Archive: July, 2010
Fresh from ringing the bell on Wall Street (go ahead, step back and wrap your mind around that one), Jersey Shore cast members were back filming in Seaside Heights in the afternoon on Tuesday. Below is Vinny Guadagnino, who, naturally, had to do his laundry (seen in right hand). At least that's what the eagle eye watchers of Ocean Terrace believe was in his bag. Note the turquoise-clad mystery woman behind him, not a regular cast member on the MTV series, seen later on the deck, smoking, drinking coffee and not looking pleased, while Vinny swung in the hammock.
And, despite comically tight secret-service like security, I was able to take this picture of the front seat of one of the camera-outfitted Escalades used in the show. In the front seat: a box of Trojans. To be continued.
Ah, us. Jersey Shorists. We take what nature, and the dogged municipal sand movers with a little Army Corps thrown in, give us. Sometimes the tide, and all the natural and human influences, give us a nice big beach. Sometimes, it taketh away and we jam ourselves right up against the Boardwalk and then under, and then behind. But that does not stop our fun now, does it? No it does not. The unrelenting heat, on the other hand, is a drag. Not so bad when the breeze is off the ocean and the ocean registers up in the high 70s. So bad when the breeze shifts to be blowing in from the dreaded mainland (a.k.a., "offshore") and brings in heavy, hot air, bad moods and biting flies. How do you tell a land breeze? When you're sitting on the beach and all is kinda ok, and then you slowly start to take notice of a rising misery level that goes from vaguely annoying to soul-killing and your brain says to you: TIME TO GO. That's the wind shifting to a land breeze. (The opposite, when you're hot as heck and uncomfortable and then all of a sudden, you stop and take notice of a cool draft of air wicking at your skin and you can breath again, and the ocean winks at you and you decide all things are possible, that you may just need to finish that novel, it's like nature, like the bartender at Roberts, handing you an ice cold Corona - that's the wind shifting from a land breeze to an ocean breeze.) As of today, according to reports, the stultifying air produced bone-chilling ocean temps. That's gotta hurt everyone but the ice cream man. Locals are taking surgical strike visits to the beach, going in for a dip to lower the body temperature and then retreating back inside. Intrepid vacationers take what they get and, again, make the best of it. Plant that chair in the water and you don't have to worry about the eroding beach as much anyway. Lots of luck out there!
It sounds like She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, but it's true. Shoobies will do anything for sushi. I watched last weekend from a sidewalk table outside the great neighborhood sushi joint Yama in Ventnor as patrons emerged from inside the darkened restaurant, where power had been cut off to the kitchen and most of the dining room, but the sushi chefs persevered. No air conditioning, and a bit packed in the dark, but the sushi was being made, and nobody was going anywhere. Seemed a wee bit desperate, but, also, realistic. Where else to go on a typically overrun Friday night on the island? Some people emerged calling it romantic, others looked a little, well, shell shocked, and the snobby shoobies poked their heads inside and fled. From the outdoor table (no room inside), it seemed a little surreal. I liked how the waitiress took our entire order, then said, matter of factly, "There's no power in the kitchen." No tofu teriyaki for you! And no wonder the kitchen chef seemed on extended break out the side door. But they are pros at Yama and we had an excellent dinner for 10, lots of sushi, and, somehow, shumai. If it's Friday in summer, restaurants are going to make due no matter what. Bravo to Yama, which is mentioned favorably in Craig Laban's annual restaurant roundup at the shore, in relation to its newest neighbor Kitaro, which oddly served us little cups of balsamic vinegar with our takeout sushi the week before. Laban liked their cooked dishes the most, leaving Yama the sultans of seaside sushi. In any case, I'm sorry Craig never got to Isabella's at Night, the excellent and authentic Mexican place on Portland Avenue in Ventnor which I humbly recommend, but I've already snagged my Labor Day weekend reservations at Luke Palladino's in Northfield.
Atlantic City put on an impressive fireworks show tonight, from a barge in the ocean in front of Boardwalk Hall. This was the first time since July 2001 that the city brought the stuff out over the ocean, which is where it should be. You may recall the last time, the barge caught fire after the finale and sent fireworks shells ricocheting around the barge and caused all sorts of problems. And wound up the lead story the next morning on the Today show. Since then, there have been fireworks at the old Sand Castle Stadium and fireworks near Borgata at the Marina but this was the first time since the big mishap that the city brought it back to the beach. It appeared to go off without any problems, and the barge itself, the Northstar, appeared to emerge unscathed. I've never been so close to the source of the fireworks, and it was easy to see how things might go awry out there on the barge. It's always cool to watch from the beach itself, with the water reflecting the fireworks, the sound echoing off Boardwalk Hall and the smoke blowing up the beach right over the people who had VIP passes to the top floors of the Pier at Caesars (sorry VIP people, there was plenty of smokeless viewing from the beach itself.) On Sunday, the fireworks will be at the Marina district.
Ok, this may be taking things a little too far. We've got surf lessons and junior lifeguard lessons and show biz lessons and curfew lessons and all kinds of life lessons available at the beach. And now, these lucky kids on the Ventnor beach got to learn how to ... make a sand castle. A really really excellent one, no doubt. Well, I guess with college admissions so competitive these days, every little edge can help. Looks like it's all in the getting the right buckets.