Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Down the Shore with Jen is Moving

Readers, I have some news.

"Down the Shore with Jen" is moving. But don't panic - this is good news!

"Down the Shore with Jen" is moving to Newsworks.org, the online news site of WHYY. WHYY has been Philadelphia's long time NPR affiliate who bought what had been half of New Jersey's NJN stations.

In their efforts to bump up their NJ coverage, they recently launch a South Jersey page, and they asked me to come aboard to be their Jersey Shore writer.

If you love the Jersey Shore, this is a good thing. It means more shore coverage - a lot more, in fact.

And for me, this is an awesome thing because someone is going to pay me to write this blog.

I'm sure you noticed that I hadn't been posting much lately. It's not because I don't love writing about the shore, but I've been so overwhelmed with my other work that it was hard to carve out time for what was, for nearly five years, a volunteer effort. I couldn't invest the time into doing the Jersey Shore stories I really wanted to cover when I had X, Y and Z paying gigs that needed my attention.

No more. The Jersey Shore is now my beat. I can cover it like I've always wanted to cover it - as the lead person a news organization that will let me explore the strange, wonderful and wild about my favorite corner of the earth (and thanks guys for giving me that opportunity).

My first post went live this morning. I'll be writing in the blog space about three times a week, and publishing a feature every Friday. I might even get to do some radio reports, which makes me more than a little giddy.

I'm going to keep this site open, and may post some things here that don't work for WHYY (and, of course, if in the future we decide to part ways, I will come back to posting here). But for the most shore coverage from me, tune in now to Newsworks.org.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Get married on Valentine's Day

Once again it's time for the Atlantic City Group Wedding, where over 100 couples will say "I do" at Boardwalk Hall at a ceremony officiated by the exceptionally cool and fun Jean Muchanic (seriously - if you can ever grab a half hour with her, she's awesome).

The ceremony will be on Tuesday at 2pm.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

A different kind of spring training

I've been to Phillies Spring Training in Clearwater a couple of times (that's what happens when you go to college in Florida).

But the Phillies didn't always travel so far. In 1898, they got ready for the baseball season in Cape May.

Read all about it here.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Coming Soon...

Hey everyone! Sorry again for the radio silence. I'll have an announcement to make here later in February. And believe me - it's a big one. Stay tuned!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be right back

I just got back from a long weekend in Florida. FUN! But I also picked up a head cold. NOT FUN! Will be back when my brain stops draining through my nose.

Until then:

Pretty right?

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New food and fuel in Asbury Park

This lovely dish you see is the Dogfish Head gelato from Porta in Asbury Park. I've written about this place before - they were doing the Christmas tree/pizza/beer or wine deal in December (they sold out of trees, by the way).

As impressed as I've been with Asbury Park, it's getting a lot better with places like Porta and Cafe Volan, which is a coffee shop that sells growlers of coffee (this is a growler if you've never seen one), opening in the last year or so. I'm working on a few projects up in the Park. Exciting time to be there.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Jersey Shore Music News - Take THREE!

The hits just keep on coming.

The organizers of The Bamboozle, which is putting on that big Asbury Park show in May, have announced that they're ALSO putting on a two-day festival of pop and country acts in Wildwood. It'll be held on August 24 and 25 (the Wild Half is August 26 if you're considering both events)

Doesn't look like they've named any acts yet. I'll keep you posted.

Good a time as ever to remind you about two more events:

1. Tomorrow is the every wonderful and lovely Miss'D America Pageant in Atlantic City (unfortunately can't go this year).

2. The Cape May Singer Songwriter Festival will be held on March 30 and 31 in Cape May. First time I can remember that it's not also the same weekend as the Ocean Drive races. Bummed about that too. Ah well.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jersey Shore Music News - Take Two!

Completely missed this one when I wrote the last post: Phish will be playing Bader Field in Atlantic City (which was first used as a concert last summer for the DMB Caravan) on June 22, 23, and 24. Pinky Kravatiz, the all knower about Atlantic City, also says that Bader Field will be playing host to Metallica in June and Kenny Chesney in September.

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Jersey Shore Music News

I was in Asbury Park on Friday as, yes, Bruce Springsteen was filming a music video. News came out shortly after this that his next album, Wrecking Ball, will be out in March. Here's "We Take Care of Our Own," the first single from that album:

Chills. Seriously - chills. Great song (side note: think he sent it to Obama for his 2012 campagin yet?)

Here's the full album song list.

He also did a surprise jam session at the Light of Day Festival in Asbury on Saturday night. Wish I'd been there.

But the music news doesn't end there.

The full lineup for The Bamboozle was announced this week, to ALSO take place in Asbury Park. This'll be a three day show - May 18 to 20. Highlights: Foo Fighters, Incubus, Blink 182, Jimmy Eat World, Bouncing Souls, BON FREAKING JOVI! Here's everyone.

Three-day passes are on sale now for $216. Single day passes will go on sale on Saturday. They're $65 for Friday, &75 for Saturday and $75 for Sunday.

That doesn't seem to pricey to me (though of course these prices are before you add in Live Nation fees, which can range from $14 to $24, according to a story about the prices. Yikes. That story also said that three day passes would be $190, but that's not what I saw when I logged into Ticketmaster to see).

The trick with this one is going to be where to stay. I did a quick search of my favorite places and they're all blacked out except for the Majestic in Ocean Grove, which has one room open on May 18. The festival is offering hotel combo packages, which is probably the reason for the black outs. If you are going to do one of those packages, I recommend the Berkeley just because it's right there in the middle of everything, and you won't need to take a shuttle.

