Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 64: Happy Saucehose Day

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, I present to you a new annual holiday: Saucehose Day. I declare that it shall take place the Thursday before the Fourth of July Holiday weekend. On such a day, we honor the system by which sauce gets on top of the best kind of Jersey Shore pizzas: by a saucehose.

You can see it in the picture above, which was taken at Mack & Mancos. Pizzas are being created and consumed so quickly that the sauce is delivered right on top by that hose. Hence saucehose. It's brilliant. And wonderful. And one of those odd things that make the Jersey Shore so special.

(This kind of pizza is actually called Trenton style pizza if you're looking for a real fact of the day.)

I can't lay claim to the term. That credit goes to @clivedaddy, who first tweeted it. Things came to a head when Mike Meech of the Fightins went on a Phillies-related hunger strike that overlapped with Memorial Day Weekend last year. There was much debate if drinking directly from the sausehose would be considered eating or not. He eventually broke the fast with a slice from Mack and Mancos.

It's been a fun twitter element ever since. Even yesterday, Jason Nark of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted "I'm near a #saucehose Alien territory for me," referring to being in Ocean City. Mack & Mancos isn't the only sausehose place, though. So in the comments, tell me your favorite saucehose pizza.

Speaking of which - we're trying to get #saucehose to trend today. So if you tweet about this, use that hashtag. And you can follow me on twitter to. I'm @jerseyshorejen.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Wildwood Defense

A few people have accused me lately of excluding Wildwood from my recent shore writings and interviews I've given about the book. The most recent was from a local writer on a story I wrote about Best Beach Bargains.

Normally, I wouldn't comment - especially to a statement that is so false it's laughable.

But this kind of stuff can damage my reputation as a shore expert, and I think explaining how I pick what places go in articles, and how I chose what to talk about, would be interesting to some people.

So let's cue up the Bobby Rydell and look at what I've been saying about the Wildwoods lately.

Talking about barrier island towns with Eating in South Jersey.

At my Haddonfield Library talk, I discussed how some shore towns seem to identify with different areas in Philadelphia. That's mentioned in this report about the event. What she didn't mention was the long discussion I had with the audience about the Wildwood boardwalk, where I vehemently defended the safety of the rides at Morey's Piers, and how much the boardwalk has improved since the fatal boardwalk fires of the 1970s (not that I blame the reporter - I talked about a LOT that night)

Speaking of Morey's, I gave perhaps my longest comment about the incident to Jersey Kids. I also recommended the American Inn in Wildwood to anyone who still wanted to book a shore vacation for not a lot of money (they drop the price down the week before Labor Day).

And before the accident, I'd touted the Breakfast in the Sky deal that you could get in Wildwood on that Ferris Wheel to the Patriot-News.

Then there's the items you can't see. The Wildwoods figured prominently in my Jersey Shore trivia round at the Pop Shop on Monday night.

In August, I have not one but two articles in SJ Magazine that feature the Wildwoods heavily. I even emailed with the editor today to get one more Wildwood spot in the Best of the Shore feature because after going there on Saturday, I thought it deserved to be wormed in (she said yes).

And then there's the book, of course. It seems obvious to put that on the list, but one of the commenters, in an exchange on Twitter, admitted that she hadn't read it. I don't see how anyone can say I don't ever write about Wildwood when there's a big chapter dedicated to it in the book. Anyway.

For fun, let's go back to stories I've written about Wildwood in the past. Want another video? OK:

My first travel piece for the New York Times was about West Wildwood.

One of my favorite Homes pieces for the Philadelphia Inquirer is about a house in Wildwood Crest.

Both the Starlux AND the Caribbean were highlighted in this piece I wrote for New Jersey Monthly about cool boutique hotels at the Jersey Shore.

In that same issue, I also write about Ignis Fatuus, a Moreys Piers attraction.

I wrote about Will and Jack Morey in this article for what used to be called New Jersey Life (it's no longer available on the magazine's website, so please excuse the reprint link).

And Wildwood's beaches got the top spot in this piece about free things to do down the shore.

I could go on...but I think I've proven my point.

Which leads me to how I pick what I write about and what I talk about. Here are three general factors:

1. What are editors buying? For every story I get into print, at least five ideas are rejected. This year, Wildwood stories just weren't selling. They sure did last year (which is one of the reasons I put up that list of previous stories), but this year? Editors wanted Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Ocean City and Cape May. Those are the story ideas they bought from me, or assigned to me, so that's what I wrote. The other ideas about other towns will go into my pitch file to be brought out again next year. Sometimes they sell. It took me three years to get this one into print. I'm persistent in stories I believe in. Some of those are Wildwood stories. They just didn't get past the editorial hurdle this year.

2. How many spots am I given? One post that received one of the Wildwood comments was this one. Chris asked me to give him five places for the entire Jersey Shore. So that's five places out of the 140+ miles of beach that is known as the Jersey Shore. There are dozens of shore towns. I'm not slighting someone but not putting them on the list. It'd be impossible to include everyone. Even in the long feature I did for Edible Jersey about shore foods, I couldn't include everyone. I tried, but this isn't the All Star game. Not every town gets a representative.

