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EXIT ZERO MAY/JUNE 2011 « $4.95


Washington Inn

the wine bar

Contemporary Dining Classic Cocktails

Hip, Relaxing & Comfortable Flights of Wine Dinner & Small Plate Menu

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 Nite awarding winning SUNDAY BRUNCH Offering a GLUTEN-FREE MENU!

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


contents

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may/june 2010 45

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FEATURES welcome to summer 7 Thirty-one fun events to get the season started

good and bad in the ugly 16 Our man bartends at the Ugly Mug, with mixed results

the cape may food guide 27 Five pages of ridiculously comprehensive charts

a springtime symphony 37

76

REGULARS

A preview of the Cape May Music Festival

my perfect day pastor jeffrey elliott 90 barbara lamont 130 john cooke 143

the song and dance man 45 The George Burns story returns to Cape May Stage

rules of the beach 48

a chat with dan anderson 43 chris cooke 70

Our very entertaining etiquette guide

hotel for a hero 62 The story of Henry Sawyer and The Chalfonte

arts coverage harriett sosson 73 gail pierson gallery 93 east lynne theater 96

vampire city 76 First chapter of Terry O’Brien’s chilling new short story

the power of the sun 98

98

27 questions for... mark allen 136

Pete Dunne rhapsodizes about the wonder of Cape May

renovating a classic 109

puzzle time cape may crossword 144

The Peter Shields Inn gets a breath of fresh air

activities 116 The best Cape May guide you will ever need, or read!

cover painting by victor grasso

62


about us editor & publisher Jack Wright jack@exitzero.us

®

advertising manager Jason Black jason@exitzero.us manager of assorted necessities Dan Mathers dan@exitzero.us staff writer Kate Chadwick kate@exitzero.us

Visiting CAPE MAY and leaving us off your itinerary would be like visiting PARIS... and skipping the EIFFEL TOWER!

assistant editor Jon Roth jon@exitzero.us creative consultant Victor Grasso historical editor Ben Miller ben@exitzero.us photographers Aleksey Moryakov, Sandy Maloney, Danielle O’Neal graphic artist Doree Bardes contributing writers David Gray, Terry O’Brien, Diane Stopyra distribution team Richard Hemenway, 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: info@exitzero.us Website: www.exitzero.us

The Lobster House Fisherman’s Wharf, Cape May (609) 884-8296 www.thelobsterhouse.com

president Jack Wright vice-president Jason Black tennis ball supervisor April Wright fluffy toy supervisor Friday Wright mouse supervisors EZ Wright, Pascal Wright


Unchanging. Quintessential. Classic.

The BEST Live Entertainment in Town!

426 WASHINGTON STREET MALL, CAPE MAY • « (609) 884-3459


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Y

OU are holding a curious creature in your hands – a magazine that’s devoid of cover lines. Unless you’re a subscriber to, say, The New Yorker, you will never have seen such a thing before. That’s because it doesn’t make much sense to publish a magazine that you want people to buy and neglect to print cover lines. After all, it’s cover lines that sell magazines (“A Six-Pack in 10 Days!”, “5o Ways to Please Your Man in Bed!”, “Stars with Cellulite!”). So what gives, you might be asking? Well, first of all, I like to think that the words EXIT and ZERO have become synonymous with excellent writing, useful information, a quirky sense of humor and fun photography. And secondly, it seemed like sacrilege to put words over such a beautiful painting. So I didn’t. Regular readers will be familiar with the work of Victor Grasso, a young artist whom I have described many times as a genius. I am not a fan of hyberbole, and useless, cliched descriptions. So I don’t use that word lightly. But, really, take a look at the painting on the cover and the pencil and charcoal drawing on the right and tell me that this isn’t the work of an absurdly talented artist. Some of our slightly older readers will likely recognize the style of this cover – it’s a tribute to Norman Rockwell, the American artist whose handiwork graced the covers of the Saturday Evening Post for decades. I want to thank our two cover models, Cape May beach tagger Colonel Rich Nowakowski and surfer dude John DiGenni. As for the rest of the issue, it’s pretty good, too! There is a compelling excerpt from a new book, The Chalfonte, about Cape May’s grand old dame, the oldest standing hotel in the city (it beats the latest incarnation of Congress Hall by two years). We produced and published the book and I was really impressed by the writer, Karen Fox. The book is now on sale at good stores throughout the town, including the Exit Zero Store and Gallery. I also love the two stories written by our newest star, Diane Stopyra. Diane’s

editor’s letter

day job is as a waitress at The Ebbitt Room, but her real passion is writing, and she is extremely good at it. Her story on beach etiquette (page 48) is a great, fun read, and I hope you will also enjoy her interview with the rock band, 7Mornings, who feature Cape May locals John Miller and Adam McDonough. Our Assistant Editor Jon Roth did a bang-up job on a Cape May Music Festival preview, and the interview with exit zero

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ON OUR COVER A pencil and charcoal version of artist Victor Grasso’s amazing cover shot. The work will be part of Grasso’s show at the SOMA NewArt Gallery in August.

artist Harriett Sosson, so a special thankyou to him. I hope you love the magazine. If you don’t want to miss any of our upcoming color issues, you can subscribe – it’s $25 for all five issues. For details, see the previous page. Have a wonderful start to summer, and I will talk to you again soon! Jack Wright Editor/Publisher

2011


Start off your summer

T

HERE are certain things you’ve got to do every summer in Cape May: take a dip in the Atlantic and dry off in the sun; walk the promenade in the early morning when the mist rises off the ocean; stop in the arcade for a rousing game of skee ball. But for every tried-and-true summer standby there is a host of other stimulating, fun events you may have never known about. Allow Exit Zero to show you all that’s happening between now and the Fourth... Monday mornings all summer BIRDING THE MEADOWS WITH PETE DUNNE Birding always proves interesting at this recently restored hotspot. Join Pete Dunne at The Nature Conservancy’s Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge. Meet at the refuge parking lot on Sunset Boulevard. Runs from 7:30-9:30am. Cost is $6 for members, $10 for non-members. Visit www.BirdCapeMay.org for details.

FIREWORKS AT THE HALL The Fourth of July celebrations at Congress Hall have become an unmissable event since being reintroduced a few years ago (the old hotel used to be the city’s Independence Day HQ). There is also an AllAmerican Picnic and various activities for the kids, from face painting to games on the hotel’s sweeping lawn. Maciej Nabrdalik

May 18 to 24 NEW JERSEY AUDUBON’S CAPE MAYGRATION BIRDING FESTIVAL Come play for a day, or two, or three, or treat yourself to a week of field trips, special trips, lectures, shorebird and kite watches, evening socials, dinners and programs with Dr Larry Niles and Pete Dunne, kayak excursions, birding by boat and more. There’s something for everyone, from the novice to the seasoned naturalist, with friendly and easypaced field trips to birding hotspots led by North America’s finest naturalists. Visit www.BirdCapeMay.org for details. May 19 to 22 SIDEWALK SALE Need to stock up on gifts and summer necessities? The Washington Street Mall is always the place to shop in Cape May, but this two-day sale boasts the kind of bargains you might not see for quite some time. Browse a variety of merchandise from local stores. Sale runs from from 9am to 7pm.

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May 20 and 21 REMEMBERING SOUTH CAPE MAY LECTURE The Cape May Bird Observatory sponsors a free lecture by Robert Kenselaar and Joseph Bucher on Friday from 1-3pm and a book-signing on Saturday from 5-6pm at the Crystal Room in the Grand Hotel. Kenselaar and Bucher are authors of Remembering South Cape May: The Jersey Shore Town That Vanished Into the Sea (a book that serves as the basis for the ‘Remembering South Cape May’ exhibit in the Carriage House Gallery). Call 609-884-2736 or visit www.birdcapemay.org. May 21 NATURE CENTER OF CAPE MAY’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION Did you know that Cape May Harbor is 100 years old, the Nature Center is 16 years old and their Welcome Center is five years old? That makes for a whole lot of birthday cake. Celebrate with a party on the harbor. Call 609-898-8848 .


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

Open Seven Days Serving Dinner

from

5:30

pm

outdoor oceanfront seating 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

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May 21 ARMED FORCES DAY AT THE WWII LOOKOUT TOWER The beautifully restored World War II lookout tower is the perfect setting to pay tribute to the dedicated men and women who have helped preserve our freedom. The Acknowledgement Ceremony begins at 11am. Admission is free. The lookout tower is located on Sunset Boulevard near Cape May Point. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC). Call 609-884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org for more information about this event.

May 26 to June 15 CAPE MAY MUSIC FESTIVAL Enjoy world-class orchestral and chamber music at the 22nd annual Cape May Music Festival funded by PNC Arts Alive and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey. This year the festival features Irish-American band The Pride of New York, jazz percussionist Babatunde Lea, and performances by the Bay-Atlantic and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras.

Presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404 or consult our Cape May Music Festival preview on page 37. May 28 MEMORIAL DAY ANTIQUES AND CRAFT SHOW Visit the Cape May Elementary School at 921 Lafayette Street for a wide selection of country crafts, folk art, custom-

MANDARIN SALMON • RIO STUFFED CLAMS • AWARD-WINNING WINE LIST • DONNIE’S BRUCHETTA • STEEL CITY CHILI

Some people call us fresh!

AMERICAN STEAK & SEAFOOD HOUSE

Featuring Hand-cut Steaks, Fresh Local Seafood, & International Beers-on-tap Grande Center Shopping Mall • Rio Grande, New Jersey • 609-889-2000

• TAMI TEA • THE BEST OF CINCINNATI BLACKENING • GREGGY FRIES

• BLACK’N JACK STRIP • WORLD FAMOUS CRAB CAKES • MOTZY STICKS •

May 21 DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSE ADVENTURE Enjoy a cruise up the Delaware Bay aboard the Cape May Whale Watcher’s HIstory Spirit of Cape May for a full day of light- stands tall The WWII Watch house viewing. The cruise includes a Tower standing continental breakfast and lavish lun- at Sunset Beach cheon buffet, and, if you are so inclined, was used to spot a cash bar is available. Limited to 175 German U-boats guests. Departs at 10am. Admission is and is the only $99. Co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic remaining tower Center for the Arts & Humanities in New Jerseyy. (MAC) and the Cape May Whale Aleksey moryakov FreshHalfPgCMYKEZ 3/1/11 2:35 PM Page 1 Watcher. Call 609-884-5404.

DAN’S MARGUARITA • BEST PRIME RIB IN THE UNIVERSE • STATION STEAMERS • STELLA ARTOIS • RIO HOT WINGS •

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designed jewelry, antiques and a choice selection of Victorian items. This event runs from 10am to 4pm. Admission is $1 for adults. Sponsored by the MidAtlantic Center for the Arts (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404. May 28 and 29 VILLAGE SAMPLER WEEKEND AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE The perfect event for first-time visitors to the Village. Enjoy free admission from 11am to 3pm at this beautiful site, a short drive from downtown Cape May. Visit select buildings and learn about the Village. Share afternoon tea with the Friends of Historic Cold Spring Village and take guided walking tours of the lush 30-acre site. For more information visit www.hcsv.org. May 30 MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY Honor America’s fallen heroes at this special ceremony, held at the monument on Columbia Avenue at 9am. June 4 AN EVENING IN CHAUTAUQUA This gala launch will be held at the Cape May Winery at 7pm and all proceeds will support the second annual Cape May Forum Chautauqua at the Shore: Guess What’s Coming for Dinner? This is the theme for a host of events offered at various venues around Cape May in September, exploring subjects including organic food movements, nutrition, hunger and new food harvesting frontiers. Sponsored by Cape May Forum. Call 609-770-2626. June 4 WEST CAPE MAY STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL Come and celebrate the sweetest of berries at Wilbraham Park in West Cape May. You’ll find delicious produce, music and plenty of local vendors. For more information, call 609-884-9325. June 4 and 5 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE The Village is going all-out to celebrate 30 years of living history. Don’t miss this special event featuring traditional music, folk arts, games, family activities and more – a sampler of the ‘best of the best’ over the past three decades! Enjoy free ice cream and cake on Sunday at this event. For further information, visit their website at www.hcsv.org.

Hunting The hunters Fishermen from all over the East Coast come to Cape May to participate in the South Jersey Shark Tournament, one of the biggest draws in the sport. Aleksey Moryakov

June 9 to 12 31ST ANNUAL SOUTH JERSEY SHARK TOURNAMENT Based out of Cape May’s South Jersey Marina, this is the largest and most lucrative shark tournament around. Fishermen from all over the East Cost come to haul in the deadliest catch. The marina is at the entrance to Cape May, just past the Lobster House and across from Lucky Bones. Hosted by Canyon Club Resort Marina. Call 609-884-2400. June 11 VICTORIAN FAIR A traditional Victorian fair on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate,

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Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, at 1048 Washington Street. The day features live musical performances, crafts, collectibles, living history characters, children’s activities and refreshments. Event runs from 10am to 4pm. Free admission, parking and a free trolley shuttle is available from the Washington Street Mall. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. June 11 and 12 CELTIC FESTIVAL AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE A pipe band, dance workshops, children’s programs, a pub tent, live music,


traditional food and craft vendors – the only way to get more authentic is to buy yourself a ticket to Ireland. Held on the beautiful grounds of this living history museum – the buildings are closed for the weekend. Visit www.hcsv.org. June 11 and 12 BOARDWALK CRAFT SHOW Treat yourself to a stroll up and down the promenade and take in the sea air as you peruse a variety of handmade arts and crafts produced by local vendors. Whether you’re looking for home decor or a piece of special jewelry, you’re sure to find a treasure or two at this weekend event, which runs from 10-5pm. June 15 FULL MOON GHOST HUNT WITH GHOST-ONE Ghost-One, a paranormal research team based in Pennsylvania, is hosting a ghost hunt at 7:30pm at the Physick Estate. Enter the Estate with a member of Ghost-One. Try your hand at some of their investigating tools as you explore different rooms inside the home. Afterward, return to the Carriage House Tearoom & Café 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 (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. June 17 and 18 HARBOR FEST Celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cape May Harbor by joining the Nature Center of Cape May and its community partners for the fourth annual Harbor Fest, which will take place along Delaware Avenue, Cape May Harbor beaches and the Nature Center’s environmental education campus. There will be lots of fresh seafood, live music, a blessing of the waters, a kayak and canoe regatta, educational programs and arts and crafts vendors. Contact the Center at 609-898-8848. June 18 CAPE MAY WINE TRAIL Visit Cape May County’s wineries and sample the flavors of each. Enjoy lunch at the Carriage House Tearoom & Café, then tour Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery and Turdo Vineyards, where you’ll learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Event runs from 12pm to 5pm. Admission is $75 per person and includes lunch, wine tastings and a wine exit zero

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The sampler The Cape May Wine Trail takes you to local wineries, including Hawk Haven, where they let you sample in the tasting rooms. Aleksey Moryakov muskets and black powder Historic Cold Spring Village is home to a variety of events throughout the year, one of the most exciting being Military Weekend where visitors will see encmpments from the Roman Imperial army up through WWII. Aleksey Moryakov

2011

glass. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. For more information, call 609-884-5404. June 18 CAPE MAY POINT 5-MILE RUN It’s a win-win! You get fit AND you get to enjoy the enchanting (and there really is no better word for it) environs of charming Cape May Point. Registration is at 8:30am near the fire hall. Call 609-884-1087 for more information. June 18 and 19 MILITARY TIMELINE WEEKEND AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE Experience field camps, displays and exhibits depicting military life from ancient times to the 20th century. Living history encampments will include World War II, Civil War, Roman Imperial Army, the English Hundred Years War and more. Visit www.hcsv.org. June 25 BUTTERFLY WORKSHOP Cape May County hosts 105 species of butterflies, with 75 around in late June. Life cycles, odd behaviors, their spectacular migrations and tips for easy identification will all be covered by Pat Sutton. The Nature Center’s gardens


FISH & FANCY

WE MADE IT THROUGH ANOTHER WINTER with Loyal Customer Support!

SEAFOOD TAKE-OUT

A Favorite with Locals and Throughout the Delaware Valley... OPEN WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY 3pm... Same Awesome Staff Looks Forward to Another Great Year! OPEN 7 DAYS STARTING JUNE 15 2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (next to Robinson & Son’s Produce) • 886-8760 • fishandfancy.com exit zero

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and Pat Sutton’s own butterfly-filled garden in Goshen will serve as outdoor classrooms. Runs from 9am-4pm, costs $55. Call 609-898-8848. June 25 and 26 GREAT AMERICAN BACKYARD CAMPOUT Join the National Wildlife Federation, NJ Audubon and outdoor enthusiasts from across the country for the Great American Backyard Campout! Program director Sue Slotterback will lead this family celebration of “getting out there” for an overnight campout under the stars. Activities will include a night hike, campfire fun and a Sunday morning beach clean-up. Cost is $5, held at the Nature Center of Cape May. Pre-register at 609-898-8848. June 25 and 26 QUILT & FIBER FEST AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE Make the trip to the Village and partake in a quilt show and celebration of the fiber arts featuring vendors, demonstra-

Color Guard Cape May is home to the sole US Coast Guard training base, and the Coast Guard features heavily in the Independence Day Parade. Aleksey Moryakov

tions and workshops at Cape May’s living history museum, just a short drive from town. Visit www.hcsv.org for more information on this event. June 26 DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSE ADVENTURE Cruise up the Delaware Bay aboard Cape May Whale Watcher’s Spirit of Cape May for a day of lighthouse viewing. The cruise includes a continental breakfast and complimentary luncheon buffet. The ship departs at 10am. Admission is $99. Co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC) and the Cape May Whale Watcher. Call 609-884-5404. July 2 KIWANIS PANCAKE DAY Enjoy a delicious breakfast and support a great cause all at the same time – the Kiwanis Club do a fantastic job providing scholarships to local kids. From 7am-12:30pm near the convention hall site.

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July 2 INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE Show your patriotism a bit early and celebrate the glorious Fourth with this colorful annual parade that celebrates the day those pesky Brits were told to leave this land. Starts at 1pm in front of the convention hall site. July 2 and 3 INDEPENDENCE DAY AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE Patriotic programs are held both days leading up to Independence Day, including The Story of Old Glory and live music. You can find it all at this living history museum just north of downtown Cape May. Visit www.hcsv.org for more information. July 4 FIREWORKS EXTRAVAGANZA The good folks at Congress Hall put on a five-star fireworks show for thousands who gather on the hotel’s great lawn, on the boardwalk and surrounding streets. Pray the clouds stay away. Starts at 9pm.


Come experience the new Peter Shields Inn & Restaurant

A magnificent 1907 Georgian revival mansion, the Peter Shields is located in a quiet setting ovelooking the ocean but just a stroll away from the heart of Cape May’s historic district. Dine in our award-winning, Zagat rated restaurant. The chef serves fresh seafood, farm-to-table selections, and seasonal fare in five distinct dining rooms – open for dinner seven days a week. Each of our nine guest rooms offers individual style and ambiance, featuring plush bedding, private baths, most with Jacuzzi tubs and gas fireplaces.

Treat yourself to the very best in dining, accommodations and service. You’re sure to be delighted.

1301 Beach Avenue • Cape May, NJ 08204 • 609.884.9090 • petershieldsinn.com

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good and bad OUR MAN DAN MATHERS TRIES OUT LIFE AS A BARTENDER FOR ONE NIGHT... WITH MIXED RESULTS

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in the ugly

Story Dan Mathers Photos Aleksey Moryakov exit zero

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S

AY WHAT you will about your job, but it’s doubtful you’ve ever had garbage thrown at you. And if you have, I’m guessing you didn’t turn to the person who threw it and say, “Sorry sir, what can I get you?” But, on my one night as a bartender at the Ugly Mug, that’s exactly what happened. Now, I was told well after the fact that I should have thrown this guy out – at the very least I should have cut him off – but as a timid first-timer I thought he launched the wet, waded-up clump of napkin at the back of my head because I had been negligible. I figured he’d been waiting a while for his drink, and in my overwhelmed state I simply hadn’t noticed the quiet, mustachioed man haunched behind his empty Coors Light bottle. The fact that I was blaming myself doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking, “I hate you.” Every curse I knew was flying through my head, but I kept my composure and quickly learned exactly what it takes to make a good bartender: staying calm under pressure. Yes, anybody can pop the top off a Bud Heavy with the flick of a wrist, but remembering the Corona, two Heinekens, a rum and coke, a Captain and Diet and a Bud Light with a slice of lime can put a kink in your cogs if you’re rushing. Moreover, you have to be adding this all up in your head while you’re racing back and forth between coolers trying to remember, “Where did they stick the imports!?”

Still, these were things I could handle. Arithmetic was never my strong suit, but if you order two light beers I can manage to multiple $4 times two. Need a water? Zero times one equals free. But, if I’m busy and you start waving that crumpled $20 bill in the air to get my attention, you’re not getting the local discount, and that Miller Lite is going to cost you a quarter more than your neighbor. It took me a while to settle in behind the bar. At first the layout of the bar made as much sense to me as a foreign-language soap opera. I couldn’t figure out why the Banker’s Club gin

wasn’t even remotely near the Tanqueray, why the only tap serving UFO was at the opposite end of the bar, or why on earth the Patrón sat alone atop the cooler full of Playboy energy drinks. My nervousness was compounded by the heckling from the either side of the bar. I’d gotten a baby blue Ugly Mug T-shirt before starting the night, and having been assured that the size large was quite large, I went with the medium. Tommy Caruso, who I was bartending with that night, took one look at me and laughed, “They don’t make that shirt any smaller? You look like

The trouble with eating Italian food

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

Cucina Rosa

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

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BAR TALK... UGLY MUG CUSTOMERS HAVE THEIR SAY

Name: Victoria Hernandez Age: 23 Occupation: Manager at the Blue Pig Tavern Hometown: Brooklyn, NY What brings you to the Mug? Good friends. Best pick-up line you’ve heard? Have we met before? That one actually makes me think. Most important quality in a bartender? I love it when they know your face and favorite drink. Favorite drink? A Jose Cuervo margarita on the rocks, with salt. How was your service? Great! From 1 to 10, how happy are you right now? An 18, goddamnit!

e p a C

Name: Jason Kramer Age: 34 Occupation: Owner of Doo Wop Coffee Shop Hometown: Cape May, NJ What brings you to the Mug? Friends. Best pick-up line you’ve used? How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice. Most important quality in a bartender? How well he pours the drinks Favorite drink? I like a Crown Royal served on the rocks. How was your service? Excellent. From 1 to 10, how happy are you right now? I’d say about an 8.

Name: Laura Kennedy Age: 22 Occupation: Student-teacher at Ocean Academy Hometown: Cape May, NJ What brings you to the Mug? Stellar Mojo and all my friends. Best pick-up line you’ve heard? Does heaven know they’re missing an angel? Most important quality in a bartender? Paying close attention to the customers. Favorite drink? Malibu Bay Breeze. How was your service? So far so good. From 1 to 10, how happy are you right now? I’m at a 10.

! n r e v a T t s ie

l d n e i r F & st

e d l O s ’ y a M

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

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a sausage stuffed in there.” The crowd gathering around the bar started imploring me to stretch it out, and a certain cougar offered to stretch it for me. Tommy’s taunting didn’t stop there. He got on my case about not washing glasses, and when I complained that the dishwater was burning my hands he scrawled in my notebook that I was a “biatch!!!” His exclamation-laden remarks lectured me on Bartending 101 (the rookie washes the glasses), informed me as to the worth of his bartending knowledge (priceless) and rated the attractiveness of my wife (Sooo Hotttt!!!). John Armstrong was also bartending with us, but he was at the other end of the bar, too far away to join in on the teasing. However, the next day he laughed at my tediously careful, two-handed shot pouring. “We’re not building bombs,” he said. The Ugly Mug’s manager Dwight Dunbracco had set me up behind the bar with Tommy, who’s been a fixture in Cape May’s bars for 18 years, and John, who’s been at the Ugly Mug for five years, because he wanted me working with guys who knew what they were doing. Unfortunately, these same seasoned professionals were not all that keen on having some journalist fumbling around behind the bar, mucking up their Friday night shift. Their plan was to get me drunk and get me out of their way. Tommy would “accidentally” pour one too many shots for a customer and hand me the extra. John

would splash the leftovers at the bottom of a Ketel One bottle into a plastic shot glass and pass it my way. My buzz was already building when generous customers began buying me shots. However, the drinks didn’t get me out from behind the bar as hoped. Much like they do on karaoke night, they gave me the courage to perform. I started pouring Captain Morgan with my left hand and silently counting to six while working the soda gun with my right. I remembered that the Miller Lite was in the left side of the cooler and the Bud Light was on the right. The well vodka, gin, triple sec and tequila were all to the right of the rack, and, as John put it, “At the Ugly Mug, the top-shelf liquors are all on the bottom.” I still couldn’t figure out why the taps were spread the length of the bar or why the Patrón was alone, but at least I knew where to find them. Then, just as I was getting the hang of the job, somebody walked up to the bar and ordered eight Washington Apple shots. I froze dead in my tracks as my brain fumbled for the right recipe. My cool composure abandoned me, and my expression readily belied the confusion beneath. After a couple awkward seconds of me silently standing rooted in one place, the customer informed me that the shot was simply Crown Royal, sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice. I had to ask Tommy where to find the schnapps, then overfilled the martini shaker

and spilled it on my boots as I tried to chill the contents with a few flicks of my wrist. I spilled even more when I tried to pour the shots with one hand and had to repeatedly rescue my precariously placed shot glasses from falling into the open ice bin. I looked like an idiot. Surprisingly – given how hard he’d been on me – Tommy was there to pick me up, “It ain’t as easy as they think,” he said, “Now go give them four Coors Lights.” I was busy popping tops and pouring straight shots when I heard him shout to someone in the crowd that I was like lightning in a bottle. He yelled at a co-worker that I was going to take his job. Sometime after the onslaught of customers, who rush the bar from about 10:30pm to 12:30am, Tommy had a change of heart and decided he was okay with having me behind the bar. Around 1:30am I pulled my head out from the cooler, where I had been unsuccessfully searching for Twisted Teas, and discovered that I was the only one behind the bar. The job of fulfilling the teeming crowd’s orders was wholly mine, and when the chubby blonde sidled up to the bar and ordered four Washington Apple shots and a Long Island Iced Tea, I nailed the order. Well, at least I’m certain I got the shots right, but according to the Bartender app on my Android, I shouldn’t have poured that whiskey in her Long Island.

A Cape May tradition for over 30 years!

LITTLE ITALY II RISTORANTE

Home-cooked food that satisfies your family and your wallet! 19 Jackson Street, Cape May (609) 884-5970 www.madbatter.com

JAPANESE • SUSHI • CHINESE • THAI

898-0088

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

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315 Ocean Street, Washington Commons Mall (inside Acme Market Mall) Cape May www.capeorient.com

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BAR TALK... UGLY MUG CUSTOMERS HAVE THEIR SAY

Name: Adam Hardin Age: 25 Occupation: Teacher’s aide at Lower Cape May Regional Hometown: Vernon, NJ What brings you to the Mug? They have the best Long Island Iced Teas. Best pick-up line you’ve used? How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice. Most important quality in a bartender? Quick service. Favorite drink? Bacardi and Diet Coke. How was your service? Off the charts. From 1 to 10, how happy are you right now? 9.9

Name: Jennifer Jackson Age: 34 Occupation: Kitchen designer Hometown: Rio Grande, NJ What brings you to the Mug? Stellar Mojo – we’re friends with the guys in the band. Best pick-up line you’ve heard? Your T-shirt looks a little tight – can I help you stretch it out? Most important quality in a bartender? Attentiveness. Favorite drink? A Corona and a splash of Jäger. How was your service? Good, though Dan didn’t refill my friend’s wine glass. From 1 to 10, how happy are you right now? 8

Name: Bucky Toler Age: 27 Occupation: Firefighter and EMT Hometown: Erma, NJ What brings you to the Mug? My friends. Best pick-up line you’ve used? If legs was the word of the day, would you want to go home and spread the word? Most important quality in a bartender? Efficiency and charging the right price for drinks. Favorite drink? A Manhattan. How was your service? I’d give it two thumbs up. From 1 to 10, how happy are you right now? I’m at exactly 9.45.

