My Jersey Shore

The Jersey Shore- the place, not the show

Death by Party | The place is not the show

Thanks to an old show on MTV everybody associates the Jersey coastline with the people from that show. Last fall Superstorm Sandy reaped havoc on this part of Jersey. What got spared and what’s hot in the news now is the part of the Jersey Shore that is often over-looked by the media, thankfully. It’s the part that lies south of Atlantic City and it is the area I like to call my second home. While the population of guidos and guidettes and New Yorkers (in general) is practically non-existent, the Shore of Southern New Jersey boasts its own interesting array of characters.

I don’t count Atlantic City as my Shore. Granted, I’ve spent many a nights hopped up on it’s blinking lights camouflaged near a red hot craps table; I just mark it as more of a place for tourists who don’t care about the actual beach. As we wander South of AC, we hit up Ventnor and Margate, or as I like to call it, the Jewish Riviera. This portion is much smaller than its Catholic counterpart that lies to the South however it still has some of the nicest beachfront properties in the country. If you have any Jewish friends that frequent the Shore of Southern New Jersey I can almost one-hundred percent guarantee that this is where they soak up their sun.
Between the Jewish Riviera and its bigger counterpart the Catholic Riviera is the Family Town. Ocean City is one place where you will not find anybody that does not have children. This town is a dry town and it caters to young families with a Boardwalk that boasts several amusement parks, world famous caramel corn, saltwater taffy, pizza, and carnival games. It is also expensive meaning that it keeps out the criminal element that roams the Wildwood boardwalks. The one time to hang out in Ocean City is during The Nights of Venice, but if you can get a good seat from a bar in Somers Point you can save yourself any humiliation of being spotted in this town with a beer in your hand.

The Catholic Riviera consists roughly of Sea Isle, Avalon, and Stone Harbor. Yours truly is a Sea Isle guy through and through although most of my contingent (single people in their thirties with good jobs) prefer Avalon. Sea Isle is more of your family town for drinkers while both Avalon and Stone Harbor are for anybody that makes a lot of money and/or has the money to burn. If you stop by Sea Isle you can find me any night at the Dead Dog Saloon. The hotspot in Avalon is a little place known as The Princeton. Total opposite atmospheres yet one thing is for certain, there’s one place where you’re not likely to find either a Sea Isle guy or an Avalon/Stone Harbor guy, the Wildwoods. This strip of land has a little bit of everything all the other places are secretly thankful not to boast. Bikers, Latino kings, welfare recipients, new money in the North, carneys in the middle, the most extreme of the extremes sprinkled in; if you want to witness the spectacle than you come to Wildwood to find it. It’s got the seedy motels and it has the dive bars and they can cater to anybody not fortunate enough (sans the new money in the North) to afford going to any of the other Shore towns. Probably its biggest claim to fame is its Irish Weekend, thankfully this occurs after Labor Day Weekend every year.

Cape May is the Shore of Southern Jersey’s southernmost point. What can I say, Victorian houses on the beach. It’s the type of town where you go grab a root beer on tap and feed bread to seagulls. It’s a rather boring place meaning it is also relaxing. It’s haunted and it’s safe but most importantly it has its own song (On the Way to Cape May). Whether you’re into taking crowded buses with a bunch of Asian people that love to gamble, enjoying Shabbat by the bay, spending a fortune to prizes for your kids, tolerating drunk Irish people, admiring rich girls with plastic surgery, singing-along with cheesy cover bands, listening to sea-faring stories of sun burnt fishermen, or if you’re just an old salt who simply will never grow old; there is a little something for everybody who comes and visits my beloved Shore of Southern New Jersey.

By Lou Cervantes

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One Response to “My Jersey Shore”

  1. Almondays says:

    I’ll always have a soft spot for the shore. Funnel cakes and foosball.

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