var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-41594519-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
However, Sandy brutalized the shoreline. You must have seen pictures by now of the roller coaster that fell into the ocean when the piers at Seaside Heights collapsed. I didn’t make it down there before they carted The Jet Star out of the water seven months after the storm – hey, I’ve been busy – so I never got to snap a photo for the blog. But here’s one instead from the summer of 2012 when it was still standing.
You see, I’ve been going to Seaside Heights for the better half of my life: the last fourteen years (you do the math) are filled with beachy memories of frozen custard and Wednesday night fireworks.
You probably recall a particularly nasty hurricane named Sandy that smashed into my home state, New Jersey, in October of 2012 – the media called it a Superstorm. It was kind of a big deal. Luckily, Sarah and I were over prepared and largely unaffected.
If you didn’t know that the length of the Jersey Shore is covered in boardwalks and has been a popular summertime retreat for about a century now, hopefully you’ve caught on. There was a lot of wondering out loud whether or not the shore would be back in time for the 2013 season. I went down to Seaside over Memorial Day Weekend for the official opening.
It’s back. Mostly.
Businesses are open, people are strolling, and the smell of freshly laid lumber planks is quickly being overwhelmed by the aroma of sausage and peppers from the Midway Steak House. Yes, there are some parts of the boardwalk that haven’t opened yet. Large cranes instead of thrill rides form the skyline over the horizon. And the piers are still jagged where they were ripped away; debris is scattered along parts of the beach.
But Seaside Heights was never a postcard getaway. It was always gritty, aptly nicknamed “Sleazeside” and probably referred to as greasy more often than anything else – and not just for the food. You’ve seen the MTV show. The locals will just call me a Benny for saying this, but it’s not that far off. In fact, it’s part of what makes it great.
What do you think?
Locals & Bennies alike… what did I miss?
What are your fondest seashore memories?