Freshest Ingredients Fantastic Specials Friendly Atmosphere Reservations Recommended 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May • (609) 884-7660 • www.backstreetcapemaynj.com

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BAR TALK... THE BARTENDERS OF CAPE MAY HAVE THEIR SAY

Lexi at The Mad Batter Rudest thing a customer has done? Someone said I treated people like dog poop. Craziest thing you’ve seen at the bar? I haven’t seen too much – this is a pretty mellow bar. Biggest pet peeve? When a customer has to be served first. Even if a ton of people are waiting, some people think they’re the top priority. What would you do if you weren’t bartending? I would be managing. Favorite cocktail? Our Raspberry Lemonade Martini – we have it every summer and it’s made with fresh lemonade.

Stephen at The Brown Room Rudest thing a customer has done? Thrown fruit at me because I didn’t get to her quickly enough. Craziest thing you’ve seen at the bar? A woman puke as she was kissing her boyfriend, wipe her face, and go back to kissing. Biggest pet peeve? Customers who ask for recommendations and never like them. What would you do if you weren’t bartending? I’d like to work at the zoo and feed the animals! Favorite cocktail? The Brown Room Chocolate Martini, made with vanilla vodka and Godiva chocolate liqueurs.

Noreen at Cabanas Rudest thing a customer has done? I think not tipping your bartender is very rude. Craziest thing you’ve seen at the bar? One guy lit up a joint at the bar, and I’ve seen two people having sex. It was insane. Biggest pet peeve? When you get a rude customer that just can’t wait – that’s the worst. What would you do if you weren’t bartending? Probably something with speech therapy – that’s what I’m going to school for. Favorite cocktail? A Painkiller – Pusser’s rum, Coco Lopez, pineapple juice and nutmeg on top.

Philadelphia Magazine and South Jersey Magazine

Since 2005

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Great food, great drinks and great music...

GREAT SELECTION OF FINE WINES, SPIRITS, AND BEER Across the street from the beach Open 10am - 10pm Conveniently Located adjacent to Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille Beach Drive at Madison Avenue 609-884-6114

northern italian & contemporary american cuisine

LUNCH and DINNER EVERY DAY Prix fixe menu - $22.95 3 courses ~ 5-6:30pm Sidewalk Café and Children’s Menu on the mall, cape may | 609-884-6661 | acamiacapemay.com

OPEN FOR LUNCH & DINNER Reservations Accepted • Cash Only Free Parking • Catering Available

...are always guaranteed.

106 Decatur Street @ Columbia Avenue Cape May (609) 884-8363 www.merioninn.com

311 Mansion Street • 884-0200 exit zero

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2011


BAR TALK... THE BARTENDERS OF CAPE MAY HAVE THEIR SAY

Erica at Lucky Bones

Dan at the C-View Inn

Carol at the Merion Inn

Rudest thing a customer has done? Snapping their fingers to get my attention. Craziest thing you’ve seen at the bar? A woman trying to dance on the bar and hitting her head because there’s not enough room. [Ed. Note: Have you seen the glasses above the bar at Lucky Bones? Ouch.] Biggest pet peeve? Whenever someone starts waving to get me to serve them. What would you do if you weren’t bartending? Something in the line of fashion design. Favorite cocktail? A Ketel One gimlet.

Rudest thing a customer has done? Snapping fingers is the most annoying thing. And, if you say “Yo,” you’ll sit without a drink all night. Craziest thing you’ve seen at the bar? One couple was all over each other with the PDA, so Paul Farnan turned the hose on them. Biggest pet peeve? The finger-snapping, and tapping bottles on the bar. What would you do it you weren’t bartending? I’d probably be an architect Favorite cocktail? The Summer Blast – Stoli Razz, Peach Schnapps, lemonade and cranberry.

Rudest thing a customer has done? One man snapped because he had to pay an extra dollar for his supersized drink. Craziest thing you’ve seen at the bar? I once saw a man come in dressed in drag, with a wig and a royal blue gown. Biggest pet peeve? Impatience. People call out “Yo!” and I say, “My name is not ‘Yo,’ I’m Carol.” What would you do it you weren’t bartending? I’d be retired – spending more time with my dog. Favorite cocktail? A Ketel One martini – Ketel One, straight up with a twist.

Harbor View

Waterfront Bar, Restaurant and Marina, and an Outside Bar that’s Classic Key West!

RESTAURANT, BAR & MARINA

Enjoy Sushi on our Deck!

954 OCEAN DRIVE, CAPE MAY • (609) 884-5444 • HARBORVIEWCAPEMAY.COM exit zero

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2011


Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

on Broadway

Eat In Take Out

TALK TO US ABOUT PLANNING YOUR NEXT CATERED EVENT!

ADULT CONTEMPORARY CUISINE

CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK OR CALL 609-884-8030 FOR OUR DAILY SPECIALS! Featuring The Depot’s popular homemade soups, salad selections, house roasted meats and local seafood specials

Serving Dinner Nightly from 5PM Bill Caterini live Friday & Saturday

416 S. Broadway, West Cape May Call for Reservations 609-898-1555 On site parking

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

Seafood, Steaks & Cocktails

Join Us for Cape May’s Restaurant Week in June!

Serving Lunch & Dinner Daily!

When You Want to Know Where to Go... ASK A LOCAL!

See Our Full Menu Online at: pilothousecapemay.com

CAPE MAY’S HAPPIEST

x

Join Us for

OPEN MIC NIGHT!

HAPPY HOUR

Sunday thru Friday, 4pm-6pm. Discounted drink specials and our Chef’s famous complimentary munchies!

Every Friday Night The talent has been awesome!

OPEN ALL DAY EVERY DAY • 884-3449 • WASHINGTON STREET MALL • WWW.PILOTHOUSECAPEMAY.COM

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2011


Seaside Cheese Co.

Bella Vida

over 100 imported cheeses gourmet olives

Garden Café

dipping oils... and lots more!

“The local café with the wholesome aroma” 406 N. BROADWAY, WEST CAPE MAy (609) 884-6332 • www.BELLAVIDACAFE.com

600 PARK BOULEVARD WEST CAPE MAY • 884-8700

Down-home cooking... with a terrific view!

Beach Avenue & Grant Street, Cape May • 884-3772 exit zero

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

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Bar or BYOB?

Should I book?

Food for kids?

Other details

L, D

$10-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

u H

B, L, D

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

FULL BAR

YES

YES

ub HU

B, L

$3-$8 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

N/A

NO

YES

b H

D

$24-$30 Cards: V, MC, D

FULL BAR

YES

YES

ub H

B, D

$13-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE

BYOB

YES

YES

ub H

B, L, D

$5-$25 Cards: V, MC, D

BYOB

NO

YES

u H

D

$15-$28 Cards: V, MC

BYOB

YES

NO

ub H

B, L, D

$12-$36 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

FULL BAR

YES

YES

ub H

A CA MIA 524 Washington Street Mall (609) 884-6661 www.acamia.com

A lovely little spot on Cape May’s quaint Washington Street Mall. Fine food of the northern Italian variety, excellent service and world-class people-watching!

ALEATHEA’S 7 Ocean Street, (609) 884-5555, Ext. 226 www.innofcapemay.com

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

AVALON COFFEE 7 Gurney Street (609) 898-8088 www.avaloncoffeecompany.com

Superior coffee that’s always fresh, and healthy food that’s perfect for breakfast and lunch. First-class wraps, sandwiches and bagels, along with a good range of juices and cold drinks.

AXELSSON’S BLUE CLAW 991 Ocean Drive, (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.

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. There’s plenty of free parking, though why not walk instead?

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

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

THE BLACK DUCK 1 Sunset Boulevard, (609) 898-0100 www.blackduckonsunset.com

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

THE BLUE PIG TAVERN 251 Beach Avenue, (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.

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!

Cocktails

Cards: V, MC, AE, D

FULL BAR

NO

NO

THE BROWN ROOM 251 Beach Avenue, (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 are cool, and every inch of the place just says classy, without ever being stuffy.

Bar Menu & Cocktails

Cards: V, MC, AE, D

FULL BAR

NO

NO

CABANAS 429 Beach Avenue, (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.

L, D

$8-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

SYMBOLS KEY

u

Onsite parking

Handicap accessible

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2011

Takeout available

u

u

b H


FROM OUR ARCHIVES BODY SURFING TOURNAMENT, 2009

«

The Chris L. Prjoect Body Surfing Tournament attracts the Jersey Shore’s top young body surfers. This photo from our archives shows one of the contestants cutting across the face of the wave seconds before it broke over top of him. Aleksey Moryakov

Cape May Winery & Vineyard

Merlot • Syrah • Blush Chardonnay • Port • Blush Pinot Noir • Apple • Red Reserve Gift Certificates and Gift Baskets

(609) 884-1169

711 Townbank Road, North Cape May

Tasting Room - Open Daily Tours Daily at 3 pm starting May 28th Call for details!

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2011


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

This beautiful winery is open daily from 12-5pm. Make a reservation to take an informative tour the winery... call for curretn tour hours.

CAPE ORIENT 315 Ocean Street, (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.

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-but-casual surroundings.

C-VIEW INN Texas Avenue & Washington Ave. Cape May (609) 884-4712

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

DEPOT MARKET CAFÉ 409 Elmira Street Cape May (609) 884-8030

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.

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!

FISH AND FANCY 2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (609) 884-4007 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.

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.

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.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Bar or BYOB?

Should I book?

Food for kids?

Other details

Winery

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

WINERY

N/A

NO

ub H

L, D

$12-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

ub H

L

$12-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

u b

D

$24-$32 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

ub H

D

$12-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

b H

L, D

$4-$18 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

NO

YES

u H

B, L, D

$6-$14 Cash Only

BYOB

NO

YES

ub H

D

$26-$33 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

NO

L, D

$5-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

D

$25-$37 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

D

$18-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

YES

YES

Handicap accessible

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Takeout available

ub H u

u H


“It’s where the

locals

go when they’re

hungry and thirsty.” Harry’s at Beach and Madison Avenue offers a variety of delicious menu items for any appetite. Harry’s also offers amenities that make your business meeting, staff luncheon, rehearsal dinner or family dining experience fulfilling. Free WiFi • Patio Bar Happy Hour 5-7pm Every Day

Madison and Beach Avenue • Cape May, NJ 609-88-HARRY • WWW.HARRYSCAPEMAY.COM

A classic copper bar, a great martini list, and modern American cuisine. What more could you want?

Oyster Bay

615 LAFAYETTE STREET CAPE MAY (609) 884-2111

STEAKS & SEAFOOD

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2011


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

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.

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.

HARBOR VIEW 954 Ocean Drive (609) 884-5444 www.harborviewcapemay.com

Eat inside with a great harbor view, or even better outside, right AT the harbor! There’s a Key West vibe, good food and regular entertainment. Spend the day – or night.

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.

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.

HAWK HAVEN VINEYARD 600 S. Railroad Avenue Rio Grande (609) 846-7347 www.hawkhavenvineyard.com

Paradise for wine lovers, a short drive north of town. Daily wine bar from 11am-7pm, plus Sangria Sunday from 12-7pm, with live music, Island Grill lunch and early dinner menu.

HEMINGWAY’S 1045 Beach Avenue (609) 884-5611 www.hemingwayscapemay.com

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

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!

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.

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.

THE LOBSTER HOUSE Fisherman’s Wharf, (609) 884-8296 www.thelobsterhouse.com

Take-out, fish market, restaurant, raw bar, breakfast diner... The Lobster House has it all. Drinks on the Schooner American before dinner is a lovely experience.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Bar or BYOB?

Should I book?

Food for kids?

Other details

L, D

$8-$24 Cards: V, MC

BYOB

YES

YES

b H

D

$12-$28 Cards: V, MC

BYOB

YES

YES

u H

B, L, D

$6-$30 Cards: V, MC

BAR

NO

YES

ub H

L, D

$10-$21 Cards: V, MC, D

BAR

NO

YES

ub H

B, L, D

$8-$24 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

ub H

Winery

N/A

Winery

NO

NO

u H

B, L, D

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

BAR

YES

YES

ub H

L, D

$1.40-$4 Cash Only

N/A

NO

YES

b H

L, D

$13-$26 Cash Only

BYOB

YES

YES

ub H

D

$19-$32

BYOB

YES

YES

B, L, D

$5-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

NO

YES

Handicap accessible

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Takeout available

b

ub HU


FROM OUR ARCHIVES POLAR BEAR PLUNGE, 2009

«

They may not have been diving into the frigid ocean in January, but the water at Beachcomber Resort was still pretty cold when his picture was taken in April of 2009. Kids were able to enjoy the experience without risking hypothermia and helped raise funds for Cape Regional Medical Center. Aleksey Moryakov

A V A L O N Open Daily!

C O F F E E

“Exquisite cuisine served in a charming 19th century setting makes LaVerandah one of Cape May’s finest restaurants. Elegant dining is offered on the outdoor verandah or in a high-ceiling room cooled by sea breezes flowing through French doors opening to the porch... remarkable cuisine... and sophistication...”

®

Get your wrap on...

— Philadelphia Inquirer, John V.R. Bull

jjj AWARD

— Press of Atlantic City, 2005

...and have some great coffee, too. #7 GURNEY & THE BEACH, CAPE MAY 898-8088 ~ WWW.AVALONCOFFEECOMPANY.COM

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(609) 884-5868 107-113 Grant Street, Cape May NJ 08204 www.hotelalcott.com

may/june

2011

Available for weddings & banquets


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

MAGNOLIA ROOM 301 Howard Street, Cape May (609) 884-8409 www.chalfonte.com

This is as old school as it gets. The Chalfonte Hotel’s restaurant has had the same chefs for more than 60 years. These ladies know how to cook great Southern-influenced food!

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.

MARQ’S PUB & RESTUARANT 501 Beach Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-3500 www.marquiscapemay.com

The new spot on the first floor of the Marquis de Lafayette hotel. A good old-fashioned pub atmosphere.

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, (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 great piano from George Mesterhazy.

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.

OYSTER BAY 615 Lafayette Street (609) 884-2111 www.oysterbayrestaurantnj.com

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

PETER SHIELDS 1301 Beach Avenue, (609) 884-9090 www.petershieldsinn.com

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

THE PILOT HOUSE 142 Decatur Street (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.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Bar or BYOB?

Should I book?

Food for kids?

Other details

L, D

$6-$22 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

For tables of eight or more

YES

ub H

B, L, D

$19-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

b H

B, D

$10-$34 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

D

$19-$44 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

NO

u b

B, D

$4-$22 Cards: V, MC, AE

BAR

NO

YES

b

D

$15-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

D

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

BAR

YES

YES

ub HU

B, L, D

$9-$30 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

NO

YES

ub H

D

$12-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

ub H

D

$22-$39 Cards: V, MC, D

BYOB

NO

NO

L, D

$15-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BAR

YES

YES

Handicap accessible

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Takeout available

b

H

H


Paradise found... Good Food Friendly Atmosphere Waterfront Dining Awesome Sunsets! Open Weekends thru June 17 Serving Lunch and Dinner

Modern American cuisine with a cool and casual vibe...

1 Sunset Boulevard, Cape May (609) 898-0100 • www.blackduckonsunset.com

A family place A first-date place A dinner-and-a-movie place A perfect place for any occasion.

91 Beach Drive, North Cape May (609) 886-5529 exit zero

GODMOTHER’S

broadway & west perry street cape may (609) 884-4543 .godmothersrestaurant.com

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

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!

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.

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 (609) 884-6522 www.congresshall.com

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

THE UGLY MUG 426 Washington Street Mall Cape May (609) 884-3459

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

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.

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.

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’re also proud of their prime rib.

WASHINGTON INN 801 Washington Avenue (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.

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!

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

Price range of entrées

Bar or BYOB?

Should I book?

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L, D

$13-$29 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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$10-$19 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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$4-$12 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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

BYOB

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YES

B, Café

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

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$12-$25 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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$4-$9 Cash Only

BYOB

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YES

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

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YES

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

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$18-$34 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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$4-$12 Cash Only

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b HU

Handicap accessible

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Takeout available

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Open Daily for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Serving fine food since 1988 322 WASHINGTON STREET MALL CAPE MAY (609) 884-9119

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a springtime symphony

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAPE MAY MUSIC FESTIVAL

Story Jon Roth

C

APE May is full of music. Spend a summer night at Rotary Park when a brass band swings beneath the gazebo. Visit one our churches on a Sunday morning and feel yourself lifted by choirs singing hymns. Find yourself a table at a local bar and enjoy a cocktail to the accompaniment of a jazz pianist. You’ll hear tuneful strains everywhere, and this musical wealth is no recent development. Our town has attracted musicians for more than a century. In the summer of 1882, John Philip Sousa made his home in the historic Congress Hall hotel. From the sea-swept Great Lawn, The March King conducted the Marine Corp in several concerts, including a piece written specifically for Cape May: “The Congress Hall March.” About 25 years ago, four men came together and decided that a town full of fine music deserved a festival to match. Curtis Bashaw, owner of Cape Resorts Group, Michael Zuckerman, Director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities, Jean Lloyd, then manager of the Chalfonte Hotel, and Norris Clarke, then director of the Cape May Institute, discussed what it would take to bring world-class and local musi-

aT aTTENTION The Bay-Atlantic Symphony stands for music director Jed Gaylin. This year the Symphony will bring a smaller chamber ensemble to the festival to perform their “String Flings” program. Alan Kolc

cians together in Cape May. “They felt that there was an opportunity here for a classical music series before the summer season, and they came into contact with a man named Stephen Radcliffe, director the New York Chamber Ensemble,” says Mary Stewart of the MidAtlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. The result was the Cape May Music Festival, now in its 22nd year. The festival has flourished over the years, offering thoughtful programming and enticing headlining recording artists to come and play in our city by the sea. Gaelic Storm has performed here, as has Mary Wilson and the Supremes and Little Anthony and the Imperials. World-class pianist and radio personality Christopher O’Riley, violinist Hilary Hahn, and Prairie Home Companion pianist Butch Thompson have all played Cape May venues. The Cape May Music Festival also features an impressive educational outreach program geared at introducing younger listeners to music of all varieties. “We always have a young people’s concert in May, where there’s acting, band and chorus groups involved,” says Stewart. “We’re also doing programs on Irish music and Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music in late April. It’s a chance to

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introduce our potential audiences to new music.” This year’s festival program is packed with talent. There will be performances by traditional Irish bands, an Afro-Cuban jazz quartet, a brass band, local jazz musicians, a chamber ensemble and two different orchestras. When not attending concerts, music-lovers can enjoy Bach’s Lunches, where they can feast on a tea luncheon while listening to a concert performed by a small ensemble. If you’re in town between May 26 and June 15, you owe it to yourself to catch a few of these performances. There are a host of options, so let Exit Zero take you through the highlights... May 26, 8pm at Star of the Sea Church MCDERMOTT’S HANDY AND THE PRIDE OF NEW YORK If you’ve never heard traditional Irish music (no, the pennywhistle from Titanic doesn’t count) then you’re in for an education. This performance features two groups – the two-person ensemble McDermott’s Handy, and New-York based band of four The Pride of New York. Both are sure to provide a foot-stamping good time. Kathy DeAngelo of McDermott’s Handy began playing Irish music in high


The members of The Pride Of New York all grew up steeped in the Irish music tradition. “We had a music session at my house almost every Friday. If it wasn’t in my house it was someone else’s,” says fiddler Brian Conway.

school under the tutelage of Ed McDermott. “He came over from County Leitrim in 1915 and played in a lot of dance halls in New York City during the 30s,” Kathy says. Since traditional Irish music is passed from musician to musician, Kathy and Ed shared a very deep bond. When McDermott died, a group of musicians gathered at the New Jersey Folk Festival to play in his honor. That ensemble was named McDermott’s Handy. “A handy is what you name of a set of tunes in honor of someone,” Kathy says. Her group is a fitting tribute. For a two-person band, they carry a whole lot of instruments. Between them, Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormley play the Celtic harp, fiddle, guitar, flute, whistle, bouzouki, banjo, mandolin, bodhran, bass and keyboards. Their Cape May performance will feature a mix of traditional dance music and songs in Irish and English. Whatever instruments they play, the music is both vibrant and historically rooted. “Some of the tunes are hundreds of years old, some of them are recently composed,” says Kathy. The Pride of New York is the headlining ensemble for this allIrish concert. Billed as “a new Irish-American super-group,” most of the members of PONY exit zero

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have known each other for years. Fiddler Brian Conway, accordionist Billy McComisky, flautist Joanie Madden and pianist Brendan Dolan all grew up steeped in the Irish music tradition. “We had a music session at my house almost every Friday, and if it wasn’t in my house it was someone else’s,” says Conway. PONY first played together professionally in 2004 at Catskill Irish Arts Week. They then received a grant from the Fund for Folk Culture to record their first CD. Of the album, Hearthstone wrote: “The blend of flute, fiddle, box and piano is seamless, and the music flows like a good glass of porter: thick, hearty, wholesome, and invigorating.” Besides delivering intoxicating performances, PONY is deeply committed to sharing the Irish musical tradition with the world. “Getting on the road to places like Cape May lets us bring this music to a community that might not normally have the opportunity to hear it,” says Conway. The bouncing jigs, pennywhistle ballads and lilting waltzes in their program are sure to please audiences, even if the only “Irish” music you know comes by way of Celine Dion. Star of the Sea Church, Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street. $25, $20 seniors, $10 students.


June 2, 8pm at First Presbyterian Church THE BABATUNDE LEA QUARTET Percussionist and composer Babatunde Lea had such a good time at the festival last year that he’s come back for an encore performance. Says Lea, “Everybody was very appreciative of what we were doing. I felt very well-received - we got a standing ovation.” Lea, whose quartet includes Benito Gonzalez on piano, Teodross Avery on tenor sax and Eric Wheeler on bass, delivers a dynamic blend of Afro-Cuban jazz that leaves the room buzzing with electricity. This energy is partly the result of musical expertise, but it also comes from Lea’s performance philosophy. The percussionist says his music is meant to be spiritual. “Not from a religious standpoint,” he is quick to clarify, “but from the idea that music is spiritual, and I think spirit is of the utmost importance. Coming up in Jersey, we used to call it ‘calling the ghost.’” Lea’s recent recordings, including Soul Pools and Suite Unseen: Summoner of the Ghost, all reflect this approach. Some pieces from these recent albums will make their way onto the June 2 program. On top of Lea’s performance, he will also give workshops in local schools to educate students about the different

Have Harp, Will Travel Kathy DeAngelo and Dennis Gormley of McDermott’s Handy play a host of instruments, including some you may never have heard of, like the bouzouki and bodhran. Kathy DeAngelo

New York Pride Opposite: The members of The Pride Of New York, pictured here in front of New York institution McSorley’s, have been playing Irish music since their youth. Kathy DeAngelo

free parking and did we mention exceptional food served in a picture-perfect setting?

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Call 609-884-5111 for information & reservations 1048 WASHINGTON ST., CAPE MAY

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rhythms and styles of his art. “I’m giving them an overview of the different musical and drumming traditions that I’m using, part of what I call Rhythms from the African Diaspora - from Africa to Cuba, the Caribbean, South America and the United States,” Lea says. For Lea, music is more than a pastime – it’s a holistic experience. “Music can make you learn a lot, open you up. Once you’re open and energized, then you can start building things to make the world a better place,” he says. Don’t miss this performance - you might just be a better person by the time you leave. We’re not making any promises, though. First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. $25, $20 seniors, $10 students. June 9, 8pm at Star of the Sea Church THE BAY-ATLANTIC SYMPHONY The Bay-Atlantic Symphony program is entitled “String Flings,” a good indication that classical music isn’t just serious and stolid: it can be passionate, engaging and a little wild. Of the program, Music Director Jed Gaylin says “We’re bringing together two wonderful violinists. Qing Li will play a Haydn concerto, and then both Ruotao Mao and Ms Li will come together to play that most famous of double concertos, the Bach Double. The two additional works by Rossini and Elgar bring out the effervescent qualities in these concerti.” This year the festival has had to adapt to the rebuilding of the Convention Center. The Bay-Atlantic Symphony was challenged with assembling a smaller ensemble that could play comfortably at Star of the Sea Church. “The Symphony has adapted to the current situation with programming that is intimate - fantastic masterpieces for small orchestra - and very much in keeping with the space,” says Gaylin. Listeners may be familiar with an Irish jig or jazz percussion, but what advice does Gaylin have for an audience member hearing, say, English Romantic composer Edward Elgar for the first time? “Come and enjoy!” he says. “A listener’s connection to any given piece of music is like a relationship between two people. First dates can be so exciting. The more you get to know a great piece of music, the more that relationship deepens and becomes full, but the excitement of that first encounter should be savored.” Classical masterpieces in a stunning, acoustically rich venue – try to beating that for a first date. Star of the Sea Church, Washington Street Mall at Ocean Street. $25, $20 seniors, $10 students.

Calling the Ghost Jazz percussionist Babatunde Lea delights audiences with his brand of Afro-Cuban jazz, but he also offers workshops to local students about the history of his art. Motema Music

May 29, 8pm THE ATLANTIC BRASS BAND The band regales Cape May with a rousing concert of patriotic marches and American tunes just in time for Memorial Day. Free. Rotary Park. May 31, June 12 and 14, 8pm and 9pm THE NEW YORK CHAMBER ENSEMBLE The New York Chamber Ensemble provides rich, nuanced performances of classical masterworks. Enjoy two miniconcerts at this venue – admission is $10 for one concert or $15 for both. Episcopal Church of the Advent, corner of Washington and Franklin Street. June 1, 8 and 15, 12:30pm BACH’S LUNCH For $30 you’ll enjoy an elegant Tea Luncheon accompanied by a mini-concert from members of the Bay-Atlantic Symphony. On the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street.

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June 5, 8pm GEORGE MESTERHAZY AND FRIENDS Jazz pianist Mesterhazy delivers masterful interpretations of old favorites accompanied by local musicians. $25, $20 seniors, $10 students. First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes Street. June 7, 8pm and 9pm THE NJ SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Enjoy works of Haydn, Bartok and Ravel. This trio of string quartets are sure to have you humming on your way out the door. $10 for one performance or $15 for both. Episcopal Church of the Advent, corner of Washington and Franklin Street. The Cape May Music Festival is funded by PNC Arts Alive, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The festival is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. For tickets, call 609-884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org.


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SERVING DINNER FROM 5PM EARLY DINNER SPECIALS 5-6pm • $21.95 1/2 PRICE RAW BAR ITEMS 5-6pm in the Pub Only Sports TV in The Clipper Ship Pub Affordable Pub Menu George Karavan at the Baby Grand on Saturday Nights

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

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jackson street at beach avenue (609) 884-8388

www.hotdogtommys.com


The ONLY place for Southwestern cuisine. At the heart of the Historic District.

