Jersey Shore, Cape May to Atlantic City, May 11, 2014

Posted: May 30, 2014 in NJ / NY State trips

New Jersey towns change from one to another like night and day.  This ride up the south Jersey shore accentuated that.

I arrived at Cape May, the southernmost tip of New Jersey,  by ferry from Delaware.    I had been to Cape May a couple times previously, but many years ago.  I was prepared to say that Cape May is the best looking beach town in America.  It has an intact infrastructure from the late 1800’s.   Maybe I like Cape May because it looks like I imagine my hometown Virginia Beach used to look, before it was torn down in the sixties, to be replaced by modernist motels, which have now been pretty much torn down as well.      My current judgement of Cape May is that it is indeed great looking, but maybe a bit too cute, too precious.

Cape May oceanfront

Cape May

Cape May is like almost every other beach town in New Jersey; they have this insidious practice of Beach Tags; you have to pay to go on the beach.

Beachtags

As you bicycle up the coast the fifty or so miles to Atlantic City, you pass through town after town.    Some areas look undeveloped, even like the North Carolina Outer Banks.

 

Beachwild

 

There is serious commercial fishing going on here as well.

 

2014-05-11 10.46.47

The Wildwoods, just north of Cape May, have tried to protect modernist motels of the fifties and sixties.   Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach should copy their actions, if it is not too late.      A lot of the motels in the Wildwoods  have the same types of plastic palm trees.

Caribbean Motel

 

Motelss

Motelsbetter

Motels2

Motelbetter

 

RoyalHawaiian

 

 

Many of the Jersey beach towns are purely residential.    One of these towns Ventnor City is just before Atlantic City.   This block between the main road and the beach appears even nicer than my mother’s neighborhood in north Virginia Beach, except that in a half a mile all hell breaks loose, and it becomes casino and slum madness.

Before Atlantic City

Atlantic City is a complete mess.   A lot of the slums have been torn down, so there is a mix of empty lots, gaudy casinos, and slums.

 

Tropicanabetter

 

 

The boardwalk is actually OK; families walking around in a dirty carnivalesque atmosphere.

boardwalkacy

bird

Away from the beach and boardwalk, and if you are not in one of the garish casinos, the street life is pretty scary.   I was tired from all the bike riding, so on my cellphone I booked a room at the Trump.    I feel guilty that I spent money on a room there.

trump

For dinner, I really did not want to eat at a chain restaurant, or anywhere in those gross casinos.   I found an Irish bar on Yelp,  half a block from the boardwalk towards the slums, and it is on your left.   Once inside, it was really quite nice; great roast beef sandwich.   One complaint:  on overhearing the others at the bar, there was semi-racist talk from middle aged white people.  They felt this place was their final refuge from the hoards of people of color outside.   They felt this country was going to hell.

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2014-05-11 19.04.38

The bar had great genuine old pictures of Atlantic City on the walls, including this one of Jack Dempsey.   Looks like Boardwalk Empire.

2014-05-11 20.15.45

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