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EXIT ZERO december 2012 ÂŤ $4.95


Washington Inn

the wine bar

Exceptional Cuisine in a Relaxed Atmosphere Highest Zagat Rating in Southern New Jersey Voted One of the Top 100 Restaurants in the Country by Open Table Early Dinner $24 Three Course Menu

Vote New Jersey Monthly 2011 Best Wine Bar Enjoy Dinner and Small Plates at the Bar from $10 Flights of Wine from our Cellar $1 Oysters Nightly

801 Washington Street, Cape May (609) 884-5697 • www.washingtoninn.com

Washington Inn & the wine bar... two distinct experiences, one address • Serving Lunch, Dinner, & Late Night • “Delicious” Breakfast everyday Memorial day till Labor day • Extensive Gluten Free Menu • Best Burgers • Best Thin Crust Pizza • Coldest Draught Beer in Town

LUCKY BONES BACKWATER GRILLE 1200 Route 109 south, Cape May (609) 884-BONE (2663) www.luckybonesgrille.com Where Friends Meet


contents december 2012 FEATURES

40

your holiday activity guide 6 The events and happenings you need to know about

the great food & drink guide 21-29 Wondering where to eat in Cape May? Look here first.

small-town christmas story 34 Cape May Stage hosts a new holiday classic

cape may love story 40 When Marilyn met Bob — and how they’ve stayed together

a very zombie christmas 52 The fabulously tasteless new short story from Terry O’Brien

where birds, and birders, go in winter 74 Pete Dunne on our year-round natural wonderland

everyone loves a parade 84 Ben Miller traces the history of a West Cape May institution

ghosts of the peter shields 92 Craig McManus tells the tragic story of Earle Shields

27 questions for... michael zuckerman 109 The Director of MAC on a very special time of year

cover painting by victor grasso 52

74 REGULARS my perfect day chad de satnick 33 wendy guiles 79 victor grasso 114 arts coverage cape may stage 40 gail pierson gallery 67 east lynne theater 71

92

shopping must haves 59, 63, 69 puzzle time cape may crossword 116


about us editor & publisher Jack Wright jack@exitzero.us advertising manager Jason Black jason@exitzero.us staff writer Diane Stopyra diane@exitzero.us creative consultant Victor Grasso historical editor Ben Miller photographers Aleksey Moryakov, Sandy Maloney, Gabi Urda graphic artist

Serving fine food since 1988

Doree Bardes contributing writers Kate Chadwick, Catherine Dugan, David Gray, Shannon McDevitt, Terry O’Brien distribution team Ashley and Adam Larson labeler Mary Smith exit zero color magazine is published five times a year. Annual subscription is $25. To subscribe call (609) 770-8479 or visit www.exitzero.us Makes a wonderful gift! Published by Exit Zero Publishing, Inc. 109 Sunset Boulevard Suite D, Cape May, NJ 08204 Telephone: (609) 770-8479 Fax: (609) 770-8481 E-mail: info@exitzero.us Website: www.exitzero.us president Jack Wright vice-president

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Jason Black tennis ball supervisor April Wright

(609) 884-9119 322 Washington Street Mall, Cape May www.tishasfinedining.com

fluffy toy supervisor Friday Wright canine supervisor Begley Wright chief whiner Rudy Stopyra


Unchanging. Quintessential. Classic.

The BEST Live Entertainment in Town!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and My Space to see who is playing live tonight!

426 WASHINGTON STREET MALL, cape may • « (609) 884-3459


“BEST AMERICAN” and “TOP 25 RESTAURANTS IN THE STATE” New Jersey Monthly, 2008

Serving Dinner Call

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Beach Avenue & Howard Street at the

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editor’s letter

city of lights A scene from the West Cape May Christmas Parade, which comes to town the first Saturday of each December

W

HAT makes Cool Cape May so inviting and exciting at this time of year? Maybe it’s because, thanks to Charles Dickens, we associate the Victorian times with Christmas. And Cape May has a stronger assocation with that period than probably any other city in the country, thanks mainly to a non-profit organization called the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. I’m guessing that some (maybe even many) of you know little about this group, but without them, Cape May would be a very different place. The MAC organization began as a small, but lively band

of volunteers who wanted to save the city’s historic buildings from being demolished and replaced by the kind of ghastly concrete edifices that were quite the style in the 1970s. So, as you enjoy the magical atmosphere around Cape May this fall and, especially, during the holidays, say a little thank-you to MAC. Better still, take part in the many activities they lay on at this time of year, all of which are outlined from pages 6-24. In the meantime, I invite you to read the interview with Michael Zuckerman, who has been Director of MAC for 30 years. It’s a long time — but Michael is still energized by his organization’s mission in town. I mentioned Charles Dickens earlier, and I’m sure the old master wouldn’t mind at all that I’m now going to mention him in the same sentence as one of Exit Zero’s literary superstars, Terry O’Brien. We’ve now established a holiday tradition in the pages of our magazine — every year, Terry writes a truly tasteless story, just to get you in the mood. This year I am proud to present “A Very Zombie Christmas,” which combines two of my favorite things — one of my favorite TV shows is AMC’s The Walking Dead, and I never tire of It’s A Wonderful Life, or A Christmas Carol. Terry’s story, which begins on page 52, will continue until the end of the year in the pages of our weekly black-and-white magazine — chapter two will be in the issue dated November 29. Elsewhere in this issue you will find a captivating Cape May love story — Bob and Marilyn Lepor are still crazy about each other after 50 years, but not in that gushing, ooey-gooey, Hollywood way. They’re just fun, regular people who still know how to enjoy each other’s company. I was inspired by their story, and I hope you are, too. On page 84, Ben Miller tells the story of the West Cape May Christmas Parade, which lights up the city on the first Saturday of each and every December (thanks the the efforts of Charlotte Daily, the Parade Lady). And then there is Ghost Writer Craig McManus’s latest eerie instalment, the story of the Peter Shields Inn — if you like a ghost story at Christmas, turn to page 92. Have a fabulous holiday! Jack Wright Editor/Publisher exit zero

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Your holiday

LET THERE BE LIGHTS Congress Hall’s Winter Wonderland celebrations have become a must-see part of the holiday calendar in Cape May. exit zero

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activity guide

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Everything about this restaurant was superb!

Not only do you have a fabulous view of the beautiful Cape May beach, but the food and service was top notch.

We will definitely be back! –Open Table

26 Food 27 Decor 26 Service

1301 Beach Avenue • 609.884.9090 • petershieldsinn.com

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3/23/12 7:29 AM

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HEN we think of the Cape May experience, we think of surfers carving across waves at the Cove, sunsets enjoyed from breezy Victorian porches, bikers with baskets full of local produce weaving their way thorugh tree-lined streets... many activities conducive to sunny summer afternoons. But it’s the fall — particularly the holiday season — that might just be the most magical time on Cape Island. And the most romantic. And the most beautiful. It’s the time when our famous turret-topped cottages are twinkling with lights, the clip-clopping of the horse-drawn carriages makes you want to curl up with a warm blanket and mug of hot cocoa, and the feeling in the air is one of genuine goodwill toward men. We’ve compiled a list of all the ways to enjoy this special time in our fair city, so that you can make the most of your seaside holiday. For details on anything you see

Checking it twice Kyra and Leo Moryakov, Jr gave Santa their wish lists at last year’s Breakfast With Santa in Congress Hall Aleksey Moryakov

below, contact the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities at 609-884-5404, unless otherwise indicated. East Lynne Theater Company presents Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas In this show, three of Alcott’s tales, including the opening of Little Women,

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are beautifully brought to life in storytelling fashion by East Lynne’s Artistic Director Gayle Stahlhuth. It runs November 23 and 24, and December 2, 7, 9 and 14 at 8pm, and December 8 at 2pm and 8pm at the First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. Tickets are $25, or $15 for students; ages 12 and under free.


Cape May Stage presents A Tuna Christmas It’s 24 hours before Christmas and times are tough. Bertha Bumiller’s drunken husband hasn’t come home, her kids are messes, and a Christmas Phantom is destroying the town’s decorations. Two actors. Twelve days of Christmas. Twenty-four hilarious characters to put a jingle in your sleigh. Performance schedule is as follows: Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm, Sundays at 3pm, and Thursdays at 8pm. The Robert Shackleton Playhouse is located at the corner of Bank and Lafayette streets. Admission is $35 for adults, $30 for seniors 62 and over, and $15 for students.

Decking the halls, and the porches The John F Craig House, a whimsical B&B on Columbia Street, is one of Cape May’s many gaily decorated houses come holiday time

Holiday Crafts Fair At Convention Hall on November 23 and 24 from 10am to 4pm, you’ll have the opportunity to shop for hand-made gifts and seasonal decorations that will make decking your halls a breeze. Admission is $2 for adults, and free for children 12 and under. Winter Wonderland At Congress Hall Here, you won’t just enjoy breakfast

with Santa, but storytime with Mrs. Claus (behind every good man is a good woman), an outdoor shopping arcade, train rides around the lawn, family ceramics, matinee movies and a hot chocolate bar. it’s the North Pole, Cape May style. Visit the hotel website, congresshall.com, to see the full schedule. Cape May Wine Trail Spend the afternoon visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the flavors of each. First, enjoy lunch at Lucky Bones Backwater Grille (we love those pork nachos nearly as much as Christmas itself) and then take the trolley shuttle to Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery, where you’ll learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. According to Kenna Wuerke, owner of Hawk Haven, this trip might also take the stress out of some of your last-minute gift buying, as you can sip while you shop. Wine bags, openers, books, and journals will be available for purchase. The tour is $60 per person and includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine tasting glass. It lasts from

Green Street Market

12 pm to 5pm, November 24 and December 29. Breakfast with Santa Enjoy a family-friendly breakfast buffet at the Inn of Cape May, located at 7 Ocean Street, on November 24 and December 1, 8, and 15 at 10am. Children can chat with Santa... or plead their case. Christmas lists will be accepted, and there will be treats for the kids. Tickets for adults are $15; $10 for children ages 3-12. Dinner with Santa New this year, this family-friendly dinner buffet at the Inn of Cape May on November 30 will allow children (and adults!) to visit with Old Saint Nick and hear a Christmas story. Adult tickets are $25; children’s $15. City Tree-lighting Ceremony This tree, located in Rotary Park, could put even the most lavishly decorated of Victorian pines to shame. Keep your eyes peeled for Saint Nick! November 30, 6:30pm. For more information, visit capemayrecreation.org, or call the City of Cape May at 609-884-9565.

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Dinner from 5PM - Call for Days & Reservations

Like Us on Facebook... Copper Fish Restaurant 416 S. Broadway, West Cape May, 609-898-1555 10

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Crafts at Christmas Show Need a last-minute tree-topper or a stocking stuffer for that someone who’s impossible to shop for? Here’s your chance. The show will be held on December 1 at Convention Hall, from 10am to 4pm.

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Wassail Day Here we come a’wassailing! Celebrate the holiday season with merriment and cheer at select buildings at Historic Cold Spring Village on December 1. Visit Father Christmas in the Country Store of this living history museum, where you will be greeted fireside by historical guides. There will also be a chorus present to raise the holiday spirit... wassail, after all, is an old English term for caroling. For details, call 609-898-2300.

s t an d a r d l u x u r y

P l an Y o u r W e d d i n g o r P r i va t e E v e n t w i t h s w e e p i n g o c e an v i e w s !

West Cape May Christmas Parade It’s THE event of the season... just ask all the folks who live along the parade route who host their most faaaaabulous parties to coincide with it. There will be floats, dignitaries, plenty of bands and, of course, the big guy himself. It kicks off December 1 at 5pm. For details, call the Borough of West Cape May at 609-884-1005. (Insider tip: For great views, grab a spot on Decatur, just behind the Pilot House.) Carriage Rides With Cape May Carriage Company The holidays can be the most romantic time of the year in Cape May, and the option to ride through the festive streets of the historic distric in a horse-drawn carriage is just one of th reasons why. The horses are beautiful (one was even featured in the Inaugural Parade of President George W. Bush in 2001), as are the decorations you’ll see along your ride. For holiday hours, visit capemaycarriage.com.

1035 Beach Avenue, Cape May NJ 08204 609.884.7000 oceanclubhotelcapemay.com

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Christmas Traditions Lecture Much of what we associate with the celebration of Christmas comes from the Victorian era,

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including Christmas trees, cards, carols and our image of Santa Claus. (Did you know that, prior to the Victorian era, Santa had many different manifestations... including a Scandinavian figure with a pet goat and a penchant for porridge.) Learn how Prince Albert brought Christmas traditions to England from Germany when he married Queen Victoria, and how these traditions spread to America in this richly illustrated lecture at the Episcopal Church of the Advent, Washington and Franklin streets, at 2pm on Saturday, December 1. Admission is $10. Candlelit Hospitality Nights Shopping, wine and enough Christmas spirit to make your heart grow three sizes... that’s a hospitality night on the Washington Street Mall. The fun lasts from 7 to 9pm, December 6 through 7. 39th Annual Christmas Candlelight House Tour This self-guided tour, the main attraction of Cape May’s festive holiday season, features homes, inns, hotels and churches decorated for the holidays, plus caroling, strolling musicians and good old-fashioned cheer. Hospitality centers offer warm beverages and home-baked treats. Tickets, $25 for adults and $20 for children, include admission to the Physick Estate, and the Carriage House Gallery’s “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” exhibit. The tour runs from 5:30-8:30pm on December 1, 8, and 15. A Dickens Christmas Extravaganza Join world-renowned lecturer on Charles Dickens, Dr Elliot Engel, and immerse yourself in the storied world of Dickens with lectures and performances offered daily. Also featured are lectures by members of the Philadelphia and New York City Dickens Fellowships. Included in the Extravaganza is a Dickensianstyle feast at the Washington


BestCCWineHapHolidayEZ

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Winner of the

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Seafood and Steak House Hand-cut Steaks • Local Seafood • International Beers on Tap

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Grande Center Shopping Mall Route 9 • Rio Grande, NJ • 609-889-2000

FISH & FANCY

SEAFOOD TAKE-OUT “The Local’s Favorite”

2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (next to Robinson & Son’s Produce) Like Us on Facebook!

(609) 886-8760 • www.fishandfancy.com

Order your Holiday Trays!

We Cater!!

fresh weekly specials • fresh homemade salads Have it your way... fried, broiled, grilled, blackened or sautéed! exit zero

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Inn, along with a wine tasting and a holiday tour of Cape May. The extravaganze runs from December 2 through December 4. Admission is $150 per person. All-inclusive packages are available at participating inns. Some events are available for individual purchase. Cape May Stage Second Stage presents Eve’s Lament Is she crazy or completely sane? Waking up in a mental institution after attempting suicide, a middle-aged Eve shares her poetic delusions of growing up in a world where women rule. This powerful, one-woman show, playing December 3 at 7pm, is presented by Chase Arts and features music by bassist Michael Logan. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 Seniors (62+) and students. To reserve call (609) 770-7820 or visit chasearts.org. Cape May Wine Weekend Triple your enjoyment by packaging together a four-course Wine Tasting Dinner at the Washington Inn on Friday December 7, an afternoon Winery Cellar Tour at Cape May Winery on the

Cape May Traditions Becky, Andy, and Lily Smith, along with Rick and Lauren Longo and Eva Elliana bundled up for last year’s Hospitality Night on the Washington Street Mall. Opposite page: The Santas that can be seen climbing the Virginia, Cape May’s first boutique hotel, are some of the most talkedabout holiday decorations in town.

afternoon of December 8, and a Sunday Wine School Class for a weekend of total indulgence. Admission is $135 (gratuity not included.) Brunch, Bingo & Lace C’mon girls… this is all about you! Leave the kids and your significant other behind and enjoy a morning of brunch, bingo and a fashion show from

the lovely ladies at Cape May’s Lace Silhouettes and the Cotton Company. Event will be held at the Inn of Cape May, on 7 Ocean Street, on December 8 at 9:30am. Tickets are $25 and include brunch buffet, fashion show, and bingo. Cape May Wine School, “Sparkling Wines for the Holidays” Before you pop the cork, prepare for

The trouble with eating Italian food

...is that five or six days later you’re hungry again. — George Miller

Cucina Rosa

898-9800 | 301 Washington Street Mall & Perry Street www.cucinarosa.com

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A Cape May tradition for over 30 years!

Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • Cocktails

19 Jackson Street, Cape May (609) 884-5970 www.madbatter.com exit zero

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holiday celebrations with a tasting of sparkling wines at the Washington Inn, 801 Washington Street, at 1 pm on Sunday, December 9. Admission is $30. Cape May Second Stage presents: 37 Stories In Which I Come Off Badly Funny, sad, and hard to believe... but it’s true! More mortifying, humiliating, jaw-dropping, and hilarious things have happened to Jody Cook than you can shake a stick at! Join him in a cabaret performance at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on Monday Decemer 10 as he exposes his tortured soul and unburdens his cold heart with a tear in one eye and a smirk in the other. Admission is $20. The show starts at 8pm. Mad Batter Wine Dinner — Happy Holidays Celebrate the holidays early with a festive five-course dinner paired with a selection of wines at the Mad Batter restaurant on December 14 at 7:30pm. Dinner is limited to 60. Tickets are $75 per person (tax and gratuity included). Nutcracker Children’s Tea For 16 years, the Washington Inn restaurant has been sponsoring a performance of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. The show, put on by dancers and singers from the Jersey Cape Dance Studio, will be geared toward elementary-age children. It will take place at the restaurant, located at 801 Washington Street, and tea sandwiches will be served. For dates and details, contact the Washington Inn at 609-884-5697. Chefs’ Dine-Arounds Enjoy a five-course gourmet feast, with each course served in one of Cape May’s premier restaurants, on December 27 and 27 at 6pm. Wine will be provided with each course, with a representative from the sponsoring winery on hand to explain the pairings. A trolley shuttle between restaurants is provided. Tickets are $125 per person (gratuity included). The dine arounds are limited to 34 people. We recommend making reservations. And wearing stretchy pants. A Cape May Christmas Tour New this year, you’ll be able to view some of Cape May’s grandest

marching to the beat December 1 will mark the 47th Annual West Cape May Christmas Parade, one of the most anticipated events of the year

mansions by the sea on a narrated trolley tour along Beach Avenue, before touring one of Cape May’s famous Bed and Breakfast Inns. Offered Mondays through Thursdays, November 26 through December 20, at 12pm. Cape May Bike Tour Also new this year, you’ll be able to explore Cape May on bicycle and discover its history at your own pace, with a special booklet as your guide. Stop along the historic streets of Cape May, West Cape May and Cape May Point and read about over 50 of the area’s landmark architectural treasures

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depicted for easy identification with photos. The booklets are $5 each, and include suggested routes and a map with descriptions. Cape May Family Treasure Hunt Discover the fun of exploring Cape May and uncovering its architectural elements from a kid’s perspective. You’ll receive a packet complete with a clues sheet and map that will take you on a self-guided discovery tour, set to your own pace. The treasure hunt is doable daily (except November 22 and December 25), and year-round. Packets are $5 a piece and only one is


and

CLIPPER SHIP PUB

Dinner from 5pm EARLY DINNER SPECIALS 5-6pm Book Your Holiday Party with Us!

1/2 PRICE RAW BAR ITEMS 5-6pm in the Pub Only

Gift Certificates Make Great Presents!

Affordable Pub Menu

Reserve Now for New Year’s Eve!

Reservations: 609-884-5878 991 Ocean Drive, Cape May www.blueclawrestaurant.com

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“I was trying to pull a minivan through a really tight area coming out of Beach Avenue. I was trying not to squish some flower beds, so I got too close to another truck and put a big scratch along the passenger side door. They still tipped me $3.”

Christmas on the farm Even the adorable alpacas at Bay Springs Alpaca Farm on New England Road — which sells great holiday gifts — were in the holiday spirit when we stopped by last December

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AND SUNNY Open year round, we’re your destination for what’s hot when the weather gets cool. Cabanas Beach Bar and Grill, it’s always summer here.

for children (ages 3-12).

Cape May Lighthouse and Oil House Climb the 199 steps to the top of the Cape May lighthouse, an 1859 structure located in Cape May Point State Park. The panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean is worth the workout. For those who choose not to climb, the Oil House contains a fully-accessible Visitors’ Orientation Center and a Museum Shop stocked with maritime accessories and lighthouse memorabilia. The lighthouse is open Friday through Sunday, November 23-25 and Saturday and Sunday, December 1 through December 23. It’s open daily December 26 through January 1, 2013. Admission to the Visitors’ Orientation Center and the ground floor of the Lighthouse is free. Tower admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-12).

Caroling Through Cape May As one of its “fun, free and friendly” events, the Town Crier Committee will host caroling along the Washington Street Mall. No need to bring anything but your voice. For dates and details, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 884-5508.

Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tours Enjoy a guided trolley tour of Cape May’ Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street. Offered daily except November 22 and December 25. Tour times vary. Tickets are $18 for adults, $9

609-884-4800 At the corner of Beach Ave. & Decatur Street CabanasOnTheBeach.com /CabanasOnTheBeach

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Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides A member of the East Lynne Theater Company will regale you with a Victorian holiday ghost tale as you ride through Cape May’s festively decorated Historic District. Tickets for adults are $10; for children (3-12), $7. the tour is offered Fridays, November 23 to December 21; Saturdays, November 17 and 24 and December 22; Sundays, November 25 through December 23; Nightly, December 26 through December 31. Hours vary. Tour begins and ends at Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street (except for the November 17 tour which depart from the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St.) Advance reservation is strongly recommended. Historic District Trolley Tours Get acquainted with Cape May on a trolley tour as knowledgeable guides present entertaining and educational stories about


Aleathea’s Restaurant

Fridays - Happy Hour 3 to 6pm • Dinner at 5pm Saturdays and Sundays - Open for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Breakfast with Santa November 24 December 1 December 8

Join Us for Thanksgiving Family Style, Whole Turkeys Carved Tableside Or Off Our Holiday Menu

Dinner with Santa November 30 at 6pm Call to Reserve!

7 Ocean Street at the Inn of Cape May | 609.884.5555 | innofcapemay.com

Cape May

Winery & Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon  Merlot Red Reserve Chardonnay  Pinot Grigio Reisling  Blush  Apple Gift Cards available Tasting Room - Open Daily Amazing Winery Tours Daily at 3pm 2 hours, 8 wines, cheese, glass, fun & knowledge only $20

Call for details... (609) 884-1169 711 Townbank Road, North Cape May www.capemaywinery.com Check us our on Twitter and Pinterest Like Us on Facebook We Have the Oldest Roots in the County!

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the nation’s oldest seashore resort. Offered daily except November 22 and Christmas day; tour times vary. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children (ages 3-12). Holiday Inns Tours Get into the Christmas spirit at three of Cape May’s festively decorated Bed and Breakfast Inns. You’ll be treated to a holiday presentation in each new space. Offered Mondays through Thursdays, November 26 through December 13, from 1pm to 3pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children (ages 3-12). Holiday Lights Trolley Rides Ride through Cape May’s Historic District to see cheerfully decorated inns and homes as guides talk about Victorian Christmas traditions, lead sing-alongs, and play Christmas music. Rides last about 30 minutes and cost $10 per seat. Offered Saturday, November 17, and nightly from November 23 through December 31. Hours vary. No tours Dec. 1, 8, 12, 15, 24 and 25. Tours leave from the Washington Street Mall Information

Also new this year, you’ll be able to explore Cape May on bicycle and discover its history at your own pace, with a special booklet as your guide.

Booth, Washington Street at Ocean (except for the November 17 tour, which leave from the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street). Lamplighter Christmas Tour Relive the memories of Christmas past on this self-guided evening tour of five of Cape May’s finest Bed and Breakfast inns, specially decorated for the holidays. Innkeepers will share their holiday spirit at each location. The tour also includes a visit to the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” exhibit while enjoying warm beverages and traditional cookies. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children (ages 3-12). Tours run 7pm to 9pm on Fridays from November 23 through December 28; November 24 and December 29. Physick Estate Christmas Tour Visit the 1879 Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, decorated in authentic Victorian style. Learn about Victorian Christmas decorations and traditions on this guided daytime tour. The tour also

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includes a visit to the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate where you can see “An Old-fashioned Christmas” exhibit. Tickets for adults: are $10; children (3-12) are $5. The tour is offered daily beginning November 16. Hours vary. No tours November 22 or Christmas day. Physick Family Christmas Tour Board a trolley at the Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street and visit the 1879 Physick Estate decorated in true Victorian holiday style, where you will enjoy a unique Christmas living history experience with members of the Physick Family household of the 1890s. Tickets for adults are $18; children (3-12) are $10. The tour is offered on Fridays, from November 23 through December 21; Saturdays, November 24 and December 22 and 29; Sundays, November 25 through December 30; Wednesday, December 26 and Thursday, December 27. Hours vary. Santa’s Trolley Rides Bring the kids to the Physick Estate on weekends for a ride around Cape

The most unique cafe in Cape May!

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Coffee House & Organic Market

479 West Perry Street West Cape May 884-1131

(609) 884-2111 615 LAFAYETTE STREET, CAPE MAy exit zero

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The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe Aleathea’s 7 Ocean Street, Cape May (609) 884-5555, Ext. 226 www.innofcapemay.com

Offers superb food in a graceful setting at the glorious old Inn of Cape May, plus a cozy-but-elegant bar with access to the oceanfront patio. Check out the antiquefilled lobby first.

Axelsson’s Blue Claw 991 Ocean Drive Cape May (609) 884-5878 www.blueclawrestaurant.com

Enjoy fine dining near the harbor – just go over the quaint old drawbridge. There is an elegant dining room, a cozy fireplace, and the classic Clipper Ship Pub.

BELLA VIDA CAFÉ 406 N. Broadway, West Cape May (609) 884-6322 www.bellavidacafe.com

“The local café with a wholesome aroma” is what they call it... and that’s how we describe it. You can tell that everything is home cooked here. Always fresh, always delicious.

The Black Duck 1 Sunset Boulevard West Cape May (609) 898-0100 www.blackduckonsunset.com

A chic interior and stylish Modern American cuisine from acclaimed chef (and owner) Chris Hubert, but the ambience is anything but pretentious. There’s a nice laidback vibe.

The Blue Pig Tavern 251 Beach Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-8422 www.congresshall.com

Congress Hall’s restaurant is better than ever, as evidenced by its usually filled dining rooms. The Pig serves classic tavern food with quite a a twist or two along the way.

Cabanas 429 Beach Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-4800 www.cabanasonthebeach.com

It’s always warm and friendly in this lively beachfront bar that features some of the best live bands around. A great spot to enjoy happy hour, with the sun pouring in the open doors.

cape may bakers 482 W. Perry Street, Cape May (609) 884-7454 www.capemaybakers.com

At the same location since 1979, Cape May Bakers has fine pastries, gourmet desserts and cakes for all occasions. Great daily specials!

cape may Olive Oil Company 324 Carpenter’s Lane Cape May 800-584-1887

This new spot features 20 different varieties of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, pastas, spreads, jams, mustards, infused salts and sugars, and much more.

Cape may organic market 120 Park Boulevard West Cape May (609) 884-3200

New to the Cape May scene this year, Cape May Organic is already a favorite, with a great selection of organic necessities, and an emphasis on “fresh” and “local.”

SYMBOLS KEY

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$15-$45 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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D

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Olive Oils and More

Health Food Store

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Great food, great drinks and great music...

Partying it up Bill Briggs (red tie) is one of many who plan their annual holiday parties around the West Cape May Christmas Parade. This photo captures five of the last year’s 200 guests — Bruce, Cath, Bob, Monica, and Vickie

May with stories and songs led by Mrs Claus. Santa will greet children with a sweet in the Carriage House. All seats are $8. Offered Saturday, November 17, Saturdays and Sundays, November 24 through December 16, and Saturday, December 22. Hours vary. Advance reservation is strongly recommended. Self-Guided Audio Tour of Cape May’s Historic District Discover the Historic District of Victorian Cape May at your own pace with Acoustiguide Inform hand-held units. The tour comes complete with a map and index for 96 historic buildings on 69 sites, and is available daily (except November 22 and December 25) from 9am to 2:30pm at the Hill House office located on the grounds of the Physick Estate. The rental fee is $10.

...are always guaranteed.

106 Decatur Street @ Columbia Avenue

Self-Guided Wine Trail Spend the afternoon touring the wineries of Cape May County at your own pace. Visit Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery and taste the unique flavors at each. Offered

Cape May (609) 884-8363 www.merioninn.com

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daily (except November 22, December 24 and Christmas day) from 12pm to 5pm. Admission is $8 and includes a map with the wineries listed and a tasting glass. Self-guided Wine and Brewery Tour What’s brewing in Cape May? Some great spirits, as you’ll find out on this tour of Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery, plus the new Cape May Brewing Company. Take a tour at each stop and sample some of their products. Admission is $13 and includes map with directions. Offered Saturdays, 12pm to 5pm. Spirit of Christmas Tour Board a trolley for a short ride through Cape May then visit the authentically decorated Emlen Physick Estate for a holiday presentation about Victorian Christmas decorating in the 1890s. Then head to the Carriage House on the grounds of the Estate where you’ll enjoy the exhibit, “An Old-fashioned Christmas,” with holiday refreshments. Adults are $18; children (3-12) are $13. Offered Mondays through Thursdays, November 26


The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe Cape may winery 711 Townbank Road, Cape May (609) 884-1169 www.capemaywinery.com

This beautiful winery is open daily. Make a reservation to take an informative tour ofthe winery – just call for more information and their current tour hours.

Cape Orient 315 Ocean Street, Cape May (609) 898-0088 www.capeorient.com

It’s not often that one restaurant can do excellent Chinese, Thai AND sushi, but trust us, Cape Orient does. The service, led by owner Glendy, is superb, too.

Copper Fish 416 Broadway West Cape May (609) 898-1555 copperfishonbroadway.com

Chef Geoff Johnson’s popular Copper Fish is located on Broadway near Sunset Blvd. Chef Geoff’s concoctions are always fun, creative and delicious.

Cucina Rosa 301 Washington Street Mall Cape May (609) 898-9800 www.cucinarosa.com

Nicely located at the beginning of the mall, on the Congress Hall side, this Italian restaurant is a must-visit. Simply superb food in classy-but-casual surroundings.

C-View inn Texas & Washington Avenues Cape May (609) 884-4712

A locals’ favorite, the oldest and friendliest tavern in town with great wings, excellent pub fare and cold beer. And these days they accept credit cards, too!

depot market cafÉ 409 Elmira Street Cape May (609) 884-8030

Chris and Lisa Shriver are keeping the old favorites at this much-loved café AND adding new specials. Cape May’s movers and shakers often eat lunch here.

The Ebbitt Room 25 Jackson Street, Cape May (609) 884-5700 www.virginiahotel.com

Sublime cocktail concoctions, a romantic setting, a great wine list, and a beautiful porch! And oh yes, don’t forget that a majority of the restaurant’s produce is grown for The Ebbitt Room at the 62-acre Beach Plum Farm in West Cape May.

fish and fancy 2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (609) 886-8760 www.fishandfancy.com

Superb seafood however you like it — fried, broiled, grilled, blackened or sautéed. That’s choice for you. Also great salads. Eat in (there’s an outdoor patio) or take away.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

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Winery

$5-$27 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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through December 20 at 6:45 pm. (No tour December 12). Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting Spend an afternoon at the awardwinning Cape May Winery, 711 Town Bank Road. Tour the vineyard to see how the grapes are grown and then visit the winery where you’ll be introduced to the winemaker’s art. Savor a barrel tasting accompanied by cheese and fruit. Admission is $20 and includes a complimentary souvenir tasting glass. Visit capemaywinery.com for info. World War II Lookout Tower Museum and Memorial Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard is New Jersey’s last freestanding World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles. Visitors can climb to the 6th floor spotting gallery while reliving the homeland defense efforts during World War II. The tower is closed for the holiday season except for the new All Veterans Memorial at the rear of the tower, which is designed for quiet contemplation year-round.

LET THE MOMENTS SIP BY Cape May Winery should be included in your holiday activity must-do list

LITTLE ITALY II RISTORANTE

Home-cooked food that satisfies your family and your wallet!

A Local Café with ... a Wholesome Aroma Breakfast 7 ‘til 2:30 Lunch 11:30-2:30pm Sat & Sun 7-3 Dinner from 5pm Fresh Fruit Smoothies & Juices Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Friendly • Family Affordable Take-Out • Outdoor Seating & Doggie-Friendly Dining Fair Trade Organic Costa Rican Coffee Fresh Pressed Carrot Juice Hottest Hotcakes Homemade Soups Signature Sandwiches Veggie Delights

Breakfast Burritos Multigrain Waffles Sweet Potato Pancakes Sensational Salads Bella ½-pound Burgers Dynamic Dinners

Early Bird Special... Complimentary Glass of Wine with each Early Bird Dinner. Available Sunday thru Friday from 3:30-5:30

3704 Bayshore Road, North Cape May (Cape Plaza Shopping Center) • (609) 889-6610

406 N. Broadway, West Cape May 609.884.6332 • www.bellavidacafe.com

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The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe green street market 3167 Route 9 South Rio Grande (609) 463-0606 www.greenstreetmarket.com

A family-owned and operated organic market, committed to providing healthy and fair trade cerftified foods and products. Check out their rewards program.

harbor view 954 Ocean Drive Cape May (609) 884-5444 www.harborviewcapemay.com

A locals’ favorite for a reason. There’s a Key West vibe, good food, regular entertainment, and the views are spectacular.

hawk haven vineyard 600 S. Railroad Avenue Rio Grande (609) 846-7347 www.hawkhavenvineyard.com

A hip vibe, relaxed, beautiful setting and superb wines make this winery a must-visit. Enjoy wines by the glass and gourmet snacks!

hemingway’s 1045 Beach Avenue Cape May (609) 884-5611 www.hemingwayscapemay.com

A relaxed yet elegant island ambience, featuring hand-cut USDA Prime Steaks, classic seafood creations and an outstanding wine selection. At the beachfront Grand Hotel.

higher grounds 479 W. Perry Street West Cape May (609) 884-1131 highergroundscapemay.com

Higher Grounds is the only organic and vegan cafe in Cape May. It’s a wifi hotspot, and also offers great garden seating.

lucky bones 1200 Route 109 Cape May (609) 884-BONE (2663) www.luckybonesgrill.com

This harborfront restaurant is a huge hit for a reason. There is excellent food (including wonderful thin-crust pizza), a great bar vibe, and superb service. Gets it right every time.

mad batter 19 Jackson Street Cape May (609) 884-5970 www.madbatter.com

The original fine dining restaurant in Cape May and still one of the best. The food is always creative and the breakfasts and brunches are very hard to beat – hence the lines.

maRIE NICOLE’S 9510 Pacific Avenue Wildwood Crest (609) 522-5425 www.marienicoles.com

This classy-but-casual restaurant serves modern American cuisine with a European ambiance in a relaxed atmosphere, just a short drive from Cape May, in Wildwood Crest.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Health Food Store

Varies Cards: V, MC, D

B, L, D

$6-$30 Cards: V, MC

Winery

$5-$34 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

B, L, D

$15-$38 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

B, L, D

$5-$15 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

L, D

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The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe

merion inn 106 Decatur Street Cape May (609) 884-8363 www.merion inn.com

The dim, amber lighting, dark wooden bar, period fittings and classy staff give this place a special ambience. Great food, great cocktails, and a great vibe.

oyster bay 615 Lafayette Street Cape May (609) 884-2111 www.oysterbayrestaurantnj.com

Lovely, airy dining rooms, a beautiful copper-top bar and classic, generous dishes are what you’ll find here. This is the kind of place where people keep returning.

peter shields 1301 Beach Avenue Cape May (609) 884-9090 www.petershieldsinn.com

The Georgian Revival mansion on Cape May’s beachfront is magnificent, and the creative modern American menu matches it all the way. This is one classy eating experience.

THE PILOT HOUSE 142 Decatur Street Cape May (609) 884-3449 www.pilothousecapemay.com

A classic pub and restaurant offering great burgers, excellent comfort good and an authentic ambience. The burgers are big favorites among locals.

primo hoagies 605 Lafayette Street Cape May (609) 884-1177 www.primohoagies.com

No need to drive all the way to Philly for an authentic hoagie experience with Primo conveniently located right on Lafayette. It’s not just a hoagie, it’s a Primo.

the red store 500 Cape Avenue, Cape May Point (609) 884-5757

Awesome food in a secluded, serene setting. And now you can enjoy dinner, too, cooked by the brilliant Lucas Manteca, formerly of The Ebbitt Room.

rio station 3505 Route 9 South Rio Grande (609) 889-2000 www.riostation.com

While all around it has changed, the Rio Station is still serving excellent food with old-style, friendly service. Their chicken wings are particularly good.

Seaside Cheese Company 600 Park Boulevard West Cape May (609) 884-8700 seasidecheesecapemay.com

A huge plus for the area when it opened, and this place, a short walk from downtown Cape May, continues to delight with gourmet treats. Private tasting room is available to reserve.

Sunset Liquors 106 Sunset Boulevard West Cape May (609) 435-5052

A new liquor store in town - definitely a welcome addition. Beer, wine, spirits, snacks, ice and free parking, and open daily. What’s not to love about that?

SYMBOLS KEY

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$18/Mrkt Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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Stock Up for Your Holiday Parties! Free Delivery. Custom Holiday Gift Baskets. Special Holiday Brews.

Phone 609-435-5052

Beer • Wine • Spirits • Ice • Snacks • Free Parking

Open Daily.


The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe

Tisha’s fine dining 322 Washington Street Mall Cape May (609) 884-9119 tishasfinedining.com

In case you’re wondering why they’re not at Convention Hall – they moved to the mall, where they are still serving up irresistible concoctions for dinner, PLUS breakfast and lunch now too!

TOMMY’S FOLLY COFFEE 251 Beach Avenue Cape May (609) 884-6522 www.congresshall.com

Situated in the lobby of Congress Hall, this shop has great coffee and some lovely to-go breakfast goodies, as well as healthy and tasty lunch wraps, plus soups, shakes and more.

The Ugly Mug 426 Washington Street Mall Cape May (609) 884-3459

A Cape May legend, and even better now that they’ve put those wonderful booths in there. Such a treat. It has a classic pub vibe, and always a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Ukai asian restaurant 1500 Route 47 South Rio Grande (609) 770-7773 www.sushiukai.com

Enjoy delicious, fresh and nutritious authentic Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Thai cuisine - all homemade! Great sushi too!

Uncle Bill’s Pancakes Beach Avenue & Perry Street Cape May (609) 884-7199 unclebillspancakehouse.com

Reliably excellent food – there is a reason why people wait a while to eat here... Excellent breakfasts and brunches at this circular restaurant that overlooks the Atlantic.

union park Beach Avenue & Howard Cape May (609) 884-8811 www.unionparkdiningroom.com

Elegant dining in a classic old hotel, and the food is magnificent and inventive. Voted one of the best restaurants in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine.

vincenzo’s little italy ii 3704 Bayshore Road North Cape May (609) 889-6610 www.vincenzolittleitaly.com

If you want to bring the family for a fine and fun Italian meal, look no further than here! The kids will love it. Excellent pasta dishes, and they’ve recent expanded their pizzeria!

WASHINGTON INN 801 Washington Street Cape May (609) 84-569 www.washingtoninn.com

Superb gourmet food, and a great little cocktail bar to get your night off on the right foot. Amazing wine list and an all-new wine bar has opened with small plates available.

willow creek winery 168 Stevens Street West Cape May (609) 770-8782 willowcreekwinerycapemay.com

Willow Creek is the newest and largest winery in Cape May. Check out the stunning villa, set on the idyllic 50-acre vineyard. This isn’t a tour - it’s an event.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Bar or BYOB?

Should I book?

Food for kids?

