Monday, July 6, 2015

How to ruin a beautiful causeway view

The new lightup billboard on the Margate causeway is kind of a downer.

How to ruin a beautiful causeway view




 Driving back over the Margate  causeway and bridge was a bit of a  shock yesterday. I love that drive,  the egrets, the ospreys, the wooden  pilings in the water with the birds on  top, the fallen piling that looks like  the cross as it was being carried by  Jesus through Jerusalem - man, don't  get me started! It's beautiful. Usually  the only sign that irritates me is the  one informing me that I must pay a  toll and, frequently, that the amount  of that toll is going up. But  yesterday, I got to see the fun new  light up ginormous billboard errected  in front of Gilford's Marine, bigger  and more annoying than any of the  old billboards that mar the view. Aw,  come on, really? The land is part of  Egg Harbor Township, one of those  odd boundaries things that stem from  EHT once being all of Atlantic County  and the towns seceding and drawing  their own boundaires. Mayor Sonny  McCullough of Egg Harbor Township  told me yesterday: "I wish it wasn't  as high as it is. It's in compliance  withour zoning. There's not much you  can do about it. i have discoursaged  this type of high profile signs in other  areas of the township." 

 Sigh. I guess maybe market forces  can discourage this type of thing, like  what business would want to  advertise on a billboard that will  mostly annoy people on their way to  the beach? And who would want to  patronize a business that ruined their view so clumsily like that? Or maybe we'll just get used to it like  everything else. 



Previously on Downashore: My blog post, Is a seashore town only as cool as its coolest bar, which reminisced about the massive funeral of Billy Perry, a beloved bartender in Sea Isle City, during the summer of 2006, which basically shut down the town, elicited an awfully nice email from Jacki Perry Montgomery, Perry's sister. Her husband clicked on the post due to its "cute headline" (thanks!) and was amazed to see the story of that funeral in the first paragraph.

 Montgomery wrote: "Never had I seen the town shut down and close streets and pull all resources. It was truly amazing. However, I thought it was just amazing to me, his little sister, to see such a tribute, but apparently that sight left a lasting impression on complete strangers as well. To turn on our computer 6 years later and read an article that relives that memory was wonderful. Thank you for that gift today." Thanks! And I'm glad I could honor Billy's memory. That funeral really did leave a lasting impression on me. 

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About this blog

Inquirer staff writer Amy S. Rosenberg has covered Philly police, city neighborhoods, Ed Rendell as mayor, the Jersey shore, Atlantic City, Miss America and the psychology of Eagles fans. She moved to Ventnor on July 3, 1995, which makes her a local, but not really.

Inquirer Staff Writer Jacqueline L. Urgo has spent every summer of her life at the Jersey Shore, and has lived there year-round for nearly 30 years, even fulfilling one of her bucket list dreams by once living in a house by the sea.

Since 1990, she has covered the waterfront for The Inquirer — from the Atlantic to the Delaware Bay shore — and some of the mainland in between. Along the way, she amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of this tear-it-down-and-build-it-back-up region, delving into the history and the hype of a place with a lot of unexpected stories to tell.

Amy S. Rosenberg
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