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EXIT ZERO

SEPTEMBER 2011 « $4.95


Washington Inn

the wine bar

Contemporary Dining Classic Cocktails early dining $24 three course menu

Vote New Jersey Monthly 2011 Best Wine Bar Enjoy Dinner and Small Plates at the Bar from $10 Over 15 Flights of Wine from our cellar $1 Oysters Nightly

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

Washington Inn & the wine bar... two distinct experiences, one address • • • • • •

Serving Lunch, Dinner, & Late Night Delicious Sunday Breakfast/Brunch Extensive Gluten Free Menu Best Burgers Best Thin Crust Pizza Coldest Draught Beer in Town

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


FEATURES your ultimate fall guide 7

contents

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Sixty fun-packed events for a memorable season

a perfect first draft 18 Dan Mathers gets a taste of Cape May Brewery’s new ale

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

dancing on air 36 Tom Cupp teaches Kate Chadwick how to shake a wicked calf

ghosts of wilbraham 52 Finds out who (or what) lurks in Wilbraham Mansion

walking the cape 64 Ben Miller taks you on a tour of the town you thought you knew

fresh from the farmer 74 Meet Jaime Alvarez, the man behind the Beach Plum Farm

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art under an open sky 82 Stan Sperlak takes his plein air pastels to Scotland

natural spectacles, all autumn long 107 A host of reasons Cape May is Mother Nature’s favorite resort

the more things change... 116 A photo essay that puts a new spin on old postcards

cape may’s ad man 126 Don Draper’s got nothing on this lifelong Cape May lover

activities for all the family 139 Don’t you ever complain to us about a rainy day again

cover painting by victor grasso 74

126 REGULARS quick chat dennis zaitsev 43 my perfect day elan zingman-leith 96 chris clemans 148 patricia rainey 159 arts coverage cape may stage 46 gail pierson gallery 99 east lynne theater 103 27 questions for... russell o’neill 153 puzzle time cape may crossword 160


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

®

advertising manager Jason Black jason@exitzero.us project manager 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 Catherine Dugan, David Gray, Terry O’Brien, Diane Stopyra distribution team Stephanie Grubb, Amy Wingate labeler Mary Smith exit zero color magazine is published five times a year. Annual subscription is $25. To subscribe call (609) 770-8479 or visit www.exitzero.us Makes a wonderful gift! Published by Exit Zero Publishing, Inc. 109 Sunset Boulevard Suite D, Cape May, NJ 08204 Telephone: (609) 770-8479 Fax: (609) 770-8481 E-mail: 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 supervisor Pascal Wright


Unchanging. Quintessential. Classic.

The BEST Live Entertainment in Town!

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

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


M

OST of the editors’ letters you read in magazines are phoney. Say you are reading the Hallowe’en issue of, for example, Teddy Bear Monthly, and the editor chatters excitedly about how she just stocked up the other day on pumpkins, witches’ hats and fake spider webbing — she’s lying. (Either that, or she’s the most forwardthinking, over-organized person in the world.) Magazines go to press around five weeks before most readers see them. So, yes, most editors play a little game of make-believe. I’m finding that a little difficult right now. I want to talk about fall, because this is the fall issue, but we’re in the middle of a heat wave that’s put temperatures in the high 90s. I just came back from a trip to New York City, where the heat index was 110F. So, yeah, fall. Right now, I’m getting ready to walk the streets of Cape May, wrapped up in a cozy sweater, looking forward to drinking maybe a hot Apple Knocker in the Ugly Mug. You see the problem? What’s really happening right now is that my shirt feels as if someone pulled my collar and dunked a bucket of water down my back. And when I open the office door, it feels as if I just popped my head in the oven. Now that I’ve told the truth about the games that editors play, I can assume I have your trust, which means you will believe me when I say there are some really interesting stories in this issue, not to mention another ridiculously beautiful cover by Victor Grasso (yes, that’s Cape May’s favorite lawyer/actor Parker Smith on the cover). You will read about Cape May’s first brewery, although their first beer has been so popular that by the time you read this there may be none left in the pumps at Cabanas (there are plans to expand to other local bars eventually). You will also get to know Tom Cupp, a dance teacher who’s become something of a local legend. And since it’s fall, it seemed like the perfect time to feature another investigation by Ghost Writer Craig

editor’s letter

McManus, whose chilling stories have been gracing the pages of Exit Zero magazine for seven years. For this issue, Craig writes about the spooky goings-on at Wilbraham Mansion, in West Cape May. Our historical expert, Ben Miller, concludes his two-part walking tour of Cape May with an itinerary packed with buildings associated with the kind of fascinating anecdotes you’ve come to expect from America’s Original Seaside Resort. We also take a trip down the farm — Beach Plum Farm specifically — which was established a couple years ago by Cape Resorts Group and which supplies exit zero

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STRAIGHT FROM THE GROUND Farmer Jaime Alvarez with turnips from Beach Plum Farm, in West Cape May, a farm-totable operation run by Cape Resorts Group. Jaime is profiled on page 74. Rachel McGinn

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fresh produce to its restaurants, The Ebbitt Room, The Blue Pig Tavern and The Rusty Nail. Add in an interview with artist Stan Sperlak, who was travelling in Scotland (my homeland) when we caught up with him, and a lovely story about a commercial illustrator who had a lifelong love affair with Cape May Point, and you can see that we have put together another eclectic mixture of articles (and photographs) that we hope will remind you of how much you love this magical place (even if, right now, it feels like a hot, sticky mess). Enjoy the issue. Enjoy the fall! Jack Wright Editor/Publisher


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


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Fall is in the air

HE crowds have thinned, the air is quickening, and Cool Cape May is preparing for a new season by the shore. Think our little town exists only for the summer? Prepare to be proven wrong. The arrival of fall brings with it a host of one-of-a-kind events, from Civil War reenactments to a Harvest Dinner to our perenially popular Victorian Weekend, there’s plenty to keep you busy in this town even after you’ve rolled up that beach blanket for the season. Take a look at the the calendar for weeks and weeks of autumn enjoyment. September 10 CAPE MAY KIWANIS PET PARADE Do pets really resemble their owners? Play a fun game at this popular annual event and reach your own conclusions. Starts at 11am in front of Cape May Elementary on Lafayette Street, but if you plan on parading, register at 10am in Kiwanis Park.

Swirl, Sniff, and Sip Participants in the Cape May Wine Trail will have the chance to visit Cape May Winery and sample their vintages in the tasting room. Aleksey Moryakov

September 10 CAPE MAY WINE TRAIL Enjoy lunch at the Carriage House Tearoom, located at the Physick Estate, then board the trolley, which will take you to 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 at each vineyard and a wine glass. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. September 10 and 11 REVOLUTIONARY WAR WEEKEND AT COLD SPRING VILLAGE Don’t miss this one! Authentically garbed re-enactors from Morgan’s Rifle Corps and Lamb’s Artillery provide demonstrations of camp life, infantry tactics and artillery. The Story of Old Glory is narrated both days at 1:30pm. The Village, which is comprised of 25 historic buildings on 22 beautiful

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wooded acres, is the perfect place for such a weekend. Visit www.hcsv.org for more information. September 10 and 11 CAPE MAY KITE FESTIVAL Who knew you could get something this big in the air without an engine? Come to the kite festival and check out these incredible airborne wonders. Bring a kite of your own – or build one while you’re there. Event runs 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday on the beach at Decatur. September 11 SEPTEMBER 11TH CEREMONY A poignant ceremony to commemorate the devastating terrorist attacks on America. Held at the pavilion at the Cove beach, starting at 6:30pm. September 12 FULL MOON GHOST HUNT WITH GHOST-ONE Ghost-One, a paranormal research team, is hosting a ghost hunt at Cape


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

Open Wednesday Serving Dinner

thru from

Monday 5:30

pm

oceanfront porch dining available

Beach Avenue & Howard Street at the

H o t e l M a c o mb e r

609 884 8811 www.unionparkdiningroom.com

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September 16 to 25 15TH ANNUAL CAPE MAY FOOD & WINE CELEBRATION Indulge in the “restaurant capital of New Jersey.” There are plenty of events for those who love good food and wine. Enjoy winery tours, tastings, demonstrations, a Scotch tasting dinner, workshops, and much more! Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). For details on programming, call 609-884-5404.

May’s original haunted house, the Physick Estate. Enter the house with a member of Ghost-One. Try your hand at their investigating tools as you explore different rooms, then return to the Carriage House Tearoom and Café for dessert and to discuss your findings. $30, limited to 50 people, begins at 7:30pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). For details call 609-884-5404. September 14 to October 13 MONARCH BUTTERFLY DEMONSTRATIONS Join a member of the Cape May Bird Observatory Monarch Monitoring Project and learn about the Monarch migration through Cape May. Meet at Cape May Point State Park at the East Shelter, the picnic pavilion next to the Hawkwatch Platform. Demonstrations take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, and weekends at 2 and 2:30pm. Contact the Cape May Bird Observatory at 609-884-2736. September 15 to 18 FALL SIDEWALK SALE Stroll the lovely streets of Cape May and take advantage of bargains from local merchants. From 9am to 7pm, around the Washington Street Mall.

September 17 MUTT STRUTT Bring your best friend(s) and show them off to the world on the Cape May promenade from 8am to noon. Meet at the convention hall site.

Puppies On PArade The annual Mutt Strutt in mid-September offers dogs a rare chance to stroll the promenade. Aleksey Moryakov

September 15 to 25 2ND ANNUAL CAPE MAY FORUM: CHAUTAUQUA AT THE SHORE “Guess What’s Coming for Dinner? – The Politics of Food in the 21st Century” is the theme for a host of events offered around Cape May in mid-September, exploring organic food movements, nutrition, hunger and new harvesting frontiers. Visit capemayforum.org or call 609-770-2626.

