teenagers were in an SUV that plunged off the Corson's Inlet bridge today. They're alive. But let's not repeat this in the future, OK?

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