I have a lot to do today and this wasn’t on the list, but Kevin’s Jersey Shore beach take was so radically wrong that I have to take a big ol’ dump on it.
Also, I’m screeding and will proofread this once, so ignore the typos.
He’s conflating a very reasonable assertion of “take bigger better vacations” (agree) with the oft rightfully maligned parochial Philly mindset of living in our insular worlds, yet discounting the actual advantages of the Jersey Shore, while at the same time offering up equally mediocre (or worse) alternatives.
Let’s break this down:
“You probably know a lot of people like me. They’ve been going to a place like Wildwood for 40 straight years, but there’s no real explanation for it. They just go to Wildwood because they always go to Wildwood. And it’s not necessarily because Cape May sucks, it’s just because Wildwood is their spot.”
This is simply wrong, and his whole premise is built off of it. Sure, Philly folks can be more… adventurous… in their vacations. Guilty as charged. But there are in fact many reasons for why someone goes to Wildwood, or Ocean City, or Sea Isle, or Avalon. The town you prefer is no different than where you choose to live at home– demographics, price point, preference (bars, family, gambling), are all a factor. But ultimately all have the appeal of The Shore, which is a largely unique spot in the annals of WORLDWIDE COASTLINE. Notably:
- It’s close to a major city (so is Long Island, Cape Code, Florida beaches, and so on)
- It has a temperate summer climate (not the case for many more exotic beach locations, which are borderline unbearable in July and August)
- It allows locals to replicate their home living environment in a more condensed, desirable locale
- 3A: Due to this, families and friends can stay within walking distance to each other and the beach, and driving distance to their homes
- There are ample amusements, restaurants, bars, nightlife events, and more
- Ocean activity, regardless of clearness of water, is largely the same in New Jersey as it is in the Caribbean– a jet ski is still a jet ski, fishing is unique to any location but largely the same activity, boats still float on water
- Atlantic City presents a compelling nightlife alternative with genuine B-list celebrities and a few A-list eateries, often not found in more exotic vacation spots, where you get Islanders doing a take-off of the Beatles Love every third night
I could go on. But the convenience can not be overstated. Something as great as the Jersey Shore is a major advantage that, quite frankly, many other large cities don’t have, which ironically is something you would know if you did get out and see the world.
The anti-South Jersey argument posited by Kevin largely hinges on an implicit acknowledgement that the water is brown, the beaches aren’t great, the views are subpar, and YOU SHOULD DO BETTER. More likely, he’s using The Shore as an avatar for his low-key “Philly folks often suck” shtick, which I don’t wholly disagree with a lot of the time.
He also doesn’t address the difference between vacationing vs. owning a house at The Shore. Unless you are super wealthy or just really like airports, weekend trips to a vacation spot 4+ months per year is out of the question. If you own a home at the Jersey Shore, you can conceivably spend 2-3 days per week there, every week, all summer long. There is an absolute appeal for someone’s whose job tethers them to the big city. The alternative is to just stay home all summer or fucking move. Continue Reading