September 17 CAPE MAY HARVEST FOOD & WINE TASTING The Carriage House Tearoom and Café hosts a sampling dinner co-sponsored by Seaside Cheese and Cape May Winery. Both sponsors will discuss the products being served. After hors d’oeuvres and cheese you’ll enjoy a salad and sample three dinner entrees and two desserts. 6pm. $85 per person.

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

Advertise in the 2012 COLOR Issues of Exit Zero! Only $70 for an ad this size!

311 Mansion Street • 884-0200

Contact Jason at (609) 770-8479 or jason@exitzero.us

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A Day to Last Forever

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Photo: Perfect Day Photography

Imagine an elaborate celebration in the Penthouse Ballroom of the Grand Hotel

featuring panoramic views of the pristine beaches below. Our professional catering staff stands ready to ensure that your beach wedding dreams are realized in Grand Style

Oceanfront at 1045 Beach Ave • Cape May, NJ • 800.257.8550 • www.grandhotelcapemay.com exit zero

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Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. September 17 and 18 CIVIL WAR WEEKEND AT HISTORIC COLD SPRING VILLAGE You’ll see military encampments, demonstrations of infantry and artillery drills and vendors of reproduction period merchandise. Reenactments are held both days at 2pm. The Village is set on 22 beautiful wooded acres, occupied by 25 historical buildings. Visit www.hcsv. org for more information. September 18 and 19 CHEFS’ DINE-AROUNDS Board MAC’s trolley for a five-course gourmet feast and a chance to taste the best of Cape May. Five different premier restaurants will each serve a course. Wine is paired to each course and a representative from the sponsoring winery will explain the pairings. A trolley shuttle between restaurants is provided. 6pm. Reserve early. $125 per person.

Boys in blue and gray Civil War Weekend at Historic Cold Spring Village offers Union and Confederate encampments, reproduction period merchandise, and a chance to see history like never before. Aleksey Moryakov

Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. September 18-20 GOURMET LUNCHES A selection of Cape May’s finest restaurants offers gourmet lunches. Lunches begin at 12:30pm. Limited to 40 people per restaurant. $25 per person. A list of restaurants and menus will be available in August. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). To make reservations, call 609-884-5404. September 20 BEER TASTING DINNER Learn how to pair beer with food in this four-course dinner at Aleathea’s at the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street. America’s beer authority and former Sirius Radio contributor Gary Monterosso has matched each course to a different style beer and he will be on hand to discuss the pairings. Held at 6pm. $65 per person (gratuity included).

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Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). For details and to make reservations, call 609884-5404. Monday mornings through November BIRDING THE MEADOWS WITH PETE DUNNE At The Nature Conservancy’s Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, birding always proves interesting. Meet at the refuge parking lot on Sunset Boulevard. Begins at 7:30am. $6 for members, $10 for nonmembers. Visit www.BirdCapeMay.org. September 22 to December 22 AVALON SEA WATCH Join the Cape May Bird Observatory’s official team to witness amazing numbers of migrating loons, cormorants, gannets, and more. Peak daily numbers can exceed 50,000. Bring binoculars, telescope, sunglasses, sunscreen and high expectations to 7th Street and the beach in Avalon. The Sea Watch is free and takes place all day, every day. Contact the CMBO at 609-884-2736.


Washington Street Mall, pop in and out of the eclectic collection of stores and enjoy the works of some of the area’s best artists. There will be oil paintings, watercolors, photography, crafts... this is a must-see event. Call 609-408-4335. September 25 CAPE MAY WINE SCHOOL Keith Bader from Lauber Imports shares his knowledge of the world of wine at the Washington Inn at 801 Washington Street. Learn to appreciate wines and increase your knowledge of pairings. 1pm. $30 per person. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 1 OCTOBERFEST Beautiful Jackson Street comes alive with the sights and sounds of this fun annual festival. Taste German beer and browse the many stalls. Call 609-884-5508.

September 23 to 25 CAPE MAY WINE WEEKEND Enjoy a weekend of oenophilic indulgence. The weekend begins with a fourcourse dinner at the Washington Inn. On Saturday visit Cape May Winery to tour the vineyard, learn the winemaker’s art, and enjoy a tasting with cheese and fruit. On Sunday, learn the intricacies of fine wines at the Washington Inn. The package is $135 each. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. September 24 DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSE ADVENTURE Cruise up the Delaware Bay aboard the Spirit of Cape May for a full day of lighthouse viewing. The cruise includes a continental breakfast and lavish complimentary luncheon buffet. A cash bar is available. Departs at 10am, admission is $99. Co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) and the Cape May Whale Watcher. For tickets, call 609-884-5404.

September 24 28TH ANNUAL BEACHFRONT RUN Enjoy the sights of America’s Original Seaside Resort as you breathe in the fresh air blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. Starts at the convention hall site at 8:30am. Call 609-884-9565. September 24 SCOTCH TASTING DINNER Single malts, cask strength, Glenmorangie and Laphroaig? Welcome to the wonderful world of Scotch. Visit the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street at 6pm for a lesson led by a Scotch expert on everything you ever wanted to know about this liquor. Enjoy tastings and learn about pairings. Admission is $75 per person. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). For details and to make reservations, call MAC at 609-884-5404.

Parasoling Outfitted in the gloves and gathered skirts of the period, three ladies embrace the spirit of the era during Victorian Weekend. Aleksey Moryakov

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October 7 to 31 SCARECROW ALLEY AT THE PHYSICK ESTATE The grounds of Cape May’s original haunted house, the Emlen Physick Estate, have been transformed for the spooky season. Scarecrow Alley is a highlight of the Estate’s Halloween decorations. Walk the grounds and vote for your favorite ghoulishly gruesome or foolishly funny scarecrow. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 7 to 11 CAPE MAY’S 39TH ANNUAL VICTORIAN WEEKEND The 39th annual Victorian Weekend celebrates Cape May’s Victorian heritage, featuring the Chocolate Championship Tour & Tasting, historic house tours, murder mystery dinners, vintage dance workshops, living history programs and more. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

September 24 and 25 MALL ART SHOW Here’s a great way to spend the day – stroll the three lovely blocks of the exit zero

October 7 MAD BATTER BEER DINNER: GERMAN BEERS Celebrate Octoberfest at the famous Mad Batter at 19 Jackson Street. Enjoy a four-course Octoberfest dinner featuring brews from Germany at 7:30pm. Cost of admission is $65 per person. Seating is limited to 60, so reserve early. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404.

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October 8 WEST CAPE MAY LIMA BEAN FESTIVAL Celebrate the absolute majesty of the mysterious, mercurial lima bean. Okay, so we’re overselling this humble bean, but the festival IS a lot of fun. There are stalls galore, plus the crowning of the Lima Bean King and his queen. Held in Wilbraham Park in West Cape May. Call 609-884-9325 for more information. October 8 PRIVATE HOMES TOUR A rare chance to step inside Cape May’s private residences. Homes featured range from the Victorian Era to the 21st century. Adults $15; children $10. Tour runs from 11am to 1pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 8 CHOCOLATE CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR AND TASTING Restaurants are vying for Cape May’s Chocolate Champion title and you’re the judge. Visit each competitor, sample their signature chocolate dessert and vote. Those who turn in evaluation cards will get recipes by email. 1pm to 3:30pm. Adults $25; children $15. Sponsored by

And THey’re Off! The frontrunners start off at the annual Beachfront Run, held this year on September 24. Aleksey Moryakov

the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 8 REMEMBERING SOUTH CAPE MAY Robert Kenselaar and Joseph Bucher, authors of Remembering South Cape May: The Jersey Shore Town That Vanished Into the Sea, present a free lecture at the Carriage House Gallery at the Emlen Physick Estate. Kenselaar is the guest curator of this new exhibit that examines the rise and fall of the community that once

FISH & FANCY

SEAFOOD TAKE-OUT “The Local’s Favorite”

stood west of Cape May’s beachfront. Exhibit open daily, admission is free. This exhibition was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. The exhibit is presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 8 and 9 VINTAGE DANCE WEEKEND Kick up your heels as they did in the Victorian days. Instructors will teach you traditional dances at a workshop on

2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (next to Robinson & Son’s Produce)

(609) 886-8760 • www.fishandfancy.com

FRESH WEEKLY SPECIALS • FRESH HOMEMADE SALADS OUTDOOR PATIO SEATING • PARTY TRAYS Have it your way... fried, broiled, grilled, blackened or sautéed! exit zero

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Saturday from 9am to 3pm. Then, put your newfound expertise to good use at a costumed Vintage Ball with live music of the period by Spare Parts at 8pm on Saturday night. A Tea Dance is held on Sunday at 1pm. Victorian dress encouraged but not required. An all-inclusive package is $95, the workshops are $45, the Vintage Ball is $35, and the Tea Dance is $25. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 8 to 10 MURDER MYSTERY DINNERS Prepare yourself for a new mystery. The Impromptu Players invade the dining room at the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street, and it’s your job to discover the criminal! Interact with the cast of suspects and try to solve the mystery as you enjoy a three-course dinner. Admission $45. Dinners begin at 7pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 9 COAST DAY Explore our ocean and shore with the family. Don’t miss the Nature Center’s open house and free tours. Enjoy nature walks, touch tanks, children’s activities and much more at the docks of the Lobster House Restaurant. Free admission and parking, with shuttle bus service to and from the Nature Center of Cape May. Rain or shine, don’t miss it. 11am-4pm. Call 609-898-8848 for details. October 9 VICTORIAN WEEK FUDGE FANTASY WITH FUDGE KITCHEN The Fudge Kitchen has been handwhipping delicious fudge for a quarter of a century. Now you can delve into your richest fantasy at the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street. Sample the famous fudge flavors, learn how they make the fudge and much more. Begins at 2pm. Admission is $15. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 9 MURDER MYSTERY LUNCHEON The Impromptu Players invade the dining room at the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street, where they set the scene for a new mystery. Interact with the cast of likely suspects and try to solve the mystery as you enjoy a threecourse lunch. Admission is $30 and lunch begins at 1pm. Sponsored by the