B, L, D

$18-$35 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

B, Café

$2-$5 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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$2.25$36.95 Cards: V, MC, AE

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$18-$35 Cards: V, MC, AE

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$8-$20 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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500 Cape Avenue, Cape May Point, New Jersey

609-884-5757

capemaypointredstore.com S e r v i n g b r e a k f a s t , l u n c h a n d d i n n e r. Call for dinner reservations. Call or check out website for winter hours

Stop by our Beautiful Vineyard for everything wine... tastings, classes, picnics, parties and more! Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter by scanning the QR code below or go directly to our website

Photos by Robert Mayer

168 Stevens Street, West Cape May • (609) 770-8782 • willowcreekwinerycapemay.com exit zero

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t s e d l O s ’ y e Ma

! n r e v a T t s

e i l d n e i r F &

Cap

C-View Inn Texas Avenue & Washington Street Cape May • (609) 884-4712

Japanese • Sushi • Chinese • Thai

898-0088 315 Ocean Street, Washington Commons Mall (inside Acme Market Mall) Cape May www.capeorient.com exit zero

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my perfect fall day chad de satnick, cape may’s “blind guy”

Surf, sunrises, sunsets, and more surf

A

fresh home-brewed cup of Costa Rican coffee is the only way to start my perfect day, and at my house in Cold Spring, the boiling water is usually going off before the sun rises. There is simply something magical about waking early and taking advantage of the day before the population mass starts to clutter the streets. And as I am getting older, watching the sun rise has become a very special piece of my day. September and October is by far the best time of the year here in Cape May, and Mother Nature has recently blessed us with good waves (so all of us surfers have been less edgy as of late). A perfect September session would involve my older brother breaking away from de Satnick Real Estate to join me in the line up, ground swell from a tropical storm, incoming tide, and offshore winds. After a three-hour surf session, I would head to breakfast at the Lobster House Cof-

fee Shop, a bacon and cheese omelette, home fries with onions, one more cup of Joanne’s coffee, and a freshly squeezed cup of OJ. Even on a perfect day, you must earn your keep, and a man’s still gotta make the donuts. So a quick stop to check in on my parents and de Satnick’s Window Fashions, to ensure all clients have been contacted, their needs taken care of, and that no fires need to be immediately extinguished. Big De has been running the Blinds Business for almost 40 years so work hard, play hard is the name of the game! For lunch, it would be two slices of Cappy’s pizza (my faves are the plain and the margherita). By this time the tide should have switched, so I’m back to the beach for another surf check — salt-laced eyebrows and sand between the toes are a way of life in Cape May. This is why I decided to make this area my permanent home. Travelling around the globe has definitely made me appreciate the roots exit zero

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SPECIAL PLACE “I feel very fortunate that we live in a place where we can see the sun rise from the ocean and set into the bay. And a perfect day would end with a cold beverage or two, nestled on the beach in Cape May Point, watching the autumn sky do its thing as night falls on the Cape,” says Chad de Satnick Aleksey Moryakov

2012

that my family and I have grown in this special place, especially since we are generationally deep. My mom’s father was an optometrist in town, Dr Max Kurland, and my dad’s father, Jack de Satnick, owned the Owl’s Nest (most people will know this as the Sea Holly Inn at 815 Stockton Avenue). I feel very fortunate that we live in a place where we can see the sun rise from the ocean and set into the bay. And a perfect day would end with a cold beverage or two, nestled on the beach in Cape May Point, watching the autumn sky do its thing as night falls on the Cape. I’m easily amused and very content with leftovers, or as my mom used to say “must-go” — as in, everything in the fridge must go before it goes bad. So for dinner I normally make some thing happen, although we do have some of the best dining options in the county, hands down. Too many to list and definitely too many to visit on a weekly basis. Any one care to join me?


a small-town christmas story Cape May Stage brings a new holiday classic to the Robert Shackleton Playhouse Story by CATHERINE DUGAN

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S

outherners have a reputation for quality storytelling, perhaps born of balmy summer nights and wide front porches in the days before air conditioning. According to the stereotype, families gather for tall tales, folk tales and ghost stories, told to the music of crickets, with the scent of magnolia in the air. From Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor to contemporary storytellers like Steve Martin or Sandra Cisneros, Southerners have a way with words. When cold weather comes, stories move from the front porch to the fireside. This year, when the cold weather comes to Cape May, A Tuna Christmas arrives like a gift from the Lone Star State, as Cape May Stage presents a family story made for retelling all winter long. A Tuna Christmas, written in 1989 by Jaston Williams, Joe Sears, and Ed Howard, is the sequel to Greater Tuna, and prequel to Red, White and Tuna and Tuna Does Vegas. Sears and Williams originally played all the parts, with Howard directing. The series of comedic plays has captured the American imagination, and the

“A Tuna Christmas” lovingly pokes fun at small-town Southern life. In Texas, where everything is big, Tuna takes pride in being the thirdsmallest town, where “the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.”

plays have been produced all over the country, including performances at the White House for President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, and a filmed production on HBO. A Tuna Christmas lovingly pokes fun at small town Southern life. In Texas, where everything is big, Tuna takes pride in being the third-smallest town, where “the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.” It’s Christmas Eve, and radio station OKKK is reporting all the local Tuna news. The annual Christmas Yard Display Contest is threatened by a “Christmas Phantom” who is vandalizing yard displays, jeopardizing Vera Carp’s chances for a fifteenth win. The local production of A Christmas Carol has run into difficulties, including unpaid bills, and Joe Bob Lipsey is struggling to keep it together. UFO-ologist R.R. Snavely finds himself suddenly relevant. The two dozen residents of Tuna, from Inita Goodwin at the Tastee Kreme diner to Petey Fisk at the Humane Society, are in a tizzy. Two actors play all 21 roles in this quirky comedy, changing costumes, voices, gaits and personalities on the

fly. Cape May Stage’s Artistic Director Roy Steinberg has recruited two talented performers — Jody Cook and Turner Crumbley — to introduce Cape May to the people of Tuna. Both have a connection to the South, but Cook insists you don’t have to be southern to enjoy the show — “You just have to enjoy laughing at silly people” who insist on “making a mountain out of a molehill. You’ll recognize everyone in the play as someone you’d see in your home town, regardless of where you grew up.” Crumbley agrees, predicting that the people of Cape May will enjoy meeting the residents of Tuna. Jody Cook is originally from Kentucky, and although he is currently based in Manhattan, Cook is no stranger to small-town life. He grew up in a town whose population was 900 — “always 900, as if whenever someone was born, someone else had to move out or die.” His basketball-loving family roots for the Wildcats, so his father wasn’t thrilled when young Jody won a scholarship to Duke University. Cook explains, “If you were from Kentucky, you’d understand.” Advised to rethink his college plans, Cook chose Belmont University in Nash-

Harbor View RESTAURANT, BAR & MARINA

954 ocean drive, cape may • (609) 884-5444 • harborviewcapemay.com exit zero

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A MAN OF MANY PARTS Turner Crumble, who will be appearing at Cape May Stage this holiday season, played three roles in Red, White and Tuna, the sequel to A Tuna Christmas. He is pictured as Vera, in the pink dress, as Arles, in a cowboy hat, and Stanley, in the black, sleeveless T-shirt.

Uncle Bill’s

Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Eat In Take Out

& FAMILY RESTAURANT Let Us Host Your Holiday Luncheon at Uncle Bill’s!

Talk to us about planning your next catered event!

Free Delivery to Cape May City is Back!

Check us out on facebook or call 609-884-8030 for our daily specials! Featuring The Depot’s popular homemade soups, salad selections, house roasted meats and local seafood specials

409 Elmira Street, Cape May (Next to the Train Station) • 609-884-8030 exit zero

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BEACH AVENUE & PERRY STREET, CAPE MAY (609) 884-7199 december

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ville, where he studied classical voice and theater. Brad Paisley and Trisha Yearwood were among his classmates, along with “so many talented people” at the college and in nearby Nashville that the talent pool gave Cook a chance to “learn from everyone.” After college, Cook tackled musical theater in New York, earning roles in shows like Three Wishes for Jamie, Irene, and Silk Stockings. In regional theater, Cook has appeared in Curtains, Damn Yankees, and My Fair Lady, and several productions of Greater Tuna and A Tuna Christmas. Cook was also a groomsman in the film Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. He has earned critical acclaim for performances in Honk! and L’il Abner, and for his one-man show, Husky Jeans, at the J.C. Penney. Cook’s current cabaret show is 37 Stories in Which I Come Off Badly, which he’ll perform at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on December 10. Having worked all over the country, Cook is confident that the Cape May audience will relate. People love the folks from Tuna, whether you hail from the “midwest, Long Island, or Texas, it’s

CAPE MAY’S TUNA STARS Turner Crumbley, left, grew up in Mississippi and has featured in many regional theater productions and was in the recent hit comedy, 21 Jump Street, which starred Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Jody Cook, right, has earned critical acclaim for performances in Honk! and L’il Abner, and had a role in the movie Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst.

universal. People aren’t that different.” After all, no matter where you live, you can relate to the need for last-minute shopping, even if your store owner never announces, “Remember our motto at Didi’s Used Weapons: If we can’t kill it, it’s immortal.” Turner Crumbley, who also has southern roots, agrees that the Tuna stories have universal appeal. He grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, surrounded by a story-telling family. All good stories, he says, “stem from family. My family has always told little anecdotes,” passing its history along to “younger generations and we really value them.” Crumbley also values the “steady diet of movies and theater” he enjoyed as a child. He

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give Crumbley a boost when performing, because drama, at its heart, is storytelling. After all, he says, “The actor and the audience participate in a tradition that’s more formal, but the concept is the same.” Asked about the drawbacks of being on away from home during the holiday season, both actors were unfazed, aware that life on the road is the price of doing what you love. They are happy to be hard at work while visitors to Cape May enjoy shopping, visits with Santa, and Christmas-themed trolley rides and teas. After all, the decorated Victorian streets of Cape May are like a Christmas card brought to life. Crumbley is a newlywed, and is delighted that his wife, part of his new Christmas tradition, ”comes with me!” Cook speaks with good humor about the warm celebrations actors enjoy together, and family gatherings that don’t line up with the calendar. As an actor, “That’s the life you choose. You make your family where you are,” he says, “I’m so excited to be working in Cape May for Christmas.” The intimacy of the Robert Shackleton Playhouse is just right right for this play, Cook asserts, because the audience

Both actors are happy to be hard at work while visitors to Cape May enjoy shopping, visits with Santa, and Christmasthemed trolley rides and teas. After all, the decorated Victorian streets of Cape May are like a Christmas card brought to life.

is “eavesdropping on life in the radio station, in the kitchen.” A Tuna Christmas is “not a spectacle,” says Cook, who has done the play in several theaters. Instead, the “charm is in the small details.” The audience is close enough to care about the characters. We learn the workings of a small-town radio station, where disc jockey Arles Struvie struggles with the news: “In international news today, Christmas violence flares, leaving thousands dead in Mag... Mada... Madg... Hell, I can’t even pronounce the name of the place... Well folks, they must be foreigners, so never mind.” We sympathize with Bertha Bumiller, whose drunken husband is missing the holiday, when she threatens her children, “Charlene, Stanley get down here this instant or I’m going to put on the Andy Williams Chrismas album.” We cringe at the snobbery of Vera Carp, who asks her unseen maid, “Lupe, darling, do you know where are el freezer bags, por favor?” We may not like all of them, but by the end of the show, we are firmly on the side of the denizens of Tuna, and the message that love matters finds its way through all the laughs. Onstage, the small details matter, but

it’s a physical play backstage, with many rapid costume changes. Cook praises the dressers as the real stars of the show, because the actors “can’t let the audience know how physical it is.” Playing so many roles is a mental workout because “you’re always thinking about what’s coming next,” and the dressers handle most of the logistics of changing clothes quickly. Cape May Stage has a reputation for excellence behind the scenes, and with so much going on, Cook says, “You should sell tickets to see the backstage.” A Tuna Christmas runs November 23 through December 30, Thursdays through Saturdays, at 8pm, with matinees Saturdays and Sundays, at 3pm. The play runs 75 minutes with no intermission, and is appropriate for family viewing. And, for something completely different, Cape May Stage presents Eve’s Lament, on Monday, December 3 at 7pm, as part of the Second Stage Series. Written and performed by Denise Kumani Gantt, and award-winning performer, the thought-provoking show shares one woman’s poetic delusions about growing up in a world where women rule.

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A Cape May love story it wasn’t love at first sight, but bob and marilyn lepor are still going strong after 50 years, and countless memories Interview by DIANE STOPYRA

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I want to wish everyone the best for the Holiday Season! Working as a psychic medium all of these years has given me some great insight into how our loved ones in Heaven see us on Earth. They are always watching over and guiding us, and they often visit during the holidays. When they do visit, they like to see us happy and enjoying our lives. So remember your friends and loved ones on the Other Side this holiday season. Keep them in your hearts and in your celebrations! If you think you would like to reconnect, just let me know. In the meatime, know they are always around.

Visit me online at www.craigmcmanus.com PH: 201-493-0772 For information about Private & Group Channeling Sessions

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M

arilyn and Bob Lepor of Cape Island Campground — high school sweethearts — celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on November 24. We met up with them to talk about falling in love in (and with) Cape May. We expected a lot of ooey-gooey talk about love and romance and unicorns. What we got was much more real than that. Bob and Marilyn joke like best friends (they laughed through this entire interview, often at the other’s expense), and they don’t sugarcoat the truth — love is hard, even a love forged in our romantic neck of the woods, one that’s not exactly lacking in horse-drawn carriages and sunsets. But it’s also worth the struggle. Marilyn and Bob have built a family (four kids and four grandchildren) and a successful business, and that’s due largely to the fact that they’ve also built a love which can stand the test of time (and an accidentally discarded wedding dress).

How did you meet? [Marilyn] I was born in Yonkers, and I grew up in Westchester County, New York. But in the summers, I would visit my mother’s cousins, who lived in Cape May. One of my mother’s cousins’ daughters, Diane, is my age, and she had a boyfriend the summer I was 15. She told him to find someone for me, too, otherwise she wouldn’t be able to go out with him. Bob was who she found. He was 16, and he’s lived in Cape May his whole life. Was it love at first sight? [Bob] I don’t think so. It wasn’t until the third date that she spoke to me! She was so shy. And I didn’t recognize her the second time I picked her up, because she had cut her hair. She answered the door, and I said, “Hello,

Young Love Bob took Marilyn (in white) to Cape May High School’s Senior Prom at Convention Hall in 1959. They double dated with her cousin Diane and Terry MacNamara. Previous page: Bob and Marilyn on the wedding day in Dobbs Ferry,

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A Roaring Good Time Left: To keep the spark burning, Bob and Marilyn began taking cruises to the Caribbean in 1967. On one trip, they attended a masquerade ball with long-time friends and neighbors, the late John Cirrincione and his wife Jean. Right: Bob and Marilyn at a family dinner at Lobster House in 1972.

is Marilyn here?” That’s not a good start. But you’ve been together ever since? No breaks? [Marilyn] Not a single one. Not in 54 years. How did you manage that? Long distance seems like a hard thing to pull off for two kids. [Bob] I went through a couple of cars driving to see her once I got my license. And she’d visit Cape May. On Friday nights, we’d wait outside of Petroff’s, the hot dog place next to Cabanas, until midnight. We were good Catholics, so we were supposed to fast on Fridays. We went to the prom together, and my graduation party at Congress Hall. And we’d meet up after work. I was a beach boy for Steger’s, and then I worked for Casale’s shoe store for two years… I was the only non-family member to do so. And she worked at her family’s fish

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“I don’t know why he was driving. Normally, he just dropped me off at the bus in Atlantic City! He filled up the car, took the ring out of the glove box, and set it on the dashboard.”

TIME FOR A SMOOCH Bob and Marilyn on another Caribbean cruise, in 1971

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market at end of the Lobster House — Woodrow’s. When we were together, she showed me a Cape May I never saw, because when you’re a local, you don’t go to things like, say, Christmas events on the mall. And the absence was one of the greatest things. Kids today wear it out… they see each other so much, it’s sickening! What was Bob like as a kid? [Marilyn] He was the class clown, very popular. He played sports, although he did run the wrong way on the football field once, something he denies. [Bob] I did not! I ran past the guy I was supposed to tackle. She was in the stands, so I was nervous. At what moment did you know you had met your forever person? [Marilyn] Hmm…. [Bob] Uhhh… Well this is awkward. [Marilynn] This was 50 years ago. Things were different. Years ago, getting married is just what you did, I wasn’t going to college — I did one year at secretarial school. I have two brothers, they were the ones

communion day at star of the sea Bob and Marilyn attended the First Holy Communion of their youngest child and only son, Bobby, at Star of the Sea Church in Cape May in the early 1980s. “After three girls, when the doctor said I had a little boy, I said, ‘You’ve got to be shi**ing me,’” Bob told us.

that had to go to college. The mindset 50 years ago was that someone can take care of the girl. She’ll get married and she’ll have children, and that was fine with me because that’s what I like to do. Okay, but it’s been 50 years. You don’t make it that long without genuinely loving one another. [Bob] You want to know my secret to lasting marriage? One person can’t argue. [Marilyn] You’re saying you don’t argue with me? [Bob] I make believe I can’t hear you! That’s romantic... How did you propose? [Bob] That’s a funny story. I was 21 and she was 20. We were in my ’60 Corvette, and I was taking her back to New York. [Marilyn] I don’t know why he was driving. Normally, he just dropped me off at the bus in Atlantic City! He filled up the car, took the ring out of the glove box, and set it on the dashboard. You didn’t get down on one knee? [Bob] No! I was in the car. She said, “Where’s the atmosphere? Where are the candles? I can’t open that here!” I said,

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“There’s me and there’s a ring? What more do you need?” What was the wedding like? [Marilyn] It was in New York. And the preacher called him Richard throughout the entire ceremony. During his speech, the best man said, “I guess this means Marilyn is married to him, but he’s not really married to her.” Then we honeymooned in DC and Florida. Although, it wasn’t really a honeymoon, because two of his friends tagged along. They wanted to see the Daytona 500. [Bob] Our wedding was two days after Thanksgiving. I thought I was going for turkey, and I wound up married. Stop it right now, or I’m not going to have an article! This is supposed to be a romantic story. Bob, tell me the most romantic thing you’ve ever done this instant. [Bob] There’s been so many things! [Marilyn] I would have to say that time you picked flowers for me from the backyard of the first Cape May house we lived in.


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Tell us about that house. [Bob] It was on Idaho Avenue. Dwarves lived there before us, I think. [Marilyn] He says that because everything in it was so low to the ground! And so small. When we brought home our first daughter, we had her baby things in the living room, and you couldn’t move. Tell me about the time Marilyn looked the most beautiful. [Bob] She’s a better-looking woman today than the day I married her. Aw. [Bob] Well I did invest a small fortune into her teeth! Did you ever write one another love letters? [Bob] Oh, yes. But I don’t know where they are. [Marilynn] He probably threw them out with my wedding dress. What?! [Marilynn] We were moving, and he was sorting things into two piles… keep and discard. Eventually, he got frustrated and started throwing everything into the discard pile. I said, “What are you doing?! That’s my wedding dress!” Should have kept that instead of his boy scout uniform… I could still fit in my wedding dress! [Bob] I was 128 pounds when I graduated from high school. I like to say I’m twice the man she married now. Bob, when you were 17, you started working with your father in his construction business, Thomas Lepor And Son Construction, which did work on the Washington Street Mall and on the promenade. Why make the move from that world, to owning this RV park?

[Bob] I had a lot of experience building them. Then, I bid on the project running a sewer line from the Mitnick School to the bus station. I didn’t win the bid, but I knew once the sewer line was put in, this property would become a lot more valuable, so I purchased it the next day, in 1975. Then we started thinking about what to do with it, and this just made sense. Two years later, I liquidated the construction business. [Marilyn] It’s been a great family business. The kids all worked here, at the snack bar when they were as young as eight and 10 years old. And now the grandkids do. Any moments of doubt about the business? [Bob] The first year! At the end of that first season, I said I think we made a real big mistake. I was worried about the gas crisis, the weather… but fortunately it became pretty lucrative. But that first year, if felt like you had to steal from Peter to pay Paul to keep things going. Is it a challenge working with family? [Bob] The key is that one person has to take control. Sometimes, that means I’ve got to be the bad guy. [Marilyn] That’s funny… I thought I was the one who took control! Tell me an argument you’ve had to work through. [Marilyn] I would say, “You’re always running off hunting and fishing and working.” Sometimes, it felt like he was never here. [Bob] I can tell you about a time when all that changed

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Moments to Remember Bob and Marilyn were proud parents at the wedding of their youngest daughter, Suzanne in 1998. The reception was held at the Washington Inn. december

2012


For The Love Of Wine Bob and Marilyn rarely miss a Grill Night at the Cape May Winery... it’s one of their favorite Cape May spots.

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in my mind. At my youngest daughter’s graduation, it dawned on me that I don’t remember the graduations of my two older girls. I was there, but I was so involved with work and other things, and I thought… This is crazy. That’s when it really changed all my thinking. [Marilyn] That’s something I never knew. Why Cape May? [Marilyn] I love Cape May. I belong here. [Bob] She’s been back to New York twice since she moved here, and both times were for funerals. Are you still in love? [Bob] Well it’s too late to start over! I’m kidding. Yes, I am still in love. [Marilyn] Me, too. Why? [Bob] I’m grateful to her for putting up with me. And she’s stood by my side through so much. I once had a health scare that we called an ambulance for, but Marilyn wouldn’t let me wait for the ambulance. She put me in the car and drove me to hospital. The doctors said if I had waited, I would have died. She saved my life. [Marilyn] I’m grateful that’s he’s been my partner, and such a good partner, for all of these years. Marriage is tough — of course there are hurdles — but when there’s love, you make it work.

“We were moving, and he was sorting things into two piles... keep and discard. Eventually, he got frustrated and started throwing everything into the discard pile. I said, ‘What are you doing? That’s my wedding dress!’”

dancing the night away Fifty-four years after their first dance at the Starlight Ballroom in Wildwood, Bob and Marilyn celebrated at their anniversary party held at Cape May Winery

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at “Victorious Pink” for printable coupons, specials and new merchandise exit zero

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be afraid, be very afraid. presenting the latest holiday chiller from TERRY O’BRIEN...

