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I’ve been going to Seaside Heights since I was less than a year old, and even though so much of it never seems to change, I never tire of the place—even with the presence of Snooki et al. Cruising the boardwalk, drinking sugary lemonades, eating fried pickles, indulging in pizza, and attempting to consume a candy apple gracefully are all part of the experience. Carnival barkers, air hockey, arcades, a ferris wheel, and a haunted house that always seem to break down just as I get there are that much more fun with when experienced with a sand, surf, and sunscreen residue earned from a few hours sunbathing on the beach.
There might not be Andy Warhols, but there’s art at the place (clown murals!); great people watching, and even better eavesdropping. One recent weekend, I was treated to a rundown of a twenty-something’s very active romantic life, complete with names, plot twists, and TMI-level details. I and everyone within earshot heard one half of her very long cellphone call while catching a little sun at the shore. At this point, it was entertaining to live just a bit vicariously even as I am grateful that my own past is far more tame.
If you need to shop for incense or shore shirts, there’s a place for you. Sure, the crowd and the merchandise skew young, but the amusement park rides guarantee that this is a family place, and the food bargains and benches offer comfort to the older set. It’s a rare occasion when anyone in my family opts out from a day at this beach.
Note from the Brawny Sherpa: I rule at air hockey. Just sayin’. Fried scallops are good, too.
© Lori Tripoli, 2012