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 9 CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH WALK Build up your appetite with a walking tour of the Historic District, then enjoy a Southern-style breakfast buffet with mimosas at the historic Chalfonte Hotel at 301 Howard Street. Walk begins at 10am. Admission is $20 for adults; $15 for children. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

A Ghoulish Gathering Attend a Halloweenthemed psychic tea at the Carriage House Tearoom and Café and you may run into a wandering medium or two. Aleksey Moryakov

October 9 CRAFTS AND ANTIQUES SHOW AT THE PHYSICK ESTATE Craft and antique dealers from throughout the region sell their wares on the lawn of the Emlen Physick Estate at 1048 Washington Street from 10am to 4pm. Free admission. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

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October 14 CAPE MAY WINE TRAIL Visit Natali Vineyards and Hawk Haven Vineyard & Winery, where you’ll learn about viniculture and explore the tasting rooms. $60 per person, includes lunch, wine tastings at each vineyard and a wine glass. Runs from 12pm to 5pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 14 DELAWARE BAY LIGHTHOUSE ADVENTURE Cruise up the Delaware Bay aboard the Spirit of Cape May for five hours of lighthouse viewing. The trip includes a cold luncheon buffet. Limited to 175. Ship departs at 10am. Admission $85. Co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) and the Cape May Whale Watcher. For tickets, call 609-884-5404.

October 14 to 31 HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS IN VICTORIAN CAPE MAY Two weeks of specially themed tours and events including Madame Parmentier’s exit zero

Psychic Teas, Scarecrow Alley, Midnight at the Physick Estate and much more to help you get into the “spirit” of the season! Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

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Overall fantastic

dining experience!

I look forward to the next visit.

–Open Table

1301 Beach Avenue •

609.884.9090 • petershieldsinn.com

PSI_Exit0_Sept/Oct2011_Color.indd 1

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the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

October 14 MURDER MYSTERY DINNER Stop by the Inn of Cape May, interact with a cast of motley murder suspects and try to solve the mystery as you enjoy a three-course dinner. Admission is $45. Starts at 7pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

October 22 MADAME PARMENTIER’S PSYCHIC TEA Enjoy a Halloween-themed tea at the Carriage House Tearoom and Café at 1048 Washington Street and learn what the future holds for you. Begins at 2:30pm. Admission is $25. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

October 15 CHESTER COUNTY ANTIQUE AUTO SHOW Such beautiful shapes and styling – usually in bright colors, too. See some amazing old cars and very proud owners. Held from 10am to 4pm at Rotary Park. October 15 PHANTOMS OF THE PHYSICK ESTATE Visit Cape May’s original haunted house for a family-friendly daytime tour or a terror tour in the evening. Kids’ tours run from 1pm to 4pm and cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. Terror tours run from 7pm to 10pm and cost $15. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 15 MADAME PARMENTIER’S PSYCHIC TEA Enjoy a Halloween-themed tea at the Carriage House Tearoom and Café at 1048 Washington Street and learn what the future holds for you. You may encounter wandering fortune-tellers or the odd phrenologist. Starts at 2:30pm. Admission $25. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 15 HARVEST FESTIVAL CRAFTS AND ANTIQUES SHOW Antique dealers from throughout the region sell their wares outside the Emlen Physick Estate at 1048 Washington Street from 10am to 4pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 15 PHANTOMS OF CAPE MAY TOUR Enjoy a spooktacular self-guided tour of a selection of Cape May’s Victorian treasures decked out in ghoulish fashion for Halloween. Includes admission to the Phantoms of the Physick Estate Tour. 7pm to 9pm. $20 for adults; $15 for children. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.

InDognito This Bulldog and his owner don cunning disguises during the annual Halloween Parade, which falls on October 23 this year. Aleksey Moryakov

October 15 and 16 LIGHTHOUSE CHALLENGE OF NEW JERSEY WEEKEND New Jersey lighthouses and life-saving stations will host this special weekend. The public is challenged to visit all participating lighthouses and help raise funds for lighthouse preservation. Visit www.lighthousechallengenj.org. October 16 MURDER MYSTERY LUNCHEON AND DINNER The Impromptu Players invade the dining room at the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street, where they set the scene for a new mystery. Interact with the suspects and solve the mystery as you enjoy a three-course meal. Lunch is $30, dinner is $45. Lunch begins at 1pm, and dinner is at 7pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). For more information, call 609-884-5404. October 21 to 23 11TH ANNUAL CAPE MAY FILM FESTIVAL A wonderful selection of movies and documentaries by filmmakers from all over the state. This year the festival will be staged exclusively at the historic Chalfonte Hotel. Call 609-884-6700 or visit www.njstatefilmfestival.com. October 22 PHANTOMS OF THE PHYSICK ESTATE Visit Cape May’s original haunted house for a family-friendly daytime tour or a terror tour at night. Kids’ tours run from 1pm to 4pm and cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. Evening tours run from 7pm to 10pm and cost $15. Sponsored by

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October 22 MIDNIGHT AT THE PHYSICK ESTATE On this spooky Saturday 25 people will spend midnight in the haunted Physick Estate with Ghost Writer Craig McManus. He’ll share his experiences and perhaps channel a spirit or two. Begins at 11pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404. October 22 and 23 MURDER MYSTERY DINNERS Interact with the characters and solve the mystery as you enjoy a three-course dinner at the Inn of Cape May at 7 Ocean Street. Dinners begin at 7pm. $45. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). To make reservations, call 609-884-5404. October 23 HALLOWEEN PARADE The parade of the season. Registration is at 1:30pm, with the judging at 2pm – parade begins at 3pm from Rotary Park. Kids can also trick-or-treat on the mall from 12-2pm. Celebrants can enjoy a Halloween party at 4pm at the Physick Estate, where the parade ends. October 28 to 30 NEW JERSEY AUDUBON’S CAPE MAY AUTUMN WEEKEND Enjoy a weekend of field trips, lectures, sea watches, evening dinners, kayak excursions and more. There’s something for everyone here, with field trips to birding hotspots led by North America’s finest naturalists. Registration is required; visit www.BirdCapeMay.org for details. October 31 TRICK OR TREAT AT THE EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE Spooks are waiting at the Physick Estate with treats for little pirates and princesses. 5pm to 7pm. Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Call 609-884-5404.


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

e p a C

! 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 perfect exit zero

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first draft SOUTH JERSEY’S ONLY BREWERY IS RIGHT HERE IN CAPE MAY Story by Dan Mathers Photographs by Aleksey Moryakov

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C

APE May IPA is a dangerous beer. Unlike other IPAs it’s not tastebud-numbingly bitter, and it retains a certain citrusy sweetness. It’s a beer with a whole lot of flavor and a high alcohol content (about 50% stronger than a typical beer), and it goes down like water. One second your glass is full, the next the beer’s gone and you’re ready for another. “What we wanted to do is create a session IPA, one that you could have a few of in a row,” said Ryan Krill, one of the founders of Cape May Brewing Company, the first of its kind in South Jersey. Their first client was Cabanas, who put Cape May IPA on draft this past Fourth of July weekend. The brewery is located in a small row of blue buildings at the Cape May County Airport. The interior is unassuming and underwhelming. The height of the ceilings and the open expanses of cement make the brewery seem particularly barren. Maybe one day the warehouse will be filled with mash tuns, hot liquor tanks and boilers, but for now the team’s goals are limited. “Right now we just want

“Between paperwork and building everything we needed, it’s amazing how much brewing we were not doing,” said Ryan Krill about their efforts to get the brewery started.

to get some stability, to get to the point where we’re brewing enough that no taps will run dry,” says Ryan. “We also want to get this space set up so that people can come in and check out the facility, get a nice tour.” Started on July 4, 2010 by Bob Krill, Ryan Krill and Chris Henke, Cape May Brewing Company have been purchasing and welding equipment, searching for a location and perfecting their brew all while fighting through the legal administration necessary to open a brewery. “There is just so much paperwork you need to go through,“ said Ryan. “Between paperwork and building everything we needed, it’s amazing how much brewing we were not doing. We didn’t plan it, but it’s really awesome that our first beer went up for sale exactly a year after we started the business,” said Ryan. Their plans for the future are modest. While they would love to expand into the two adjacent units, they’re timid about jumping in head first. “None of us know the industry,” says Ryan. “We want to stay small for now, understand the market and the potential before we make a huge investment into expanding.” That

means they’ll probably be sticking to the three beers they have already registered: Cape May IPA, Cape May Stout and Cape May Wheat. It also means they’ll stick to just selling kegs to local breweries. “Bottles are great for getting the beer out to different people, but it is a ton of physical labor for a minimal financial return.” Ryan and Chris met while undergrads at Villanova University. Like many of today’s prominent craft brewers, they started brewing at home. Chris was the first to get hooked on brewing. “My roommate bought me a home brewing kit for Christmas back in 2006,” says Chris. “I got started right away. Ryan really liked the idea, and we started brewing together shortly thereafter.” Today, Ryan is a commercial workout officer at Sovereign Santander. When corporations are no longer able to meet the requirements of their loans, it is his job to figure out a plan that will work, rather than having the company default on their debt. If you don’t know the jargon, you’ll probably be lost when talking to Ryan about finances. He can turn simple questions like “How long until you’re profitable?” into convoluted state-

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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The Brew Crew Last year Ryan Krill (left) and Chris Henke (right) were brewing small batches at home. Now, with help from Ryan’s father Bob (center), they have founded Cape May Brewing Company, the first brewery in South Jersey. Aleksey Moryakov

Cape May

Inside, outside, all around the vines Touring, tasting, sampling all of our fine wines Enjoy the deck, the patio, and our great tasting room Come by to buy a bottle or two; we hope to see you soon!