3. What do they want in their round ups? This goes for stories that I write, guest blog posts, and interviews. Before the interview with the Patriot-News, I was told that he wanted what would be considered luxuries. Breakfast in the Sky was one of them. For the piece where one of the comments lies, my editor said that he wanted a free beach with free, easy parking. That beach is Strathmere, not the beaches of the Wildwoods. They're too crowded in season to be considered beaches with easy parking. Plus, there's meters where Strathmere has none. So Strathmere made the list. Back to that post for Chris, he wanted very VERY specific things to recommend, and not the obvious places, which is why I picked the items I did. I was criticized for not writing about the Wildwood Boardwalk. That's too obvious. So was Lucy the Elephant, who also didn't make the cut. Instead, I chose to write about one special ride on one pier in Ocean City. That's not a slight to Wildwood. That's doing what Chris asked me to do.

I don't keep a tally of what towns get mentioned where. There is no keeping score. I'm not paid by anyone to talk about their town more than another. That'd be against the journalistic ethics I maintain. I'm rarely pitched by PR people on what to write about, and they never pressure me into making sure they get mentioned in every article. While I'm conscious of trying not to repeat the same places over again, I'm going to write about or talk about exactly what I think the audience wants to read or hear about, whether that's an editor assigning me a story, or a blogger asking me to do a guest post. If you ask me to recommend a family friend boardwalk, I'm always going to say Ocean City. And if you ask me the best place to take teenagers for rides and/or water parks? The answer will always be Wildwood. I can't control the kinds of questions that are asked, or who asks them. I just answer them the best that I can.

I know, that's a long response. But this has really bothered me. For these people to dash of something they're assuming by looking at a sliver of my body of work - it's not just unprofessional, it's potentially damaging.

So there. I had my say.

Now, shall we end with a video? Take us out, Floss Stingel:

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Best Jersey Shore Bargains

My editor at surprised me yesterday when he asked me if I'd write a piece about top Jersey Shore bargains for the website. I was surprised because it's a financial site, and most of my articles are about mortgages, credit cards, and debt.

But hey. I'll take it. Here's 10 great Jersey Shore Bargains.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 63: The Steel Pier is for Sale

The Steel Pier, an iconic part of the Atlantic City Boardwalk, is up for sale.

I'm not surprised. Trump said they were going to knock it down a few years ago to build on top of the site, but it survived, as it has been doing since 1898.

It's going to be auctioned, which gives me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It's beachfront, and despite bad gambling revenues, everything else in Atlantic City is booming, according to the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.

I hope it stays. What would AC be like without the Steel Pier?

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 62: Expect a Three Night Minimum

I was helping someone plan a Jersey Shore wedding, and he and his fiance decided on Fourth of July Weekend for next year. He asked me how to drive the price per person down. I didn't have a lot of options for him - that's a really pricey time of the year for anyone visiting the shore - but I did suggest he get it written into the contract that wedding guests could get around the three night minimum, which is normal for a big holiday weekend like the one we're coming up on here.

Why? Because hotels and motels want guaranteed bookings. I can't really blame them, given the demand for the Fourth of July weekend, because they'll get those three night stays.

Some exceptions I've found: the casinos (though those rooms are pricey and going fast), off-island chain motels outside of Atlantic City, Pier 4 in Somers Point (though at last check, they were almost full), and you can also check with the campgrounds along Route 9 if you're OK with camping. This is not an exhaustive list.

Your best bet? Start dialing because people are going to cancel. I helped a couple find a room at the Pier 4 for Friday, and the hotel put them on a list to book them in a room on Saturday if there were a cancellation, which they say there inevitably will be. Things happen. People get sick, have to visit family, etc. You could squeak into their cancelled room for this upcoming weekend if you can put the time in on the phone. Whether or not they're require a three night minimum for picking up a cancelled room? That's up to them.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Adventures in Book PR

On Saturday, the dude and I drove down the shore early to sit on the beach in Strathmere for a few hours before my book signing at the Shamrock in Wildwood.

I was stopped at the bottom of the off ramp from the Garden State Parkway onto the causeway into Sea Isle when BUMP! The driver behind me rear ended my car.


If he hadn't been driving an old Nissan Pathfinder with a sharp grille in the front, I'd probably have been fine, but that was the result - a punctured bumper. I know it doesn't look like much in the picture, but it's not good.

While waiting for the State Trooper to fill out the accident report, the dude and I started chatting with the guy who hit me. End result: the guy bought a book and had me sign it to his son.

Lemonade out of lemons? Maybe I'll tell you how I feel after I go through the process of getting the bumper repaired, and how much it'll end up costing me (getting the accident report starts at $5.75, and while I have insurance, there's that good ol' deductible...) I haven't been in a car accident since I was 17 when I was was hit by a drunk driver, and my mom handled the insurance claims that time.


Fun signing! They even made a special drink for the event, the "Jersey Jen."

A lot of you have been tweeting and emailing me about where you're seeing the book for sale. If you snap a picture and send it to me, I'll run it on the blog!

