One of my fave summer destinations is Wildwood, New Jersey. The beauty of this shore town is that it maintains its kitschy, retro “doo wop” look, while at the same time adding fun new additions that brings something unique to each visit.
It has become a tradition to make the (at least) three hour drive to this shore town. We love the lights and activity of the boardwalk. This year the Kong ride was added which harks back to a giant King Kong statue that resided over a Wildwood amusement pier.
The beach is beautiful and clean.
All of the photos were taken using the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone.
Did you hear, the cops finally busted Madame Marie,
for tellin’ fortunes better than they do …
Bruce Springsteen, 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
If you grew up in New Jersey this song was a big part of your youth. As you walk around Asbury Park you can’t help but think of some of your favorite summer songs.
Last weekend I visited Asbury Park for the first time in many years. Before going to Dr. Sketchy’s in the Passions Building I had a chance to take some pictures around the beach and boardwalk area.
There was a mixture of the old and new Asbury Park. The Casino building had street art inside and around it.
Shepard Fairey mural of Paul Simonon of the Clash
Mural inside of Casino Building
Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel Building (Carousel is no longer in the building)
Detail of artwork over the door
View of Boardwalk
I really want to visit Asbury Park again to visit more of it’s landmarks that I missed, like the Convention Center and the Stone Pony. It really is a unique part of the New Jersey shore.
Full Disclosure: I have not stayed at the StarLux Hotel yet, I have only admired it from afar. I’ve wanted to stay here since our first visit to Wildwood about 10 years ago. I try to get some pictures of it every time we go to Wildwood and this time I was lucky to get some night pictures. I love the retro architecture and the neon lights.
I would love to get up in the morning and look out at the ocean and the Wildwood Sign from the hotel. Will I get to stay at the StarLux next summer? I can just imagine the amazing photos I can take in and around the hotel. From pictures I’ve seen online there are lava lamps in the room – another great reason for me to go!
The Boardwalk at Wildwood
During the last week or two I have been reminiscing about past trips to Wildwood and looking at a lot of photos on Flickr and Wildwood discussion boards for inspiration for our next trip. One of the reasons I wanted to go to Wildwood last year was to capture the retro beauty of Wildwood through the Hipstamatic lenses. We are taking a short trip there again and I’m really excited about taking pictures because there are so many new lenses and films to use since our last visit. There are so many different aspects to focus on, such as neon signs, doowop architecture, the boardwalk and diners.
While searching Wildwood sites I found the RetroRoadmap blog. I love this blog because it has the same type of sensibilities that I have. It brings back memories of road trips with my family where we would stop at roadside attractions (like a house where water ran up hill) and buy fun things like apple head dolls.
Here are some old photos from last years trip that I hadn’t posted before:
The Caribbean Motel in Wildwood, ArtRage on iPad
I recently read an article about how the Jersey Shore reality show has helped out the economy in Seaside Heights this summer. I hope that people who go to the shore get to discover other parts of the towns and beaches as well because each one has it’s own unique personality. I was reminiscing about all the different beaches in New Jersey that I’ve visited, and how the places I’ve visited have changed as I’ve gone through different stages of my life. This is a partial list of places and ages:
Sandy Hook – I went to Sandy Hook with camp as a child because it was a free beach and it was pretty low key
Asbury Park – I went there as a teen around the same time the Clash were playing at the convention hall and saw punks play mini golf
Seaside Heights – In college I went to Seaside because they had great bars and a fun boardwalk
Point Pleasant – Another fun boardwalk with Martell’s Tiki Bar where we used to get the best steamed crab legs
Avon – A very quiet beach that has quaint bed & breakfasts
Wildwood – Wildwood is where we have vacationed the last several years. One of the things I love about Wildwood is the Doo Wop architecture. You feel like you have stepped back in time as you drive by the neon lit retro motels that line the main strip. The Boardwalk is very family oriented and has a lot of the rides we remember from when we were kids. Last summer I took a lot of Hipstamatic photos of the motels and boardwalk and created some paintings on my iPad. Last summer we stayed at the Caribbean Motel and I loved the retro look. It had a magical, nostalgic feeling that reminded me of vacations I took as a child.