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7 Ocean Street at the Inn of Cape May 609-884-5555 innofcapemay.com

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715 BEACH AVENUE, CAPE MAY (609) 884-2133

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2011


} QUICK CHAT

I

Dan Anderson... Collier’s Comedian

N A TOWN that takes its alcohol consumption as seriously as Cape May does, Collier’s Liquors on Jackson Street is like the mothership, a veritable hotbed of activity serving the thirsting masses year-round. Among the many reasons for its success is a superior staff that is both knowledgeable and friendly, and among them is Dan Anderson. He’s the guy with the jokes – the cornier the better. We stopped by for a quick chat, conducted while Dan unloaded a truck and then waited on customers. A multitasker AND a jokester always impresses us here at Exit Zero, and Dan was no exception... So are you a Cape May local? Yes – I was born at Margaret Mace Hospital in Wildwood Crest 65 years ago, which is now Margaret Mace Elementary School. It doesn’t get much more ‘local’ than that. How has Cape May changed over the years? Less locals actually live here now. I don’t live here anymore – I lived in West Cape May for years and even I moved out

WANT TO HEAR A JOKE? Q. What was the name of the original Planet of the Apes settlement? A. Ape May! Aleksey Moryakov

about five or six years ago. It’s just too expensive to live here now, it’s a shame. How would you say that drinking habits have changed? When I started working here, our inventory was 75% liquor and 25% wines. Our wines consisted of Taylor, Italian Swiss Colony – which doesn’t even exist anymore, and Gallo. That was it. Those numbers have completely flip-flopped – it’s now 75% wine and 25% liquor. Also, these flavored vodkas are a newer thing – we have these Pinnacle Vodkas, which now come in whipped cream, chocolate whipped and cotton candy flavors. Where do you live now? I live in North Cape May with my wife, Christine. And how long have you been married? It’s been 40 years this year – to the same woman the whole time, too. How long have you been at Collier’s, and what did you do before that? I’ve been here at Collier’s for 38 years; prior to that I was in the navy for four years. Let’s see how well you know your

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inventory – what’s the most expensive item in the store? Cristal Champagne, which goes for $285 a bottle. And what do you like to drink when you’re ready for a beverage? I’m a wine and beer guy. Pilsner Urquell is my favorite beer and champagne is probably my favorite wine. How old did the oldest person you ever carded turn out to be? Probably around 40. But in my defense, I was a lot younger when that happened. Okay, I think I’m ready – hit me with your best joke. What was the name of the original Planet of the Apes settlement? Ape May! [Editor’s Note: Wow...] We are now sufficiently braced for the worst one – bring it. Okay – you asked for it: Guess why I live at the shore? So I can see level! (Sea level, get it?) What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t working at Collier’s? I don’t really know. Good thing I don’t have to find out. Interview by Kate Chadwick


Inspired Mediterranean Cuisine Fabulous Cocktails Reservations: 609.884.1925

www.MartiniBeachCapeMay.com

429 Beach Ave. Cape May, NJ exit zero

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the song and dance man IT WOWED THE CROWDS AT CAPE MAY STAGE LAST YEAR... NOW THE STORY OF GEORGE BURNS IS COMING BACK

Interview Kate Chadwick Photos Aleksey Moryakov

I

F YOU see Joel Rooks, you’ll notice he doesn’t look much like George Burns. This makes his turn as the late, great Burns in Cape May Stage’s production of the Tony-nominated Say Goodnight, Gracie all the more astounding. A smash for Cape May Stage in 2009, it’s being brought back to the Robert Shackleton Playhouse from May 11-June 18. Technically a one-man show – the voice of Gracie Allen is recorded by the inimitable Didi Cohn and played off-stage – Joel’s had plenty of practice, since he’s been bringing this chronicle of George Burns’ life in show business and the sweet love story between Burns and Gracie Allen to life for nearly 10 years now. Our recent conversation with him includes the following highlights. You were the late, great Frank Gorshin’s understudy on Broadway for this role. How does it feel when you actually step in? Well, you rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, so hopefully you’re ready. The first performance, you just want to get through it, but after that, it’s a joy. It’s been a joy from that time on, honestly. And I got a great education. Learning from Frank was invaluable – he was a master impressionist, and I’m just an

JOEL PLAYS GEORGE Joel Rooks has toured widely playing the character of George Burns, whose memoirs form the basis of the Tonynominated Say Goodnight, Gracie. Aleksey Moryakov

actor, but for some reason I’ve been able to pull it off. What’s the biggest venue you’ve ever performed Say Goodnight, Gracie? I’d have to say Naples, Florida, at the Naples Philharmonic – it’s like a 1,5002,000-seat venue, and it was packed. And how did that compare to a venue like Cape May Stage? In a place like Naples, you’ve got battery packs and microphones and an earpiece and all that stuff, but Cape May’s venue is so warm and intimate, you don’t need any of that – the acoustics in that beautiful old church are so amazing, you can literally hear a pin drop. And the audiences were so wonderful and enthusiastic. Clearly Roy is a man of discerning tastes to revive the show, since there was not an empty seat in the house for the entire run of that play. We’re a civilized, refined lot here in Cape May – thirsty for cultural experiences. Well, you’ve got a goldmine in Roy Steinberg, then. We’ve known each other for years. I had heard he was back on the East Coast, we got together for coffee, and he asked what I was doing. When I told him about Say Goodnight, Gracie, he immediately said “that would be perfect for Cape May – we’ve got to get you down there.”

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Had you been to Cape May prior to that? Actually, no – I’d never been further south than Atlantic City, so it was such a pleasant surprise. What a beautiful, beautiful town. What did you do here in your downtime? It’s funny, because I bicycle a lot up here in New York. So I told Roy there was only one thing I wanted in my contract, and that was access to a bike. He said absolutely no problem – EVERYBODY rides a bike in Cape May. I’m not much of a beach guy, but I did cover up and head over to the beach pretty frequently. And the people in town that I got to know – cast members of other shows, board members, Myles and Leslie Martel – were just so wonderfully hospitable. I have friends there now, which is nice. And I always found there was plenty to do, which is good because I’m very adept at utilizing free time. What do you think you’ve learned about George Burns from working on Gracie that theater-goers might not know? While most people – at least of a certain age – have heard of George Burns, not many people, at least under age 50, know of Gracie Allen, who died in 1964. Most people recognize George from his second or even third career. He had very poor beginnings as one of


eleven siblings on the Lower East Side. His father died when he was five years old, so the family really struggled. He dropped out of school and went into vaudeville. He loved to sing and dance, and was actually very good. There’s some great archival footage in Say Goodnight, Gracie, but there was one clip which unfortunately we couldn’t get the rights to of the two of them dancing with Fred Astaire. Burns and Allen really, really held their own. Did Burns credit his success to Gracie? Oh, absolutely – no doubt about it. Burns was kind of a flop in vaudeville, but it’s where he met Gracie, and they became stars – big stars. Without her, he would have been nothing, and he was the first to admit it. They went from vaudeville to radio to TV and shot a couple of films along the way. After she died his career went into neutral for a while, but then he started doing guest appearances on TV, which ultimately led to the movie “Oh, God!” which, of course, was huge. I’ve always thought of him as a comedian. He was most definitely a comedian, but also a very good actor, who happened to start out as a songand-dance man. Incidentally, he was a comedian in the sense that he had great

timing – Gracie was actually the funny one. When you ask what most theatergoers don’t know about Burns and Allen, it’s that when they first started, he was supposed to be the funny one and she was the straight man, and they flopped. It wasn’t until they rearranged it that they took off, and then there was no stopping them. Was there anything you’ve learned from doing the play that surprised you? I think probably the love story between them. After she died he visited her gravesite every week without fail. He was truly devoted to her. I think people come to the show with expectations of a bunch of one-liners, when in a way it’s really a chronicle of 20th-century show business, as well as a love story. How would you compare doing a one-man show with a fully casted play? I’d think it would be six of one, half-dozen of the other: in a one-man show, everything is on you, whereas with a full cast, there are more egos, but also more blame to go around. It’s like Shakespeare said – the play is the thing. I like doing both, but there IS something unique about knowing it’s just you, as much of a presence as Gracie is in this production, through the talents of Didi Cohn. It truly depends on the quality of

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the play, though – if it’s a lousy play, it’s a lousy play, no matter how many actors. But this particular play is just so beautifully written by Rupert Holmes, who most people know as the writer of “The Pina Colada Song.” You’ve done some television and film work in addition to your theater experiences. I won’t ask which you like best, as I imagine they’re entirely different enterprises, but I will ask you to compare them. Well that’s easy, because there is absolutely no question I prefer to work in theater. As for film-making, I was on a film set once with Michael Caine, who made this observation: Making a film is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of terror. It’s such a great way to describe it, because it’s a lot of sitting around with no real rehearsal time to speak of – just running your lines a couple of times with the other actors, then the cameras roll and that’s it. There’s an intimacy and immediacy to theater that you can’t replicate elsewhere, an instant gratification of sorts. The gratification of television and films, frankly, is the paycheck, whereas with theater there is just so, so much more. And, finally, are you able to single out your favorite theater experience? I’d

JACK AND JILL OF ALL TRADES From vaudeville to radio to television to film, George Burns and Gracie Allen were comedic dynamos. Opposite: A bespectacled Joel Rooks easily assumes the character of Burns in Cape May Stage’s Say Goodnight, Gracie. Aleksey Moryakov

probably have to go with Say Goodnight, Gracie – it’s like the gift that keeps on giving. The only other thing that’s come close to it was a play I did with Circle Repertory Company about 25 years ago with Roy, and it was called Can You Hear Me, Mr Szczepanski? No one’s ever heard of it, and probably no one ever will.

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There were four or five other actors in the play, it was such a fantastic experience, and maybe 200 people saw. Well, you may want to revisit it – in your spare time, that is. Ha! Now that’s a play that has always stuck with me – maybe it would do well in Cape May! Can you hear Joel, Mr Steinberg?


rules of the beach YES, YOU’RE HERE TO RELAX... BUT YOU ALSO NEED TO KNOW HOW TO BEHAVE ON THESE GOLDEN SANDS!

Story Diane Stopyra Photos Library of Congress

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IKE a teenager getting dressed for her junior prom, I felt giddy with anticipation. I carried my weathered beach chair onto the Cape May promenade, took a deep breath of salty air, and prepared to greet my date. This time around, it wasn’t a pimply faced 12th-grader in a too-small tuxedo I felt excited to see, but an old friend. This is how most Cape May locals regard the beach – as an old friend, a faithful companion always there to uplift and reassure. We find the consistency of the beach comforting and the beauty of it humbling. We frequent it as religiously as we apply our Coppertone sunblock and, when someone interferes with our seaside serenity, it’s an offense as egregious as spiking the prom night punch. On this particular beach day, as I watched a seagull marvel over a clam by the water’s edge, the woman sitting in front of me took off her sarong. In an itty-bitty thong bikini, she launched into a no-holds-barred yoga routine. Even the seagull couldn’t help but turn away from his shell in order to cock his head in awe. As the woman practiced downward facing dog and one-legged king-pigeon, I assumed my own position – disgruntled beach-goer. For a moment, I questioned whether I had a right to feel irritated. Maybe, I thought, if I became a thong-wearing yogi myself, I wouldn’t be so quick to anger. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that the beach does not exempt one from proper social behaviors. I figured that if I asked other beach patrons, they’d find it just as inappropriate as I had. Thongyoga definitely violates an unspoken code of beach etiquette…doesn’t it?

In an ittybitty thong bikini, she launched into a no-holdsbarred yoga routine. Even the seagull couldn’t help but turn away from his shell in order to cock his head in awe.

“Nah,” Andrew said, “that’s just added entertainment.” As I sat on the couch belonging to this man and his fiancée, Jahanna, I began to wonder if beach etiquette might not be as black and white a concept as I’d initially assumed. One beach patron’s annoyance, it turns out, might just be another’s amusement. “If you come to the beach wearing something wildly inappropriate,” Andrew said, “you’ve just brightened my day.” Andrew and Jahanna, an attractive couple in their mid-20s, are avid beach-goers. Even if I’d never seen them in action with my own eyes (setting up camp by 10am on summer mornings, lugging coolers full of watermelon and turkey sandwiches, turning bronzer than a couple of pennies), I could have guessed it from the look of their home. A North Cape May cottage that smells of vanilla-flavored surf wax, the house exudes the mellow energy of a day on the beach. Looking at Jahanna from across the converted ship’s door that serves as her coffee table, I asked what, if not wear-

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ing silly attire, constitutes improper beach behavior. She mentioned littering, blocking the view of someone who arrives before you, and shaking the sand from a towel upwind of someone else. But the most atrocious thing one can do? “Sitting on top of other people,” Jahanna said, without skipping a beat, “definitely.” “Especially,” Andrew chimed in, “when it’s a family of offenders with an obnoxious amount of stuff – a tent, a swimming pool for the kids, the reclining beach chairs with all the cup holders, every size bucket there ever could be and, you know, four beach balls.” I looked at Andrew for a moment, trying to process the list he’d just rattled off. He smiled and then, as if wanting to sum it up for me a bit more succinctly, said, “It’s a whole lot of Aqua Socks and pastiness.” To reinforce the importance of valuing someone’s personal space, Andrew then told me the story of a beach-goer who’d encircled himself with five miniature orange cones. Inside the cones, he’d built a wall of sand to keep others out. “I admired his candor,” Andrew told me. I pictured the miniature fortress and I wondered who should be responsible for enforcing beach protocol. Maybe we should all be bringing miniature cones to the beach. “I don’t think,” Jahanna said, “that it can be enforced anymore than saying please and thank you.” Andrew nodded his head in agreement, but I wasn’t convinced this is true. I decided to get a second opinion from someone whose job it is to pay attention on the beach. Admittedly, I was skeptical about talking to a lifeguard, at least a male one. I’ve known entire beach patrols more concerned with watching out for string bikinis than for swimmers. These


guys, as easy on the eyes as they may be, have a bit of a reputation – tan, toned, and totally the frat boys of the beach – and frat boys aren’t exactly known for their etiquette. I met Justin Nash at Lucky Bones restaurant where, at 6’7”, he needed to duck under the archway leading to our table. Physically, Justin fits the lifeguarding bill – broad shoulders, an adorably dimpled smile, and the kind of hazel eyes that will make a girl stutter. But as we climbed into our booth, I realized that Justin is more than just a handsome face. He told me that he’s been studying literature at Stockton College, and that he’s just finished reading a book by Goethe for class. Okay, I wanted to say, but what can you tell me about etiquette? Instead, I took a bite of my over-easy egg sandwich, causing egg yolk to shoot all over my shirt and jeans. I blushed, but Justin just shrugged

BATHING BEAUTIES Above: A bevy of contenders line up for a “Bathing Girl Parade” in 1920. We can’t imagine the stockings were very comfortable. Bottom left: Even in the early days, bold ladies weren’t above a little jettyhopping. Bottom right: Say what you will about PDA, no one in their right mind would stop Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr from some sandy smooching.

as if to say: it happens. Quietly, because he didn’t want to embarrass me further, he pointed to my ponytail and said, “It’s, um, in your hair and, um, on your face.” There’s no polite way to tell someone that they have egg on their face – literally – but somehow, Justin managed. I began to rethink my lifeguard stereotype. After all, what is etiquette if not politeness? When I finished rinsing my lunch off of me, Justin and I got down to my most pressing questions. Turns out, lifeguard credentials include quite a bit more than being macho or looking good in a pair of Birdwell’s. Justin described an intense running schedule, ocean swims from Poverty to the Cove, CPR training and surf dashing. Then he described some of the more perilous rescues he’s been a part of. I got so involved with stories about sweeping rip currents, I nearly forgot to ask about beach etiquette from the per-

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spective of a guard. What I learned from Justin is that it has just as much to do with common sense as it does with following the rules. “People often put their infants in danger,” Justin told me, “because they carry them into the water. One woman tried to tell me this would be fine because she’s such a good swimmer, but how is that going to help if she ends up losing her kid?” Bringing a newborn deep into the ocean seemed like a fairly obvious offense to me, so I asked Justin about some other no-brainers. “You’d be shocked,” he told me, “how many people try to get away with having sex on the beach.” Yep, I nodded, that certainly falls under the umbrella of no-brainer beach transgressions. But Justin is also responsible for regulating some less obviously forbidden activities, like paddle ball playing (it’s not allowed near the water) and


digging holes that might cave in on a child or prevent an emergency vehicle from accessing an injured person. And then there’s that whole yoga in a thong issue. “If somebody complains,” he told me, “it’s my job to make sure she puts some more clothes on.” In fact, Justin is responsible for fielding all sorts of complaints, from people annoyed about everything from seagull feeding to loudmusic playing. I asked Justin if enforcing beach etiquette ever got old. I wanted to know if he ever became the guy causing trouble instead of squashing it. “Well,” he laughed, “lifeguards get away with a lot more stuff than most.” On calm days, he explained, you might catch a lifeguard squirting beach patrons with a water pistol or, just for laughs, blowing the whistle at anyone who comes near the banana peel he’s placed in front his stand. And when someone nonsensically asks what time the dolphins will be out, a guard might offer an equally nonsensical answer. (“Whatever time the coast guard lets them…”) Sometimes, it seems, foregoing etiquette can be all in good fun. I wanted to know if there is any part of the job that isn’t so fun, any rule that Justin doesn’t agree with enforcing. He paused only for a moment. “I would have to say the ‘no drinking’ rule,” he decided, “because if people are discreet about it and not being rambunctious, drinking in moderation should be fine.” I wondered if Justin might be right. Perhaps if people were permitted to break open a bottle of bubbly, they wouldn’t be so stressed about things like paddle ball or other people’s itty-bitty bikinis. Later that day, while washing the egg out of my hair, I realized that most of my discussion with Justin had centered on rules. The unspoken code of beach etiquette I’d set out to determine, I realized, might not be so unspoken after all. Chapter 158 of the City guidebook, the section dedicated to beaches and boardwalks, is eleven pages worth of definitively spoken rules. As I leafed through, I noticed, in between “no defecating” and “no cooking,” a rule against disporting. Because I had no idea what this means, I wondered if I, myself, might in fact be a disporter. Had I been violating some important piece of beach etiquette without even realizing it? Was the yogi I’d been so quick to judge feeling the same distaste for me and my unconscionable disportion? The word, as it turns out, means to make merry, move in gayety, or play

1. Don’t Mess With The Wildlife Whether it’s feeding the seagulls, digging for clams, or trying to pet the dolphins that frequent Cape May’s waters, beach-goers are drawn to wildlife. But interacting with animals can be irksome for your fellow beach patrons (the ones being pooped on by the gulls you feed), and it can be dangerous, too. In the past five years, there have been 24 reported dolphin attacks worldwide. Rule of thumb? If it’s covered in fins, feathers, or a protective shell – stay away!

2. Move On Over Researchers from the California Institute of Technology have discovered that, except in cases of intimacy, human beings are hard-wired to repel close human contact. According to anthropologist Edward T. Hall, in order for the average American to feel totally at ease in a public setting he needs 12 feet of personal space. Be mindful of where you plant that boogie board, because these invisible comfort zones do not disappear on the beach.

3. Cover Up The creator of the bikini, Louis Reard, introduced his suit in 1946, just after World War II came to an end. Knowing that bare midriffs would create a shock as profound as that from nuclear testing, Reard named his suit for Bikini Atoll, the South Pacific reef where the first peace-time atomic bomb was dropped. But the last thing a beach-goer wants is for the folks on the next towel over to feel as though, after viewing her choice of attire, they’ve been bombed. When it comes to that itty bitty yellow polka dot bikini, less is not always more.

4. Do Not Dig To China Whether you want your sandcastle to have a mote, or you’re looking to bury your annoying little brother in the dunes, you’re going to need to dig. This may seem harmless enough, but the walls of a hole dug on the beach can easily collapse inward. Harvard researcher Bradley Moran, who has been tracking sand collapse related injuries for the past 10 years, recommends digging no more than knee-deep, and always filling a hole back in when you’re done.

5. Move to the shade – not the other way around. With celebrities like Nicole Kidman announcing they’re “proud to be pale,” and trendy magazines like Cosmopolitan praising the porcelain, beach-goers are wising up about sun safety. While every good beach bunny knows the secret to healthy skin is taking a break from UV rays, it’s equally important to know how to keep one’s shade from going airborne. The Cape May Beach Patrol recommends tilting an umbrella into the wind, and planting one-third of its pole into the sand.

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6. Watch Those Kids! When it comes to violating beach etiquette, little kids can be big culprits. Nothing puts a damper on a peaceful seaside retreat like a squealing, splashing, sand-throwing youngster. But what’s more egregious is the parents who aren’t watching after their little sand monsters. The beach may be the world’s greatest playground, but even playgrounds must have rules.

boisterously. So what? The city of Cape May is staunchly anti-merrymaking? That’s the reputation that seemed to reign in 2005 at least, when the city made national news by lifting its 30-year ban on Speedo wearing. The story appeared in Sports Illustrated and USA Today, and Cape May, for having had such a ban in the first place, became the butt of jokes nationwide. Even Ed Helms of “The Daily Show” poked fun in a mini-mockumentary by saying, “Atlantic City has gambling, Wildwood has broken bottle fights, and Cape May... has Speedos.” Speedos, and a whole lot of rules. Hoping she might shed some light on the driving force behind a list of regulations 11 pages long, I contacted the Cape May Chief of Police, Diane Sorantino. “It may seem a little overboard to people and I can understand that,” she told me. This was not the uptight response I’d anticipated from the Chief of Police. “There are a lot of rules,” she continued, “but we have a lot of discretion when it comes to enforcement. No harm, no foul.” Definitely not the response I’d anticipated. “It’s pretty impossible to be aware of every rule, even for us,” the Chief explained, “We’re not a walking guidebook, and certainly the general public isn’t either.” Definitely, definitely not the response I’d anticipated. Secretly, I’d been hoping for a couple of outlandish stories. Maybe a local once beat up a tourist for feeding the seagulls? Maybe a group of teenagers once got arrested for throwing a kegger while wearing Speedos, playing paddle ball, and disporting? No such luck. “Police involvement is minimal,” the Chief told me, “most people are great.” Okay then, so why all the rules? “These are here for a reason – to keep people safe – that’s what we strive for. What we have is fair; it’s pretty standard.” It’s also, apparently, etiquettedriven. “I think a lot of time,” the Chief told me, “etiquette and rules go hand in hand. Kind of like playing golf.” But golf, I thought to myself, is a sport that doesn’t change. A birdie today will be a birdie tomorrow. Etiquette isn’t quite so fixed. As the times change, so do cultural norms. In Cape May, after all, it was once required that men and women wear woolen bathing suits and swim at different times, something that would be unheard of today. I wondered if Cape May is a city that can roll with the times. “Revamping ordinances that are outdated,” the Chief told me, “is a major undertaking, but we do it.” In 2005, for example, it wasn’t just

7. Listen To The Lifeguards Cape May lifeguards are no strangers to partying hard, but don’t let this fool you. The members of this patrol are just as adept at spotting danger as they are at playing beer pong. So pay attention to their whistles, don’t venture too far from a stand and, for Pete’s sake, stay off the jetty!

8. If You’re Going To Play, Be Out Of The Way The term “beach bum” does not apply to those who have a hard time sitting still on the sand. Beach games are a popular way to expend some energy (the average paddle ball game burns over 400 calories per hour), but they can be bothersome to fellow patrons. So, if you’re one of the ten million Americans who can’t resist a game of horseshoes, you’ve got your heart set on a round of bocce, or you’re just in the mood for some good old-fashioned rough-housing with your buddies, remember to take your play out of the way.

9. Leave The Pets At Home They may call them the dog days of summer, but your pup isn’t always welcome on the beach. According to the Cape May guidebook, no animal is permitted between Third Avenue and the intersection of Madison Avenue and the beach.

10. Have Fun The most important thing to remember about a day on the beach in Cool Cape May is to enjoy it. Breathe deep, laugh hard, and savor the memories.

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Speedos making the nightly news. The city also opened more beaches up to kayaking and instituted a five-minute grace period for parking meters. And if someone still doesn’t agree with an ordinance? “City hall doesn’t turn people away,” the Chief said, “someone will hear your complaint.” This is all well and good, I figured, as long as the people responsible for updating existing beach ordinances are beach-goers themselves. Otherwise, it’s no different than me, a beach patron, establishing rules for police officers. If I’ve never worn the uniform, how can I know what’s important? As if sensing my skepticism, the Chief reinforced for me her own appreciation for the beach. “I don’t get there often,” she said, “but when I do, I constantly wonder how it came to be that I have such a beautiful beach at my disposal.” Beautiful, indeed. So beautiful, in fact, it makes one wonder if an investigation into pet-peeves of the beach isn’t a silly one after all. Perhaps the man on the next towel over is sucking on his fudgsicle or talking on his cell phone a bit too loudly. Perhaps the kid by the water is sticking jellyfish bits in her ears while standing on your towel. Perhaps the only men taking advantage of the relatively new Speedo policy are 400 pounds and hairy. But if we allow these things to ruin a day in beautiful Cape May, perhaps we only have ourselves to blame. Then again, beach etiquette isn’t all about pet peeves. There have to be some behaviors that are downright dangerous, too. As a Cape May firefighter and lifeguard of 13 years, Ed Zebrowski has seen all kinds of close calls on the beach – everything from the crash of a banner plane to a fellow guard struck by lightning. And he’s seen injuries caused by things a great deal more preventable. “If there are waves breaking right on shore,” Ed told me as we sat at a wooden table in the firehouse, “that tends to really increase the chance of spinal injuries.” I nodded at Ed, so tall, dark, and handsome in his navy EMT uniform, that I had trouble keeping myself from smiling, even when talking about as grave an issue as paralysis. “People shouldn’t be body surfing head first without their hands out in front.” According to Ed, some of the riskier beach behaviors in which people engage are the product of holiday-induced foolishness. “People tend to check their brains at the bridge when they get into Cape May,” he said, “and I’m sure I do

A WORD TO THE WISE Towel-eating is expressly forbidden on Cape May’s beaches, along with nudity.

the same thing when I go away. On vacation, people may not exercise the best judgment.” I couldn’t argue there – the last time I left town, I found myself ignoring a “Keep Off The Jetty” sign while more than a little tipsy. Remembering the bummer that was my own sprained ankle, I wondered what else foolhardy day-trippers do. Apparently, they nearly impale fellow beach-goers with the pointy end of multi-colored sun umbrellas. “Move to the shade,” Ed said, “don’t move the shade to you. Once you start doing that, an umbrella can take off like a sail.” Often times headstrong beach patrons have no interest in being told how to plant their shade or do anything else for that matter. “Hey,” Ed said, “they’re red-blooded Americans.” Thinking it harmless to ignore the lifeguard’s whistle, folks often swim out farther than allowed. “You let them know they can’t go out that far and they don’t understand why. Well, it’s because they’re going to get themselves in trouble, or chopped up by a boat that goes by.” Ouch. Talk about a ruined beach day. I wondered if constantly dealing with the ignorance of Cape May bathers spoils the fun of an off-duty beach day for a rescue worker. But Ed assured me it doesn’t. “I have the best jobs in the world,” he said.

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It seems as though for Ed – as well as for Chief Sorantino, Justin, Jahanna, Andrew, and all beach enthusiasts – it all comes back to the true-but-hackneyed mantra printed on coffee mugs and key chains in beach town trinket shops everywhere: a bad day at the beach beats a good day anywhere else. And though we all have opinions on what it means to be courteous and aware, beach etiquette might just be a bit too subjective to define. And maybe this is okay. Perhaps beach etiquette, like a thong bikini or the controversial Speedo, will just never be one size fits all.


Strange Beach Rules From All Over The World

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EARS ago, citing the long lists of regulations that greeted patrons as they approached the promenade, the Philadelphia Inquirer labeled Cape May beaches as “no fun.” While the signs might be friendlier now, the rules remain. The Cape May guide book prohibits everything from pogo-sticking to the depositing of crockery on beach groins (huh?). With restrictions so thorough, a day on the beach in Cape May might seem like anything but a day on the beach. But Cape May is not the only silly rule culprit. So grab your sunblock and a seat by the water, and enjoy reading these, the goofiest of beach rules from around the globe… Everyone hopes for that proverbial summer romance, but there’s very little summer lovin’ happening under the boardwalks of South Africa. On the beaches here, young people wearing bathing suits are prohibited from sitting less than 12 inches apart. It’s not uncommon to catch a Cape May resident complaining about the parking meter he had to feed before catching some rays on the beach. Florida residents must pay to park as well – and not just their cars, but their elephants, too. Overseas, Israel is no friendlier toward oversized pets. It’s illegal there to bring your bear onto the beach. South Carolina law is equally concerned with animals. On Hilton Head Island, it is illegal to shine a flashlight in the face of a sea turtle. We’ve all heard the rule about staying out of the water for at least an hour after eating. But the state of New Jersey has taken this piece of advice one step further – by making it illegal to eat while in the water. Talk about a sandy lunch! And if you do get caught sneaking a salad in the surf, don’t frown at the police officer coming your way: that’s illegal, too. It’s hard to look like a beach bunny in Brighton Beach, Australia, where only knee-to-neck swimsuits are allowed. But

clothing restrictions don’t stop there – there are no hot-pink shorts permitted after noon on Sundays, either. California beaches may not be a favorite of musicians (there are no drums allowed on the sand in Santa Monica), but hunters have lots of freedom here. Shooting whales is totally legal, if done from the window of a moving vehicle. The beach may be a relaxing place, but don’t even think about dozing off in Delaware. Even pretending to nap on the boardwalk is a crime in Rehoboth Beach. Let’s hope that the Hawaiians of Honolulu don’t get sea sick: it’s required by law that everyone here owns a boat. The summer months might be the best time for bronzing, but all the men of Maryland are getting is a farmer’s tan. No bare backs are allowed on the boardwalk here. It’s also illegal to scooter shirtless on the beaches of Thailand. Miami Beach may seem like the perfect destination for wild and crazy spring breakers, but be careful; even party beaches have their rules. In Miami, it is illegal to bring a pig onto the beach. DIANE STOPYRA

DRESS CODE A story in Philadelphia magazine in 1967 featured an article on Cape May beaches, and related the story of the Speedo ban (which was recently repealed). exit zero

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these guys LIFE ON THE ROAD, AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN, FOR 7MORNINGS, THE PRIDE OF CAPE MAY Story Diane Stopyra Photos Vinh Luong

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rock

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Y THE time I located the Hoboken studio where 7Mornings recorded its first EP, Hurry Up and Wait, I felt anxious. Turning the wrong way down a one-way street, I’d narrowly escaped a head-on collision with a Hoboken taxi cab. And now, after a barely successful attempt at parallel parking, I didn’t feel sure that I’d even driven to the right place. The baby blue, one-story building at 348 Newark Street is dwarfed by brick high-rises on either side. Above the building’s red door is a sign that reads “HCPC: The Hudson County Homing Pigeon Club.” “I’m outside of where you told me to be,” I said to John over the phone, “but this doesn’t look like a studio.” John Miller, who founded 7Mornings along with fellow Cape May native, Adam McDonough, laughed into the phone. He swung open the building’s red door, gave me a bear hug of an embrace that immediately put me at ease, and led me through the building’s lounge. Cluttered with playing cards, cleaning supplies, and a boxing game from the 1970s in which plastic robots knock each other’s heads off, the vibe of this room was more fraternity house than recording studio. On the wall, a fivefoot sailfish hovered over a black and white portrait of three men golfing and a paper ad for pigeon feed. While the building where they’ve recorded, still used by actual pigeon club members, might suggest a bit of an identity crisis, 7Mornings’ members are well aware of who they are (a rock/pop group with a sound similar to the Fray), and what they’re hoping to achieve. “If we ever make it big,” John told me, “we don’t want strippers and cocaine; we want barbeque wings and pizza.” Along with Adam, John sings, plays guitar, and writes music for the band. As he talked, he smoothed the shaggy blonde hair that makes him look like a grown-up Dennis the Menace. “The most important thing,” he added, “has to be the free food.” Same hair as Dennis the Menace, I began to realize, same endearing sense of playfulness. By now, we’d made our way through the lobby into the building’s dimly-lit control room. Surrounded by desktop computers, a wall of headphones and two switchboards, I felt immediately disconnected from all things fraternity. Intimidated by the high-tech recording equipment, I took a seat on the room’s sunken green couch and fiddled with my own pocket recorder. John took a seat

“If we ever make it big,” John told me, “we don’t want strippers and cocaine; we want barbeque wings and pizza.”

next to Adam, who strummed an acoustic guitar on a nearby stool. Adam, I soon learned, shares the cheeky humor of his fellow singer. When I asked whether or not he has a girlfriend, all I got was a smile, and when I asked for the age of each band member, he smiled once again and said, “We’re not yet thirty.” While these “not yet thirty” boys tuned their guitars, I peeked into the studio’s refrigerator. The most substantial thing in there was a bottle of chocolate syrup. So what gives, I wondered. By the look of it, the priorities of this band are not wings-and-pizza-related at all. And yet, the boys assured me, the 7Mornings men are far more concerned with food than they are with that clichéd package of sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll. “It’s not about the party for us,” John said. “Do I want to live like a rockstar, or do I want to be successful? There are people out there working really hard, and I want to be one of them.” For this reason, John stays away from alcohol altogether. In order to pursue music in Hoboken, he left a job as an alcohol abuse counselor, through which he became intimately familiar with the damage drinking can do. As for that whole “getting babes” thing? “That’s a misconception,” he told me, “It’s one in the morning by the time we’re getting done a show, and the last thing I’m thinking about is courting a chick I don’t know.” So maybe John doesn’t fit the rockand-roller stereotype, but what about Adam? With surfer-chic style and the kind of scruffy facial hair that would

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make any groupie swoon, I wondered if he ever found himself, after leaving the Pigeon Club Studio, pigeonholed. But before I even asked, Adam gave me my answer. Over the course of our chat, he chastised his bandmate for cursing in front of me – a lady, described his morning yoga practice, made a reference to the romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail, and explained how much he enjoys cleaning his apartment before a show. “It calms me,” he said. Not exactly the routine of a musical bad boy. So if the promise of a rock-and-roll lifestyle isn’t driving these guys, what is? I knew it couldn’t be the money; both John and Adam bartend on the side to pay their bills. “It’s a passion,” John said, “If I don’t have a song I’m writing in my back pocket, I feel naked. You know what I mean?” Truthfully, no, I couldn’t relate – I’d let the flute my parents bought me in fourth grade collect dust under my bed for the entirety of junior high – but Wayne Dorell could. Wayne, who sometimes plays keyboard for 7Mornings, is the owner of the Pigeon Club Studio. To provide the light for a photo shoot the band had done recently, he brought in his own lamp collection. Against one wall of the control room now sat a KISS-themed lava lamp and another shaped like the leg of a woman. In between them, in a black jacket, black jeans, and a pair of black sunglasses, Wayne had been texting on a black cell phone and pushing long strands of black hair from his eyes as the Cape May boys and I chatted. This is the first time he so much as looked up.


“When it comes to music,” Wayne said, “you have to do it because you love it, because you need to do it. If you don’t have that drive, the drive to play that instrument even when you’re broke, even when no one wants to hear you, then you’re kind of sunk.” The band’s drummer, Pete Cetinich, who’d been listening in silence to this chat as well, now nodded his head in agreement, and I imagined that the bass player, another Cape May native by the name of Colin Miller, would have been agreeing also, had he been able to attend this interview. But I felt cynical. Aren’t these guys sunk anyway, I thought, if one day they can no longer afford to pay the rent? I asked the boys if the band has an expiration date, a point at which they’ll give up pursuing their dreams of making it big and put to use the college degrees that each of them has earned. “I think that would be really unhealthy,” John told me, “In the next two months, I don’t see myself playing on the stage of “Saturday Night Live,” which was always my dream as a kid, but I’m not going to obsess over that. You’ve got to keep your eyes kind of short-sighted.” But this doesn’t mean that the boys don’t get frustrated from time to time. “The entertainment business,” John told

“I grow discouraged when I see someone completely successful, and I can name off the top of my head 15 people who I personally know are more talented.”

me, “is not always about how talented you are. I grow discouraged when I see someone completely successful, and I can name off the top of my head 15 people who I personally know are more talented.” There’s only one thing that could lead John to throw in the towel, and feeling discouraged isn’t it. “When I stop writing,” he said, “and start relying on songs I wrote a year ago, that’s when it’s time to hang it up.” Adam rocked back and forth on the stool where he sat and readjusted his beanie cap. “You want to stay positive everyday,” he said. Then, laughing, he added, “Overall, you know that you’re scared of failure, but we’re not going to talk about that.” But if the band members won’t allow themselves to focus on extremes – either horrible failure or wild success on the stage of SNL – I wanted to know what it is they do focus on. “Identifiable progression,” John said, “little baby steps. As long as you can see some progress, even if it’s just that we wrote another song or, you know, had an interview with Exit Zero, these things are really cool, and they keep us moving. You don’t want to get stagnant.” I nodded, but I wasn’t entirely convinced that 7Mornings has been pro-

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gressing at a baby-step pace. When Adam and John first headed for Hoboken three-and-a-half years ago, they didn’t yet have a studio, a full band, or an EP. For their first show in New York City, Adam explained, they “had to beg, like, seven people just to come out.” Since then, they’ve packed such legendary venues as Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom and The Bitter End. And this past March, multi-platinum producer Aaron Johnson, who has worked with such Grammy-nominated bands as The Fray, added 7Mornings’ upcoming album to his list of production projects. Despite these accomplishments, 7Mornings remains humble. John admits that, even though he’s part of an image-driven industry, he “has no style,” and that he sometimes listens to catchy, commercial tunes in the car. “Let’s be real,” he said, “I like Katy Perry; I do.” But perhaps the best example of this band’s humility is in the story they told me about meeting Gavan DeGraw at a One Republic concert. Adam, John, and drummer Pete threw their heads back in laughter as they remembered feeling star-struck in front of the country star. While introducing themselves, the guys told me, they tried to be nonchalant, but things got a little strange. “I


was wearing an ‘I love Winnie Cooper’ T-shirt,” John said, “and Gavin complimented it. Then he asked if we were about the same size and, at this point, I thought for sure he wanted to have my shirt.” Though DeGraw did not ask for John’s clothing (he wanted to buy him one of the One Republic T-shirts for sale this night instead), John did admit that he would have given the musician the shirt off of his back, literally, had the man wanted it. The 7Mornings singers attribute this self-effacing attitude to humble beginnings; namely, learning guitar as 14-year-old kids in Mr J.’s music class at Lower Cape May Regional High School. John, who’d been put in the class by his guidance counselor because he’d “never been the brightest kid” in the traditional academic setting, told me that he struggled to learn the instrument at first. “I didn’t get it right away,” he said, “but Mr J. said, ‘I can tell you’ve got music in you.’ The man changed my life.” This is also the class that brought John and Adam together musically, as the acoustic duo that would eventually develop into 7Mornings. But before finding music, these guys were your typical Cape May boys, spending summers working as busboys

SIDEWALK STRUMMERS 7Mornings, from left to right: Pete Cetinich, John Miller, Colin Miller and Adam McDonough. Not pictured: Wayne Dorell, who often plays keyboard for the group.

at Uncle Bill’s or washing dishes at McGlade’s on the promenade. And the two of them are just as “insanely proud” of these roots as they are of their music. “My mother bartended at the Ugly Mug,” John told me, “my grandmother bartended at the Ugly Mug. And I love that. And I love that now, I’m not bartending there but we’re playing there. I feel very fortunate to be from Cape May. I’d like to move back there if I ever make it big.” If this does end up happening, John and Adam will have a lot of family members to return to. One of John’s three siblings, Bill, works as a bartender at Lucky Bones restaurant; Adam’s father coached both Adam and John on a Cape May basketball team when the boys were seven; and John’s father, who runs a house-painting business, captained a fishing boat here for 20 years. The success of the Cape May fishing industry is a particular source of pride for this singer. The last time he was home, John found himself, in between visits to Mr J.’s music shop on Town Bank Road, spear-fishing in the Cape May Inlet. “People don’t understand it,” he told me, “But the fishing industry is a really cool thing about Cape May. People are actually able to say, ‘we caught this lobster you’re about to eat today…today!’” Now,

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childhood friends of John and Adam are captaining these Cape May boats. But even with these roots, I couldn’t help but wonder if, after playing the Highline Ballroom, returning to Cape May doesn’t feel like a regression. Adam assured me it doesn’t. “It’s an inspirational place,” he said, “we love going home.” And home, I’d soon see, loves coming to 7Mornings as well. I was so impressed with the resolve of these musicians that I decided to attend one of their shows myself. On a mild February night, I drove into Philadelphia, this time paying to park in a spacious lot far removed from any potentially irate taxi drivers. I walked to The Legendary Dobbs music venue on South Street, which smelled this night of grassy cologne and mouthwash. It was an hour before showtime, but the small, wood-paneled bar was already packed. Sandwiched between a middleaged man in a T-shirt that read ‘Ban rap music; it’s offensive to hoes,’ and a group of giggly college girls holding mini camcorders up to the still-empty stage, I sipped on a Heineken. In order to take my mind off the claustrophobia I felt settling in, I scanned the crowd. Of the twelve girls standing in front of me, seven were


leggy blondes. But elsewhere in the bar, the crowd was more diverse. Waving dollar bills at overwhelmed bartenders were 20-something girls in blazers and pixie cuts, 30-something women with spiky pink hair, hipsters with tattooed necks and grandmothers sporting sweater vests and perms. Apparently, the 7Mornings fan base is comprised of teeny-boppers, baby boomers, and senior citizens alike. I wondered if the band knew, as they prepared to go on, how great a crowd they’d drawn on a Sunday night. I felt nervous for them. “The live shows are where we live,” John had told me, “it’s where our dreams are.” When they walked onto the stage, I expected to see some measure of nervousness from the musicians, but their body language was that of intense focus only. As they started to play, drummer Pete closed his eyes altogether, while Adam and John kept their heels lifted off the stage as though standing on a block of ice. About John, the young man in front of me said, “That guy has the energy of a young Bruce Springsteen.” I shouldn’t have been surprised to see a passionate performance from these men; they’d told me that the songs they write come from the heart – from the heart and, apparently, out

“Melodic and inspiring,” shouted the man with the beer belly toward the back of the room. This guy, along with seven others I spoke with this night, told me he’d come all the way from Cape May to see this show.

of the pores. As Adam and John sang, their matching V-neck T-shirts became soaked through and long strands of hair matted to their foreheads with sweat. Even a few rows back, I could see drops of water clinging to the vein that bulged from Adam’s neck as though it were trying to break through his skin. In the studio, I’d asked 7Mornings what they thought about while on stage. While most of their songs have a hopeful tone, many are about intensely personal moments of heartbreak and struggle. When singing about such a memory, I wondered, did these guys focus on it, or block it out altogether in order to get through the performance. “Oh no,” Adam had said, “I definitely take those emotions to the stage.” “Whether a song,” John added, “is meant to be a middle finger to somebody, or it’s about the love of my life, I imagine that this person is in the audience. That’s what I do.” But I wanted to speak with people who were actually in the audience. I asked the dancing brunette behind me what she thought of the band. “I’m in love with Adam,” she said, waving her hands over her head, “always have been!” Okay, I thought, but what about the actual music?

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“Melodic and inspiring,” shouted the man with the beer belly toward the back of the room. This guy, along with seven others I spoke with this night, told me he’d come all the way from Cape May to see this show. These fans, I began to realize, are as loyal to 7Mornings as 7Mornings is to their hometown. At the end of the night, after 10 minutes of trying to remember where I’d parked the car that would bring me back to this hometown, I thought of everything I had to do the following day. Then I thought of 7Mornings returning to their own daily routines in Hoboken, unable to bask in the accomplishment of another successful show for too long. “The fact that I’m a bartender,” John had told me, “that I’m broke even though I probably don’t have to be, these things are constant reminders that I’m struggling, constant reminders that I need to write, to pick up my guitar everyday. Otherwise, I’m full of shit.” As I turned onto the Garden State Parkway, I smiled, remembering the last thing the band told me, “We are still persevering, and that’s not going to stop. We’re still persevering.” For the rest of the ride home to Cape May, I sang along to my new 7Mornings CD, feeling utterly glad that they are.


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hotel for a hero

HOW CIVIL WAR HERO HENRY SAWYER CREATED CAPE MAY’S LEGENDARY CHALFONTE HOTEL Story Karen Fox

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APE May was emerging from a deep economic depression in 1875, the year the Chalfonte was being built. The post-Civil War building boom bubble burst in 1873: large banks failed and money was scarce. But Henry Sawyer, a Civil War hero and local developer, was not deterred – there was train service from Philadelphia and the Grant Street Summer Station was under construction. He anticipated his new hotel would be a full house. The Cape May Wave newspaper announced in April, 1875 that local builder Charles Shaw would erect “a rooming cottage” for Sawyer. By June the cottage was finished. Work continued to duplicate the first building

PROUD PROPRIETOR Henry Sawyer published more ads than any other local hotel owner. This clipping was found by Cape May print shop owner Heidi Cummings.

and the two were joined with a central double entry and a cupola on top. The new Chalfonte stood, handsome and imposing in its eclectic Victorian style, at Howard Street and Sewell Avenue, two blocks from the ocean. Sawyer advertised his new Chalfonte in the Wave every week. His ad was the largest in the paper. The plan was to attract vacationers who were traveling to Cape May by express train – the trip from Philadelphia took less than three hours. Here is how Sawyer’s ad read: SAWYER’S CHALFONTE Corner of Howard and Sewell Avenues, Cape May, Near the Stockton Hotel. This new and commodious house will be open January 1st, 1876, for reception of

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guests and will remain open all year. This house is built with all the modern improvements such as Gas, Hot and Cold Water, Heat, Baths, Closets, Registered Heat in Chambers, sewerage, excellent Ventilation, with unobstructed view of the ocean. The entire equipments of this house will compare favorably with any first class city house. The Proprietor, well known to Cape May visitors, will spare no effort to make this house pleasant and comfortable to all who favor him with their patronage. A coach will attend every train. Large and convenient stabling connected with this house. Terms – $3.00 per day, $18 per week until June 1st, 1876. – H. W. Sawyer Proprietor The Chalfonte opened the same year the nation celebrated its Centennial at Fairmount Park in Philadelphia.


To read the subsequent chapters on the history of Sawyer’s hotel, make sure to purchase a copy of The Chalfonte, a comprehensive history of Cape May’s oldest standing hotel. Copies are available at the Exit Zero Store and Gallery and The Chalfonte Hotel, (609) 884-8409. The country was still healing from the Civil War but proud of its burgeoning machine age and railroads that now stretched across much of the nation. “One hundred years ago our country was new and but partially settled…” said Ulysses Grant, the Civil War general elected president, in his remarks on May 10, 1876. American flags with 37 stars fluttered on the Centennial grounds. Ten million fairgoers attended the exhibition while Henry Sawyer welcomed his first guests to the Chalfonte. Sawyer himself was an attraction. Less than 10 years earlier, he had been left for dead on a battlefield in Virginia. Shot in the head, Sawyer was discovered by a Confederate burial squad the next morning. He survived but was incarcerated at the squalid Libby Prison, only to face death again – this time by firing squad. Sawyer was born Henry Washington Saeger, a German farm boy, on March 16, 1829, in Egypt, Pennsylvania. He was devoted to woodworking, but his biggest passion was horses. At 19, he learned of a carpenter’s job in Cape May. The year was 1848. Henry traveled a few days and 150 miles from the fertile fields of Egypt to the ocean. He settled

COLONEL SAWYER A formal portrait in his Union Army uniform. New Jersey Department of State

in Eldredge (now West Cape May) and changed his name from Saeger (Saw Man) to Sawyer. Two years later he married Harriet Eldredge, daughter of a prominent family for which the town Eldredge was named. The wedding was at Cold Spring Presbyterian Church, the old brick church on Seashore Road. During the first year of his marriage

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Sawyer built a home, paid it off, and two years later sold it for double the price. The couple had three children, but only their daughter Louisa survived. Sawyer’s early days in Cape May coincided with a building boom as the seashore town grew in size and stature as the nation’s first resort. Many summer visitors were from the South, especially Virginia. It was the antebellum


era in Cape May. Despite Cape May’s hospitality to southern planters, the locals were turning their backs on the strengthening Confederacy. A month after Lincoln took office, a group of pro-slavery men hoisted South Carolina’s palmetto flag at Decatur and Washington Street. Sawyer, a vociferous opponent of the Confederacy, was among the crowd that tore down the flag and burned it. With war concerns in mind, Sawyer checked the telegraph office regularly. On April 12, 1861, he learned the US garrison at Fort Sumter had fallen to the Confederacy. Two days later, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the rebels. Sawyer was among the first to answer President Lincoln’s call. A New Jersey regiment had not been formed, so Governor Charles Olden sent Sawyer as a messenger to the Secretary of War in Washington. Sawyer wrote a battlefield diary, which he titled Lottery of Death, a Narrative of the War. Here he relays the moves that led to war... The loyal people, Congress, and the President were in a high state of excitement. It was known to them that Maryland and Virginia troops were to assault the city, and under this terror and confusion, possession would be taken by those troops of all public buildings... Meetings were held and solemn were the addresses of distinguished loyal men. Four hundred of us took the oath of fidelity to our Nation’s flag, the Constitution and the Union. On April 18, 1861, Sawyer signed up for three months as a private with the 25th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry that stood guard at barricades protecting the Capitol. Sawyer wrote: Four hundred men composing Reading’s Ringgold Battery of Artillery, fully mounted and equipped, two companies of Infantry from Pottsville, one company from Allentown, Pennsylvania and three hundred regular cavalry from the command of General Twiggs… The arrival of these troops created great excitement, as they marched through Washington escorted by a company of the Clay battalion, of which I was one. Whilst wending their way to the White House to pay respect to our Nation’s Chief, swearing could be heard on every side from the rebels. Mr. Lincoln welcomed them in the most impassioned language, closing the remarks with suppressed emotion, and tears in his eyes,

“Our troops had passed up the main street in pursuit of the enemy, and on their return, discovered what few of us had ever seen – a slave pen. By natural instinct, not by command, the column halted. The men secured a heavy piece of timber, and without orders or confusion, rammed open the high iron gates.” he fervently said: ‘God bless you boys.’ On April 19, 1861, Sawyer wrote: The North was now fully aroused. From the green hills of Vermont and the dense forests of Maine, from the mills and manufacturies of Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, from New Jersey’s pines and her sea-shore, from the mighty West, from every section of our country, came brave, determined and patriotic men to protect the honor of our flag and nation... The first aggressive move of this army was the taking of Alexandria, Virginia. One incident occurred, that I must mention. Our troops had passed up the main street in pursuit of the enemy, and on their return, discovered what few of us had ever seen – a slave pen. By natural instinct, not by command, the column halted. The men secured a heavy piece of timber, and without orders or confusion, rammed open the high iron gates. Here were collected all the negroes of Alexandria and its vicinity. The building was crowded on every floor. It was intended to move them further south, but our surprise party had prevented it. exit zero

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The negroes were terribly frightened, old and young, men and women and children, mothers with babes in their arms, were all screaming in terror, having been told that the Yankees would sell them all to Cuba to pay for the expenses of the war. This was the first slave pen opened by the war. Our officers received a reprimand. Sawyer was discharged as a sergeant on July 23, 1861. After spending less than a month at home in Cape May, Sawyer enlisted again, this time with the First Regiment Cavalry, the New Jersey Volunteers. The unit gathered in Washington and moved out into the fields of war on Virginia’s beautiful summer landscape. Sawyer’s cavalry was one of the most aggressive units of the war, fighting in 97 battles. Sawyer, then a captain, was seriously injured in 1862 at Woodstock, Virginia. His horse was shot from under him, stumbled and fell on his right leg. The leg healed, but Sawyer endured a limp for the rest of his life. Later that year, on October 31,


Sawyer was leading a small group on a reconnaissance mission near Aldie, Virginia. The thunder of hoofs startled the spy team. Suddenly, 1,500 fast-riding Confederate cavalrymen were upon them. There was gunfire all around and a bullet ripped into Sawyer’s stomach, lodging near his spine. Military surgeons were afraid to operate for fear of paralyzing him and Sawyer was sent home to recover. Civilian surgeons later removed the bullet without consequence. But the greatest battle, the most serious wounds, and a terrible ordeal were yet to come. June 9, 1863, The Battle of Brandy Station, Virginia: Imagine 20,000 men on horseback, armed with sabers and muskets. This was the largest, bloodiest, and most fiercely fought cavalry battle in North America. The First New Jersey Cavalry was in the advance, and Sawyer’s handwritten account reads: Cheer after cheer was given for our regiment by the troops as we passed through their ranks… I was placed at the head of the regiment. By my side rode Major Shellmire, whilst Lieut. Col. Broderick was on the extreme left. The command to draw saber and form squadrons was given... ‘Use nothing but the

CAVALRY CARNAGE The Battle of Brandy Station was the largest, bloodiest, and most fiercely fought cavalry conflict ever staged on the North American continent. Library of Congress

BATTLEFIELD DIARY Opposite: Sawyer wrote vivid war reports from the battlefield and rat-infested Libby Prison. His writing was as straightforward as a news reporter’s. Here he writes: “National and Confederate men here fell as the leaves fall in autumn.” Sawyer family collection

cold steal’ shouts Sir Percy Wyndham… The bugle now sounds the charge. Steady, steady there, close up, are the words of command. Their battery now opens with shot and shell. Forward! Onward, we press regardless of the battery’s fire. A terrible hand to hand encounter now ensues. The Confederate cavalry use their pistols, their cannoneers for defense. Our troops, nothing but the saber and the weight of horse in their attack. National and Confederate men here fell as the leaves fall in autumn. Our troops gave volley for volley, shott for shott, death for death. The Pennsylvanians now come to our assistance and again we charge and retake the guns. In this charge I fell wounded, unconscious and helpless. Lying close by me, in the last agonies of death was our sturdy Major Shellmire… and not far distant, lay dead our impetuous, noble and brave Lieut. Col. Broderick. Two bullets pierced Sawyer’s body. One through his thigh, the other struck his right cheek and passed out the back of his neck. He remained in the saddle until his horse was shot from under him, tossing him to the ground. Carnage surrounded him. There were hundreds of dead and wounded. Devoted horses, having suffered wounds, moaned in pain. Sawyer lay still as darkness enveloped him. In his diary Sawyer wrote:

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A terrible night I spent. Water, water, oh for water were the request of the dying without avail. During the night a wounded Confederate gave me the last drop of water in his canteen to moisten my fevered lips. A Confederate burial team found Sawyer among the dead. They carted him to Culpepper where, hours later, he was treated for his wounds. During the battle at Brandy Station, a Confederate cavalryman was seriously wounded. His name – General William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the son of General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate forces. These two men, locked in battle, both seriously wounded, both taken prisoner, would be players in a political tug-of-war for the next two years. Sawyer was transported to Libby Prison in Richmond, infamous for its poor treatment of captured Union soldiers. Lee, suffering a saber cut and a gunshot wound that narrowly missed a main artery, was taken by ambulance to his father-in-law General Wickham’s plantation, 18 miles from Richmond. His recovery was cut short by a Union raiding party – he was imprisoned at the Union’s Fort Monroe. July 6, 1863 was a searingly hot day at Libby Prison. Confederate officer Captain Turner strode in and ordered


that all imprisoned captains be brought from their quarters to a lower room. Captain Sawyer and his cellmate, John Flinn, were excited to be moved after a month in the hot, dank cell. They anticipated an exchange. Instead, Captain Turner announced that two captains would be executed by lottery in retaliation for the shooting deaths of two Confederate prisoners. Each officer wrote his name on a slip of paper and placed it in a box. Captain Sawyer suggested that chaplains draw the names. With hesitation, Reverend Joseph Brown agreed. From Sawyer’s notes: Amid death-like stillness, he reverentially drew the first name – it was my own; the second, John M. Flinn of Indiana... To Camp Lee is the order – our destination being the place for all military executions… Now on the march, we accidentally encountered the carriage of Bishop Lynch of Charlestown, South Carolina, who seeing the two priests with us [Flinn was Roman Catholic] stopped and asked its meaning... We were nearing Camp Lee when an officer well mounted and riding at desperate speed, overtook us… Through the interposition of Bishop Lynch a 10 days respite had been granted, that Capt. Flinn might have time to prepare himself for absolution... I asked of Genl. Winder to be permitted to write a letter to my wife, which was granted. Sawyer wrote the following letter to his wife Harriet:

FAMILY MAN Sawyer and his wife Harriet, who spent the war years in West Cape May. Sawyer wrote his wife from prison, and his pleas prompted her to appeal to President Lincoln to free her husband from execution. She is credited with saving his life. Donlin collection

My dear wife My prospects look dark. Myself and Captain Flinn will be executed for two Captains executed by Burnside. The Provost assures me that the Secretary of the War of the Southern Confederacy will permit yourself and my dear children to visit me before I am executed. I can not think of dying without seeing you and the children. I am resigned to whatever is in store for me, with the consolation that I die without having committed any crime. If I must die, a sacrifice to my country, with God’s will I must submit; only let me see you once more, and I will die becoming a man and an officer. Write to me as soon as you get this. I have done nothing to deserve this penalty. You may point with pride and say, ‘I gave my husband for my country.’ Oh! It is hard to leave you thus. I wish the ball that passed through my head in the last battle would have done its work. Farewell, farewell! and hope it is all for the best. Remain yours until death. H. W. Sawyer The following letter was sent by H.W. Halleck, General-in-Chief of Union forces, to Colonel Ludlow, Agent for Exchange of Prisoners of War: The President directs that you immediately place General W. H. F. Lee and another officer selected by you, in close confinement and under strong guard, and that you notify Mr. R. Ould, Confederate agent for exchange of prisoners of war, that if Capt. H.W. Sawyer and Captain John M. Flinn shall be executed by the enemy, the aforementioned prisoners will be immediately hung in retaliation. H.W. HALLECK President Lincoln wrote and spoke, and action was immediate. General

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Lee, son of Robert E. Lee, was placed in close confinement at Fort Monroe. The next day Captain Robert Tyler was jailed in Washington, the two held as hostages for Sawyer and Flinn. President Lincoln’s order assured that the two Union captains were not executed. However, it wasn’t until March, 1864 that Sawyer and Flinn won their release in an exchange that included Lee’s son. Henry Washington Sawyer was free. Free at last! He had spent nine wretched months surviving in Libby Prison. The reunion with his wife was in Trenton. The couple traveled home to Cape May but it wasn’t long before Sawyer returned to the war. On August 31 he suffered two more minor wounds – at the Second Battle of Kernstown, Virginia. During the remainder of the war he was stationed at the US Cavalry Headquarters in Washington, DC as an inspector of horses. He was honorably discharged May 24, 1865, and was welcomed to Cape May as a war hero. Sawyer’s hotel experience began in 1867 when he became proprietor of the Ocean House in Cape May, a position he held until 1873. Sawyer then managed the Clayton House hotel in Wilmington, Delaware and while there began designing a hotel of his own. He had already purchased a parcel at Howard and Sewell in Cape May in 1872. He would call his dream The Chalfonte. In 1876, with the construction of the new Chalfonte nearly complete, Sawyer bought the remainder of the square bounded by Columbia, Franklin, Sewell and Howard. Sawyer and his wife lived at the property while renting rooms.


Sawyer was a man of ritual – he rode around town on a white stallion, keeping up with news of the day. Mornings he climbed to his cupola with a view of the city and sea to watch the sun rise. Shortly after 7am, on the morning of November 9, 1878 he noticed smoke coming from the Ocean House on Perry Street. Newspapers reported it was Colonel Sawyer who sounded the alarm. In the aftermath, 35 acres of hotels and homes lay in smoking ruins – Cape May’s worst-ever fire. Flames did not reach the Chalfonte, two blocks beyond the fire boundary. The fire destroyed 2,000 hotel rooms, leaving only 200 in the city. Sawyer grasped the opportunity for more business – a year after the fire, builder D. D. Moore and Son added a 100-foot wing to the Chalfonte. There is no evidence Sawyer had help from architects – he and his builders apparently designed the Chalfonte from Victorian pattern books used in that era. The building is considered Ameri-

SAWYER’S MEN Near the end of the war, Colonel Sawyer, third from left in the front row, served at the Cavalry Headquarters at Camp Stoneman, Washington, DC, which accommodated up to 12,000 horses for drilling and training. Donlin collection

can Bracketed Villa, a stylistic hybrid. This style shares characteristics of the Italian Villa and Renaissance Revival but is in a category of its own. The Chalfonte is similar to a number of other architectural gems in Cape May – the Southern Mansion, the Skinner home and the Mainstay. Part of the Chalfonte’s charm is that it evokes all sorts of descriptions, from an overgrown wedding cake to a Mississippi riverboat with its vast stretches of decorated pillars, porches, brackets and balustrades. It is the most ornate and oldest continuously operating hotel in Cape May. Sawyer sold the Chalfonte in 1888 after 13 years of ownership, one year before Harriet, his wife of 39 years, passed away. Sawyer owned several other Cape May properties and became active in local politics and community services. A lifelong Republican, he served three terms on Cape May City Council, was superintendent of New Jersey’s Life Saving Stations and an official greeter

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for Cape May – he introduced the John Philip Sousa Band at Congress Hall. Despite his busy life, Sawyer was lonely after Harriet’s death. He met and married a schoolteacher, Mary McKissick. She was 27, he was 60. Their family life ended suddenly when Sawyer was stricken with a heart attack on October 16, 1893, at age 64. The Civil War hero’s funeral drew a cortege of wagons, carriages and horses more than a mile long. Sawyer is buried at the cemetery on Seashore Road at Cold Spring Church, where he was married to Harriet. His tombstone reads: “A soldier whose deeds of valor and suffering for his country have been exceeded by no one. An officer of whom his men were justly proud.” By a strange quirk of fate, the hotel built by a Civil War hero of the North would be purchased by a daughter of the Confederacy who imposed a southern lifestyle that has sustained it for a century.


} QUICK CHAT

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Chris Cooke, from Key to Cape

HRIS Cooke, a 29-yearold Key West native, is just as unassuming as the boutique store that he runs with his wife on the Washington Street Mall – and he’s just as charming, too. Sitting between some of the urban contemporary wall clocks and African stone games for sale in Across the Way, we listened to acoustic covers of the Beatles and chatted about everything from families to physics. Across the Way is located, not surprisingly, just across the way from its sister store, Madame’s Port, which is run by your in-laws. Is working with family ever difficult? I think I’m really lucky. I like my in-laws and it’s easy to work with them. We’re a close-knit family. As a shop owner, what items in stock are you most proud of? I really like a lot of the environmentally friendly products that we carry, like the vases that are made from recycled glass or our reusable shopping bags.

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? “I am a happygo-lucky guy, very much an optimist. A lot of positive feelings come into this store, and I can reciprocate that.” Aleksey Moryakov

As a native of Key West, what is the most surprising thing about working in Cape May? I moved here about six years ago, and Cape May reminds me of a calmer Key West, but I really like the dichotomy between summer and winter here. It’s super busy in the summer, and then you get that nice calm where you have more time to work on projects or do any hobbies or travel. I enjoy that lull. It’s surprising in a good way. And what are your hobbies? I’m big into computers, I’m a techno geek. And I also really like photography…but I’m not nearly as good as Aleks [Moryakov]. Is there any job you’d leave Across the Way for? I’ve always liked physics and being a physics professor would be neat, but I enjoy what I do. I like talking to people and just finding neat things to share with them. What sets your store apart? We try to carry things you don’t see everywhere. There are a lot of great places that do nice seashore themes, but we try to stay com-

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pletely away from that. We also try to bring more of a youthful energy in our products. Cape May visitors come in all shapes and sizes, but the people who appreciate our store the most are young professionals just starting out, trying to find cool, funky things for their houses or apartments. I heard a rumor that you offer a discount for locals. Is this true? Yes, we give a 15% discount to anyone who lives, works, or owns a place here in Cape May – we consider them neighbors. What is most aggravating about your job? I’m sometimes frustrated when there are some people who don’t appreciate the ecological benefits of the products that we carry. For example, after people buy a reusable shopping bag, they’ll want another bag to put their reusable shopping bag in. What makes you well-suited for this job? I am a happy-go-lucky guy, very much an optimist. A lot of positive feelings come into this store, and I can reciprocate that.


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2011


THE FIRST RESORT IMAGES AND STORIES FROM CAPE MAY’S HISTORY

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THE Republic was the largest of all the steamships that serviced Cape May, capable of bringing 3,000 new visitors to the island in one voyage. It began offering round-trip travel in 1878, dropping passengers off at either the Delaware Bay landing in the vicinity of where the SS Atlantus is today or Denizot’s Pier at the foot of Decatur Street. Aside from the extra passenger space, the Republic was also noted for its amenities. Passengers had their choice of three decks, each with bench seats and chairs, a dining room with fourcourse meals, and a band that played throughout the voyage. Words: Ben Miller Photo: Don Pocher

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SWAIN’S ACE HARDWARE 305 Jackson Street, Cape May | (609) 884-8578 may/june

2011


ARTS HARRIETT SOSSON FUSES OLD AND NEW WITH PAINT AND GLUE

Portals To The Old World

I

F YOU’VE ever entered Poor Richard’s Inn on Jackson Street, or even walked past, you can tell there’s an artist at work. From the Victorian rose-and-mint color scheme (it was one of the first houses in town to be painted in bright colors) to the intricate cornices and gables, each detail speaks to owner Harriett Sosson’s aesthetic acumen. Step inside and you’ll be swept into a period home that joyfully mixes old and new – the main hall is papered with gorgeous Arts-and-Craft wallpaper, the doorknobs and banisters exude Gilded Age charm, and yet the artwork hung throughout the building is contemporary as can be. This should be no surprise – mixing eras is one of Sosson’s trademarks. Her carefully conceived, thought-provoking collages pit contemporary themes against age-old masterpieces. A prime example, which hangs in the master bedroom of the inn, is her “Maxwell House Mona Lisa.” “I never part with it,” Sosson says, “it’s got Mona Lisa with a cup of coffee, which I clipped from a Maxwell House ad. Then this angel in the background is from Fra Angelico’s “Annunciation.’” Receding in the background are the roiling waters of Homer’s “The Gulf Stream.” Did you catch that? That’s da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Winslow Homer and… Maxwell House – sources spanning almost 600 years, beautifully arranged and altered by Sosson herself. Exit Zero’s Jon Roth spoke with Sosson to learn more about her artistic process, her inspirations, and her superhuman ability to both run a B&B and produce outstanding artwork. We hear you took a trip to Portugal? I went with my friend Shirley Goodroe

When One Door Opens Sosson works on one of the pieces for her upcoming show, Portals. Aleksey Moryakov

from A Ca Mia. We booked a resort in a town called Tavira, a fishing village an hour from the Spanish border. We were going to chill. It was October, we had both been working maybe 130 days in a row. I had this camera, and I was going to try to take as many photos as I could. I took 375 pictures, which I’ve never done, and the doorways are just so beautiful there. The Moorish influence is incredible.

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And that inspired you? I loved the Portuguese textures in the walls and tiles, and I thought: “This show is going to be based on mixing those textures together.” I’m going to be painting on some of them to take it to another level. We came up with the idea of calling the show “Portals,” because then it’s not too specific. It’s not, “Doors and Windows of Portugal.” Where do the cutouts in these col-


lages come from? They’re mostly Vermeer and some Ingres. I’m using this Jim Dime book that had these Pinnochios, but the book is pretty freaky – I’ve taken the ones that aren’t too decadent. Then I found these Joseph Cornell images. He makes these three-dimensional boxes, I’d call them Dada, if anything. I’m really crazy about Piero della Francesca, because there’s that sense of mystery in his faces – I like them with a touch of character, or really, really well done. Otherwise I stay away from all the junk. Having gone to the Academy I get pretty snotty about it all. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts sent you to Europe to study for a year. How did that affect your art? It was gigantic. To see all that. I first saw collage in France. The first really good collage, that wasn’t, you know, a bulletin board. The Academy gives out the Emlen Cresson Travelling Fellowship because they want students who have been to Europe to come back to school and influence the other students, but it seems like half of them come back and they can’t do anything. I came back and did these tiny, tight little miniatures. After seeing those

“A lot of people just hate collage because they think there’s something that they’re missing, and I don’t do that. I think that’s kind of bull. But I do like to have a little mystery in there for those who are brave enough to interpret it.”

masterpieces, you want it perfect. How has your art evolved since then, and what themes have you held close to? I think my basic focus comes from what I consider to be really good, quality art. I’m not one to get off on someone like Dalí or Escher. I don’t think they can draw and I don’t like their use of color – I think it’s harsh. I’m very conservative in that regard. But then I’m kind of uninhibited in the way I throw the images together. I’m curious about how freely you mix new photographs with the work of old masters. Would you call that a Postmodern influence? I like to add surreal elements, but it’s not a specific theory or message. It’s up for interpretation. A lot of people just hate collage because they think there’s something that they’re missing, and I don’t do that. I think that’s kind of bull. But I do like to have a little mystery in there for interpretation – for those who are brave enough. Tell me more about how you throw those images together. The initial part is gathering the materials. This time it was the photographs. Another favorite place of mine is the Strand bookstore, so each year I’ll go and buy a couple of books

there. I gather up all these things until I think I have enough. I’ll do a lot of cutting, and I can do that in front of the TV at night, cutting and cutting and cutting. Then I move them around, pull everything out at once. That makes it easier to figure out what goes where. I’m working within the same palette, so to speak. Mostly what I’m doing is work in color design. And then there’s the gluing process. I use acrylic, matte medium, and when it’s down, it’s down. There’s no moving it, so you have to be sure. Some of the papers are very nice, but you can’t help that there’s going to be a wrinkle or an air bubble. If that’s going to bother you, you can’t look at collage. It’s messy that way. Does your career as an artist affect the B&B? Absolutely. When I can’t get to the collages, I think of the house as my collage. Things are vignettes, everywhere. Keeping up the house is really hard, but doing the art off-season is a balance. I think if I just did just one thing it would be very difficult. It’s always killer to think you’re going to live on art. It’s unrealistic, and you don’t want to know that when you’re young, but when you’re older – for me it’s a nice balance. I like the guests,

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I like the interaction, and I’m at a stage where these things are enriching me and my experience. Hopefully that comes out in my work. Could you name some of your favorite artists? I love Ingres, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, the color of Pompeiian walls, certain Michelangelos… So, a lot of Italians? Yes, I was undergoing a big Italian thing, but I think I’m switching to the Iberian Peninsula now. How did you find the hospitality industry in Portugal compared to Cape May? After Tavira we traveled up to Cascais, right outside of Lisbon. We stayed in a 400-year-old residence, a king once lived there. I had a great time talking to the girl behind the desk because she was running the business. When I told her I had a B&B she said, “Then why didn’t you call me directly? Why did you go through Bookit?” I don’t know if I realized what I was doing, I just typed in “Cascais” online. This girl could not have been nicer, and I could really talk shop with her, but I learned, “Oh my god, why didn’t I call directly?” She had to give Bookit [an online reservation site] a big chunk of

An Artful Inn Clockwise from top right: Sosson runs the beautiful Poor Richard’s Inn on Jackson Street; The artist puts the finishing touches on a canvas; Sosson overlays cutouts of Vermeer paintings and Jim Dime images on her photographs of Portugal. Aleksey Moryakov

our payment. It’s crazy to book that way. I don’t allow it at Poor Richard’s. This is a small place and I talk to the guests beforehand, so everybody that comes is happy. Any stand-out guests over the years? Oh yeah. Top of the list are the people from Roswell, New Mexico. They had some good stories at breakfast, so for once I wasn’t talking. They stayed maybe three or four days and just entranced everybody with their stories of alien bodies and people disappearing. One of them had really thick glasses, so he actually looked extraterrestrial. Before they left they asked for the bill, and I said “Oh, has the mother ship arrived for you?” They sort of stared at me. I thought after all these days of talking about it, it was a funny thing to say. So they write me a check and they leave their pen, and I look at the pen, and the writing on it says “We are here…” If you could travel anywhere for a year and work on your art, where would you go and what would you do? Golly. I’d want to go to Pompeii, definitely. I love the walls in Pompeii. So if I went there it would be more of a continuation of this kind of a thing – color, texture.

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I’ve been to Morocco once and I want to go back. I think of Morocco as in Casablanca. I don’t see it drenched in culture, I think of it more like a fascinating fusion of France and Morocco. My favorite Italian city ever was Venice, but it’s like a theme park now. It used to be my very favorite place, but there are hordes of people now, and it’s such a shame. In San Marco, in front of the church, they have this plaza, and they’ve got all these musicians playing a waltz here, a polka there, and you just want to dance across the whole place… But you can’t now – there are too many people. Do you ever get that same feel of congestion in Cape May in the summer? I tolerate being here in the summer better because I’m not moving a car, I’m getting on my bike, I’m having lots of things purveyed to me. I’m in the eye of the hurricane. It’s a pretty quiet house in that the guests are usually low-key. The people are great. I’m always really glad to meet them. Harriett’s solo exhibition, Portals, will be on display at SOMA NewArt Gallery in Carpenters Square Mall at 31 Perry Street. The show runs from April 30 through May 31. For more information, contact the gallery at 609-898-7488.


vampire city WINGED INVADERS TERRORIZE CAPE MAY, AND ONE MYSTERIOUS WOMAN IS RESPONSIBLE. Story Terry O’Brien

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THE FIRST RESORT IMAGES AND STORIES FROM CAPE MAY’S HISTORY

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THIS hand-painted mural once adorned the exterior of the old Coachman’s Motor Inn on Beach Avenue. The motel was slated for demolition in 2007 to make way for The Ocean House, described as an ‘equity beach club,’ which is similar in concept to an upscale timeshare. After financial complications, the Coachman was given a reprieve and it reopened for business in 2008. The Coachman’s new owners decided on a new direction that called for an extensive renovation of the 1960s-era hotel, including the addition of new luxury suites, new furnishings and the transformation of the Rusty Nail restaurant and bar. The hotel was renamed The Beach Shack at the beginning of the 2009 season. Words and photo: Ben Miller

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139 Broadway, West Cape May 609-884-7900 • Open All Year The Heart, Soul & Sand of Cape May Weddings

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


CHAPTER ONE The Fire

B

RENDAN took a load off his aching feet, shifted it to his aching back, bent his aching knees and settled slowly onto the wooden bench facing Henry’s on the Beach, one of Cape May’s most family-friendly restaurants. Brendan Quinn, BQ to his friends, was in his third year as a waiter there and, while the money was always good (people seemed to appreciate not having to pay $45 for a steak and so left a good bit of the difference in his pocket), the physical toll of serving 100 people a night was catching up to him. His feet, at first just sore after work, now ached from the moment he put on his Nikes until hours after he took them off or fell asleep, whichever came first. By bedtime the pain usually dulled from deck screws being twisted into his soles to a few honeybees stinging his toes. Nothing some aspirin and a glass of vodka couldn’t quell. His back chirped and yanked every fourth or fifth time he turned this way or torqued that way. More recently he had Still the best way to say... well, anything.

developed a nice throb in his right knee and an interesting crunch in his left ankle. Best left unexplored, he figured. Why go to an expensive doctor to be told to keep off his feet for a week? That wasn’t an option in the high-stakes world of waiting tables. A week off meant no rent on his little apartment and his job likely snaked away by some furtive Russian. Russians and all sorts of Eastern Europeans had, a decade ago, replaced the annual migration of college-aged Irish kids coming over to work. While many tourists and more than a few locals liked to gripe about “all these foreigners taking jobs away from American kids,” truth was, as BQ saw it, if American kids wanted to work, the Russians would have no reason to come over. He plopped down on the bench and lit a satisfying cigarette. The first drag felt like chewing charcoal. It got mildly more pleasant from there. He knew he needed to quit, but there was no better moment in his day than the end of his shift and the lighting of that first Marlboro. Those minutes spent on the bench sucking down that first smoke always relaxed him, the stress and pressure of the night seemingly exhaled in clouds of smoke.

He plopped down on the bench and lit a satisfying cigarette. The first drag felt like chewing charcoal. It got mildly more pleasant from there.

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The actual serving of tables, though hectic and seemingly never-ending when navigating between the chaos of a busy kitchen and dining room, was the easy part. The bullshit came after, in the form of endless “side work” that always seemed the main event: wiping down counters, filling ketchups, replacing salt and pepper shakers, restocking juices, sodas and condiments, sweeping this, polishing that, and on and on and on. THAT was the hard part about waiting tables. Taking orders and serving food was nothing. Getting a restaurant ready to take orders and serve food was the real bitch. And most of the young waiters, Brendan had noticed, wanted little to do with the actual work and more to do with the taking of money. To them a summer at Henry’s was little more than something to do on break from college, something to make Mommy and Daddy feel like their child was earning a bit of that trust fund. But to guys like Brendan, 31 and counting, with rent and utilities due every month, it was more than just a job. It was a living. So he tried hard every day to be the best waiter he could be. Having lazy teenagers around just made him look that


much better by comparison. He wasn’t sure when this feeling of great entitlement took over the profession, and he hated to think he was old enough to blame it on a generational shift, but he found it funny when the young men and women in their aprons did next-tonothing to make a diner’s experience more pleasurable, then complained when they were left 15% on the check. To him, it was all crystallized by a new fan page running around on Facebook called, “Don’t even THINK about going out to eat if you can’t afford to tip 20%!” The balls on these kids… Now the bussers, those kids worked for living, but BQ suddenly found himself too tired to work up any indignation on their part, so he decided not to. Instead he chose to focus on the beautiful evening all around him; a bright prism haloed the nearly full moon, which turned purple when he blew smoke through it. He rolled and popped the ankle and worked his knee, trying to stretch out the kinks. As he lit up a second smoke the restaurant began to empty. He was one of the last people to clock out, as he had taken the last halfdozen tables that his younger co-workers

The group of youngsters crossed beneath the streetlight and huddled on the blacktop of the promenade for a long minute, likely figuring out which awesome house party they were going to, then dispersed.

didn’t want (preferring to leave on time for that night’s party). This netted him an additional $50 in tips for roughly 30 minutes of actual work. He fingered the thick wad of cash in his shorts pocket. Granted, it was a wad of mostly fives and singles with a few 10s and 20s mixed in for effect, but a wad of money is still a wad of money. BQ pulled on the smoke and watched the last few stragglers leave the building; much as he disliked them, there were a few good eggs in the under-30 carton, kids who worked as hard and cared as much as he did and so were also just leaving from the end of their long shift. “G’night Q!” one of the 19-year-olds called from among the clutch. “Night,” BQ replied with a wave. The group of youngsters crossed beneath the streetlight to BQ’s left and huddled on the blacktop of the promenade for a long minute, likely figuring out which awesome house party or dance club in Wildwood they were going to, then dispersed. “Jerks.” BQ took one last drag from the second cigarette and felt a bit like a jerk himself.

Much as he disliked most of them, BQ felt a little pang of regret as he watched them disappear into the night. The same pang he always felt when he knew fun things were happening without him. But the pang swiftly passed and he was able to concentrate on his own festive plans for the evening. Shower, Jackson Mountain, fried mushrooms, maybe a crab cake, a couple drinks, bed. As he debated lighting a third cigarette, the kitchen crew ambled out the creaky back door; three line cooks already well into their first six-pack, the head chef on his cell placing food orders for the weekend and his entourage of Dominicans and Mexicans, all named some variation of “Joe” and all perfectly legal in the squinty eyes of the law. “See you guys,” he offered as he lit the third smoke. “Later Q,” some of them called. While he was honestly just being nice, below the surface he was hoping to get their attention and look a little tough or cool with the cigarette, hoping beyond hope for an invite to wherever they were heading. But while he was genuinely liked by the kitchen staff and was widely rec-

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ognized as the best waiter in the building, this did not garner him enough cred to score an invite out with them for the night of drunken, blissful, drug-fueled debauchery he was sure they setting off on. Then they were gone, and with them his hopes for a mad adventure. Or so he thought. Lastly, the managers drifted out. He usually wasn’t here this long but had stupidly lit that third cigarette to impress the dudes from the kitchen, and since he was loathe to toss away a perfectly smokeable smoke, here he was. First came Susan, the company mother, followed by Jen, the company hottie. Susan was a career restaurant person in her late 50s, seasoned in all aspects of the business and a solid manager who understood that things took time and tried not to slam him when she could help it. BQ appreciated and admired that in her. Jen was the eager young college grad on her first gig, with the ink still wet on her hotel and restaurant management degree. He pegged her as 22, maybe 23, with bright eyes and a tanned, toned body. She was far out of BQ’s league but he often considered trying to get next to her, maybe

invite her out for a drink some night. But he always talked himself out of it. She was up-and-coming, with a fresh new perspective on the world, and he was the jaded old man with probably 10,000 tables under his belt. He didn’t want to sully her. She didn’t deserve it. He told himself this was the reason he didn’t ask her out. But deep down, where he kept the things he didn’t want to admit, he knew he was just scared. He often thought it funny that colleges offered degrees in managing the unmanageable: a restaurant. One could not hope to effectively manage an eating establishment; one could only keep it running long enough to perform the service of feeding people while walking the tightrope of surly cooks, Bulgarian bus boys, St Lucian dishwashers and Russian hostesses, then do it again the next day without something or someone catching fire. I wonder if I could manage a restaurant? He thought and chucked the smoke. A glance at his very cheap wrist watch revealed the time to be 11:13pm. He had been sitting there for almost 30 minutes and was now by himself on the promenade. His feet seemed to have cooled enough to

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allow the walk to his car. As any member of the local summer workforce could tell you, parking was life in Cape May. Landing a good spot could change your whole outlook on life: the sun seemed sunnier, the air seemed airier, the beach beachier, and so on. He had gotten a honey of a spot that afternoon, right across from Louie’s Pizza, half a block away. Still, even that short walk would take some doing on his tortured feet, so he sighed and prepared himself for the painful hoist off the bench. He was pondering whether to stick with the fried mushrooms or switch to minitacos at Jackson Mountain when his life changed forever. “Ouch,” he muttered as he straightened his left leg and the knee popped. Then the sound of shattering glass broke the evening stillness. “The hell…?” It took him a moment to pinpoint where it had come from. His sonar had him looking across the street, behind him. “Huh…” He stood, did a 180 and looked to the Beach 4 complex; a now defunct fourscreen movie theater in the throes of a nasty custody battle between the past and

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progress. The building also housed a bookstore, ice cream parlor, Sunglass Hut and other trappings of life in a tourist town. BQ noticed nothing out of the ordinary. Until he did. “What…” Something streaked across the corner of his eye. “Who…” A little further down the promenade, between the Fudge Kitchen and the arcade, he saw someone fling themself against the four-foot high sea wall and scramble across the paved boardwalk. “How…” Whoever it was had overestimated how much speed they would need to jump the wall and so landed with a grunting skid, leaving a good bit of flesh on the blacktop. BQ winced. It had to hurt. He took a few steps in the direction of the mystery figure, the pain in his feet and legs now an afterthought. The figure absently wiped at their shredded knee as they scrambled to their feet and began running. Sprinting. Sprinting right toward BQ. Unsure why, his heart leapt in his chest. There was fear, yes, but it was also that exact moment he realized the mystery figure was a woman. A beautiful woman. A beautiful woman in sheer white, tearing toward him on a warm summer evening like a demented variation on Bo Derek in 10. Frightened, and with everything now moving in dreamy, adrenalized slow motion, he tried to process. Tried and failed. The moment he saw her face, he knew she was not going to embrace him and drag him off to the nearest hotel for an anonymous tryst. No, the look on her face left little doubt. As soon as he saw her eyes, he wanted to… “RUN!” she screamed. He did not have to be told twice. But before he could even plant his feet, the mysterious woman in white was on him, hit him like a frenzied linebacker. The impact knocked the air out of BQ’s lungs. Somehow she kept them both upright and dragged them toward the nearby dunes. “Wait…” BQ protested weakly. But she was having none of it. may/june

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Despite being significantly shorter and leaner, she basically carried him across 20 feet of blacktop, past the red buoy that marked the southernmost point in Cape May and flung herself, and him, onto the dunes. It was not a gentle flinging. “What…” “Quiet!” she hissed and clamped a hand over his mouth. “We’re not supposed to be on the dunes…” BQ mumbled into her palm, sawgrass cutting his bare legs. “Shh!” she said and pressed her hand harder into his mouth, then looked back at the theater. BQ tried to get up, but she pushed him down with an elbow to the thorax, then scuttled atop him and pinned him to the sand. He felt the same mix of fear and arousal he had a few seconds ago and weakly squirmed beneath her. Was he trying to escape, or trying to get lucky? She looked down at him with a cocked eyebrow. He immediately stopped squirming. The hand loosened on his mouth. “Just wait.” BQ waited. One second. Two. “Wait for wh…” BOOM! The Beach 4 complex erupted into a giant ball of flame. A moment later a hot wave flew over both of them. The dune grass rattled. “Meeshus Fhrist!” he screamed into her hand. He tried to push her off but she had him good, her legs acting as a vice. He flailed for a few seconds to no avail, then stopped, embarrassed, vowing to go to the gym tomorrow. After a few seconds, she eased her grip on his body and removed the hand from his mouth. His face hurt, the inside of his lips bled. She stood and walked away; left him behind like a funnel cake wrapper. BQ found himself pouting. “Wait up.” He stood and followed her. They walked toward the promenade and stopped in front of the locked entrance to Henry’s. The noise of burning lumber and falling wreckage cut through the quiet night and seemed to echo. BQ could only stare,


THE FIRST RESORT IMAGES AND STORIES FROM CAPE MAY’S HISTORY

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LOOKING at this picture you’ll likely recognize Congress Hall, but you may not notice a few details that differentiate it from today: the middle part of the roof hanging over the colonnade is gray, while the rest is black. That portion of the roof was replaced following storm damage from Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Also, the state flags that surround the building and the modern sign on the roof were trademarks of Reverend Carl McIntire, who purchased the building in 1968. Finally, look closely at the left side of the picture and you will see the roof and dormers of the Elberon Hotel, which was demolished in the late 1960s. Words: Ben Miller Photograph: Ben Miller

The history of Cape May is presented in a beautifully-illustrated 300-page coffee table book The First Resort – available at The Exit Zero Store & Gallery and other fine stores

The hardest part is picking your favorite...

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first at the fire, then at her, then back. The last 20 seconds, which seemed like 20 minutes, replayed in his brain. Then it all snapped together. “You did this.” The breaking glass that first drew his attention; she had thrown something, a bomb, through the theater doors, then run across the street to escape the blast. She’s a terrorist, he thought. A vacant movie theater terrorist! Wait… “What’s going on?” he asked, his voice strangled with fear. Her hand shot out and covered his mouth again. BQ tried to break her grip, but she had him. He sulked, she peered into the smoke and flames. Across town a fire whistle went off. Cops and firemen would be there soon. “Pleashe,” BQ asked through smooshed lips. “I don’no what’sh happening.” “Shut up,” she said, and turned back to the fire. In that moment BQ fell in love with her. Tension hummed from her body. Her tight, lithe body. She was built like a career gymnast but had managed to keep her curves. Her shoulder-length auburn hair fluttered in the breeze. BQ couldn’t tell if the wind was coming from the ocean or the great wall of flame across the street, but he didn’t care. He wanted to speak to her some more, somehow convince her in the next 30 seconds that they should run away together, but something in her posture had changed. This frightened him further. She tilted her head toward the burning theater as though trying to hear something through the crackle. “Mmph?” he grunted. Then a new sound from across the street stole his attention. The flames roared, glass tinkled onto the street and sirens blew. But there was something else behind all of it. A fluttering sound. Like the wings of a bird. No, many hundreds of birds. She grabbed his wrist and removed her hand from his mouth. “What…” “Look.” He looked. A great billow of smoke rose from the center of the

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The flames roared, glass tinkled onto the street and sirens blew. But there was something else behind all of it. A fluttering sound. Like the wings of a bird. No, many hundreds of birds. ruined Beach 4, until he realized it was no such thing. It looked like smoke, but seemed to undulate as if it was organized, almost like it was breathing. It rose above the flames like an oily snake and hung there. BQ could feel it searching. “Holy Christ in heaven…” “We need to run,” she said. “Now.” BQ did not budge. “Now!” Instantly the cloud froze, twisted inhumanly and darted toward them. “Mother of God…” She yanked him and spoke in a firm, unfrightened voice. “Where are you parked?” “I’m… I’m…” He could not take his eyes off the cloud. She smacked his face. Hard. “Ow!” “WHERE!” “That way,” he answered and pointed up Gurney Street. She pulled him. “We’ve got to go there now!” She did not wait for his undoubtedly whiny reply, but rather tugged him across the boardwalk and down the sea wall. BQ almost face planted. “What is that?” he asked as she pulled him down the street. “You don’t want to know. Now MOVE!” He did as told and within three paces they were at a full sprint. “Which one?” she asked. BQ panted, tried to keep up. His feet were killing him. “Black. Camry.” “Go!” she cried. So he did, but he could not resist a look over his shoulder. The cloud had crossed the street behind them, to the streetlight outside Henry’s, but it just hovered there: searching. “Move!” she yelled and yanked at him again; he again nearly took


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a header into the street. He righted himself and they were right there, 20 yards from the car. He pulled his keys from his pocket and hit the unlock button. The headlights flashed and the car horn beeped twice in quick succession. “No! You idiot!” “What…” But BQ would not need further explanation. The black cloud had seen and heard the beeps and now made for them like a bullet. “Go!” she screamed and almost carried him the last 30 feet to the car. He threw open the driver’s side door, she shoved him in and dove in after, slamming the door. For the second time in the last minute she was on top of him. He didn’t squirm so much this time. “Now quiet,” she whispered and covered his mouth again. He rolled his eyes and lay there quietly, feeling fully emasculated and wishing the emergency break wasn’t jammed into his spine. “Here they come…” A moment later what sounded like a rainstorm pelted the car: the roof, the windshield, the doors, the undercarriage. BQ was terrified but he swallowed hard, craned his neck and forced himself to look out the window. For the rest of his life he would wish he hadn’t. He would wish he just went home that night and never lit that third cigarette. Bats were swarming over, under and around the car. Hundreds, maybe thousands of bats. They poured over the Camry like black oil. BQ was mesmerized somehow beyond terror. He sat up slowly and silently moved into the passenger seat. He knew what he was seeing, but did not believe it as the bats flowed over the car. Occasionally one would slam face first into the windshield and shriek its ugly face off. He noticed their claws were shredding the paint from the hood. Then he noticed little spiderweb cracks in the windshield. She rapped him on the shoulder. “Keys please. If they get in, it won’t end well for either of us.” BQ gave her the keys. “You have to pump it.” may/june

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She grabbed him by the shirt, “I will NOT have any of this monster movie bullshit where the car won’t start, you hear me?” He shrugged. She cursed, pumped the gas and turned the key. The engine purred to life. “You’re lucky,” she said. “I feel it,” he replied. Then a bat head crashed through the windshield and filled the car with awful shrieks. “Good time to go!” BQ cried. “First smart thing you’ve said all night!” she replied and punched it. They wheeled out of the parking spot and cut a hard left on Beach, away from town. The bats followed. The Camry roared past the Beach 4 and through the smoke and flame. This seemed to throw the bats off. By the time they emerged the Camry was three blocks away. The bats did not follow. “Are we safe?” “I think so,” she replied. “Good. Now if you don’t mind I’d like to go barking mad.” “Tell me where you live first.” His heart jumped. “There are easier ways to pick me up.” She smiled. He liked it. “Like how?” “Your name, maybe?” She offered a hand, “How rude of me. Hannah. Hannah Port. You?” He touched her slender fingers and felt electric icicles up his arm. “Brendan. Quinn. But everybody calls me BQ.” “Well, BQ… where to?” He couldn’t look away from her face. From Hannah Port’s face. The most beautiful girl he’d ever been this close to. “Two more blocks, make a left.” She withdrew her hand, placed it on the wheel and smiled a smile that melted his heart. “Whatever you say,” she said. He wanted to say that he would drive off a cliff with her if that’s what she wanted, because he loved her down to the bottom of her soul. But he didn’t. Instead they just drove, drove until he told her to stop.


musthaves

from the shops of cape may

ALL IRISH IMPORTS

ACROSS THE WAY

ARTISANS ALCOVE

401 Lafayette Street, Cape May (609) 884-4484 www.allirishimports.com

304 Washington Street, Cape May (609) 884-4199 www.acrossthewaycapemay.com

523 Lafayette, Cape May (609) 898-0202 www.artisansalcove.com

Don’t get your Irish up – everything in here, and we mean EVERYTHING, is imported from the Emerald Isle. Greeting cards, books, beautiful clothing, jewelry and fragrance, china and music, too. But we admit it – we’re partial to the sweet treats. You don’t have to be Irish to find something to love at All Irish Imports.

“Unique Gifts & Home Décor” isn’t the half of it – this spot is tailor-made for browsing, with uncommon articles from cool floor fans to fuzzy slippers to quirky clocks. Check out the best-selling Envirosax shopping bags, made from recycled plastic water bottles, and available in two handy sizes.

This is not your grandmother’s jewelry store. Okay, wait – maybe in a way it is, but in a cool way! Specializing in Art Deco, Victorian and Edwardian pieces, as well as modern, these incredible gems are not your run-of-themill baubles. And don’t forget – they also buy, repair and appraise jewelry.

BAY SPRINGS ALPACAS

BIRD HOUSE OF CAPE MAY

CAPE MAY BIRD OBSERVATORY

542 New England Road, Cape May (609) 884-0563 www.bayspringsalpacas.com

109 Sunset Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 898-8871 www.birdhouseofcapemay.com

701 E. Lake Drive, Cape May Point (609) 884-2736 www.birdcapemay.org

Come on, admit it – you’ve always wanted to get up close and personal with an alpaca, haven’t you? You can do that here! You can buy one and take it home. But for the more faint of heart, get up close and personal with the sweaters, socks and other wares created courtesy of these cool and quirky critters.

Bird House Central, obviously, but they also carry lovely things for feathering YOUR nest, including their bestselling Fragranced Wax Pottery Bowls. Available in two sizes, they’re handmade with essential oils and release mild fragrance like a candle, but without the potential hazard of a flame. And they’re beautiful to boot!

The Cape May Bird Observatory may not be the first place that springs to mind when purse-shopping, but trust us on this. Check out the great canvas bags by Bungalow 360 – clutches, satchels, totes and backpacks in way cool patterns, and some are even reversible! You need a place to stow those binoculars, anyway.

CAPE MAY LINEN OUTLET

CAPE MAY SPORTS memorabilia 405 West Perry Street, Cape May (609) 898-3332 www.capemaysportsmemorabilia.com

203 Sunset Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 884-1849

Curtains and towels and bedspreads, oh my! Why bother with big box stores when the folks at Cape May Linen have been furnishing bedrooms and baths and providing excellent customer service for over 20 years? Quality merchandise plus real rock-bottom prices equals lots and lots of happy customers.

Even if you’re not a sports nut, you can’t help but be impressed by the selection of high-quality memorabilia offered at Cape May Sports Memorabilia. We’re talking programs, yearbooks, signed baseballs and bats, as well as vintage baseball cards – reasonably priced, too. And if you ARE a sports nut, you’ll be in hog heaven browsing here.

Locals and visitors alike will tell you that no trip to Cape May is complete without a stop at Cape May Wicker. Beachy furniture, cute and quirky accessories for the home, candles, lamps and more. Whether you’re searching for something for yourself or the perfect gift, the wares in this browser’s paradise are priced right, too.

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

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CAPE MAY WICKER


musthaves

from the shops of cape may

CAPE WINDS FLORIST

CAROLINE BOUTIQUE

CELEBRATE CAPE MAY

860 Broadway, West Cape May (609) 884-1865 www.capemayflowers.com

Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May (609) 884-5055

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

If you want to say it with flowers, let Cape Winds Florist’s 30 years in the blooms business do the talking for you. Celebrate all of life’s major milestones, and the little ones too, with a just-right arrangement from Cape Winds, and get your sentiments across beautifully (and delivered right to their door).

Off the beaten path but so worth finding! Wear something from Caroline and brace yourself for the “Where did you GET that?” comments. Contemporary, casual clothes that are oh-so-easy to wear. And don’t fret if you’re a bit sartorially-challenged – Caroline and her fashion-forward staff will lend a hand. Look at you!

You say you need a new hermit crab? Head over to Crustacean Central, otherwise known as Celebrate Cape May in Washington Commons. They’ve also got everything and anything you could possibly require in the way of souvenirs – T-shirts, sweatshirts, jewelry, sunglasses and much, much more.

STORY

desatnick’s window fashions 1307 Trenton Avenuve, Cape May (609) 884-2545 www.desatnicks.com

401 Washington Street, Cape May (609) 884-0555

Among the many things we love at Story in The West End Garage are the chic light fixtures. Case in point: the blue gramophone light at $350 and the burlap pendant at $79. They’ve also got stunning wall hangings, drapery, candles and more. Bonus – scan the QR code on any item’s tag with your smart phone to see all your options.

There goes that red van again, which means another satisfied DeSatnick’s customer. Family-owned and operated since 1973, DeSatnick’s is the go-to window treatment place, helping area homes look beautiful from the inside and the outside. Hunter Douglas blinds, drapes, shades – you name it, they’ve got it.

You think Hallmark, you think greeting cards, but Donna’s is more than that. Find the perfect gift – from picture frames to figurines – or send a Cape May postcard to jealous far-away friends. Check out their selection of Beanpod soy candles (we like Beach Walk). You can light one and be down by the seaside anytime you wish.

484 Perry Street, West End Garage, West Cape May www.thewestendgarage.com

FIBER ARTS YARN SHOP

THE ORIGINAL FUDGE KITCHEN

Donna’s hallmark

ANDREWS, LTD

315 Ocean Street, Cape May (609) 898-8080 www.yarnsrus.net

513 Washington Street & 728 Beach Drive, Cape May (800) 23-FUDGE www.fudgekitchens.com

318 Washington Street, Cape May (609) 898-7755

Not only is this charming and colorful shop packed literally floor-to-ceiling with yarns, needles and other knitting necessities, they’ll even teach you how to do it! Sign up at the bargain-basement price of $40 for a threeweek session, and before you know it, you’ll be knitting pretty. Get it? Knitting pretty?

Two Fudge Kitchen locations in Cape May means one thing: you’re never too far away from satisfying that sweet tooth – 21 flavors of creamy, hand-whipped fudge, never mind all the other tempting treats. They truly are “simply the best,” because over 25 years in the confections business doesn’t happen by accident.

To pay a visit to Andrews, Ltd, is to connect with the past. Artfully displayed antiques, vintage jewelry and an excellent selection of collectibles await the discerning eye of the antiques enthusiast or collector – or anyone who likes beautiful things. From exquisite jewels to darling kewpie dolls, you’ll find it at Andrews, Ltd.

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my perfect day PASTOR JEFFREY ELLIOTT, CAPE MAY LUTHERAN CHURCH

Start your day before sunrise...

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LIFE lived for others is the best life. But, since a good life also requires rest, this is what a perfect day of rest in Cape May looks like to a Knight Templar. Park your car over on Madison Avenue. You won’t need it. Start your day in Cape May before sunrise on the promenade. Watch the sun rise over the ocean, then walk down to the jetty and back to build an appetite. Finish your walk at Avalon Coffee with a chocolate chip bagel and a cup of the house blend. This will give you the energy you need for the short walk to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities ticket booth at the corner of Ocean Street and the

Washington Street Mall. Attend a mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea, then catch a combined trolley tour and museum tour of the Physick Estate. The tours will leave you in the perfect mood for lunch at the Carriage House Tearoom and Café. Pick up your car and drive down to the Cape May Bird Observatory and walk the trails. This is Cape May’s other cathedral. As you watch the hawks, the snowy egrets and other shore birds, feel the last remnants of stress leaving your body. Leave before sunset so you can have some focaccia pizza at Mario’s. You can eat your dinner in the parking lot by the World War II tower at Sunset Beach. Climb the tower, enjoy the exhibits and thank your guide for his service to our exit zero

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Beauty all ARound us “Pick up your car and drive down to the Cape May Bird Observatory and walk the trails. This is Cape May’s other cathedral,” says Pastor Jeffrey Elliott, a Cape May County native and Knight Templar. Aleksey Moryakov

2011

country. Walk to Sunset Beach to see Marvin Hume and watch the flag lowering ceremony. Remember old comrades and time spent together on other shores. Walk reverently to your car and make the short drive to the lighthouse at Cape May Point. Think how clever you were to make that $30 donation to MAC. And remember how you checked the “Friends of the Lighthouse” box on your MAC membership renewal form? Well, you now get to join your MAC buddies for a night climb. Ascend the lighthouse stairs in the gloaming, hang out at the top and watch the moon rise over the water. Recollect the beauties of the day you have enjoyed and, in gratitude, raise a “Jubilate Deo” to beyond the stars.


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NEW FOR 2011 - CGI RACING, the premiere race management in the region, and Morey’s Piers present a seaside half marathon on August 28, 2011. For more information, visit www.MoreysPiers.com or contact our Beach Sports Coordinators at 609-522-3900, ext 1195 or register at thewildhalf.cgiracing.com.

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ARTS THE GAIL PIERSON GALLERY OFFERS A PACKED CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Celebrating the Art of the Cape

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HE Gail Pierson Gallery is heading into its third season and there’s plenty of exciting artwork in store. Located at Cranberry Court in the heart of the Historic Downtown Cape May, the Gallery continues to welcome both experienced and emerging artists from all over the East Coast. The Gail Pierson Gallery is truly a “gallery for all seasons.” It is open yearround and provides a calendar of exhibitions and events for the community and its visitors. The Gail Pierson Gallery participates in the town’s Second Sundays Gallery Walk, during which art-lovers can take a guided stroll through some of the city’s best galleries. Another yearround event, Prickly Pear Weekends, showcase new work each month from local artists of the Cape May County Art League. Featured this season are paint-

Mirror, Mirror Carol Clark Hammond’s “Merion’s Reflection” captures a quintessential Cape May scene.

ers Matt Lively, Judith Anderson, Tally Forbes, Melvin Miller, Nancy Tankersley, Ellen Priest and Joe Rademan, and photographers Len Sachar, Blair Seitz, Mike Sperlak and Toni Lee Vosika. The Gallery’s spring season holds two important shows. Gimme Five opens on April 28, and is an intimate look at four emerging artists. On May 28, the Cape May County Art League returns to the Gail Pierson Gallery for its Really Big Show. GIMME FIVE Gimme Five is a brief but in-depth, four-week look at a selection of work from four artists of varying styles and media. Peter Ehlinger, Carol Clark Hammond, Joe Rademan and Mike Sperlak are featured. Gimme Five will run through May 27. Peter Ehlinger is a Haddon Township, NJ artist who works in watercolors, pen and ink, and pastels. He has been exhib-

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iting since the 1960s, with showings in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. His Asian-influenced work reflects a unique style of multiple washes and intricate design. Some works begin with a substantial application of color and a reduction process which creates an unusual textured effect. Ehlinger’s works are complex, structured and time-consuming. He combines traditional themes with bold colors in subjects ranging from Geishas to pottery. The multiple-wash technique makes these works appear as if they have been completed in another medium. Subjects range from classical ballet to whimsical flights of imagination. Joe Rademan attended Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia. He spent 20 years as an artist for a number of regional newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. He is the Art Director for Voicenet, an Internet tech-


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nology company. Rademan is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association and an associate artist with the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts in Millville, NJ. He currently resides in southern New Jersey. He finds beauty in his travels around the region – sparkling water, gently rippled reflections, rich tidal marshes and the ever-changing, dramatic effects of light are some of his favorite subjects. Mike Sperlak is a landscape photographer from Cape May Court House. Mike is a recent graduate of McDaniel College and has a degree in Business Administration. Mike is largely self-taught when it comes to digital camera operation and computer post-processing. Sperlak practices a technique where multiple exposures are blended into one single image where all areas of the image can be exposed exactly as he wants. Mike’s images are processed with the mood, feelings and emotions he experienced in that split second in time. Mike shows at Crow Creek Studio in Cape May Court House and is a member of the Cape May County Art League. Carol Clark Hammond studied at Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. Hammond has worked for NBC and their affiliates for many years as a courtroom sketch artist. She also works in portraiture and holds a particular passion for figure drawing. Although she is a native of Mississippi,

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Hammond was raised spending her summers in Cape May, NJ and returns at every opportunity. She chooses watercolor to document nature and the rich history of the area that she so deeply loves. Her watercolors clearly reveal a unique southern perspective, but also try to capture the unique charisma of being at the shore. CAPE MAY COUNTY ART LEAGUE The Gail Pierson Gallery welcomes back for a second year the members’ juried show of the Cape May County Art League. It is, indeed, a Really Big Show. It opens on Memorial Day weekend with a reception on May 28 from 7-10pm. It continues through June 27. The special light and landscapes of Cape May have long influenced the artists here, and in 2011 that tradition continues. When the Gail Pierson Gallery signed on to host the Cape May County Art League, they seized the opportunity to delve into the history of the League and become acquainted with the nearly 150 working artists of the region who are its members. The aim of the 2011 show is to make the community aware of a local treasure, showcase the talents of the members of the League, and exhibit eclectic visual representation of Cape May County. Today’s League is by no means old fashioned. The current exhibit will show viewers high-quality, accessible, imaginative and fresh takes on a wide range of subjects.


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ARTS FROM LARGE PRODUCTIONS TO INTIMATE READINGS, ELTC HAS IT ALL

East Lynne Revives a Broadway Gem

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HEATER overs should be gearing up for the battle of the sexes! Let the games begin at the Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company’s 2011 Mainstage Production season. First up, see the husband-and-wife team of Ann and Tom Herford duke it out in He and She. Come and see why The Newark Star-Ledger awarded it “The Best Play of the New Jersey Season,” when ELTC first produced it in 1997. This humorously provocative play runs from June 15 through July 23, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30pm at The First Presbyterian Church at 500 Hughes Street. On opening night there will be an after-show party at The Washington Inn where patrons will have the opportunity to meet and talk to the cast and crew. On Friday, June 24, is an after-show Q&A, and Friday, July 15 features an ASL Performance. Although not all casting decisions have been made, ELTC’s artis-

tic director Gayle Stahlhuth is sure to bring back some ELTC favorites as well as some exciting new talent to Cape May. Playwright Rachel Crothers began with her first Broadway success in 1906, The Sum of Us, and continued through Susan and God in 1936, with a hit almost every year. Most of her themes involve smart, working women with families. This play is no exception. When He and She begins, Tom plans on entering a competition for a $100,000 prize for the best work of art. Ann has been thinking about entering, and after a few choice comments made by family and colleagues about men’s work being better than women’s, she decides to go after the prize. Tom’s assistant, Keith, and Ruth, a friend of Ann’s who works for a magazine, are in love, but Keith’s not sure he can be married to a “working” woman. Tom’s sister, Daisy, is the Herfords’ secretary and appears to be determinedly independent, but is she? Suddenly, Tom and Ann’s 16-year-old daughter wants to get married. Who wins the prize and who walks down the aisle is all revealed by the end of the play, but there are a few bumps in the road along the way. Tickets are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; $15 for students; and any-

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one age twelve and under is free. Season tickets are available through June 30 and the recipient can choose what days to attend – and even bring friends! Five tickets cost only $100. There are five separate tickets in the Season Ticket packet, so individual tickets may actually be given to others for their use. For information and to make reservations, call (609) 884-5898 or go online at www. eastlynnetheater.org. ELTC is partnering with the following restaurants for dinner and theater ticket savings: Aleathea’s, 410 Bank Street, Fresco’s, The Merion Inn and The Washington Inn. Call the restaurants for reservations and mention the ELTC Dinner-And-A-Show Package. East Lynne’s Tales of the Victorians begins on Thursday, June 16 at 4pm and continues every Thursday at different venues throughout the summer. Come sip tea and taste treats while listening to an American short story by the likes of Mark Twain read by a member of the company. Ticket price is $10. Contact the theater for locations. On Tuesday, July 5 at 8pm, after ten workshop sessions, students enrolled in ELTC’s Student Workshop perform Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women adapted by Elizabeth Lincoln Gould. This yearly anticipated event is admission-free. Those interested in the workshop may contact ELTC. Rehearsals begin on June 21.

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the power of the sun EACH DAY AND EVERY NIGHT WE MARVEL AS THE SUN BREAKS THE HORIZON Story Pete Dunne

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DON’T think anyone visits, or lives in, Cape May without taking either a walk along the beach, watching the sunset or strolling along the promenade. If you haven’t, you are missing so much more than just getting sand between your toes or exercise working that two-mile stretch of promenade. You need to get up and out early, before 6am, and head east (if you are staying toward the west end of town). Grab your morning beverage of choice and watch the horizon as the sun comes up in the eastern sky and lights up the waves crashing against the jetties.

Give a hoot A Great Horned Owl stands watch in the fall foliage. Cape May Bird Observatory

Then come evening, maybe after an early dinner at one of Cape May’s fine gastronomical establishments, about 8ish, head towards Cape May Lighthouse and feast your eyes on something people have to travel a lot more than two miles to experience. You can watch an amazing sunset from almost the same spot that you watched the sun come up just that morning. Me, I’m a morning person; usually up around 4am; grab some coffee and head to my favorite spot in Cumberland County for my morning bird walk. Often my attention gets fixated on the horizon, not because of a stream of

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birds that are flying over, but because a sky that not too long ago was an indigo swath now looks as if a fire is brewing off in the east horizon, turning the sky in short order from a pale orange, to a deep red, to a burnished gold and then it’s nearly white. Then the sun’s crown peeks over the horizon, spreading heatless light over the marshes of Delaware Bay and over me, one of the planet’s mortal lightning rods. I don’t know why our species is so fascinated by sunrises and sunsets. Maybe it’s biological, maybe spiritual, maybe it harkens back to a time when we were hunted things and night meant peril, day brought salvation. Sunrise and sunset were the heralds of transition. Their messages: “Congratulations, champ, you made it” and “Uh, oh. Here we go again. Good luck, sucker.” You’d think we’d just get used to it after a while. Sunrises and sunsets do, after all, happen every day. But we don’t get used to it. For whatever reason, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, our species seems drawn to pause and mark the moment the sun joins and leaves us. Other creatures don’t seem to share this fascination. They grow active or inactive (depending upon the species) shortly before or after dawn or dusk. But they don’t stop what they are doing to mark the moment the sun reaches the horizon. No mother robin, facing a nest full of blooming mouths, has ever tried to distract her hungry brood by saying: “Oh children, just forget daddy and those old worms. Look at that beautiful sunrise.” No mouse enjoying the last movements of life in the playful embrace of a cat has ever won a reprieve because tabby got mesmerized by the sunset. Nope. It’s just us. And the fascinating thing is that our species seems to treat sunrises and sunsets differently. Sunsets are social affairs whether you are in Key West or right here at Sunset Beach. People gather. Celebrate the end of the day. Hug. Cheer. Lower Old Glory. It’s a festival of light (or the last fragments of it). But sunrises are solo affairs. I wonder why? I remember, quite a few years ago, watching a young woman walk up to the Hawk Watch Platform at Cape May Point State Park. She put her arms on the rail-


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ing. She turned her face into the rising glow. She quietly absorbed the sunrise. I learned, later, that her father had recently died. Instead of immersing herself in friends or diversions she came to Cape May, alone, to find peace. Does the sun confer this kind of confidence? Or does strength seek strength? I remember another morning a few years later. Another encounter with a solo sol-seeker. I was driving to the 2nd Avenue jetty in hopes of seeing migrating songbirds flying ashore. There were still stars in the sky when I arrived and I heard the flutist playing the moment I stepped from the car. He was seated, Buddha-fashion, on the end of the 2nd Avenue jetty and he was playing, as the line from the old Joni Mitchell song goes, “real good for free.” Maybe it was drama of life and death that was being played out before me, the sight of weary birds struggling to the safety of shore. But as I scanned and as I listened, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe the piper’s presence was not an accident. What if his presence and the sunrise were not isolated but enjoined? What if this guy was the Pied Piper of

Hunter Gatherer A Sanderling skitters past an upended Horseshoe Crab. Cape May Bird Observatory

Sunlight, or something? What if the sun had to be coaxed to rise each morning and what if the piper didn’t play? Am I the only one who worries about these things, or do you? I never learned the name of the piper. Or from where he came. I only know that he plays real good for free and that the possibility exists, the possibility, mind

you, that a morning might come when he can’t find his flute, or he oversleeps, and our several-billion-year-old winning streak on Earth will come to a dark end. Overlooking (for the moment) the possible mandatory presence of The Piper, solitary sunrises have three key ingredients. They require the sun. They require a receptive individual (like you).

Advertise in the color Editions of Exit Zero! Contact Jason Black (609) 770-8479 / jason@exitzero.us

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And they require solitude (which is another word for open space). New Jersey is the most crowded state in the Union. Nevertheless it is rich in open, secluded places where sol-mates can go one-on-one with the sun. I invite you to regard a map of the state. Note how the virtually the entire eastern border has been positioned to provide front-row seating for sunrise viewing. All you have to do is get up. Walk down to the beach. Stop when you hit water. Back up. Witness a miracle. What time is sunrise? In the summer, in this latitude, pretty early – sometime between 5:00 and 6:30, depending on the date. If you arrive early, just wait. If you are a very early riser, calculate that sunrise will occur about one hour and 15 minutes after the first frail suggestion of light appears in the eastern sky. If you like to schedule your appointments down to the minute, you can watch the Weather Channel (they post the time of sunrise and sunset). Beaches don’t have a strategic monopoly on sunrises. There are myriad old dirt roads leading to the assorted “landings” on coastal and Delaware Bay

Eyes like a Heron This Green Heron is poised and ready for action. Below: A Winter Wren pauses to survey his snowy surroundings. Cape May Bird Observatory

marshes that offer open, unpeopled vistas and a new perspective. Ever seen the sun rise from an ocean of grass? It’s different. Beautiful and different (and you don’t have to contend with a bunch of fishing boats intruding on the view or guys raking the beaches). Many years ago, I started watching birds. At the time, I was motivated by their color and anima-

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tion. Later I began to realize that the creatures were envoys; my guides to a world of wonder and discovery. Only later have I come to appreciate one of the great, unspoken benefits of being a bird watcher: the bounty of sunrises the avocation confers upon practitioners. Yeah, golfers get to see the occasional sunrise; fishermen, too. But birders and sunrises are inseparable.


THE FIRST RESORT IMAGES AND STORIES FROM CAPE MAY’S HISTORY

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MANY of you will not recognize the building in this photograph despite the fact that it’s still standing today. The greatly expanded structure is now known as The Pilot House. However, before it was The Pilot House, this building had been the Tarpon Bar for over 45 years, since being founded by Milton Blume in the late 1930s. The Tarpon was much smaller than the Pilot House and offered a scaled-back menu of basic bar food like sandwiches and burgers – it also had a liquor store in the front. Words: Ben Miller Photo: Don Pocher

The history of Cape May is presented in a beautifully-illustrated 300-page coffee table book The First Resort – available at The Exit Zero Store & Gallery and other fine stores

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I’m sure I’ve seen ten thousand solitary sunrises. I hoard them in my mind the way a miser stockpiles gold. I have birding to thank for this (as well as those other human interests, like late-night television, that keep people up nights and snug in their beds until full sunlight). Does getting addicted to sunrises carry a risk? Unfortunately, yes. Unless you are the kind of person who needs very little sleep, you may find that your capacity to appreciate sunsets may be undermined (at least in summer). But trust me, sleep is overrated anyway! Pete Dunne is New Jersey Audubon’s Chief Communications Officer and Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory. Pete uses his talents and energy to make the natural world real for others. Author of several books on and about nature (available at the Cape May Bird Observatory) he weaves information, insight and even fantasy into a net that captures minds and hearts. He has written for virtually every birding publication, for The New York Times, and has a weekly column in Cape May’s own, Exit Zero.

Singalong A Common Yellowthroat lets out a chirruping song. At right: This Whitecrowned Sparrow looks more subdued. Cape May Bird Observatory

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An Early American Open-Air Living History Museum

Stroll the shaded lane 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 May through mid-September. Open Tuesday through Sunday from June22 21 -- September June September 2, 5, 10am-4:30pm. Special Weekday family activities! Welcome Center, Old Grange Restaurant, Country Store, Ice Cream Parlor, Bakery Historic Cold Spring Village received funding through a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

720 Route 9 • Cape May, NJ 08204 www.hcsv.org • 609-898-2300 exit zero

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Renovating a Classic

ATHY Pelaez is a big believer in kismet. Which is understandable, given what she and her brother Jeff Gernitis have managed to pull off in their current endeavor as proprietors of the Peter Shields Inn – it would be difficult to explain it any other way. They took over the place last summer, but put off renovating until after the season and somehow got it to its current breathtaking state in six weeks’ time. No small feat – the “after” is exceedingly impressive, whether you’ve seen the “before” or not – and Cathy credits her decorator, Maria Toczylowski of Beach Dwellings Design in Avalon, as well as countless dedicated contractors, for the transformation. (You can check out some of the before-and-after photos on their Facebook page.) Gone are the dark carpets,

a team effort Above: From the front to the back of the house, running Peter Shields Inn is a group endeavor. At right: Pelaez refers to the redecorated bar as the “jewel box.” Aleksey Moryakov

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heavy furniture and fussy wallpaper, and in their place are sleek, understatedly elegant spaces. We sat down with Cathy in what she calls the sitting room, a serene, stunning little salon off one of the dining rooms, after a tour of the new and vastly

improved PSI, for a chat about how all this came to be. I can’t help but notice that enormous painting of the building over the fireplace here. Did you have that done? Believe it or not, we found it in the basement, and we took our cues for the col-

Fireside Drinks Guests enjoy a toast in the new sitting room that adjoins one of five dining rooms. Aleksey Moryakov

ors in this room directly from it. The smaller portraits hanging throughout the room are of the Peter Shields family and we had those restored as well. They were beautifully framed and hung by Jason Crafts of The Gilt Complex over in Avalon. He appraised some of the other things we found, including the spool mirror hanging in the lobby. He cleaned it up, restored it, and appraised it at $10,000. The portrait hanging just inside the front door was a gift to us from my 93-year-old aunt, who bought it some years ago at a yard sale because she thought the subject was handsome. Jason appraised it at $7,000. How did you happen to hook up with this particular property? I checked a commercial real estate website called loopnet.com in the spring of 2009, put in “South Jersey,” and it brought up the Peter Shields. Jeff and I brought our spouses down for dinner to check it out, made an offer, settled on June 28, 2010, and our first weekend here was July 4 of last year. Obviously we had to wait until the season was over before undertaking the renovation. Nothing like jumping in on the

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busiest weekend of the year. Have you always been in the restaurant business? I did own a restaurant many years ago – in my former life, during my first marriage, so I knew what I was getting into. My brother Jeff and I had just retired within a few months of each other. I was president of Liberty Travel, and my brother was vice president of engineering at ITT Electronic Systems.

We weren’t very good at being retired, so we started looking for a project. I knew I wanted an inn – I have a passion for them. Having travelled the world, I knew exactly what I wanted based on the places I’ve stayed. So from president of a major corporation to running a restaurant and inn. One low-stress job to another – was that the idea? Ha! Something like that

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Oceanfront Dining The newly redecorated sun porch offers beautiful ocean views for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Below: Kahlil Gunther is a fixture at the PSI, where he delivers nuanced piano stylings. Aleksey Moryakov

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– I like being busy – I like having a project. And I was very hands-on here. Even though we hired an amazing decorator, I worked very, very closely with her, and it was pretty rare that we disagreed on anything – maybe a couple of times during the whole process Were you a Cape May regular prior to all this? It was Jeff who was the Cape May guy. I had been here before, of course, and loved it, but we usually vacationed farther north in Mannesquan and Point Pleasant. The results in here are just outstanding – I haven’t been here in a while, and it’s so cohesive now – it had kind of a disjointed feel before, if I remember correctly. And you say it was done in six weeks? Six weeks to the day – it was a miracle, it was kismet. Between Maria and Jason and all the contractors – everyone was so dedicated. They worked six days a week, with an occasional Sunday thrown in. I’ll never forget when the chairs arrived – it was an assembly line of people, passing them along from the truck into the building. We started on January 3 and we opened on February 11, working


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right up until the last minute. You should have videotaped the whole thing – it would make a great movie. Did you have anything specific in mind when you tackled the décor? We just really went out of our way to respect the house – we worked with what was already here. We toned it down, and removed a lot of the extraneous things. Each room is still different, still ‘themed,’ but there are elements that tie them all together – the carpet and the chairs are the same in each room, just upholstered differently. Have you made similar changes to the guest rooms? We plan to focus on the guest rooms next winter. For now, we have just done a serious de-cluttering, upgraded the linens and replaced the bedspreads with white duvets. I’ve always loved the look of white duvets; it just gives a room a really spotless look and feel. We’ve also redone the second floor sitting room – removed the wall-

Fresh Is Best Executive Chef Carl Messick prepares some of the excellent fare at the PSI. Owner Cathy Pelaez says “He’s consumed with using the absolute top-quality, freshest seasonal ingredients we can get.” Aleksey Moryakov

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paper, painted, and changed out the furniture. We removed the wallpaper and painted the walls going up the stairs – the wallpaper was really competing with that amazing stained-glass window. What changes have you made as far as cuisine? We brought a new executive chef on board at the beginning of the year, Carl Messick, and we’re thrilled with the changes he’s made. He’s consumed with using the absolute topquality, freshest seasonal ingredients we can get. We started tapas on the porch last summer, and it was really well-received, so we’ll be continuing that. We’re thinking about brunch on Sundays. We’re serving dinner seven evenings a week year-round and plan to expand our lunch menu for the summer Have you had any run-ins with the ghost that allegedly haunts this place? I personally have not, but one of our chefs has encountered him. He was the 15-year-old son of Peter Shields, who

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accidentally shot himself on a duckhunting trip. He was brought back here to the house after the accident, where he died in the basement in front of the fireplace. They say he hangs around by the ladies room, but he is supposedly a very benevolent ghost. It sounds like it’s been quite a year for you – what do you do to relax? And where do you go in town when you can get out? My brother loves to golf, ski and hang out at the Brown Room. When my husband, Armando and I go out, its usually pretty late, but we like to have a drink at the Wine Bar at the Washington Inn or the Brown Room. When we go out to eat, it’s usually Lucky Bones, the Raw Bar at The Lobster House, the Black Duck, Copper Fish or Louisa’s. Anything new you’d like to try this year? I’d like to try dragging a chair across the street and planting myself on the beach. Someone can always run over and get me if they need me.


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FOR FAMILIES, FOR COUPLES, FOR SPORTY TYPES... THE MOST STUPENDOUSLY RESEARCHED AND ORGANIZED CAPE MAY GUIDE YOU’LL EVER READ! OR NEED.

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APE May isn’t just a beach; there is so much more than the surf and sand. Not sure where to start? You’re in luck: we have assembled the world’s most complete guide to Cape May activities. Even locals might find something new. Plus, there are rainy day ideas! () So, enjoy!

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FAMILY-FRIENDLY

Cape May has a great variety of activities that you can enjoy with the entire family. Here is a great list of ideas to get you started. 1. Historic Cold Spring Village Ever wonder what it was like to live in Cape May 200 years ago? The answer can be found at this openair living history museum, a sevenminute drive from town. Through interactive, educational and handson activities, visitors can make a connection with the past by experiencing it. The many authentically restored homes, amid idyllic shaded areas, make it hard to not feel like Abe Lincoln’s in office… and it’s even easier when the Civil War re-enactment rolls into town. Cold Spring is a can’t-miss for history buffs. Give them a call at (609) 898-2300 or visit their website at www. hcsv.org. 2. Back Bay History Cruise Board the Osprey to learn about the rich history of Cape May’s waterways. Learn about the creation of Cape Island, submarine warfare along the Atlantic, the dredging of the harbor, Turtle Gut inlet, South Cape May, fishing fleets, the various features along the harbor, the Nature Center of Cape May, the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May and more. The Osprey is conveniently located at the Miss Chris Marina. Offered at 6pm daily, 10am Tuesdays through Saturdays beginning Friday, June 17. Adults $23, kids $15, children under seven free. Call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 3. Cape May-Lewes Ferry Take a trip over to Lewes, Delaware, a small, quaint seaside town, then make sure you check out bustling Rehoboth Beach, the Fenwick Island Lighthouse or Cape Henlopen State Park. You can also take advantage of the tax-free shopping at the outlets. No matter what you choose once you’re there, enjoy the quiet and vastness of the bay on the

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deck of the ferry as you watch for dolphins and whales. They even have a bar onboard! For more information or to book a reservation, call 800-64-FERRY or visit www.capemaylewesferry.com. 4. Cape May in Blue and Gray Travel back to 1863, when the allegiances of Cape May’s residents were divided between Union and Confederate causes, to witness first-hand the war’s effect on a local family. The drama begins on the trolley and finishes at the historic 1876 Chalfonte Hotel where you may complete your experience with a visit to the Chalfonte Collection, a unique assembly of Civil War artifacts with a Chalfonte connection, and an optional southern fried chicken dinner. $35 for performance and dinner. $15 for performance only. Offered Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:15pm beginning June 21. Call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 5. Whale and Dolphin Watching Dolphins are fairly common in the waters off Cape May, but it’s still a big joy to see these beautiful creatures. Cape May Whale & Dolphin Watch and Research Center offers you the best chance to see them up close. And, as the name implies, you might even see a whale. Tours take off from Wilson Avenue. If the ship is docked you can see it on your left as you cross the small bridge before the Lobster House on your way out of town. For directions or more information, call (609) 8980055 or visit them on the web at www. capemaywhalewatch.com. 6. Historic Haunts House Tour Get into the Victorian spirit on a guided tour of the historic (some say haunted) Physick Estate, followed by a discussion of Victorian spiritualism. Offered at 7:45pm on Saturdays through June 11, Fridays through May 13 and every Friday beginning June 17. Limited tour. $10 for adults, $7 for children. Call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org.


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7. Cape May Family Treasure Hunt Discover the fun of exploring Cape May and uncovering its architectural elements from a kid’s perspective. Packet includes a clue sheet and map that will take you on a self-guided discovery tour. Packets for the entire family are available for $5. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 8. Lunch with the Pirates Lads, lasses, buccaneers and landlubbers are invited to the Carriage House Tearoom & Café located at the Physick Estate for a pirate-themed lunch experience as pirates invade the tearoom and commandeer the show. $18 for adults, $10 for children and includes lunch. Offered Fridays at 11:30am beginning June 17. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 9. Antiquing  For a different kind of treasure hunt, check out the amazing variety of antique shops that are available in Cape May – just don’t get disheartened when you see your favorite childhood toy selling for $100. Here are some treasure troves (all 609 area code): Antiques Emporia, 405 West Perry Street (898-3332), Bridgetowne Antiques, Broadway and Mechanic (884-8107), Out of The Past Antiques, 394 Myrtle Avenue, corner of Perry (884-3357), Cape May Antique Center, 1228 Route 109 (898-4449). 10. Cape May Lighthouse, Oil House and Museum Shop The lighthouse, built in 1859, has 199 steps leading to the watch gallery for a panoramic view of the Jersey Cape and Atlantic Ocean. The

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Museum Shop carries souvenirs, books, videos and other maritime items. Admission to the Visitors Orientation Center and the ground floor of the lighthouse is free. Tower admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 11. Queen Victoria Gardens Tour Stroll through the wonderfully preserved, beautiful gardens around the four buildings of the Queen Victoria, a renowned bed-and-breakfast in the heart of the Historic District. Offered

daily, 11am to 3pm, May 9 through May 19, 11am to 3pm and 6pm to 8pm from May 20 to June 16. Purchase tickets at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Admission is $7 and includes a booklet that describes the plants found in numbered areas throughout the property. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 12. Bay Springs Alpaca Farm This one’s hard to believe, but Cape May has an alpaca farm. Near the end of beautiful New England Road, Warren and Barbara Nuessle live what they call the “alpaca lifestyle” – quiet and simple. Visit them between 10am and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays and see how alpaca fiber is spun into yarn, or shop at their store which carries many alpaca-related items (forget wool: go with an alpaca sweater this winter!) And don’t forget to greet the grazing alpacas – they make it all possible. Call (609) 884-0563 or visit www.bayspringsalpacas.comfor more information. 13. Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tour  First hop on this guided trolley tour of Cape Mays’ Historic District, followed by a tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington Street. The new theme for 2011 is “Victorian Health and Fitness.” Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for children. Call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 14. Beachcombing at the Cove A naturalist from the Nature Center of Cape May helps you explore the ocean, beach and dunes of

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the Cove on Sundays at 9am. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and can be purchased in advance at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth, or on the day of the tour at the Second Street Pavilion on the promenade in Cape May. For details call (609) 898-8848. 15. Self-guided Wine Trail Tour the wineries of Cape May County, visiting Natali Vineyards, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery and Turdo Vineyards and Winery and taste the unique flavors at each. Offered daily from 12pm to 5pm. Admission is $10 and includes a map with the wineries listed and a tasting glass. Call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 16. World War II Lookout Tower Museum and Memorial Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard is New Jersey’s last freestanding World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense system of the Delaware known as Fort Miles. Visitors can climb to the sixth floor spotting gallery while reliving the homeland defense efforts made by soldiers during World War II. The ground floor of the tower is fully accessible. $6 for adults and $3 for children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 17. Cherry House Tour  This beautiful Federal-style house was built in 1849 by Lemuel Leaming and named for the Cherry family of Philadelphia. Now owned by Beth and Frank Acker, the home has been lovingly restored and furnished with antiques. Each room is a treasure chest of cherished family mementos and the hand-painted murals throughout are a reflection of the owners’ lives as well as the home’s seashore heritage. Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm, and Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11am and 2pm. Tickets cost $10, available at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 18. Private Wildlife Garden Tour More butterfly and hummingbird gardens are tucked into Cape May County than just about anywhere else in the country. Gardening naturalist and author Pat Sutton leads tours through a variety of gardens to showcase young and old, sun and shade, large and small, containers, water features, meadows, dragonfly ponds and more. Bring lunch to leisurely eat in one of the gardens. Tours are $30 for members and $40

for non-members. For more information, call (609) 898-8848 or visit www. njaudubon.org/centers/NCCM. 19. Winery Cellar Tour and Tasting Spend an afternoon at the awardwinning Cape May Winery. Includes a barrel tasting accompanied by cheese and fruit and a complimentary tasting glass. Offered at 3pm every Saturday through May 28 and daily beginning May 29. Purchase tickets at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 20. Salt Marsh Eco-Tour and Birding by Boat Join Captain David Githens and crew aboard the Osprey, a 36-passenger, environmentally friendly pontoon boat. Since 1993 Captain David has been sharing the natural wonders of our coast with visitors from all over. Enjoy a fully narrated tour as you get up-close views of ospreys, migrant shorebirds, clapper rails, herons, gulls and terns. Also cruise through tidal wetland preserves, learning about one of the most productive habitats on the planet. Trips sail daily from the Miss Chris Marina at 890 2nd Avenue in Cape May from April to November. Call (609) 898-3500 or visit www.ospreycruise.com for more information or to book your trip. 21. Aviation Museum  The Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, a few minutes north of town, has a wonderful collection of planes and helicopters all set in a building which, at its peak during WWII, accommodated 222 planes and 17,000 takeoffs and landings per month. Young or old, the awe of flight will catch you like a net. The museum is open daily from 9am-5pm. Across the road is another must-see, the Vietnam Memorial Museum, which features a special garden commemorating the 21 fallen soldiers from Cape May County. Call (609) 886-8787 or visit www.usnasw.org. 22. Emlen Physick Estate Tour  With its new theme for 2011, “Victorian Health and Fitness,” a tour of the Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, is sure to be an entertaining and educational experience. Tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 23. Road Trip It seems silly to suggest leaving Cape May, but when the road calls, exit zero

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it’s hard not to answer. Grab some gas and try out Route 147 (Ocean Drive). It runs through Wildwood Crest, where the Doo Wop-style hotels of Wildwood are a block away, and Stone Harbor. Or why not explore Cumberland County, home to bald eagles and Port Norris, the one-time oyster capital of the world? Make sure you don’t miss the A.J. Meerwald, the lovely and historic Delaware Bay oyster schooner. 24. Cape May County Zoo How much would you expect to pay to see 200 species and a total of 550 animals from around the world? Unless you guessed $0, you’re way off, because the Cape May County Zoo offers free admission. The zoo features a reptile room, aviary and an African Savanna on its 80 acres. Surrounding the zoo is a park that’s perfect for picnics, as well as a jungle gym for children. Open daily from 10am-4:45pm, the zoo is just off Exit 11 on the parkway. And, while the zoo is free, donations at the entrance are appreciated. You can visit the county website at www.capemaycountygov.net or call (609) 465-5271 for more information. 25. Harbor Safari A marine biologist leads tour-goers through Cape May’s beach and marsh habitats. Tours are offered Saturdays at 11am until June 11 and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30am beginning June 21. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 26. Miniature Golf Even the worst golfer can manage a par at some of

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the town’s fabulous golf courses. Cape May Miniature Golf on Jackson Street features sculpted greens, a lush landscape and real sand traps. A tropically themed ice cream oasis named Cocomoe’s is connected next to the course. There’s mini-golf available up by the ocean at Ocean Putt, on the corner of Beach and Jackson, or a bit farther inland on Bayshore Road in North Cape May. There is also a new mini golf course at the shops at Sunset Beach, and each hole has ocean views! So, go grab a few friends, arrange a tournament and go golfing.

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27. Historic District Walking Tour Designed for those who like history up-close, this tour features knowledgeable guides who lead you down the streets of Cape May’s Historic District. Tours offered Saturdays at 10am until June 11 and Sundays and Wednesdays at 10am after June 22. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 28. Buy Fresh Produce New Jersey is the Garden State for a reason. There’s some great farmland in the area, and

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markets like Duckie’s and No Frills on Broadway carry some of the freshest produce around. There is also a stand on Sunset Boulevard on the way to Cape May Point. 29. Keeper’s on Duty This informational session is the perfect prelude to a climb up the Cape May Lighthouse. Learn the historic beacon’s story as told by one of the current keepers at the Education Center in Cape May Point State Park. All Keeper’s on Duty sessions are free and open to the public, and will be offered Sundays at 11:30am beginning May 29. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit MAC online at www.capemaymac.org. 30. Parasail You don’t need to be a daredevil to rise 500 feet above the ocean, nor do you need a pair of wings. Parasailing has become a popular pastime that lets you soar above the coast and see Cape May from a perspective most people will never enjoy. It may be a view to die for, but we can assure you that you won’t be risking anything – the boat captains are coast guard certified and extremely safe. There are two great options to choose from. East Coast Parasail in Cape May at Utsch’s Marina, (609) 898-8359; Atlantic Parasail at the Two Mile Landing restaurant and marina on Ocean Drive highway, (609) 522-1869. 31. Lighthouse Storytime  Bring your children to the Education Center in Cape May Point State Park to listen to nautical tales and lighthouse adventure stories. Storytime is at 12:30pm every Sunday starting May 29. Admission is free. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 32. Sunset Beach The name says it all – follow Sunset Boulevard until it ends, then watch the sun sink beyond the

jutting concrete ship. “God Bless America” is played as a veteran’s casket flag is lowered each day from May until September. After the ceremony, grab some food at the Grille or enjoy the incredible deals in the gift shop. There’s also a long beach strewn with Cape May diamonds. You can now even play mini-golf at Sunset Beach! 33. Self-Guided Audio Tour of Cape May Discover the Historic District of Victorian Cape May at your own pace with hand-held audio units leading the way. The $10 tour package comes complete with a map and index for 96 historic buildings on 69 sites. To start off on your own tour, stop by the Hill House, located at 1048 Washington Street on the Emlen Physick Estate, from 9am-2:30pm. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 34. Murder at the Physick Estate  Starting June 17, choose from one of two scenarios – “Finding Faith” or “Bearcat Bootlegger” – then interact with a cast of suspicious characters trying to solve the murder at the Emlen Physick Estate. Afterwards, interact with your evening’s performers over coffee and dessert in the Carriage House Tearoom & Café. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for children. For information about dates and times, call (609) 884-5404 or visit the MAC organization online at www.capemaymac.org. 35. Arcade  A trip to the beachfront is not the same without a trip to the arcade. Treat your kids to all the flashing lights, beeps, bells, buzzers and videogames, or relive great childhood memories. Cape May Arcade has two locations, one on Beach Avenue and Gurney, the other at Beach Avenue and Jackson Street. 36. Higbee Beach It used to be a bit of a scandalous place (nude exit zero

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bathers – gasp!). Not anymore... or, not usually. Follow New England Road until it ends, walk the path – aka Mosquito Alley – towards the beach and enjoy some splendid shore. Just enjoy it in a swimming (not birthday) suit. 37. Carriage Ride Forget about the car, bike or your own two feet; let the clip-clop of a horse’s trot guide you through the town in style. Taking a carriage is a unique, historic and romantic way to see the town at just the right pace. Besides, it beats parking. The Cape May Carriage Company is based at Ocean and Washington Street. Call (609) 884-4466 to set up a ride. 38. Fisherman’s Wharf Tour Take a guided tour of Fisherman’s Wharf at the Lobster House Restaurant. Learn how your seafood gets from the sea to your table and discover how Cape May has become the third largest commercial fishing port on the East Coast. Tours are offered Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am. Admission is $10 adults and $7 children. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 39. Emlen Physick Estate Children’s Tour  This tour encourages children to find out what life was like more than 125 years ago at the Emlen Physick Estate. Starting June 21, tours will run Mondays and Wednesday at 10:30am, and tickets are $7 per person. Call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 40. Guns of the Delaware This tour explores both sides of the Harbor Defense System of the Delaware Bay. First visit Fire Control Tower No. 23 in Cape May and then take a charming ride aboard the Cape MayLewes Ferry to Fort Miles at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, DE.