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 61: Miss America is Missed by the Downbeach Community

In the July issue of New Jersey Monthly, I looked at what role if any Miss America still plays in the Atlantic City and Downbeach community (that's the catchall term for the towns of Ventnor, Margate and Longport, which share the island with Atlantic City). What I found surprised me. You can read about that here.

I've pitched this story three times. Maybe four. I forget since every time I get my shore pitches ready for magazines, this one is in it. I'd like to write a longer piece about this someday. I've been toying with pitching a book, but Frank Deford's There She Is: The Life and Times of Miss America is so good that I don't know if I could top it. Then again, it was written 40 years

Would you read a serious non-fiction book about Miss America?

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 60: More than just DMB in AC this weekend

The big music to do this weekend in Atlantic City is the DMB Caravan. But that's not the only music show in town this weekend:

O.A.R. tonight at the House of Blues
Peter Frampton tonight at the Borgata
Boyz II Men tomorrow at the Hilton
G. Love & Special Sauce tomorrow at the House of Blues
Robert Plant tomorrow at the Borgata

And we've got a D-list appearance, too: Cheryl Burke at the Pool at Harrah's. If you don't know who that is, that's OK. Really.

If you're in the Wildwood area, stop by the Shamrock from 5-8pm. I'll be hanging out and signing a few books - they've added on extra Happy Hour drink specials for the occasion!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 59: Avalon's Expensive

My grandfather could have bought two lots in Avalon for under $80,000 after World War II but didn't. My parents could have bought a beach house in Stone Harbor for $115,000 in the 1990s but didn't.

Today, this place is going for $799,000.


I'm guessing whoever buys this will tear it down and build a much larger house in its place. I know that's the way things go, but...well. Just hang out here for a while to get an idea of what I'm missing.

My cousins just sold their grandmother's Avalon house (this is the grandmother we don't share), and they can't drive by the site of where it used to be because it was immediately torn down and replaced with something they don't like to talk about.

This topic came up last night at my book talk. As tends to happen when senior citizens are in the crowd, the conversation turns to what Atlantic City used to be before casinos. Everyone has their own clutch of nostalgia and don't want things to change at a place they loved as kids. The women couldn't understand why I'd bother to write about Atlantic City as it is today (but more about that later).

I get my own nostalgic episodes every once and a while, especially in Avalon. I hope that this homeowner sells their house and reaps the benefits of what was a smart financial move (and I hope that Ann, a fantastic real estate pro, gets this sale - this isn't a knock on her or what she does. She's wonderful). But I can still be a little bit sad that I'll never be able to afford a home in Avalon - and that my grandfather and my parents passed on it when it was still affordable!

P.S. There is still a bit of ha ha in me that this house still hasn't sold. When I wrote about it in 2009, it was priced at $12.5 million.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tonight at the Haddonfield Library

Reminder! Tonight - Wednesday - I'll be speaking at the Haddonfield Library at 7pm. Topics will include how the shore as we know it came to be, quirky moments in Jersey Shore history, a reading of my making salt water taffy piece, and answering a lot of questions. So stop by! And yes, of course I'll be selling books too.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 58: There's a place to 'go' in Strathmere

Wayne Parry of the Associated Press has been doing a bang up job covering the open beach access issues being debated in New Jersey right now. His latest piece is here. To put this in incredibly broad terms: the state has rules that are supposed to make beaches more accessible to visitors regarding things like easy paths toward the beach and a set number of bathrooms according to size of the beach.

But not everyone is happy with those policies. From the article: "The state is in the process of rewriting its beach access rules. It says it is letting individual towns craft their own access policies rather than dictating a one-size-fits-all approach."

Open beach advocates say this is a way for towns to make beaches harder to reach and less friendly to out of town visitors. Don't want day trippers? Don't give them a place to go to the bathroom. Some towns would charge over $15 for single day passes to do the same thing.

Which brings me the long way to my fact of the day: there's now a port a potty in Strathmere. I was shocked to see it on Saturday as this has been my only issue with going to this particular beach. I'd have to drive up to Sea Isle.

It's right around the intersection of Taylor Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue (what most of us refer to as Landis Avenue). Tip: bring your own toilet paper. It runs out quickly.

I took the photo in this post while sitting on my beach chair. Lovely, right? Hopefully we'll have the same weather for THIS weekend.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tips for the DMB Caravan

This weekend is the big ol' DMB Caravan in Atlantic City. I've had plenty to say about this event, so I'll pass on the commentary.

Instead: if you're going, here are a lot of great tips on getting to and from the venue.

If I were going (which I'm not because I have a book signing in Wildwood), I would take the NJ Transit train to Atlantic City and then be prepared to walk. Yes, they're going to be running Jitneys from the train station to Bader Field, but whether or not traffic will be bad going to the venue is up in the air. It's not too far of a walk, and that link has walking directions.

You could also park at one of the casinos and walk in, too, if you don't want to take the train. I'd consider coming into AC via the White Horse Pike if traffic's looking terrible on the Atlantic City Expressway into the city.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 57: Bring Cash

I hit the shore last weekend for a book signing and a little R&R. Before settling my beach chair on the sand in Strathmere, we hit up McGowan's for some hoagies and a couple of bottles of water.