Winery & Vineyard

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

Tasting Room - Open Daily

Tours Daily at 3 pm Call for details!

(609) 884-1169 • 711 Townbank Road, North Cape May • www.capemaywinery.com exit zero

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ments about capital, cash flow, withdrawals and a series of acronyms. He lives in Brooklyn and drives through Cape May as if he were still in New York. He commutes down to the family home in Avalon whenever he can and spends weekends in the brewery. Chris graduated from Villanova a mechanical engineer. He spent his first few years out of college self-employed, doing contract work on water treatment systems. Working daily with fluid systems, Chris slowly perfected the skills needed to assemble the team’s brew system. With a series of fittings, pumps, knobs, hoses, clamps and three refitted kegs, he created a self-heating, self-cooling and fully customizable system. Less sophisticated setups sell for thousands of dollars. Chris is a bit unkempt yet attractive, tall and quiet. Like most engineers there is a seriousness about him – he refuses to drink while brewing – yet he is incredibly friendly and happy to take a break from the boiler to pour guests a cold draft. Up until his retirement Bob worked for a series of pharmaceutical companies in a career that would see him become a

vice president at GlaxoSmithKlein overseeing all major clinical trials. Bob treats life like a clinical trial and, as Ryan often points out, tends to micromanage operations. He gives Ryan directions from the passenger seat, even when just around the corner from the brewery. Ryan chides him with a straight face, “This turn? You mean the one right here? The turn that’s coming up? The one just to my right?” Bob greets everything with a laugh. Though he spent most of his profes-

bubbling away Ryan checks in on the fermentation tanks, where yeast are hard at work digesting sugar and producing CO2 and alcohol. Aleksey Moryakov

sional life as a suit, he is also a bit of a handyman. “I actually worked construction, building a couple of houses before I got into pharmaceuticals,” said Bob. “We built our cooler and fermentation room by hand. The fermentation room got put up in just one day.” Bob has docked his boats in Cape May since long before Ryan was born, so when it came time to select a location for the brewery, Cape May was the easy answer. “We love it down here,” is a common phrase used by all three. The importance of drinking local is not lost on the guys at Cape May Brewery. Whenever Chris ends up in a new town or bar, he always asks the bartender, “What’s the local beer?” “My favorite beer is any beer I haven’t tried yet,” he says. “I think that if I was at a bar and they were serving my beer and a beer I hadn’t tasted, I’d take the new beer over my own.” For his part, Ryan is inspired by New Galarus Brewing Company in Wisconsin. “The guy who founded the company used to work for a major brewery, so he was really technically sound, and their whole philosophy is source local, sell local,” Ryan says. “Chris and

Philadelphia Magazine and South Jersey Magazine

Since 2005

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20ReasonsCMYK/Ez

5/4/11

6:05 PM

Page 1

Great food, great drinks and great music...

REASONS TO VISIT 20 GREAT Rio Station 20 Fresh, local seafood everyday 19 Early Birds...all night long on weekdays 18 Acres of free parking 17 Best Prime Rib in the Universe 16 Tami’s Homemade Carrot Cake 15 Friday Night Terry-Oke! 14 Rio Happy Birthday Club 13 Cozy atmosphere 12 World Famous Crab Cakes 11 Everything is made from scratch 10 Full menu til 11 p.m. 9 Our Black & White Chocolate Martini 8 Best crispy hot wings in South Jersey 7 An ice cold beer would taste great 6 Wine Spectator Wine List Award 5 You just don’t feel like cooking 4 Great kids menu 3 No sticker shock on your check 2 Killer Chicken Parm

And the #1 Reason to Visit Rio Station...

...are always guaranteed.

Serving amazing food for 25 years!

106 Decatur Street @ Columbia Avenue Cape May (609) 884-8363

Grande Center Shopping Mall • Rio Grande, New Jersey

www.merioninn.com

609-889-2000

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I took a road trip out there because you can’t get their beer outside of Wisconsin.” And that’s not because they’re small – Brewers Association puts New Galarus at #23 on their list of the 50 largest microbreweries in America. Unlike the Krills’ home town of West Chester, Pennsylvania (which has two breweries) and Ryan’s current home in Brooklyn (which has more breweries than you can count on two hands) Ryan points out that there is no local brewery in South Jersey. Despite being home to 18 breweries and such big names as Flying Fish Brewing Company in Cherry Hill and River Horse Brewing Company in Lambertville, New Jersey falls very low on the Brewers Association’s list of breweries per capita. Jersey placed a lowly 42 on that list, which puts the state just above Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky and North Dakota. But those numbers indicate a drastic improvement for the American beer industry as a whole. According to the Brewers Association, there were only 44 brewing companies left in America by 1980 – only eight of those were craft breweries.

A lack of choice in the beer market can be traced back to the years following the Civil War.

The lack of choice (and flavor) in the market can be traced back to the years following the Civil War, when the religiously incited temperance movement arose in the United States. These groups, comprising primarily women, believed that alcohol was at the root of many evils – prostitution, corruption, spousal abuse – and sought an end to drinking. The movement in itself was damaging to the brewing industry, but when Prohibition became federal law, it put nearly all breweries out of business. Only

Harbor View

a few of the biggest producers survived by making near-beer, syrup and other non-alcoholic, grain-based products. When the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, breweries began popping up again, but they were unable to keep pace with the major operations that had stuck out the dry spell. Anheuser-Busch sent their pasteurized beers across America in refrigerated railcars and consolidated a national brand while small breweries battled temperance advocates for the right to sell beer in their hometown.

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

RESTAURANT, BAR & MARINA

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

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a bad-ass home brewery Above: Chris Henke, a mechanical engineer, fashioned Cape May Brewing Company’s brewing setup from scratch. Left: The team have repurposed soda kegs to use in distributing their beer. They hold about a third the amount of a typical keg. Aleksey Moryakov

Quite simply,

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jackson street at beach avenue (609) 884-8388

www.hotdogtommys.com


Within a few decades the major breweries solidified their stranglehold on American palates and wallets, focusing on homogeneity in their beer rather than any real flavor. But in the 1980s microbreweries began popping up again, and – against all odds – they were surviving. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was founded in 1980. In 1984 Samuel Koch started the Boston Beer Company, producers of Samuel Adams. Harpoon Brewery appeared in 1986 as did Alaskan Brewing Company. Today there are more than 1,700 microbreweries in America, and many of the breweries that originated in the ’80s are hardly “micro” any longer. Incredible success (and a series of multi-national companies buying out the “big three”) has made Boston Beer Company America’s biggest brewery. Sierra Nevada comes in third, just behind Yuengling, and has more than 450 employees. With a total of three employees, Cape May Brewing Company have plenty of room for growth, and it looks like they’ll be doing just that. Less than 48 hours after they dropped their first batch off at

Cabanas, the taps had run dry. That doesn’t mean there will always be a lack of beer. “We’re going to brew as much as we can,” Ryan said. “Realistically we’ll produce a few hundred barrels this year.” They are currently working with eight 35-gallon fermenters and brewing 26-gallon batches. For perspective, that’s just over 11 cases of beer per batch. “We really only brew about two days a week,” says

I’ll try That Cape May Brewing Company hope to serve beer to tour groups in the near future from this tap in their brewery. Aleksey Moryakov

Ryan. “The rest is cleaning and admin stuff, but we’re excited to be in the position we are. It’s all still brand new to us,” says Ryan. “It was getting pretty exhausting, but now we are getting into a rhythm, and it’s becoming a lot more fun. We love what we’re doing, and we’d be doing this with our free time anyway, though on an admittedly smaller scale. The worst-case scenario is this doesn’t work out and we walk away with a really

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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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 HU

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

Liquor Store

NO

NO

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 smoothies and cold drinks. They have a North Cape May store too!

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. They have plenty of free parking and delicious nightly specials.

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.

COLLIER’S LIQUOR STORE 202 Jackson Street Cape May (609) 884-8488

They carry everything from the humblest brew to the finest champagne – one-stop beverage shopping!

Spirits

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

BIG WAVE BURRITOS 1400 Texas Avenue, Cape May (609) 898-To Go

An awesome burrito eatery with a beachy, oh-so-casual vibe and excellent food – great smoothies, too!

L, D

$2-$8

BYOB

NO

YES

H

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.

D

$15-$28 Cards: V, MC

BYOB

YES

NO

ub H

BLUE MOON ICE CREAM 102 Sunset Boulevard West Cape May (609) 898-1413

You can’t have a proper shore town without plenty of ice cream, and Blue Moon is the latest addition to the Cape May ice cream scene. Blue Moon also has milkshakes, water ice, fruit shakes, pretzels and more!

Ice Cream

$3-$7 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

N/A

NO

YES

ub H

BLUE MOON PIZZA Perry Street & Beach Avenue Cape May (609) 884-3033

If your stomach is grumbling as you lie on the beach, if you need a late-night snack after a fun night at the bars... it’s all here!

