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Thread: Washington Post does Jersey Shore coverage

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    Default Washington Post does Jersey Shore coverage

    The Washington Post is doing extensive coverage of the Jersey Shore in their travel section for June 24th, Sunday Paper.

    Here is one article...

    The Jersey Shore
    Ferris wheels. Victorian B&Bs. Doo-wop hotels. Skeeball. Whale-watching. And no Bay Bridge!

    By Roger Piantadosi
    Special to The Washington Post
    Sunday, June 24, 2007; Page P01


    For me, okay: It is home. But for everyone who chooses to spend a bit of summertime at the Jersey Shore, I'm thinking the reasons are similar: It's like home.

    As a 50-something who grew up here and returns several times a summer, in fact, I am prone to think of the Jersey Shore as one giant family room -- large enough that you can see it from outer space, and loud enough that you can hear it from Delaware. Come in, it says. Eat something. Want to play cards? Watch the game? Take the kids up the boards? (It's important to imagine all these things being said to you at the same time, by different relatives.) Not to say that being "down the shore" is some kind of exclusively ethnic, big-family thing. State tourism officials, in fact, like to point out that more and more visitors to New Jersey -- visitors who spent more than $37 billion in the state in 2006, by the way -- are coming from places other than the traditional New York and Philadelphia markets, including Baltimore, Washington, Boston. Canada, even.

    From wherever you're coming to the Jersey Shore, however, it helps to be comfortable around large numbers of people who a) do a lot of talking, often simultaneously; b) are demonstratively thankful that it's Friday (or Saturday, or Sunday) and c) may be wearing flip-flops.

    Everybody's family is, of course, different.

    "Hey." We say it simultaneously, your typical low-key, noncommittal Jersey greeting, me and the stocky guy in a baseball cap getting out of his black Lexus SUV on a late-morning Saturday last July, as I head back into the Green Planet coffee shop in downtown Point Pleasant Beach. I had run out quickly to buy an Asbury Park Press to go with my coffee, and I'm thinking, jeez, this guy looks so familiar -- did I go to high school with him? Or did I know him from . . . oh, my God. I'm back inside at the front window watching him, in flip-flops, shorts and T-shirt, straightening up stuff in the back of his car, when I realize to whom I just said hey.

    It's Tony freakin' Soprano.

    Okay, no, it's really James Gandolfini, the actor who plays the world's most famous fictional mob boss on TV, but still. Tony freakin' Soprano. I try to focus on the fact that I, like Gandolfini, grew up in New Jersey, so a certain amount of watchful and respectful distance is called for. Nonchalance, many believe, was invented in New Jersey -- not far from Thomas Edison's laboratory.

    When he finally hurries toward the coffee shop door, Gandolfini glances at me again and smiles affably through the glass. I smile back; I do not wave. I read somewhere that he's an unusually private guy, has only given a handful of interviews throughout his career. I read somewhere that he and his family have a summer place near here. I figure I'll just drink my coffee and hope no one else makes any false moves. All the whacking and stuff he has to deal with at work, guy deserves a break.

    Inside, he heads straight for the counter, nearly unnoticed, wherein the manager, clearly expecting him, has readied at least a dozen huge coffees to go in three trays. He pays her, stacks and carries the trays out, places them carefully in the back of the car, and is pulling away from the curb in less than a couple of minutes. A young guy inside who'd been staring open-mouthed, nudging and whispering to his girlfriend, realizes too late that he has missed his chance, and as his hero drives off, he leaps up and runs out to the sidewalk, where he can only shoot a two-handed thumbs-up and walk back inside, looking awed and dejected.

    What have we learned from this?

    That's easy: At the Jersey Shore, even Tony freakin' Soprano is just a guy in flip-flops who has to go get everyone coffee. When it's his turn, I mean.

    Aside from the we're-all-brothers vibe, the second aspect of the Jersey Shore I should mention -- and this will become apparent as you delve into the other detailed field reports in today's Travel section -- is its diversity. None of the Atlantic coastline's 127 miles, from Sandy Hook in the north all the way to Cape May, an hour's ferry ride across the Delaware Bay from Lewes, is exactly like any other.

