8.16.2006

O'Kitten, Down the Shore

When you live in New York or New Jersey, you do not go "to the beach," you go "down the shore." And once you are there, you are not "at the beach," but "down the shore."

I began going down the shore (to Seaside Park, NJ) in the Fall of 1986. Having grown up in Georgia, the Jersey shore mystified me. At that time, there were no sand dunes. Boardwalks with amusements, games, souvenir shacks, snack stands and bars were built right up over the beach. Worse still, you had to pay to get to the water, and you couldn't even walk on the beach at night. And, horror of horrors, this was the year hospital waste and used syringes were found washed ashore.

The water was dark, murky, and ice cold, yet the sand was scalding hot. Compared to my southern experience, the waves were enormous and terrifying. So my first impressions of the Jersey shore were not so favorable.

But after a few years, the water became clear, even a lovely blue on sunny days. Volunteers planted dune grasses and other native shrubs and the dunes actually came back. The bizarreness of the boardwalk, its tackiness and color and noise, grew on me and I began to long for it, for Maruca's pizza and Kohr's ice cream and the hermit crabs with their crazily-painted shells, the T-shirts that say things like "Italian Stallion" and "Jersey Girls do it best," the games you can (almost) never win but keep betting on, the families and odd couples and old people and endless roving packs of teenagers that never change, no matter the year, the salt water taffy stands and temporary tattoo carts and noisy game arcades and, of course, the carousel.

So, to celebrate twenty years of the Jersey shore, on this visit I got an airbrushed T-shirt. What screams "Down the Shore" more loudly than a good airbrushed shirt? (Hey, I could've gotten the panties that said, "It won't lick itself"--I did exercise some restraint.)

Obsidian Kitten, down the shore.
Come on in, the water's fine!

15 comments:

rosalynn said...

Hotness~! There's nothing like the Joisey shaw (and even being on another ocean, I do miss it as well). Now all you need is some big earrings & big hair to go with the shirt to finish up the ensemble :)

Mouse said...

Having grown up in Pennsylvania- your post really hit home with me. My family would go to Wildwood Crest and stay at one of the hotels on the beach. My summers were filled with the sound of "watch the tram-car please", waffles & icecream, and the boardwalk at night.
Cute shirt.. you can wear it with a big belt, stretch pants & high heels-- along with the aforementioned big hair and earrings. You'd be rockin' it like you were at a Bon Jovi concert..that's for sure!! (tee-hee)

Dee said...

I woulda gone for the panties too. :::wink:::

It took me the longest time to stop saying "down the shore" ...here we go "over to the beach". Somehow, it just ain't the same.

RheLynn said...

Wonderful descriptions - and GREAT shirt! Your first impressions do indeed sound scary - but overall it sounds like the few days of our old county fair in August, (in Minnesota) spread out to the entire Summer...

ahhh, that would be an experience! Someday Mr.J and I will drive over to the ocean, any part of it, just to say we've been there ;o)

KnitXcorE said...

Glad you had fun :-) That tee is cute! We went to Ocean City this w/e.... i feel asleep and got the worst sunburn ever!!!

Joanie said...

Great shirt for a Great lady. Wear it with a BIG SMILE.

We always have a good time at Seaside. Hopefully next year we will have better weather. Yesterday we went to Coney Island.
I was told I was there as a baby but do not remember. We did not go on any rides but we did eat at Nathan's--A Must. Played some games and walked the boardwalk. It was a fun day spending the afternoon in Brooklyn New York. :)

Chris said...

A very evocative post! Thanks for sharing - and your t-shirt is pretty fun and in good taste for an airbrushed t-shirt. :)

Severina said...

Oh, I would've bought the panties too!

I've never managed to do the NJ beach, just VA, NC, & SC. All those are pretty much alike if you ask me. I can get as much damn sunburn in one state as I do in another. Ten minutes and I'm toast.

But you look like you had great fun!
This is where you'll still hear my mother complaining that I spent every family trip holed up in the hotel room with a book.

metal and knit said...

love the shirt

sienna said...

The shirt is great, the shore sounds tempting. I'm gonna have to go and get me those panties!

Carrie K said...

The beach! the beach! Or maybe the Atlantic is "the shore".

They won't lick themselves off? LMAO.

msfortuknit said...

O' Pritty Kitty! That is adorable! You look so bloody happy! I hope youll be around tonite so we can play drop me a line k?

sunshyne said...

LOVE IT!! what art with the ball o' yarn and needles!

Knitted_Painting said...

I love that shirt and the colour on it!

Creation Station said...

people from up north go down the shore. the locals just go to the beach.