Hurricane Sandy’s Second Anniversary Has Been Harder Than the First

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I took the day off yesterday, putting up an out-of-office message so I could pop the windows out of my Jeep Wrangler and cruise down the shore. I stopped at the Ocean View Wawa for a sandwich and a bag of chips, then parked myself in a chair on the beach in Strathmere.

I spent most of the day reading a book, but I also did a lot of staring at the ocean. I told friends I hit the beach because I’m tapering for a marathon, and I’m full of edgy energy that has no outlet. But really, I was there because today is the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New Jersey, and I wanted to both pay my respects and thanks to the beach that survived, and deliver a giant middle finger to a storm that destroyed large parts of our Jersey Shore.

I’ve had a harder time with the two-year anniversary than the first. When a preview copy of Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy came in the mail, I took it right to my library’s donation bin. It’s more difficult now because we have a clearer picture of how bad things really are, not just in the immediate days after the storm where we could not stop looking at pictures of roads torn apart and houses shattered into splinters, but the inevitable mess that came after.

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Four Jersey Shore End-of-Summer Steals to Shop Now

Shore

It’s wheeling and dealing time at the Jersey Shore, folks. Not only will hotel room prices drop after this weekend, but you can also get everything from boogie boards to flip flops to island-branded t-shirts for far less than you’d have paid in May.

But if you know where to go (psst: we do) deals go much deeper than that. Here are four that should be on your list if you’re headed down the shore before school starts back up again.

Keep reading for sales galore.

5 End-of-Summer Shore Ideas (That Don’t Involve Sitting in a Labor Day Crowd)

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The window on summer is quickly closing (or already closed, you jerks already drinking pumpkin beer).

But we still have hot weather, and there’s still time to get another Jersey Shore fix beyond just sitting on the beach in a crowd.

Here are five ideas for doing just that — covering the entirety of the Jersey Shore. I do stray north of Brigantine sometimes.

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The Ocean City, N.J., vs. Ocean City, Md., Headline Quiz

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Two states, two Ocean Cities. But which is which?

One has a swim up bar and spots like the Brass Balls Saloon; the other is so dry it doesn’t even allow BYOB.

One pushes its family friendly image with billboards showing families; the other still uses a stale lifeguard campaign.

Only one gloated about its plan to steal away visitors from a storm-damaged area, so you can guess why my tone favors one town over the other.

But they do share the same name, and for the last seven years I’ve had a Google alert set for Ocean City, which means I’ve read a lot about both.

Can you tell which is which? Below are some Ocean City headlines from this summer.

Take the Quiz »

The Garden State Parkway-Boardwalk Pizza Suit Is the Dumbest Lawsuit New Jersey Has Ever Filed

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The author at Boardwalk Pizza.

In 2009, a friend and I were driving from Key West to Fort Lauderdale. The night before had been a long one (is there any other kind of night in Key West? Especially on your last night of vacation?) so we were looking for a greasy lunch.

“STOP!” I cried when I saw a green and yellow circular sign on the side of the road. “We’re eating here.”

That place was Jersey Boardwalk Pizza, which is now being sued by the state of N.J. [read the full suit]. because of their logo has the same shape and color scheme as the Garden State Parkway emblem.

This is ridiculous. How ridiculous? As ridiculous as saying Flying Fish promotes drunk driving with their Exit Beer series. As ridiculous as AAA not being able to service cars on the New Jersey Turnpike, Atlantic City Expressway or Garden State Parkway. As ridiculous as only having six bathrooms for women in what replaced the Oceanview Service Area rest stop.

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Three Strikes for Atlantic City

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

It hasn’t been a great week for Atlantic City.

First, Caesars has indicated that they won’t close the Showboat if they can sell it. While this sounds like good news, it’s not so great for Revel and the state’s $261 million investment in it. Showboat’s not carrying the same debt as its northern boardwalk neighbor, so it may be more attractive to companies looking for a foothold in the Atlantic City market, like Hard Rock. 

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Maybe Atlantic City Does Have a Non-Gambling Future

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

How about some good news about Atlantic City as we head into the Fourth of July Weekend?

On June 19th — the same day Revel filed for bankruptcy part two — Garden Pier re-opened. The pier, which is on the north end of the boardwalk between Revel and Showboat, had been heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy. It’s home to both the Atlantic City Historical Museum and Atlantic City Art Center, so this was a big win for the non-gaming tourism sector of Atlantic City that they’re open to the public again. Both museums are free (yes free!).

That same week, Atlantic City mayor Don Guardian announced that the beach at Boardwalk and Park Place will now be the city’s official gay friendly beach.

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