    In general, the biggest difference is a north-south thing. New Yorkers and North Jerseyans head to Ocean and Monmouth counties -- to the family-friendly boardwalks and laid-back beaches of Ocean Grove, Sea Girt, Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach and the more singles-friendly streets, clubs and amusement piers of Seaside Heights. Philadelphians head to the small-town, boardwalk-free charms of Long Beach Island and points south, including such quieter Atlantic City "suburbs" as Margate and Stone Harbor, and the extensive boardwalk-based amusements of the Wildwoods and Ocean City. In the north, the locals call the tourists "bennies." In the south, they're "shoobies." In both cases the love-hate relationship is long-standing and pretty much co-dependent.

    The three best-known cities along the coast -- Asbury Park, Atlantic City and Cape May -- are less representative of the Jersey Shore and more like attractions unto themselves, each with its own specialty:

    · Victorian architecture, B&Bs and some of the world's widest beaches in Cape May (where someone recently proposed opening a camel concession -- to get people across the vast sands to the water's edge).

    · Casinos, of course, and spas and shopping and most things air-conditioned, in Atlantic City.

    · Asbury Park's amazingly persistent live rock-and-roll club presence, first made famous by Bruce Springsteen in the early '70s, and its more recent rebirth and gentrification as a resort hub for gays and a year-round design and arts center.

    Yes, things change. It's hard to believe "The Sopranos" series has ended, for instance, with Tony still alive and open to a movie deal.

    On the other hand, some things hardly change at all: Point Pleasant Beach, for instance.

    Aside from a relatively healthy, picturesque and franchise-free downtown, Point Pleasant Beach's oceanfront and mile-long boardwalk seem much the same today as they were when my high school buddies and I really got to know it the summer before senior year. After buying our El Producto cigars at Martell's (now a more built-up place whose Tiki Bar near Arnold Avenue and the boardwalk's kid-friendly amusement area offers live music almost nightly), we'd smoke them as we walked -- okay, ambled, but in a really cool way -- north through a mostly residential area. Up here, the sound of kids and cooking and card games still wafts, as it did then, from the patios and screened porches that face the boardwalk and the beach.

    Eventually we'd wind up at Jenkinson's Pavilion, at the Manasquan Inlet, where there were dances every Saturday night. Today there are concerts and fireworks here on the weekends.

    Today there are also markedly fewer teenagers standing around wondering, as we did, why no girls would ever come around and talk to us. And that's probably a good thing.

    We now know it was not us, per se, but the cigar smoke. At least that's what we tell the kids.
    I'm going to try picking up a Washington Post tomorrow and check out their coverage.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    That's a good write up for the Jersey shore.It would encourage more visitors to come in.

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    I dont know how much I agree with the article when the article makes it look like only people from philly are the ones who go to LBI. I went there this weekend to a house that had 7 people from Morris County and 1 from California there. We also visited Barnegat Lighthouse and I did see plenty of pennsylvania license plates but also a few from new york. I have a friend who is from Staten Island, N.Y. and he his wife and 2 daughters go to LBI every summer for a week. The parents of this same friend also live in Staten Island and their neighbor owns a house on the beach in LBI. Another friend at work who lives in North Jersey also has an LBI sticker on his truck. I see plenty of these same stickers up my way all the time. My family and I through the course of every year visit Spring Lake, Point Pleasent, A.C., and Cape May. Again I am from North Jersey but visit the entire coast. But whatever the case, I hope that wherever people come from they have a good time and are willing to come back!
    Last edited by NJPRIDE; 06-24-2007 at 06:54 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJPRIDE
    I dont know how much I agree with the article when the article makes it look like only people from philly are the ones who go to LBI. I went there this weekend to a house that had 7 people from Morris County and 1 from California there. We also visited Barnegat Lighthouse and I did see plenty of pennsylvania license plates but also a few from new york. I have a friend who is from Staten Island, N.Y. and he his wife and 2 daughters go to LBI every summer for a week. The parents of this same friend also live in Staten Island and their neighbor owns a house on the beach in LBI. Another friend at work who lives in North Jersey also has an LBI sticker on his truck. I see plenty of these same stickers up my way all the time. My family and I through the course of every year visit Spring Lake, Point Pleasent, A.C., and Cape May. Again I am from North Jersey but visit the entire coast. But whatever the case, I hope that wherever people come from they have a good time and are willing to come back!
    I have to agree with you on this observation. A recent survey was done by Monmouth University and New Jersey Monthly and Long Beach Island is a statewide destination. As a matter of fact it's the number 1 beach location for northern New Jerseyans as well as central New Jerseyans. It seems as if the reporter was basing his comments on either his limited experience with the area, or with biased perceptions.

