Welcome to the fifth annual edition of the Wildwood Boardwalk T-Shirt Guide!
Not a lot has changed on the boards since I did my first one of these in 2012. I probably wouldn’t have believed you four years ago if you told me that I’d still be doing this in 2016. I definitely wouldn’t have believed you if you told me Donald Trump would be the hottest item on boardwalk shirts this year.
But it’s true. I spoke with five different shop owners during a trip to the Wildwood boardwalk this week. None of them wanted to be identified — perhaps because of the massive copyright infringement the Wildwood boardwalk t-shirt business thrives on, or maybe they were just shy — but they all agreed: They expect to sell a ton of Donald Trump merchandise this summer.
[ Previous Wildwood boardwalk t-shirt columns: 2012 | 2013 (’13 Update) | 2014 | 2015 (’15 Update) ]
But if the hottest shirts on the Wildwood boardwalk this summer are ones supporting Donald Trump, the number two item might be shirts opposing him.
(Yes, that’s a “We Shall Overcomb” pun on a shirt that has turned Donald Trump’s hair into a bald eagle.) Read more »
The Best Food on the Wildwood Boardwalk | Illustration by Melissa McFeeters
Not all boardwalk fry shacks are created equal — we should know; we tried them all. Spare yourself the trouble: Commit this food-lover’s guide to the Wildwood boardwalk memory, and never be disappointed again. Read more »
Photo | Dan McQuade
It is a long walk to the ocean in the Wildwoods. At the beach’s most expansive points, expect to walk about 10 minutes from the boardwalk to the Atlantic Ocean. On hot days it seems even longer. It can be a pretty tough trek when you’re carrying loads of beach gear.
But the Wildwood beaches are also pretty nice: Their size means there’s never a problem finding a spot to soak in the sun, a place to play beach games or a deserted area to dig a giant hole in the sand. They’re clean. And they stretch for five miles along North Wildwood, Wildwood and Wildwood Crest; there’s actually a lot of variety in the beach in different places. Also, it’s free.
Wildwood’s beaches do have detractors, however. An Asbury Park Press reader survey voted them the third worst. But those are North Jersey haters. A recent ranking by Family Vacation Critic put the Wildwoods in the top-10 best beaches for families in the country. Read more »
The game on the Wildwood boardwalk where the Strothers brothers gave away counterfeit basketball jerseys as prizes. (Photo: U.S. Department of Justice)
As an expert in Wildwood boardwalk T-shirts, it’s time to let you readers in on a little secret: Not all of the shirts are officially licensed products. Logos are used without permission, store owners swipe T-shirt ideas from one another and — maybe because infringers can escape into the sea — the boardwalk is generally a copyright lawlessness zone.
But not always. In the past two weeks, two South Jersey brothers have pleaded guilty to purchasing at least 16,700 counterfeit basketball and football jerseys and giving them away as prizes at three outposts on the boardwalk in Wildwood and North Wildwood. To which I say: It’s actually possible to win those prizes on the Wildwood boardwalk’s basketball games?! Read more »
Philly Mag‘s own Dan McQuade writes an annual column about some of the most repetitive (and, let’s just admit it, most lame) t-shirts that seem to litter souvenir stands along the Wildwood Boardwalk, but something tells me you’d find these goods at just about any Jersey beach (Atlantic City, anyone?).
Nevertheless, in this year’s list, McQuade found a shirt mixed in amongst the mountains of Minons that’s quite surprising, given that it is 2015:
Yup, there with Frozen and Deez Nuts Got Em is a tank that says “I’m Not Gay But $20 is $20.” I’ve seen the shirt before, normally worn by gay dudes, but here it is being pimped along the boardwalk’s family friendly designs.
“Hey, everyone’s gotta make a living,” McQuade wrote about the tank. Now we know what’s going on behind those lifeguard stands. Am I right?
Every kind of minion imaginable is on the Wildwood boardwalk. Even naked minions.
When you’re the guy who writes an annual column about t-shirts on the Wildwood boardwalk, your friends send you a lot of texts about the latest t-shirt trends when they go down the shore. (I get a lot of weird texts from my friends.)
The past month, I’ve been getting the same texts from friends: Minions. There are minions all over the boardwalk.
I recently went down to Wildwood to investigate, and my friends’ texts were right: Every type of minion imaginable is on the Wildwood boardwalk. Regular minions. Minions with pithy inspirational sayings next to them. Ninja Turtle minions. Batman minions. Heath Ledger Joker minions. Superman minions. Spider-man minions. Even Green Lantern minions. Who likes Green Lantern? And, yes, there are naked minions.
Earlier this summer, I wrote about how minions are making Comcast millions. (The company owns Universal.) The spin-off movie in the Despicable Me franchise, Minions, has made more than $962 million worldwide since its release on July 10th. That’s almost a billion dollars in a little over a month! No wonder minions are all over the boardwalk. Too bad for t-shirt vendors another Universal/Comcast hit, Jurassic Park, isn’t so easily meme-able.
Let’s check out a few more late bloomers on the boardwalk this summer. Read more »
Look at their smiles and see the true happiness that comes from eating breakfast in the sky above the ocean.
Because when you think Morey’s Pier, you think fine dining, right?
Well, maybe you should. Kinda. Because the newest location for fine dining at the shore is the ferris wheel at Morey’s Piers in Wildwoods, NJ. With white linens, fine china, ocean views and menu items like Belgian waffles, shrimp and lobster omelets, quiche and steak and eggs, this is just about as fancy as ferris wheels get.
I present to you the Morey’s Piers Breakfast In The Sky program. Starting Saturday, July 25th, guests can dine “wheel-side” on the park’s 156 foot Giant Wheel (0ne of the largest on the East Coast).
Read more »
Confederate flags for sale on the boardwalk in Wildwood (Photo: Dan McQuade)
For four years now, I’ve been chronicling Wildwood boardwalk t-shirts in a silly column on this website. Last year, I wrote about a constant presence on the Wildwood boardwalk for as long as I can remember: Confederate battle flag t-shirts.
This is particularly odd, since New Jersey was a Union state (it was the last state in the north to abolish slavery). White people wearing the Confederate battle flag can’t go with a lame “southern pride” defense when they’re in New Jersey. I checked out a sampling of 15 t-shirt stores while in Wildwood this weekend; I was able to find Confederate flag merchandise in 13 of them. Read more »
Well, they didn’t sell all of the 157 blighted properties at the last week’s auction organized by Councilman Mark Squilla, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success. The Inquirer reports that the 89 properties, owned by the City of Philadelphia, the Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, sold for a larger-than-expected sum of $1.78 million.
The auction, which attracted 93 bidders on Friday afternoon during a heatwave, saw a wide range of winning bids for properties from South Philly to Kensington, with properties going for as low as $1,750 and reaching up to $120,000, as was the case for one lot on Salmon Street in Port Richmond.
Love those Wildwood Days and more!
Wildwood patrolman Andrew Kolimaga stands in front of himself on the boardwalk at Glenwood Avenue. (Photo via Wildwood Police Department)
The Wildwood Police Department has a message for parents this summer: Don’t tell your kids the cops will send you to jail.
The WPD has put up several signs along the boardwalk that send this message to parents: “Please stop telling your children that we will haul them off to jail if they are bad. We want them to run TO us if they are scared… NOT be scared of US!” The signs are up on several shelters donated by In Plaza Advertising, which also did the artwork. Read more »