A Very Zombie Christmas Chapter 1 It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

J

Cape May Elementary School Playground, Lafayette Street, 1:03am... immy Pratt, five years old, kicked his little pajama-ed feet until the swing went higher and higher. Too high! Stop kicking… Lower now, safe. Big smile. Jimmy loved the playground, but he never got to come here by himself. And never at night. He never went anywhere without mommy and daddy. But daddy was gone and mommy told him to come here and to never come back, so he did. It was fun and all, sliding the slides, swinging the swings, but he wished he’d brought a coat. It was Christmas Eve, cold, windy and

snowy, and his footie pajamas didn’t keep him very warm. He hopped off the swing and wondered if Santa had come yet. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be awake after midnight on Christmas Eve, because that’s when it turned into Christmas — CHRISTMAS! And Santa didn’t visit little boys who were up too late, and when he ran out of the house he saw 12:17 on the stove clock, but mommy said… And so he pondered, in his freezing little five-year-old mind — who took greater precedence in the world, mommy or Santa, and decided mommy won and Santa would just have to understand, because he was a good boy. And a tired boy. He stepped onto the crunchy, frozen wood mulch that surrounded the sliding boards (it stung his cold feet) and curled up under the

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slide. It was just too cold in the wind. He had been crying earlier, when mommy screamed at him, and his tears and boogies in the cold wind made his face all red and stingy. The playground was fun, but he really wanted to go home now. Home where it was warm and mommy might make hot chocolate and tomorrow is Christmas. But no. No, no, no Jimmy. Mommy said go away and never come back. This made him sad all over again and fresh tears ran down his ruddy cheeks. He wanted to go back. He loved mommy and it made his heart hurt to think of never seeing her again. His little body ached with sadness and now he suddenly felt very sleepy. He didn’t like the idea of sleeping in the cold all by himself, in the dark at the playground, but he was so tired now that sleep


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was all he could think of. So he made a little pillow by bunching up some of the mulch and laid his head upon it. The chopped wood bit into his skin and hurt really bad, scraped against his ear and stung his cheek, but soon he would be asleep and it wouldn’t hurt anymore. He closed his eyes and sunk like a lead weight into the ground. He never wanted to sleep so bad in his whole life. So he closed his eyes. He thought he heard somebody talking to him but it must have been a dream, he was so sleepy. The voice said, “Hey there, little fella… you okay?”

L

The Pratt House, Washington Street, 12:09am... isa Pratt dabbed softly at her nose with the Kleenex and sniffed back a tear. It was just like her husband, always the drama queen, to die the day before Christmas. All day her spacious home had been full of friends, family and well-wishers, all of whom meant well, but all Lisa wanted was for them to leave her alone. Tom was the friendly one, the gregarious one, the

She sighed and stared at the halfempty bottle of Glenlivet on the table. In the end that’s what got him. His relatively cleanlylived recent years not enough to overcome his utterly voracious past.

one everybody loved; she was the one they tolerated because they loved him so much, always the party-pooper, the ball-breaker, the nagging wife dragging him home at a reasonable hour after a reasonable number of drinks. And Tom played it to the hilt, always going on about the ol’ ball and chain. But without fail, he’d always thanked her for doing it. He always said if he hadn’t met her he’d have been dead by 30 with his hardpartying ways, that he loved the stabilizing influence she’d had on him and how she’d help turn him into an adult. She just wished he’d said it in front of his goddamn friends every once in a while. But that wouldn’t be an issue now. Tom was gone and she wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore. But, she thought with a little pang of guilt, they were at least nice enough to stop by and pretend they cared about her. That was something, at least. She made a mental note to reach out tomorrow, Christmas, maybe drop off a few nice bottles from Tom’s extensive collection of wines and fine liquors. It would be a nice gesture and get the stuff out of the house, since she never touched it. Until tonight. She

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raised the sweaty glass of Scotch from the table, wiped it against her brow, enjoyed the coolness, took a deep swallow, and set it back down next to the bottle of Xanax she’s been partaking from generously all day. She sighed and stared at the halfempty bottle of Glenlivet on the table. In the end that’s what got him. His relatively cleanly-lived recent years not enough to overcome his voracious past. The thousands of drinks and thousands of cigarettes had left their mark, culminated in a massive heart attack at the company Christmas party. He was a big-time real estate agent — “Pratt Realty” adorned just about every for sale sign in Cape May, drawing equal parts ire and admiration from his colleagues. He was always hustling, always selling, even in this lousy economy. And his Christmas parties were legendary, open to every licensed realtor in town, open bar, gourmet catering, karaoke, the works. And every year he played Naughty Santa as the centerpiece, doling out generous gifts along with generous dirty jokes and doubleentendres. It was cheesy and, depend-

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musthaves

from the shops of cape may

Antiques Emporia

405 West Perry Street, West Cape May 609-898-3332 Shopping here is like going on a treasure hunt; you have to dig to find the good stuff. There are bins of old records (Barbra Streisand can be found next to The Best Of: A Cappella, Volume II) and shelves of baseball cards. A sixty cent issue of Life magazine featuring an article about “The New Shape of America” lies next to a collectors set of four Star Trek figures, both from the 1970s.

Cape May Bird Observatory

701 East Lake Drive, Cape May 609-884-2736 birdcapemay.org If someone in your family does know the difference between a Yellowrumped Warbler and a Yellow-throated Warbler, this is the place to shop. Out front is a board that displays how many of each type of bird were spotted the day before. Inside, you’ll find high quality tripods and cameras. Become a member and cash in on their amazing discounts. And you will want to browse the collection of rare birding books.

Artisans Alcove

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The shop manager, Lauren, says that “yellow gold is definitely coming back in a big way”, and Artisans Alcove is fully prepared for the new trend, with hoops, studs, and necklaces. If gold isn’t exactly your style, check out the diamond hoop earrings sold here. The diamonds are set on the inside of the back hoop, so when you look inside the earrings, diamonds are all you can see.

This place has been pampering residents and visitors since 1994, and is the place to buy all your spa day essentials. This season, shaped butter lotions come in peppermint, sugarplum, and mistletoe. For those whose favorite holiday smell is the Christmas tree, the Birchwood Pine scented nest candles will last long after your tree does (this does not apply to those with fake trees). However, our personal favorite has to be the Shower Burst Aromatherapy: Hangover Buster.

You don’t need to know the difference between a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Yellow-throated Warbler to appreciate this colorful cottage. If you have a garden at home, or enjoy decorating your house with handcrafted knickknacks, you’ll enjoy this place. Co-owner Ken Low swears that the popular wax bowls, which have all the scent without the flame, will continue to smell for at least a year.

Cape May Linen Outlet

Cape May Sports Memorabilia

110 Park Boulevard, West Cape May 609-884-3630 capemaylinen.com

You’re in charge of throwing this year’s family Christmas bash, but you lack a single tablecloth for the event. Or, maybe your best friend has the tackiest shower curtain on Earth, and it NEEDS to be replaced. Cape May Linen Outlet has hand crocheted tablecloths in white or ivory, and 100% cotton shower curtains in beachy prints. There’s even a seamstress on hand for any basic alterations.

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405 West Perry Street, Cape May 201-306-0076 capemaysportsmemorabilia.com Tired of buying them the same old Yankees tee shirt? How about a an autographed Yogi Berra Cooperstown Famous Players Bat instead? Located at Antiques Emporia, this is a store for the avid sports fan. Most of their selection includes programs, baseball cards and yearbooks, team sets, framed items, signed baseballs, and signed bats from New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia teams.

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Cape May Wicker

203 Sunset Boulevard, Cape May 609-884-1849 They import and manufacture all their products themselves, and have another store on Route 9 in Cape May Court House. In preparation for the holidays, Cape May Wicker has stocked up on wire mesh Christmas and holiday yard decorations. Re-furnishing your beach home’s patio? Wicker patio furniture is known for its durability. Just perusing? Indoor and outdoor decorations including wreaths, Santa door hangers, and miniature nativity scenes.


ing on how much he’d had to drink, cringe-inducing, but it was clear to all that Tom had a big heart. Just not big enough to keep his high rpm motor running past age 44. And, if he’d had to pick a way to go, embarrassing himself, his wife and his friends onstage would probably be it. One second there he was talking into the DJ’s cordless mic making a “that’s what she said” joke in his fake beard, and the next he was gone. Lickety-split. And now there was a funeral to plan and presents to wrap. So she picked up the scissors and, with a well-trained hand, sliced through the SpongeBob Squarepants wrapping paper. Little Jimmy, her beloved, adored that stupid sponge. And she’d caught herself at times giggling at his silly songs. And everything on his list was a SpongeBob this or a Patrick Star that, may as well have the wrapping paper to match. Ouch! “Dammit…”

She backed away from the window, into the breakfast bar, hands outstretched. A primal groan of terror escaped her throat. It was Santa. But it wasn’t Santa. Something wasn’t right.

She’d closed the scissors on her pinky. Not lethal, but painful, and deep enough to draw a good amount of blood. It was the Scotch. And the Xanax. She was getting cloudy. She had been drunk less than a dozen times in her life, and used drugs, even over-the-counter sort, even less. She wondered how Tom functioned most of his life in this state of being. She pushed herself up from the table with great effort and stood, cradling her hand. Several fat drops of blood splashed onto the dinner table. Crack! Something banged sharply against the window. Something moaned. She started and yelped, “Eep!” Then put a hand over her mouth; Jimmy was sleeping. Her heart thudded, she stood silent but heard nothing else. She calmed herself and went to the window. It was blowing pretty good outside, as it always did in Cape May, and the skeleton of a maple tree by the window was swinging in the wind. Must have been what she

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heard; banging tree, moaning wind. But she was still unsettled. “Jesus, Lisa… would you get a hold of yourself.” She stuck her pinky in her mouth, sucked on the coppery blood, and went to the kitchen to fetch a band-aid. She fished one from the junk drawer under the microwave and ripped it open. As her heart rate slowed the foggy feeling returned. Moving to the sink, she flipped the water on, waited for it to warm, and washed her hands with Palmolive. The soap stung as it entered the wound, but at least she knew it was getting clean. Her head spun as she dried it with a towel. She places a steadying hand on the counter and grabbed the Neosporin from the little knickknack shelf by the window. She gave the wounded area one more good squeeze, two small drops of blood bubbled out. Bang! Moan… She jumped, squeezed a great glob of the antibacterial all over the counter.


cape may lighthouse

lookout tower

congress hall

The Exit Zero Store & Gallery 109 SUNSET BOULEVARD, CAPE MAY (across from Shell Gas) (609) 770-8479 www.ezstore.us Open daily from 10-5

NEW! Ceramic travel mugs, shot glasses and big red wine glasses!

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Great gifts! The new CM Lighthouse Mug and The Essential Lucky Bones Cookbook...


“Mother of God!” This was no tree. She looked to her left, her cell phone, blinking on its charger three feet away. She snatched it, unlocked it, dialed 911, looked out the kitchen window to see what the hell was out there. And saw Kris Kringle. “911, what’s your emergency?” “… Santa?” She backed away from the window, into the breakfast bar, hands outstretched. A primal groan of terror escaped her throat. It was Santa. But it wasn’t Santa. Something wasn’t right. He had the hat and the beard and the suit, but his face was sunken and white, alabaster white, like a slab of marble, his mouth twisted opened in a ghastlymad grin, his tongue flicked at the air as he twisted his head almost asunder. He blinked his yellow, rheumy eyes and put his hands up on the glass, gently tapping. The white beard covered in grime and gruel. Lisa whispered, “Nononononono…” She dropped the phone and clenched her fists. Hard. Her French tips gouged

She wanted to scream, run, get away, but terror kept her spiked to the floor. Her brain would not accept what she was seeing; it had to be a product of the booze and drugs.

deep into her palms, which grew slick with her own blood. A few drops hit the floor. The unearthly Santa’s eyes went wide. Crash! He smashed his hands through the glass pane and began hauling himself through the sash. “Ma’am,” the female voice said in the phone, “we hear a disturbance, stay right where you are; a unit is on the way. Ma’am?” But all Lisa could do was stare at the creature crawling towards her, now pulling itself over the sink, onto the counter, smashing into the floor, undeterred by the shards of glass sticking out of its hands and arms nor the cracking of bones as it hit the Italian marble tile. She wanted to scream, run, get away, but terror kept her spiked to the floor. Her brain would not accept what she was seeing; it had to be a product of the booze and drugs. Or she was asleep at the table and this was a dream. The world was all gauzy and out of focus, it swirled around her and nausea rose in her gut.

Snap… With the cracking of a leg bone the Santa creature hissed and righted itself onto all fours, crawled towards her with inexorable slowness, like a nightmare. “Mommy?” The tiny voice came from the kitchen entry but sounded as if it had been whispered down a storm drain a mile away. She woozily turned her head from the unholy creature on the floor and there stood little Jimmy in his SpongeBob footie pajamas, falling into and dropping out of focus. “Jimmy…!” She wanted to run to him, to gather him up and take him to safety, but the medication and alcohol was making it very hard to do anything. “Jimmy…!” The Santa thing scrabbled forward, shot a hand out and grasped her ankle with inhuman strength. The bones in her leg ground together, white sparks of pain shot up her leg. “Gah!” “Mommy I heard a noise…” The pain and the sound of her precious boy’s voice ripped her from the

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Corner of Jackson & Carpenter’s Lane Cape May 800-777-8027 • 609-884-0014 www.sensia.com

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• Johnny Was • Chan Luu • Susana Monaco • Rachel Pally • Splendid • Michael Stars

All your senses will thank you.


musthaves

from the shops of cape may

Caroline Boutique

400 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May 609-884-5055 carolinebtq.com It looks almost purposefully hidden, but once you find it (behind the Washington Street Mall, next to Gecko’s), you’ll be hooked. This wooden carriage house sells Ella Moss, Cosabella, and Chan Luu. What’s great about this shop is that Caroline will help you put together an outfit much better than your dad or boyfriend could. Can’t make it to the store? E-mail or call Caroline and she’ll help as best as she can.

Flying Fish Studio

Celebrate Cape May

Desatnick’s

315 Ocean Street, Cape May 609-884-9032 celebratecapemay.com

1307 Trenton Avenue, Cape May 609-884-2545 desatnicks.com

They’ve had holiday apparel on sale since September — that’s how excited they are about the holiday season. Stay warm with a holiday sweatshirt, or get ready to cook Christmas dinner in a “Be Naughty, Save Santa the Trip” apron. The stocking stuffers are what really sets this shop apart; a true Cape Mayniac would more than welcome a Cape May shot glass, magnet, or bumper sticker in their stocking.

As wonderful as the holidays are, wouldn’t they be just a bit better if it wasn’t so cold out? Well, it appears as if deSatnick’s has found a solution to the problem. Their Duette Honeycomb shades are a must have for those cold winter nights. We recommend the triple honeycomb fabric, which has triple the heat and cold resistance. Plus, it’s deSatnick’s most energy-efficient fabric yet.

Good Scents

Henry’s Fine Jewelry

130 Park Boulevard, Cape May 609-884-2760 theflyingfishstudio.com

327 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May 609-884-0014 sensia.com

Sue Lotozo is the owner of this hyperlocal store, and designer of the off-beat, quirky, and very creative shirts they sell. Some depict lima beans, in honor of the Lima Bean festival held every fall in Cape May, while others ask “What’s the Point?” (on the back of these shirts, you’ll find a map of Cape May Point). You’ll also find an abundance of dresses, flip-flops, and yoga gear to choose from.

While you enhance your outer self with one of many scented items, such as the ultra-therapeutic Zents collection of body washes, soaps, and sprays, you can improve your inner self at the same time. Inspirational verses carved on sterling silver rings give you the motivation to get through a rough day, and there is a good amount of selfimprovement books that aren’t riddled with clichés. We like Everyday Clam: Relaxing Rituals for Busy People.

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Fiber Arts 315 Ocean Street, Cape May 609-898-8080 yarnsrus.net Alpaca, yak, and buffalo are just a few of the exotic types of yarn that are sold. Eco-friendly and natural fiber yarns are available, as well as regional yarn specialties from places as far as South America, Nepal, and the Arctic. Handcrafted buttons, a large selection of knitting books and accessories, and the Novelty Yarn Wall of Color are the store’s specialties. Plus, there is an on-site Knitting Doctor, who helps customers with their projects!

Italian Garden

407 Washington Street, Cape May 609-884-0334

510 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May 609-884-2300

Located in the heart of the Washington Street Mall, Henry’s Fine Jewelry has been Cape May’s Landmark Jeweler since 1972. They have an Engagement and Custom Design Center, and house the largest collection of AAA quality tanzanite in the region. Pick up some nautical designer jewelry by designers such as Steven Douglas, Reyes Del Mar, and Henry’s own Scott Thomas.

Munch on some of Eloise’s delicious biscottis while you shop L’Erbolario, a world-renowned line of dramatic perfumes and luxurious skin care; the Italian Garden boasts the largest selection outside of Europe. Check out the old world beauty of Merano glass jewelry and the chic Italian designer Map Bags. Celebs like Mischa Barton and Adrian Brody have been seen sporting these bags, designed by Alvierno Martini.

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edge of oblivion and snapped her senses clear, if only for a moment. “Jimmy, I want you to stay right there, don’t come any closer,” she slurred. “Mommy, I’m scared, what’s making all that noise?” From where he stood the breakfast bar mercifully blocked his view of the beast. “Just stay there, Jimmy, okay honey? I’ll be right there…” she gasped. She tried to step away but the thing had her. She gave a few futile tugs, looked helplessly around her, and saw it on the bar; a knife rack. “Jimmy, I’ll be right there, okay sweetie?” she said, sounding halfasleep or half-awake. “Ow!” The creature had crept forward and now had its teeth buried in her calf. A chilling numbness crawled up her leg. Lisa moaned deeply and pulled a knife from the wood black. With the last of her ebbing strength she thrust the blade into the creature’s back. “HA!” She expected the man to scream, bleed, die, something. Instead it continued gnawing on her flesh as the numb-

Lisa pulled the knife from the creature’s ribs just as her legs went out from beneath her. On the floor now, the creature released her calf and began pawing its way up her body.

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ness moved into her belly. “Shit…” “Mommy?” “It’s okay, Jimmy,” she said, her voice breaking as she realized a hard truth. It wasn’t okay. “I’ll... be... right... there... honey.” She wouldn’t. “Okay, mommy. I’ll wait here.” Lisa pulled the knife from the creature’s ribs just as her legs went out from beneath her. On the floor now, the creature released her calf and began pawing its way up her body. Lisa felt none of it, the numbness radiating from the bite now met the numbness radiating from her brain and rendered her completely numb. The pins and needles she’s feel when her foot fell asleep now buzzed through her like angry hornets. Her chest felt filled with ice, hard to breathe. She fought as best she could, pushed feebly at the thing’s head as it chewed its way up her legs and stomach. It would not be deterred. Then she was pinned beneath it, her breath coming in short gasps. The weight above her, what she could feel of it, was familiar. “Mommy! I can’t see you!”

Again, the sound of her son’s voice brought her to reality, if only briefly, for what was realistic about this moment? “Hold on, Jimmy!” Lisa gathered the last of her strength, thrust the knife again and again into the wraith. Ka-chunk… “Hold... on... Jimmy…” Ka-chunk… “Mommy! Daddy!” Jimmy had come around the breakfast bar and now watched as the thing chewed on her forearm, then her shoulder. It would soon be ripping at her neck. She gasped, “Jimmy…” Ka-chunk, “…you need to leave…” Ka-chunck, “…go to the playground, never come back…” Ka-chunk, “…I’ll come get you…” Kachunk, “… in a bit. Okay sweetie?” Kachunck. “Okay, mommy,” Jimmy said through little sobs, ribbons of snot running from his nose. “I’ll go.” Ka-chunck. “That’s... a good... boy…” the words barely louder than a whisper now. Jimmy padded off, Lisa’s heart broke; she knew she would never see her son again. But he was alive. With

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Cape May’s Landmark Jeweler Since 1972

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exit zero 61 december 2012 407 Washington St. Mall • Cape May, NJ 08204 • 609.884.0334


that knowledge, she could face the end. The creature was now on her, face to face, breath cold and vile. Lisa, numb and half-paralyzed, could not look away, but closed her eyes tight. She held the knife propped on her chest in her dead fingers. The creature grabbed her head, nipped at her face. Lisa opened her eyes, looked at the thing, blinked, and said, “Tom?” The creature paused, raised itself up for the death blow. Lisa whispered, “Our father, who art in heaven…” The thing gave a guttural cry, frenzied, snapped at the air, and fell on her with its full weight “… hallowed be thy name…” It snapped its head down at her heart, and the knife, still clutched in her hands, sliced upwards through its chin, into the soft palette, through its nasal cavity, deep into its brain. It fell dead. Lisa, exhausted, now completely paralyzed, could only stare into the face of the thing that used to be her husband, and weep. “Oh, Tom…” She was dying. The Tomthing had ripped her open as it ascended her body. She felt a faint warmth as her blood pooled around her, and she grew very tired. So many questions. No time. And then she died.

