Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Jersey shore

There are two types of people in New Jersey. Those who flock to the Jersey shore on weekends and those who don't. The ones that do get to enjoy the traffic jams, overpriced food, entrance fees, crowded beaches and iffy weather. A weather forecast for hot and humid can turn into cold and clammy once one gets east of the Parkway.

When I was a kid my father explained that where you went on the shore depended upon your nationality. Italians went to Belmar, Jews went to Bradly Beach, Irish went to Avon, Methodists went to Ocean Grove. Today it's more catch as catch can, hordes of drivers looking for parking spaces less than a mile from the beach. Since my father couldn't swim and the rest of the family got sunburned within a few minutes of arrival, our trips to the shore were limited to semi-annual visits. My most memorable trip to the shore is the time we arrived at the beach, my brother stepped on a bee, and the family immediately went home.

As I got older my father discovered a bed and breakfast (they didn't call them that then) that was at the Irish contingent of the shore. I remember watching television with nuns that year.

If you don't go to the shore you can delight in the fact that the roads are empty and you can go anywhere and nothing is crowded. One of the secrets of living in New Jersey is the pleasure of not going to the shore.

Whenever you ask someone what they enjoy doing most they always say "walking on the beach". What is it with walking on the beach?

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