Sunday, November 23, 2014

Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Seaside Heights Boardwalk pre-Memorial Day

Posted by Stu On June - 18 - 2009

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For most of my life, Seaside Heights was just a 3 mile drive away.  Having lived by the boardwalk my whole life, I never understood the big deal about it.  As a kid, it was a fun place.  As a teen and young adult, it was still a nice place to walk around, but it sure did make traffic suck in the summertime with all the North Jerseyans, New Yorkers, and Pennsylvanians swarming the area.

For those not in the know, to residents of The Shore and South Jersey, North Jersey and New York tourists are “bennies” and PA ones, particularly from Philly, are “shoobies.”  I could go deeper into the origins of these but I really don’t feel like it.  Look it up.

Anyway, from my experience, most people out of state think boardwalk towns are booming year round and always have something going on.

Nope.

The towns, and boardwalks especially, are just about ghost towns for most of the year.  Summer season is only Memorial Day weekend til Labor Day, less than 5 months.

So to prove my point, I went to Seaside on May 7, less than 3 weeks before “the season” and took pics of the boardwalk.  I wanted to show that even the more popular shore destinations look about the same as Asbury Park for most of the year.  This also served as a nice blast of nostalgia, since Seaside is no longer a quick drive for me but now over 100 miles away.

And as for the benny/shoobie thing, I for one never saw the big deal.  Sure, they add to the traffic of an already overpopulated area, and sure some are very, very obnoxious.  But if it weren’t for them, shore towns would have next to no economy and probably wouldn’t exist.  Take the bad with the good and shut up already.  Funny part is most of the “shore people” I know moved there from North Jersey or NY and really have no room to talk.

…and I guess technically I’m a shoobie now, but I still don’t appreciate getting grief for going back to where I grew up and lived for 25 years.

…oh yeah, pictures.  I started at the landmark Midway Steakhouse and first headed north.  Coin Castle, one of the big 2 arcades, was completely closed up.  This used to be my favorite arcade when I was a kid, but then they got rid of like 90% of their arcade games and replaced them with all that crap that gives out points and tokens.  I switched teams and began to frequent Lucky Leo’s.

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Up the boardwalk a bit is Casino Pier, which is always closed in the off-season.  Nearly every shop and stand was closed as well.

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Once you get past Casino Pier, the north end gets pretty boring.  There are sky swings that run down to the end of the boardwalk; that’s the only ride up this way.  Many of the arcades and stores down this way are much smaller and less visited than those at the southern end.  Pleasure Island, a pretty run down but still decent arcade, was up this way but shut down a few years ago.

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At the very end is…nothing.  Always wished they put something here.

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Told ya they hate bennies.

I headed back south.  Down this way are many more arcades and stores.  There’s also a second amusement pier, Funtown Pier.  This one’s more geared toward little kids.  It’s also completely off limits in the off-season.

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Down near the very end is the Saw Mill, a very popular pizzeria and bar.  When I visited was just a few weeks after the Saw Mill’s inside caught fire.  It was being fixed up and the air still smelled like burnt wood.  I’m glad they got to it before the whole place went up.

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Best soft vanilla ice cream ever:

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Best salt water taffy ever:

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Stores like this aggravate me.  Anyone who buys anything from this place is a tool.  And probably a benny.

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Back where I started.  Time to go.

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Popularity: 28% [?]

Cape May-Lewes Ferry

Posted by Stu On July - 27 - 2004

Instead of driving the 180+ miles back home, I decided to take the ferry across the bay, cutting my trip to 80 miles. There are a few things to see during the 75 minute ride, if you know what to look for.

Right next to the ferry is a replica of the first Dutch ship to land in Delaware. I wanted to commandeer it.


The Melee was quite comfortable aboard the ferry.


A lighthouse on the Delaware side, along with one of the towers from Cape Henlopen.


Imagine having to walk out to this every day.


You can see the Cape May Lighthouse from the ferry, though it’s a bit far.


Also visible from the ferry are the Concrete Shipwreck and WWII Watchtower.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Wildwood – Summer ‘04

Posted by Stu On June - 27 - 2004

For the first time in years, I went to Wildwood. I took pictures of some of the more interesting things I saw there.

The first few pics are from a ride called “Dante’s Inferno.” Killer art. I’m surprised there weren’t any zealots handing out pamphlets in front of it.


Cerberus. All its heads move.


Yes, it’s a Pringles vending machine.

These are from a ride where you sit in a cart and shoot lasers at zombies. They also had one where you shoot pirates….


This was behind a bar or something. Have no idea what they use it for.

Popularity: 12% [?]

Quick Stop

Posted by Stu On February - 27 - 2004

Yes, we’re dorks. While driving back from our latest Sandy Hook trip, Annie yelled, “Quick Stop! Quick Stop!” If you have no idea what the big deal is, this is the convenience store where the movie Clerks was filmed. The video store, where Randall worked in the movie, is right next door. We heard some kids in front of the store talking about how the video store has been closed for 3 months because it was robbed. There were still tapes just lying on the ground inside the store.

Popularity: 13% [?]

Sinkhole in the Ocean County Mall Parking Lot

Posted by Stu On June - 27 - 2003

Earlier this month, I got a call about a sinkhole in the parking lot of the Ocean County Mall. I was told a car was at the bottom. I drove there to check it out. When I got there, they had a section of the lot closed off. A crane was just starting to lift the car out of the hole. One of the workers said the hole was about 15′ deep. The crane turned before the car was completely out, so the car was almost dropped back in.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Car in the Giant Puddle – 12/02

Posted by Stu On December - 27 - 2002

Here is why you should always, ALWAYS use caution when exploring off main or paved roads. On one of our trips to find the Bamber Boys’ Home (12/14) we made the mistake of not measuring the depth of a puddle on the trail. Here is the result:

Of course, if you have a truck or something that’s offroading-compatible, this probably isn’t a problem for you. Unfortunately, we’re all stuck with cars.

After watching the car fill with water for nearly an hour and failing to push it out, we found a bulldozer. There was construction going on not far from where we were stuck, and the guy came to tow the car out. We were really lucky that guy was there. If not, I’m sure Andrew’s car would still be out in the woods, in Lake Andrew. The construction guys actually told us 2 or 3 other people got stuck back there before us, and they all had trucks. They also told us “The next puddle’s bigger. 4-wheelers get stuck in that one.”

Here’s the car after being towed out (and Andrew praying or crying or something):

Here’s the backseat flooded with water……….dirty, oily water.

This was one of those things that in retrospect is very funny. But at the time it really, really sucked.

Popularity: 7% [?]

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