I

Cape May Medical Examiner’s Office, Washington Street: 11:13pm... t sat up on the slab, its grey skin peeling off the cold metal, so cold it was nearly frozen. Its thin, shallow breaths plumed in front of it, puffs of ghastly smoke. It looked around the room, blinking, the light, dim as it was, was fire to its eyes, burning, stinging. It scratched at them, one of its jagged nails punctured its eyeball, but it was only vaguely aware of the pain as the buzzing in its head drowned out all else. It tried to speak but its voice was broken, all that came out was a

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mangled hiss. It worked its jaw violently, open, shut, until a wet click and its mouth was stuck open. It tasted the air with its purple-black tongue and it, too, brought only pain. With each breath fresh agony blossomed until its entire body was a seething coil of hot misery. And it was hungry. It snapped at the air, its ruined jaw grinding, tongue lolling. It looked down; it was covered in a red suit with white trim, the suit jacket unbuttoned down to its gaseous belly. It explored its chest and felt a thick black cord holding together a large Y-shaped incision, emptiness beneath it. It flung an arm and clanged into a metal tray. On this tray it saw an assortment of meat. Its hunger was such that it grabbed the nearest morsel and jammed it into its mouth. Using its other hand it managed to work its ruined jaw enough to rip off a bit of meat into its mouth and chew. But something was not right. The taste was too familiar. Looking down again at its own vivisected body and the empty cavern of its chest it realized the meat was its own; kidneys, heart, lungs. It stuffed them back into the cavity, the thick stitching yanking through the flesh in spots. Its insides replaced, it felt whole again. Satisfied, it pushed itself off the metal slab. It was not a small thing; 6-feet, 2-inches, 245 lbs. But as it staggered the flesh hung off it like a deflated balloon of flesh. It passed a large window which, in the gloom, acted as a mirror. It regarded itself for a moment; red and white hat askew atop its head, white beard, thick with blood and other matter. It chuffed and moved along. It had no real thought or consciousness, only pain and hunger. And instinct. Like a compass pointing true north. It knew where it had to go to feed. Home. It shuffled towards the door. Its feet bare but for the small tag on its toe. “Pratt, T.”


musthaves

from the shops of cape may

600 Park Boulevard, Cape May 609-884-6181 katesflowershop.com

Kate’s Flowers

429 Washington Street, Cape May 609-884-1064 lacesilhouetteslingerie.com

Lace Silhouettes

MAC Museum Shops

If you are one of the 54% of Americans who buy poinsettias during the holidays, Kate’s got your back. She sells her poinsettias in an eight-inch natural container, wrapped in a beautiful red taffeta ribbon, and you can opt to have yours delivered. If poinsettias aren’t your style, Kate will help you put together the perfect gift, whether it be a single rose for that special someone or a personalized bouquet for mom. Look for “Deal of the Day” on her site.

Lace Silhouettes was founded on the principle that every woman should look and feel great, and they’re keeping their word this holiday season. Eight out of 10 women wear the wrong bra size — talk to a Bra Therapist to make sure you’re not making the same mistake. Buying for someone else? Lace Silhouettes has a Gift-Giving Guide on their website, as well as a Lingerie Glossary for the woefully confused shopper.

Shop at the Carriage House Shop, an old-fashioned Cape May store that features a large selection of books and teas, or the Lighthouse Shop, which has souvenirs from the famous sentinel, like clothing, postcards, and prints. The best part is, whatever you spend will be used to help restore historic Cape May sites such as the Emlen Physick Estate, the Cape May Lighthouse, and the World War II Lookout Tower, all of which are operated by Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities..

Out of the Past

Pat Jackson Jewelers

Original Fudge Kitchen

414 Bank Street, Cape May 609-884-0323

513 Washington Street, Cape May 609-884-2834 fudgekitchens.com

394 Myrtle Ave, Cape May 609-884-3357 outofthepastantiques.com

Nonpareils don red and green sprinkles in place of the usual white ones, Christmas mints are dipped in chocolate and given Santa faces, afterdinner mints and soufflés add a great touch to any holiday dinner party, and the famous homemade Christmas Straws are back in stock. If you can’t make it to The Original Fudge Kitchen this holiday, have your order sent to you by mail.

Look to your right, and spot a doll house your grandmother may have owned as a child. Look to your left, and find a teapot that her mother might have used. Jeanne Hermann, the owner, collects all the antiques herself; if you’re looking for something specific, just tell her and she’ll scour the country for it. Insider tip: if you mention their website at the counter, you’ll receive a 10% discount.

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While they specialize in custom wedding bands, you don’t need to be saying “I do” anytime soon to shop here. Exotic south sea pearls in colors such as chocolate, gold, and black, are paired with complementary gemstones. Also, check out their Ultimate Cape May charm bracelet. All sea life charms have been molded from shells found on Cape May beaches, and there’s even a charm resembling an Exit 0 mile marker.

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Mary Ann’s Jewelry

511 Washington Street, Cape May 609-898-8786 Before she was interested in graphic design, Mary Ann Perrini worked as a research assistant at Yale University’s Medical School. She has now combined her love of art and her love of healing into her store, Mary Ann’s Jewelers, which sells healing stone jewelry made mainly out of crystals and other semiprecious stones. Invest in a 16” Smoky Quartz Necklace this holiday, which will absorb the electromagnetic smog from your new I-phone. No, really!

Patricia Rainey Studios

1352 Emerson Avenue, North Cape May 609-886-4863 patriciaraineystudios.com In her Winter Series, painter Patricia Rainey features many of Cape May’s historic buildings in snowy settings. For anyone who’s ever seen this charming city in the winter, you know that this will make an excellent addition to your home. “Congress Hall at the Holidays”, “Cape May Light in Winter” and “The Merion Inn at Christmas” are just a few in the series that are available in note cards, prints, and mouse pads.


O

The Pratt House, Washington Street, 2:42am... fficer Kermy Torres of the Cape May Police Department very carefully entered the gratuitously large Pratt household, gun drawn. Normally he would scoff at such excess, but the words of the Pratt child, rescued by a neighbor who happened to look out the right window at the right time, would forever haunt him. Daddy ate mommy… “Police!” he cried. “I’m coming in!” The house was deadly silent. His words echoed off the marble and granite the place seemed carved out of. As a Cape May Police officer, he’d seen his share of domestic disputes, usually drunken tourists whose husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend stared a little too long at someone else’s husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend. Another time, there had been a nasty fender bender in front of the C-View, a broken nose, lots of blood. But his gut told him this would not be so simple as that. “Mrs Pratt?” More silence. Thicker somehow. He moved through the foyer. The house was split by a large stairwell, he moved to the large den or whatever the hell it was on the left. The room emptied into the kitchen, where the boy said the mother would be. He took a deep breath, exhaled, pressed on. “Mrs… Ms Pratt?” Nothing. Another deep breath and he stepped into the kitchen. “Jesus holy Christ…” There it was, like the kid said. The dad, who’d died some 12 hours earlier, dressed as Santa from some big party, lying in a pool of blood, not his own. “Madre de dios…” He holstered the piece. Daddy ate mommy… The body lay motionless. But then again, it had been in the morgue a few hours ago, so he gave it a little kick. Nothing. He saw the knife jammed up into its head, shuddered. A chill wind blew in from the shattered window, flurries twinkled in the dim light, and landed like tiny leaves on the thick pools of blood. He shuddered.

There must have been six quarts of the crimson liquid on the floor. No way anyone could survive that kind of blood loss; it covered half the kitchen. But, unbelievably, a set of bloody footprints led off into the darkness of the house. He redrew the pistol and followed.

Daddy ate mommy… “Merry goddamned Christmas…” There must have been six quarts of the crimson liquid on the floor. No way anyone could survive that kind of blood loss; it covered half the kitchen. But, unbelievably, a set of bloody footprints led off into the darkness of the house. He redrew the pistol and followed. He keyed the collar mic, “670 to dispatch requesting a bus… and back-up. One-one-four-three Washington.” “Dispatch copy,” came the reply. Daddy ate mommy… “He sure did, kid. He sure did.” And off into the darkness he went.

D

Cape May Medical Examiner’s Office, Washington Street: 7:45pm...

r Lloyd Wexler, Cape May’s lone Medical Examiner, eyed the body on the table. The poor lug, all gussied up in an expensive-looking velvet Santa suit, complete with absurdly effective fake beard made from real human hair and held in place by Pros-Aide medical grade adhesive, had only been trying to have a good time. Lloyd knew the name; Tom Pratt, some real estate bigwig, his parties were legendary. Slipping the flask from the pocket of his lab coat he took a pull on the Irish whiskey and concluded his notes. “Cause of death,” he said into the digital recorder, “massive coronary brought on by years of untreated heart disease, brought on by chronic alcohol abuse and nicotine use.” He didn’t regularly drink on the job, but as this case had pulled him away from his own company Christmas party (a dozen other county coroners and their assistants; a real lively bunch), he felt well enough in the right to continue to nurse his buzz. He swiftly, half cross-eyed, gave a rough stitch to the cadaver’s incision and cinched up his coat. The rest, bagging the suit, removing the beard, swabbing the fingernails and the other rigmarole that went with prepping a stiff for storage, would keep til morning. But now, if he hurried, he could get back to the party at the VFW and continue chatting up the cement block of a blonde, Nordic nurse he’d met just before the call came in. Being a rather dowdy fellow himself, he

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was not very circumspect or judgmental regarding the female company he kept. Any port in a storm and all that. He clicked off the sodium lights, locked the cabinets and cast a backward glance; it would be very unprofessional of him to leave the body out in such a manner, organs on the tray and such, but, he figured, he’d come in extra early tomorrow to tidy up the scene. He was always the first one in, usually the only one in, so who would be the wiser? He took another pull on the flask, wiped his lips… and changed his mind. No, he thought. No, be a professional, Lloyd. It’s the only way you’ll climb out of this sleepy town and into the big city. Do your job. So he sighed and moved back to the slab. Just then his cell phone buzzed. A text: Anxiously await your return to finish convo on anatomy. I have one you can study — Margie. Lloyd flipped off the lights, locked the door and left. ***** The shadowy figure stood in the far corner of the room and watched in disgust as the pathetic weasel of a Medical Examiner abandoned his post to chase a thick piece of Scandinavian slab. On the one hand, Wexler’s dereliction of duty was a disgrace to his profession. On the other, things would go somewhat easier not having to dispose of him. So he stepped out into the open, bathed in the light bleeding in from the hallway overheads, and flipped closed the cloned cell phone from which he had just sent Wexler the salacious text. The horny and lovelorn were easy marks. His breath pluming before him in the cold room, he opened a small pack around his waist, withdrew a syringe and vial of green liquid, drew it into the needle, slid it into the corpse’s ear, through the drum, into the brain. A second syringe went up the nose, past the membrane, into the frontal lobe. He bagged the needle and vial, took his spot in a dark corner and waited. It was 8:03pm — the stuff was advertised with a three-hour gestation period. This was incorrect. Gestation time was actually three hours, 10 minutes. Continue reading in our weekly blackand-white issues, starting November 29, and also on our website, exitzero.us.


HIDDEN CHARM The Eastern Meadowlark, although it will not hesitate to fight over Contemporary territory with the Western Meadolark, is shy around humans, and will hide in tall grasses or slink away as silently as possible

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139 Broadway, West Cape May 609-884-7900 • Open All Year

511 Washington Street Mall, Cape May (next to Fudge Kitchen) • (609) 898-8786

Other Location: 15 N. Black Horse Pike, Runnemede • (856) 939-0230

The Heart, Soul & Sand of Cape May Weddings

The Italian Garden

ELEG A N C E

414 Bank Street Cape May (609) 884-0323 www.patjacksonjewelers.com

Still the best way to say... well, anything.

ALL Italia, All Imports

Beauty secrets and fragrances imported from Italy... just for YOU! (609) 884-2300 • 510 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May

kate’s flower shop 600 park Blvd. west cape may 884-6181 • katesflowershop.com

Cape May Sports Memorabilia Large selection of high quality vintage sports cards & memorabilia at reasonable prices. Current Stars, Hall of Famers and Rookies Certified Autographed Items

FREE In-Home Consultation

Vintage Yearbooks, Programs & Publications

www.budgetblinds.com

Located in Cape May at Antiques Emporia 405 W. Perry Street

609-513-8595

Phone: 609-898-3332 email: SprtsCardsRus@aol.com www.capemaysportsmemorabilia.com

Shutters | Blinds | Shades | Draperies Hunter Douglas-Signature Series

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Got Art? We Do!

Great Gift for the Cape May Lover!

Originals - Prints - Canvas Textured Plaques Notecards - Victorian Wonderland Book 2013 Watercolor Calendar

Mention This Ad & Get 20% Off! cape may lighthouse

lookout tower

congress hall

The wildly impressive Exit Zero Store & Gallery Patricia Rainey Studios

609-886-4863 | Email: raineyart@yahoo.com

www.patriciaraineystudios.com

109 SUNSET BOULEVARD, CAPE MAY (across from Shell Gas) (609) 770-8479 www.ezstore.us Open every day from 10am

Original clothing, designed and printed right here in Cape May.

F ly i n g F i sh S tud i o

1 3 0 Pa r k B oul e va r d, W e st C a p e M ay ( 6 0 9 ) 8 8 4 - 2 7 6 0 • th e fly i n g f i shstud i o. com Also Visit Our 2 Locations at West End Garage! exit zero

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arts EVENTS AND EXHIBITIONS AT THE gail pIErson gallery

Best in Show for the holidays

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eeping pace around the holiday season with the city of Cape May and its many treasured cultural and educational organizations is no mean feat. With all of the house tours, tree lightings, parades and parties, what’s a gallery to do? The Gail Pierson Gallery aims to keep up and keep you entertained, with a full calendar of events and exhibitions starting on Thanksgiving weekend and running through to New Year’s Day. You are invited to see the gallery’s favorite artists with Best in Show exhibits running through the beginning of the New Year. Mark your calendars for these events... Thanksgiving Weekend Open all weekend with an Open House on Friday, November 23 from 1pm to 5 pm.

TIME FOR REFLECTION “Golden Minute”, a photograph by Mike Sperlak, is part of the Best in Show exhibit at the Gail Pierson Gallery starting at Thanksgiving and running through New Year’s Day

December 8 The annual Holiday Party. The gallery’s signature hospitality and lots of holiday spirit. You are all invited! January 1, 2013 The now traditional Gallery Open House to welcome the New Year is on Tuesday, January 1 from noon to 4pm. The gallery also helped organize The Pits Photo Contest and Art Exhibition, when Cape May County joined others around the country in a special day celebrating the American Pit Bull Terrier. The gallery celebrated National Pit Bull Awareness Day on October 27, by exhibiting the results of a national photo contest and an Absolutely Barking art exhibition — both run through November 22. The festivities and fundraising activities have called attention to the loyal and loving nature of pit bulls, and aim to raise awareness about the plight

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of this special breed, at one time the favorite dog of families across America. The photo contest and art exhibits are sponsored by the Animal Alliance of Cape May County in cooperation with the Gail Pierson Gallery. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, the gallery will host a Best in Show group exhibit featuring some of the gallery’s favorite artists. Highlighting the show will be artwork from Judith Anderson, Joan Veneziano D’Avanzo, Peter Ehlinger, Kathy Fallon, Carol King Hood, Chuck Law, Matt Lively, Victoria Papale, Virginia Parker, Joe Rademan, Dressler Smith, Frank Smith, Mike Sperlak, Toni Lee Vosika, and new work from Nancy Tankersley. Enjoy the gallery’s signature hospitality while you do some holiday shopping, considering art as the ideal gift. What could be more individual, more


truly thoughtful or more unique? The Gail Pierson Gallery is located one block off the mall on Washington Street, the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages and gas lamps setting the scene. In a charming Victorian house at Cranberry Court, in the oldest section of downtown Cape May, the Gail Pierson Gallery is open for its fourth season. Modern and well-appointed exhibits

HIGHLIGHTS Left: “Man with Green Eyes”, by Nancy Tankersley; and, right, “Beecycle”, by Matt Lively. Both will feature in the Gail Pierson Gallery’s Best in Show exhibition.

bring visual edge to the historic setting. The gallery welcomes you to a yearlong calendar of events, with opportunities to meet artists, enjoy good food, live music and good conversation. Last year, the Gail Pierson Gallery opened its first off-campus venue at TreeHouse Antiques, 742 Seashore Road, Cape May. Celebrating the partnership of arts and antiques in Cape

May, the Gail Pierson Gallery OffCampus exhibits incorporate a brightly lighted Stairwell, a charming Back Porch, a wall dedicated to En Plein Air, some very lovely antiques, and the work of some of Cape May County’s hardworking artists. For more information, call the gallery on (609) 884-2585, or visit gailpiersongallery.com.

for souvenirs as unique as the memories you created

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DESATNICK’S WINDOW FASHIONS 609-884-2545 www.desatnicks.com

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on FaceBook as littlebluestudio


musthaves

from the shops of cape may

Pink

Tea By the Sea

33 Perry Street, Cape May 609-898-1113 victoriousofcapemay.com

405 West Perry Street, Cape May 609-898-4832 teaincapemay.com

The Pink house is a (you guessed it) pink Victorian cottage, across the street from Congress Hall. However, the clothes, shoes, and jewelry inside remind one much more of a New York boutique. Housing all the new styles, including the trending Peter Pan collar, Pink is now featuring stunning winter boots made from recycled leather and vintage southwestern tapestries. Sterling silver and turquoise are used in the Native American jewelry collection.

What is it that two million men and women do every single day? Drink tea! We bet that wasn’t your first guess, but it’s true — people love tea. Tea By the Sea acknowledges this fact, and offers the masses of Cape May 48 types of teas to choose from. We recommend investing in an Irish breakfast tea, described as a “robust, full body blend”, to help you rise and shine on Christmas morning.

West End Garage

484 West Perry Street, Cape May 609-770-8261 thewestendgarage.com A market featuring stalls with antiques and collectables, this is the place to start your shopping. Local shops like Flying Fish Studio and Good Scents have their own booths where they sell samplings of what you can find in their stores. One of the most interesting features of West End Garage is the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, where local artists like Diane and Rich Flanegan, Betty Campbell, and Lee Hajduk display their wares.

Whale’s Tale

Toy Shop of Cape May 510 Washington Street, Cape May 609-884-0442

Sure, at the cash register they sell a plush figure of the new Cartoon Network star, Talking Orange, but this toy store zeroes in on the classics. Old school board games like Apples to Apples, action figures, and educational games are the real attraction here. Sometimes the staff will be playing games while working, so you get to witness the fun before you purchase!

White

312 Washington Street, Cape May 609-884-4808 whalestalecapemay.com

605 Hughes Street, Cape May 609-884-5061 vivianerowananddesign.com

The pale aqua walls provide the perfect backdrop to display the many sea shells for sale and sun catchers oscillating like waves from above. Books such as The Ghosts of Cape May, Remembering South Cape May, and The Chalfonte introduce you to local legends and secrets about our beloved beach town. A big attraction is the jewelry. Local artisan pieces are next to designer Holly Yashi, and sea glass jewelry is beautiful AND bountiful.

Consider starting anew at White, an interior design shop staffed by professionals who have nearly 40 years of combined experience. The shop was designed to embody a white canvas, from which customers can discover and design their dream room. Owner Viviane works with all budgets and home types, and can do full renovations on kitchens or baths. Beautifully designed candles, mirrors, and frames are there to entice the browsers.

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Weddings By the Sea

139 North Broadway, West Cape May 609-884-7900 weddings-bythesea.com Cape May has been rated third in the country for destination weddings. The numbers prove it — more than 450 couples get married in Cape May every year. Browse their Wedding Shoppe, which carries a line of French beaded veils and hand crafted bridal hats, or take the pressure off yourself completely and hire a wedding planner, who will try (and most likely fail) to bring you peace of mind before the big day.

Victorious Antiques 251 Beach Avenue, Cape May 609-898-1777 victoriousantiques.com

Located in the lobby of Congress Hall is Victorious, a seller of antique and estate jewelry. White and black photographs adorn the walls, smooth jazz plays in the background, and a crystal chandelier shines from above. Each of their pieces come with a Certificate of Authenticity, which qualifies you to brag about the age, medium, condition, and diamond grades of your bling. There is also an irresistible collection of accessories.


Inspired by Nature, Beautiful Home & Garden Decor for you and the Birds!

Jim Inzero Original Encaustic Paintings www.jiminzero.com

The

BIRD HOUSE of Cape May

Available at Stella e Luna 500 Bay Ave. Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ 732-714-2221

109 Sunset Boulevard West Cape May (609) 898-8871 birdhouseofcapemay.com Indulge in Yarn Fantasy...

Fiber Arts Yarn Shop Upcoming Events Knitting University Classes Yarn Tasting Event Fall Foliage Yarn Sale Knitting Retreat November 20 - December 2 details at www.yarnsRus.net

315 Ocean Street C a p e M a y, N J 0 8 2 0 4 (609) 898-8080 w w w. y a r n s R u s . n e t

Antiques Emporia makes memories...