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ROMANTIC

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Cape May is a great getaway for couples. Here are a few ideas for activities that you and your loved one can enjoy together. You will notice that some of these events are family-friendly, too – we’ll let you be the judge. 1. Local Wineries You might not know this, but southern Jersey is emerging as a serious wine-growing region. Cape May Winery, on Townbank Road, has wine tours from 3-5pm on Saturdays for $20 a person. Hawk Haven Vineyard and Winery in Rio Grande have a beautiful wine bar and offer tastings and food pairings. Turdo Vineyards is yet another option. They have 12 varieties of wine, and give tours Friday through Sunday. Call (609) 884-1169 for Cape May Winery or visit www.capemaywinery. com. Call (609) 846-7347 for Hawk Haven or visit www. Hawkhavenvineyard.com. Call (609) 884-5591 for Turdo Vineyards, or visit www.turdovineyards.com. 2. Cape May-Lewes Ferry Take a trip over to Lewes, Delaware, a small, quaint seaside town, then make sure you check out bustling Rehoboth Beach, the Fenwick Island Lighthouse or Cape Henlopen State Park. You can also take advantage of the tax-free shopping at the outlets. No matter what you choose once you’re there, enjoy the quiet and vastness of the bay on the deck of the ferry as you watch for dolphins and whales. They even have a bar onboard! For more information or to book a reservation, call 1-800-64FERRY or visit capemaylewesferry.com.

3. Cape May by Moonlight Trolley Ride Take this romantic trolley ride through the moonlit streets of Cape May as a guide tells tales of Victorian romance. Tickets are available at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 8:30pm and Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:15pm after June 17. Tickets are $10. For more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 4. Whale and Dolphin Watching Dolphins are fairly common in the waters off Cape May, but it’s still a big joy to see these beautiful creatures. Cape May Whale & Dolphin Watch and Research Center offers you the best chance to

see them up close. And, as the name implies, you might even see a whale. Tours take off from Wilson Avenue. If the ship is docked you can see it on your left as you cross the small bridge before the Lobster House on your way out of town. For directions or more information, call (609) 898-0055 or visit them on the web at www.capemaywhalewatch.com. 5. Carriage House Tearoom and Café The Carriage House features a Tea Luncheon of sandwiches, salads, soups, breads, pastries and beverages. There is also an elegant Afternoon Tea option composed of finger sandwiches, pastries, scones and beverages. The café menu offers heartier fare with a selection of entrée sal-

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ads, soups, sandwiches and wraps. The Carriage House Tearoom and Café is on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, located at 1048 Washington Street. Opens at 11:30am. For reservations call (609) 884-5111, or for more information, call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 6. Carriage Ride Forget about the car, bike or your own two feet; let the clip-clop of a horse’s trot guide you through the town in style. Taking a carriage is a truly unique, historic and romantic way to see the town. Besides, it beats parking. Cape May Carriage Company is based at Ocean and Washington Street. Call (609) 884-4466 to set up a ride. 7. Parasail You don’t need to be a daredevil to let your body rise 500 feet above the ocean, nor do you need wings. Parasailing has become a popular pastime that lets you soar in the air and see Cape May from a view many people never have. It may be a view to die for, but we can assure you that you won’t be risking anything – the boat captains are coast guard certified and extremely safe. There are two great options to choose from. East Coast Parasail in Cape May at Utsch’s Marina, (609) 898-8359; and Atlantic Parasail at the Two Mile Landing restaurant and marina on Ocean Drive highway (609) 522-1869. 8. Sunset Beach The name says it all – follow Sunset Boulevard until it ends, then watch the sun sink beyond the jutting concrete ship. “God Bless America” is played while a veteran’s casket flag is lowered each day from May until September. After the cer-

11 emony, grab some food at the Grille or enjoy the incredible deals in the gift shop. There’s also a long beach strewn with Cape May diamonds. You can now even play mini-golf at Sunset Beach! 9. Higbee Beach It used to be a bit of a scandalous place (nude bathers – gasp!). Not anymore, though (usually). Head down New England Road until it ends, walk

the path towards the beach and enjoy some splendid shore. 10. Murder at the Physick Estate Starting June 17, choose from one of two scenarios – “Finding Faith” or “Bearcat Bootlegger” – then interact with a cast of characters trying to solve the murder. Afterwards, chat with the performers over coffee and dessert in the Carriage House Tearoom & Café. Admission is $25 for adults and $20 for children. For information about shows, dates and times, call (609) 884-5404 or visit the MAC organization online at www.capemaymac.org. 11. Get a Massage Even though Cape May is relaxing, why not make it MORE relaxing? Try these local miracle workers: Cape May Day Spa: (609) 898-1003, Artizan Salon and Spa: (609) 884-4499, Accent On Beauty: (609) 8847040 or Sea Spa at Congress Hall: (609) 884-6543. 12. Local Theater Cape May Stage, based in a beautifully renovated church in the center of town, is the city’s premier Equity professional group and features a season that’s packed with drama, comedy and superb performances from some pretty famous names. Call (609) 884-1341 or visit www.capemaystage. com. East Lynne Theater Company specializes in early American theater and is well worth a visit. They operate from the First Presbyterian Church on Hughes Street. Call (609) 884-5898 or visit www.eastlynnecompany.org. For a bag of laughs, you can’t go wrong at Elaine’s Dinner Theater on Lafayette Street – call (609) 884-5898.

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RECREATIONAL

Cape May doesn’t just have to be about relaxing. If you’re looking for an energy boost, there are lots of physical activities to get out and try. 1. Golf Cape May National Golf Club has “three of the best holes in New Jersey” according to The Jersey Golfer and is nestled in 50 acres of private bird sanctuary. (Visit Cape May National at www. cmngc.com or call (609) 884-1563.) But, if it’s your wedge that needs some work, Cape May Par 3 will let you play 18 holes for just $14.95. No bag? No problem. Cape May Par 3 rents clubs for just $1. Visit them at www.capemaypar3.com or call (609) 889-2600. 2. Bike Ride It’s no secret: Cape May is a biking town. Have you even tried to navigate the streets of Cape May during rush hour? It’s enough to make you want to start jogging to your destination. But have no fear; there are bike rentals that beat braking (and braking again, then honking, then braking once more). Try Cape Island Bikes at 727 Beach Avenue or 135 Sunset Boulevard, (609) 884-8011. 3. Nature Trails Next to the lighthouse in the Cape May Point State Park there are several trails weaving through ponds, dunes, marsh and forest. There are different levels of difficulty marked by colors and most of the trails have wooden walkways. Even on the longest trails, breathtaking scenes in a tranquil setting will make you wish it was longer. Make

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sure you bring comfortable shoes. 4. Yoga Join Sharon Fruchtman on the lawn of Congress Hall for classes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The classes start at 8:30am and pre-registration is required. Stop by the front desk of Congress Hall or call (609) 884-8421. If you prefer your downward dog indoors, then don’t hesitate to visit Balance Pilates, located at 600 Park Boulevard in West Cape May. Call Judy Heany at 609-884-3001. 5. Tennis The William J. Moore Tennis Club – named after

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the first black (as well as the oldest) tennis pro in America – rents rackets, balls and courts. It’s located next to the Physick Estate and there are always a variety of local characters up for a game, match, or set. The courts are open to the public daily for just $10 per hour and a half. For more information call (609) 884-8986. 6. Horseback Riding At Hidden Valley Ranch, you can take lessons in the pastimes of heroes and kings under the watchful gaze of Nancy, the toughest, but ultimately most-lovable instructor you could ever hope for. Call Hidden Valley Ranch at (609) 884-8205 for more information. 7. Fishing Cape May is one of the busiest commercial fishing ports in the US. The sport fishing is big business, too... AND lots of fun. South Jersey Marina boast the Murderer’s Row, a top-notch selection of boats with crews who know these waters better than anyone. Try the experienced team of Stalker Sport Fishing: (609) 231-9611, or the Miss Chris fleet: (609) 884-3939. For all your bait and tackle needs, stop by Jim’s Bait and Tackle on Route 109 by the harbor: (609) 884-3900. 8. Tidal Marsh Tour by Kayak Explore Cape May County’s most beautiful salt marsh via sit-on-top kayaks. It’s a great way to see nesting ospreys, herons, egrets and assorted crabs. There are two options to choose from. Aqua Trails at 1600 Delaware Avenue in the Nature Center: (609) 884-5600, www.aquatrails.com, and Miss Chris Marina: (609) 884-3351, www.misschrismarina.com.


TROLLEY TOURS

Guided trolley tours offer an excellent way to see Cape May. All tickets can be purchased at the Information Booth at the end of the Washington Street Mall. For times and prices call (609) 884-5404 or visit www.capemaymac.org. 1. World War II Take a two-hour tour of the coastal fortifications at Cape May Point such as Battery 223 and Fire Control Tower No. 23, the Cape May Canal and the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum. 2. Best of the West Ride through West Cape May and learn of its history, farms, shops, vintage cottages and AfricanAmerican heritage. 3. Children’s Trolley Ride A guided tour of Cape May’s Historic District geared specially children. 4. Ghosts of the Lighthouse Travel to the Cape May Lighthouse and listen to the ghost tales that have been unearthed by a pyschic medium. You’ll feel the presence of the spirits as you climb the lighthouse. 5. Historic District Guides present entertaining and educational stories about the America’s Original Seaside Resort. 6. Historic Haunts Combo Tour A tour of some of Cape May’s regal Victorian residences (reputed to host more than the living). Then it’s off for a guided tour of the historic (some say haunted) Physick Estate with a discussion of Victorian spiritualism.

7. Mansions by the Sea This tour features a century of beachfront development, from Victorian cottages of the 1870s through the most up-to-date of today’s housing. 8. Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tour Try out this guided trolley tour of Cape May’s Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum. The new theme for 2011 is “Victorian Health and Fitness.” 9. Pirates & Plunder A narrated, family-friendly trolley tour describing legendary pirates and privateers of Cape Island. 10. Shipwrecks of the Cape Hear stories of Cape Island’s maritime history, full of shipwrecks, legends, and lore.

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11. Tales Around Town MAC storytellers really get rolling on a 30-minute ride around town. The whole family will be entertained with this interactive performance featuring delightful tales from Cape May’s rich and varied history. 12. Welcome to Cape May Discover points of interest, activities and special events throughout Cape May – it’s a perfect introduction to town. 13. Cape May Unzipped Underneath Cape May’s veneer of Victorian gentility, behind the gingerbread and lace curtains, there beats a less-civilized heart. Ride into our town’s checkered past and you’ll hear stories that are shocking, funny and very human. 14. Deadliest Cape Trolley Ride You’ll encounter the dangers that lurk offshore, glimpse the hazardous world of the mariner and hear the frightening, heart-wrenching stories of the ones who set sail and never came back. 15. Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Ride A 45-minute evening ride through the streets of Cape May with a guide who relates the paranormal findings of Ghost Writer Craig McManus. 16. Rum Runners, Bootleggers and Speakeasies Ride into the bygone days of basement stills, moonshine and racketeers and learn firsthand what it was like in not-so-genteel Cape May. 17. Tales of Terror Hear tales of terror from the Victorian era as the trolley winds its way past flickering gas lamps through the ghostly streets of Cape May.

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my perfect day BARBARA LAMONT, MAC TOUR GUIDE

What a great life in Cape May...

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MUST preface my perfect day by saying my favorite place in Cape May is on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate. My companion in this grand adventure would be the light of my life, my husband Andy! My day would begin with an early breakfast at McGlade’s on the Pier – they provide fresh and hearty meals. We would then walk over to the lawn of Congress Hall, sit in the lawn chairs, look out to the ocean and think how lucky we are to live here. We’d meander over to the Washington Street Mall to visit our favorite stores – Whale’s Tale, Madame’s Port, Love The Cook and Just for Laughs. I would have to

stop at the Lemon Tree to say hello to my buddies and grab a cup of coffee. Then it’s off to the MAC booth to see more friends. Afterwards we’d visit the West End Garage to examine the wonderful new and antique items there. Then we’d travel back to the mall for lunch at Tisha’s to quell our appetite from the shopping spree. After lunch, we’d take a car ride to Cape May Point State Park – perhaps for a nature walk. We’d watch the egrets, swans and hawks do their thing. Once again, we have to ask ourselves – we really live here? We’d wander over to the Lighthouse Museum Shop to see what’s new and climb the WWII tower for another unbeatable vista. Then it’s back in the car to visit the exit zero

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Too Good To Be True “Once again, we have to ask ourselves – we really live here?” says Barbara Lamont, photographed here inside the Emlen Physick Estate, where she has been a tour guide for 10 years.

2011

Sunset Beach Gift Shops for the best bargains around and to say hello to the Hume family and their wonderful employees. We’d dine at the Lobster House or the Merion Inn to listen to George Mesterhazy play the piano. Both spots provide great food and atmosphere. After dinner we would have several choices. Maybe a drink at the Brown Room, then on to Sunset Beach. Other options include tickets to East Lynne Theater Company or Cape May Stage productions, or back to the Physick Estate for a Murder at the Physick Estate performance. All of the above would constitute my favorite day in a place we have the privilege to work and play in until our days are done.


To advertise in the color editions of Exit Zero please contact Jason Black at (609) 770-8479 or jason@exitzero.us

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES EARTH DAY AT THE NATURE CENTER, 2009

«

Members of the US Coast Guard came out to the Nature Center of Cape May to help celebrate Earth Day in this photo taken on Aprill 22, 2009. They were also acompanied by parents and children who helped collect liter from around the area. Aleksey Moryakov

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The book that was a publishing phenomenon in Cape May last year is back... and even better than before! THE UPDATED SECOND EDITION OF THE FIRST RESORT IS NOW ON SALE AT THE EXIT ZERO STORE & GALLERY AND OTHER FINE LOCAL STORES... GET YOUR COPY! Also available online at www.exitzero.us

Named by The Philadelphia Inquirer as ONE OF THE BEST COFFEE TABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR “As complete a look at the ups and downs of the Jersey Shore’s proto-resort as you are likely to see.” – frank wilson the philadelphia inquirer

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man

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on the water MARK ALLEN KNOWS WHAT CAPE MAY’S HARBOR CAN OFFER, AND HE WANTS TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT.

Interview Dan Mathers

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Gilmartin & Company

1382 Lafayette Street, Cape May, NJ 08204 (609) 884-1800 800-648-5558 www.CapeMayVacations.com Our Agents are always ready to Help you Buy, Sell or Rent, Whether it is in Cape May, Cape May Point, West Cape May or Lower Township. Call Today to Schedule an Appointment to Discuss Your options! Each office independently owned and operated

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anchors away With 80 slips rented out, South Jersey Marina is home to a large fleet of fishing charters. Aleksey Moryakov

27 Questions for... Mark Allen

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OST visitors to this town pass over the Cape May bridge at the end of the Garden State Parkway. They might marvel at the view out across the harbor for that brief moment they crest the bridge, and they might experience a fleeting enchantment with the boats docked in the marina, but most times that is the extent of their interaction with one of Cape May’s most vibrant and overlooked resources. As Marketing Specialist at South Jersey Marina, nobody knows this better than Mark Allen. We caught up with Mark to discuss this interesting dynamic. Where did you grow up? I grew up in Sewell, NJ and spent my first 20 years there. I spent 25 years in the military, then raised a family in Sewell. I moved here not quite 20 years ago. What brought you to Cape May? I was always familiar with Cape May because of my father. A lot of his customers were boat manufacturers in Jersey. He manufactured struts, rudders – items out of brass and bronze – and on weekends delivered them. I went with him. What is the tastiest fish you can catch in the

area? I love scallops. I know they’re a shellfish, but I consider them a fish. What is your favorite seafood dish in Cape May, and where do you go to get it? Scallops at my house. Nobody can do scallops like me. What does Cape May need to continue being a successful year-round resort? We need to find ways to be more user friendly for the people who visit. For example – don’t park a policeman at the Marlin and Tuna Club on Memorial Day solely for the purpose of writing tickets. Do you think Cape May will have to change and adapt, or can we stay the same and remain a viable resort? I think we can stay very viable – we have a lot to offer. But, we can improve because we have a lot of built-in disincentives to people coming here: unusable meters, bike paths, parking and beach taggers. You’re on the board at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities. What role should MAC play in developing the city? It was a wise move for MAC to change their name from “Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts” to “MidAtlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities,” because we are focusing on a lot of history now. Putting Cape May in an historical context is very exit zero

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important, and it is a huge draw. What other organizations should be involved in Cape May’s continued development? Commercial fishing, recreation – boating, fishing, kayaking. Also, there is a lot that can be done with nature and I think the Nature Center of Cape May is a great example. I also think that we’ve really overlooked the possibilities with the US Coast Guard. What role do you think those organizations could play? Well, a lot of the events we do here are adult-centered, and it’s great that the Nature Center is there and they have things that the kids can do. And, the coast guard: it’s a really big deal, but there isn’t even anywhere you can go in town that you could buy a coast guard T-shirt. Every year the coast guard has 50 graduations of 100 people. Their families all drive into Cape May, and we really give them no recognition. What is the best time of year for fishing off the coast of Cape May? Without a doubt it’s late August through October. You can spend thousands of dollars to go to Venezuela, or you can find a way better bite right here of the coast of Cape May. Last year ships were catching and releasing as many as 50 White Marlin a day. What excursion would you recommend a beginner take? I’d say you come down here and rent what we call a six pack – a boat that holds


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“If people can’t sell their boat and don’t want to pay the insurance, they take off their registration plates and abandon it. Boats were washed up on the beach, others sunken just below the surface. One boat actually caught fire and washed up on shore.” six people – and they will take you fishing for anything. For someone who is a little more serious about it? If they’re really into it, I’d suggest an overnight trip for tuna. How about a trip for an experienced fisherman? They have to come for White Marlin in the fall. What is the biggest fish you’ve seen brought in at the marina? I’ve seen a Blue Marlin come in. They’ll run 900 pounds. How many boats dock at South Jersey Marina every year? That’s a hard question to judge. Between the charter and the slip holders we have about 80 slips, but then there’s the transients. What is the largest boat that has docked there? We had the Casino Royale in here last summer – it’s a 163-foot megayacht. It can’t really be much bigger than that and come in here. How deep is the marina? It’s typically 11 feet, but it varies. Do you get feedback from tourists who dock at South Jersey Marina? Some. What are people’s first impressions of the city? Those who get up off their duffs love it. A lot of them come for the restaurants, but plenty of them never cross the bridge to leave the marina. We don’t make it easy for the people who come in at the marina to get around. Do you feel that the harbor is integrated enough into the Cape May experience? Absolutely not. It’s a jewel – it may be the plum jewel in this town – but it’s a jewel. What suggestions would you make for further integration? We have to start including the harbor in the city’s promotions. They need to more directly include the harbor area in what they’re doing. Since the harbor is the first thing many visitors see of Cape

May, what can we do to make it more welcoming? Signage. We need to help guide people where they’re going. There might be a small sign for the Nature Center, but nothing that’s really going to help someone get there. Is there more we can be doing to highlight the waterfront heritage? There is a lot of history to be told. The city needs a new awareness of what is happening at the harbor. There are people who work in this town who have no idea what an influence the harbor could have here. Where did the idea for Harbor Fest come from? The Law of the Sea – common law – says that any mariner in distress can come into any harbor, anchor and stay as long as they need without any cost. So, if people can’t sell their boat and don’t want to pay the insurance, they take off their registration plates and abandon it. Boats were washed up on the beach, others sunken just below the surface. One boat actually caught fire and washed up on shore. Harbor Fest started as a way to raise awareness and money to help deal with the problem. How long did it take to put the first one together? A little less than a year. What can we expect from Harbor Fest in the future? We tried to get the Gazela Premeiro, Pennsylvania’s tall ship, down here, but our harbor wasn’t deep enough, so they offered to send down a really cool, restored, antique tug boat, the Jupiter. There is also a travelling exhibit of the SS United States and we want to try to bring the exhibit up here. Can real man drink Wawa decaf hazelnut coffee? Absolutely not. Why would you even want to? exit zero

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16 Jackson Street, Cape May CONDO IN CENTER OF TOWN 678 Washington Street, #1, Cape May 2 BR + study, 1 BA, LR, eat-in kitchen, window a/c, gas f/p, sun deck, landscaped courtyard. Being sold furnished. Excellent rental. $324,900.

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BEACH FRONT “BARONET CONDO” 819 Beach Avenue, Unit 2F, Cape May 1 BR, 1 BA unit located on the 2nd floor rear part of the building. Units in this building have excellent rental history. $349,900.

“THE BREAKERS” ELEGANT VICTORIAN 24 Ocean Street, Cape May Close to beach & town. 8 BR, 9 BA (all updated), 2-kitchens, cac, off street parking. Being sold furnished per inventory. Excellent rental income history. $1,300,000.

Beautifully renovated 3rd floor unit with views of both the beach and historic Jackson Street. Unit has access to porch, 2nd floor parlor, and a parking space. $649,000.

Visit www.tolz.com/16jackson.html for photos & information. VERY WELL MAINTAINED RANCHER 1300 Missouri Avenue, Cape May 3 BR, 2 BA, rear deck. Improvements: kitchen with center island, gas fireplace, ceiling fans, and replaced windows. 4 yr old roof, replaced heat & hot water systems. $529,000.

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my perfect day JOHN COOKE, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT

This can feel like heaven on Earth

E

VERY morning starts with joy, and Joy, my two-year-old Golden Retriever. She makes sure the day starts early. I’m usually up around 5:30am, well before dawn. After ravaging through a closet full of Sea Gear clothing, Joy and I head off to welcome the sunrise from the meadow at Higbee Beach or over the Mount Vernon Avenue ramp to the Cove. After an hour-long romp through the sand it’s back to the Victorian Motel to have the office open by 8am. Afterward, I make a quick exit and head to the Mad Batter for French Toast Almondine and, being a Philadelphia native, scrapple. Firmly anchored back at the Victorian, I balance the dual responsibilities of running the motel and presiding over the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape

May. The privilege of promoting tourism in a place like Cape May is more than just a job, but on my perfect Cape May day, I get a phone call from the Corinthian Yacht Club that John Wilsey needs a sailing partner and take the day off. After picking up lunch at the Depot Market, we motor out of Cold Spring Inlet and into the waiting wind and waves off Poverty Beach. With the stiff breeze, I’m assigned to the pit and rail, where I hang my bare feet into the chilly Atlantic. On down-wind legs I feed out the spinnaker like an America’s Cup pro. Later, with an earful of Captain Wilsey’s polite instructions, we head back to the dock. By afternoon, Joy needs to stretch her legs after a long nap under my desk. We walk to Cape Bank and Joy will greet the tellers with two big paws on the counter. exit zero

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More than just A Job “The privilege of promoting tourism in a place like Cape May can hardly be described as simply a job,” says John Cooke of his work as the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May. Aleksey Moryakov

2011

We leave with change and a mouthful of biscuits – Joy’s, not mine. Then we head over to The Dog Days of Cape May in the Washington Commons. The store is full of treats – Joy grabs the rawhide bone she will proudly carry down Carpenter’s Lane. We head back to the motel for checkin time and to make sure all the guests are happy. If they are happy, and the Chamber of Commerce is happy, then it’s off to happy hour at the Carroll Villa and the bar at the Mad Batter, where they know I will have any beer that ends in “fish.” On a perfect Cape May day, my wife Suzanne doesn’t have to cook, so we stroll down to the Rusty Nail for ribs or fish tacos and listen to Carl Behrens try to sound like Jimmy Buffet. If you sit back and watch the sunset over the cove it can be like heaven on Earth.


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 can either be found in these pages or are related to Cape May and summer in general. The solution can be found on our website, www.exitzero.us. Puzzle compiled by Dan Mathers. ACROSS 1. Pastor Jeffrey Elliott suggests you take a walk here, the place he calls “Cape May’s other cathedral.” (4 words) 6. This actress has earned four Tony nominations for her work on Broadway and will be performing at Cape May Stage. (2 words) 11. “Inspired by nature,” you will find “Beautiful home and garden décor for you and the birds” at this store. (5 words) 15. A home on this street offers an “extraordinary ocean view” and is selling for $1,777,000. (2 words) 16. Join Captain David Githens on this boat for the Salt-marsh Eco Tour and Birding by Boat. 20. This is the only place for Southwestern cuisine in the heart of the Historic District. 21. Diane Stopyra met the adorably dimpled Justin Nash at this restaurant to find out the rules of the beach from a lifeguard’s perspective. (2 words) 22. This legendary bar was a locals’ favorite and once stood at 315 Washington Street Mall. (2 words) 23. “A classic copper bar, a great martini list, and modern American cuisine. What more could you want?” (2 words)

24. On her perfect day, Barbara Lamont would spend some of her morning sitting on the lawn chairs here. (2 words) 25. He has been a fixture in Cape May’s bars for years and was doing the heckling from behind the bar at the Ugly Mug. (2 words) DOWN 2. Chris Cooke tries to bring a youthful energy and environmentally friendly products here, his shop on the Washington Street Mall. (3 words) 3. There are two different scenarios for this MAC-sponsored activity: “Bearcat Bootlegger” and “Finding Faith.” (5 words) 4. He is the protagonist, better known as BQ, who is caught up in a plot beyond his imagination. (2 words) 5. This restaurant is committed to serving the highest quality USDA prime steaks and the freshest seafood. 7. John Miller of 7Mornings was star-struck by this musician and said he would literally have given him the shirt off his back. (2 words)

He was a genuine hero... see 18 Down

8. The best pick-up line she’s ever heard was exit zero

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“Your T-shirt looks a little tight – can I stretch it out for you?” (2 words) 9. Mark Allen says you have a better chance of catching White Marlin in Cape May than you would if you paid for an expensive trip to this country. 10. Make sure not to miss this event that is happening from May 19-22. (2 words) 12. This business, selling organic and original clothing printed in Cape May, is worth shouting about. (2 words) 13. Cape Island Home and Gardens have two of these in their advertisement. (2 words) 14. This Afro-Cuban percussionist will be performing at the Cape May Music Festival on June 2 at the Presbyterian Church. (2 words) 17. They serve the “freshest ingredients,” have “fantastic specials” and a “friendly atmosphere.” 18. Henry Sawyer was a Civil War hero, the founder of The Chalfonte, and during the war years his wife lived in the area now known as this. (3 words) 19. The Independence Day parade is set to happen on this day. (2 words)


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Fabulous Food. Great Reviews. Exotic Settings.

410 Bank Street

“One of America’s top restaurants” — Zagat 2011

Frescos seafood trattoria Voted Best Italian Restaurant in South Jersey

410 Bank Street Restaurant - 609.884.2127 | Frescos (at 412 Bank Street) - 609.884.0366 exit zero iv may/june

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May/June 2011 Color Issue  

"A sprightly sheet full of sprays of the old ocean."

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