Good thing we had cash, because that's all they take.

"Cash Only" is common down the shore. So common, in fact, that "do you take credit cards" was on my standard form of questions asked to shops and restaurants I wanted to put in the book. Off the top of my head: Hot Dog Tommy's (Cape May), Red's Jersey Mex (Ocean City), Dead Dog Saloon (Sea Isle City), Charlie's (Somers Point) are all cash only.

You can't really blame these places. Accepting credit cards can be expensive for merchants, with monthly fees and then a cut of each sale going toward processing costs. If you're an established shore business, you don't really need to take credit if you don't want to.

Now, some of these places, like Charlie's and Dead Dog, have ATMs on the premise, but your better bet is to bring cash or hit the closest Wawa. The Wawa ATMs don't charge you a service fee (though if you're not a PNC customer, your bank most likely will charge you for using an out of network ATM).

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 56: Clarence Clemons was the Big Man

Clarence Clemons died on Saturday night. It's hard for me, and non-music writer, to put into words what this man meant to music, so I'll leave it to the New York Times and the Asbury Park Press.

RIP Big man. Say hi to the other Big Man for me.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Time for Harborfest! And a book signing!

Tomorrow is Cape May's Harborfest, a great day long event that reminds everyone...yes, there is more to do by the water than just sit on the sand. Want details? Got 'em right here.

The weather forecast is looking mighty fine: 80s and sunny. I'll be heading down tomorrow morning for some much needed beach time (actual beach TBD but I have a feeling I'll be headed to the place that is home to Twisties), and then down to the Rusty Nail for my signing from 4-7pm. If you have a copy of my book handy, it's featured on page 163.

I chatting with Exit Zero about Cape May here, where Mark Miller (no relation) described the event as being about "Beer, bloody marys, and books." Can't argue with him there.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 55: The Dark Knight Rose from the Jersey Shore

"Today, Asbury has done what every great comic book hero has done. Like The Batman, Superman, Captain America, Green Lantern, and the Flash, it has come back from the dead for some new glory days, with its famed boardwalk reviving classic pinball machines that once again scream to me and all my buddies, 'Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ!'"

This is a quote from Michael E. Uslan's upcoming memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman. Uslan is responsible for bringing a darker Batman - The Batman of the comics vs. Batman of the TV show - to the big screen. He produced every Batman movie made in my lifetime.

And where's he from? The Jersey Shore, of course, which is where he got the idea as a kid that he would be the person to bring Batman back to movie life.

He bought his comic books at three different stores in Asbury Park, went to Ocean Township high school and, while working for DC comics one summer, drove a "Comicmobile" up and down the Jersey Shore, selling comic books and asking kids what THEY wanted to read.

I finished reading the book last night, and I'm interviewing Uslan this morning. I'm not a big comics person, but I respect he genre. It's the main focus of the book, of course, but it's also a love letter to New Jersey. Great read. Pick it up when it comes out in September.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Updated: Book Events

Saturday, June 18: Happy Hour Book Signing at the Rusty Nail in Cape May from 4-7pm. It's OK if you're coming right off the beach. Why? Because I will be, too, since the weather report is looking mighty fine. Here's the Facebook invite for this one.

Wednesday, June 22: Talk about the Jersey Shore and travel writing, followed by a book signing at the Haddonfield Library at 7pm. Yes, this is at the actual library, NOT Grace Church.

Saturday, June 25: Happy Hour Book Signing at the Shamrock in Wildwood from 5-8pm. Same thing goes in regards to coming in off the beach. They will have specials for this event.

Monday, June 27: Hosting a Jersey Shore trivia round of Pop Quiz at the Pop Shop in Collingswood. The game runs from 7:30-9pm. This is a super fun event and, yes, it's BYOB. It's for kids and adults - most teams usually have both.

Same rules go for every event: $20 a book, cash or credit. If you already have a book and want it signed, of COURSE I will! Can't make it and want a signed copy? Drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 54: Gilchrest is Back in Atlantic City

Gilchrest Restaurant was a landmark. Located right on the water, it was popular with locals. But the 60-year old restaurant ran into trouble because its historic building was falling apart. You can read about its backstory here.

Now, this restaurant has taken up residence at Gardner's Basin, right on the water WHILE keeping the Galloway Township location open.

The new spot has a wide outdoor deck with both shaded and sunny spots, and an indoor eating area. I had a meeting there after yesterday's media blitz, which included that piece on Fox29 and an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer (I didn't plan for them to hit the same day - honest!) Fact is: TV is exhausting. You put in so much effort for a blip on the screen, so scheduling a meeting after might not have been my smartest idea. Having it at Gilchrest? That saved the day.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

From Good Day Philadelphia

Jersey Jenn's AM Trip To Ocean City:

In case you missed it this morning!

And, yes, I'm making an AWESOME face in the still shot there before you hit play.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 53: Bike on the Boardwalk, but in Morning Only

The back cover of my book features an image of people biking on the Ocean City boardwalk, and for good reason: boardwalk biking is an incredibly popular thing to do.