Over 250 blends of Fine Teas and everything you need for your tea party! tea by the sea

for the young and the young at heart!

405 West Perry Street Cape May 609 . 898 . 4832 www.teaincapemay.com

antiques emporia

405 West Perry Street, Cape May • (609) 898-3332 exit zero

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arts holiday offerings at east Lynne Theater Company

Touching and funny festive tales

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hristmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo. “It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress. “I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added Amy. “We’ve got father and mother and each other,” said Beth. Some readers will recognize this as the opening of Louisa May Alcott’s famous book Little Women, and for eight performances only, the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company will present this, plus two other Alcott tales, “How It All Happened” and “Tessa’s Surprises,” in Louisa May Alcott’s

NATURAL-BORN STORYTELLERS Gayle Stahlhuth, left, stars in East Lynne Theater Company’s Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas; and, right, Frank Smith, the main storyteller for “The Ghosts of Christmas Past” trolley ride

Christmas. These touching and funny tales were adapted by ELTC’s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth who has been performing her own one-woman play, Lou: The Remarkable Miss Alcott, taking on the role of Alcott herself, for more than 30 years. In Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas, she performs the thirty-some characters in storytelling fashion where the flick of her wrist, the bend of her waist, the turn of her head, and a change in her voice, brings a character to life in a heartbeat. Her past solo Christmas performances of stories by the likes of L. Frank Baum, O. Henry, and Bret Harte have been praised by reviewers and audience alike. Since becoming ELTC’s Artistic Director in 1999, she has produced 65 different shows (some returned for

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another season), including 16 world premieres and eight New Jersey premieres, and directed 38 of them. She is an Active Member of the Dramatists Guild, SAG/ AFTRA, and is in her 40th year as a member of Actors’ Equity, the union for professional actors. The dates for Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas are Friday and Saturday, November 23 and 24, Sunday, December 2, Friday through Sunday, December 7 through 9, and Friday, December 14 at 8:00pm. There is a special matinee at 2:00pm on Saturday, December 8. The location is The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes Street, where the company is in residence. As usual with ELTC’s Christmas shows, the company reduces its regular ticket price as an


early holiday gift to its audience. Tickets are $25 for general admission; $15 for full-time students, and as always with ELTC productions, those ages twelve and under are free. For information and reservations, call 609-884-5898 or go online to www.eastlynnetheater.org. Co-sponsored with Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC), ELTC offers spooky holiday tales based on American literature on The Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides in November and December. Contact MAC for times and details at 609-884-5404 or visit www.capemanymac.org. Last year’s special events at The Henry Sawyer Inn in Cape May went so well that ELTC is offering more Murder Mystery Weekends led by retired Philadelphia detective Frank Smith, from January through March. On March 1 and 2, Gayle Stahlhuth is once more teaching a Playwriting Getaway for beginners and experienced writers. For more information, contact The Henry Sawyer Inn at (609) 884-5667 or henrysawyerinn@verizon.net. ELTC will be back on the boards in Cape May for another Sherlock Holmes Weekend with its radio-style production of Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Norwood Builder on March 15 and 16. All the evidence points to a young lawyer as the murderer. But is he being set-up, or is he the

Last year’s special events at The Henry Sawyer Inn in Cape May went so well that ELTC is offering more Murder Mystery Weekends led by retired Philadelphia detective Frank Smith, from January through March. murderer after all? Don’t know what to give someone for the holidays? ELTC’s 2013 season tickets are available. See four exciting shows for only $80. Season tickets may be purchased at the box office, through ELTC’s website, by phone, or by sending a check to the office: 121 Fourth Avenue, West Cape May, NJ 08204. Season tickets are flexible, even allowing patrons to use all four for one performance if they wish. Ticket prices next year are $30 for general admission and $25 for seniors. The company’s exciting five-show 2013 Mainstage Season runs from June through December, opening with Lost on the Natchez Trace. When Gayle saw this world premiere last winter at The Abingdon Theater in NYC, she knew she wanted to produce it in Cape May, and playwright Jan Buttram is eager to make some revisions for the play’s New Jersey premiere. A

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slave auctioneer is wounded, and the only one who shows up to help him, is a run-away slave. With the success of ELTC’s production of The Poe Mysteries, ELTC is producing another world premiere written by the Poe playwright, James Rana, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Follow the spooky adventures of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman in this Washington Irving classic. All year long, ELTC is busy with touring shows and educational outreach. Shows, including its Sherlock Holmes radio series, Paul Robeson Through His Words and Music, and the anti-suffrage satire, Someone Must Wash the Dishes, are traveling between Maine and Texas. ELTC conducts theater workshops in schools in Cape May County, and this year will be teaching after-school programs for the Wildwood School District due to the district receiving the federally-funded 21st Century Grant. East Lynne’s production season would not be possible without season sponsors Curran Investment Management and Aleathea’s Restaurant, Show Sponsors La Mer Beachfront Inn, The Henry Sawyer Inn, and Exit Zero; The NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism; NJ State Council on the Arts/ Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the generosity of many patrons.


J u s t i n t i m e f o r t h e h o l i d a y s...

...has a great selecti o n o f w i r e m e s h C h r i s t m a s a n d H o l i d a y yard decorations.

2 0 3 S U N S E T B O U L E VA R D, W E S T C A P E M A Y | (6 0 9) 8 8 4 -18 49

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Where birds and birders go in the winter Article by pete dunne Photograph by scott whittle

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irds go south for the winter. It’s one of those unassailable truths. Right up there with “property is always your best investment.” But south is a direction, not a location. Keep heading south on a spherical planet and eventually you end up heading north again. Happily for birds on the wing and humans who watch them, many wintering bird species stop their southbound journey well short of the South Pole. In fact, scores of species and hundreds of thousands of individual birds spend the winter right here in southern New Jersey. Hundreds of thousands? Absolutely. In fact for many bird species, winter is the only time they are likely to be encountered in Cape May. Birds like Northern Gannet, a large black-andwhite diving bird, Long-tailed Duck, a rakishly plume-tailed sea duck, and Short-eared Owl, a marsh haunting ghost of a bird. For the balance of the year these and other Cape May winter residents are found in northern breeding areas or in transit between the summer and winter poles of their lives.

Oh the Birds You’ll See The great thing about winter birds is how visible and approachable many of them are. Many wintering species are bound to the ocean, beaches or open marsh. Many too are flocking birds and not a few are vocal. Take gulls. In fact, you probably take them for granted. Gulls and the shore — can’t have one without the other. Ah, but did you know exit zero

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that 100 years ago this was not the case? At the end of the 19th century, gull numbers were only a fraction of the present abundance. Like many bird species, their ranks had been reduced by hunting and the practice of egging (human harvest for food), Today, following a century of protection, the keening cry of Herring Gull and gruffsounding “long call” of the Great Black-backed Gull are part of our winter audio landscape.


So too is the metallic “plink” of Sanderling. The yodeled mantra of Long-tailed Duck. The quack of Red-throated Loon. Did he say loon? Yes, Red-throated Loon. These tundra breeders are common winter residents in Delaware Bay. Just off the Second Avenue Jetty at the west end of Beach Avenue, dozens of birds may be seen. Watch for a rapier billed water bird that dives repeatedly. At times, the birds

swim and dive right in the surf zone. More often, they are a hundred yards from shore, sometimes clustered in small groups. A Red-throated Loon in summer is almost unheard of. In winter they are common to abundant. Lucky you to be visiting now.

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in the waters of Cape May. Waterfowl abound including Black and Surf Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser, Lesser Scaup, Common Goldeneye and the aforementioned Long-tailed Duck. Many duck species go through courtship in winter. It’s a good strategy for birds that live in the Arctic where the window for nesting is open for only a few short weeks. Birds reach the breeding grounds already paired. With no need to waste time with all that courtship silliness,


they get right down to the serious business of cranking out young. It’s now in winter that Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, and Long-tailed Duck are whipped into a sexual frenzy. Want to watch? Head out to Cape May harbor. Catch the courtship follies. It brings out the histrionic best in ducks as well as humans. Male bufflehead and Goldeneye try and catch their lady’s eye with breast puffing and head tossing. Red-breasted Mergansers take the opposite tack. They crouch in the water and crane their necks forward — an obvious plea for attention. Long-tailed Ducks? They spend a great deal of time flying around, dropping to the surface with a breasting plop. But the best part is the sound. Formerly called “Oldsquaw”, this pejorative name stems from the birds’ vocalization, which is a nasal mantra that sounded, to early trappers, like the clamor of gossiping “old squaws.” Actually, and more locally, the birds were known as the “South Southerly.” That’s what New Jersey watermen and gunners thought the birds were yodeling. With a little imagination, in

Head out to Cape May harbor for the courtship follies. It brings out the histrionic best in ducks as well as humans. Male bufflehead and Goldeneye try and catch their lady’s eye with breast puffing and head tossing.

January and February, you can hear it. “South-southerly...south-southerly... south-southerly...” over and over and over again. In coastal areas, it’s the sound of winter’s heart beat. On a cold winter morning, it will bring a smile to your face.

Seeing is Sensational. Optics are Essential But we’re a visual species. Sound, for most of us, is an add-on, not the main attraction. So in order to really appreciate the birds of winter, you are going to want to see them. To do this, you are going to need optics — binoculars and/ or a spotting scope. Binoculars are the primary tool of bird study. In fact before binoculars came into use, there was no birdwatching. There was ornithology, a science. Binoculars are the instrument that created bird watching (and birdwatching is now North America’s second most popular outdoor activity). But to really nullify distance, spotting scopes are made to order. Mounted on tripods, offering greater magnification, spotting scopes provide looks at

distant birds that are feather-edge fine. The intimacy they confer is, at times, supernatural. The Cape May Bird Observatory offers the finest selection of binoculars and spotting scopes in New Jersey — in fact, in the region! With hundreds of makes and models on the market, buyers are often confused (and sometimes bamboozled). This New Jersey Audubon center sells only instruments that excel for bird and nature study. Optics, to them, are a tool, a means, a device that brings people and nature together. After you buy your binoculars (or spotting scope) you can try them out on a CMBO bird walk, or birding workshop, or field trip. Since bird watching is a year-round activity, CMBO offers programs all year round.

But... What if You Aren’t a Bird Watcher? Some readers might be thinking, “Okay, all well and good, but I’m not a bird watcher. I just happened to flip over this issue of Exit Zero and found all this information about some birding weekend, and I decided to read a little

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Espirit - 100% cotton cover & filled, oversized quilts. Sets include pillow shams: 2 Piece Twin - $69, 3 Piece Queen - $99, 3 Piece King - $119.

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white

Viviane Rowan Design 6 0 5 H u g h e s St r e e t C a p e M ay N J 0 8 2 0 4 Ph o n e 6 0 9 8 8 4 - 5 0 6 1

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visit our new shop

where elegant and unique home furnishings, g i f ts a n d j e w e l ry r es i d e . exit zero

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Is Your Co-Worker CRANKY? Maybe she’s wearing the Wrong Bra! Let us help you find the Perfect Fit. BRA specialist available daily! Walk right in or make an appointment.

about it.” So, maybe you aren’t a “bird watcher.” But I’ll bet you enjoy nature and the outdoors or you wouldn’t have kept on reading this article. And since you are in Cape May, don’t you want to discover something about the special nature of the Cape? Gain insight into why Cape May is a world famous junction for bird study and why tens of thousands of people come here every year for no other reason than watching birds. Bird-watching is the best excuse for getting outdoors this side of a picnic basket. It’s inexpensive, easy, and practiced everywhere birds are found. Given the fact that there are billions of birds on the planet this excludes very few places. After buying your binoculars, all you really need is a field guide to the birds, an illustrated book that helps you identify the birds you find (or hope to find). All those ducks I mentioned. You’ll find them in your field guide, grouped to make it easy to study and compare. Think of bird watching as a great, big lifelong treasure hunt. The fun and challenge comes from seeing new birds and identifying them. Pin the name to the bird and you win! You get to collect it. Add it to the list of birds gathered by your skills. The binoculars empower you. The field guide guides you. It’s as simple, and as challenging, as that.

Right Place. Right Time.

Est. 1988

429 Washington St. Mall, Cape May NJ Across from the Ugly Mug 609.898.7448 Also at: Peddlers’ Village, Shop #30, Lahaska, PA 33 Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ

www.lacesilhouetteslingerie.com exit zero

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There are enthusiastic birders all over North America who would love to be where you are right now. Birders from land-locked areas who have never seen a Purple Sandpiper (a common winter resident on rock jetties) or a Great Cormorant ( you can see them perched on the Concrete Ship) or a Bonaparte’s Gull (a small, ternlike gull). All these birds can be found in Cape May in winter. All are within reach of your ambition and skill. So go on. Take the plunge. Get december

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binoculars and a field guide and get on the road to a lifetime of discovery. Cape May Bird Observatory is your first stop on that road. In fact, it is the ONLY stop you need to make for all your nature needs. Located at 701 East Lake Drive overlooking Lake Lily in Cape May Point (609-884-2736), CMBO is open 9:30am to 4:30pm every day EXCEPT TUESDAY. You can ask the staff for help, you can pick up a FREE birding map, checklist and, you could pick up a schedule of our daily walks just to get you started in the right direction. You can talk to our staff about the best optics for birding, check out field guides, and anything else you might need — or don’t know you need yet! Our staff are always willing to help with any questions. While you are there, scan the bookshelves for some bargains in the used and vintage books section (maybe even a slightly used field guide), look at some of the wonderful Charley Harper merchandise including a terrific lithograph done just for the Cape May Bird Observatory (which is FREE when you become a member), or pick up some of the newest HAWKS in Flight clothing for your wardrobe. Or just browse around; I’m sure something will catch your eye. If you are reading this from some remote location and can’t make it to Cape May, you’ll just have to let your fingers do the birding (and shopping) online at www.BirdCapeMay.org. New Jersey native Pete Dunne is the Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and Chief Communications Officer for New Jersey Audubon. Pete uses his talents and energy to make the natural world real for others. Author of several books on and about nature (available at CMBO) he weaves information, insight and even fantasy into a net that captures minds and hearts. He has written for virtually every birding publication and for The New York Times.


my perfect FALL day wendy guiles, manager of west end garage

Beach walks, fresh produce, wine-tasting

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all is my favorite season here. The summer chaos is gone and I have some time to enjoy the great weather at a slower pace than the sixth gear I usually motor around in during the high season. My perfect fall day involves friends and family, a lot of good food and drink, snuggling under blankets, and fireplaces. There’s nothing like waking up underneath a down comforter with the crisp fall air breezing through the open windows and the smell of freshly brewed coffee making its way down the hall... it does drift down the hall to me because in my perfect autumn day, someone else is making the coffee. Ella Fitzgerald is on the iPod, and my daughter is at the stove whipping up her gourmet omelets of the day — nobody can make an omelet like Eve. Once the coffee does its thing, I navigate my way to the rocker on my front porch where I curl up in a blanket and dig

into the New York Times crossword puzzle while the kids are playing basketball in the front yard. It’s not long before 12 down and 12 across actually means a pumpkin bar at Ellie’s Bakery at the end of our block. After the Ellie’s treats, Michael and I hop on our bikes and head to the Red Store in Cape May Point for some freshly squeezed carrot juice, stopping in at Liz’s Clay Oven on Sunset Boulevard to pick up fresh bread for an afternoon picnic. We lounge on the deck of the Red Store, wrapped up in the blankets they have on hand for the chillier weather. On the way out, we stock up on handmade tomato marmalade (perfect with the clay oven bread!). Bundling up and taking a trip to the beach with our three dogs is next, where they are allowed to re-stake their claim in the sand. The old dogs become puppies again, racing in the sand, skimming the water, and rolling in the seaweed. Then it’s the perfect time to meander through the unique shops in town, including the West exit zero

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SWEET TREATS, SWEET PLACE “After the Ellie’s treats, Michael and I hop on our bikes and head to the Red Store in Cape May Point for some freshly squeezed carrot juice, stopping in at Liz’s Clay Oven on Sunset Boulevard to pick up fresh bread for an afternoon picnic,” says Wendy Guiles. Aleksey Moryakov

2012

End Garage (the best place to shop for gifts — yes, I’m biased), and maybe start a little holiday shopping. Last stop is Louisa’s Chocolate Bar, a little piece of chocolate heaven, to pick up some more goodies for our picnic. Late afternoons in fall are best spent by the fire pit at the Cape May Winery catching up with family and friends, enjoying some locally produced wine along with a picnic meal. The outdoor tables are big enough for all of us, and the scenery there makes you feel as though you’ve been transported to the Napa Valley — it’s like a vacation that is only five minutes away from home. One of my favorite spots on a chilly fall evening is the Brown Lounge at Congress Hall, cozied up to the fireplace with Michael and friends, listening to the piano player, singing along to some familiar tunes... with a chocolate martini. Then it’s back home, under the blankets with a good book, wrapping up the day where it began.


Why list your yacht with us? • UYS sells more brokerage boats than any other firm in the USA • UYS has over 100 brokers in 14 states and Canada • UYS participates in a multitude of boat shows all over the country, displaying our listings at each • UYS listing brochures are prepared by a highly experienced staff, ensuring top quality advertising • UYS advertises in most of the national publications, such as Yachting Magazine and Power & Motoryacht, Marlin and Big Game Journal • UYS puts all listings in 20+ internet databases for boat sales... not just one or two • UYS uses social media networking to expand exposure •

UYS directs all inquires directly to the listing broker, ensuring the best service to a potential buyer for your yacht

To list your yacht or for more information please call 609-884-5881

WWW.UYSNJ.com exit zero

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BREE-Z-LEE MARINA 960 OCEAN DRIVE CAPE MAY NJ 08204 609.884.5881

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or the past 47 years, Charlotte Daily has had a standing appointment on the first Saturday of every December. She is the one and only Parade Lady, a title Daily says she is very proud to claim after nearly five decades of organizing and leading the West Cape May Christmas Parade. The parade has become a tradition in Cape May and we’ve all gotten accustomed to the multitude of string bands and Christmas light-covered fire trucks, but just like every person has a story, so too, does every parade. In the case of the West Cape May Christmas Parade, it all started with a nasty rain storm in 1965. That year, Daily and her friend, Mickey Reeves, created a beautiful parade float with the kids of the local 4H club she led, to show support for our troops in Vietnam. The float was adorned with the message, “ May the angels watch over them while they protect us,” and featured the 4H club members, dressed as angels, standing on a platform and looking down at soldiers.. Their plan was to enter it in both the Sea Isle City and Cape May City parades. Everything went off without a hitch in Sea Isle city and they even won $100. “It was great!” remembers Daily, “We had enough money to send all our 4H Club kids to camp!” When it came time to enter the float in the Cape May parade, however, that’s where it all went downhill. “The day of the parade, there were

That first parade in 1965, the same year of the cancelled Cape May City parade, lasted only about a half-hour. As Daily remembers it, there were a couple high school marching bands, a few fire companies and a handful of floats.

terrible downpours and it was called off. I helped organize the parade down in Cape May [the original Cape May City parade] and kept asking when the rain date was going to be, but nobody gave me an answer. Then, I found out reading the paper that there was no rain date and it was cancelled. I said, ‘Oh no! There IS going to be a parade!’” recalls Daily. “When my mom makes up her mind to do something, you can bet she’ll find a way to get it done,” chuckled Daily’s daughter, Victoria Kelly-Kuhn. “She started calling the fire departments and the churches to organize her own parade out of West Cape May.” That first parade in 1965, the same year of the cancelled Cape May City parade, lasted only about a half-hour. As Daily remembers it, there were a couple high school marching bands, a few fire companies and a handful of floats. It was a far cry from the grand spectacle of previous Cape May City parades or the modern West Cape May Christmas parades. “I didn’t know it was going to get so big,” Daily told me. “I did it for a few years and it kept growing and growing. That’s when I promised the Lord that if he saw fit, I would do 50 parades. This is my gift, my talent that he’s given me and I’m trying to use it as best as I can. I’m almost at 50!” Ever since that first West Cape May parade, Daily has continued to work hard to organize the parade and make sure everything goes as planned, with KellyKuhn and her other daughter, Jeanette,