L, D

$7-$13 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

BYOB

NO

YES

SYMBOLS KEY

u

Onsite parking

u b

Handicap accessible

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bH

Takeout available

2011


Paradise found... Open Weekends Lunch & Dinner Good Food Live Music Free Parking Awesome Sunsets! Friendly Atmosphere Waterfront Dining

Two Local Cafés with ... a Wholesome Aroma Monday-Friday 7:30-2:30 Saturday & Sunday 7-2:30 Dinners from 5pm Vegetarian & Gluten-Free Friendly

Early Bird Catches the Wave! $6.99 BELLY BUSTER SPECIALS Everyday ‘til 9:30am with ad

BEACH #1 Two Eggs

Homefries & Toast, OJ or Coffee Bacon (2) or Sausage (1)

BEACH #2

Buttermilk Flapjacks (2) OJ or Coffee Bacon (2) or Sausage (1)

BEACH #3

BEACH #4

Bacon (2) or Sausage (1) OJ or Coffee

Scrambled eggs, cheese, black beans and salsa, OJ or Coffee

BEACH #5

DINNER SPECIAL

OJ or Coffee

Buy 1 Entrée Get One Half Off 5-6pm

Texas French Toast (2)

Two Eggs, Two Buttermilk Flapjacks

Burrito

No substitutions. Not good with any other offers. Cape May Only.

2 Great Locations to Serve You! ...on Broadway 406 N. Broadway West Cape May 609.884.6332 Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

91 Beach Drive, North Cape May

(609) 886-5529 www.harpoonhenrys.net exit zero

...at Aqua Beach Ocean & Buttercup Wildwood Crest 609.522.4777 Breakfast • Lunch

(Menu items and hours vary from location to location)

www.bellavidacafe.com 28

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2011


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

B, L, D

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

FULL BAR

YES

YES

ub H

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.

B, L, D

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

BAR

YES

YES

b H

CAPE MAY WINERY 711 Townbank Road, (609) 884-1169 www.capemaywinery.com

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

Winery

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

WINERY

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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.

L, D

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

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YES

YES

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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.

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YES

YES

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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.

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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.

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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!

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BAR

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YES

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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.

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$6-$14 Cash Only

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LUNCH • DINNER EAT IN or TAKE OUT Tacos • Burritos • Smoothies & Much More...

Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner

OPEN EVERY DAY 11am-9pm

FREE WI-FI Located across from the C-View in Cape May

609-898-To-Go

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

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. There’s also a new bar with sublime cocktails and a great wine list!

ELLA’S 326 Carpenter’s Lane, Cape May (609) 884-3350

To-go food without the guilt. Smoothies, parfaits, the freshest fruit and green salads, and outstanding sandwiches.

ELLIE’S BAKERY 301 North Broadway, West Cape May (609) 884-4007

A from-scratch, small-batch bakery that uses only real, fresh ingredients in all their decadent baked goods.

FISH AND FANCY 2406 Bayshore Road, Villas (609) 886-8760 www.fishandfancy.com

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

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.

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 vegetarian 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.

SYMBOLS KEY

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$1-$30 Cards: V, MC

N/A

NO

YES

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YES

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YES

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YES

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YES

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES A POLITICAL TRADITION, 2006

«

LIKE many politicians before him, Bob Menendez (center in white shirt), the junior United States Senator representing New Jersey, visited Cape May in 2006. His trip took him out to Cape May Point shortly after taking office to fill the seat vacated by Joe Corzine. Aleksey Moryakov

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

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The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe 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, seaside sandwiches, salad and snack menu, available all day!

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

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

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.

ITALIANO’S 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 898-2200

Sometimes, only pizza will do. And Italiano are masters. They also have hoagies, salads and wraps, and offer FREE delivery.

JO JO 102 Sunset Boulevard West Cape May (609) 884-0182

Jo-Jo is a welcome addition to the Cape May culinary scene, featuring all your favorite Mediterranean foods with a focus on “fresh.” Salads, gyros, dinners, and more – eat in, take out, or call for fast free delivery.

KRAZY SNACK HUT 12345 Sixty Seven Street West Cape May (609) 609-6099

Are you NOT feeling hungry but want something to eat? Then this is the place! They serve upscale, top-of-the-line snacks like deep-fried octopus tentacle suction cups and sea gull jerky. Try our jellyfish and peanut butter pie!

KRAZY SNACK HUT 2 12345 Sixty Seven Street West Cape May (609) 609-6099

Krazy Snacks’ second location is in the basement of the same building – it’s where they offer blackmarket specialties like ground sea-urchin spices, smoked barnacles and stingray fricassee. Shh!

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

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

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.

SYMBOLS KEY

u Onsite parking

Meals served

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Food for kids?

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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

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L, D

$13-$26 Cash Only

BYOB

YES

YES

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$5-$12 Cards: V, MC, AE, D

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N/A

YES

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$7-$15

BYOB

NO

YES

$99-$111

BYOF (Bring your own fork)

Book what?

Kids with teeth, YES

Snacks

$100-$150

BYOF (Bring your own fork)

We wrote it

If they know the password

B, L, D

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BAR

NO

YES

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

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The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe MONTREAL LIQUOR STORE Beach Ave and Madison Cape May (609) 884-6114

Grab a bottle of your favorite vino on your way to a BYOB, or stock up on beer and spirits for your next party.

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 ambience 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 with 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.

OLD GRANGE 723 Seashore Road, Cape May (609) 884-0114

Renowned Philadelphia chef Tony Clark has taken over the kitchen, making this an exciting addition to the restaurant scene.

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.

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.

SYMBOLS KEY

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Spirits

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

Liquor Store

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NO

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YES

NO

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dancing WHETHER YOU’RE A BIT RUSTY OR JUST PLAIN RHYTHMICALLY CHALLENGED, TOM CUPP WILL GET THOSE TOES TWINKLING Story by Kate Chadwick Photo by Aleksey Moryakov

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on air

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Y

OU HAVE all seen them, or maybe you are one them – the wince-inspiring awkward dancer, the one who is always just a bit off, a little behind the music, stepping on toes, or worse, resolutely glued to his seat while the rest of the room is rockin’. When I learned I would be taking ballroom dancing lessons with local instructor Tom Cupp for this story, I took solace in the knowledge that at least I had taken ballet lessons from age seven until fifteen (and resolutely disregarded the fact that all of this was well over 30 years ago). Taking ballet lessons as a child teaches you many things: selfdiscipline, grace under pressure, and respect for your body. What it does not teach you is how to walk backwards in heels, one of the many new and exciting things in store for me with ballroom dancing. Luckily, I was paired up with Tom, who has been whipping social dancing neophytes like yours truly into passable shape for years. A Haddonfield, New Jersey native, Tom Cupp enjoyed a successful career as both a competitive ballroom dancer

Song and Dance In the early 1980s, Tom Cupp performed in “Joey Bishop’s Tribute to Vaudeville” on the main stage at Bally’s in Atlantic City. Previous page: Writer Kate Chadwick is given a dance lesson by Tom Cupp on the lawn of Congress Hall.

and stage performer. He and his former dance partner were national ballroom dancing champions not once but twice, and then began their own dance company, working with some of the late stage performance greats like Robert Goulet, Mitzi Gaynor, Joey Bishop, Red Foxxe and Red Buttons. They produced and choreographed events for corporate groups, and once Atlantic City gained a foothold as an entertainment destination, they were off and running, becoming a well-known act in their own right. Soon they had positioned themselves as dancers, choreographers and producers, incorporating their dancers and numbers into dozens of casino shows. “I learned so much during that time,” Tom says. “I got a lot of training in so many areas, including comedy.” (Incidentally, Mr Cupp’s sense of humor remains intact and fully operational. One cannot take people with various levels of ability into one’s arms and train them to dance without a keen sense of humor.) They have since retired from “the life.” His partner, now enjoying her current career as a stay-at-home mom,

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remains among his best friends. For Tom, however, extracting himself from the web of dance wasn’t possible, and he has come to look at it as his destiny. “We made a decent living at something that we were good at and that we enjoyed. Not everyone can say that. And when we retired from that, I was past wanting to entertain in an effort to become famous, and just wanted to entertain for the joy of entertainment,” Tom says. “That was when I came to Cape May.” After battling health difficulties, Tom became involved in JudeoChristian groups, coordinating their entertainment as a way to reach out to at-risk children. His group, Fine Life Productions, worked out of the Grand Hotel for ten years, grooming a local community choir and importing professional talent for the four shows they produced each year. “We had a great group in the community choir, from little kids to a 90-something member. It was so nice to watch was how the older people would gravitate towards the kids in need, and vice-versa.” After retiring from that venture, Tom found himself worn out and giv-


The Ultimate Cape May Food & Drink Chart What you need to know about the food and the vibe 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 Cape Resorts Group, is beachfront dining at its best. Eat with your toes in the sand!

THE SEA SHANTY 711 Beach Avenue, Cape May (609) 898-6015 www.seashantycapemay.com

Fresh seafood for eat-in or take out. Open every day from 1-10 pm., except Wednesdays when they open at 4pm. Check out their daily specials!

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!

