We took a day trip to one of our favorite shore destinations, Asbury Park. This was our first visit since Superstorm Sandy. It was great to see the beach full of sun bathers and colorful umbrellas. The boardwalk was bustling with people and the food stands all had lines. We walked past Madam Marie’s from the Bruce Springsteen song and it reminded me of his lyric “down the shore everything is alright”. There are certain places that are constants in our lives. At different times of my life I have visited different New Jersey shore towns, such as Belmar, Avon, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant and Wildwood. Each town has a unique quality and caters to different age groups and life styles.
Selfie on the Beach
The advertising campaign for the shore this year is “Stronger Than The Storm”. People from New Jersey, and especially the shore, are known for their resiliency in the face of adversity.
The Convention Center
Hipstamatic and Instagram – Taken at the Boardwalk in Wildwood
Growing up, did you:
Watch reruns of the 60’s Batman show and want to dress just like Catwoman or Batgirl?
Walk to the candy store to buy comic books?
Want to be like your favorite tv moms, Morticia and Lilly?
Spend Sunday afternoon watching old black and white movies? (The Bowery Boys, Abbott and Costello, Martin and Lewis to name a few)
Watch Saturday morning shows like Josie and the Pussycats, Scoobydoo and the Banana Splits?
Did you line up around the movie theater to see Star Wars?
Did you buy your favorite clothes at a thrift shop or Goodwill?
Did you eat Jiffy Pop, Pop Rocks or Pop Tarts?
Did you go to roadside amusement parks and county fairs?
Did you go on road trips listening to you favorite tapes? (8 tracks?)
Did you try to tape your favorite songs off the radio?
Did you visit record stores and spend hours looking at the album art?
Did you go to the Spencer’s at the mall to look at the day glo posters in the black light room?
Did you have paintings of children with big eyes in your basement?
What kind of things did you do or see as a child/teen that shaped your artistic vision? I find that my subject matter for my art always finds itself revisiting things that I was interested in during my youth.
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.
I recently joined Tumblr and started following someone who posts vintage movie star photos. I am discovering some starlets like Ann Blyth who I wasn’t really aware of before. I get daily inspiration from all the artwork posted. Can you suggest any good Tumblrs I should follow?
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!
We recently visited Land of Make Believe Amusement Park in Hope, New Jersey. It was like traveling back in time because this quaint little amusement and water park has not changed much since it opened 57 years ago. There are a lot of attractions that i saw the first time when I visited as an 8 year old. There are charming little attractions such as the talking scarecrows, Santa’s Barn and the Candy Cane Forest. I remember being fascinated by the story of Jenny Jump, and the water fall where her father urged her to jump after being chased by Indians.
We spent a lot of time at the water park which is the newest addition to the park. Music from a Sirius station that played 60’s music was playing over the loud speakers and we heard lots of retro bands like the Beach Boys, the Doors, the Monkees and Bob Dylan’s “Lay, Lady Lay” while waiting on line for the water slides.
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:
This is a portrait that I made for Julia Kay’s Portrait Party using Inkpad and PicGrunger on the iPad. I love when people post older photos of themselves for the portraits, or photos of themselves as children. I used PicGrunger to give it a weathered look. I like to think of PicGrunger kind of like putting spices in food, to use it sparingly or else it gets to be overwhelming after a while. This picture reminded me of a vintage magazine add or billboard.
Last week we visited Jackson Hole, an incredible retro diner located in New Jersey. I’ve been going there for at least 12 years, but had forgotten about it until i saw a fellow ipad artist’s painting of a tabletop jukebox. At the same time, another artist was looking for breakfast themed ipad art, so i decided that this would be a great opportunity to eat there again. Full disclosure-we had breakfast at dinner time. Thats the beauty of the diner-getting breakfast at any time.
The table tops had a great pink boomerang pattern. The selection of songs on the jukebox has not changed since i’ve been there last, including the Beatles, Monkees, the Stones and Lou Reed. We listened to Bobby Darren’s “Mac the Knife” and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I got some great shots of our plates of eggs and waffles as reference photos for my ipad paintings (and we split a hot fudge sundae for dessert). Here are two of my ipad paintings using Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage: