EXIT ZERO JULY 2012 « $4.95
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 july 2012 FEATURES
going out this summer 7 The events and happenings you need to know about
the movers and bakers 16 Three locals who are baking up a storm on the island
the great food & drink guide 25-33 Wondering where to eat in Cape May? Look here first.
cape may’s best-kept secret 38 Do you really know what’s going on at the harbor?
the legend of davy’s lake 60 Why do locals love this magical, mystical place?
the experts’ guide to cape may 80 Architecture, gardening, photography, and more
eight miles of birding bliss 105 Pete Dunne invites you to visit a natural wonderland
the natural 114 Matt Szczur is aiming for baseball’s big leagues
the 19th-century hotel boom 121 An excerpt from Ben Miller’s best-seller, The First Resort
real estate update in cape may 137 Chris Bezaire is feeling good about the future
cover painting by victor grasso 60
REGULARS a chat with cohwen allen 35 my perfect day viviane rowan 51 parker smith 78 sean taylor 92 mike murphy 133 doug mcmain 143 arts coverage cape may stage 55 soma newart gallery 72 gail pierson gallery 95 east lynne theater 99 puzzle time cape may crossword 144
about us editor & publisher Jack Wright firstname.lastname@example.org
advertising manager Jason Black email@example.com staff writers Kate Chadwick firstname.lastname@example.org Diane Stopyra email@example.com creative consultant Victor Grasso
Visiting CAPE MAY and leaving us off your itinerary would be like visiting PARIS... and skipping the EIFFEL TOWER!
historical editor Ben Miller firstname.lastname@example.org photographers Aleksey Moryakov, Sandy Maloney, Gabi Urda graphic artist Doree Bardes contributing writers Catherine Dugan, David Gray, Terry O’Brien distribution team Stephanie Grubb, Amy Wingate 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: email@example.com Website: www.exitzero.us president Jack Wright vice-president Jason Black
The Lobster House Fisherman’s Wharf, Cape May (609) 884-8296 www.thelobsterhouse.com
tennis ball supervisor April Wright fluffy toy supervisor Friday Wright mouse supervisor Pascal 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
Open Seven Days Serving Dinner
oceanfront porch dining available
Beach Avenue & Howard Street at the
H o t e l M a c o mb e r
609 884 8811 www.unionparkdiningroom.com
4 July 2012
ANT to know a secret? Of course you do. Who doesn’t. Well, there are a couple of them in this issue. The first is a really cool place that’s situated right on the edge of the island. It’s a place where adults AND kids go to have fun, where some of the most amazing sunrises and sunsets can be enjoyed, and it’s a place that’s made Cape May internationally know. And yet... we know that a lot of you hardly ever bother to go there. You drive past it when you come into town, and past it when you leave. Okay, so you probably go to The Lobster House for lunch or dinner, but do you really know what goes on at Cape May’s harbor? We’re guessing you don’t. So turn to Diane Stopyra’s story that begins on page 38. We’re sure you’re going to learn a lot. Diane also spent an afternoon doing what countless young Cape Mayans did growing up... visiting Davy’s Lake, that magical, mystical place just behind Higbee’s Beach. It’s a really difficult place to find, and we didn’t supply a map in this issue. Why? Because it’s the kind of place that needs to retain its feeling of solitude. We’d hate to see the masses head over there on a summer’s day. By all means, TRY to find it, but we’re betting that most of you won’t succeed. Instead, sit back and enjoy the tales of the locals who went there summer after summer. And if you DO go there, don’t even think about leaving your trash behind. Elsewhere in this issue, we meet three islanders who are baking amazing bread ( you won’t want to miss these treats — see page 16); talk to Matt Szczur, who was a star athlete at Lower Cape May Regional and who’s now working his way toward the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs (page 114); and catch up with another group of locals who spill the goods on what makes up their Perfect Day in Cape May — many of which we wish for you! Enjoy the issue. Enjoy Cape May. How could you not?
THE PLACE TO BE A serene scene at Cape May’s harbor, the subject of our story titled ‘Cape May’s Best-Kept Secret’ — see page 38. Frank Scott
Jack Wright Editor/Publisher exit zero
5 July 2012
s ’ y r r a H t a e m t e e M bar o i t a p ’s ed beer harry bottl
d ft an n) a r D urs-Su h t ( 40+ t n e rtainm nte live e
he game t r o f ’s 6 HDTV
ly 4th u J r u o s s i Don’t m re, o f e b s s o b e tribute to th r the e t f a d n a , during arly, e e r e h t e fireworks. G ited. m i l s i g n i t a se
MonItnrneal Wine tastings Thursday-Sunday 4pm-8pm. All Season Long
o t e c a l p e h T r e m m u s s i be th
on Ave is d a M t a ch 1025 Bea
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
3/23/12 7:29 AM
8 July 2012
FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA Summertime is THE time for simple American pleasures – like running through sprinklers, chasing ice cream trucks and, of course, enjoying fireworks. From Congress Hall’s lawn or the surrounding beaches and streets, you’ll see a five-star show while savoring salty ocean breezes. Kicks off at 9pm.
May through November 4 CAPE MAY’S 20TH CENTURY RENAISSANCE: FROM THE PAGES OF THE FIRST RESORT EXHIBIT This Carriage House Gallery exhibit at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, is guest curated by the book’s author, Ben Miller. Visitors will be treated to rare photographs, video and a multitude of artifacts showcasing the years immediately before and after the city’s Urban Renewal movement. Memories will abound for longtime visitors and residents, while more recent travelers will be introduced to a side of Cape May they’ve never seen. Free admission. Visit capemaymac.org. July 3 FULL MOON GHOST HUNT WITH GHOST-ONE Ghost-One, a paranormal research team based in Pennsylvania, has done extensive investigations and is hosting a full moon ghost hunt at 7:30pm at Cape May’s original haunted house, the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street. Enter the haunted Physick Estate with a member of Ghost-One. Try your hand at some of their investigating tools and do EVP readings as you explore differ-
FUN ON THE FOURTH The lawn of Congress Hall is the venue for the ultimate Fourth of July party, with games galore and, of course, fireworks. Aleksey Moryakov
ent rooms inside the Physick Estate. Afterwards, return to the Carriage House for dessert and to discuss your findings. Tickets are $30 per person and limited to 50 people. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278 or visit www.capemaymac.org. July 4
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July 7 KIWANIS PANCAKE DAY If you don’t like pancakes, you’re kind of a freak. Lucky for all of you non-freaks out there, Kiwanis – that global organization dedicated to serving children of the world – will host its annual pancake breakfast at Congress Hall, from 7am to 12:30pm. The event benefits the Kiwanis Scholarship fund and local charities. Call 609-884-8421 for more information. July 7 33RD INDEPENDENCE PARADE Who says the Fourth of July celebration has to end on the fourth? We’re still just as happy about our independence on the 7th, so why not have a parade? The fun starts 1pm in front of brand-new Convention Hall.
July 6 LUNCH WITH THE PIRATES Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlubbers are invited to the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, for a piratethemed lunch experience. Pirates invade the patio tent and take over the show. $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12). (Price includes lunch). Starts at 11:30am Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, visit www.capemaymac.org. July 11 KIDS DAY AT THE EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE Learn what life was like more than 100 years ago from the parlor to the playroom on a tour of the estate. Tromp around the grounds of the Estate, covered in tents filled with fun activities like dress-up, hat-making, singing, storytelling, face painting, Victorian games, Teddy Bear Tea Parties and more. From 10am to 3pm, $5 for children (ages 3-12), free for adults. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
LOOKING FOR CLUES Opposite page: The Captain Kidd Treasure Hunt starts in front of Convention Hall on July 29 — see next page for details. Aleksey Moryakov
July 11 TEDDY BEAR TEA PARTY BYOB — Bring your own bear (or dolly). Teddy Bear Tea Parties at the Emlen Physick Estate feature kid-friendly menus and teddy bear music. Miss Jeanne and a special guest from The Cape May Teddy Bear Co. will be presenting stories and activities for the Teddy Bear Tea attendees as well as providing a goody bag. At 11am and 1pm, $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12). Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org. July 11-15 23RD OCEAN/VIKING SHOWDOWN No, we’re not talking about THOSE Vikings…though you can wear a horned hat if you’d like. If you own either a Viking or Ocean fishing vessel, usher in the start of billfishing season by competing in this tournament, hosted by the South Jersey Marina. Call 609-8842400 for more information. July 13 LUNCH WITH THE PIRATES Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlub-
Down-home cooking... with a terrific view!
bers are invited to the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, for a piratethemed lunch experience. Pirates invade the patio tent and take over the show. $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12). (Price includes lunch). Starts at 11:30am Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278 or visit the organization online at www.capemaymac.org. July 13-15 48TH PROMENADE ART SHOW We love hand-crafted pottery and jewelry, paintings of classic Cape May scenes, and awesome photography. We love it even more when it’s local. And EVEN more when we can peruse it next to the ocean. Check it out the show between 10-5. Date to be finalized BEACH PATROL SUPERATHALON Watch these fit creatures perform in this running, rowing and sprinting competition and you’re sure to be impressed; it takes more than a pretty face to be a lifeguard. The gun goes off at 6pm. Call 609-884-9520.
on Broadway Chef Geoff Johnson has appearded on Rocco’s Dinner Party on...
and also on My Big Redneck Vacation on Country Music Television (CMT)
ADULT CONTEMPORARY CUISINE Dinner from 5PM
Like Us on Facebook... Copper Fish Restaurant Beach Avenue & Grant Street, Cape May • 884-3772 exit zero
416 S. Broadway, West Cape May, 609-898-1555 10 July 2012
July 14 “CHECK YOUR COVER” SKIN SCREENING Shame on all of you bronzed beach gods and bunnies; sun-worshipping is bad for your skin! (Okay, okay, we’re just as guilty.) Rather than avoid the beach altogether (like that’s possible), get your skin checked out between 11am and 2pm at Convention Hall.
more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org. July 14 CABANAS CAPE MAY BEACH BASH VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT Diving and lunging and spking… that’s quite the workout. Professional or amateur, anyone is welcome to play. But if drinking is more your sport (hey, it can take endurance) at least show up for the after party at Cabanas… it’s a wild time. Check out www.greatamericanvolley. com for details.
July 14 DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSE ADVENTURE Come aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher or the Spirit of Cape May to view and photograph historic lighthouses of the late 19th and early part of the 20th centuries. Most of these lighthouses stand on pedestals out of sight of land and are still operational. Each cruise also includes narration on Delaware Bay lore and legend, including information on fishing, spawning grounds and more. Includes complimentary continental breakfast in the morning and a lavish buffet lunch. A cash bar is available. From 10am to 5pm, tickets $99. Sponsored by the Cape May Whale Watcher and the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For
July 18 FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse in Cape May Point State Park becomes a beacon of fun. Enjoy kid-friendly activities, performers, entertainment and unique craft vendors at the base of the lighthouse. From 9am to 2pm, free admission to activities on the grounds. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
FISH & FANCY
SEAFOOD TAKE-OUT “The Local’s Favorite”
(609) 886-8760 • www.fishandfancy.com
Open 7 Days a Week!
2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (next to Robinson & Son’s Produce) Like Us on Facebook!
FRESH WEEKLY SPECIALS • FRESH HOMEMADE SALADS OUTDOOR PATIO SEATING • PARTY TRAYS Have it your way... fried, broiled, grilled, blackened or sautéed! exit zero
11 July 2012
July 20 LUNCH WITH THE PIRATES Ahoy mateys! Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlubbers are invited to the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, for a pirate-themed lunch experience. You’ll exclaim, “Shiver me timbers!” as pirates invade the patio tent and take over the show. $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12). Price includes lunch. Starts at 11:30am. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
MASTERPIECE ON THE BEACH Opposite page: The annual Sand Sculpture Contest will be held at Second Avenue beach on Augusst 3. Aleksey Moryakov
July 21 JERSEY CAPE ANTIQUE AUTO SHOW Drool over approximately 50 antique cars on display in Rotary Park, in the center of downtown Cape May. From 10-2pm. July 22 TEDDY BEAR TEA PARTY BYOB: Bring your own bear (or dolly). Teddy Bear Tea Parties at the Emlen Physick Estate feature kid-friendly menus and teddy bear music. Miss Jeanne and a special guest from The
Cape May Teddy Bear Co. will be presenting stories and activities for the Teddy Bear Tea attendees as well as providing a goody bag. Starts at 12 pm, $18 for adults; $10 for children (ages 3-12). Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
Street, for a pirate-themed lunch experience. You’ll exclaim, “Shiver me timbers!” as pirates take over the show. $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12). Price includes lunch. Starts at 11:30m. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
July 25 FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse located in Cape May Point State Park, Lower Township, becomes a beacon of fun. Enjoy kid-friendly activities, performers, entertainment and unique craft vendors at the base of the lighthouse. From 9am to 2pm Wednesday. Free admission to activities on the grounds. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
July 29 CAPTAIN KIDD TREASURE HUNT Kids ages 3-10 will follow Captain Kidd (What? You thought he was dead?) on a treasure hunt on the beaches in front of Convention Hall. Mateys should arrive by 1pm. Call the City of Cape May on (609) 884-9565 for more information. Your kids will thank you for it.
July 27 LUNCH WITH THE PIRATES Ahoy mateys! Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlubbers are invited to the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington
August 1 80TH QUEEN MAYSEA CORONATION Bet you didn’t know Cape May is a monarchy. Support her highness has she takes the throne at 7pm at Cape May Elementary. Call (609)884-9565. August 1 FAMILY FUN DAY AT THE CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse located
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OCEAN CLUB HOTEL
1035 Beach Avenue, Cape May NJ 08204 609.884.7000 • capemayoceanclubhotel.com
12 July 2012
in Cape May Point State Park becomes a beacon of fun. Enjoy kid-friendly activities, performers, entertainment and unique craft vendors at the base of the lighthouse. The event is being held from 9am to 2pm. There is free admission to activities on the grounds. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-2754278 or visit www.capemaymac.org.
more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org. August 3 80TH ANNUAL BABY PARADE If you’re a sucker for cute things — or if you still use a sucker — you should probably turn up for the baby parade, starting at 11am on Beach Avenue. There is live music, and the adorableness factor of the participants, on a scale of 1 to 10, is about a 12.3.
August 2 FULL MOON GHOST HUNT WITH GHOST-ONE Ghost-One, a paranormal research team based in Pennsylvania, has done extensive investigations and is hosting a full moon ghost hunt at 7:30pm at Cape May’s original haunted house, the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street. Enter the haunted Physick Estate with a member of Ghost-One. Try your hand at some of their investigating tools and do EVP readings as you explore different rooms inside the mansion. Afterwards, return to the Carriage House for dessert and to discuss your findings. Tickets are $30 per person and limited to 50 people. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For
August 3 SAND SCULPTURE CONTEST Dig this! These aren’t your run-of-themill drip castles. Watch ametuer sand sculptors create masterpieces, and then vote on your favorites. Starts at 9am on Second Avenue Beach. August 3 LUNCH WITH THE PIRATES Ahoy mateys! Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlubbers are invited to the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, for a pirate-themed lunch experience. You’ll exclaim, “Shiver me timbers!” as pirates invade the patio tent and take over the show. $18 for adults, $10 for
13 July 2012
14 July 2012
children (ages 3-12). Price includes lunch. Starts at 11:30am. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org. August 5 TEDDY BEAR TEA PARTY BYOB: Bring your own bear (or dolly). Teddy Bear Tea Parties at the Emlen Physick Estate feature kid-friendly menus and teddy bear music. Miss Jeanne and a special guest from The Cape May Teddy Bear Co. will be presenting stories and activities for the Teddy Bear Tea attendees as well as providing a goody bag. Starts at noon, $18 for adults; $10 for children (ages 3-12). 1048 Washington Street. Sponsored by the MidAtlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information or to make reservations, call 609-884-5404 or visit the organization online at www.capemaymac.org. August 7 NATIONAL NIGHT OUT Fun for the whole family is guaranteed at this event, meant to raise community spirit and awareness about local police programs. Starts at 6pm, on the Cape May Elementary fields. Call (609) 884-9565. August 7 NATIONAL LIGHTHOUSE DAY AT THE CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE Enjoy a pirate invasion and family activities at the base of the lighthouse including pirate-hat making, games, music and craft vendors. From 9am to 2pm. Free admission to activities on the grounds. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac. org. August 8-11 US LIFEGUARD ASSOCIATION NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS Watch as 1,000 current, former and junior lifeguards compete through speed, agility and strategy using techniques common to lifesaving. Approximately 1,500 hotel rooms will be booked for the event, which is saying something! Call 609-884-9520. August 10 CAPE MAY WOMEN’S CLUB PEACH FESTIVAL Enjoy cobblers, cakes, pies and ice cream made with the sweet fruit, or peruse the crafts, books, plants, toys and jewelry for sale… we think that’s just peachy! Check it out between 9am and 2pm at Star of the Sea School. Call (609) 884-9565 for more information. August 10 LUNCH WITH THE PIRATES Ahoy mateys! Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlubbers are invited to the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, for a pirate-themed lunch experience. You’ll exclaim, “Shiver me timbers!” as pirates invade the patio tent and take over the show. $18 for adults, $10 for children (ages 3-12). Price includes lunch. Starts at 11:30am. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278 or visit www.capemaymac.org. August 11-12 35TH PROMENADE CRAFT SHOW Take in that beautiful boardwalk view while you browse artsy goodies made by local artisans. From 10-5pm. exit zero
15 July 2012
609-884-4800 At the corner of Beach Ave. & Decatur Street www.CabanasOnTheBeach.com www.facebook.com/CabanasOnTheBeach
the movers and bakers A TOWN THAT’S FAMED FOR ITS CULINARY SCENE SHOULD NEVER SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRE BREAD. FORTUNATELY, THREE LOCAL ARTISANS HAVE RISEN TO THE CHALLENGE OF SATISFYING THE GOOD PEOPLE OF CAPE ISLAND. Story by KATE CHADWICK
Photographs by ALEKSEY MORYAKOV
OU’RE on your way down Sunset Boulevard towards the Point when you see a bunch of cars pulled over along the side of the road. Is it a yard sale? Barbecue? Garden party? No, it’s a different phenomenon altogether. With her soft voice, curly hair, and angelic countenance (complete with clear blue eyes), Elizabeth Degener looks like the college kid next door. But the gentle hippie-chick persona belies a practical nature, and this college graduate has a degree in business.
Apparently, when you pair a Zen-like attitude with talent, hard work, and experience gained through world travel, you get a young lady whose modest roadside operation is causing major buzz, not to mention major devotion. And the Zen translates to the customers — it’s not unusual to see one customer pass back the last loaf of the favorite bread of the customer in line behind him. We know — we’ve seen it happen.
16 July 2012
Fresh out of the oven Elizabeth Degenerâ€™s freshly baked clay oven breads have been causing a stir along Sunset Boulevard in Cape May Point exit zero
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18 June 2012
If the crowds lining up each morning along Sunset Boulevard are any indication, Elizabeth Degener is a phenomenon, of the bread-baking variety. This will be Elizabeth’s (her dad, Press of Atlantic City reporter Rich Degener, calls her Biz) third summer hawking her sublime breads from a humble whitewashed wooden stand on Sunset, just outside the fence surrounding Enfin Farm, which her family has called home for three generations. She also sells fresh flowers, the occasional eggs, and whatever other veggies and fruits the farm produces — tomatoes, zucchini, raspberries and the like. But it’s the bread that’s causing the pulled-over cars and kick-standed bikes, and that’s because this bread is exceptional. They’re baked 20 loaves at a time in the wee hours of the morning in a wood-fired clay oven — the varieties include classic French, Curry Fennel Anise and Coconut Milk, and this reporter’s favorite, Olive Oil and Black Pepper. Elizabeth learned to bake in Germany while WWOOF-ing (world-wide oppotortunities working on organic farms) throughout Europe and India, during breaks from her studies at the American College in Dublin, Ireland.
breaking bread Dylan Rutherford started his Little Bastard’s Bread Company in high school
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We asked Elizabeth how her globetrotting informed her work. “My travels were solely responsible for finding myself on the farm. I picked up pieces at each farm of what I had in mind to create once I was finished college,” she says. “I learned about agriculture, farm-to-table cooking, baking bread, caring for animals, jamming and preserving — the perfect complement to my business degree. I moved around so much, and I was always struck with prime examples of people I do and do not want to emulate, the work I do and do not want to pursue. The most important thing for me was to stay perceptive and conscious and have a good attitude. I trusted the right opportunities would unfold or become more apparent after college if I worked hard and stayed clear, and so it did.” Although she shares the farm and, to some degree, its responsibilities, with her mom Ann, dad Rich (“He’s just happy his kids want to be here,” says Elizabeth), a gaggle of ducks and an absurdly cheerful retriever named Abby, Elizabeth is, at least for now, a one-person operation. We observe that it looks like demand may soon outweigh supply for her crispy-crusted, complex creations, with customers usually waiting before her breads are unloaded into their wicker baskets. “I suppose I have to think about that and my limitations, unless I suddenly
become completely nocturnal and grow an extra pair of hands,” she says. “But for now, I like being in control. And if I’m representing this bread, I want it to be my energy. This feels like what I’m supposed to be doing.” Elizabeth’s breadstand is located at 609 Sunset Boulevard; it’s on the right as you head towards Sunset Beach — it’s okay to follow the crowd in this instance. She will be there every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday all summer, from 10am until she sells out. Which is fairly quickly… *** DYLAN Rutherford is a handsome, polite young man whose mannerisms and demeanor give away his Air Force Auxiliary training, where he learned, among other things, how to fly. Appropriate, seeing as how his enterprise, Little Bastard’s Bread Company (‘Bringing you holy crusty bread since 2010’), has taken off. Dylan, a West Cape May resident and Culinary Institute of America student, is a young man on an old mission, the master of his own little empire at the of 19. “Everyone,” he told us, “has a right to delicious bread.” So how did such a nice young man end up with a not-so-nice name for his company? “My dad’s friend Phil Risko used to call me that — in a nice way,” he smiles.
CLIPPER SHIP PUB
SERVING DINNER FROM 5PM EARLY DINNER SPECIALS 5-6pm 1/2 PRICE RAW BAR ITEMS 5-6pm in the Pub Only Affordable Pub Menu
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20 July 2012
Dylan started selling bread to teachers while attending Cape May County Technical High School. “I went from classroom to classroom, right around the holidays, and took orders for bread.” He didn’t get permission from school administrators on this — “They just would have said no anyway,” he tells us. “I’d collect orders for a couple hundred loaves, line up all my supplies, put on the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and disappear into the baking, sometimes all night long.” (And if it meant skipping a day of school to finish the job, well, that may have happened too.) Eventually, Dylan moved the baking operation out his house after hooking up with Chris Shriver at the Depot Market Café, who allowed him to not only use the kitchen while the restaurant was closed, but also to put some loaves on his counter for sale. “His was the first place to carry my bread,” Dylan says. “He’s a good guy.” Eventually, though, things got a bit too crowded: “People go to the Depot to grab a great sandwich; it’s not on their radar to be shopping for a loaf of artisan bread.” So Dylan moved over to the Rea’s Farm kitchen, where he had also begun selling his bread at their farm market. But this ambitious young man wanted more. “I also started working on Steve White, over at Seaside Cheese. He was carrying Le Bus bread, and he didn’t want to sell mine. He’s stubborn,
Can’t Live by Bread alone Fresh breads and sweet and savory baked goods are available at Janis Quiggle’s Q Bakery at Rea’s Farm
Winery & Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon • Merlot • Red Reserve Chardonnay • Pinot Grigio • Reisling • Blush • Apple Gift Certificates available
Tasting Room - Open Daily
Tours Daily at 3pm... Call for details!
(609) 884-1169 • 711 Townbank Road, North Cape May • www.capemaywinery.com exit zero
21 July 2012
REASONS TO VISIT 20 GREAT Rio Station 20 Fresh, local seafood everyday 19 Early Birds...Monday through Friday 18 Acres of free parking 17 Best Prime Rib in the Universe 16 Tami’s Homemade Carrot Cake 15 Friday Night Terry-Oke! 14 Rio Happy Birthday Club 13 Cozy atmosphere 12 World Famous Crab Cakes 11 Everything is made from scratch 10 Full menu til 11 p.m. 9 Our Chocolate Covered Pretzel Martini 8 Best crispy hot wings in South Jersey 7 One of our new craft beers would taste great 6 Wine Spectator Wine List Award 5 You just don’t feel like cooking 4 Great kids menu 3 New $5 Happy Hour Menu 2 Killer Chicken Parm
And the #1 Reason to Visit Rio Station...
Serving amazing food for 25 years!
Grande Center Shopping Mall • Rio Grande, New Jersey
“Locals and tourists buy different things. A tourist isn’t going to buy a pie, but I have locals who buy one every weekend. Last Thanksgiving I sold 75 in two days.” but I’m persistent. Eventually, I just walked in there with two loaves and a cutting board, cut a piece of bread, and said, ‘Try it.’ I left with an order for eight loaves. My bread sells out there every time he orders it. And it’s a perfect spot for it, because he pairs it with the right cheeses for people — he even does it with the chocolate bread [the Phoenix Special, named after his girlfriend]. A good bread with a good cheese is a no-brainer.” Dylan’s plans for Little Bastard include franchising “at least up the east coast,” he says. “My parents are thinking about moving to New England, so that’s the next stop.” Which brings us to Janis Quiggle, who happens to be Dylan Rutherford’s aunt. She has also been a stalwart on the Cape May food scene since the seventies, when she started cooking at the dearly departed Cape May eatery Peaches, and she still works part-time at Rio Station, making their cheesecakes as well as handling their marketing. In the meandering journey that a career in the restaurant business can be, Janis is now also the proprietor of Q Bakery at Rea’s Farm in West Cape May, and the first official franchisee of Little Bastard Bread Company, while Dylan is off working his CIA externship in Tennessee. We visited with her in the sunny kitchen of her bakery, a tiny, brightly painted space that used to the Rea’s Farm office. It’s decorated with porcelain ornaments Janis made herself, yet another creative outlet for this artisan. She let us nibble on the cheese she was chopping for the absurdly good Three Cheese Bread, which is, essentially, a self-contained meal, made with Fontina, Asiago and Pecorino cheeses. And right on cue, during our interview, two gentlemen walked in and bought the last three loaves of it she had on hand. All three, right out from under us. “This bread is amazing with tomato soup — amazing,” they told us. According to Janis, they’d just been in the day before and had bought two loaves. That’s dedication. Averaging $12 a (very large) loaf, this is quite an investment, but perhaps it gives you an idea of quality of product we’re talking about here. (And if you’re watching your pennies, you can buy half-loaves.) We asked whether the bakery came about as a way to help Dylan, or whether Dylan’s bread caused the bakery come about. “It was kind of a chicken-and-egg situation,” she said. “Dylan started baking here… I was able to help him with things like… well, this, for instance — what I’m doing right now. He would come in here, cut up just enough cheese to bake a couple of loaves of bread, bake them, come back the next night, cut just enough cheese to bake a couple of loaves, and so on. I taught him stuff like cutting a whole bunch of cheese ahead of time and putting it in a large container like this in the fridge, so you can get through a few days without having that extra step. That’s the kind of knowledge that you get just from being around this business longer.” Janis also sells pies and cookies — in fact, her Snickerdoodles are the best this reporter has ever had (and that’s saying a lot). “Locals and tourists buy different things. A tourist isn’t going to walk in here and buy a pie, but I have locals who buy one without fail every weekend. Last Thanksgiving I sold 75 in two days.” We remark that it must be particularly rewarding, both for her personally, and to be a part of her nephew’s success. “It absolutely is — it’s gratifying. And it’s good to have that kind of passion for what you do inside of you, because you’re going to need it.” Janis Quiggle’s fresh baked goods and Little Bastard’s breads will be available Tuesdays through Sundays all summer at Rea’s Farm Market in West Cape May.
22 July 2012
AVA L O N
C O F F E E
OPEN EVERY DAY
Serving fine food since 1988
TRY OUR NORTH CAPE MAY LOCATION
3704 BAYSHORE ROAD
Green Street Market
Natural Health & Gourmet
Open Daily for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (609) 884-9119 322 Washington Street Mall, Cape May www.tishasfinedining.com
Local & Organic Produce & Cheeses Local Organic Grass Fed Meats Free Range Organic Poultry Gluten Free, Vegan, Raw Vitamins and Supplements
OPEN 7 DAYS 3167 RT. 9 SOUTH RIO GRANDE NJ 08242 (NEXT TO AVALON COFFEE) 609-463-0606 www.greenstreetmarket.com email: email@example.com
23 July 2012
t s e d l O s ’ y e Ma
! n r e v a T t s
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C-View Inn Texas Avenue & Washington Street Cape May • (609) 884-4712
Oyster Bay STEAKS
The most unique cafe in Cape May!
A classic copper bar, a great martini list, and modern American cuisine.
ng Servi ic n Orga ade em Hom fast & k Brea Daily! h Lunc Vegan & Vegetarian Friendly
What more could you want?
Organic Fruit Smoothies Iced Coffee & Teas
FIND US ON
FREE WiF i Hot (with Spot purc hase
Pet Friend ly Outdoor Seating
ALL food is vegetarian, vegan, organic, local, made to order and DELICIOUS!
Coffee House & Organic Market
479 West Perry Street West Cape May 884-1131
(609) 884-2111 615 LAFAYETTE STREET, CAPE MAY exit zero
24 July 2012
The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe
Price range of entrées
Bar or BYOB?
Should I book?
Food for kids?
B, L, D
$15-$45 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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-butelegant bar with access to the oceanfront patio. Check out the antique-filled lobby first.
AVALON COFFEE 7 Gurney St, Cape May, 898-8088 & 3823 Bayshore Rd, N. Cape May (609) 846-0040
Superior coffee that’s always fresh, and healthy food that’s perfect for breakfast and lunch. Firstclass wraps, sandwiches and bagels, along with a good range of smoothies and cold drinks.
$3-$8 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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.
$24-$30 Cards: V, MC, D
BACKSTREET 600 Park Boulevard (609) 884-7660 www.backstreetcapemaynj.com
Downhome cooking, a laidback vibe and superior desserts in this gem of a place, a few minutes from Cape May. They have plenty of free parking and delicious nightly specials.
$13-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE
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.
B, L, D
$5-$25 Cards: V, MC, D
BEN AND JERRY’S 414 Washington St. Mall, Cape May (609) 884-3040 www.benjerry.com
There’s ice cream, and then there’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Centrally-located on the mall, it’s a great spot to take a break from shopping and peoplewatch for a spell.
$3-$7 Cards: V, MC, D
THE BLACK DUCK 1 Sunset Boulevard (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.
$15-$28 Cards: V, MC
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.
B, L, D
$12-$36 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
THE BOILER ROOM 251 Beach Avenue, (609) 884-8422 www.congresshall.com
Congress Hall’s chic basement nightclub – all bare metal and brickwork – has an assortment of great music on the weekends and a cool vibe. Say hello to Shane the bartender!
Cards: V, MC, AE, D
BONNIE’S TOPPINGS 315 Ocean Street Cape May www.bonniestoppings.com
The ultimate DIY experience - grab a frozen yogurt and have at the endless array of toppings. For a tasty treat that’s distinctly yours, get to Bonnie’s Toppings.
$2-$6 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
THE BROWN ROOM 251 Beach Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-8422 www.congresshall.com
Congress Hall’s lovely lounge is called Cape May’s Living Room for a reason. The decor is elegant but casual, the drinks are great, the staff is cool, and the place just says “classy.”
Bar Menu & Cocktails
Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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.
B, L, D
$8-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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 BREWING CO. 1288 Hornet road, Cape May Airport 609-849-9933 www.capemaybrewery.com
Hooray! A local microbreweringfeaturing great beers hand-crafted in small batches from the finest ingredients. Stop by to taste your new favorite.
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25 July 2012
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Great food, great drinks and great music...
Paradise found... Good Food Friendly Atmosphere Waterfront Dining Awesome Sunsets! Serving Lunch & Dinner Daily Live Music Nightly Free Parking
...are always guaranteed.
106 Decatur Street @ Columbia Avenue Cape May
91 Beach Drive, North Cape May
(609) 886-5529 www.harpoonhenrys.net
(609) 884-8363 www.merioninn.com
26 July 2012
The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe
Price range of entrées
Bar or BYOB?
Should I book?
Food for kids?
Health Food Store
Cards: V, MC, AE, D
$5-$27 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
$12-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
$12-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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.”
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.
THE CARRIAGE HOUSE 1048 Washington Street At the Emlen Physick Estate (609) 884-5111
The Carriage House offers everything from hearty wraps, salads, quiche and paninis to classic teas. Best of all maybe is the location – the gorgeous Emlen Physick Estate.
COPPER FISH 416 Broadway West Cape May (609) 898-1555
Chef Geoff Johnson’s popular Copper Fish is under new management, at a beautiful new site – Broadway and Sunset. As usual, Geoff’s concoctions are fun and creative.
$24-$32 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
CORINTHIAN YACHT CLUB 1819 Delaware Avenue (609) 884-8000 www.cyccm.com
For a truly unforgettable wedding experience — or any big event, for that matter, check out the Corinthian Yacht Club. Harbor view plus excellent cuisine equals obvious choice.
Special Event Venue
Please call for more info
CUCINA ROSA 301 Washington Street Mall (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-butcasual surroundings.
$12-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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!
$4-$18 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
DEPOT MARKET CAFÉ 409 Elmira Street Cape May (609) 884-8030
New owners 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.
B, L, D
$6-$14 Cash Only
THE EBBITT ROOM 25 Jackson Street, (609) 884-5700 www.virginiahotel.com
With the remarkable cooking of chef Lucas Manteca, there’s even more reason than usual to visit. Sublime concoctions, a romantic setting, great wine list, and a beautiful porch!
$26-$33 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
ELLIE’S BAKERY 301 North Broadway, West Cape May (609) 884-4007
A from-scratch, small-batch bakery that uses only real and fresh ingredients in all their decadent baked goods, Ellie’s is a sweet tooth’s best friend.
$1-$30 Cards: V, MC
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.
$5-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
410 BANK STREET 410 Bank Street (609) 884-2127 www.410bankstreet.com
After 25 years, it’s still one of Cape May’s finest restaurants. Serving food that’s as brilliant and creative as ever – Chef Sing’s menu is a culinary work of art. A must-visit.
$25-$37 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
FRESCOS 412 Bank Street (609) 884-0366 www.frescoscapemay.com
From the same owners of 410 Bank Street, this restaurant wins awards for its Italian food every year for a reason. This is authentic cuisine served in a beautiful location.
$18-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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27 July 2012
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AT C A P E M AY P O I N T 500 CAPE AVENUE Gourmet Coffee Housemade Baked Breads and Sweets Housemade Gelato Outdoor Dining Groceries Gifts Newspapers (Including Exit Zero)
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Daily First Seating for Dinner 5-6pm Happy Hour - Monday to Friday 3-6pm
Serving Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Our On The Go Menu From 7:30am till 2:30pm General Store and Small Bites 7:30am To 8:30pm
7 Ocean Street at the Inn of Cape May 609.884.5555 | www.innofcapemay.com
LITTLE ITALY II RISTORANTE
Home-cooked food that satisfies your family and your wallet!
A Local Café with ... a Wholesome Aroma
Monday Prime Rib Night
BREAKFAST 7 ‘TIL 2:30 LUNCH 11:30-2:30PM SAT & SUN 7-3 DINNER FROM 5PM
Tuesday Pizza Night
Large 2 Topping Pizza $10.99 + tax
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
406 N. Broadway, West Cape May 609.884.6332 • www.bellavidacafe.com
Wednesday Fish & Chips Night All-You-Can-Eat $9.95 + tax
Thursday Pasta Night All-You-Can-Eat $9.95 + tax
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 28 July 2012
The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe
Price range of entrées
Bar or BYOB?
Should I book?
Food for kids?
GECKO’S Carpenter’s Square Mall Cape May (609) 898-7750
On a balmy summer night there’s nothing quite like Gecko’s in Cape May. Serving superb southwestern food, including great vegeterian fodder, on a tropical-vibed patio.
$8-$24 Cards: V, MC
GODMOTHER’S Broadway & Sunset (609) 884-4543 www.godmothersrestaurant.com
Excellent downhome Italian food, just like your mama, or your grandma, or your aunt would make. Reasonably priced and great for a family dinner.
$12-$28 Cards: V, MC
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.
Health Food Store
Varies Cards: V, MC, D
HARBOR VIEW 954 Ocean Drive (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. Spend the day – or night.
B, L, D
$6-$30 Cards: V, MC
HARPOON HENRY’S Beach Drive and Browning (609) 886-5529 www.harpoonhenrys.net
It’s become famous for its sunsets. There is no better place to sip on a cold beer or a funky iced cocktail, listening to fun live music, and watching a beautiful day slip away.
$10-$21 Cards: V, MC, D
HARRY’S Madison & Beach Avenue (609) 884-6113 www.harryscapemay.com
The Hirsch family relaunched their restaurant at the Montreal Inn. It successfully mixes a friendly, family feel with a stylish oceanfront vibe. And there is an indoor AND outdoor bar.
B, L, D
$8-$24 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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. Open daily from 11am to 7pm. Enjoy wines by the glass and gourmet snacks!
$5-$34 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
HEMINGWAY’S 1045 Beach Avenue (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.
B, L, D
$15-$38 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
HIGHER GROUNDS 479 W. Perry St., West Cape May (609) 884-1131 highergroundscapemay.com
The only fair trade coffee house in town, Higher Grounds is also the only organic and vegan cafe in Cape May. It’s a wifi hotspot, and also offers great garden seating.
B, L, D
$5-$15 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
HOTDOG TOMMY’S Jackson Street @ Beach (609) 884-8388 www.hotdogtommys.com
If there are better dogs at the Shore, we’ve yet to hear. Tommy and Mary Snyder are hot dog jedi warriors. Their menu is creative and as healthy as hot dogs get!
$1.40-$4 Cash Only
ISLAND GRILL 311 Mansion Street Cape May (609) 884-0200
The interior design and menu concoctions are similar – Caribbean-influenced and very, very colorful. The sauces and combinations are creative and delectable.
$13-$26 Cash Only
ITALIANO’S 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 898-2200
Sometimes, only pizza will do. And Italiano are masters. They also have hoagies, salads and wraps, and offer FREE delivery.
$5-$12 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
LA VERANDAH 107-113 Grant Street, Cape May (609) 884-5868 www.hotelalcott.com
The ambience at this restaurant in the Hotel Alcott may be High Victorian, but the fare is delicious, contemporary American. A superb, three-star restaurant with an attentive staff.
$19-$32 Cards: V, MC, AE
THE LOBSTER HOUSE Fisherman’s Wharf, (609) 884-8296 www.thelobsterhouse.com
Take-out, fish market, restaurant, raw bar, breakfast, dinner... The Lobster House has it all. Drinks on the Schooner American before dinner is a lovely experience.
B, L, D
$5-$48.50 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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29 July 2012
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DINNER NIGHTLY FROM 5PM Reservations Accepted • Cash Only Free Parking • Catering Available Contemporary cuisine with a Caribbean flair.
Uncle Bill’s & FAMILY RESTAURANT Open Everyday!
Outdoor Seating! BEACH AVENUE & PERRY STREET, CAPE MAY (609) 884-7199
For Catering Call Carol 609-408-0612
311 Mansion Street • 884-0200
Freshest Ingredients Fantastic Specials Friendly Atmosphere Reservations Recommended 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May • (609) 884-7660 • www.backstreetcapemaynj.com
30 July 2012
The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe
Price range of entrées
Bar or BYOB?
Should I book?
Food for kids?
$6-$22 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
For tables of eight or more
B, L, D
$19-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
$19-$44 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
$15-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
LUCKY BONES 1200 Route 109, (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 (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, 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.
MARTINI BEACH 429 Beach Avenue Cape May (609) 884-1925
A lively nightspot with a friendly vibe, great Mediterranean dishes, and a panoramic oceanfront view. It’s also the place that brough tapas to Cape May – go ahead and share!
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.
$18/Mrkt Cards: V, MC, AE, D
MONTREAL LIQUOR STORE Beach and Madison Avenues (609) 884-6114 www.montrealinn.com
Browse their incredible selection of wines from Cape May County and around the world. Liquors, spirits, beers, snacks and beach needs, too. Your cure for Empty Glass Syndrome.
Cards: V, MC, AE, D
OCEAN VIEW Beach & Grant Avenues (609) 884-3772 www.oceanviewrestaurant.com
A large and very reliable menu at this oceanfront staple. Classic diner food, and very reasonably priced. A locals’ favorite, and you know that is always a good sign.
B, L, D
$9-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
OYSTER BAY 615 Lafayette Street (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.
$12-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
PETER SHIELDS 1301 Beach Avenue, (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.
$22-$39 Cards: V, MC, D
THE PILOT HOUSE 142 Decatur Street (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.
$5-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
THE RED STORE 500 CapeAvenue, Cape May Point (609) 884-5757
Awesome food in a secluded, serene setting. Join them for a scrumptious breakfast, grab a coffee and muffin, or relax on the porch with a delicious lunch.
$5-$15 Cash Only
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.
$6-$20 Cards: V, MC, AE
RIO STATION 3505 Route 9 South Rio Grande (609) 889-2000
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.
$13-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
RUSTY NAIL Beach Avenue between Jackson and Perry (609) 884-0017
The local legend is back and it’s better than ever. The relaunched Nail, now part of the Congress Hall group, is beachfront dining at its best. Eat with your toes in the sand!
B, L, D
$10-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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31 July 2012
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Eat good, feel good. An extensive selection of organic produce, groceries, dairy, bulk, vegan foods, wheat and gluten-free foods and items, organic meats, organic juices, teas, supplements, homeopathics, baking goods, chocolate and sweets, literature, organic pet food and supplies, baby products, health and beauty items and more. LOCAL grass-fed, hormone & antibiotic-free, free range FRESH beef cuts and chicken. LOCAL eggs, LOCAL honey, LOCALLY grown produce. We support LOCAL farming. Registered dietician on weekends for free information and consultations. OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK, 9am-7pm 120 PARK BOULEVARD WEST CAPE MAY (609) 884-3200 Capemayorganicmarket@gmail.com
The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe
Price range of entrées
Bar or BYOB?
Should I book?
Food for kids?
B, L, D
$8-$20 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
$4-$12 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
Cards: V, MC, AE, D
B, L, D
$18-$35 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
SEASALT RESTAURANT 1035 Beach Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-7000 capemayoceanclubhotel.com
Whether you want to salsa on Latin night or chill poolside at the Tiki Bar, have a fabulous meal or book a spectacular event, it’s SeaSalt Restaurant at the Ocean Club.
SEASIDE CHEESE COMPANY 600 Park Boulevard (609) 884-8700 www.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?
TISHA’S FINE DINING 322 Washington Street Mall Cape May (609) 884-9119
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, PLUS breakfast and lunch!
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.
$2-$5 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
TURDO VINEYARDS & WINERY 3911 Bayshore Road, N. Cape May (609) 884-5591 www.turdovineyards.com
Turdo is a family-run, award-winning vineyard and winery, which is also the only one in New Jersey that is run on 100% solar energy. See what all the buzz is about.
$15-$31 Cards: V, MC, AE
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.
$12-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
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!
$2.25$36.95 Cards: V, MC, AE
UNCLE BILL’S PANCAKES Beach Avenue & Perry Street Cape May (609) 884-7199
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.
$4-$9 Cash Only
UNION PARK Beach Avenue & Howard (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.
$18-$35 Cards: V, MC, AE
VINCENZO’S LITTLE ITALY II 3704 Bayshore Road North Cape May (609) 889-6610
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!
$8-$20 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
WASHINGTON INN 801 Washington Street (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.
$18-$34 Cards: V, MC, AE, D
WILLOW CREEK WINERY 168 Stevens St., 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.
$6 and up Cards: V, MC, AE, D
ZOE’S 715 Beach Avenue Cape May (609) 884-1233
Zoe’s has large portions at affordable prices. Plus one of the best vegetarian selections in town. And they have a great patio if the weather is nice... bring Fido!
$4-$12 Cash Only
u Onsite parking
Handicap accessible exit zero
U Dog-friendly patio
A Cape May tradition for over 30 years!
Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • Cocktails
19 Jackson Street, Cape May (609) 884-5970 www.madbatter.com
The trouble with eating Italian food
...is that five or six days later you’re hungry again. — George Miller
898-9800 | 301 Washington Street Mall & Perry Street www.cucinarosa.com
34 July 2012
QUICK CHAT COHWEN ALLEN, OWNER OF COHWEN’S INK EMPORIUM
Creating a beautiful body of work
HEN you get to Cohwen’s Ink Emporium on Bayshore Road in Villas, you are greeted by a sign on the door that reads as follows: This is not a rest stop. If you’re not getting a tattoo or piercing, keep it moving. Another posted near the reception desk, manned by receptionist/tattoo-artist-in-training Amy Yearicks, announces Prices that piss off the competition. Stern words, but hard to take seriously when you meet the amiable proprietor, one Cohwen Allen, 39 (but doesn’t look it), and his other
Judge not “I’ve already
talked to my kids about the fact that some parents won’t let their kids play with them because of the way I look. That may not be fair, but it is what it is,” says Cohwen Allen. Aleksey Moryakov
artist, Black Jack Nugent. (Both men happen to be members of the Christian Motorcade Association, and Black Jack is vice-president.) We sat down with Cohwen — right there in the leather, dragon-festooned tattooing chair — to chat about trends in ink, fending off stares, and how cleanliness is next to godliness. Obvious question first – how many tattoos do you have? Honestly, I don’t know the exact number. Over 70. Do you have a favorite? Probably the ones on my neck. The cardinal represents my dad — that was his favorite
35 July 2012
bird. The blue jay represents my mom — it was her favorite. And the mixed up one in the middle is me. How long have you been doing this? Been tattooing for 21 years. What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? Probably landscaping. I love flowers, trees — I love designing and making things look nice. Is Cohwen your real name? It’s so unusual. My mom was cool. She just passed away in January — both my parents are gone now, as well as a few of my brothers and sisters – I was one of ten. And yes – Cohwen is my real name.
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“I won’t do someone who wants racial slurs or gang-related stuff. It’s not about the money here — it’s about the art and it’s about the tradition.” Now you have two children – what happens when they come to you and say they want a tattoo? I’ll tattoo them myself, but they have to wait until they’re 18. Tattooing has really exploded in the past couple of years — there are even TV shows. What does that mean to you? It’s REALLY blown up. That’s good and bad — good for business, but bad because anybody can hang up a sign and call themselves a tattoo artist. Any particular trends in tattooing of late? It seems like 2012 is the year of words. Lots of song lyrics, lots of biblical phrases, which I don’t mind because I am a Christian. Why do you think that is? People see celebrities with a certain tattoo in a certain spot, and they’ll walk in with a picture and say, ‘I want this.’ I can’t — and won’t — do that, though, because most original design tattoos are protected by copyright. I won’t steal someone else’s work. What are the most and least painful spot to get tattooed? Least painful is between shoulder and elbow. The top of my head is tattooed, and that was really painful; my eyes were swollen and I had a migraine for three days. The side of my head, for some reason, was cake. Do you get people wanting a tattoo or piercing late at night who may have had a little too much to drink? We won’t tattoo anyone who is obviously intoxicated. One, because we don’t want them waking up the next regretting it, and two, because alcohol thins the blood and makes them bleed excessively. Is your wife tattooed? Yes, she has a couple. I like tattoos on a woman — I find them sexy. If it’s done right, that is. Do you think more women are getting tattooed now? Yes, and women are more likely to go for words. Things like ‘Love Hurts,’ ‘Forever Young,’ ‘Crazy Bitch’. I don’t mind doing words, but I’d rather do pictures. I’m an artist, not a writer. What do you think your kids will take away from the experience of having tattooed parents? I think they’ll learn not to judge a book by its cover. My kids are in Catholic school, and I’m a cub scouts leader. I’ve already talked to my kids about the fact that some parents just won’t let their kids play with them because of the way I look. That may not be fair, but it is what it is. We got them a book, My Mommy Has A Tattoo. It’s an excellent book —you should read it. The oldest person you ever tattooed? An 81-year-old woman. Have you ever refused to tattoo someone (who’s sober)? Sure. I won’t do someone who wants racial slurs or gang-related stuff. It’s not about the money here — it’s about the art and it’s about the tradition. I also always try to talk young people out of tattooing places like their neck or hands, especially if it’s their first one. Why? Because I know that it’s going to be tough for them to get a job. I’m very conscious of where I place tattoos on people. I wouldn’t be able to get a job pumping gas at Wawa. And I know that when I walk into Wawa, some people are staring at me because they are disgusted, and others because they like the artwork. What do you say to those who think that by tattooing yourself this way, you are inviting that judgment? I understand it, and I do believe my body is a temple. But to me it’s not much different than the way you dress, the way you wear your make-up. To people who judge me, I say, ‘You decorate your temple the way you want, and I’ll decorate mine the way I want.’
36 July 2012
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37 July 2012
cape may’s best-kept secret IF VISITING THE HARBOR IS NOT ONE OF YOUR TOP PRIORITIES WHILE ON CAPE ISLAND... IT SHOULD BE Story by DIANE STOPYRA
E HAVE a friend who’s turning 100 years old in 2013. A friend who was born during a desperate time in Cape May — when businesses struggled to turn a profit, homes were abandoned, and vacationers lusted more for the novelty of Atlantic City than the Victorian aesthetic of Cape Island. Our friend helped to change all of that. It may seem strange to refer to the Cape May Harbor as a friend, but not when you consider all that it’s done for our town since 1903. This is the year William Flinn, a power broker from Pittsburgh and founder of the Cape May Real Estate Company, began dredging the 500 acres of creek-crossed marshes that are now the harbor — one of the safest inlets on the east coast. Flinn planned on using the dredging spoils to develop the marshy land of East Cape May. The revival of the island would follow; Atlantic City would be no match for the posh golf courses and yacht clubs envisioned for this space. But this was not meant to be. The Hotel Cape May (later the Christian Admiral), and a Georgian “summer cottage” built by the company’s president (read: Peter Shields), were constructed during this time. But the former closed after six months due to financial problems, and the owner of the latter lost his son in a tragic accident shortly thereafter. Add to this the sinking of the Pittsburgh, the East Cape May project’s main dredge, and the eventual bankruptcy of the company… and all was feeling fairly desperate. At least, this was the case until the US Navy took an
IT’S A KEEPER The dredge Pittsburgh, above, works to carve out the new harbor, a centerpiece of the East Cape May project in 1903. Don Pocher Right: The harbor is an excellent place to learn paddle boarding, according to Jeff Martin from Aqua Trails, because there isn’t the constant wave action of the ocean. Here, a father/daughter team go for a paddle in front of the US Coast Guard base. Frank Scott Previous pages: The harbor at sunrise on a summer morning. Frank Scott
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interest in the harbor. By 1915, World War I was one year in, and the access the harbor provided to the Delaware River made it valuable. The US Navy began making its own improvements before establishing two facilities here. Eventually, the harbor would become a haven for mariners in distress, a hot-spot for rum runners during prohibition, a home base for the second-largest commercial fishing port on the east coast, and the impetus behind a new pastime — recreational fishing. Today, the banks of the harbor are home to everything from eateries to a waterskiing school to the New Jersey Training Center Cape May, the US Coast Guard’s only basic training facility. There is even an exclusive yacht club — the Corinthian Yacht Club — offering a full social and sailing schedule, just as Mr Flinn had hoped. But for many who drive over the bridge, the Harbor is only an afterthought to a beachfocused vacation. But these people are missing out one of the greatest recreational outlets Cape May has to offer. Here, we highlight some of the Harbor’s most exciting, all too often overlooked, activities.
all together now The Cape May Harbor is a “recreational common area” according to Jeff Martin. Here, kayakers on a six mile trek make their way by sailboats that have launched from the Corinthian Yacht Club. Frank Scott
SOUTH JERSEY MARINA We stopped in to see Mark Allen, assigned to the Marketing Department of South Jersey Marina, in his office above the Marina’s Ship’s Store — a building where, legend has it, Sally Star used to live in the fifties and sixties. “You know Sally,” Mark said, “she had the children’s program in Philadelphia, and all the guys were hot for her.” Good to know, but we were more interested in all the things that make water-lovers hot exit zero
for South Jersey Marina. First, there’s the Strictly Boater’s Boat Show, which happens every year in the spring. “If you’re coming for funnel cake and face painting,” Mark said, “this is not the show for you. We market for actual boaters.” Meaning? If you are licensed to drive a boat, you get in for free. Approximately fifteen vendors exhibit around thirty different models, all of which can be test-driven in open water. Then there’s the tournaments — the Annual South Jersey Shark Tournament, the Annual Viking/Ocean Showdown, and a yellowfin-focused tournament (whose name was still under development at the time of press). But it’s the Annual Mid-Atlantic $500,000 that is the pride and joy of the marina and, in many ways, of the entire New Jersey fishing industry. “Boat for boat, it’s the richest marlin and tuna tournament in the world,” Mark said. The prize money? Typically two million, $500,000 of which is kicked in by the marina itself. The big rewards make sense, considering how exclusive it is to compete — think $6,000 entry fee. And it’s worth it just for the party. “We spend $45,000 on booze,” said Mark. We even have it on good authority that Jimmy Buffet offered to play one year. “We get a lot of celebrities,” Mark told us, and no, he wouldn’t say who they are. “We’re primarily in the yacht-selling business,” Mark will tell you, but the marina’s offerings go far beyond this. Jump on a 45-foot party boat or speedy sportfishing boat not just to fish, but to search for dolphin (“You’ll get close enough to slap one,” Mark says, “but, wow, does their breath stink.”) Or watch Wildwood’s Friday night fireworks on the water, take
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your dog for a ride, or have a bachelor party, romantic cruise or private memorial service. When you’re ready to buy, the South Jersey Marina will help you choose a boat, which they’ll service at the Canyon Club Resort’s year-round service station, located yards away. “And when you’ve really got the fever,” Mark said, “we’ll set you up with one of these waterfront condos.” MISS CHRIS MARINA It wasn’t until 1980 that the Miss Chris Marina — docked only by commercial, passenger-carrying boats — became the Miss Chris Marina. (It started out as Buck’s Landing — a commercial fishing dock, and then it was Back Harbor Wharf — a restaurant, candy shop, and ice cream store.) But in 1980, a man by the name of Frank Speigl bought it, and named it for his wife, a woman called Christine. In 2002, the story could have taken a far less romantic turn, if it weren’t for Jeff Stewart. He had taken over the marina with a backer in 1993, and now this backer had the option of turning the space into condominium units. But Jeff bought the marina and stopped that from happening. Developers are still trying to take over his parking lot (“It’s worth one to two million dollars,” he told us), but he’s content with the way things are And how are things? “Fishing has changed over the years,” he told us. “You used to have the dyed-in-the-wool fisherman. Now, we still see the die-hards, but we also see the grandfather who shows up with his grandson. It’s wonderful.” It’s a sentiment echoed by Captain Chuck Hackett, who we found standing beside his sixty-five-foot boat, the SeaStar, docked at the Miss Chris. “I know one gentleman who boards three or four times a week, but rarely ever puts a line in the water. He just enjoys the social experience. The joy that people have… that’s why we still do this.” It’s a joy experienced by 100,00 people a year — that’s how many make their through the Miss Chris Marina. Not all of them are looking to fish; some come for the kayak rentals available here and the bird watching tours. Others come for the Cape May Whale Watcher. “Our boats are aluminum,” Jeff said, “and whales use acoustics, so they get a real good ping off of us. They know exactly where we are so they’re not afraid. They do barrel rolls 100 feet away.” UTSCH’S MARINA If you ask World War II vet Ernie Utsch what makes him most proud of his marina, he’ll point to his two boys, Ernie Jr and Charles, and tell you they’re “doing one heck of a job.” They took over the daily operations when Ernie’s wife — his “kindergarten sweetheart” — passed away. The marina has been a family operation for more than 50 years, since Ernie’s father made the move from the candy business in Philadelphia to the boat business here. He started with fourteen slips; now they’ve got more than 300. “We’re just a full-service family marina,” Ernie said. “No whistles or bows... kind of like a floating campground for folks who want to vacation on their boats.” (Ernie will be happy to tell you about the time Walter Cronkite and George Patton Jr. docked here.) In addition to the Tackle Shop and Ship’s Store the
“We’re just a fullservice family marina,” Ernie said. “No whistles or bows... kind of like a floating campground for folks who want to vacation on their boats.”
Utschs operate, they also rent space to several businesses, including East Coast Parasail (“One couple got hitched on one of their trips a couple of years ago,” Ernie Jr told us) and Hell Yeah Watersports. “We do wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakeskating, kneeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, and boogieboarding,” Captain Mario Bove told us. Then there’s the Cape May Whale and Research Center, which is new at Utsch’s this year. They run the only two research vessels in the state that allow members of the public on board. FISHERMAN’S MEMORIAL The Fisherman’s Memorial, a granite statue of a fisherman’s wife and her two children looking out over the waters of the Harbor, was erected just off of Delaware Avenue in 1988, to honor those who have lost their lives at sea. There are seventy-five names etched onto the statue, including that of Camillo Monichetti, a commercial fisherman who died in 1933. “He was my grandfather,” artisan Tony Hillman told us. “The memorial is a way to bring home the real cost of seafood.” Technically, the statue is maintained by the city, although the Garden Club of Cape May, Shade Tree Commission, Nature Center, Coast Guard, Lund’s Fisheries, members of a group called the Friends of the Fisherman’s Memorial, and John McNulty of Bayshore Landscaping have all taken an active role in its beautification by donating time and
45 July 2012
resources. Even the statue itself was designed by a local sixth grader. And Councilmember Jack Wichterman and his wife, Sue, have volunteered to weed the surrounding area on a number of occasions. “It’s a community project,” Sue said. AQUA TRAILS Aqua Trails — which offers nature and kayak tours and paddle boarding — is located at the Nature Center on the Cape May Harbor. “We’ll get onto some of secluded beaches here,” Jeff told us, “the ones no one ever goes to.” While Jeff has kayaked all over — up and down the east coast and as far as Costa Rica — he recognizes a special kind of appeal in the Cape May harbor. “It’s not just beautiful,” he said, “it’s a fantastic recreational common area.” The peoplewatching is as great as the nature watching, which is saying something. “We’ve seen harbor seals, dolphins, and rare migratory birds,” Jeff said. And this is something anyone can do. Aqua Trails hosts an advanced kayak camp in the Harbor for kids between the ages of 12 and 16, and they’ve had kayakers as old as… 86? “Our oldest kayaker was that age,” Jeff said, “and she did a full six-mile tour.”
YOUNG EXPLORERS The Nature Center of Cape May runs dozens of programs that educated AND captivate children. The center was established after a grass-roots protest against a restaurant and marina development on the site. Opposite page: The Fisherman’s Memorial overlooking the harbor was erected in 1988. “He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze and the billows of the sea were stalled,” the memorial’s engraving reads. Frank Scott
G THE NATURE CENTER In 1988, the area that is now home to the Nature Center was slated to become a restaurant and 300-slip marina. A grassroots effort to save this section of the harbor was born and, as a result, 17 acres were preserved with Green Acres
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funding. The Nature Center, according to Senior Naturalist Kim Hannum, came out of this. It started in 1992 with “a little trailer out back and just a few dedicated volunteers.” Today, the center — now under the wing of the New Jersey Audubon — hosts a number of educational programs ranging from salt marsh safaris to earth day clean-ups. For five dollars a person, Nature Center-goers can take part in guided walks, bike tours, family hikes and, new this summer, full moon campfires. “So many people turn up,” Kim told us. “We had a fiddler player at the last one.” The Nature Center, along with Mark Allen of South Jersey Marina, was integral in launching Harbor Fest, held every June. “In 2007,” Mark said, “abandoned boats were posing a threat to the ecology of the harbor, so this event started as a way to raise money for the clean-up. Now, it’s a combination of a block party and street festival, the best elements of each.” The center also partners with the Rutgers Cooperative Extension for work on horseshoe crab restoration, for example. And then there’s the summer camp for kids. “Children need a place where it’s okay to get dirty,” Kim said. “The harbor is the best-kept secret in town.” THE RESTAURANTS Beginning in 1939, Jess Laudeman operated The Cold Spring Fish & Supply Company from Schellinger’s Landing, on what we know today as Fisherman’s Wharf, aka the Lobster House docks. The company would become the largest seafood packager in the country helped, in part, by a new rail line meant to accommodate the fishing industry (it had
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now surpassed tourism as Cape May’s number one moneymaker). Jess also ran the small restaurant called Bateman’s here, before turning it over to his son, Wally… who renamed it The Lobster House before turning it over to his children, Keith and Donna Laudeman. Now, the brother/sister team runs The Cold Spring Fish & Supply Company, as well as the 550-seat restaurant/fish market/coffee shop/fishing schooner turned cocktail lounge/raw bar/Cape May institution. But there are other restaurants along the harbor that enhance the experience of being in Cape May for both locals and tourists. One is Wallace’s Harbourside Café, run by Bobby Wallace IV, a third generation restaurateur. We popped in to find Mary Jane Gretzula, a retired educator, and Dr Dominick Potena, Superintendent of Cape May schools, enjoying their eggs Benedict by the restaurant’s large picture windows. “If you have to have a business meeting,” Mary Jane said, “this is the place to do it. There’s something calming about watching the water and the sea grass blowing in the breeze.” Then there’s the Harbor View restaurant and marina, run by Captain Fred Ascoli who’s been fishing professionally since 1978. From the glassed-in second floor of his restaurant, guests watch the boating traffic in the harbor — including the 200-foot Coast Guard cutters. “Everyone loves the sunsets,” Fred told us, “although it’s a great spot for perfect double and triple rainbows, too.” But it’s Mayer’s Bar & Restaurant — an undisputed holein-the-wall in a town steeped in fine dining options — that might just be the most talked-about establishment on the island. One local fisherman warned us about the bar’s pecking
“This crowd has too much respect for [owner] Bruce Axelsson to start any trouble,” she told us. “He’ll never let a broke fisherman go hungry.”
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order. “There’s a spot for captains, and a spot for mates,” he said, “and you don’t sit there unless you’re invited.” Just more confirmation of what we’d heard in the past — Mayer’s is the stomping grounds of a rough crowd of fishermen, and if you go there, you should be prepared for trouble. But what we saw when we showed up was a far cry. We took a seat next to Tom and Carl — two shark fishermen who wouldn’t give us their last names. “Sure, men get a little tuned up when they’ve been out at sea for days, surrounded by nothing but testosterone,” Carl said, “but we’ve never seen any incidents here.” Nothing. Not once. In fact, all they could talk about was how good the scallops are. So we asked bartender Toni (again, no last name) about the bar’s badass reputation. “This crowd has too much respect for [owner] Bruce Axelsson to start any trouble,” she told us. “He’ll never let a broke fisherman go hungry.” We spotted Bruce on the other end of the bar, so we sidled up next to him. He told us that the Mayer’s building is 72 years old, and that he and his brother (who runs the nearby Captain’s Cove restaurant) purchased it in 1974. Is the clientele the trouble-making sort, we wanted to know? “No,” Bruce said. “It might have that reputation because it’s a fisherman’s bar, but that’s what I wanted. There may be some snobs in Cape May who won’t take the guys off of the boats; I take the guys off of the boats.” And the secret to the locally famous scallops? “They’re fresh.” But it’s time to sell, Bruce told us. “I’m 68 and I’m tired. When someone buys Mayer’s, I’ll miss it, but I’ll still visit the guys on the docks every chance I get.”
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get cracking From the Lobster House’s Raw Bar, you watch the boats responsible for the the catch on your plate... and some pretty great sunsets. Rachel Hulin
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my perfect day VIVIANE ROWAN, OWNER OF WHITE
Rollerblading, seaglass and piano music
Y PERFECT day would start as a sunny and 80-degree summer day. I would grab my rollerblades, (so ’80s!) and skate on the promenade for about an hour while listening to my son Brandon’s electronic music on my iPod. I would scan the surf looking for pods of dolphins while I blade. I have loved rollerblading on the oceanfront in Cape May for 19 years and don’t expect to ever stop. The sounds of the waves and seagulls instantly bring a smile to my face. I would then go back to my home, Seaglass Cottage, and sit on the porch with a glass of homemade pomegranate suntea. My family would head over to George’s Place for breakfast and I would order the breakfast wrap special (with
bacon), which would surprise no one. Then we would take our bikes and head to Sunset Beach, stopping on our ride down Sunset Boulevard to stand in line to pick up fresh-baked brick oven bread from Elizabeth Degener. Then we’d ride all over West Cape May, down to Poverty Beach and back home again. Then I’d head to the beach at Congress Street with my Kindle, husband Ken, and sons, Jordan and Brandon. After reading a good novel, I would take a walk on the beach. Perfection would be finding the largest, deepest turquoise piece of seaglass that was ever discovered in Cape May. As an added bonus I would also find a rare orange piece of glass! After a glorious day on the beach with friends and family we would return home for showers. We would then have exit zero
A TIME TO RELAX “The gently whirring fans and the horse and carriages traveling up Jackson Street transport us to an easier, calmer era,” says Viviane Rowan, pictured at her new White store on Ocean Street. Aleksey Moryakov
51 July 2012
neighbors and friends stop by for a happy hour visit. For dinner, we would head to the Peter Shields Inn for a wonderful meal in an exquisite setting while gazing at the ocean. After dinner, we’d head over to Cape May Stage to see one of Roy Steinberg’s excellent and personal productions. After the show, it’s off to the Virginia Hotel to have a “perfect day” celebratory glass of champagne on the porch. Listening to Paul Sottile play my favorite jazz standards on the piano adds to an already incredible day. The gently whirring fans and the horse and carriages traveling up Jackson Street transport us to an easier, calmer era. And although I would never want the day to end, I would have to finally rest up for the next busy day at my shop, White.
