Across New Jersey (part two)

After a long delay here is finally a sequel to the original Across New Jersey post. All in all, I have been to the Jersey shore a number of times before and after the first post, but mostly for recreational reasons. Only two of those trips have served our goal of completing the photo diary of the state. And since the photographs presented here come from separate trips, never mind the sudden change of the weather captured on them.

Atlantic City

Maybe I have not done enough research to realize the attractiveness of Atlantic City in some other aspect than being the gambling capital of the Northeast, but I really believe that the city is a big vacuous hole on the otherwise tourist-friendly Atlantic Coast. There is just absolutely nothing to see in Atlantic City, which is why the only area I deigned to go to was the Boardwalk.

I started with the Historic Absecon Lighthouse, which looked OK inside and out, yet further revealed to me the deplorable state of the city’s landscapes.

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Mind you, I present the best shots I could manage from the top of the lighthouse. Just fancy how the worst shots could have come out.

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These are among the most dreadful skylines I have seen in any large American city.

To save myself from total despair, I went on to check out the local Boardwalk, hoping to find lively and entertained crowds there. Alas, the Atlantic City boardwalk turned out to be a typical Jersey oceanfront laid out with hundreds of seasonal shops and meaningless pseudo-amusements. And in that weather, cheerless faces also.

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To my relief (or so I thought), I found one of Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums right on the corner, and since I could not come up with anything else to do, I decided to give it a try.

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Unfortunately, the more interesting exhibits were practically the same as the ones we had seen years ago in Saint Augustine, Florida. The setup seems to consists of some “mind-boggling” phenomenon display at the entrance,

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accounts of the biggest, tallest, and other unique-est people in the world,

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some intricate craftwork,

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some bizarre illustrations,

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life-size figures of amazing death cheaters,

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mockery of people inspired by a video on tongue twisting on the opposite side of a one-way mirror,

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and a giddy special effect tunnel on the way out.

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Quite interesting the first time around, yet very predictable afterwards. But, again, what else was there to do?

If I recall correctly, in about an hour or so the weather also let me down, and the only other pictures I was able to take (somewhere along the way to Ocean City) were the following three.

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So we have to now switch to the photographs from the second trip as they can tell a far better story.

Ocean City

To pick up from where I left off, we began the second (photographic) trip to New Jersey with Ocean City, one of the more popular look-alike beach resorts in the area. Expectedly, there was nothing out of the ordinary, except, perhaps, the mini-parade taking place at the time of our visit.

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Sea Isle City

Our next stop down the coast was at Sea Isle City, a downsized—and thus less crowded—clone of any other Jersey beach town.

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North Wildwood

Unless you are keen on beach photography, you will probably find the Southern Jersey a big disappointment. Well, given that photography is your cup of tea to begin with. There is little beauty to admire on the public beaches, and positively none in between. An only hope is to find a fascinating exhibit on display of some antique or crafts store.

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Occasionally you might stumble upon a scenic lighthouse, but then trying to deliberately track down one might prove to be a chase after a red herring. Take the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse of North Wildwood, for example. Not only is it ridiculously small (for a lighthouse anyway), artless, and poorly located, but it also costs three dollars to get to the second storey “observation deck” for “behind-the-glass” observation experience. Let alone the fact that there is nothing to observe in the first place.

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Wildwood

I suppose that the North Wildwood–Wildwood–Wildwood Crest conglomerate gathers the most diverse and wild (hence the name :) crowds of all the Northeastern U.S. during the summer months. Flocks of international student workers arrive here every year to make cash and partake in the American youth-beach-party-hangout-(fill in other tags…)-adventures.

The Wildwoods are known for their wide beaches and a long boardwalk with numerous amusement parks and shops.

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The variety and level of promotional installations seen along the boardwalk are truly good.

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Though the Wildwoods are mainly a seasonal destination, there are also a few residential sections around, some “crowned” with castle-sized cottages.

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Cape May

For geographical and logistical reasons, Cape May, located at the very tip of the eponymous peninsula, concluded our trip down the Jersey shoreline. We arrived too late to be admitted to the local lighthouse, but, thankfully, it still turned out well on our photographs from the ground level.

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We also strolled on the beach for a short while just to get a closer look at the odd graffiti-covered bunker-like structure sitting amidst the sands.

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Just before leaving, we enjoyed a quick outing in what looked like Cape May’s downtown, sizing up the merchandise sold by the street vendors and looking up various ornate buildings.

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Minutes later, we were heading north, towards NJ-55, only occasionally stopping for a quick shot of another pretty-looking inn.

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Below you will find a map that combines our navigation throughout New Jersey during both of the trips.

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