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

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YES

YES

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NO

YES

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

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ing occasional lessons, but questioning what to do with his life. Then he got a phone call. “Congress Hall had reopened and they suggested I come there and give lessons, even if it was only once a week. They felt it would be a good fit for what they were trying to establish with the place. I remember talking to my sister about it, and she said ‘Tom, do it, just do it.’ So I did, and it’s worked out well; I’ve had a Tuesday night home there ever since, in addition to the private lessons I give and the folks I teach at the VFW.” Tom got a relatively late start for a professional dancer, beginning his career in earnest at the ripe old age of 25. He played football throughout high school and college, but says it wasn’t until he started dancing professionally that he truly took some risks. While he says he remained “relatively” unscathed during his football days, he literally broken his neck dancing. “I was really aiming for a career as an entertainer, and just looked at the ballroom dancing as another way to perform,” he says. “Teaching and training and competing and doing shows – those things were all just the means to an end to creating a performance career for me. In the end, they became the career. It’s like that saying – it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. My dancing became both.” I asked him whether some people are just hopeless as dancers, if they just can’t be taught. “It’s just like anything else,” he says. “No matter what it is, whether it’s something like dancing or singing, or something like math or science, some people are going to be better than you, and some people are going to be worse than you.” Tom admits that he has come across folks with a “rhythm disability,” as he calls it, but says it’s rare. “You do have people that just don’t hear the music correctly, but the only difference there is that while there may not be a major innate talent for dance, they can still learn. The just have to do it by rote, almost by total memorization, and by lots of repetition – this foot goes here at this time, that foot goes there. They will also rely a lot more heavily on their partner than their own instincts. Overall, most people do have a sense of rhythm, they just don’t know what the hell to do with themselves. And like everything else, learning to

“The actual doing of it is fun. Your posture, your poise, your balance changes. Your weight and the inches around your waist can change. How you walk into a room changes – it can be a cure for so many things.”

dance means you get out of it whatever you put into it. Some people have to work harder than others. But it can be a gentle process, especially if you’re patient. If you’re impatient, then the best thing to do is to rehearse a lot. You have to repeat good physical habits and movement techniques until it becomes second nature.” Next up, I asked if there are any particular rules one should know before getting started? Of course there are! “There are five rules for ballroom dancing, or really any social dancing,” Cupp tells me, “and the first three are the same: you must smell nice, you must smell nice, you must smell nice. The fourth is to practice kindness, and the fifth is responsibility to the partnership. Social dancing at its core is a partnership, and both parties are obligated to it. I tell people all the time: if you want freedom, go dance by yourself.” So, if one follows the rules, then we should be good to go? “I only teach people that I like,” Tom says. “Fortunately, you can find something to like in everyone. Everybody is likeable, and usually you don’t have to look too hard. It works

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both ways too – I don’t want people to put me under a microscope either. But if you’re going to be this close to somebody for the better part of 50 minutes, you’d better find things to like about each other.” If the average person wants to become relatively proficient at dancing, he or she will most likely have to put in some time. “There are all different levels of proficiency,” Tom says. “You can get a working knowledge in ten or twenty lessons. But if you want calm, comfortable confidence in six to ten different dances where it becomes like riding a bike, then you’re looking at probably a year of two or three times a week. And also just going dancing – that’s a big, big part of it! We have practice dancing at the VFW every other Friday night, and we go to other dances, but putting it into practice and having some fun with it is just part of the process. The actual doing of it is fun. Your posture, your poise, your balance changes. Your weight and the inches around your waist can change. How you walk into a room changes – it can be a cure for so many things.”


We discussed the different dances and Tom practically waxed poetic, his enthusiasm was so engaging. “Swing is great fun – it’s like watching a tennis match. Then you have the Latin dances – so sensuous: the rumba, the salsa and cha-cha. Then there is the passion of the tango. The waltz – a woman never looks as elegant doing anything as she does when she is waltzing, and the foxtrot – well, that’s just Fred and Ginger. What else can be this social, fun, and good for you on so many levels?” So we danced. I wasn’t great, but I held my own. In fact, Tom says I could be very good if I continued (and I believe him, since I was told the same thing years ago by a certain ballet instructor, but by then I had discovered a couple of other ‘b’ words, namely “beer” and “boys”). Whether you have visions of being half of the next Fred and Ginger, whirling around the Congress Hall ballroom, or you just want to jump, jive and wail with flair at the VFW, Tom Cupp is the man with the dance plan. Tom Cupp can be reached at 609-8841234; 609-675-4616 or by email at tomcupp@ verizon.net.

and

Dancing Through Life At right, Tom mugs with two other performers in “Speakeeezy” at the Claridge Casino. A later version of the same production came to the Grand Hotel in 1995. At left, young Tom strikes a pose on the rocks by the Grant Street beach.

CLIPPER SHIP PUB

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

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QUICK CHAT DENNIS ZAITSEV, RENAISSANCE MAN

D

ENNIS Zaitsev is a man who likes to reinvent himself. The Latvian native arrived in Cape May “for the summer” as a student in 2001, and is still here. He started out working at The Chalfonte, but after it closed for the season his search for year-round employment landed him at Congress Hall. He now works in the accounting office for Cape Resorts Group, the company which owns Congress Hall, and his interests range from filmmaking and working with Cape May Stage to his current hobby of leatherworking, which he has parlayed into a buzz-worthy, burgeoning side business: Hide + Slick. We caught up with him for a quick chat about these and a few other things in The Brown Room. You’ve gone from beach service to front desk to accounting here at Cape Resorts. Do you miss dealing with the public? It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. Each job presents its own set

cottage industry Dennis Zaitsev crafts the leather bags and accessories for his Hide + Slick line in his garage. He considers this venture a relaxing hobby. Aleksey Moryakov

of challenges. Accounting is something I wasn’t familiar with before, so I am still learning, but I like to learn. So how did you get started with Hide + Slick? I used my tax refund to buy a hide and some of the materials, and then I just jumped right into it. I needed a hobby that could keep me focused, but at the same time something I would find relaxing. People say that about things like knitting, where your hands are engaged, but your mind can be elsewhere. Yes, but the thing about knitting for me is that it’s too quiet, too monotonous, so I think it would give me a heart attack. With leather-making you’re still moving about, you’re cutting, you’re punching holes. What kind of products are you making? I started with wallets, and then onto bags – messenger bags and the like – then belts and leather bracelets and bags for ladies. We make them from a single piece of leather, not a bunch of stitchedtogether pieces. A single piece will last longer and wear better. It’s not cheap, but

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it pays off. We’ve gotten into some beautiful canvas handbags with leather trim. The other thing about it is that they are unique; each one will be just a little different from the previous one. Nobody wants to sit on the beach next to someone with the exact same bag. I would imagine that is part of the appeal. So where is all this happening – in your living room? No, no – in the garage! When you buy a hide, it’s essentially the entire cow, so you need some room – it’s a pretty large piece of leather. You need the room to cut it and punch it and dye it, so the living room probably wouldn’t work too well. How did you learn how to do this? From watching how-to videos on YouTube. I mean, back home in Latvia when I was in school, we had a sewing machine, and I did make a wallet once, but that was about the extent of it. Did you have a winning formula right from the start, or do you have a bunch of scary-looking bags and wal-


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lets lying around at home? I think my attempts were pretty successful right from the start, at least aesthetically. I mean, you do learn as you go along. For instance, you can’t attach an inside pocket on a bag after the fact – it has to be incorporated right from the start. These small things are the details that can trip you up – you almost have to think 20 steps ahead when you’re creating something like a bag. So is this hobby now the equivalent of downtime for you? Downtime? I don’t have any downtime, and I don’t really want it. I’m not very good at sitting still. So we won’t find you curled up on the beach with a book? I can’t, I just can’t. How many years I have tried to just sit on the beach – I just can’t do it! To just lay there strictly for the purpose of getting tan – I can get a tan just as easily running along the beach, or digging in the sand. I want to get something out of everything I do. I like to be outside, but if I’m going to be outside, I’m going to be doing something. And if you’re inside? I love movies – especially foreign art house films, and I like live theater. When I watch a movie, I prefer no distractions – I’m looking at it from a filmmaking perspective, watching the camera work, and I don’t like comments and chatter during a movie. Whereas with live theater, that’s the

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whole point – it’s a more spontaneous and communal activity. I really appreciate live performance. What genres and directors do you like? I don’t like movies about trains or planes, and I don’t like science fiction. As for directors, I like David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch. Speaking of movies and theater, what’s your take on the Beach Theatre issue? The last couple of movies I’ve seen in Rio Grande, I’ve pretty much had the theater to myself. That says something. Why would you sit in a room in the dark with a bunch of strangers, especially on vacation, when you can watch movies at home on your big-screen TV or on your computer, or even on your phone? Of course, there are some movies that should be experienced on a full screen, but I think if large cities are having trouble getting people into theaters – and they are – it’s going to be nearly impossible for a small shore community. I understand the emotional attachment that people have to such an historic building, and I’m not saying it should be demolished; just that saving it in its current incarnation wouldn’t be feasible. Things like Movies on the Beach make more sense for our environment. There’s too much to do in Cape May – it’s not boring enough to need a movie theater. Interview by Kate Chadwick


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ARTS WILLIAM MASTROSIMONE VISITS THE CAPE TO SEE HIS PLAY COME ALIVE

From daydream to opus

W

ILLIAM Mastrosimone is a man who belongs in Cape May. His deep voice and creative language are mesmerizing. It is easy to imagine him on a rocking chair with a glass of lemonade, his wife and five children around him, listening as he tells stories on a Victorian porch. “I love Cape May,” says Mastrosimone, whose play The Woolgatherer will be presented at Cape May Stage from September 14 to October 22, Wednesdays through Sundays at 8pm. Mastrosim-

setting the Tone Stage Manager Ben Loverin (left) and Artistic Director Roy Steinberg (right) meet to discuss staging and set design for William Mastrosimone’s play The Woolgatherer.