My only beef with The Bamboozle is that they're saying it takes place at North Beach, Asbury Park. What the heck is that? It's Jersey Shore folks. Deal with it.

If I go, it'll probably be to the Saturday show, and I'll be begging to stay on someone's couch. Hey, a girl's got to pay to go to the Chicago Marathon this year. I'll take all the free couches I can get!

I'll be in Asbury Park again on Monday, and then next Friday, I'm flying to Tampa. Gee, I wonder which one will be warmer...

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Vote for Cape May

Cape May is up for Budget Travel's "Coolest Small Town" competition. So if you have a second, click here and go vote. The folks in Cape May will thank you for it!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Sweet Hurricane Irene story

Jamie Marcone and Brian Martinez were SUPPOSED to get married in Atlantic City the weekend that Hurricane Irene hit. The wedding venue cancelled on them five hours before the ceremony was supposed to start.

This could have been disaster. Instead - well - read my story about it in New Jersey Bride.

I'd seen them on the news, and was thrilled when my editor emailed me and asked if I'd write about them. GREAT couple. Great happy ending.

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Friday, January 13, 2012


I have a piece in today's Philadelphia Inquirer about Jersey Shore Polar Plunges. It covers events up and down the coast but focuses on Wildwood's event, which is tomorrow.

I feel bad for you guys - wrong time for a cold front to roll in, eh?

I'm headed to Asbury Park this afternoon and will be bundled up from head to toe. No plunging for me!

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

On the Radio

Tonight, I'll be on Sirius/XM Radio talking about my struggles with eczema, which I wrote about for the New York Times.

I'll be on Doctor Radio, which is channel 81, at 6:30pm EST. Tune in if you can!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Atlantic City Casino Revenues up for first time in 40 months

Finally - Atlantic City casino revenue is NOT sliding down. For the first time in 40 months, those numbers have turned up.

Is it enough? PA is still outpacing AC in gambling revenues.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For your calendar: Slow Foods Fourth Annual Winter Festival

FOODIES! This one's for you. On January 21, the Washington Inn in Cape May is hosting the Slow Food Fourth Annual Winter Feast, which is put on by Slow Foods South Jersey Shore.

For $50 per person ($70 if you want wine pairings), you'll get a five course meal of local and in season (yes, in winter) foods, including lamb, a local fisherman's stew with roasted garlic aoili, shaved winter root salad and beach plum cheesecake.

Slow food doesn't mean snails (though that's the group's logo). It means eating local and fresh foods - I know a lot of readers do this anyway, which is why I think some of you might enjoy this dinner.

I'm so bummed I can't go.

If YOU want to go, get your tickets soon. Last year's dinner sold out.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Morning Sillies

I share this for two reasons:

1. It's funny.
2. It's my brother, and if you're ever wondering where some of the weirder blog posts come from, now you know it runs in the family.

Mike's started a Tumblr about his quest to lose weight before his wedding. Check that out here.

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tackling the Ocean Drive 10

Hello from winter hibernation! I know I've been posting less, but I've been a busy bee in other areas of my work and professional life. Oh and the holidays completely zapped me.

But I'm back. Hooray!

So some news. I pledged before that I'd be running the Ocean Drive Marathon. I started the training in late December and realized that my heart wasn't in it. My body wasn't in it, either. I only had two weeks off between the Philadelphia Marathon and starting training for the next one. My body was tired. I needed a running break.

So I took it and, instead, signed up for the Ocean Drive 10 miler. So this will be my fifth year in a row running that race.

I'm not taking it easy, though. I'm setting a lofty goal: I'd like to run the race in one hour and 18 minutes.

This isn't going to be easy. My fastest time in this race was a 1:19:55 in 2009. My fastest time in a 10 miler is a 1:19:21 in the 2009 Broad Street Run. I ran both of those races before I hurt my hip. In my best middle distance race of 2011, I ran an 8:23 min/mile average pace (the Ocean City Half Marathon). To hit 1:18 in a 10 miler, I'll need to run 7:48 min/miles.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But a few reasons I'm doing this:

1. I'm comfortable with this distance. Since I hurt my hip, I've run half a dozen races in the 10 miler/half marathon distances. I know how to pace myself, and I know how to carry myself through that length of distance in a race situation, which I don't know how to do at the marathon.

2. I'm comfortable with this course. I've got it DOWN. I know its quirks, and I can plan and train for them.

3. I need a challenge. I trained for the Philadelphia Marathon with a goal of finishing. I did that, but the training was boring. I miss speed workouts and tempo runs. Training for a 1:18 will bring that back into my running schedule.

4. I'm OK if I miss the goal. Really, I will be. The race is just the icing on the cake. The training, at least for me, is what's important, and I miss training hard. I'd be thrilled if I finished anywhere under 1:19. Setting the goal as 1:18 just makes it easier to visualize.

I've found a bunch of people on twitter who are running the marathon or 10 miler for the first time, so I'll put together a post soon about where to stay/eat/etc. For you non-runners, I think it'll still be interesting because the information could apply to anyone doing a spring trip to the Cape May area. At least I hope!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4 and 5: Shore Sales

On January 5, you can snap up great deals at Congress Hall and Star Inn in Cape May. But you can only get them ON JANUARY 5.

I know a bunch of you have taken full advantage of this sale before (some of you for a few years now). So if you want in, click in on Thursday and book away.

You can book dates between January 5 and April 5. Some exclusions apply.

Want to get a good deal at the Chelsea in AC? Book now - their sale is running today, January 5.

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