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ARTS ANOTHER STAR-STUDDED SHOW PREPARES TO OPEN AT CAPE MAY STAGE
A “furiously funny” new classic
OY Steinberg has absorbed some historic heritage in the four years since he joined Cape May Stage as Artistic Director. Like a Victorian collector, he gathers the world’s treasures and puts them on display at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse. For God of Carnage (June 20-August 3), by French playwright Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, Steinberg has gathered four diverse performers who bring high wattage star power to town, blending technical talent, good humor and a splash of soap opera sizzle. God of Carnage, billed as “a comedy
Story by Catherine Dugan
of manners without the manners,” won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play. The “furiously funny” one-act show tells the story of two couples meeting to discuss a playground fight involving their sons. The characters are tense, but civilized, at the start, and, as they play unfolds, the facade of civility crumbles, and parenthood is portrayed as a dangerous adventure. All four stars jumped at the chance work with Steinberg. Acting on stage is a “new adventure every time” says Justin Deas. “All Roy had to do was ask.” Fiona Hutchison trusts Steinberg to guide them past that point of “excruciating pain” that occurs in every production. She has worked with him before, and it didn’t take much convincing to get her to agree to a summer at the shore. Michelle Eugene has “wanted to do God of Carnage since I exit zero
heading for the beach Actress Michelle Eugene, one of the stars of God of Carnage, is heading to Cape May Stage’s Robert Shackleton Playhouse from the Media Theatre in Philadelphia. She is looking forward to walks on Cape May’s beaches “in the early morning, before it gets crazy hot.”
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first saw it on Broadway,” and John Viscardi was equally amenable. He recalls a time he asked Steinberg to direct a play. Although Viscardi had little more than a title — Naked from the Waist Down — “Roy immediately said, ‘I’m in!’” and Viscardi is glad to return the favor. Michelle Eugene is an accomplished actress who has appeared in Spinning into Butter at the Montgomery Theater, Amadeus at The Wilma Theatre, and the City Theatre Company production of The Vagina Monologues. She comes to God of Carnage from Philadelphia’s Media Theatre production of Spring Awakening, where she is playing the female adult roles. “It will be an odd shift, to go from five roles and costume changes” to one role. But Eugene is exceptionally adaptable — she did some acting in college, where she earned a clas-
sical voice degree before studying speech pathology. When she noticed her favorite patients were actors, acting crept back into her life. She spent some time in the Actors Studio’s MFA program and learned how to make her voice viable for musical theater, yet when she’s she’s not acting, Eugene still sees patients. She looks forward to walks on Cape May’s beaches, “in the early morning, before it gets crazy hot.” Eugene “starts with the technical preparation” and then lets the character “take me beyond what we see on stage.” She believes the intimacy of Cape May’s Robert Shackleton playhouse is well suited to the challenging play, which shows “parents under pressure to do the ‘right’ thing.” Justin Deas, who plays Eugene’s husband, agrees that God of Carnage presents an acting challenge. It’s not like the many Shakespearean roles he has tackled, because “you don’t have the poetry to lean on.” Deas had an early love of Shakespeare, and, as a boy, bought recordings to listen to Olivier tackle the Bard. In high school, when an injury took him out of athletics, he “followed the pretty girls to the green room” and joined the drama club. He was considering a career in medicine when
Although she visited Cape May on “the eve of a hurricane, complete with howling winds,” Hutchison looks forward to a summer spent on the beach with her teenage sons and two dogs
the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, VA beckoned, and thanks to their “outstanding” drama department, an actor was born. He left William and Mary for Julliard. Once in New York, he found his way to the stage, playing everything from Shakespeare — Hamlet, A Comedy of Errors, Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest — to Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart, to Grease. Deas also found a home on daytime television — he played Bucky Carter on Ryan’s Hope, Tom Hughes on As the World Turns, Keith Timmons on Santa Barbara, and Buzz Cooper on Guiding Light. Deas shares the record for Emmy awards — six — and he enjoys the respect of his peers. Just don’t expect him to invite his friends and family (he has three grown children) to see God of Carnage. “I don’t like to have people I know see me in shows,” he says. He prefers strangers, who “come up to you and tell you when they like your work, and if they don’t, they don’t say anything.” With people you know, on the other hand, “You don’t want to disappoint them.” They “might tell you what didn’t work,” if things don’t go well, “or they lie and you can tell they’re lying.” Although Deas is confident
in his acting, he agrees with a quote attributed to Laurence Olivier: “I’ve spent half my professional life in abject bloody terror! It’s what actors do.” Deas can’t escape all of his friends. He is godfather to the younger son of real-life married couple Fiona Hutchison and John Viscardi, who play Veronica and Michael Novak in the show. Hutchison looks forward to working with her husband on the play. “I get to really lash out at him” she says, laughing, and in real life, “we don’t tend to live in such a dark place,” preferring to focus on “the humor in life.” Hutchison is another veteran of daytime television — she was Gabrielle Medina on One Life to Live, Jenna Bradshaw on Guiding Light and Celia Frasier on As the World Turns. Hutchison began as a ballerina, studying with Natalia Makarova and Mikhail Baryshnikov before an injury ended her dance career. She is also an accomplished theater actress, with credits like Noel Coward’s Private Lives, Terra Nova, A Terrible Beauty, and An Ideal Husband. Hutchison currently enjoys playing “a cougar” on the web series, The Bay, “I get to seduce 21-year-olds. It’s really not fair.” Hutchison keeps many irons in the fire
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MARRIED TO THE STAGE Fiona Hutchison, left, a veteran of shows such as One Life to Live, Guiding Light, and As the World Turns, will appear in Cape May Stage’s God of Carnage with her husband John Viscardi, right, who has appeared in shows such as Law and Order and The Sopranos
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— together, she and Viscardi founded the Copake Theatre Company in upstate New York and Grundgie Productions, Inc. Although she visited Cape May on “the eve of a hurricane, complete with howling winds,” Hutchison looks forward to a summer spent on the beach with Viscardi, teenage sons Hutch and Trevor, and two dogs. The family has rented a home within walking distance to the theater, that comes complete with “tea sets on the wall” and a “sweet little closed-in garden.” She believes Cape May is well suited to the relaxed family and is delighted to be in a place with more than one tea room. Hutchison sounds like an expert on tea, and not just because of her charming accent — born in Miami to parents from the UK, she was raised in Jamaica and South Carolina. She has hosted a talk show, Tea with Fi, and her column for Upbeat Entertainment is called “Tea with Fiona.” Expect to see her enjoying a few cups with costar Eugene, who likes her tea ”green with roasted brown rice.” John Viscardi looks forward to performing with his wife — they met while acting together — and the rest of the cast, saying, “Justin is a hoot.” A New York
KEEPING A LOW PROFILE Justin Deas is a veteran Shakespearean actor who was also a regular on As the World Turns and Guiding Light, winning a record-equaling six Daytime Emmy awards. He won’t be inviting family and friends to watch him appear in God of Carnage at Cape May Stage’s Robert Shackleton Playhouse because “I don’t like to have people I know see me in shows.”
native who calls himself a “street urchin,” Viscardi was always outdoors as child, but the “closest I would get to grass and trees was Central Park.” He looks forward to enjoying Cape May with his active sons, whom he describes as “Felix and Oscar” though they “get along beautifully,” and he would not object if they chose to join the family business. He credits his mother with sparking a love of movies in him. “Mom took me to the movies all the time — even The Exorcist.” A list of goals he wrote
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in second grade, he says, includes a plan to “visit Hollywood to meet movie stars and see how they make movies.” His mother also introduced Viscardi to theater, but it was the words that interested him most — he majored in English at Columbia. He trained as an actor at the prestigious Circle Repertory Theatre Company, but he was “always writing, plays and scripts” even as he earned acclaim as a theater actor and in shows on Law and Order and The Sopranos. Viscardi created the role of Father Tony on One Life to Live and contributed more than 30 scripts a year for Guiding Light. He is delighted by the writing in the God of Carnage, calling it “hysterically funny.” The show reveals parenthood to be like a Victorian house in the midst of renovation. Behind the beautiful facade, there may be faulty wiring and leaky pipes. Under the direction of Roy Steinberg, and artists like Michelle Eugene, Justin Deas, Fiona Hutchison, and John Viscardi, the end result is a masterpiece. Cape May Stage will follow God of Carnage with another star-studded Broadway favorite, The 39 Steps, which opens August 8, in the hands of Emmy-award winning guest director Penny Bergman.
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the legend of davy’s lake WILD PARTIES, SPECIAL FINDS, AND MYSTERIOUS HAPPENINGS — DAVY’S LAKE HAS BEEN THE SOURCE OF MANY MEMORIES... FOR THOSE WHO KNOW WHERE TO LOOK. Story by DIANE STOPYRA
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HEY told us not to write this story. They told us not to give away the secret spot called Davy’s Lake. They even submitted a poem denying its existence. But then they threw up their hands. “Go ahead and write it,” they said. “Because no one will find it, anyway.” And who are they anyway? The grownup versions of skinny-dipping, fox-hunting, berry-picking adolescents who whittled away summer days forging new trails to Davy’s Lake through the holly, sassafras, and scrub oak adjacent to Higbee’s Beach, on the shore of the Delaware Bay. The ones who can tell you intimate details about algae and water that tastes like cedar. The ones who can’t show you pictures of their sandy haven because they either don’t have them (“We were too busy getting the first tan of the season to worry about cameras”) or
SWEET SERENITY Davy’s Lake is a great spot for quiet reflection... as long as you avoid the poison ivy. Be on the lookout for Coast Bedstraw while you’re there... it’s a non-woody plant unique to Higbee’s Beach. Sarah Platt Previous pages: The ferry can be seen from one of many high dunes surrounding Davy’s Lake. Sarah Platt
because they don’t want to share them. You see, those who’ve never been might not understand; Davy’s isn’t just a watering hole. For Cape May kids, it’s been the key piece to a collective coming-of-age. The story begins in 1905, the year the Cape May Sand Company built a plant at Sunset Beach. “My grandfather, Thomas Stevens, owned the company,” says Bob Fite, a self-proclaimed “lifer” of Cape May and the man who owned the Coloniel Hotel before it was the Inn of Cape May. “And he shipped sand, used largely in the manufacturing of glass, all over.” This, thanks to a railroad — The Delaware Bay, Cape May, and Sewell’s Point line — which ran parallel to the ocean. In 1910, the destination was the Panama Canal, where the hard sand of Higbee’s was needed to construct the canal’s heavy locks. An area 300 yards long and 90 yards wide just north of the plant was dug out, a freshwater spring was struck, and Davy’s Lake — named for plant employees David Wilkshire and S.
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Walter Davis — was born. The lake’s history is a rich one, and riddled with speculation. During World War I, the surrounding area of sand and old meadow sod was leased by the Bethlehem Steel Company and used as “proving ground” for testing ammunition. One resident found an artillery shell here in 1920 that he kept in his wood stove until his death. The US Navy Weapons Depot took possession of it then, safely exploding it… and creating a hole in the earth the size of a bus in the process. Past president of the now disbanded Cape May Geographic Society, Keith Saeger, brought us a 1952 bulletin which says that Signal Hill, the dune just north of the lake, once served as the vantage point from which ships were signaled in the Delaware Bay. For rumrunning during Prohibition, we wanted to know? “It’s likely,” said Ed Carson, branch head of the Lower Township Library. “This was an active area for that thing. The job of the Coast Guard
at this time was to police the coast.” Then, during World War II, the Northwest Magnesite Company opened where the sand plant had stood. Firebrick was needed at the front lines, the mineral magnesite was needed to make firebrick, and salt water was needed to make magnesite, so this bayside location was ideal, according to the US Office of War Production Management. It was ideal, also, for kids who were enjoying nearby Davy’s Lake. “We would walk around by the lake all night long, like wild Indians,” one local gentleman told us. “Then we’d sneak into the magnesite plant to scare people like spooks… goofy kid stuff.” Also during World War II, Cape May dug out its Canal, from the harbor to the Delaware Bay, in order to protect ships from attack by German U-boats. Senator Charlie Sandman suggested filling in Davy’s Lake with the leftover earth, but locals like now retired Lower Township teacher Jack Sayre took action. “We raised hell,” he told us.
bird’s-eye view This aerial view, shot in 1930, shows just how close the seahorse-shaped Davy’s Lake is to the Delaware Bay on one side, and the marshes of Pond Creek on the other. “There is a break in the dunes,” Eric Shrading of the US Division of Fish and Wildlife said. “There was a concern that Davy’s Lake would be breached by high tides, but no impact has been seen. There may be some salinity, but it’s mostly still freshwater.”
But it’s something altogether different for which Davy’s is remembered most — skinny-dipping. The earliest account we could find, published in Joe Jordan’s Cape May Point: The Illustrated History 1875 to the Present, came from a story written by Bob Grubb, a Cape May Point resident who died in 2008 at the age of 90. “It was a long time before we learned that some young girls had discovered our swimming hole and one day had been watching us from the bushes along the top of the dune,” Bob wrote. “We were about nine to 11 years old and I don’t know whether the thought of having been secretly seen by some young girls was humiliating — or titillating.” Other locals, like former mayor Bob Elwell, historian George Rea, and Jack Sayre remember the lake as a “buck bathing” hotspot, too. Bob Elwell: “As kids, we’d like to go to Signal Hill, the highest dune on this part of the shore, where we’d roast marsh-
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mallows and hot dogs. On the way to or from it, we’d stop at the lake because it was a remote little spot, out of the way. There was skinny-dipping, yeah sure. But you think I’m going to admit to it? No way. You know how kids do things. But I’m not admitting to it.” George Rea: “We’d skip school around Easter, when the water was getting warmer. We’d fill our canteens with it but it had this awful cedar taste — just awful — so we brought tablets to purify it. Or we’d swim to the bottom, where the spring was, take a mouthful, and come to the surface to swallow. Did we skinny dip? Sure we did. There was an area of the lake we called Duck’s Bill, because it was shaped like the bill of a duck, and it was the clearest section. I don’t know why, but the water there had a way of bleaching my hair, so that my mother could always tell when I’d skipped school.” Jack Sayre: “Back then, there were no televisions or iPods or these things that entertain you today. We made our
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own entertainment. All the kids knew about it — no bathing suits allowed. We played hooky from school to go buck bathing, but the teachers didn’t mind, because we’d capture snakes we found and supply the high school biology labs.” For high school-aged kids, Davy’s Lake was also a place to party, according to Jim Twombly, Jackie Atkins, Jane Blaszczyk, and Alexander Smida. Jim Twombly: “My father was a bartender in the late 40s. He and his friends would bring kegs and coolers, have bonfires, and have parties all night long.” Alexander Smida: “We’d carry six-packs to the beach in pillowcases over our shoulders. And we learned that if you took a couple of sand pikes made of PVC piping — that’s a New Jersey invention — pounded them into the sand and stuck your fishing rods in there, you could just pretend like you were fishing when the cops came around. Never mind that your cooler didn’t have squid in it. It was a good place to be bad… in an innocent kind of way.” Jackie Atkins: “I was a summer kid, and this was a local spot, but I was lucky because the kid down the block whose family owned Collier’s [Liquor Store] brought me there. It was a magical place, so wonderful to explore. Of course, there was a lot of marijuana.” Jane Blaszczyk: “We’d bring guitars and play music when we partied there. We were friendly with the cops. The police used to come and warn us when the police were coming.” For some — like David Sayre, Roy Baker, and Curtis Bashaw — what makes Davy’s Lake so intriguing is the adventure of the place. Encountering the wildlife… David Sayre: “I was almost born at Davy’s Lake; my parents were walking out there three days before I was born. I’ve spent the last four years going out there several times a week. There are swans quite often. I haven’t seen coyotes, though I’ve seen their tracks. I came across a dead porcupine once, and I think the coyotes killed it, because
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“We saw red fox. And pretty much everything natural to that area. And, depending on the amount of alcohol, any number of other strange things.”
it was gone except for the quills and bones. No one I know has ever heard of a porcupine in this area.” Roy Baker: “We saw red fox. And, depending on the amount of alcohol, any number of other strange things.” Jack Sayre: “I remember the osprey nest. I used to climb the low cedar and look at the babies, while the mother would try to scare me with her big talons the whole time.” Jane Blaszczyk: “Once, I accidentally brought a bat back with me. It had attached itself to my purse and I didn’t realize. It started flying around my bedroom, and I panicked, so I hit it in the head with my high heel.” George Rea: “We used to shoot hawks, but the bird people got on us about that. They had a law passed. It was quite a big deal.” Alexander Smida: “Turtles laid their eggs at the lake. You’d just be sitting there, maybe reading a book or kissing your girl, and suddenly something like that would be next to you. When the eggs would hatch, and the little guys would break out of their shells — gummy, rubbery things — you’d watch them head for the ocean.” Bob Fite: “At Christmas time, I used to harvest holly trees at the lake, but my fondest memory? I once went fishing there with two expert fishermen and, wouldn’t you know, it was me who caught the only two fish that day.” Jack Sayre: “We would catch frog legs, and then cook them on a
changing perspective Your Exit Zero staffers took a trip to Davy’s Lake, where we were taken aback by warped driftwood (top left), natural dunes (middle left) and the surrounding Pond Creek marshes (bottom left). Shots of the lake are on the right; even the legendary Exit Zero puppies were intrigued. Jason Black
fire. You say that’s gross; I say it’s the reason I’m ninety years old.” And discovering the fauna… George Rea: “We’d always pick beach plums there. Of course, you’d have to be careful, because when you pick beach plums, you get chiggers, little mites that itch you to death. Now you have Off and DEET, but back then, we put kerosene on our arms. With the beach plums we brought home, our mother’s would make jelly, and we’d have use it for peanut butter sandwiches.” Roy Baker: “I remember having stomach problems, because we’d eat more than we picked.” Curtis Bashaw: “Beach Plums were always ripe on Labor Day but, more importantly, this was a way to distract ourselves from the fact that summer was ending. You planned this elaborate activity — gathering, pitting, canning. Then, you made the jams. Sometimes, it came out too syrupy, and you’d use it on our pancakes, to warm up on a cold winter’s day. This was our transition from summer to fall.” And creating memories that will last long after Davy’s dries up... Alexander Smida: “We’d say we were going to watch the sunset, but that was, of course, euphemistic. This was a great make-out spot. The mosquitoes were like dive bombers, but that’s why you took the army blanket along, to cuddle underneath. It was a rite of passage, this place.” Jack Sayre: “The most scared I’ve ever been was at the top of Signal Hill. I was camping there when a massive thunder and lightning storm rolled in. And here we were in a tent. We stayed overnight, hoping we would make it out alive.” Roy Baker: “My family used to camp with another family there for a month every summer. It was so deserted, one of Cape May’s best-kept secrets. We hauled an old refrigerator down there, we got ice from the Lobster House docks, and that was our refrigeration system. We’d haul driftwood and cook over a fire. Oh, the joy of canned chicken. It’s evil. We had a blast.” David Sayre: “Kids would make
dune buggies. It would be a whole project; they’d take old Volkswagens, strip them down, and take them through the trails, over the dunes, whittling the hills down one trip at a time. Alexander Smida: The abandoned Corvaire — the one with the light blue steering wheel — is one of the puzzlements of Davy’s Lake. I don’t know if anyone knows how it got there or who was driving. Now, there’s not much of it left, and there are trees growing through it, so that if you don’t what you’re looking for, you might miss it. Roy Baker: “We wanted to see how early we could get the first swim in, so we went in February one year. The air temperature was in the upper 20s, the water in the 30s, but we dove in anyway, before walking all the way back to Seashore Road. We weren’t the brightest kids.” But not all Davy’s Lake memories are warm and fuzzy, according to Ralph Bakely. Some are just a bit… spooky. Ralph Bakley: “In the lake, there was an old dredge leftover from the sand plant. We used to dive off or it and play hide and seek in it. When we got tired, well, we were only a short distance from
Time gone by This map, circa 1980, was sent to us by a representative from DEP, to show what the peninsula looked like pre Davy’s Lake... when the lives of skinny-dipping kids across the island were just a little bit darker.
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where Mr Higbee’s grave was. We used to spend some time at night, seeing if we couldn’t catch his ghost walking around.” The coastal area between Pond Creek and New England Creek was once owned by Joseph S. Higbee — who built an inn here for weary travelers, not far from where the dirt parking lot sits today. When Joseph died in 1872, his brother, Thomas, inherited the area, and asked to be buried here upon his death, so that his neice, Etta, wouldn’t sell the land, and this is precisely what happened... Roy Baker: “Our parents would tell us horror stories about the magnesite plant eating little kids. It was their way of ensuring we wouldn’t go places we shouldn’t. But it never stopped us from spending some time, usually around midnight, telling stories of how Mr Higbee haunts the lake. Oh yeah, I was fully convinced of a haunting. We’d sneak out, and go walking through the woods, looking for his grave, scared to death.” Alexander Smida: “I always felt there was something compelling, yet creepy about Davy’s Lake. I’m not superstitious, but when I’m there, I experience a consciousness of people long gone, people from the 17th and 18th centuries. I loved
“So there is this story about the lake. The moonlight does funny things at night, I suppose, because it sure looks as though a human head is floating on top of the water.”
to go back that way, sit amidst the quiet of the dunes and listen. I keep a cigar box of Indian arrowheads I found around Davy’s Lake, from 2,000 and 3,000 years ago. It reminds me of the people who were… still are?... connected to this land. I’ve never seen apparitions, but I get an odd, creepy feeling.” Jackie Atkins: “So, there is this story about the lake. The moonlight does funny things at night, I suppose, because it sure looks as though a human head is floating on top of the water.” Davy’s Lake was purchased by the state in 1972, and swimming is no longer allowed. “That’s our policy,” said Jeff Golden, Regional Superintendent for South Jersey for the US Fish and Wildlife Management Service. “We manage the area for habitat restoration, as it’s an especially important migratory stopover for birds.” This means there are no longer homemade buggies riding through the dunes, there are no more skinny dipping parties, and even Signal Hill seems less imposing, as decades of storms have eroded the area’s highest peak. The lake seems to grow murkier and more grown over with each passing year. Some say it’s due to sediment from ducks. Some say it’s because the spoils from a Laky Lily dredging were dumped
here. Some say the 1962 nor’easter caused the bay to breach the dunes. Some say that’s just what happens when people stop swimming. And yet, the lake retains an enchanting quality. For those who’ve been, it’s difficult to capture in words what it is that makes Davy’s Lake so intriguing, what gives it that other-worldly feel we’ve heard described as “Lord of the Fliesesque.” Steven Platt: “Maybe it’s the solitude, or the intersection of two vastly different ecosystems… Listen to the ferry while the water from the bay hits the beach. Take in the seagulls, the wind-swept trees among the dunes, and this peaceful lake. The stress of life just goes away.” Alexander Smida: “Those of us who really appreciated what we found at Davy’s Lake are just a little bit different — and a little bit better off — because of it.” Curtis Bashaw: “It’s a hidden gem where you can have your own moment. When you’re there, you’re discovering something new. It’s similar to what Walden Pond was to Thoreau, with just a little more grit or texture. It’s seen it all — the recklessness of youth and also the more contemplative years of adulthood. It’s a magical spot.”