But in season, you can only do this in the morning. The boardwalk just gets too crowded. Could you imagine families of bikers riding up and down the boards at dusk? It'd be bedlam! Family friendly bedlam!

I was on the Ocean City boardwalk with Fox 29 this morning, where bikes are allowed from 5am to noon. This ruling includes surreys, too, which I still think are awesome and silly looking.

Last year, Wildwood voted to push the hours from 7am to 11am to 7am to noon, but North Wildwood hadn't so it's still 7am to 11am.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Day Philadelphia on Wednesday

On Wednesday morning, I'll be talking about the Jersey Shore on Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia morning show. I'm scheduled to go on air at 7:45 a.m., so tune in! Want to see TV news in action? We'll be at 9th and the Boardwalk in Ocean City if you want to stop by (and yes I will have books!)

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 52: The Sands left $17,193.34 behind

This fact of the day comes to us from 2007, but I put it up on here now for good reason.

The Sands used to be a casino in Atlantic City but was sold to Pinnacle, who promised to build a brand spanking new casino in its place (they didn't). Before the building was imploded, everything and anything inside was sold. The Sands' famous diving horse, for example, is now at the Diving Horse Cabaret.

Items weren't the only things left behind. Money was. Lots of it. Construction workers found $17,193.34 worth of change. Are we surprised that almost every casino skips change now goes by paper bills and printed out tickets now? No thousands of dollars rolling behind the slot machines.

So. Why a 2007 fact now? Because yesterday was the fire sale from the Sahara in Las Vegas, and David G. Schwartz of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research posted picture on twitter as the sale happened. Fascinating stuff.

Hey stop back in later for details on my first TV appearance of the year. It'll happen tomorrow in Ocean City...

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Monday, June 13, 2011

The Real Jersey Shore via Emil Salvini

I've mentioned Emil Salvini a few times on the blog - he writes about the Jersey Shore as well, has an uber popular Facebook page and was kind enough to lend me photos for my book.

Here's a pilot for his show, the Real Jersey Shore.

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Book Launch Party Round Up

Well that was fun. Thanks to everyone who came out, especially Lucy's Hat Shop for donating the space, and HughE Dillon for taking photos and writing about the event on his site (and for including me in a post with the Kardashians and Johnny Weir). I'll have tallies of how much money was raised for Lucy soon.

For those who wanted to see the full outfit:

That's a 1970s-ish vintage maxi dress that I bought at La France in Tampa in March. Grand total? $26. No, I'm not kidding. The SLIP cost more than the dress.

If you're coming out to a signing or event, you'll probably see this similar situation:

I can now accept credit card payments via Square. Pretty nifty.

SPEAKING OF WHICH: Book signing at the Rusty Nail in Cape May on Saturday from 4-7pm. Don't worry if you're coming in right off the beach. I most likely will be, too.

A P.S. for the fashion lovers. Some of my recent choices were featured on Couture Allure's blog today. Thanks Jody!

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 51: You CAN Take Kids to Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a gambling town, but that doesn't mean kids are banned. Here's are six tips if you're taking the wee ones to America's Playground:

1. Don't stay at a casino. I know people bring their kids to casino/hotels, but kids look really out of place, and they will not be allowed in some of the hotel pools. Good news: You do have other options. Two great ones are the Chelsea and the Sheraton. The Chelsea is right on the Boardwalk, and they will do chair set up on the beach for you if you're staying at the hotel. The crowd can get boisterous on weekend nights, though. The Sheraton is connected to the Convention Center, so it's a bit of a walk to the beach, but that hotel was built with business travelers and kids in mind.

2. The beaches are free. Yes, really. I promise. No beach tags required.

3. See the water show. The Pier Shops at Caesars has a fantabulous water show that happens every hour. It's at the far end of the shopping/restaurant plaza, closest to the ocean.

4. Ride the Rides. The Steel Pier is still alive and kicking. No matter what the age of your kids, make sure you go on the antique carousel.

5. Raining? No problem. The Tropicana has an IMAX theater that shows the latest and greatest blockbuster in IMAX 3D. The theater also shows an educational IMAX film if you want your kids to get a fun, colorful lesson that day. The IMAX theater is in the Quarter portion of the Tropicana, which is far from the gambling floor, FYI.

Say hi to Lucy. Lucy the Elephant is in Margate, yes, but she's a short drive south from Atlantic City. You can't get so close to the old gal and not stop by to take a tour, can you? I didn't think so (and if you haven't been to Lucy's website in a while, go there now. There's a hilarious animation of her in a top hat on a surfboard)

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Friday, June 10, 2011

"do fake ids work in sea isle city"

To answer the kid who searched "do fake ids work in sea isle city" and found this blog:


That is all.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 50: Atlantic City Broke a Record

You know that adage at the best place to be in a heat wave is the shore? Not so yesterday.

Atlantic City topped out at 102 degrees yesterday. Yes, that's a record, plowing through the 98 degree mark set on the same day in 2008. In Philly yesterday? 99. Still hot, but not 102 hot.