Story by Catherine Dugan Photograph by Aleksey Moryakov

one plans to attend the performances often and spend a lot of time in town. He fondly recalls visiting friends here, and being impressed by the “great vistas” and the sense that Cape May is “a place unto itself – I didn’t feel like I was at the Jersey Shore.” William Mastrosimone is a product of New Jersey, but the impact of his work has been felt worldwide. He explores brutal topics like suicide, school shootings and war without delivering neat answers. His 1983 play, Extremities, concerned a victim (played by another Jersey native, Susan Sarandon) turning the tables on her would-be rapist. For Mastrosimone, nothing is black and white. A native of Lawrenceville, Mastrosi-

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mone had an idyllic childhood, which he chronicles in the upcoming film and novella, The Blackberry Wars. Young William was a poor student, who might have been criticized for woolgathering, “but I had a perfect stare.” He remembers looking straight ahead as if he were paying attention, when in fact he “was a million miles away.” “We used to play war games in the woods. Two hundred kids from all over Trenton, Lawrenceville and Ewing. I was a scout in the ‘army’ and I had a notebook,” full of detailed maps, with notes about plants and the flow of the creek. “All winter long I dreamed about it.” A teacher caught him drawing a map and took the book away, saying


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she wouldn’t give it back until he got a good grade; “I was failing everything,” he says. He knuckled down, but when she gave it back on the last day of school, Mastrosimone had yet to become a strong student. His scholarly failings continued at Trenton High School, but not because he lacked work ethic. As a teenager, Mastrosimone gave up his army games for work with his siblings at a luncheonette, a family business which sounds a lot like George’s Place. “We worked all day. We opened and closed the place.” Frustrated by his poor grades, Mastrosimone’s father sent him to the nearby Pennington School, thinking it was a military academy. Mastrosimone allowed his father to continue to think so until it was too late to get his money back. He credits Pennington with teaching him to love learning. He created a writing club and thought about writing a play. But, after high school, he went to college as a pre-med student. “I come from a family of doctors,” he explains. “I fell into that.” Mastrosimone had nearly completed Tulane’s pre-med program

when he “quit college to be a writer.” He “knocked around for a couple of years,” working and studying all the plays on the shelf of the Trenton Library. At one point he realized he needed more education. He finished his bachelor’s degree at Rider before entering the first class of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, where The Woolgatherer first came to the stage in 1979. While he valued his time at Rutgers, Mastrosimone was unconcerned about his degree because he was not seeking a teaching job. “I wasn’t concerned about security,” he says. He had to be tricked into picking up his diploma by John Bettenbender, the dean of the school and Mastrosimone’s friend and mentor. Bettenbender invited him to lunch at a restaurant in New Brunswick. When Mastrosimone arrived at Bettenbender’s office to pick him up, the janitor locked the door behind him, and Mastrosimone found himself in a room full of people there to see him receive his MFA. Mastrosimone’s vivid imagination pulls stories out of chance encounters. Something as simple as a stroll along

In fact, “The Woolgatherer,” which tells the story of Rose, a shy store clerk, and Cliff, a lonely trucker, has its origins in an incident from the playwright’s life.

the Washington Street Mall may provide him with material. In fact, The Woolgatherer, which tells the story of Rose, a shy store clerk, and Cliff, a lonely trucker, has its origins in an incident from the playwright’s life. “I was a truck driver,” Mastrosimone says, telling the story of the day his truck broke down in Philadelphia. He walked down 9th Street and saw Rose’s candy store. “Rose is real. I had tea with her.” The real Rose shares the trauma of the fictional Rose – witnessing the slaughter of rare cranes by a group of schoolboys at the Philadelphia Zoo – but there was no romance in real life. “The play went to another place.” The playwright was left wondering what happens to people who, like Rose, are stuck. “I wrote the play because I asked myself, ‘Will she always be frozen or can people get out of that. Can people be shaken?’” In the play, Cliff shakes Rose loose and allows her to breathe free. Rose’s real-life fate is less clear, but Mastrosimone expresses hope. He knows Rose saw the play because he sent her a ticket, but she left “immediately after the show and I never heard

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from her again. I’d like to think that it helped her overcome that paralysis of trauma.” Asked if he were a believer in the mystical, like Rose, or a skeptic, like Cliff, Mastrosimone says, “Both. They are the two sides of my soul.” Although he maintains a healthy skepticism in many ways, he’s a believer in omens and signs. “I can tell you what seat I was in when I decided to become a playwright.” That seat was in the Theater Intime, where Mastrosimone was watching Tennessee Williams’ Eccentricities of a Nightingale. Years later, Mastrosimone would learn that Tennessee Williams admired his work, and though their planned dinner together never materialized, they did share a brief encounter in the bar of a theater where both had plays being produced. “We didn’t have a drink together – he was a little bristly,” Mastrosimone remembers. The believer in Mastrosimone saw hope for his career in 1980 when The Woolgatherer was in rehearsals for its original Broadway run. Mount Saint Helens had erupted in Washington, sending clouds of ash all the way to New York City, where it settled on cars and people. Mastrosimone felt that it was a

Script to Stage The team at Cape May Stage spent weeks with Mastrosimone’s script before making important decisions on lighting and blocking – the visual components that help the play spring to life.

good omen for the start of his career – a career that would see his words spread worldwide, just as the ash did. His works have indeed been performed around the world – including Kabul, Afghanistan – on stage and screen. In addition to The Woolgatherer and Extremities, Mastrosimone’s awardwinning works include Bang Bang You’re Dead, Nanawataii and its film version, The Beast; and the miniseries Sinatra and Into the West. Recently, a colleague scouting locations in New Zealand climbed a remote, rocky mountain and came upon a small town with a tiny theater. The theater’s marquee advertised The Woolgatherer. It’s not a new experience for Mastrosimone, but apparently, it doesn’t get old. It is “still a thrill to go across borders without a visa. A play is a consciousness. That that consciousness finds connections around the world” makes him feel part of the greater human experience. In addition to connecting across cultures, Mastrosimone also connects across generations. He is a founder of IcarusPlays, which works with drama teachers to promote theater for young people. As the website asserts, ”Sometimes the experience of a play drops into

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your life like a stone thrown into a pond. We are about making ripples across the world.” Young people respond to the respect Mastrosimone shows to them and their experiences. And young actors find the monologues from The Woolgatherer so compelling that casting directors teasingly complain to Mastrosimone that they hear them too often in auditions. Mastrosimone takes the complaints in good stride, recognizing the compliment in so many actors choosing his words to show their talents. Mastrosimone looks forward to seeing The Woolgatherer performed at Cape May Stage because the intimate setting will enhance the experience and make it easy for the audience to connect with Cliff and Rose. He also looks forward to Cape May’s restaurants, and the ocean breezes. After all, while September in Cape May may be late for blackberries, it is perfect for rocking chairs, lemonade, and storytellers. The Woolgatherer runs from September 14 to October 22, Wednesdays through Sundays at 8pm. Performances take place at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on Bank and Lafayette Street. For reservations, call Cape May Stage at 609 -884-1341.


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ghosts of wilbraham

NOT ALL THE INHABITANTS OF WILBRAHAM MANSION STILL DRAW BREATH

Story by Craig McManus exit zero

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O

CTOBER is a time when all things ghostly come alive — at least in our imaginations. Ghosts do not exclusively haunt during Halloween season, we just tend to think of them more often as autumn unfolds. Ghosts, earthbound souls of the dead, are around us all year. They have some unfinished business or strong attachment keeping them from crossing to the other side. In Cape May, that attachment is, in may hauntings, a love of America’s oldest seaside resort. Ghosts, like the living, seem to be drawn to Cape May. The energy here provides an environment where both the living and the dead can literally rest in peace. Cape May boasts a treasure trove of wonderful old historic houses within its boundaries. Fortunately for lovers of all things paranormal, many of them are also haunted. One of the most beautiful places to stay in town is the old Wilbraham Mansion in West Cape May. Years before I started to write about ghosts in Cape May, I had admired the stately old house on Wilbraham Park. Today, the Wilbraham Mansion is a wonderful B&B

FAMILY MANSE Previous page: Originally owned by members of the Eldredge family, the Wilbraham Mansion began as a farmhouse in 1840. In the early 1900s John Wilbraham expanded the structure, building all around the original home.

run by the Carnes family, a place that lovers of the Victorian Era will enjoy very much. I finally had the opportunity to stay at the Wilbraham in late summer of 2005. I chose the suite on the third floor of the mansion. In many old buildings, the upper floor is a place more likely to harbor a ghost. After all, spirits are trying to get away from the living, not haunt them. Most of the time ghosts will try to stay out of our way. Not being able to see them, we usually have a difficult time avoiding them in kind. After we settled down in our thirdfloor suite, in what used to be the attic section of the mansion, I could sense the ghosts of children in the room. Two younger children had come to greet me. With them was an older woman who gave me the name “Ann.” I told the children that I was there to investigate the house for ghosts, and that I would be running a tape recorder later that night to try to capture their voices. The response from the ghosts was much more enthusiastic than I had imagined! As I have mentioned previously, when I encounter a ghost, I do not see

them with my eyes or hear them with my ears — I interact with them, mind to mind. Ghosts are energy fields with a consciousness. They can think and act, but have trouble doing anything that requires physical contact. They rarely manifest enough energy to create a visible apparition, and have great difficulty moving objects or creating sounds. Some ghosts, however, have been around long enough to outdo their peers in any of these departments. I told Ann and the children that I would be resting for a while after the three-hour car ride south, and I would conduct my investigation later that evening. I fell asleep quickly and had a great, long nap. I had very vivid dreams of people I did not know. Ghosts can and will interact with us while we sleep. I think the ghosts took the opportunity to get to know someone they realized had the ability to sense their presence. When I returned late that night from another ghost hunt in town, I waited until the other guests went to bed to start my in-house investigation. Cape May is not just a ghost magnet — it attracts scores of tourists as well. My window of opportu-

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nity to investigate while the living tourists are quiet is narrow during the summer months. My partner Willy and I slowly made our way down the main staircase into the parlor. This was one of two large connecting rooms that John Wilbraham used to entertain his friends. In one room, an enormous chandelier hung from the ceiling, reminding me of a similar fixture in the 1980 movie, The Changeling, one of my favorite haunted house movies of all time. I moved around both parlors and the dining room before settling down in one of the Victorian chairs in the main parlor. I inhaled and exhaled, going into a meditative state. I brought the mansion’s energy within me and exhaled my own energy, sending an open invitation to the ghosts of the house to join me. I asked the ghosts to give me a sign, but none was given. Then I focused my psychic energies strongly on the house, and asked the ghosts to give a knock if they could hear me. In an instant, there was a faint knock somewhere on a wall. I asked for one more knock to confirm it was really them — another stronger knock followed. I could sense an older