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cape may lighthouse
The all-new Exit Zero Store & Gallery 109 SUNSET BOULEVARD, CAPE MAY (across from Shell Gas) (609) 770-8479 exitzero.us Open daily 9am to 9pm
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cape may... through harriett’s eyes
THIS WILDLY ORIGINAL NEW SHOW AT SOMA IS A MUST-SEE
HEN you think Cape May artwork, what come to mind? Victorian buildings, the ocean, the beach. But Harriett Sosson wanted to bring a new vision in a new exhibit that’s a sort of homecoming. For the first time in her career, the show, at SOMA NewArt Gallery, features Cape May — only with a bit of a twist. “Vintage photos were a starting point for me,” Sosson says, “because they add texture and color to the pieces as only they can. They’re not polished or slick like photos you might see today.” From there, the artist adds elements of classical paintings to bring new life to the scenes. So you’ll find the Mona Lisa on the beach outside of Congress Hall having her palm read or Whistler’s mother sitting on the front porch of the Chalfonte Hotel nursing a martini. Story by TOM SIMS exit zero
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The stories unfold as iconic subjects from art history make guest appearances in snapshots of yesteryear. The two women from a John Singer Sargent piece stand on the porch with Whistler’s mother, seemingly gossiping about the martini-sipping old woman. The name of the work is “Gossips on the Porch,” and the story told is clear and whimsical. These pieces are not your traditional artist’s Cape May — they are a tribute to its quirkiness and historical significance all at once. Where else could work like this resonate with those who know and love the town? According to the artist, that is what they are supposed to do. “I didn’t want art that looked like a calendar or a bulletin board,” says Sosson. “I wanted the show to mean something to people who are lovers of Cape May. And by that I don’t simply mean locals. This show is for people who know this town and want more for its artwork than the pinks and blues and oceans and sand.” And why is the Mona Lisa having her palm read on the beach? Part of the fun in answering that is realizing that Cape May has an actual ordinance forbidding palm-reading on the beach. As quirky as it is to see a masterpiece subject sort of just hanging out in front of Congress Hall having her palm read, is it any less quirky than a town that would forbid it? Therein lies the beauty of this exhibit. It is a careful, deliberate tribute to Cape May that engages you with artful storytelling. The second portion of the exhibit memorializes a beloved magazine from Cape May called Pennywise, a precursor to Exit Zero. The covers consisted of collages of people-on-the-street-style photos that have become the hallmark of this magazine. Pennywise covers: what a perfect foundation for an artist who has become a master of the collage — and what a fitting tribute for the people and history of Cape May. These pieces are striking, almost haunting callouts from the past mingled with masterpiece snapshots. As your eye glances from now vintage photos of people who have enjoyed our beaches in recent years to a portrait of Mona Lisa holding a baby on the beach, it becomes clear. Truly the artistic value and beauty of everyday people captured in time by these simple photos can be as artistic as some exit zero
Why is the Mona Lisa having her palm read on the beach? Part of the fun in answering that is realizing that Cape May has an actual ordinance forbidding palm-reading on the beach. Therein lies the beauty of this exhibit. It is a careful, deliberate tribute to Cape May that engages you with artful storytelling.
CAPE MAY MOMENTS Above and right: Artist Harriett Sosson’s latest collages are a must-see for lovers of Cape May. Previous pages: Old periodicals, like the 19th century Cape May Wave and the legendary Pennywise, are given the Sosson treatment, to dramatic effect.
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of the world’s greatest works of art. Sosson is to be commended for having the vision and ability to put this across seemingly so effortlessly (when you know it took astounding effort in making this happen). In the Pennywise pieces, Sosson has explored a new range of depth with her collage work. Each photo of a beach-lover is treated as its own individual frame in a work that says as much in its composite as it does in its separate parts. Then interspersed with those images are those of classic and surreal imagery that at times jars your senses but ultimately engages them. The work reminds me of the film Dead Poets’ Society, where Robin Williams plays a private academy English teacher trying to teach his students about living life as well as dissecting verse. At one point, he takes them to the lobby of the academy where countless pictures of alumni are encased in large window display boxes. He compels the students to look at those crusty portraits, and as each one of the pictures passes by the screen he says (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Boys, these people are all dead by now. What does that tell you? Carpe Diem. You need to seize the day.” This was a riveting scene. Yet that scene was no less riveting than these pieces as you contemplate the seemingly endless images on the covers of Pennywise. These are people from 30 years ago who have since left our beaches, frozen in time when they were enjoying this great town. Sosson colors their world subtly and tastefully (the original covers were black and white) — to both draw and guide your eye gracefully. Seize the day indeed. Harriett Sosson’s exhibit opens with a reception June 23 at 6:00pm at SOMA, 31 Perry Street in Cape May. The gallery will also be opening shows that night for Cape May-based Sean Taylor (see page 92) and sculptor John Borrero, who works out of Philadelphia and New York. See the Exit Zero Facebook page for more details on all of these shows. exit zero
In the Pennywise pieces, Sosson has explored a new range of depth with her collage work. Each photo of a beach-lover is treated as its own individual frame... These are people from 30 years ago who have since left our beaches, frozen in time. Sosson colors their world subtly and tastefully.
pages from history Above and right: From Mona Lisa on the Cape May beach to more images from the Pennywise periodical, Harriett Sosson creates collages that inspire and delight in equal measures.
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my perfect day PARKER SMITH, LAWYER AND ELAINE’S DINNER THEATER STAR
Champagne, hot dogs, and oysters
Y PERFECT day would be a Sunday, because it would start with coffee and the Sunday edition of The New York Times on the front porch of our West Cape May home. I would steal the Arts and Leisure section first. Then it’s on to breakfast at George’s Place on Beach Avenue. My wife, Stina, and I would take an ice-cold bottle of Champagne to make mimosas to accompany our favorite dish: Norwegian salmon lox with bagels and cream cheese on a bed of fresh mesclun greens, Kalamata olives and capers. After breakfast, we would work off our morning repast with a nice leisurely bike ride to Cape May Point, then head back into town, admiring the beautiful Victorian architecture all around us. Then it’s off the bikes for a stroll
through the SOMA NewArt Gallery to see the latest masterpieces by Victor Grasso. Of course, it goes without saying that my perfect day would include perfect beach weather, so we’re on our way to Steger’s Beach and our usual spot, right next to the rock jetty. After soaking up some vitamin D, watching an incredible dolphin show and riding some tasty waves, we’ll flip a coin to see who has to stand in the long line at Hot Dog Tommy’s for our gourmet lunch. That means a Jersey Slaw Dog for Stina, and a Chicago Dog for me, washed down with frozen Stewart’s root beer. (And since this is my Perfect Day, naturally I would win the coin toss.) Next up would be a long walk down to the Cove and back to burn off our banquets on a bun. Then at around 4pm, we would meet our son Taylor and daughter exit zero
HAPPY HOUR IS HERE “We would always finish my perfect day with cocktails at the Merion Inn while listening to the musical genius of George Mesterhazy making his Steinway sing. George is no longer with us, but the memories will linger forever,” says Parker Smith. Aleksey Moryakov
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Kendra at Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grille bar at the Montreal Inn, where our bartender (and other son, Zach) mixes up his awesome fresh fruit Patron Margaritas from scratch. After happy hour, we would pedal home to shower, then head over to the Washington Inn to sit at the wine bar for fresh chilled oysters, escargot, lobster bisque and flights of fine French Bordeaux. We would always finish my perfect day with cocktails at the Merion Inn while listening to the musical genius of George Mesterhazy making his Steinway sing. George is no longer with us, but the memories will linger forever. Then it’s back home for a walk with the dogs, followed by a cigar on our front porch. As I lay in bed, the sound of the surf gently lullls me to sleep, perchance to dream.
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the experts’ guide to enjoying cape may FROM BIRDING TO BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS, ALL THE ADVICE AND INFO YOU NEED
HETHER Cape May is new territory to you or your second home (or your first, for that matter), it never hurts to look at it through the eyes of the experts. To that end, we have assembled a list of tips, do’s and don’ts, and just general good information for such important activities as birding, taking the best possible summer photograph,
checking out the best architectural examples in town, planting the best shore garden, and enjoying our fair city with your best canine bud. So fret not — we’ve done all the legwork for you. Now get out there and enjoy.
Story by KATE CHADWICK
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Five Must-See Buildings By Elan Zingman-Leith Curator, Mid Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities Cape May is wonderful because there are so many Victorian and Edwardian buildings — whole streets of them. It’s hard to pick just a few must-sees, but if I have to... Emlen Physick Estate: Of course, I’m the curator, so I love the building, but it’s more than that. Frank Furness was a great architect; world-class great. We don’t have many buildings in town that are that good. Even the most casual passer-by can see two things. On the exterior, there is a balance, or tension, between the vertical thrust of the building on the right side of the façade, and the heavy, massive, weighty roof. When you go inside, you’re surprised to find that the radically asymmetrical exterior clothes a perfectly conventional, symmetrical, two-rooms-on-eitherside of-a-hallway interior. Furness got the “romantic” irregular massing that was so prized in the 19th century. He exercised his own peculiar sense of proportion, and created a very practical and useable home.
Double Vision Previous page: One of the many fascinating things about The Abbey is its two exterior building styles. Opposite page: The Episcopcal Church of the Advent, on Washington and Franklin, is an esstential example of the Carpenter Gothic style. Aleksey Moryakov
The Queen Victoria: Aside from the amenities and hospitality of one of Cape May’s most famous bed and breakfasts, the Queen Victoria is such an elegant building. The peculiarity is that it was constructed after the second great fire in 1878, yet looks like a house from the 1850s or 1860s. By the time that the Queen Victoria was built, this kind of symmetrical, French Second Empire house was long out of date, yet it’s one of the most subtle, elegant houses in Cape May. On the front façade, the center projects from the façade, but just a little. The end pavilions also project from the body of the building and the roof follows their contour. This subtle in-and-out creates an urbane, urban, civilized impression — very French, practically Parisian. Compared to the Queen Victoria, some Cape May houses look like boxes with decoration. Episcopal Church of the Advent: Cape May doesn’t have many Gothic Revival buildings. We have a lot of houses with a little bit of wooden Gothic decoration added. At the Church of the Advent, the shape and mass of the
building is Carpenter Gothic. The giant gable thrusts upward. The board and batten sheathing reinforces the vertical impression, and the pointed windows complete the effect. The building is extremely plain, but it is so essentially Carpenter Gothic that the effect is not derived from the decoration, but from the basic shape of the building. Look inside to enjoy the wonderful Aesthetic Movement stained glass, original sconces, and chamfered woodwork throughout. The Abbey: One of the most interesting things about the Abbey is its berserk combination of styles. You can see two building campaigns on the exterior. The irregular massing, tower, and porches date from its original construction in 1863. The wavy shinglecoursing dates from a later 19th century renovation. The building is supposedly a Gothic Cottage. But the tower has a Mansard roof, an element clearly taken from Renaissance French chateau architecture. The triple window in the tower features a pointed central window flanked by a pair of flat-topped windows, all topped by a label-lintel.
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The arch window flanked by flat topped motif is a Palladian window. Palladio pioneered the renaissance in Italy; he is the opposite of Gothic. Yet the center window is pointy and the lintel is Gothic. The little balcony in front of the triple window is supported by classical modillions. This is more classicism on a supposedly Gothic Revival house. The Abbey is an incredible mixture of styles that aren’t supposed to go together, yet it all forms a charming “villa” and looks perfectly comfortable on its prominent corner site. Cape May Lighthouse: I have to end with this, although it’s more an impressive work of engineering than architecture. It’s so striking in itself, but also embodies the enormous wealth of associations that illustrate Cape May’s relationship with the sea — The Graveyard of the Sea, the commercial fishermen, the early part-time whalers, the packet boats that created the resort Cape May, the oyster industry, the scallopers, crab-
bers and clammers. Climb to the top “At the and learn about the life of Victorian Church of lighthouse keepers. (There were two the Advent, families tending the lighthouse and two outhouses at its base. Imagine sprinting the giant 199 steps.) See the spectacular pangable orama of sea and shore as well as the charming village of Cape May Point. thrusts upward. Growing the Perfect The board Shore Garden and batten By Stan Sperlak Owner/Operator, Cape Shore Gardens sheathing reinforces Before you can even begin to achieve great results in your own Cape May the vertical garden, there are a couple of things to impression, keep in mind prior to turning over that first shovelful of dirt. and the 1. Be aware of any water restrictions pointed in your area. Some neighborhoods in Cape May County only allow sprinkler windows use or other watering of plants during complete certain hours of the day, others may the effect.” alternate days of the week in which you exit zero
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can do it. Check with your township or borough officials for specifics. 2. Just like real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. All plants will continue to grow. You can need to simply drive around to see some of the gardening mistakes people can make. Everything from buying a shade plant and putting in the middle of your yard, or being smitten with a gorgeous tree and planting it right next to your front door. 3. You only get one opportunity to prepare the soil. Sometimes people buy a newer property and it’s on a completely flat piece of land. Peat moss, top soil, mulch, this is what you want to put into place before you plant a thing. You may want to think about grading the soil, so that it will drain when it needs to. All of these things need to be taken into account prior to even picking out your plants. And when it comes to picking plants, make it a mix of native plants and orna-
mentals. Native plants are survivors. They tend to spread, though — you’ll notice that if you’re walking in a forest, for instance. So you want to make sure you have enough room for them. Recommended native plants: Blueberry – They don’t mind the shade, although you won’t get quite as much fruit if you plant them in the shade as you will in the sun. Red Cedar — Wet places, dry places, in the sun, these will grow anywhere, all year. A good, strong tree. American Holly – Beautiful red berries in the winter – just a classic. Goldenrod — Grows anywhere, and no, you don’t get hay fever from Goldenrod. That’s Ragweed. Joe Pye Weed — Blooms in July and August, and these can grow up to five feet tall. As for ornamentals, people tend to get addicted to annuals: marigolds, petunias, things like that. These plants tend to do better in pots, though. Instead, consider the following: Camellia, Boxwoods and Magnolias — They’re drought-resistant, tough and resilient, and they make a beautiful
“Notice I didn’t say hydrangeas. They’re beautiful, but they’re very thirsty — they need a LOT of water. Plus, if they get too much sun, they dry right up.”
background foil for any garden. Crepe Myrtle — They’re really drought-tolerant, and there are so many varieties of colors and sizes. We have about 30 varieties at Cape Shore Gardens. Knockout Rose — This is an upand-coming plant. It needs almost no maintenance, and it blooms from April until Christmas. Notice I didn’t say hydrangeas. They’re beautiful, but they’re very thirsty — they need a LOT of water. Plus if they get too much sun, they dry right up. Finally, visit your favorite local garden center, for both guidance and inspiration. We get people started and answer their questions about gardening, and then they’re on their way.
Tips For A Great Summer Snapshot By Aleksey Moryakov Exit Zero photographer and owner of Aleksey Photography The best time to take an outdoor photo is in the early evening, when the sun is not too bright. You will get a beautiful, soft light. It’s also easier to keep
your eyes open that way if you’re the subject of the photo. If you must shoot during the day, simply wear sunglasses — whether you are the subject or the photographer. They can also add a fun twist to a summer snapshot. A truly cloudy day is a truly good day for portraits. Be careful of the sand! If you are using a professional camera, do not change lenses on the beach, or you run the risk of getting sand all over your sensor. Also, try not to change the memory card or the battery on the beach. The less fiddling with the camera, the better. If you’re trying to capture a sunset, make sure that you use a tripod. The darker it is outside, the longer your shutter needs to be open, and the if you’re not using a tripod you run the risk of a blurry photo. If you take a lot of summertime photos, you might want to go ahead and invest in a waterproof camera. But make sure that you also invest in the floating strap! This keeps your camera protected and it floats on the surface of the water so your investment doesn’t get away from you. Try to find a clear, uncluttered background. The less distractions,
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the better, for you as either subject or photographer, and for whoever looks at your photos. (On the other hand, good luck with that during the summer in Cape May.) While the beach makes for a great summer photo, don’t limit yourself. Cape May has some beautiful, quaint streets, and the houses make a great backdrop. Hughes and Jackson Street, just to name two. Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!
Having Fun With Your Dogs By Linda Steenrod co-owner, Billmae Cottage and Billmae Cottage Too! Dogs are not permitted to drive in Cape May. Other than that, though, they’ve got a pretty long leash (sorry). Here are some of the fun things you can do with your canine traveling companion. The following establishments permitting your friend Fido to accompany you in season are, in alphabetical order: Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May — porch/patio seating Blue Pig Tavern at Congress Hall — garden seating Dry Dock Grill — outside seating Gecko’s patio seating
How does your garden grow? With a little input from the experts at your local garden center, you can grow like the pros Mike Sperlak
Harpoon Henry’s — deck seating Lobster House — on the dock Pilot House — sidewalk seating Rusty Nail — outside bar/tables Tisha’s — back patio seating Ugly Mug — outside patio and sidewalk seating Zoe’s Beachfront Eatery — sidewalk seating Dogs are not permitted on the beach or promenade between April and October, and they’re also not permitted on the Washington Street Mall. This is strictly enforced. You may get away with a warning, but you could also be fined. It gets too crowded on the mall in season anyway. Dogs ARE permitted, however, on the Washington Commons Mall (all the better to visit Dog Days of Cape May for pet supplies). They are also permitted on MAC Walking Tours, and they’re allowed to participate in the various walks and races the Chamber of Commerce sponsors throughout the year. Did you know that you can take your dog out for a drink? Well, you can drink, and your pooch is welcome to join
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you at either Cape May Winery, Hawk Haven Vineyard, or Natali Vineyards at their outdoor seating areas. The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum and Historic Cold Spring Village are also dog-friendly destinations. And don’t forget the Cape May Dog Park, on Lafayette near Broad Street. Visiting dogs are welcome there, but you’ll need a pass. You can purchase one at the City Hall clerk’s office — an annual pass is $20, a weekly one is $10. There are several pet-friendly places to stay in Cape May, including our own Billmae Cottage, which we run with our own canine assistants, Guinness and Jameson. Our front-porch Yappy Hours are exceedingly popular with returning guests. Other Cape May places that take dogs include: Blue Fish Inn Motel Holly Shores Campground Highland House Bed & Breakfast Madison Avenue Beach Club Motel Marquis de Lafayette Mason Cottage Bed & Breakfast Victorian Lace Bed & Breakfast (one room)
“DO let peole know that you’re birding for the first time and DO ask for help using or adjusting the binoculars, and DO keep them around your neck where you can get them quickly.”
How to be a Better Birder By Pete Dunne Director of Cape May Bird Observatory Birding is easy — a pair of binoculars, a field guide, and you can do it anywhere. You’ve never been on a bird walk or held a pair of binoculars, and you’re clueless? Relax — it’s a lot less intimidating than walking into a strange bar. Birders are friendly; all you need is to sling a pair of binoculars around your neck and show up for a bird walk. Don’t have binoculars? No problem. Just say “don’t have bins…” and the trip leader says, “Try these.” Here’s a list of Pete’s birding do’s and don’ts. DO dress casually and comfortably — jeans, T-shirt, jacket, comfortable shoes or sneakers, and sunscreen. Avoid bright colors, PARTICULARLY white; in the universal language of wild creatures, white means “Danger, watch out, hide!” DO let people know that you’re birding for the first time, and DO ask for help using or adjusting the binoculars, and DO keep them around your neck where you can get them quickly and easily.
DON’T be afraid to say “I don’t see it” but never shout. Talking may prevent a leader from hearing calls or prevent you from hearing them. Field trips are social and conversation is part of the experience but speak softly. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave your cell phone on in the field. If you’re “on-call” put it on vibrate and excuse yourself to take a call. DON’T rush ahead. More than sound, birds react to motion, so don’t move too quickly. DON’T worry about not knowing anything about birds. You don’t have to know a thing about a bird in order to appreciate it. DON’T be intimidated by what you don’t know or what you presume others know. Chances are your question is shared by others in the group. If you trigger the answer to a question that another member of the group was too shy to ask, you’ll be their hero. DO stay close to the leaders and more experienced members of the group so you can rely on their knowledge and bird-finding skills. DO Pick up the current schedule of the Cape May Bird Observatory’s week-
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Struttin’ their stuff Rich Hemenway, Mary Smith and Ladybug enjoy Cape May’s annual Mutt Strut, one of the few times that dogs are permitted on the promenade Aleksey Moryakov
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1 3 0 PA R K B O U L E VA R D, W E S T C A P E M AY ( 6 0 9 ) 8 8 4 - 2 7 6 0 • T H E F LY I N G F I S H S T U D I O. C O M Also Visit Our 2 Locations at West End Garage! exit zero
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from the shops of cape may
Bird House of Cape May
405 W. Perry Street, West Cape May, (609) 898-3332 www.antiquesemporia.com Roam if you want to! If you require a little room to spread out while antiquing, Antiques Emporia is the place for you. Space for meandering, something intriguing at every turn, but not so big that you get lost. Unless, of course, that’s your intention. And who are we to tell you what to do? Everything from glasswork to sports memorabilia is here.
318 Washington Street, Cape May 800-424-BATH or 609-884-9234 www.capemaybathtime.com If cleanliness is next to godliness, then Bath Time is like a really, really cool church. (And you won’t get kicked out for fidgeting.) They’ve been pampering bathers and those who love them since 1994. And man, it smells good in here. Soaps, washes lotions - you can even make your own custom blend. So get to Bath Time, and clean yourself up, would you?