If the ocean is cool and you have a nice ocean breeze, it's usually cooler on the beach. But not yesterday.

Today should be better. For weather updates, I follow on Twitter. Yes, it's a Philly-based group, but they often report on Shore weather in real time.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 49: The Dolphins are Back!

Hey dolphins! Welcome back!

Yes, even dolphins go down the shore for vacation. They come here for the relatively warmer temperatures, and hang out along the coast. They also mate down by Cape May. It's not call a romantic spot for nothing.

You can usually see the dolphins from your beach chair. I've been in the water when they're swimming by, and they sometimes come close. I got about four feet away from one when I was a teenager, but I like to leave them alone. Let them enjoy their downtime just like I am :-)

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 48: My book launch party is tonight!

On the heels of the official book release: the book release party/fundraiser for Lucy the Elephant.

It's tonight at 5pm at Lucy's Hat Shop in Philadelphia. The event is free, but for $25, you get a signed book and a drink with all proceeds going to Lucy. You can pay via cash or credit card since I have one of these now.

Am I nervous? Not really, not like I was for the party for the first book. I know a lot of people are coming, so if even just my friends show up, it'll be a good time.

Yes, it's hot. Beach weather hot. But it'll be cool in the bar. So stop by! Everyone's invited!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review Round Up

"Jen Miller still speaks of the Jersey Shore with the excitement of a newcomer—even though she's considered an authority on the region as a travel destination" via Doug Bergen of Ocean City Patch.

"Move over, J-Woww: there’s another Jen at the Jersey Shore, and she’s here to save the Shore’s reputation from the likes of you...The Jersey Shore is written in the breezy, colloquial tone of Miller’s blog, making it seem like you’re getting vacation advice from a close friend instead of an Expert Author" via Jill Ivey of Keypulp.

"The new edition reads (and looks) like a whole new book. In 2008, Jen took on this book task and had to invent the wheel. In the ensuing three years, she has gotten to know even more about what makes Cape May (and the rest of the south Jersey shore) special. She took a very good guide and turned it into a great one," via Mark Miller (no relation) of Exit Zero.

"The book is a great reference guide- even for us life long locals,' via Ann Delaney of Ann Delaney's Beach Blog.

"The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May isn't just an updated version of the one she wrote a few years back, it's a total overhaul, stuffed nearly to bursting with planning tips, reviews and Shore secrets that only she could pull together. It's not only a good read (and it is), the book is a must-have if you're planning a trip to the South Jersey Shore" via Amy Z Quinn at Citizen Mom. She also shared the essay she contributed to my book about Wildwood, which I thank her for 1000 times over.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 47: It's Wing Night at the Windrift

Tuesday night as wing night at the Windrift in Avalon. This isn't just any wing night. It's THE thing to do on a summer weeknight down the shore.

This beach-side restaurant jams up with people looking for drink specials, wings and a party. They have $1.50 Miller Lite drafts and $7 Miller Lite pitchers, and set upa wing in a supplemental kitchen to the bar. According to Shore News Today, they went through 16,000 wings on wing night around the Fourth of July.

If you go, expect crowds, and a lot of messy fingers. It's not the tidiest food in the world, but it's sooo good.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Press Round Up

The book has been getting a lot of good press so far, and here's are links to a few recent interviews:

I talked with Adam Erace about Jersey Shore eats for the Philadelphia City Paper (the Concord Cafe meal mentioned is featured above).

How far does the Jersey Shore interest stretch? To Harrisburg, at least.

Amy Rosenberg of the Downashore blog and I chatted about the shore as well.

I talked to KYW1060 about Lucy's for Lucy, which is on Wednesday.

There's more to come, including a Philadelphia Inquirer story on June 15, and a possible Fox 29 News Spot. Tomorrow, I'll post a few reviews.

I really am overwhelmed by the reaction, both in the press and from you directly. Thank you so much!

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I know the book started shipping before today, and it's been spotted in a few places, including the Costco in Hazlet (who knew?) But today is my book's official publication day. That means it SHOULD be going out on shelves, and that the Kindle edition is now available.

It's also - surprise! - an iBook! I had no idea it was going to be released in that format, but my brother bought a copy of his iPad through the iTunes store.

And another reminder - the book launch party is on Wednesday. Busy week!

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TODAY ONLY: Steep Discount on Atlantic City Full or Half Marathon

If you're planning to run the Atlantic City Full or Half Marathon, register today. The price for both has been knocked down to $40. But you must register today.

So get on that!

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 46: Ocean City is a Dry Town - Way Dry

Ocean City touts its family friendly feel, and for good reason. The boardwalk is clean and attractive and largely devoid of the raunchy tshirt shops you'll find at other Jersey Shore boardwalks. The ride piers have some spills and thrills but nothing over the top. The town plans tons of kid and family centric events.

And the feather in their cap: Ocean City is a dry town - so dry that you can't even BYO to the restaurants.

The last part of that has been a controversy brewing in town and a group of restauranteurs try to have the law changed to accommodate people who want to bring beer or wine to dinner.