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right by her side. Kelly-Kuhn credits much of the parade’s success to her mother’s personal touch. “The parades are based around a story that my mom writes each year. She takes little things that are special in her life and that’s what she bases the stories about. One time it was Santa breaking his leg and all the boutonnieres were Santa on crutches. That was the year my mom broke her leg.” Each year’s story is a closely guarded secret until the parade details are released. As for this year’s story, “I know what it is, but I’m not going to tell you!” joked Daily, and she really wouldn’t spill the beans. Daily’s personal involvement goes well beyond the stories she creates, as her daughter explains. “My mom personally writes to the bands and all the fire companies. She made every one of those banners herself, she never sent out to had them professionally done. The same with the boutonnieres for the judges. She makes them all by hand.” Kelly-Kuhn also gives credit to her mom’s insistence that the parade remain a community event and the “Many, many people who will probably never be named, but who have always been there behind the scenes.” One of the locals who helps behind the scenes is fellow West Cape May resident, George Rea, who shares his own special memories of the parade, “I always install four halogen lights on James and Joanne Parker’s building located at Broadway and Sixth Avenue. This is the first lighted area that the parade encounters and we loudly encourage bands to play music.” “My mom wanted to make everyone happy, to make it a community thing,” says Kelly-Kuhn. “She always made local leaders and business leaders the grand marshals, people who were important to the community. She also wanted everyone to know it was subsidized by the people themselves. All those one-dollar and five-dollar donations kept that parade going year after year.” Daily takes a more humble approach and explains that she has had a lot of help over the year with the parade, from her family and from members of the local community. One of the people she talks about is Dot Burton, of Chalfonte Hotel fame, who has been helping her orga-


LADY WITH A MISSION Left: Charlotte Daily, aka the Parade Lady, with her favorite jolly old fellow. Right: The legendary Cunard Family of Clowns were regular participants in the West Cape May Christmas Parade. Courtesy of Charlotte Daily

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nize the parade for some years. She also confirms the criteria for grand marshals: “We pick different people that have done things for the community, that have been outstanding. We try to honor that, to honor local people.” Long before she was the Parade Lady, Daily was a young girl whose mother, Charlotte Mills Warner, was a homemaker and father, Raymond Warner, was Manager of the ACME on Washington Street in the old Focer-Mecray building. “I used to go over with dad and stack the bags of coffee. I was the coffee stacker and when he would cut the cheese from the big wheels, I would stack that too.” She credits her community spirit on the lessons she learned back then. “Everybody knew dad. He just was a friendly store keeper, the kind you don’t see too much of anymore.” As each parade kicks off, Daily takes her position by the judges’ stand at the end of Wilbraham Park. She watches and judges the parade in her head, comparing her vision for things with the way it actually plays out, according to her daughter. Meanwhile, plenty of volunteers and family members take their positions

The one thing Daily will not allow is breaking of a few select rules that she considers very important. First and foremost to her is the safety of the children who watch the parade. “Nobody is allowed to throw candy.”

along the route to help make sure things go as planned. Regardless, there is always some sort of glitch according to Daily, “It’s usually something small that we can fix or work around, but one year our truck broke down in the middle of the parade and had to be towed.” Kelly-Kuhn remembers some of the struggles as well: “There was a band years ago that agreed to show up with 20 members and perform in he parade. When they came, they were drunk, their clothes were shabby and they were not pleasant to deal with at all. They still asked for money and my mom refused to pay them.” Even taking that story into consideration, Daily quickly responds that her favorite part of the parade each year is the assortment of bands. “ My daughter tells me I have too many string bands, but I’ll never have too many bands!” Rea offers his favorites, “Fire displays and also string bands. String bands always perform in front of us. I have watched every parade except the one that that we were in with the helicopter float.” Daily and her daughters have wonderful memories of gathering at the hall

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after the parade, with the judges deciding on the winners of each category and the participants enjoying a plentiful bounty of food and drink. “When we started, there were a few sandwiches and some other small stuff, but now, it’s turned into a big celebration!” boasts Daily. “Dot Burton makes her fried chicken, we get a lot of food from the Westside Market and people bring thinks like potato salad and desserts. We also feed the Coast Guard band before the parade each year, to show our support.” While technically a Christmas parade, according to Daily, it’s open to anyone who wants to participate. “All religions are perfectly welcome to join our parade and share their message if they want to do so. They don’t have to believe the same thing as me, I don’t judge anybody.” For the first few years of the parade, they even had Vietnam protestors marching. The one thing Daily will not allow, however, is breaking of a few select rules that she considers very important. First and foremost to her is the safety of the children who watch the parade. “Nobody is allowed to throw candy. My mom insisted that people have to


walk over and hand it to the kids instead of throwing it from floats,” explains KellyKuhn. “She was afraid kids would run out into the street after the candy, while their parents were distracted by the floats and she doesn’t want anyone getting hurt.” The next rule is about the jolly old elf himself, Santa. There can be only one in the entire three hour parade and it’s the one at the end. “Nobody was allowed to have Santa Claus on their floats, because my mom didn’t want to confuse the kids,” notes Kelly-Kuhn. “She believes kids would notice that kind of thing and question it, so there is only one.” “My dad drove Santa in the parade for years. It was very exciting for me and for his grandchildren,” remembers fellow West Cape May local, Nancy Hedley. “Now my son drives Santa!” Daily talks about her St Nick policy, “I only allow one Santa in the parade, right? So one year, I decided our logo is that painting of Santa kneeling by the manger. We put our Santa on a float kneeling by a manger. He finished the parade on that float and was brought back to ride in the parade again at the end. The next year, I got a note from somebody that said ‘no

With 2012 marking Daily’s 47th year of organizing the parade and her pledge to the Lord that she would do 50 parades, it begs the question of whether there will be a new Parade Lady in a few years.

donation for you, you violated you own rules!’ but I really didn’t. There was only one Santa.” Another of the Parade Lady’s rules is that horses ride in the end and it’s a rule that came about for good reason. One year, someone questioned Daily on it and she decided to let them learn first-hand, “The band director for Lower Cape May Regional called me and asked if there could be horses in front of the band, but I said no, they go after Santa. Even though I require they have a clean-up crew with horses, they’re going to miss some. “Well, the band director protested and I said, ‘Okay, if you don’t mind than go ahead.’ He said it was fine and the horses rode in front of his band, who had to march through the mess all the way down the parade route. Afterwards, he called me back and said, ‘Now I understand what you were talking about with the horses.’” The story reminded Daily’s daughter, Kelly-Kuhn, of how her mother controls the spacing of fire trucks in the parade, “I remember watching her run out into the street one time and standing right in front of a big fire truck to make them stop!”

Daily laughed about the incident and shared her own perspective, “I was showing someone how to space out the fire trucks and they weren’t stopping. Three trucks didn’t stop when I asked them to nicely, so I said the heck with that, the next one is staying! I walked in front of it and I pointed at the driver and said, ‘You stop!’” With 2012 marking Daily’s 47th year of organizing the parade and her pledge to the Lord that she would do 50 parades, it begs the question of whether there will be a new Parade Lady in a few years, mainly one of Daily’s two daughters. After all, Kelly-Kuhn did say, “The parade is more than a community tradition, it’s a family tradition.” When asked directly about the prospect of either her sister or her taking her mom’s place in a few years, KellyKuhn paused for a couple moments then responded, “I don’t know. I’m not sure my sister would be interested. She has always been a big help to mom and never left her side with the parade, but I don’t think it’s something she’s interested in doing.” So, how about Kelly-Kuhn, herself?

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“Haha, you know, I’m not sure. I believe we need a committee going forward, it’s too much work for just one person. My mom loves the old-school way, but it’s so much work.... I haven’t decided if I’m ready for it yet. Let’s say the door is open.” After a few minutes, Kelly-Kuhn came back to the subject and elaborated on her feelings, “Lord willing... I would love to do it, it’s in my heart and in my blood. I’ve gleaned a lot from my mom. I guess we’ll see what happens.” As for the Parade Lady herself, Daily weighed in on her feelings, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. You have to have weird talents and be able to bounce with the punches to run this parade and Vicky can do that. Jeanette is so smart and is really quite remarkable with her talents, but she doesn’t want to do it.” “It’s a certain way of thinking you have to have to run the parade. Some people walk down the street and look straight ahead, but you can’t be like that. You need someone who will run to one side and smell the roses, then run to the other side and smell the holly hocks, keeping dogs out of the street at the same time.”

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Ghost of the Peter Shields who was earle? ghost writer craig mcmanus goes on the trail of a spirited presence in one of cape may’s most magnificent beachfront gems... and discovers a family tragedy.

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T

he Victorians loved a good ghost story — especially at Christmas. Since Cape May was recast as a resort with Victorian character after the Great Fire of 1878, I can think of no better setting for a good, old-fashioned ghost story, a classic haunting tale that you can read aloud while sitting in front of your own hearth. Cape May is, after all, America’s oldest and most haunted seaside resort, a place with a ghost or two lingering about. This is the story of a young man who lived, and died, in Cape May more than 100 years ago and is still around to tell that story to anyone psychic enough to listen. For people visiting Cape May for the first time, a drive past the beautiful collection of homes on Beach Avenue is a must. One of the most stately of all of the homes facing the sea is the Peter Shields Inn. With its imposing, large white columns rising three stories high, this is a building that commands respect. Inside, its sweeping hallways and grand staircases are eye-catching. They’re also the home to the ghost of a young man who walks these corridors at night, at his former summer

A MAJESTIC OLD building The magnificent Greek revival building that now houses the Peter Shields Inn was originally the summer home of a respected Pittsburgh businessman whose East Cape May project was grand — but destined to end in failure, and tragedy. Previous page: Peter Shields and his family in their new automobile. Peter’s son, Earle, who would lose his life at the age of 15 in a hunting accident, is behind the wheel.

home in what was once known as East Cape May. The eastern end of Cape May feels like it’s miles from the main section of town, but it really isn’t that far. But it has an isolated and lonely feeling that I cannot adequately describe. (Maybe it is a past life experience there?) And yet, some of the best places I have stayed in Cape May are on this end of town — Peter Shields,

Angel of the Sea, Rhythm of the Sea to name a few. So what is it with the energy down here that makes me feel like time has stopped? As a medium, I am constantly connecting with energies in whatever place I happen to be. I have found that sometimes residual energies left by living people linger in one spot or attach to a dwelling. Residual energy is a fingerprint left from an emotional trauma by a living

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being. Sensitive people like mediums or those with natural intuitive abilities sense residual energies. An encounter with a strong residual energy may cause a sensitive person to become overwhelmed by sudden strong emotions. Residual energy has nothing to do with ghosts. Ghosts are surviving personalities, fields of energy with consciousness. Souls of living people become earthbound ghosts, while the strong thoughts and emotions of the living are discarded into the ethers where they can linger for years. Have you ever walked into a home or building and had an awful feeling? Don’t think “ghost” before you think “residual energy.” You may have just walked into someone’s former emotional dumping ground! I have always felt an attachment to Cape May. I love the energy, but I just can’t avoid the feeling of sadness I sometimes feel at the east end of town. While staying at a beachfront B&B there one summer, I remember picking up some troubling images near the surf. I sensed both ghosts and residual energies. The ghosts could sense me and I could communicate with them, mind-to-mind. The residual energies are just a tape loop — they replay

I have always felt an attachment to Cape May. I love the energy, but I just can’t avoid the feeling of sadness I sometimes feel at the east end of town.

A BROKEN MAN Peter Shields and his wife Cora on the front porch of their magnificent Cape May ‘cottage’, which is now the Peter Shields Inn. His plans for East Cape May fell apart.

over and over, and one cannot communicate with them. I picked up both types of energy that day. Some people pick up shells on the beach — I pick up dead people on the beach. It’s wonderful being a medium sometimes. The images I saw on the beach that day (in my mind) happened a long time ago, maybe the mid-1700s. I saw a small ship, damaged and taking on water. I sensed it was on its way to Philadelphia, from New York. For some reason it had to make an emergency docking in the surf, and the captain evacuated the wealthy couple who had chartered it, along with their children. He put the family into a small boat and sent them ashore. As I was receiving this image, it was as though time itself had shifted me back 300 years, and I was seeing it first-hand and feeling the terrible anxiety that the young couple must have experienced as they landed on to the deserted section of Cape May’s long beach. I was looking at the modern-day beach, but the visual input was switching back and forth from my eyes to my brain. At this point in history, all the activity and civilization in Cape May was much further west, near

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Turning the eastern, swampy section of the City of Cape May into “New Jersey’s Newport” was a top priority for many. Millionaire oil and coal real estate investors were brought in from Pennsylvania. Jackson and Perry Street. So, this end of Cape May would have been isolated and filled with marshland, winding creeks and brush. It seems the isolated character of much of Cape May’s shoreline in those days brought out those who would take advantage of such innocent victims. At that time, Cape May, like other parts of the eastern seacoast, had its own pirates and privateers. From what I saw in the psychic image, the pirates, who were camped out near the beach, wasted no time in “helping” the young couple and the captain to the shore. I sensed there were gunshots, and the captain and another crew member were shot and killed. I saw blood washing up in the frothy surf and staining the white sand. I heard screams of the helpless family and a plea for mercy from the husband. He offered his wallet and gold watch, but these fiends wanted more. The couple, fleeing onto the beach with their young children, watched helplessly as the men sailed to the ship and pilfered it. I saw that the pirates were drinking heavily after their conquest. It was getting dark. The young couple probably did not know that civilization was nearby. The image ended in a horrible manner. The couple’s children watched their parents die at the hands of the pirates, and then they, too, were shot as they ran down the beach, like a twisted game of human target practice. I think the images of this event were given to me by these three young children, who are now ghosts roaming the beaches. That was almost 300 years ago, and I was sensing the anxiety from one small piece of time and an event that happened so long ago. Tragedy happens everywhere and does not always leave a psychic mark or a residual energy stain. There has to be a certain energy created at the time or maybe it is simply the location that is conducive to storing old memories in thin air. The ghosts of the exit zero

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children vanished from the beach and from my mind. I shook off the negative feelings, as I always do, and moved on with my life. Many have had the idea to develop the eastern section of Cape May over the years. At the end of the 19th century, Cape May was beginning to feel the pinch from Atlantic City, its new flashy competitor to the north. Cape May needed a new way to attract business and the large tract of vacant marshland to the east of town was waiting for some innovative business people to march in and take charge. Turning the eastern, swampy section of the City of Cape May into “New Jersey’s Newport” was a top priority for many. Millionaire oil and coal real estate investors were brought in from Pennsylvania to reclaim the land, dredge the harbor and return Cape May to its former glorious position as Queen of the Seaside resorts. In 1905, the Cape May Real Estate Company, under the direction of its new president, Peter Shields, began construction of the massive New Cape May Hotel, later to be called the Hotel Cape May, Admiral and finally, the Christian Admiral. When the hotel opened in 1908, it closed for repairs six months later and was plagued by problems, bankruptcy, and strange events. The imposing brick-and-steel structure never really caught its breath. It struggled financially for years, until finally being torn down in 1996. Peter Shields was never to recover fully from the events of the time. When I look at some of the old postcards of the Hotel Cape May, it gives me the same isolated and lonely feeling that I get today in east Cape May. There are certainly plenty of houses, some magnificent mansions, plenty of summer vacationers and year-round residents, but something is just different here. I can remember, a few years ago, getting a call from a woman staying at the Peter Shields Inn. She had


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After dinner, one of our party made a trip to the restroom, on the lower level in what used to be the cellar. My friend reported a terrible feeling of someone watching her in the cellar, someone who had died tragically. asked if I would do a channeling session with her, which I agreed to do. It would be held in her room on the third floor of the house. It was my first time traveling to that end of town in a long time, and I was amazed to see so many large and beautiful buildings hiding there. As I walked into the house and ascended the grand staircase, I sensed the ghost of a young man. The woman working there at the time told me it was the ghost of Peter Shields. I would later research him to learn what I have just told you in the above paragraphs. He was indeed a torn and defeated man, finally resigning his post as president and leaving town in 1912. When I conduct a private or group channeling session for my clients, I am reconnected them with the spirits of loved ones in heaven. These are not ghosts, they are higher souls who have crossed over and have the ability to return from time to time and watch over friends and family. I write about ghosts, but spirits are my main line of work. My focus that afternoon was on channeling, not ghosts, but sometimes a good ghost story, or a good ghost, has a way of catching my attention and distracting me from what I am really supposed to be doing. As I conducted the channeling session for my client, the large bedroom door, which was closed, kept opening, slowly — very slowly. The windows were closed and there was no noticeable draft, yet something was opening the door — three times in a row! Finally, I invited in whatever wanted to come in, as long as it did not interrupt my channeling session. Something at the inn, a strong male presence, wanted to see what I was doing and could feel that I could sense his presence. I have always felt that the area known originally as East Cape May was paranormally charged because december

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most of the land was either marsh or actual tidal creeks at one time. Water conducts energy and filling in the old waterways to create new real estate did not weaken the energy in this area. Driving down Beach Avenue, turning the bend and heading east, one can sense it is a completely different place. The energy feels detached from the main section of town, creating the sensation of boating out to some faraway island. But I digress... I was not to return to the Peter Shields Inn until the next spring. A client had told me about a ghostly encounter on the stairs with a young man, and the story rekindled my interest. This time I decided to try out Peter Shield’s restaurant for dinner, while doing a little surface ghost investigation for dessert. Questioning our host, I found out that they did indeed have a ghost named Ernest. The previous owners and staff had seen him, but no one recently had any experience. After dinner, one of our party made a trip to the restroom, on the lower level in what used to be the cellar, and later, an after-hours bar for many years. The old bar must still be serving drinks, and the folks from the afterlife must have been packing the place. My friend returned upstairs, shaken, not stirred, for we had come to find a ghost, and it was obvious we had. My friend reported a terrible feeling of someone watching her in the cellar, someone who had died tragically. As I moved down the long hallway towards the restrooms, I felt the air temperature start to drop and turn clammy. As I moved past a large bust of Shakespeare standing in the corner of the basement, I was overwhelmed with a dreadful feeling of remorse. It was not a feeling of panic or anxiety, just sadness and despair. I had just walked into something or someone that I was not about to take


happier times The Shields family and friends enjoy the beach in front of the Pittsburgh businessman’s summer cottage Peter Shields Inn

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lightly. It was not a malevolent energy at all, just a strong one. Had I found Ernest? When I returned upstairs, I needed to shake the negative energy. This will happen sometimes when I channel, even with the best grounding methods in this world, I still absorb strong emotional energy like this. “Someone either died down there — or was murdered,” I said. My friend Owen Miller, who was with us that night, insisted on meeting the ghost. I think Owen is quite intuitive — it is just his thrill-seeking gene that keeps him too busy sailing to explore his other talents! “Somebody drowned down there,” he said with an edge to his voice. We all took a walk around the inn and went up to the second floor after dinner. Who was this ghost called Ernest? Owen’s mom, Sandy Miller, who was also dining with us at the restaurant that evening, had been visiting Cape May since her youth, but did not know the answer. She told me about the building housing the Tuna Club for many years, and recalled a bar area in the basement, but nothing about a death. I checked with long-time Cape May resident Bob Fite. I had been interviewing him about his family’s reign at the

At 6:30pm, as young Earle stepped from the smaller boat back up to the yacht, using his loaded gun as a crutch, the gun suddenly went off, shooting him in the face, blowing out his eyes and lodging the bullets in the base of his brain.

but I can always tell you who just drove by outside! I was the last one in school to finish reading a chapter in class, and it takes me weeks to get through any book I buy. Jack’s book, Tommy’s Folly, a history of Congress Hall, is full of great historical stuff, but I had never seen the page about Peter Shields and his son Earle, who died in a hunting accident in 1907! I am always the last to find out anything in Cape May. Now it was confirmed. Ernest was simply a corruption over the years of Earle. I imagine the owners of the property passed down the stories and had their own ghost experiences over the years. Historical accounts were later found at Cape May Court House in old newspaper articles from the Herald and Star and Wave. According to the reports, Peter Shield’s 15-year-old son Earle had decided, against his father’s orders, to go out to the sounds, hunting for marsh hens. He and his friend, Frank Edwards, Jr, hired a yacht and a smaller boat. It seems they were unlucky in their endeavor and decided to return home empty handed. At 6:30pm, as young Earle stepped from the smaller boat back up to the yacht, using his loaded gun as a crutch, the gun

Colonial, now the Inn of Cape May, for one of my earlier articles. Had someone drowned in the Peter Shields basement? I had heard that, during the 1944 hurricane, the basements along the beachfront did indeed flood. “No,” Bob Fite told me calmly. “There were no casualties, not there.” A dead end, so to speak? Owen’s words of sensing a death in water kept echoing in my head. I next telephoned my friend Harry Bellangy, who has also spent his life in Cape May. He said he knew of other deaths at that end of town, but not at Peter Shields. The next day Harry emailed me to tell me he had recalled a story his grandmother told him as a child. It was about Peter Shields’ son, who died in front of the house in the water while his parents watched. Bingo! I was thinking now, more than ever, that Ernest was a Shields. Soon after reading Harry’s email, I was telling Exit Zero publisher, Jack Wright, about what I had learned. “Did you not read my book?” he growled in a thick Scottish accent. I must admit I am a lousy reader — ADD runs in my family, and I have it 100% when it comes to reading. I read while staring out the window. I miss a lot of the words,

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suddenly went off, shooting him in the face, fracturing his lower and upper jaw, blowing out his eyes and lodging the bullets in the base of his brain. This was the severe trauma energy I sensed in the basement of the Peter Shields when I first encountered Earle. The imprint of that trauma stays with him. A ghost may relive its final moments over and over. As some humans make a national pastime out of worrying, some of these same people can take their worries to the grave and beyond. Earle’s friend Frank Edwards quickly returned him to the Cape May Yacht Club, newspaper reports stated, and every doctor in town was called in. His family was summoned at 9pm when all hope of saving him was lost. His father, away on business, and Earle’s mother managed to return just in time to see their son pass at 10:30pm that night. His body was taken home to Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His ghost, it seems, stayed behind. Instead of crossing over to heaven, he decided to follow his grieving parents back to the house by the sea that he loved. Some ghosts haunt where they died, but most return to where they lived or, in the case of Cape May, where they summered.

the death of earle A newspaper cutting tells the tragic story of 15-year-old Earle Shields, who lost his life in a freak hunting accident.