109 Sunset Boulevard, Cape May 609-898-8871 www.birdhouseofcapemay.com Our neighbors Sharon Flanagan and Ken Low have been catering to the active Cape May birding set since 1995, with an awesome selection of birdhouses, feeders and gifts. It’s a unique shop that you don’t have to be an avian enthusiast to appreciate, with beautiful decorative items to feather your own nest, too. Tell them Exit Zero sent you.
Celebrate Cape May
Exit Zero Store and Gallery
315 Ocean Street, Cape May, 609-884-9032 www.celebratecapemay.com It’s all about Cape May here — tons of unique gifts, crafts and souvenirs, celebrating America’s oldest seaside resort. Established in 1998, Judy Buck and her staff work hard to address all of your Cape May souvenir needs, from bumper stickers to wine glasses — great clothing for men, women and kids, too. And please, don’t forget hermit crabs.
670 Washington Street, Cape May, 609-846-3326 www.dragonflyinteriorsllc.com
This full-service interior design studio and retail store provides quality design, customer service as well as beautiful, decorative home accessories and gifts. Whether it’s one room or an entire house overhaul, no detail in your home improvement project is overlooked at Dragonfly Interiors.
109 Sunset Boulevard, Cape May, 609-770-8479 www.exitzero.us Since this is OUR store, we’re obviously a bit biased, but coming here HAS to be part of your Cape May vacation. We recently doubled the size of the store by knocking down a wall (we asked permission). Come and enjoy a fabulous selection of merchandise, and the best range of Cape May artwork in the world!
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400 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May 609-884-5055 www.carolinebtq.com Off the beaten track on Carpenter’s Lane is where you will find Caroline Boutique. They specialize in casual, contemporary clothes — from classic Eileen Fisher pieces to right this minute AG Legging Jeans. Caroline and her fashionista staff can help you put together a new outfit or an entire wardrobe.
Fiber Arts Yarn Shop
315 Ocean Street, Cape May 609-898-8080, www.yarnsrus.net Not only can you buy premier knitting materials in this shop, you can learn what the heck to do with them too. Yarns from around the world, hand-crafted buttons, knitting implement and other accessories, and instructional books, as well as “Knitting University” classes are available here several times a week. Check their website for class sche
my perfect day ARTIST SEAN TAYLOR, WHOSE WORK IS AT SOMA THIS MONTH
Bald eagles, seals, and mini-golf
Y PERFECT Day begins with my amazing wife. We decide to get some breakfast at The Grille on Sunset Beach in Cape May Point. Over our tasty egg-and-cheese-onkaisers with coffee, we take in the cool sea breeze from the little gazebo and count the dolphins playing in the water (I say six, Peri counts seven). We have conversations about Russell Brand’s new talk show, the odd choice of using concrete to build ships, and our next trip — maybe Berlin or Prague or both. Then we’re off on a walk. We take the nature trail near the lighthouse, keeping our eyes open for birds. We’ve been living here for over a decade (or two), but we just recently noticed a bald eagle flying over our house. Now we are
avid birders with two sets of binoculars. We’ve found it easiest to decide that all of the birds we spot fall into one of three categories: “hawks,” “buzzards” and “some other type of bird.” Walking along the Cove into Cape May is always a meditative experience. There is a sublime grandeur to the vista that only exists there for me. On this day, we see a little gray seal sunning itself on the beach. In Cape May, we make a bee-line for Carpenter’s Square Mall to see who’s working in our shop today. (Shameless self-promotion alert.) It’s a sweet little shop called Off the Wall Art that showcases Peri’s line of artwork for children as well as Red Iron Chimp jewelry. (Angelina Jolie is behind the counter dressed in her Tomb Raider outfit). Business is good. exit zero
Just Beachy “Walking along the Cove into Cape May is always a meditative experience,” says artist Sean Taylor. “There is a sublime grandeur to the vista that only exists there for me. On this day, we see a little gray seal sunning itself on the beach.” Aleksey Moryakov
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I decide to go see how my show is doing down the hall at SOMA NewArt Gallery. (It runs from June 23 — July 29.) Steve Haas tells me that Charles Saatchi has come in to buy every painting, drawing and study I’ve ever done! They are working out the details. To celebrate, Peri and I go play a game of miniature golf. Although I take the lead by scoring a hole-in-one at the Humpty Dumpty, she beats me by two points at the Windmill. She’s very competitive. We head up by Poverty Beach to picnic where it’s quiet. A pelican flies overhead as I scribble a few notes for my novel. I notice that Peri has fallen asleep — she tires easily of my grandiose and constant babble. I listen to the waves, the gulls, the some-othertype-of-birds, take a deep breath of salty air, and eventually fall asleep beside her.
Cre ati n g yo u r ow n b a c k ya rd h e ave n? We c a n h e l p.
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You could just take home a postcard....
NEW OILS ON CANVAS AND BOARD. SEASCAPES AND LANDSCAPES. NOW AVAILABLE. VISIT MY GALLERY OR SEE THEM AT MY SHOWS...
But really, isn’t your mom, your sister, your boss, or the lady next door who walked your dog or fed your cat worth more than that? UPCOMING SHOWS Art In The Park West Cape May - July 21 & August 18 Promenade Art Show July 13-14-15 Lighthouse Arts and Crafts July 18 & 25, August 1 & 7 Promenade Craft Show August 11 & 12 Summer Send Off Promenade - September 1 & 2
Patricia Rainey Studios
609-886-4863 | patriciaraineystudios.com
JUST IN....at the Carriage House Gallery Shop
SCARF JEWELRY: perfect for the well-dressed lady whose outfit is not complete without a beautiful scarf. Now you can make it even more beautiful with our assortment of charming scarf clasps and pendants.
Special gifts for special people.... Waiting for you at MAC’s Museum Shops
The Carriage House Gallery Shop
at the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St. POLISH POTTERY • Made in America DEVI JEWELRY Fountains • Nightlights • Books • Toys & Games Tea Sets for the Young & Young-at-Heart Teas & Scone Mixes • Gifts for Men & Women
The Cape May Lighthouse Museum Shop
in the Lighthouse Oil House at Cape May Point State Park
CAPE MAY DIAMOND JEWELRY
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Your purchases benefit on-going restoration and preservation efforts of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC)
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ARTS THE GAIL PIERSON GALLERY FEATURES JUDITH ANDERSON
All aboard for a new exhibit
LD trains that have aged enough to have multiple layers of paint and rust on their surfaces — that is the subject of another award-winning series of paintings by artist Judith Anderson, of Richmond VA. Anderson returns to the Gail Pierson Gallery for the month of July, her fourth season in Cape May. An Artist’s Reception will open the exhibit on Saturday, June 30, with the artist on hand to talk about her own unique brand of rail-fanning. Anderson continues to be fascinated by the geometry and surfaces of trains. “There is something incredibly
Chugga, chugga... “Old Trains: Then and Then”, a new exhibit by Virginia-based artist Judith Anderson, will be on display at Cape May’s Gail Pierson Gallery beginning June 30.
beautiful and fascinating to me about the layers of paint, applied by humans, and layers of rust, caused by nature — corrosion and erosion,” she says. “Mingled together, as they are on so many train surfaces, they are compelling as pure abstraction, with the added enticement of being very real objects.” This fascination has played itself out in an ongoing series of both paintings and photographs. Judith is now in her third year of travel and study of these trains, adventuring as far as Mexico to find her images, and to evolve her subject matter. Her new exhibition at the Gail Pierson Gallery will be a combination of paintings, all oil on panel, and the photographs that are now a signature.
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Anderson takes pictures of train textures at close range. These are printed on archival paper, mounted and finished with an acrylic glaze. The textures simply pop. This year’s show will also include several large paintings of the trains in ACCA yard, the CSX lines train yard in Richmond. This year’s show will also include several more of the delightful and colorful graffiti images from the trains in Mexico. There will also be paintings inspired by that graffiti. For additional interest, included in this year’s exhibit will be a number of vintage photographs of train stations and service in Cape May. Trains played a significant role in the original development of New Jersey’s
southern shores, including Cape May. Recognizing this, a number of local historians have collected photos documenting this aspect of Cape May history. The vintage photographs will be curated courtesy of Ben Miller, and pulled primarily from the collection of local historian Walt Campbell, who had hoped to produce a book on the subject before he passed away. Judith Anderson has in the past created a number of paintings based on vintage photographs from South Jersey. Her first show in 2009 at the Gail Pierson Gallery featured those paintings — the Album and Avalon Series. She is currently looking forward to working with Pierson and Miller to develop a series of paintings that would combine trains, Cape May History, vintage photos, and paintings based on the same. If the melding and collaboration is successful, those paintings and the Miller and Campbell photos will make an exciting show for the Gail Pierson Gallery in July 2013. The gallery is located at 658 Washington Street. Call 609-884-2585 or visit gailpiersongallery.com.
Artists’ choice Anderson is fascinated by the geometry of trians — the older and more corroded by nature, the better.
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Engagement Rings • Estate Jewelry • Lladro • Antiques Hummels • Antique Dolls • Jewelry Repair
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414 Bank Street Cape May (609) 884-0323 www.patjacksonjewelers.com
WE BUY DIAMONDS, GOLD & SILVER 511 Washington Street Mall, Cape May (next to Fudge Kitchen) • (609) 898-8786
Other Location: 15 N. Black Horse Pike, Runnemede • (856) 939-0230
Inspired by Nature, Beautiful Home & Garden Decor for you and the Birds! Easy Water Ballon Fun! The Pumponator® makes filling water ballons fast and easy. Stop in and pick up one of our best selling toys and let the wet fun begin!
BIRD HOUSE of Cape May
109 Sunset Boulevard West Cape May (609) 898-8871 birdhouseofcapemay.com exit zero
OPEN EVERY DAY!
of Cape May
Wildly Imaginative Toys 510 Washington St. Mall, Cape May • (609) 884-0442
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Sitters at the Shore Atlantic City to Cape May, NJ Your Premium Child Care Sitting Service Professional & Screened Sitters Since 1998
609-465-0840 sittersattheshore.com Owned and operated by a NJ certified Elementary Teacher
Antiques Emporia makes memories...
for the young and the young at heart!
405 West Perry Street, Cape May â€˘ (609) 898-3332
Original Encaustic Paintings Stella e Luna 500 Bay Ave Pt Pleasant Beach, NJ 732-714-2221 ww w.J imIn zero. co m
If you love tea, or know someone who does, this is paradise.
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TEA BY THE SEA 405 West Perry Street Cape May 609 . 898 . 4832 www.teaincapemay.com
Shutters | Blinds | Shades | Draperies Hunter Douglas-Signature Series
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ARTS EAST LYNNE THEATER COMPANY’S SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS
A dazzling array of productions
HE award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company continues its Spinning Tales season with Ruth Draper’s Company of Characters through July 21, and the July 25 world premiere of The Poe Mysteries. In both productions, with as little movement as a shoulder slump or the arch of an eyebrow, actors seamlessly transform from one character to another — and most have several to portray! Ruth Draper was the preeminent creator and performer of character monologues. For 40 years, until her death in 1956, she performed on the world’s greatest stages, portraying everyone from German tutors and English aristocrats to Brooklyn working girls. Each monologue is a short one-act with a twist. ELTC is only the second production company to
cast of characters East Lynne will be welcoming back some crowd favorites this summer, along with some new faces, in a rich variety of shows
get permission to perform these works since Draper herself. The performers sharing nine of Draper’s monologues are well-known to ELTC audiences: Karen Case Cook and Suzanne Dawson. Karen’s performances in NYC include The Rivals at Jean Cocteau Rep, and regionally at Barter Theater, Arkansas Rep, and The Women’s Theater Company. ELTC audiences enjoyed her in Two-Headed, You and I, and The Ransom of Red Chief. She has directed shows in China, Philadelphia, and NYC, and several shows for ELTC including The Guardsman and Helpful Hints. Patrons are still talking about Suzanne’s portrayal of the German maid in last season’s Dulcy and her distraught woman waiting for the phone to ring in The World of Dorothy Parker. She was in ELTC’s To the Ladies, The Butter and Egg
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Man, Berkeley Square, and Four by Four. Suzanne has performed Off-Broadway, in national tours and regional companies. Ruth Draper’s Company of Characters runs Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30pm through July 21. There is no show on Wednesday, July 4, an added show on Sunday, July 8, and an American Sign Language performance on Friday, July 13. On Monday, July 2 at 8pm, it’s Storybook Theater: Old Fables with a New Twist, our Student Workshop production. Presented with minimal props and costumes, the focus is on the storytellers. Tales include “The Bremen Town Musicians” and “The Fisherman and His Wife.” Admission is free and it’s always a standing room-only event! Next up is The Poe Mysteries world premiere, adapted by James Rana.
C. Auguste Dupin is a recluse living in Paris when an American journalist comes to interview him. As the detective recalls his cases, the characters spring to life. Six actors portray 50 roles in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Murder of Marie Roget,” and “The Purloined Letter.” This exciting production runs July 25— September 1, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30pm at The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes Street, where the company is in residence. There is an after-show opening night party on July 25 at The Washington Inn, 801 Washington Street, where patrons can mingle with actors while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres. On August 3 there is an aftershow Q&A with cast, director, and playwright. Fred Velde plays the brilliant Dupin. He was in ELTC’s Anna Christie, Rain, and Dulcy, and portrays Dr. Watson in ELTC’s radio-style Sherlock Holmes productions. Fred has performed in over 50 shows in NYC, including The Price of Genius on Broadway. The American journalist, Henry Williams, is played by Thomas Raniszewski, who appeared last year in the Philadelphia premiere of The Twentieth Century Way, so well-received that it reopened in Philadelphia this past May. ELTC shows include Berkeley Square and The Dictator. Portraying the Prefect of the Paris Police is Mark Edward Lang. His work with ELTC
includes The Guardsman and The New York Idea, and his NYC and regional credits include OffBroadway’s Welcome Home Marian Anderson. Among the many roles portrayed by Shelley McPherson is Agnes, the aristocrat with much to lose when her “purloined letter” gets into the wrong hands. Shelley was in ELTC’s Why Marry? and Alice on the Edge. Her repertoire includes episodes of Guiding Light and regular performances at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre in NYC. Marie Roget is one of several roles played by Grace Wright, who made her ELTC debut in last season’s He and She. She worked as artist-inresidence this past March, teaching playwriting and acting at Wildwood’s Glenwood Avenue Elementary School. James Rana not only adapted The Poe Mysteries, but portrays various roles. He was the featured performer at last fall’s ELTC fundraiser, and in Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Norwood Builder. He performs regularly at NYC’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, and Pan Asian Rep. He has worked as a juggler for The Big Apple Circus, and is offering a free juggling class on Friday, August 3, from 1-2:30pm for anyone ages 8 and up at The First Presbyterian Church. Gayle Stahlhuth, ELTC’s artistic director since 1999, and has worked 40 years in the entertainment industry. Her own adaptations
w a v e
Scott Thomas for Henry’s nry’ss Custom Originalss
and original plays have been produced by NYC and regional theaters and she has performed her own solo shows throughout the country. Ticket prices are $30 for general admission; $25 for senior citizens; and $15 for full-time students. To encourage families to attend, kids 12 and under are admitted free. ELTC partners with these restaurants for further savings: Aleathea’s, The Washington Inn, 410 Bank Street, and Frescos. If staying at The Henry Sawyer Inn or Victorian Lace Inn, tickets can be purchased for $20. ELTC events run through mid-December, including the comedy It Pays to Advertise, a Sherlock Holmes vintage radio production, a holiday show, a special “Grand Ole Opry”- style musical event, weekly short story readings at teatime venues, adult acting classes, and a silent film series with live organ accompaniment. For reservations and information about the season, educational outreach, and touring shows, call 609-884-5898 or visit eastlynnetheater.org. East Lynne Theater Company’s production season would not be possible without sponsors Curran Investment Management and Aleathea’s Restaurant; Show Sponsors La Mer Beachfront Inn, The Henry Sawyer Inn, and Exit Zero; The NJ Dept. 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.
Cape May’s Signature
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407 Washington St. Mall • Cape May, NJ 08204 • 609.884.0334 exit zero
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Branches • Bonsai • Bouquets
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The New Summer Line... Just In From Italy! Fantastico! (609) 884-2300 • 510 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May
Advertise in the 2012 COLOR Issues of Exit Zero!
Contact Jason at (609) 770-8479 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Vintage Yearbooks, Programs & Publications Located in Cape May at Antiques Emporia 405 W. Perry Street
315 Ocean Street
Phone: 609-898-3332 email: SprtsCardsRus@aol.com www.capemaysportsmemorabilia.com
(609) 898-8080 www.yarnsRus.net
Got Art? We Do! cape may lighthouse
The all-new Exit Zero Store & Gallery 109 SUNSET BOULEVARD, CAPE MAY (across from Shell Gas) (609) 770-8479 exitzero.us Open daily 9am to 9pm exit zero
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from the shops of cape may
Go Fish Clothing & Jewelry Store
Mother Grimm’s Bears
Out Of The Past Antiques
30 Tennessee Avenue, Villas 609-886-1200 www.mothergrimmsbears.com
315 Ocean Street, Cape May 609-884-0022 www.capemay.gofishretail.com The mission of the folks at Go Fish is to impact the lives of less fortunate people throughout the world. To that end, they offer unique goods — jewelry, clothing and decorative objects, beautifully handcrafted by artisans in developing countries. It’s truly feel-good shopping.
How’s this for a great idea? Take an old garment with sentimental value, and create something new and uniquely yours from it. That’s what they do at Mother Grimm’s Bears, fashioning sweet, cuddly creatures out of old fur coats and other articles of clothing. It’s recycling with a heart!
394 Myrtle Avenue, West Cape May 609-884-3357 www.outofthepastantiques.com It’s may be small on square footage, but it’s big — really big — on antiques. From doll house furniture to your house furniture, you’ll find it here. And if you don’t, just let them know. At Out Of The Past, they scour the Mid-Atlantic to bring you an ever-changing selction of finds.
United Yacht Sales
Weddings By The Sea
484 West Perry Street, West Cape May, 609-770-8261 www.thewestendgarage.com A great reason to shop at Shea’s Closet: they carry Real & True Knits, comfortable, easy, relaxed and flattering sweaters for modern women. And another — great handbags to go with, made from recycle materials, like bicycle tires and seatbelts, of all things. Get to Shea’s Closet and get your one-of-a-kind look.
960 Ocean Drive, Cape May 609-408-6857 www.unitedyacht.com/fwise How can you possibly improve on your Cape May experience? Ask Frank Wise at United Yacht Sales, and he’ll tell you: with your own yacht, that’s how. Buy and sell new and used boats, sailboats, and yachts, with a local broker who will take the time to make sure that you get exactly what you’re looking for.
139 North Broadway, Cape May 609-884-7900, www.weddings-bythe sea.com Cape May is third in the nation for destination weddings, and over 450 couples tie that knot here every year. Find out why they rely on Weddings By The Sea to help with every last detail. From a great retail shop to full wedding planning services, Weddings By The Sea will make sure you have your dream day.
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Patricia Rainey Studios
1325 Emerson Avenue North Cape May 609-886-4863 www.patriciaraineystudios.com It’s hard to believe this popular local artist is essentially self-taught. Her lovely oil and watercolors paintings capture the beauty of life on the coast, and she specializes in commissioned works of public buildings, private residences and local landscapes. And her lovely annual calendar makes a great gift!
605 Hughes Street, Cape May 609-884-5061 www.vivianerowandesign.com A new and welcome addition to the Cape May shopping scene is White, headed by local interior designer Viviane Rowan. This stunning shop provides a backdrop of serenity, a blank slate against which your design vision can be realized, with the help of White’s combined 36 years of design experience.
COOL CAPE MAY The Complete Guide to America’s Original Seaside Resort
WHERE TO EAT!
WHERE TO SHO
TO PLAY! E R E H W AND
E TO S TAY!
Available at the Exit Zero Store for only $15! 109 Sunset Boulevard, Cape May • (609) 770-8479 exit zero
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Eight miles of birding bliss
L A S K A , Florida, T e x a s , Maine, Colorado... These are the states people think of when the subject is nature’s splendor. But when it comes to birds, and great birding spectacle, New Jersey trumps them all and Cape May is the best of the best. Yes, this small (8 square miles) peninsula at the southernmost tip of New Jersey is abundant with bird life. Surprised? Most people who are not bird watchers are. But Cape May is one of the planet’s greatest bird watching hotspots and some say it is the best. With a check list exceeding 420 species, great seasonal diversity between wintering and breeding birds, spring and fall migratory “fallouts” involving millions
Story by Pete Dunne
mellow yellow The Prothonotary Warbler is commonly found along Higbees Beach and in Belleplain. It’s a breeder bird, meaning you’re most likely to spot it in the spring. Scott Whittle
of birds, Cape May’s fame is global. So are its visitors, meaning the human kind. Thousands of birders flock to Cape May every year specifically to witness the Cape’s fall hawk migration (averaging 40,000 birds of prey per year) or witness the great spring shorebird concentrations on the beaches of Delaware Bay. But (you are thinking) “I’m here in summer, between spring and fall migration.” Congratulations. You are here at precisely the right time to enjoy Cape May’s great diversity of breeding birds. Herons, egrets, rails, terns, Black-skimmers and a wealth of breeding songbirds. Cape May’s ecofriendly coastline is just the icing on the cake. The peninsula’s interior is forest rich and Cape May’s Carolina-zone climate gives our bird life a southern flavor for such a northern state. In places like Higbee Beach you’ll find Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Orchard Oriole, Prothonotary Warbler,
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and Yellow-breasted Chat. Indigo Bunting looks like a bird wearing s cloudless Summer Sky. Blue Grosbeak is clad in evening sky blue with sundown read streaks on the shoulders. Male Orchard Oriole? Brick red and black. It looks like its’ fresh out of the kiln (still glowing). Prothonotary Warbler? A real beauty. A gem. Imagine a bird the color of honey set ablaze bracketed by gun-metal blue wings. And Yellow-breasted Chat? It’s buffoon in bird’s clothing. Spends the day (and sometimes the night) rattling off toots, whistles, chortles, burps and... How do you see these birds? That’s the easy part. What you do is stop by the Cape May Bird Observatory at 701 East Lake Drive and pick up a free birding finding map and a checklist of the birds of Cape May. Free? Sure. As a New Jersey Audubon Center, CMBO’s mission is bringing people and birds together. But to really
long-legged beauty The Great Egret feeds on crustaceans in the marshes of local wetlands, and can be seen in every season, except winter Scott Whittle
get the most out of your birding experience, there are two things you can do. Go on one of CMBO’s regularly scheduled bird walks. Leisurely, informative, led by local experts (and at only $10 per person cheap!). You’ll see more species in a mere two hour walk than you dare imagine. But be careful. Bird watching is very addictive. Once you start scooping up all these feathered treasures like Snowy Egrets, Glossy Ibis, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Bald Eagle, Clapper Rail, Piping Plover (just to mention some of the common species) you may find that there is no turning back. You’ve set your feet on a path that leads to a world of discovery and ecotourist hotspots all over the planet. Which brings us to the other thing you can do, in fact must do, in order to enjoy the birds you see. You’ll need to buy a field guide, not a human person although they are available too, but not to buy; only for hire. A field guide that is an illustrated book that helps you identify the birds you find and so you can see what you find, binoculars to bring birds up close and personal.
