A couple of weekends ago I took my two studio assistants on a day trip to Asbury Park, New Jersey. We just love it there and we feel that we need to support the local business since last year’s storm. We ate crepes and ice cream, visited the antique stores and galleries and sat on the beach. One if my favorite stores on Cookman Ave. is Flying Saucers Retro Kitchenware. The lady who works there is always so kind and welcoming whenever we visit, and the items in the store bring back fond memories of my childhood.
A water park on the Boardwalk
The Obligatory Beach Selfie
The Convention Center
I love the architecture in Asbury Park! There is a mixture of very old buildings and new structures on the boardwalk that makes it totally unique. You could just spend the day taking pictures all along the boardwalk and the surrounding areas.
It’s the time of year when I start thinking about the beach and the New Jersey shore in particular. I was looking for photos to “Percolate” and some of the iPhone photos from Wildwood lend themselves to the process.
The Famous Wildwood Sign
In August we stayed at the wonderfully retro Caribbean Motel in Wildwood, New Jersey. This was our second stay there and we enjoyed ourselves almost more than the first time. Our reservations coincided with the Hurricane, but luckily we were able to reschedule and go a few days later. We were unsure of the condition of the area after the storm but everything was up and running when we arrived on Monday afternoon.
I think I had mentioned in an earlier post that staying at The Caribbean Motel is like taking a journey back in time. It reminded me of my childhood vacations where we would stay at roadside motels. They even play music of the 50’s out by the pool. I was thinking that there is no way you can be in a bad mood while listening to songs like “Lollipop lollipop” and “Monster Mash” while splashing around in the pool. One of the fun extras was a poolside hot dog roast with baked beans and lemonade.
The retro theme continues inside the rooms. I love the lamps and the color scheme of yellow and green. You can also hang out in the Cabana with the leopard patterned couches.
I love the pool at night as the lights shimmer on the water. The pool is heated so we would try to get one last swim in at night after a trip to the Boardwalk.
The outside of the Cabana at night. You can get a great view of the neon lit hotels on the strip from the elevated ramp in front of the Cabana.
Views of their classic neon sign.
The Caribbean is about a block from the beach and a short walk to the Boardwalk. I really like that the area by the motel is pretty quiet but you are still within walking distance from some of the attractions and restaurants. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) a longer stay next summer.
The Boardwalk at Wildwood
One of my all time favorite ice cream parlors is Cool Scoops in Wildwood, New Jersey, although I must admit that I don’t go for just the ice cream. Cool Scoops is like a mini retro museum of toys and music collectibles, and with each one of our visits the collection seems to grow. When you walk in the first room has booths fashioned from old cars. These are usually full but luckily we got a prime booth. Each room has different themes and collections, such as super heroes, retro sitcoms, and music.
One of my favorite booths.
I love this lamp and the Beatles pictures.
This TV was playing “Thunderbirds”
Some Super Heroes
Batman and the I Dream of Jeanie Lamp
That same waitress from last year who gave us the cold shoulder
My son wants us to decorate our house like this (and I actually agree!) I can’t wait to visit again to see what they add next!
One of the things I love about Wildwood is the abundance of neon signs on almost every motel and hotel on the strip. Many of the signs are the originals which have been preserved or refurbished to fit the Doo Wop theme. I imagine that the main drag is a little like a smaller version of the Las Vegas strip in the 1960’s. I took all of the pictures using Hipstamatic set on random to get a variety of different looks. I found that the Hornbecker lens and Pistili film combination worked pretty well at night.
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.