Wednesday, May 29, 2013

THE PEANUT GALLERY: Restore the Shore

Tidal waves don't beg forgiveness. Crashed and on their way. -Pearl Jam

My first clue was the lack of traffic as we headed south on the Garden State Parkway. For it being the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, we glided down the Parkway with amazing ease. We made it to my mom's house in no time. We decided to go to the Boardwalk in Seaside Heights for lunch, since it was "open for business."

My second clue was the ease with which we found parking on the Boulevard. Even for a windy day the day after a wash out, the shore was not busy for a holiday weekend. The quick walk up the ramp explained everything...

The rides on Casino Pier are still
waiting for the pier to be built.
A fence separates you from what was and will one day again be Casino Pier. There were no rides. A lot of stands, stores, and restaurants are still rebuilding. This is not the Boardwalk I grew up with. I mean, even the Boardwalk itself is brand new. The smell of freshly cut wood and sawdust mixes with the salt air. This is not the Seaside of my youth. I guess I expected more to be finished, to be open. Maybe that was unrealistic. Still, we had a nice time. We stopped for lunch at JR's. Sausage and peppers, cheesesteak and cheese fries. Peanut had a ridiculously oversized lemonade.

Why do the things that are so bad for us taste so good?
Peanut not concerned about calories.
After lunch we played some games. I let the guy at the dart toss stand milk me for $20 so Peanut could win the big pink stuffed cat. After all, we were there to spend money, to do our best to support those who are open.

That smile was worth $20
Then we shot some Skeeball. My considerable prowess earned Peanut a modest amount of tickets for various plastic trinkets that will inevitably end up lost under a seat in the swagger wagon or collecting dust in a basket full of other such knickknacks.

Who loves Skeeball?
We stayed less than two hours.  We saw a lot less, did a lot less, than we had in previous trips. We walked half the Boardwalk. It was eerily quiet. Subdued. Rebuilding takes time. A lot more time than the seven months it's been. During summer 2013 we'll make new memories at the Jersey Shore. Different ones. Restore the Shore. #JerseyStrong.

We'll always have a reason to go back, as I wrote about HERE. So many homes and businesses ares till struggling to rebuild. If you can help in the relief effort in any way, click HERE.


  1. I was back home in March to visit and brought my two kids to Lucky Leo's which was pretty much the only thing opened at the time. I missed the smell of the boards... that weird oil like smell mixed with the smell of the ocean. They hadn't really begun rebuilding much at the time. Just some pillars in the sand. The Ferris wheel was still standing, and the coaster was still in the ocean. It broke my heart to see it that way. But I have plans to return next summer and hope to see a mostly rebuilt seaside... I did get to stop at my favorite candy shop on 37, Hanna Krause - YUM! :)

  2. We went to Point Pleasant a couple of weeks ago and you would be hard pressed to find any noticeable damage along the boardwalk. It looked like business as usual at least up there. #JerseyStrong

    1. Yeah... crazy how that happened. I think Seaside/Toms River got the direct hit when Sandy made landfall. But Point Pleasant is fine now. we may just go there this summer.





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