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Happily, Cape May Bird Observatory has the state’s best selection of bird books and optics, too. We pride ourselves in selling only the best optics, at price points ranging from less than $100 to over $2,000. At tourist town prices? Hardly. Remember. Bringing people and birds together is our mission. For most instruments, our member discounted prices are the lowest the manufacturers will allow. But back to the Cape’s birding riches. If you go on a CMBO bird walk, you won’t need to buy binoculars (we’ll have loaners) and you won’t need to bring a “field guide” to the birds. You’ll have one or more leading you. Cape May has over 150 breeding species. But these constitute less than half of the bird species that appear annually. Most of Cape May’s fame is based on the number and diversity of migrating birds. This narrow finger of land is a magnet for migrants and the volume of birds can be staggering. Like 21,800 hawks in a single day. Or 1.5 million American Robins in a morning. As a measure of Cape May’s bird watching potential consider that in one day in May, a team of three birders recorded 143 species. In October, another team tallied 145. That’s not the best part. Both of these efforts were con-
mad flappers Black Skimmers are beachnesters who skim the surface of local waters, including Lake Lily, with their lower mandible until they feel a fish... then they snap shut. But our favorite thing about the species? The noise they make has them sounding more like dogs than birds. Scott Whittle
ducted from within a 17 foot circle. That’s right. The 143 and 145 species tallied were identified by birders who never left the spot they were standing. The birds all came to them and both these numbers are national records. “But” you are thinking, “I’m here in Summer.” Yes, you are but only according to the human calendar. By the bird calendar it’s still spring or fall (depending on the date of your arrival. Spring migration actually extends in to July. All through June, northbound shorebirds (sandpipers and plovers) continue to trickle through and even into July, the last northbound hawks are still heading north. Starting in late June (usually right on or around the Summer Solstice) the first of the southbound shorebirds reach Cape May. By early July the trickle of migrants becomes a flood. By August, fall migration is going full tilt. In fact, many European birders travel to Cape May in August specifically to experience the fall migration of warblers. Think about that. In June, you can find birds heading both ways. North and South. In August, the migration for many bird species is already peaking. For some it is even over. There is a bird called the Willet. It’s and large, flashy, common breeding shorebird found primarily in the marshes. All through June, the “pill will
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willet... pill will willet...” mantra of Eastern Willet is part of sound of Summer. It’s only slightly less pervasive than the call of Laughing Gull. But by July 4, the Willets fall silent. Most of the birds have already finished raising young and are heading south. So you needn’t worry about being too early or too late to see birds in Cape May. No matter when you are hear, you are just in time. Yes...but... But you’ve never been on a bird walk? Join the club. Most of the planet’s inhabitants have never jump-started their day by going on an organized bird walk. Even the experts who lead the walks and write the field guides had to start somewhere. The most experienced bird watcher on the planet began their life of discovery knowing no more than you know now. And most of the planet’s birders didn’t have the advantage you have now. You, after all, are standing on one of the planet’s greatest birding hotspots. The best way to discover birds is to be in a bird-rich environment. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your first birding field trip. First, dress for the occasion. Casual cloths, comfortable walking shoes. Try to avoid wearing white. It’s the universal color for “danger” among birds and animals and it’s not the message you want to be sending when your objective is to
ART BY B R I A N D E M U S Z exit zero
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Quick! Cover your sandwich The laughing gull, although a nuisance to many on the beach, is a harbinger of spring. The person to spot the first of the season receives the Lagu Award, aka bird world bragging rights. Scott Whittle
get close enough for a soul satisfying view. Second, bring a friend. Children old enough to appreciate the importance of being quiet are cordially welcome, too. Birding is a social activity. Birds are something that can be shared. Third, arrive a little early. Let the field trip leader know that this is your first time bird watching. If you need to borrow binoculars, they’ll fit your out and show you how to use them. They’ll also, over the course of the walk, be extra attentive to you and make sure you are getting “on the bird.” Finally, don’t worry about what you don’t know. The only thing that is better than being an experienced birder is being a new birder. There’s a marvel see with every look you take through the leader’s telescope. A shiny new bit of feathered treasure with every lift of the binoculars to your eyes. As for misidentifying a bird and looking stupid... Relax. Birding is a very low stakes game. If you misidentify or fail to see a bird before it disappears, nations don’t fall. Currencies don’t collapse. Children don’t starve. It’s a game. It’s supposed to be fun. So enjoy your self. See great things and... After the walk, it’s time to count your winnings. Open that free checklist you picked up at Cape May Bird Observatory — or on the
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walk, just ask the leader for a copy. Check off the species you saw on the walk. These birds are the down payment on your Life (bird) List (not to mention a life of challenge and discovery). There’s 10,000 bird species on this planet. Nobody has seen them all. You could be first. But your first step is to go to Cape May Bird Observatory and pick up a schedule of events. Then turn up for a regularly scheduled bird walk. Good birding! The Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO), at 701 East Lake Drive overlooking Lake Lily in Cape May Point (609-884-2736), is open year round from 9:30am to 4:30pm but closed on Tuesdays during summer and winter. You can also find everything online at www.BirdCapeMay.org – where birding Cape May is only a click away! New Jersey’s own 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.
SOMA NewArt GALLERY presents Three Solo Exhibits: June 23rd to July 29th
Sean Taylor, Harriett Sosson, and John Borrero
“July 4th “On Top
and latex on canvas
SEAN TAYLOR “Beauty Queen” - New Paintings Gallery 1
Cape May Mall”
HARRIETT SOSSON “On the Way to Cape May” - New Collages Gallery 2
JOHN BORRERO “Mythology, Fables & Fairy Tales” New Paintings and Sculptures Gallery 3
media on wood panel
Visit our website for more information on all SOMA artists and events. MARK YOUR CALENDARS
VICTOR GRASSO - New Paintings - Art Opening - August 4th, 6pm-9pm
OPEN DAILY 10AM TO 10PM SOMA NewArt GALLERY 31 Perry Street, Cape May | 609.898.7488 | www.somagallery.net
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The Exit Zero Store & Gallery Come see our exciting new joint... 2,500 square feet and two stories of ridiculously cool Cape May souvenirs! GREAT ARTWORK « HIGH QUALITY T-SHIRTS SWEATSHIRTS « YOGA PANTS « TOTE BAGS « BEACH TOWELS « BASEBALL CAPS PILLOWS « VINTAGE PHOTOS « BEACH BAGS COFFEE MUGS « TRAVEL MUGS & MORE! Chattel Village, 109 Sunset Boulevard (609) 770-8479
OPEN DAILY 9-9
Buy online 24/7 at exitzero.us! exit zero
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MATT SZCZUR WENT FROM LOWER CAPE MAY TO VILLANOVA TO THE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL DRAFT. NEXT STEP... CENTER FIELD OF ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST FAMOUS STADIUMS? Interview by JACK WRIGHT
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ATT Szczur was a star athlete at Lower Cape May Regional High School. Such a star that when Villanova recruited him, it was for both their baseball AND football teams. He excelled at both sports, but he set his heart on a baseball career and in the 2010 baseball draft, the Chicago Cubs selected Matt in the fifth round, the 160th pick overall. We caught up with him in Florida in late April, where he had just finished a game for the Daytona Cubs, Chicago’s Class A-Advanced affiliate, in the Florida State League. Where are you now? In a hotel room in Lakeland, Florida. You just played a game. Who was it against? Lakeland Flying Tigers. They’re affiliated with Detroit Tigers. How did you do? We lost 6-4, and I went two for four, with a single and a double and two runs scored. What are your numbers this season so far? I don’t know. We’ve only played about 22 games, and it’s too soon to check that out. I wait until about midway or the end of the season. Is that typical? There are guys we call stat rats who check their numbers every game, but I try and stay away from that. I can tell how I’m playing. I don’t need to check out the numbers. Can you usually feel if you’re going
to have a good day at the plate, or does it depend entirely on the opposing pitcher? It’s funny. Usually if I have a BP [batting practice], I hit better, and sometimes it will work the opposite way, too. And sometimes you feel great at the plate and you can hit the ball hard, but it if goes right to someone every time, you can still go 0-4. Mentally, I think baseball is one of the hardest games. The good thing is you play the next day and you get the chance to make that up. You don’t have to wait for a week. What is your ambition this season? I want to excel where I’m at. That’s all I’m concentrating on. One of the other touted Cubs prosects, along with yourself, is Brett Jackson, who is a center fielder like you.
“I love traveling, and we do a lot of that. Traveling around the midwest, Florida. I love it. The worst thing is that you are moving from motel to motel, away from your family and friends.”
Do you see him as competition for the starting center fielder’s job with the Cubs? I don’t think about that. As long as I worry about myself, I will be fine. Have you given yourself a target for getting into the big leagues? I hope to be there by the end of next year or the following year. How did it feel to be linked to the Red Sox as part of the Theo Epstein deal? I didn’t pay any attention to that kind of stuff. Is that really true? It’s hard NOT to wonder about whether you were going to end up in Boston. I have no control over that, so I didn’t think about it. Did you do anything crazy with that $1.5 million signing bonus? Not really. I bought an Audi and gave some money to my parents. What’s the best and worst things about playing in the minor leagues? I love traveling, and we do a lot of that. Traveling around the midwest, Florida. I love it. The worst thing is that you are moving from motel to motel, away from your family and friends. What are the motels like, and do you have to share a room? They’re pretty
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A HAPPY HITTER After suffering â€œbrutal luckâ€? earlier this season, Matt says he recently started a new superstition... he steps on the foul line before running out to center field. The results have been good, says the former Lower Cape May Regional star athlete. Courtesy of the Chicago Cubs exit zero
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basic. They’re not four-star, but they’re not one-star either. Do you have any superstitions? I actually just started one the other day. A lot of peple try and stay off the foul line, but I’ver started deliberately stepping on it before I run out to center field. At the begining of the season, my luck was brutal, so I started this new thing. How’s that working out? It’s been pretty good, actually. When were you last in Cape May? The beginning of February, and I won’t be back until... actually I don’t even know when I will be back. Whenever I finish playing baseball. Our last game without playing in the post-season is September 2. What do you miss most about here? My family and friends and my girlfriend, Natalie. She lives in North Wildwood. What about the beach? Not really. In Daytona, my condo is on the beach. What do you do with what little spare time you have? In the morning, I wake up, and I make myself breakfast. Usually pork roll and eggs. Then I hang out, maybe go to the beach. And then we’re at the baseball field from
“I have a degree in liberal arts. I love to draw and paint, and I would like to do something with art. Maybe a grade school teacher involving art.”
1:30 until 11 at night. How come? We will hit before games and practice. The game is usually three hours long and then the club feeds us really well after the game and then we’ll shower and go home. What if you don’t get into the major leagues? Would you be prepared to hang around in the minors? I haven’t thought about that yet. If I don’t make it, I wouldn’t be worrying. I have a great family and a great support system. Do you ever second-guess yourself for choosing baseball over football? No. Are you allowed to play other sports as part of your contract with the Cubs? No, I can’t do anything. What about throwing a frisbee? [Laughs] Yeah, I’m allowed to throw a frisbee. What would you like to do when your career is over? I studied communications at Villanova and I have a degree in liberal arts. I love to draw and paint, and I would like to do something with art. Maybe a grade school teacher involving art. Do you see yourself settling back in this area, or has Florida got your atten-
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tion? I haven’t decided yet. I would like to come back home, but we will see where my career takes me. Are you a big Phillies fan? [Laughs] I’m not sure I’m supposed to talk about that. C’mon now. Okay, I’m a big Phillies and Eagles fan. What do you make of the Phillies’ hitting problems this year? How well do you think they can do? I don’t follow them, I’m too involved with my own game during the season. When I’m not playing, I like to hang out and not pay attention to that stuff. That’s probably a good thing. You don’t want to be watching the Phillies right now. [As we went to press, they were second bottom of the NL East.] And what about the Cubs? They’ve been suffering for a long time, and they’ve made a bad start to the season. Do you think they are still in a rebuilding mode? They’ve got a great team and a great coaching staff. They’re moving in the right direction. When’s your next game? Back in tomorrow against the Lakeland Tigers. Good luck. Thanks, man
TRIBUTE Last December, Lower Cape May Regional held a ceremony to retire Matt Szczur’s baseball and football numbers. He’s pictured with family friends Veronica, Kristen and Steve Morey, Nancy Ridgway, and girlfriend Natalie Cooper. Aleksey Moryakov
Adorable Temporary Glitter Tattoos Several cute designs including cherries, star, peace sign, lips, skull & crossbones and more!
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AQUA YOGA MONDAYS & WEDNESDAYS 5:30 p.m. ONLY $5.00 Cape May City Elementary School Pool Lower Township Recreation Department STARTING TUESDAY, JULY 3rd! AQUA YOGA Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. ONLY $5! Lwr. Township Pool at Windslow Ave. & Rosehill Parkway, N. Cape May & YOGA ON THE BEACH Tuesdays, 7 p.m. ONLY $5! David Douglas Memorial Park (Canal Park/Sandman Blvd) N. Cape May (in front of the Gazebo!) For Additional information contact: Lower Twp Rec Dept. 609.886.7880 Ext. 0 yogacapemay.com or email: email@example.com Karen @ 609.827.8886
Stroll the shaded lanes of the Village and visit 26 restored, historic buildings on a 22-acre site. Here you will find a variety of interpreters in period clothing who demonstrate the trades, crafts and lifestyles of a rural 1800s community, including blacksmithing, basketweaving, farming, spinning, woodworking, open-hearth cooking and more! Special events are held every weekend from late June through mid-September Open Tuesday through Sunday from June 19 - September 2, 10am-4:30pm.
Special weekday family activities! Welcome Center, Old Grange Restaurant by Tony Clark, Country Store, Ice Cream Parlor, Bakery Historic Cold Spring Village has received operating and project grants from the New Jersey Historical Commission in the Department of State, The 1772 Foundation and the County of Cape May including NJSCA/Cape May County Culture and Heritage Commission Regrants. Endowment funds have been awarded from the NJ Cultural Trust in Department of State. Advertising and printing has also been funded through the Cooperative Marketing Grant Program of the New Jersey Division of Travel & Tourism in the Department of State, www.visitnj.org.
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book EXCERPT FROM OUR LOCAL BEST-SELLER, “THE FIRST RESORT”
BEFORE THE FIRE The Ocean House in 1876... two years later, it was no more Don Pocher
a hotel building boom Y THE year 1832 Cape Island had grown into a fully-fledged resort town. The island’s population had risen to nearly 5,000 people, with a number of small guest houses and three hotels. Visitors had their choice of Atlantic Hall, Congress Hall or the new Mansion House. The Mansion House was constructed in 1832, between Jackson and Perry streets, along the north side of Washington Street. It was the talk of the town due to its large stature and the modern accoutrements it offered, mainly separate rooms for all guests,
along with plastered and lathed walls. Like its predecessors the Mansion House did not include exterior paint, though it did offer finished interior walls. exit zero
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The hotel was built by Richard Smith Ludlam, who also had the distinction of establishing Washington Street. When Ludlam constructed the hotel he planned the street to create a new commercial district and connect his hotel with what was the commercial town center of Jackson Street. The first Washington Street ran approximately six blocks, at a width of 50 feet. Cape Island continued to garner attention through Thomas Hughes, a United States Assemblyman and the owner of Congress Hall. Hughes took office in 1829 and served until 1833. While in office, he was present when the notion of a state seceding from the union was first brought forth by Robert Y. Hayne, a senator from South Carolina. The debate between Hayne and Senator Daniel Webster from Massachusetts caught the attention of the country. The two senators argued over the merits of protectionist tariffs that were enacted after the war of 1812, during the presidency of John Quincy Adams. The tariffs were designed to promote American products over those made by the British.
HOME FROM HOME The Devine family enjoyed the rare benefit of a private bath house in 1865 Don Pocher
The arguments were of particular interest to Hughes because Cape Island sailors were being accused of circumventing the tariffs by smuggling in foreign goods. In addition, Hughes had become friends with President Adams, who was elected to congress following his presidential term. Hughes and Adams listened intently as Hayne and Webster argued over the tariffs and the
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right of a state to leave the union. It was only after the situation took a turn for the worse, when South Carolina passed a law to ignore the federal tariff law, that Hughes was forced to publicly take a side. South Carolina not only defied the federal rule, they authorized a state militia to stop federal troops from enforcing the tariffs. Their actions created a constitu-
Historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse and Gardens ~ 1874 ~
National and State Register of Historic Places
• Museum • Gift Shop • Award Winning Gardens • Open Year Round Open Daily from 9am-5pm Check Out Our Maritime Festival... July 7 & 8 Located at 1st and Central Avenues, North Wildwood www.herefordlighthouse.org
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Come visit the NEW North Beach Health Club of Cape May!! Your favorite place to vacation just got better!! We have worked hard all winter to get ready for you... More classes, more equipment, and more space!!
We now have a 4,000 sq ft
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(609) 898-3800 3845 BAYSHORE ROAD, NORTH CAPE MAY, NJ 08204 exit zero
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tional crisis that required the immediate response of the federal government. Hughes voted to side with the American Union, a position that was widely supported in Cape May. Congress then passed a bill that authorized the president to use the US military as a means of enforcing the tariffs in South Carolina. Luckily, the South Carolina legislature repealed its rebellious law against the tariff in 1833 and a crisis was averted. Congressman Hughes was able to return to Cape Island at the end of his term and spread the news that a civil war had been averted and that the American Union remained strong. Meanwhile, on Cape Island, summer tourism continued to grow and the official season for vacationers began on July 1 and ran through September 1. An increase in visitors called for the construction of new hotels and, in 1832, the Ocean House was built. Situated along the eastern side of Perry Street, the Ocean House was conceived by Israel Leaming. Some history books have mistakenly claimed that the Ocean House was built in 1856, but period accounts of the hotel and vin-
BUSTLE OF ACTIVITY A rare view of the Ocean House on Perry Street looking towards the beach Don Pocher
tage news articles have proven that to be incorrect. The confusion most likely stems from a substantial renovation and enlargement of the Ocean House that was completed in the mid-1850s. The Ocean House was three-and-ahalf stories tall, with a wraparound balcony on the third floor, a handful of attic rooms and another balcony on the roof. Its location across from Congress Hall’s expansive front lawn meant that visitors
MUSEUM C M C of
to the Ocean House would be treated to panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1837 the death of England’s King William IV paved the way for a new era in Great Britain and a change in the empire’s stature around the globe. Since King William had no surviving children, his 18-year-old niece, Princess Victoria, was chosen to succeed him. Princess Victoria became Queen Victoria and her ascension to the throne
Restoration & Repair of Fine Homes & Their Furnishings 609-536-2269 802-522-2929
The Cape May County Historical & Genealogical Society 504 Route 9 North • Cape May Court House NJ 08210 PH 609.465.3535 • FX 609.465.4274 • email@example.com
Experience 500 Years of Cape May County History through beautifully preserved Antiques & Architecture. www.cmcmuseum.org “T he bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten” - Franklin
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r o f s l a e D l a i c e Sp !
k e e W e h t f o y a D y r e Ev
MonDAY Piers and Pizza - $28
Start your week with a slice of Jumbo’s Pizza, a regular soft drink and a spin on ALL THREE PIERS with a ride wristband. Valid Mondays from 12:30pm until 6pm. Waterpark admission is not included in this package. Adventure Pier opens at 4pm.
FriDAY Splashtacular - $36 Splash into the weekend at one of
TuesDAY Special - $22
Fired Up FriDAY NIGHTS - $20 Light up your night by riding the rides underneath Coca-Cola’s weekly fantastic fireworks display! Fireworks each Friday night at 10pm from June 29 to August 31.
our beachfront waterparks, Raging Waters or Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club AND go wild on ALL THREE PIERS. Expires at 6pm. Available beginning July 15. Fridays from 9:30am until 6pm. Adventure Pier opens at 4pm.
Our best deal on Pier Ride Wristbands! Loop, spin and swing until you can’t take it anymore on ALL THREE PIERS. Valid Tuesdays from 12:30pm until 6pm. Waterpark admission is not included in this package. Adventure Pier opens at 4pm.
XTREME Ride WednesDAY - $32 Receive a Pier Ride Wristband valid until 6pm PLUS two Xtreme rides of your choice. Valid Wednesdays from 12:30pm until 6pm excluding July 4. Waterpark admission is not included in this package. Adventure Pier opens at 4pm, but Xtreme rides and the Great White open at 12:30pm. Xtreme rides include: SkyCoaster(s) (on Surfside and Adventure Piers); SpringShot (on Adventure Pier); and SkyScraper (on Adventure Pier). Double-the-Fun ThursDAY
Double your pleasure as the MOR-EZ ticket card goes twice as far on our amusement rides. Ride for only half the tickets until 6pm. Also, look for great Double-the-Fun offers at many of our games and food outlets. Valid Thursdays from 12:30pm until 6pm. Xtreme rides and Go-carts not included. Adventure Pier opens at 4pm.
Waterpark Specials Morning Special - $26 Swim and slide from park opening until 12:30pm.
