Before Jersey Shore was a television show (and I am happy to say I have actually never seen an episode of Jersey Shore,) it represented to me a far off place that birthed the grit of true America. It was the home of the Asbury Park that brought us the Boss and the prototype of beach boardwalk doo wop; I knew nothing of this Shore but these two things, and that seemed enough to maintain a youthful respect for it. Yet despite this belief of mine and while I have traveled much of this great country of ours and stood on many of its beaches, I have never, ever visited the Jersey Shore.
The obvious beach destination for those in the D.C. metropolitan area was Ocean City, MD (hometown of Sonar founder Brett Martin, see his recent podcast with Janos for more on that.) And I’ve always been more of a lakes guy anyway, I’d take Lake Tahoe and the Boulder Reservoir over the A & the P most days.
This will change this weekend when GGT, myself, and four of our friends (including infamous “Jack Sparrow” nominator PNovick) descend into some place called Wildwood for the weekend. Only after we had booked this condo did I started advertising to others that I was visiting this place. I have had no less than four conversations that have gone like this:
Friend: What are you doing next weekend?
Me: I’m going to the Jersey Shore with some friends.
Friend: Really? Why?
Me: I dunno, we couldn’t decide on anywhere else that was centralized between D.C. and Boston.
Friend: I hope you’re not going to Wildwood.
Me: Why do people keep saying that?
Being the factual research type I am, I started looking for information on this town on the Internet. There’s an Italian-American festival this weekend, which should bring some good food and music and well-kept hair- fine. If I wanted to get up to Atlantic City, there is the first stop in the Dave Matthews Band Caravan Festival that same weekend (pretty decent line-up, handful of People’s Choice competitors.) So that would be sweet…but a bit of a hassle to get to, and also not in the vein of catching up with old friends.
And THAT’S when I stumbled upon this series of clips from a documentary on Wildwood from the early 90’s. Living The Dreamers, you have GOT to watch this:
So basically, if anything like this colorful cast of characters still frequents this town, I can only dream of what amazing conversations await my first trip to the Shore. If any of you are more familiar with fun things to do in Wildwood, I am all ears and please e-mail suggestions to LTDdotorg@gmail.com (we are still working on getting our livingthedream.org e-mails up, those don’t work yet.) In the meantime, wish me luck and I’ll see you in the Comments section for live updates on my weekend.