As I told the Patriot-News, I don't see this happening any time soon. Once you allow in even a trickle of alcohol, you start to lose the family friendly image. If Ocean City hadn't marketed that so much? I don't think it would make a difference. But when it's part of your message, changing that could affect who comes to your town.

Yes, I feel for the restauranteurs, but they had to know going in what the situation was. And it won't necessarily stop complaints. I live in a dry town that allows BYO and even there some of the restauranteurs grouse that they can't sell alcohol.

Anyway - I linked to that article in the Patriot-News because it had to do with this post. Later today I'll throw up some links to the media coverage the book has gotten so far. I'm a little stunned - I knew I'd get SOME coverage, but not this much! It's also been interesting reading the comments people are leaving. The Patriot-News one says that, per usual, Sea Isle is left out. Sigh. Of course I can't mention a place in every town in every interview. I hope they take a look at the Edible Jersey feature I have coming up...

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Girl Dies After fall From Wildwood Ferris Wheel

Hug your kids and loved ones today.

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Reader Review

Reader review time!

This is from Dina, the woman who I met early on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend she she could buy a copy of the book before it was officially out. She and her husband had just moved to Philadelphia and knew almost zero about the shore, but they'd heard so many great things that they decided to go down for the opening weekend. Here is her email, reprinted with her permission:

"Jen, thanks again for dropping off your wonderful book. We benefited tremendously from your advice. The highlight for us was the full day we spent exploring Cape May - the bird preserve, the hike the top of the lighthouse, the Ugly Mug (and people watching opportunities our outdoor perch afforded), the whale/dolphin cruise, the outdoor music at night, were all spectacular. It was a glorious, memorable day, and we would would never have assembled all of these pieces on our own. Thanks again. I will plan to post a review on Amazon once the second edition is officially available to the masses."

Thanks Dina!

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Book Signing with a Dose of Fashion

On Thursday, I had my first signing/tweet up at the Princeton in Avalon. In the photo are Ann Delaney of Ann Delaney Beach and Erin Visalli of Relax Concierge.

Fun times! We couldn't have asked for a better night, though the gnats were pretty bad.

For all of those who have enjoyed the fashion posts, keep on reading. If not (and I'm looking at you, Doug Bergen), you can flip over to something else.

The dress is a 1960s Jonathan Logan orange silk mod tent dress, bought on impulse from Couture Allure. I say impulse because I didn't know how it would look. When worn according to fashion at the time, it looks like this:

I'm a bit curvy, and shapes like this tend to not work on me. But then I saw this picture:

Bingo! That's how I wore it. I don't have a full length shot, though the aforementioned Doug of Ocean City Patch does, so I'll link to it when that story goes live. The orange is even more vibrant in person. Great impulse buy.

You can't really see it, but I'm also wearing this bracelet stacked with a Lagos cuff.

How could I *not* wear my New Jersey charm bracelet to this event?

And SHOES. You can somewhat see them in this iPhone picture (thanks Erin):

Two weeks ago, I was pulling together last pieces of my book launch party, which included a full length slip (SO HARD TO FIND THESE DAYS) and shoes. The dress is an aqua 1970s maxi dress, so I wanted gold. Heels or flats? I ordered two pairs, both more expensive than any other shoes I own (EXCEPT running shoes, which my brain says don't count), and both from a company I've never bought from before. But you know what? I ended up keeping them both. A book is a good excuse right?

Here's the heels, which I wore last night:

Yes, Juicy Couture. The shoe's name is Fernanda. I saw these while I was in New York for Book Expo America. They're more gold in person, and I've worn them a few times now when I want to be a little bit taller.

The second pair:

Also Juicy Couture, this time called Finny. They're gold with a seashell on them. How could I NOT try them on? I've worn them a few times too, and if you see me this summer down the shore, there's a good chance you'll see them on me too.

I didn't buy EVERY gold shoe I saw. These were cute but not for me:

These are called Frankie, and they're cute, but I don't want to flip flop all over the place.

One more, though not shore related: I didn't get home until midnight last night, and I'm pretty beat this morning, so I slipped on a comfy dress:

Guess what: also vintage!

And the original photo that caught my eye:

And yes I now realize that y'all know my dress sizes, but eh. It's worth it to share the photo.

So, readers who are still reading (I know, Doug, that you're gone) - what will YOU be wearing down the shore this summer?

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 45: The Jersey Shore is Mentioned TWICE in Sleepless in Seattle

I'm moving, and while I'm taping up boxes, prepping donations for Goodwill, and throwing so much stuff out (how did I accumulate so much STUFF?), I like to watch movies I've seen 10,000 times before. That way, I can leave the room and not worry about missing something.

So on Wednesday, I put on Sleepless in Seattle. To my surprise there are not one but TWO Jersey Shore references.

The first is in the beginning of the movie when Annie (Meg Ryan's character) is trying on her grandmother's wedding dress, and her mother tells her about when she met Annie's father:

"I was in Atlantic City with my family. Cliff was a waiter. He talked me into sneaking out for a midnight walk on the Steel Pier. I've probably told you this a million times, but I don't care. And then he held my hand. I was scared. All sorts of thing were going through my head. But after a while I forgot about them. At one point I looked down, at our hands, and I couldn't tell which fingers were mine and which were his. And I knew."