    JERSEY SHORE FAVORITES(pdf)
    New Jerseyans name their top towns and activities

    Beach or Boardwalk? When New Jerseyans trek down the shore this summer which pleasure do they will seek out – a day of sand and surf or an evening strolling the boards? It seems that Garden Staters are split down the middle when it comes to their passion for these perennial summertime activities – 42% describe themselves as beach people compared to a nearly identical 41% who say the boardwalk is their bag. Another 7% claim both shore amenities
    are equally important to them and the remaining 10% choose to head for the mountains when fair weather beckons.

    The younger set – including New Jerseyans under the age of 30 and parents of young children – tend to be a little more beach than boardwalk in their shore preferences. On the other hand, senior citizens are decidedly boardwalk folks.

    When asked to pick their favorite shore town, New Jersey residents’ choices are – quite literally – all over the map. The top spots include the towns on Long Beach Island – generally known by its collective moniker “L.B.I.”; the gambling mecca of Atlantic City; the inland waterway gateway of Point Pleasant Beach; the self-proclaimed “America’s Greatest Family Resort” of Ocean City; and the wide beaches and honkytonk of Wildwood. Each of these spots is selected as the favorite shore town by 8 to 10 percent of New Jerseyans.

    Other Jersey Shore towns that are popular with home staters include Seaside Heights (7%), Cape May (6%) and Belmar (3%). A number of other towns garnered a mention as a favored spot from 1 to 3 percent of residents.

    Among North and Central Jersey residents, LBI just edges out Point Pleasant, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, and Wildwood as the top town. However, among South Jerseyans, Ocean City is clearly king of the shore towns. Nearly 1-in-4 residents of the southern portion of the state name this island town as their favorite – more than double the number who name runnersup Atlantic City, LBI, Wildwood or Cape May.

    One issue around the Jersey Shore where the state registers clear agreement is that beach tags have got to go. Fully 7-in-10 residents (70%) say that beachgoers should not have to pay a fee in order to set foot on Garden State sands. Only 1-in-4 (26%) find charges for beach access to be acceptable.

    “The shore is universally acknowledged as one of New Jersey’s greatest assets – one that most residents feel should be free to all,” remarked Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

    This poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute by telephone with 803 New Jersey adults from April 17 to 20, 2006. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.5 percent. These poll results were featured in the June 2006 issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine.
    One thing I disagree with in the poll is the issue of beach tags. Who the hell do residents think should pay for the upkeep of the beaches? Do they really think that the town can support it solely when they have only a 3 - 4 month season? The beaches are all free for the "shoulder season" - so it's not like New Jerseyans can't enjoy free beaches - not to mention enjoying the beaches when they are less crowded. It's sort of funny - people ***** and moan about beach tags and toll booths - but you know who pays the most for these things - OUT OF STATE VISITORS (or drive-thrus as is the case with the Turnpike tolls). So basically by people saying that the tolls and beach badges have to go, they are telling the New Jersey government to tax us even more - because someone is going to have to pay for the lifeguards, the trash cans, the beach clean-u, etc. I would rather have the people who use these services pay - who are mostly out of state visitor - than have it fall solely on the New Jersey taxpayer. I don't know - call me stupid - but I think we pay enough in taxes to our do nothing - union protecting - government.

    My plan for beach fees is this...

    beach town residents (say like Seaside Heights - Free)
    In county residents - pay a reduced rate
    In state state residents outside the county - pay slightly more
    Out-of-state residents pay the full rate

    I would also like to see a "state-wide" beach tag made available. This would especially be useful for New Jerseyans who wish to explore the many great beaches during the summer.

    Here is another one of their surveys they did at the same time - MOST NEW JERSEYANS PLAN TO SPEND TIME DOWN THE SHORE
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


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