Armed with this new information, I returned to the Peter Shields for dinner. Earle was nowhere to be found when we checked the basement. It was during dinner, after our waiter had spilled my entire glass of red wine all over the front of my white shirt (the great food made up for it) that I realized Earle was hiding. I could psychically hear his young laughter coming from all over the house. Since I now resembled an accident victim, covered with red stains, Earle was amused. Soaked and stained, I was still happy to see, or should I say, “hear” him. I was able to let Earle know that the truth would now be told. He seemed relieved and began to open up. This does not mean he pulled up a chair and shared some wine; what I mean is the ghost of Earle Shields, any ghost, communicates psychically. One thing that a ghost can do is read people’s thoughts. This is the way they hear us, using mind-to-mind energy. Earle told us that he lives up in the attic, on the third floor. “It’s mine,” he responded, giving me the feeling that everywhere else in the place was used for guests. Earle let me understand that he stays there out of guilt, because he made his

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mother very sad, went against her and his father’s wishes, and went hunting. As he was well liked, he caused widespread sadness in the community, and he regretted it. He missed his friends, his family, and being alive. He also told me something else that helped to change the way I now think of ghosts. Some paranormal investigators and psychic mediums believe ghosts cannot see or interact with each other. I do not subscribe to that particular theory. I think that they can. What I did not realize, until investigating hauntings in greater depth in Cape May, is that ghosts seem to form a community. Sometimes it seems to be a state of anarchy that reminds me of the novel, Lord of the Flies. In some places the ghosts do as they please and have their own places to stay, while a few try to dominate. Earle told me that a man who died in an elevator nearby chases him home some nights. The man is angry and does not like children bothering him. Later, Harry Bellangy confirmed part of this story, revealing that two people had died in elevator accidents at the Admiral in the 1950s. On my next trip to Cape May, I contacted Peter Shields’ then owner, Lori

Earle told me that a man who died in an elevator nearby chases him home some nights. The man is angry and does not like children. Later, Harry Bellangy told me that two people died in elevator accidents at the Admiral Hotel in the 1950s.

Whissell. Lori walked me through the property and mentioned that most of what she has experienced was at her other property next door, the Angel of the Sea, which adjoins the Peter Shields lot. While some of the housekeepers who currently worked at Peter Shields had reported experiencing minor things upstairs on the third floor, it seemed that the former owners and staff members experienced much more of the haunting activity, especially mentioning the area in the basement where I first met Earle. Upper floors seem to be a haven for ghosts. I think they want to escape the living, not haunt them. As I entered a beautiful old cedar-lined room on the third floor, I realized that this must be where young Earle calls home. A small, old, wooden ladder leads up to an even larger attic that I imagine any young boy of 15 (or 115 in his case) would love to explore and hang around. The one thing that amazed me with this story, and many others I have researched in Cape May, is how the facts got so mixed up. All of the previous stories and articles on the Peter Shields Inn seem to say that it is Peter himself

haunting the place. Not so. Earle’s name and the accident itself were remembered incorrectly. Local historian and postcard man Don Pocher once said to me, “Cape May’s history will never be completely right, because a lot of it was never written down.” Many ghosts are just trying to deal with a life cut short or some emotional or material attachment to the earth. Most move on eventually. I often tell my clients that loved ones (spirits, not ghosts) are always around us. They enjoy seeing us happy and living full lives. During the holiday season, they may pay us a long visit, reliving some of their own holiday memories and helping us to remember some that we have forgotten. Maybe the ghosts enjoy all the holiday cheer that is happening in Cape May each year as well. Should you happen to be reading this in a cozy room, by the fireside at one of Cape May’s inns, hotels or B&Bs, just remember to stay in the holiday spirit — you never know who, or what, may be sitting right next to you. Happy Holidays! To find out more about Craig, visit him online at craigmcmanus.com.

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A festive helping of holiday fun

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he holiday season is almost upon us. That means family gathered ’round a fire, friends spreading cheer, and, for many of us, a generous helping of holiday insanity, exhaustion, and burnout. Take a break from the holiday hubbub by taking in a show at Cape May Stage. We have some wonderful performances on tap this holiday season, on both our mainstage and as part of our acclaimed Second Stage Series. Jody Cook brings us 37 Stories in Which I Come Off Badly to the Second Stage on December 10. The stories are funny, sad, and hard to believe — but entirely true. A LOT of mortifying, humiliating, jaw-dropping, and hilarious things have happened to Jody Cook. Join him in a cabaret performance at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse as he exposes his tortured soul and unburdens his cold heart with a tear in one eye and a smirk in the other. This singular cabaret features music by Kander & Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, David Yazbek, Charles Strouse, Vernon Duke, John LaTouche, Burt Bacharach, and more. Originally from Kentucky, Cook studied opera and theatre performance at Belmont University. A recent contestant in the New York Musical Theatre Festival’s Next Broadway Sensation, Cook has been seen in NYC revivals of Three Wishes for Jamie, Silk Stocking, Irene, and Ernest In Love as a singing pepperoni on a slice of pizza, and as a groomsman in the Cameron Crowe film Elizabethtown. Recent productions include Curtains (Christopher Belling) at Music Theatre of Wichita, A Tuna Christmas at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mr. President! at Playwright’s Horizon, Boss in the Satin Kimono (Rhonda Marquez) at NYFringe Fest, and as Dr. Zizmor in workshops of the new musical The Wasp Woman. Beginning November 23, it’s time to kick up your heels with A Tuna Christmas, the hilarious

Cape May Stage’s Robert Shackleton Playhouse is the place to be this holiday season sequel to the hit comedy, Greater Tuna. Cook is joined by master comedian Turner Crumbly — with their deft comedic timing, trademark characterizations and split-second costume changes, the two portray all 24 citizens of Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies! This time, it’s 24 hours before Christmas and times are tough. Bertha Bumiller’s drunken husband hasn’t come home, her kids are messes, and a Christmas Phantom is destroying the town’s decorations. Add a disasterprone production of A Christmas Carol, and you’ve got holiday fare that would tickle the funny bone of even the most bah-humbug Scrooges out there. Stuff your stocking with A Tuna Surprise this holiday season! Still searching for that perfect gift? Tickets for a show are a fantastic present, or you can plan ahead and purchase a gift certificate redeemable for next season’s subscription. Subscribers enjoy huge savings and extraordinary flexibility. Subscribers save up to 50% off regular box office prices, as well as receiving priority seating. You’ll get the first choice of show dates and seating, so you’ll have your favorite seat secured before anyone gets a chance

HERE’S WHAT’S COMING to cape may stage Jody Cook in “37 Ways in Which I Come Off Badly” Monday, December 10, 8pm Tickets $20

“A Tuna Christmas” November 23-December 30 Thu-Sat, 8pm / Sat and Sun 3pm Tickets $15-35

to steal it from you. And, if plans change, subscribers — and only subscribers — can contact the box office to make quick and easy ticket exchanges to a date that works for you. Cape May Stage takes care of their subscribers, offering numerous benefits and discounts, including a 10% discount on all merchandise. Give the gift of theatre this holiday season. Next season is Cape May Stage’s 25th! It’s hard to believe that we’ve been championing the inspirational, upholding the imagination, and advancing the passionate in theatre for a quarter century. The season is shaping up to be our most thrilling yet, continuing to bring exceptional performers and renowned playwrights to our intimate 134-seat jewel box of a theater. More laughter and tears are on tap, with our Main Stage productions setting the standard for high-caliber entertainment, our Second Stage Series weaving untold tales and adventures, as well as hilarious and moving cabarets with some of Broadway’s biggest stars. From opening night to the season’s final bow, for 25 years, Cape May Stage has been enriching the cultural life of Cape May. Here’s to 25 more!

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This column is made possible through the generosity of Second Stage Series sponsors Chris and Dave Clemans as part of their support of the arts in Cape May

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MAN WITH A PLAN Michael Zuckerman at the Emlen Physick Estate, site of many holiday events this season

27 Questions for Michael Zuckerman

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f you enjoy the myriad assortment of holiday-related events in Cape May, thank the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities, a non-profit group that started life when local preservationists joined forces to save many of the town’s architectural gems from the developers. For the last 30 years, the group has been led by Michael Zuckerman, who discusses the beauty of B&Bs, MAC’s past, present and future — and his favorite time of year. Michael lives out in the marshes of Bennys Landing with Evelyn, his wife of 34 years.

Interview by JACK WRIGHT Photograph by Aleksey Moryakov

When was the first time you visited Cape May and what do you remember of it? My wife and I first visited Cape May on November 12, 1982, the day of my job interview for Director of MAC. We arrived a few hours early and, after lunch at George’s, we walked around the historic district with me taking as many photos as possible (given the likelihood that we might never return). It was a very windy, sunny day and the streets were totally deserted. While unprepared for the emptiness of a shore town in the off-season, I was tremendously excited by the wealth of Victorian architecture wherever I turned. How did you end up working at MAC? After seven years in grad school and jobs in historic exit zero

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preservation in Minnesota and architectural education in Massachusetts, I was unemployed and looking for work in my field all around the country. With two weeks of unemployment benefits left, the job offer from MAC was very enticing. Describe the atmosphere in those early days? Did you feel like you were pioneers, or is it only possible to get that perspective with the benefit of hindsight? In other words, did you really know you were involved with something special? While I was hired as MAC’s first fulltime Director, I encountered an organization that already had been through 12 years of heroic accomplishments (such as saving the Physick Estate from demolition) and amazing growth.


I came along at a very exciting time when the town and MAC were about to soar on a national craze for Victoriana. I was really excited about joining a community that was poised to become the Victoriana capital of the east coast. What are your most memorable memories from those early days? On my third day on the job, I had a baptism of fire with the Christmas Candlelight House Tour. Out of nowhere, it seemed, a thousand people appeared. It was my first taste of just how popular Cape May could be at Christmastime. At any stage, did the battle for preservation of Cape May EVER feel like a lost cause, or were you and your cohorts usually confident of success? By the early ’80s, the major preservation battle for Cape May had already been won a decade or so previously. By the time I came along, Cape May was already well on its way to becoming a preservation showplace. Having moved here from communities where architectural landmarks were routinely going under the wrecker’s ball, I was astounded by the phenomenal restorations that were saving buildings that would have been sure goners in any “normal” community. How would you compare the Cape May of, say, the early ’80s and ’90s with today? Is there anything from those years that is missed today,

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and, equally, any improvements today that you are particularly pleased about? Today’s Cape May is a much more mature preservation success story than it was 20 or 30 years ago. We tend to take for granted the pristine state of our historic buildings, while back then there was the awe and excitement of watching one after another being brought back to their original splendor. However, I don’t look back with much nostalgia to the old Convention Hall. Our new hall is such a vast improvement. If you had a magic wand, what is the one thing you would change about Cape May? What I miss most is the loss of so many of our bed and breakfast inns. The innkeepers were on the cutting edge of so many creative efforts to turn Cape May into a year-around resort. My magic wand would bring them back. What’s your view on parking in this city? Do we need a garage? Parking, especially in the summertime, is as controversial today as it was 30 years ago. For sure, I would love to see a garage to provide ample parking for our visitors. However, I understand that the economics make that unlikely to happen in my lifetime. You’re obviously very wrapped up in MAC. But do you ever get the chance to enjoy other aspects of Cape May? If so, what do you enjoy? My greatest joy comes from walking the streets

of our historic district and soaking up the small-town ambience. When was the last time you walked on a Cape May beach? For better or for worse, I’m not much of a beach person. To me, one of the most marvelous things about Cape May is that it has so many attractions that appeal to so many different kinds of people. MAC has worked very hard over the years to extend Cape May’s season. Do you feel that the city still has a lot to offer in the off-season, or could more be done? So long as there’s a weekend without a major special event, there’s always more that can be done. A lot of work has gone into branding Cape May as a magical place to spend the holidays. Why does it feel so special at this time of year?I think that our Victorian gingerbread was heaven-made to carry modern Christmas lights. The spectacle of our holiday lights is as close to true magic as anything I’ve seen. What particular events/tours would you recommend to the visitor this time of year? The Christmas Candelight House Tours on the first three Saturday evenings of December are the true high points of MAC’s holiday offerings. I would also point visitors to our Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony during the Saturday of Holiday Preview Weekend, with its free

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open house at the Physick Estate, as well as the annual Christmas Parade. Do locals, as far as you know, ever partake of these holiday events? What would you say to locals who have never tried one? Market research shows that we have more locals attending our holiday events than at any other time of the year. I’d tell non-participants that they should try the magic that so many of their neighbors are already enjoying. You’ve been at MAC now for 30 years. It’s a long time to stay in one job. What still motivates you to come to your desk each day? I’m motivated first by the truly dedicated, creative, caring people that I encounter every day on the job, including MAC staffers, board members and volunteers. Equally important is the constant challenges and excitement about being involved in what I call a 12-ring circus. I’m still waiting for my first dull moment. Who could ask for more? What do you feel you still have to achieve? To sustain what we’ve achieved, I need to help MAC constantly change to meet the constant shifts in popular taste and the demographics of our audience. Do you see MAC continuing to evolve in the coming years? For instance, do you worry that people will eventually tire of the trolley

tours? The moment that MAC stops evolving is the moment that it dies. We’ve changed radically over the past decade; for example, shifting from Victorian house tours to ghost tours and food, wine and beer events. I’m confident that we have the people and systems in place to continue evolving for the foreseeable future. Is it possible to entice younger people to enjoy MAC’s activities, or do you think it’s something people grow into as they begin to have more time on their hands to take time off? For years, we’ve been introducing more and more tours and events to appeal to younger people, both families with children and young couples or singles. We finally hit the jackpot this summer with the Craft Beer & Crab Festival at the Physick Estate. I’m sure that that will provide a model for many similar programs in the future. What books are on your nightstand right now? I like to unwind with historical or contemporary fiction. I’m currently reading Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. What was the last movie you watched? The last in-theater movie I watched was Albert Nobbs [in which Glenn Close plays a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland]. What is your favorite Christmas memory

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from your childhood? Singing carols in the choir for my school’s annual Christmas pageant. Do you have any Christmas traditions that you follow to this day, or new ones that you have recently introduced? My favorite Christmas tradition since joining MAC has been singing the line, “A Partridge in a Pear Tree” in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” at the MAC staff Christmas party. If someone was to ask us, what would the perfect Christmas gift for Michael Zuckerman, what would your answer be? A gift certificate to a fine restaurant. Describe your perfect Christmas dinner — you can have as many courses as you like. Every year, my wife cooks a turkey, with bread sauce to smother the meat, stuffing and brussel sprouts. And if you could have a fantasy table for six people at Christmas, who would they be? My wife and me, joined by our four closest friends in town. What is your favorite time of year in Cape May? Definitely the holiday season. Got any New Year’s Resolutions mapped out yet? None that I would jinx by expressing. See pages 9-24 for the full list of holiday events in Cool Cape May.


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my perfect CHRISTMAS day victor grasso, artist

Gift-giving, egg nog, and a lion skin rug

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y perfect Christmas starts on Christmas Eve. Alicia and I pack up our daughter Gray and all the presents (I love presents), and head up the road for an hour to my dad’s, arriving around 11am. We shoot the breeze for about two minutes and get right to presents. My dad loves giving presents and can barely wait until Christmas. After about five minutes of present bombardment, we get started with the wine. A group of my dad’s closest friends and my great uncle and aunt swing by around noon. My dad and I pick up the Italian takeout feast, which is our little alone time to sneak cigarettes. The sausage and peppers, cheese, broccoli rabe and baked ziti flow like Mount Vesuvius as do the hand gestures. It’s not quiet but it’s fun. After espresso and cookies, Alicia, Gray and I start the next leg to my grandmother’s house, another hour

up the road. Here, we await the arrival of the whirlwind of my mom’s side of the family. When they arrive you can’t even see them through the stacks of presents they are carrying. My mom loves presents, too. At grandmom’s we spend about five hours nibbling on sausage, meatballs and shrimp, while opening 162 presents and 12 stockings. Around 11pm we journey home with a carfull of Christmas goodies and usually meet up with some special friends for a quick drink and more gift-giving. Christmas morning hopefully starts with waking to the gray dawn of a snowcovered earth — not too much, just enough to create that blue morning glow. Alicia and I would do the morning chores while Gray is rustling awake in her room. Coffee, bottle, feed Pip the cat, plug in the Christmas lights and press play on the Christmas list in iTunes, preferably Frank and Bing. Then off to the couch for presents. Did I mention I like giving and receiving presents? By exit zero

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a lucky man “Christmas morning hopefully starts with waking to the gray dawn of a snow-covered earth — not too much, just enough to create that blue morning glow,” says Victor Grasso, pictured with wife Alicia and two-year-old daughter Gray. Aleksey Moryakov

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this time Gray would be laying on mommy, enjoying her morning bottle and I would be excitedly plopping presents in Alicia’s hands. After Alicia and Gray opened all their presents, they would give me a lion skin rug and I would be elated. You can get that at www.theevolutionstore.com, Alicia. Then we would go outside and walk up to the beach to frolic in the snow. When there is snow on the beach, it’s pretty magical. After that we’ll warm up with hot apple cider and spiced wine. Then off to the in-laws where a giant sausage and cheese soufflé awaits and we feast with a kind of “eat free or die” attitude. Then we open presents with Alicia’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, and dog Rocky. On the drive home we converse about the chaos of the marathon present-opening extravaganza. We get home around 7pm, get our comfies on, and I feel lucky as I pour a large glass of egg nog and lie on my new lion skin rug with my girls.


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The Cape May Holiday Crossword So YOU love crosswords and you love Cape May? Great. Sit down, get a cup (or glass) of your favorite beverage, relax and enjoy this puzzle. The answers to this crossword are all related to the holidays. Compiled by Shannon McDevitt.

Across 2. This was the beverage company to first use Santa for a winter promotion. It helped solidify our notion of Mr Claus as the portly, rosy-cheeked, red-clad elf we all know and love. 4. If you wanted to wish someone a merry Christmas in Sweden, you would say ___ ___. 6. He provided the narration for the 1966 TV special How The Grinch Stole Christmas. 8. This US president banned Christmas trees from the White House due to “environmental concerns.” 10. Traditionally, it’s this family member who opens the first present on Christmas morning. 12. He was the magician with the famous top hat in the 1969 TV special Frosty the Snowman. 13. According to the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” this is how many “geese-alaying” there are. 14. Even though this song was intended as a Thanksgiving tune, it has become one of the most popular Christmas jingles of all time. 16. He’s the seventh reindeer in Santa’s

Number seven ain’t bad... 16 across

famous line-up. 18. This classic movie (a favorite among your EZ staffers) was made in 1946 and appears on TV more than any other holiday film. 20. He was the wise man from Tarsus who brough Myrrh to baby Jesus. 21. This English rock bassist, most known for his work with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was born on December 25, 1945. 22. This beloved character desperately wants an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle for Christmas. 23. In 1836, it became the first state in the US to oficially recognize Christmas. 24. In this popular medieval Christmas game, players strike a blindfolded player, who has to guess the name of the person delivering the blow. 25. Get your tickets! Cape May Stage will put on this holiday production from November 23 to December 30. DOWN 1. He produced the first commercial Christmas card, back in 1843. exit zero

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3. This was the home country of the real St Nick, who lived in the fourth century. 5 . Although now mostly vegetarian, these festive treats were made with beef and spices in Victorian times. 7. On December 25, 2004, the Cassini Orbiter spacecraft released the Huygens probe, which successfully landed on this Saturn moon 20 days later. 9. With more than 450 figures and hundreds of yards of landscape, the world’s largest diorama of the Nativity is found in this Swiss district. 11. The first department store to feature a visit with Santa was JW Parkinson’s store in this east coast city. 15. Frankincense, one of the wise men’s gifts, is a sweet gum resin from this tree. 17. This popular Chistmas drink was an American discovery. Most types contain alcohol — usually rum, whisky, or brandy. 19. After receiving his Oscar for best supporting actor in 1947, he said: “Now I know there is a Santa Claus.”


Plans for independent contractors, families, individuals and groups at competitive rates.

610-222-9400 www.millennium-tpa.com

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Exit Zero Color Issue December 2012  

Everything you need to know about the holiday season in Cool Cape May.

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