After 3pm Special - $25 Sold after 3pm. Valid until park closes.
After 5pm Special - $20 Sold after 5pm. Valid until park closes. Not available on Saturdays.
Closing times and operating hours are subject to change at anytime based on various factors including weather and crowd conditions. All specials are subject to operating hours. Visit www.MoreysPiers.com for up-to-date operating hours and complete details on all of our specials. Some restrictions apply.
WWW.MOREYSPIERS.COM • WILDWOOD, NJ • 609.522.3900 exit zero
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marked the beginning of the Victorian Era in Cape May and all around the world. Much has been said about Queen Victoria’s rule, but history records that for the first half of her 64-year reign she lived a life of seclusion and relative unpopularity. On Cape Island, residents welcomed the construction of another large hotel in 1840. The Centre House was built on Washington Street, opposite the popular Mansion House, and next to the Ocean House. By that time, Washington Street had blossomed as the city’s commercial district and other small businesses had been established near the hotels. The Centre House was designed to merge the early-American style of architecture with the Second Empire look of Congress Hall. It was also the first boarding house on Cape Island to be painted – the owner chose an earth tone shade of brownish-yellow. The Centre House was the largest of Cape Island’s hotels, with the ability to accommodate 400 guests. The building spanned the whole block from Perry to Jackson streets with immense threestory columns adorning the hotel along
A MAJOR ADDITION The Mansion House helped establish Cape May’s primary commercial district on Washington Street Don Pocher
Washington Street. The next boarding house to be constructed in the budding seaside resort was the New Atlantic. The original Atlantic Hall had been purchased in March of 1839 by two brothers from Philadelphia. When Captain Benjamin McMakin and Captain Joseph McMakin bought it, they also purchased land
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across Jackson Street with the intention of expanding their business. In 1842 the McMakin brothers had the New Atlantic built on that parcel of land and increased their lodging capacity by 300 beds. Their new hotel spanned 100 feet along what would later become Beach Drive and rose four stories tall. It featured large porches in front and a
Aviation Museum at the Cape May County Airport A Hands-On, Interactive Museum
INSIDE HISTORIC HANGAR #1
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usnasw.org exit zero
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third floor balcony that wrapped around the building. One of the most prominent features of the New Atlantic was its dining chamber. Patrons were welcomed into a gigantic hall that encompassed the full first floor of the hotel. Rather than occupying separate tables, as todayâ€™s diners would expect, guests of the New Atlantic were seated at one of four long tables that ran the length of the hall. The Cape Island hotel surge continued with the construction of the Columbia House in 1846. The Columbia House was built by a Delaware River captain named George Hildreth on a large plot of land between Decatur and Ocean streets. The parcel was nothing more than swampland when Hildreth bought it, so he hired laborers to fill in the bog with dirt and sand from the northern section of the island. Hildrethâ€™s Columbia House was four stories tall and was considered the most elegant of the Cape Island hotels. Both interior and exterior walls were plastered and painted, with elaborate piazzas that followed the 180-foot length of the hotel. The Columbia House was later
CENTRE OF FUN The Centre House was a local hotspot for live entertainment in the late 1800s. Like many others, it was destroyed in the inferno of 1878. Don Pocher
expanded into an L-shape, similar to Congress Hall, which doubled the number of rooms and made it the largest boarding house on the island. The year 1851 brought the construction of yet another boarding house, the United States Hotel. Built by A. W. Tompkins the hotel was a huge fourstory structure that sat on 10 acres spanning from Decatur to Ocean streets,
along Washington Street. The United States quickly became one of the most popular hostelries in town, with its wide, sweeping verandas, panoramic ocean views and evening entertainment that amused guests and locals. Cape Island was presented with the grandest spectacle of all in 1852 when construction began on the Mount Vernon Hotel, designed to be the largest
For the perfect escape... let us pamper you.
Cape May Day Spa | 607 Jefferson Street, Cape May (609) 898-1003 | www.capemaydayspa.com exit zero
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“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” ~Washington Irving
Don’t miss the beautiful full-color hardcover book, CAPE MAY MOMENTS You can find it at the Exit Zero Store & Gallery, along with Whale’s Tale, Tommy’s Folly at Congress Hall, the Emlen Physick Estate, Sunset Beach & more! Or order it online... just visit exitzero.us and click on the link!
CARE FOR YOUR SMILE... Call Dr. Feldman’s office today! You’ll be glad you did... And so will the people you smile at!
LOUIS J. FELDMAN, D.D.S., FAGD 741 Washington Street • Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 884-4260 exit zero
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in the world and including features that no Cape Island hotel had ever offered before or, for that matter, ANY hotel. The Mount Vernon, according to the London Illustrated News, was the first in the world to offer en suite bathrooms. The building was purported to accommodate up to 3,500 people, a number that was unheard of in the early Victorian period. Plans for the hotel were elaborate and called for running hot and cold water, a pistol-firing range, bowling alleys and gas lighting in every room. The hotel was funded by a number of investors in Philadelphia and New Jersey who teamed with a gentleman named John West and founded the Mount Vernon Hotel Company. The amount of work required to build their fantastic hotel was so great that it had to be undertaken in phases. This was done to allow the completed portions of the hotel to accommodate guests while the rest was still under construction. Four years after building started, the Mount Vernon was able to accommodate a little more than 2,000 people. But, as the craftsmen were finishing up work on the last section of the hotel in September
Copies of The First Resort, by Ben Miller, are available from The Exit Zero Store and Gallery, Whale’s Tale, Sunset Beach and other selected local stores. Or you can buy one at exitzero.us.
of 1856, tragedy struck. The hotel was empty, with the exception of the innkeeper, Phillip Cain, his four children, and a housekeeper, Anna Albertson. All were asleep on the second floor, when an unknown person broke in to the building and set it the fire. Only Phillip Jr escaped, though he suffered severe burns and died the following afternoon in the United States Hotel. Before he passed, he was able to describe the scene in his family’s apartment, as they realized they were trapped by the flames and tried to escape by jumping off the balcony or running through the flames. Authorities suspected the fire to be arson almost immediately and one of the family’s former housekeepers was arrested for the murders. It was surmised that her reason for setting the fire was a money dispute with Phillip Cain. The housekeeper was also accused of stealing money from the hotel before she ignited the deadly fire. The early Victorian period was especially important for the infrastructure of Cape Island, with the first local government being established in 1848. On
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March 8 of that year, the New Jersey General Assembly passed an act that officially incorporated Cape Island. A temporary leadership chain was created with James Mecray named Chief Burgess and a small staff selected to help him run the new borough. Two years later, the General Assembly amended their previous designation and incorporated The City of Cape Island. A new government structure was established with a mayor and six councilmen, along with an alderman and recorder. Isaac M. Church was the City of Cape Island’s first mayor and the council comprised James Mecray, John G. W. Ware, Joseph Ware, Aaron Garretson, James S. Kennedy and David Pierson. The city’s alderman was Walter B. Miller, and Joseph S. Leach was the recorder. Cape Island’s new leadership team met for the first time on March 15, 1851 in the Cape Island schoolhouse on the corner of Lafayette and Franklin Streets. Relatively little was done that evening in the way of legislation, but the foundation was laid for a strong city government.
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my perfect day MIKE MURPHY, CARPENTER/MUSICIAN/RADIO DJ
Boating, birdwatching and bluefish
INCE I’ve spent most of my adult life building things, I’ll ask your indulgence while I build a perfect Cape May day from the best parts of three or four. The day starts quietly with the sun streaming in the kitchen windows while I make a double espresso for myself and one for my wife Ellen, who is still in bed, usually with a couple of dogs and a cat. A favorite morning is spent in the WCFA studio at The Center for the Community Arts, the radio station where I do a show on Saturdays from 9am to noon. I get to spend that time listening to and sharing music that I love. I like to find things that I think my listeners will enjoy, and it’s fun getting comments and emails asking me what a certain cut was.
A perfect mid-day would be getting a sandwich and a pint at Lucky Bones or at The Raw Bar at The Lobster House. If there’s a breeze, and if the motor’s working okay and the tide is right, early afternoon is a great time to take a sail in the harbor. I’m not a terribly experienced sailor, so the harbor can be plenty of fun for me and I can usually avoid putting my passengers in jeopardy there. A mid-afternoon walk with our dogs on a friend’s farm is a great break — it gets really quiet out there and Ellen sometimes brings her binoculars and we see lots of amazing birds that we can’t quite identify. A perfect dinner is having friends over for fresh fish, either from the market or from friends who fish. I usually grill it on the back deck and Ellen cooks exit zero
HITTING THE WATER “If there’s a breeze, and if the motor’s working okay and the tide is right, early afternoon is a great time to take a sail in the harbor. I’m not a terribly experienced sailor, so the harbor can be plenty of fun for me,” says Mike Murphy. Aleksey Moryakov
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vegetables with some incredible sauce. Grilled bluefish with Tabasco butter — you should try it, it’ll knock your socks off. A perfect day ends on Decatur Street with jazz trio night (Thursdays) at The Merion Inn, or Friday night Open Mic at the Pilot House. The Merion hosts some really wonderful world-class players. The range of talent dropping in at Open Mic is amazing — sometimes the room is singing along, sometimes turning pin-drop quiet to really listen. And on some really perfect nights, the two venues would combine in a magical way when George Mesterhazy walked up the street from The Merion to sit in at Open Mic on guitar, accordion, melodica or maybe even his iPad. As our friend J.M. Kearns would say, “George turns late into early.” We miss him terribly now.
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Broadway Stars Head To Cape May
ULTIPLE award-winning Broadway celebrities light up the stage Monday nights in July and August during Cape May Stage’s popular Second Stage Broadway Series, sponsored by Chris and Dave Clemans. Audiences will delight in seeing Broadway stars in exclusive cabaret performances in the intimacy of the Robert Shackleton Playhouse. Look for them Mondays throughout the summer. The Broadway series begins July 2 with the consummate Obie Award-winner Anthony Rapp, of Rent fame. Anthony’s concert, Without You, based on his best-selling book, is touring extensively following an Off-Broadway run in 2010. The entrancing Lee Roy Reams brings Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance! to the stage on July 16. The man who columnist Liz Smith called “Broadway’s Darling” will enthrall audiences with his song and dance. Lee Roy won critical acclaim as Roger DeBris in The Producers, as Lumiere in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and a Tony nomination for his role in 42nd Street. July 23 will see the inimitable Faith Prince at Cape May Stage in her latest concert, Total Faith. This Southern Belle’s unforgettable and hilarious adventures are brought to life with songs from some of America’s greatest composers, including Harold Arlen, Alan Mencken, and Stephen Sondheim. The two-time Tony Award-winning Christine Ebersole is joined by jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein for an evening showcasing classic songs by Fats Waller, Cole Porter, Johnny Mercer and Cannonball Addeley in Strings Attached on July 30. Andrea Marcovicci kicks off the month of August with No Strings on August 13. This “Queen of Cabaret” has created over 30 nightclub acts, performing with national orchestras in venues as storied as the White House and Carnegie Hall. No Strings takes the audience on a touching journey about the life of a performer: a candid tale
Anthony Rapp appears July 2
Andrea Marcovicci appears August 13
of balancing life on the road with the stresses of motherhood. Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker return to Cape May Stage on August 27. This Emmywinning real-life husband and wife team starred for eight seasons on the hit drama L.A. Law, and bring Cape May audiences the world premiere of Mike’s Shorts. These tales, written by Tucker, weave life lessons with gastronomic delights, taking the audience on travels through New York and Italy. Like a good meal, this show will have something for everyone. This season has two money-saving options for you to see as many of the Second Stage Broadway Series as you’d like without breaking the bank: $250 gets you all six in the Broadway series, or for $170 you can select four shows of your choosing. Otherwise, each show in the Broadway series is $50. Cape May Stage has expanded their seating with the addition of a mezzanine, but these shows will sell out quickly, so get your tickets as soon as possible! Call 609-884-1341 for tickets, or visit capemaystage.org.
Christine Ebersole appears July 30
HERE’S WHAT’S COMING TO CAPE MAY STAGE Anthony Rapp of “Rent” Stars In “Without You” Monday, July 2, 8pm Tickets $50
Lee Roy Reams in “Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance” Monday, July 16, 8pm Tickets $50
«Call (609) 884-1341
Christine Ebersole in “Strings Attached” Monday, July 30, 8pm Tickets $50
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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new kid on the block The former Atlas Inn on Beach Avenue was sold and made way for the Ocean Club, after an imaginative transformation
A healthy future for local real estate
UMMER is here and the chill of winter is a distant memory, except I guess this year there wasn’t much of a chill to remember, and that seemed to help the real estate market in Cape May. But before we look forward, let’s take a step back. There were several changes in the real estate landscape in 2011. The Atlas was sold and transformed into the Ocean Club. Contractors worked around the clock to get the building ready for the summer season and the transfor-
Story by CHRIS BEZAIRE Photograph by ALEKSEY MORYAKOV
mation was breathtaking — new rooms, and a revamped pool complete with cabana bar added to the new atmosphere topped off by the unveiling of Sea Salt, another great addition to Cape May’s restaurant lineup. And in case you haven’t heard, you might want to check out Latin Night. Next was the introduction of the Beach House Restaurant on the promenade which replaced long-time local favorite, Henry’s on the Beach. While many were sad to hear of the departure of Henry’s, kudos has to go to the new owners — that’s one well-delivered menu. One can only guess how busy they will be this summer with the re-opening of Convention Hall. I’m thinking you might want to book your breakfast reservation now (except they don’t take reservaexit zero
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tions!)... oh well. The Washington Street Mall also saw its fair share of newcomers as a couple of long standing businesses jumped ship from their previous locations to join the hustle and bustle of the city’s business district. The biggest business of note would be that of Tisha’s Fine Dining. Long situated on the boardwalk behind Convention Hall, they were forced to find a new home on the mall. With that change of venue also came a fresh look at their menu as well as hours, as they started to offer breakfast on a regular basis for the first time. Day and night one could walk by and very rarely did you see an empty table. Not to be out done is the store known best for the yellow rubber duckies. I am, of course,
referring to Bath Time. Last year was the first year for them on the mall as they moved from their previous location near Swain’s. According to the owner this move has not only gained them more exposure and more business, but has also cut into the staff members’ time for happy hour wine-tasting.... ah, the challenges of success. And last but not least, Cape May saw the end of another era as the city’s only movie theater was finally demolished by its owners to make way for a mix of commercial and residential use. Regardless of your stance on the historical nature of the building, it was a sad sight to see the place I used to visit as a child torn down, but it would only have been sadder to see it continue to deteriorate with no real hope for a future. With all of that happening in 2011, surely 2012 can’t keep up... or can it? The town of Cape May continues to re-invent itself as even more change is on the way for the coming year. In January Cape May said goodbye to the Lemon Tree, which has been on the mall since the addition of Liberty Way in the early ’80s. Rumor has it a new café will be in by the time this article is published... stay tuned. Also changing on the mall is the building that was once home to Atlantic Books. The bank building they occupied will now be the home of the famous Stewart’s Root Beer. The rare addi-
tion of a regionally ran business or franchise such as Stewart’s is a pleasant surprise as Cape May has very little non-locally owned businesses. Stewart’s will be added to the likes of Ben and Jerry’s, Dairy Queen, and The Sunglass Hut as the few regionally or nationally known businesses. This continues to show that the retail landscape of Cape May continues to grow and attract business both near and far. And then, the grand finale, by the time you have read this the new Convention Hall will have had its official grand opening with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. This building is the culmination of three years of persistence by both city government, preservationists, and residents to make sure that the new structure served the city aesthetically and functionally. While it was definitely a battle at times, the final product will once again benefit the city by hosting numerous events including the LCMR senior prom, concerts and yes, of course, roller skating for the local kids. So what does all of this have to do with a real estate column? PLENTY! The events of the past two years in the commercial sector show both a new and renewed interest in Cape May as a destination resort. While the real estate market in general has been flat during the last two years, which is a huge improvement over the declining
markets of years past, the commercial sector has seen something that has made them comfortable investing their money for the long haul. So are they right to invest in Cape May’s future as a popular destination? I submit to you my answer as a resounding YES! How can I be so confident? I only have to look at the tourism numbers over the last two years to justify my response. Many inn and hotel operators told me that even with the visit of Hurricane Irene last year their numbers were even if not better than 2010, and the 2012 season is already ahead of 2011. As a real estate agent in the number one office in Cape May, I can tell you that our number of rentals are up 11% from this same time last year, not to mention that we are up 39% on 2009, which many consider to be the lowest tourism season in decades. So whether you are a local reading this article, or a tourist, or a business owner, I would suggest you smile — all of these changes will ensure the future prosperity of the nation’s oldest seashore resort. And that’s good news for all of us. Chris Bezaire is a fifth-generation real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Sol Needles Agency in Cape May. You can follow him on Twitter @CapeMayChris and watch his videos on YouTube www.youtube.com/ capemayrealtor. Or contact him at chris @capemaychris.com.
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©2007 Jupiterimages Corporation. All Rights Reserved. ©2007 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker® is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity z. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated
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my perfect day DOUG McMAIN, OWNER OF THE QUEEN VICTORIA
Trolleys, tea luncheons and wineries
ESCRIBING the Perfect Day in Cape May is more difficult than you might imagine, simply because there are SO MANY different ways to experience a perfect Cape May day. Any perfect day has to start with a sunrise walk along the beach. In the spring, summer and fall, I keep a close watch for the many dolphins that inhabit our waters. I have to hurry, though, because I need to get back to The Queen Victoria to host breakfast for our guests. After enjoying the company of our guests, many of whom have become close friends with over the years, my wife Anna Marie and I will jump on a pair of bicycles and go for a ride. Our favorite destination is the Cape May lighthouse. As MAC members we can tour the lighthouse for
free and enjoy the breathtaking view of the Delaware Bay. Playing tourist is never a problem for us, so we follow that up with a Combination Trolley Tour, which includes a guided tour of MAC’s Emlyn Physick estate. This tour is free to MAC members, too, so we’re having a perfectly inexpensive day so far. After the tour, we’ll drop into the Carriage House Café & Tearoom at the Physick Estate for lunch. It’s hard to beat their traditional Tea Luncheon, but they also have a mouthwatering array of salads, paninis, wraps, soups and desserts. With a good workout and lunch under our belts, we’re ready to visit Cape May or Hawk Haven winery, for a tasting and perhaps a glass or two of great wine. There is truly nothing more relaxing than this! On the way out, we always buy at least one bottle to have handy for dinner exit zero
BIKING AROUND “With a good workout and lunch under our belts, we’re ready to visit Cape May or Hawk Haven winery, for a tasting and perhaps a glass or two of great wine. There is truly nothing more relaxing than this!” says Doug McMain. Aleksey Moryakov
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later at one of our favorite BYO restaurants. Choosing where to have dinner is tough for us, because we have so many favorites — Freda’s Café, George’s Place, Cucina Rosa, Union Park, Gecko’s, 410 Bank Street, Frescos, the Merion Inn or the Washington Inn among them. Believe it or not, I had to really limit this list. It could be MUCH longer. After dinner a moonlight stroll is the perfect way to cap off the day. We’ll hold hands and walk through the treelined streets admiring the architecture and reliving the day. At this point we’ll probably realize that we didn’t manage to squeeze in any time at the beach and we need to start planning for another (different) Perfect Day soon. Of course, we’ll have to wait until our next afternoon off for that.
The Cape May 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 content in this magazine. The solution can be found on our website, exitzero.us. Compiled by Kate Chadwick. ACROSS 4 . According to Elan Zingman-Leith, this Cape May building is a must-see because of its “berserk combination of styles.”
8. W CFA-FM DJ Mike Murphy’s perfect day includes dinner with friends on his deck, and grilled bluefish with this kind of butter.
11. Tattoo artist Cohwen Allen recommends to those getting their first tattoos avoid inking the hands and this body part.
12. According to a quirky Cape May law, it’s illegal to either change your clothes or do this in your vehicle.
14. This is the somewhat cheeky name of Dylan Rutherford’s bread company. 16. SOMA NewArt Gallery is currently presenting works by Harriett Sosson, John Borrero, and this Perfect Day subject.
17. This two-time Tony Award-winning actress/singer appears at Cape May Stage on July 30.
23. Chris Bezaire’s article on changes in town includes the closing last year of this popular Washingon Mall eatery.
21. Parker Smith’s perfect day would begin by stealing the Sunday Arts & Leisure section of this newspaper from his wife.
25. Janis Quiggle’s Q Bakery is located at this iconic West Cape May site. DOWN 1. T his Philly kids’ program star once lived above the South Jersey Marina store, according to Diane Stopyra’s harbor article. 2 . “The Brigadune” is listed for sale with Coastline Realty for $4.3 million; it’s a large beach home on two lots on this avenue. 3. V iviane Rowan’s active perfect day ends with getting some rest before a busy day at her new shop, named this. 5. Y ou need them for birding, says CMBO’s Pete Dunne. If you don’t have them, they’ll likely be lent to you by a bird walk leader. 6 . Lower Township’s Matt Szczur was recruited from LCMR to both the football and baseball teams of this distinguished Philadelphia area university.
This won’t give you hay fever...22 down
7. M any European birders travel to Cape May specifically during this month to experience exit zero
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the fall migration of warblers. 9. L inda Steenrod offers tips for enjoying Cape May with your dog. She should know, as co-owner of this dog-friendly guest house, the _______ Cottage. 10. This is the title of Ben Miller’s new book, available soon at the Exit Zero Store. 13. Q ueen Victoria owner Doug McMain’s perfect day includes a visit to this winery. 15. T his activity (and watching others do it) was popular with Davy’s Lake visitors. 18. This new liquor store in town is conveniently located across the street from the Exit Zero Store, Gallery and Global HQ. 19. Captain Fred Ascoli, of Harbor View Restaurant and Marina, has seen double and triple of these from his second-story office. 20. This pier and water park offers a Double The Fun Thursday discount on amusements. 22. Landscaper expert Stan Sperlak says you can’t get hay fever from Goldenrod, but you CAN get it from this. 24. The water tastes like this at Davy’s Lake, according to those familiar with the place.
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146 July 2012
The July color issue of Exit Zero magazine, Cape May's peppy periodical.