Sleepless in Seattle came out in 1993. If you assume Annie is 30 in that movie, she'd have been born in 1963, meaning her parents met in Atlantic City pre-WW II, so this story is perfect. The family vacation, the Steel Pier. It's a small detail, yes, but it's the small, accurate details that make a movie so great.

The second reference is small - one of the stations Annie flips through before she hits on the radio show where Tom Hank's character talks about his situation:

"Coming up, Jingle Bells backwards, sung by the New Jersey Cape Mayettes."


I couldn't find these specific clips online, but here's a great spoof film preview of the movie re-cut as a horror film.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Defending the Real Jersey Shore

"This Jen – me, not JWoWW – is the real Jersey Shore Jen. I spent my summers in Avalon. I’m tan from running. My blonde hair color is the real deal. I’m also an actual Italian American. Oh, and I’m from New Jersey."

This from a piece I have in the June issue of SJ Magazine - and the first time I've written point blank, in print, about the MTV issue.

I've gotten a lot of reactions on Facebook and Twitter. Care to join the discussion? Hit up the comments.

Also - one more reminder that I'm doing my first book event at the Princeton in Avalon at 7:30pm tonight. If you want a book, stop by. Got one you want signed? You're more than welcome. Or if you just want to take a peek and see what it's all about, stop by and say hello!

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Jersey Shore Fact of the Day 44: Strathmere, Wildwood and Atlantic City Beaches are Free

Forget the beach tags. If you just want to sit on the beach for a day, free, head to Strathmere, any of the Wildwoods, or Atlantic City. Their beaches are free.

Also free: the beaches along the Delaware in Cape May. That includes Sunset Beach and my favorite, Higbee Beach. Sunset and Higbee are also dog-friendly. Are we surprised I love them? Emily, my dog, doesn't like Sunset, though. The consistency of the sand hurts her paws.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Book Events

The month of June is becoming a busy one. Here are the events I have coming up:

Thursday, June 2: I'll be at the Princeton in Avalon from 7:30pm until...well, I don't know This is a casual event. I'm meeting up with Relax Concierge to sign a box of books she ordered to give to her clients, so I decided bring some books to sell if people are around. Anne Delaney of Anne Delaney's Beach Blog, and Robert Strauss, author of Daddy's Little Goalie, will also be there.

Wednesday, June 8: Lucy's for Lucy! This is a fundraiser/book launch party at Lucy's Hat Shop in Philadelphia from 5-8pm. The event is free, but for $25, you'll get a signed book and a free drink, all proceeds going to Lucy. Thanks to KYW1060 for reporting on it last weekend.

Saturday, June 18: TENTATIVE signing at the Rusty Nail in Cape May. TENTATIVE. Would probably be during happy hour.

Wednesday, June 22: I will be speaking at a Haddonfield Library event at 7pm. I'm guessing this is at Grace Church, but I'll post more details when I have them.

Saturday, June 25: Happy Hour Book Singing at the Shamrock in Wildwood from 5-8pm. They will have additional happy hour specials because I'll be there (you're welcome). No worries if you're coming right off the beach. I most likely will be, too.

Saturday, October 1: Collingswood Book Festival. Featured author this year! Details to come.

I'm also working on scheduling a guest hosting spot at Pop Shop Quizzo for a Monday in June, but I don't have a date yet.

Unless otherwise noted (i.e. Lucy's), books at signings are $20 - cash only. If you want to pay with a check, I'd have to wait for it to clear first, and then I'd mail you the book.

Can't make an event but want to buy a signed copy? Drop me a line at jenmiller27 [at] gmail [dot] com, and I can arrange that for you. If it's easy for me to drop off a book, I can do that too. Someone asked me today if I'd deliver a book to him at his beach chair. If I'm in that shore town on that day, ABSOLUTELY. I delivered a copy to a woman before her doctor's appointment on Friday because it was on my way to work. It can be done!

Also, if you'd like to try to set up an event, such a happy hour or signing or talk, let me know.

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Jersey Shore Fact of the day 43: Resorts is Being Sued

I mentioned this flap a while back, but things just got real: Nine former cocktail servers have filed a discrimination lawsuit against Resorts, claiming they were fired because they didn't have the right look for the new skimpy costumes Resorts required them to wear. And their lawyer? Gloria Allred. You might know her as the attorney who represented Rachel Uchitel, Tiger Woods' alleged mistress.

Allred is the attorney equation of bringing in the big guns. Yesterday, they held a press conference on the boardwalk up against Resorts billboards showing off the new costume. Criticize Allred if you want, but she can get the job done, and the showmanship of yesterday's press conference shows that (click on the link to the Press of AC story for photos).

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. You have to wonder what Resorts was thinking in the way they handled this, especially since the Borgata case of 2005, where cocktail waitresses were allegedly fired for gaining weight, was settled out of court WITHOUT a heavy hitter like Allred involved.

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