During the night, Willy kept hearing knocking sounds in the room. I woke up once or twice. The room was very peaceful. Willy told me that I was “talking to Ann” several times during the night — talking in my sleep.

woman, and I asked her to give me a sign as to where she was. Suddenly, one of the crystal glasses in the dining room made a loud pinging sound — as if someone had tapped his or her finger against the bowl of the glass. There was no one else in the room, and Willy and I could find no physical cause for the glass to ring. At the same time, a cool breeze swept through the house, causing the crystals on the great chandelier to rattle. Had someone just come into the room — or had someone just left? After that, the house was quiet. When we got back up to the bedroom, I was too tired from doing a previous investigation elsewhere to set up my recording equipment. I went to bed, telling the ghosts I would record them tomorrow. During the night, Willy kept hearing knocking sounds in the room at various intervals. I woke up once or twice, but do not recall anything in particular. The room was very peaceful. Willy, who was also sleeping in the same room, told me that I was “talking to Ann” several times during the night — talking in my sleep. When we awoke the next morning,

we both noticed the small antique child’s rocker, which had been across the room by the desk, was now next to our bed. A water glass from the silver tray on the dresser was also on the floor. Like living children, the two ghostly kids must have been waiting patiently for me to wake up and record them. I guess I overslept. At breakfast, I was finally able to meet the staff. Sissy, the innkeeper, told me that the only thing she had experienced was someone in the house calling out her name. It was a woman’s voice, and she thought it was Patty Carnes the owner, but Patty was not home at the time and the house was empty. During my first stay, Doug’s mom Patty was still running the B&B. Doug and his family have since taken over the business. Ghosts often call out names of people who live in the house that they haunt. Was a ghost calling to the innkeeper? After breakfast, I was able to speak with Patty about the house that she and her family had bought in the early 1990s. I mentioned sensing an older woman who seemed to be afraid of falling down the stairs. I also got a name like “Getty,” while I sat in the downstairs parlor the

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previous night. Patty told me that the Wilbrahams had no children and after Mrs Wilbraham died, Mr Wilbraham’s niece came to live with him in the house. “Her name may have been Betty,” Patty recalled. Psychic vision is not 20/20, and psychic hearing is not always 100% either. “Getty” could have been “Betty,” except my brain scrambled the signal just a bit. Patty told me that Wilbraham’s niece eventually inherited the house, and hired an Austrian woman as a servant. In time, the niece also passed away, childless, and left the estate to her trusted aide. Patty thought either the servant or the niece might have lived in what is now the dining room after taking a fall on the stairs and no longer wanting to take a chance climbing up the steep staircase. It seems the dining room became someone’s bedroom. Then it occurred to me — maybe that’s why she pinged the glass in the dining room, to make sure I included her in my story. Later, I was able to fill in some of the historical blanks. John’s brother Samuel had a daughter, Mary Jane Wilbraham (1863-1952), who moved in with her

DARK CORNERS In his gabled attic bedroom, Craig McManus felt the presence of a woman, Ann, and two children. The next morning, a children’s rocking chair had been moved across the room.

uncle at the Wilbraham Mansion after his wife died. After her death, it seems Mary Jane took over as caretaker. As the younger Miss Wilbraham got on in years, she eventually hired a companion to help her with the house. Her name was Margaret Moore, and she was a servant with Samuel Wilbraham’s family in Philadelphia. John William Wilbraham died on August 19, 1922 and the house was left to Mary Jane. When Mary Jane died on October 8, 1952, she left the mansion to Margaret Moore. Moore had even changed her last name to Wilbraham at that point. It is said that the rest of the family was quite upset when the servant got the estate in Cape May. Moore died in February of 1978, ending the Wilbraham’s reign in the mansion. I have often felt that Margaret might be hanging around the old place as well, but on the first floor. Patty Carnes told me that she had occasionally experienced “a feeling” in certain places in the house. This “feeling” is the way many people sense ghosts. It is not visual or audible. It feels like someone else is in the room with you. This

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may have been what Patty was sensing. With any ghost investigation comes a series of mysteries. The Wilbraham Mansion was also laden with historical enigmas. I turned to my friend Jim Campbell, one of Cape May’s historians, for help. If the Wilbrahams did not have any children, who were the two ghostly kids and who was the Ann who appeared with them? Was she the servant and these were her children? Back in the 1800s, the property belonged to descendants of the Eldredge family. The original farmhouse that is now part of the mansion was built around 1840. It went through generations of changes of ownership as it passed down family lines. This many owners can certainly make a paranormal investigation a challenge. Wilbraham apparently lived in it in the late 1800s and then, when he permanently retired from Philadelphia to Cape May, built his grand mansion in the early 1900s. The mansion was built encircling the old farmhouse. While I could find plenty of information to piece the Eldredge part of the puzzle back together, very little was known about John Wilbraham. Since he came


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from Philadelphia, that is where I would head next. My search took me to the Frankford section of the city where Wilbraham lived. There, documents abound, as Wilbraham was a huge philanthropist. Records indicate that the Frankford Hospital, in an effort to expand in 1904, paid Wilbraham’s estate $38,000 for the property. Wilbraham was still alive at the time, and he had also donated money to the hospital. One of the huge crystal chandeliers in the mansion in Cape May is thought to have been a gift to John Wilbraham from the hospital for his generosity towards them. My niece, Kiersten, was getting married in July of 2006, and we stayed outside of Philadelphia. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to visit the Wilbrahams (or what was left of them) at their final resting place: the North Cedar Hill Cemetery on Frankford Avenue. Knocking at the door of the caretaker’s office, I was not sure what I would find, but the man who oversees the cemetery could not have been more helpful. Not only did he lead us to all of the Wilbraham plots, he pulled out all of the

While I could find plenty of information to piece the Eldredge part of the puzzle back together, very little was known about John Wilbraham. Since he came from Philadelphia, that is where I would head next.

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burial records for me! Many people balk when I try to obtain historical information to work into a ghost story. Luckily, there are also many open-minded souls, like the caretaker at North Cedar Hill. When he took us to the large Wilbraham plot, I was finally able to solve another mystery. There on the giant obelisk, engraved in the gray granite, was John W. Wilbraham (1833-1922) and underneath, Ann Wilbraham (18401916.) Mrs Wilbraham’s name was Ann. I had found my ghost! Reviewing the records, I also found out why a childless Mrs Wilbraham would be haunting around the house with two children — she was remarried. Her first marriage was to Thomas Wilbraham (1827-1892). Thomas was John’s older brother, and when he died in 1892, Ann married her brother-in-law, John. Ann and Thomas had six children, including three who died young. I had my ghosts, but I could not find their names: the cemetery deed just mentioned that “Wilbraham children” were moved from another plot and buried in the main vault. I had intended to include the Wilbraham Mansion in The Ghosts of Cape May:

Reviewing the tape, there was a very clear woman’s voice saying, “John.” After that, there was silence. Why do ghosts do this? A perfectly clear EVP, and then nothing.

Book 1, but at the time I had not yet found their graves. Now, having the complete picture, I returned to the Wilbraham Mansion in February 2007 for another visit. This time Doug Carnes, Patty’s son, was in charge of the house, and he graciously allowed me to walk through the mansion, tape recorder in hand. Up the winding staircases we went — taking a slow pace so as not to disturb the ghostly inhabitants. We began our visit in the third-floor suite. My friend Gerry Eisenhaur was along operating some ghost hunting equipment. As we started the equipment, the tape recorder batteries suddenly drained. They were new batteries when I got there. With the recorder reloaded with fresh batteries, I asked for Ann Wilbraham, now that I suspected it was she haunting the house. I addressed Ann directly, and told her I now knew who she was. Reviewing the tape, as I spoke, there was a very clear woman’s voice saying, “John.” After that, there was silence. Why do ghosts do this? A perfectly clear EVP, and then nothing. There was a very faint EVP of a woman’s voice, and then a man’s voice followed, but I could not make out

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what they said. As I stood in the attic room, I felt the ghosts had left. Something put the thought in my head that they “were eating.” It is a common misconception to think that ghosts hang around the same spot 24/7 and go “boo.” They are social creatures. We are all souls, and souls will interact with other souls — disembodied or not. Exactly what these ghosts are “eating” is a mystery to me. I am sure, when we die and cross over to the other side, the picture becomes a lot clearer. A few years after my story on the Wilbraham Mansion ghosts was published in The Ghosts of Cape May: Book 3, I received an email from a woman named Joyce Menard. She had read my story, and was very excited to speak with me because she was Ann Wilbraham’s greatgreat granddaughter. It is so wonderful to hear from the living descendants of the ghosts! One of the first things to cross my mind was the lack of a photograph of either John or Ann Wilbraham. Even the Wilbraham Mansion did not own any pictures of the man who built the great house. Joyce was gracious enough to provide both of us with


copies, and I have reproduced them with her permission for this article. Joyce and I corresponded a few more times, trying to figure out who the children were who had died young. Ann Golcher and Thomas Wilbraham had six children, three of which died young. I recently heard from Joyce again. She and her cousins have been working on the Wilbraham history for years and she came across some new information that she wanted to share with me. She had found the names of two of the missing children. Her email put another piece of the puzzle together: “Craig, This is in follow up to previous e-correspondence on the Wilbraham Mansion ghosts. You wrote that you saw/ felt/heard Ann with two children. I have continued to research the family as you might imagine and I think I’ve found who the children are. James Golcher Wilbraham died at the age of 14 months (18651866) and would have been named for her (Ann’s) father, who was a wellknown rifle manufacturer. The second child is William Mitchell Wilbraham (1862-1864). Not sure who the namesake was. Joyce A. Fletcher Menard,

Ann’s GGGrandaughter” Was it 14-month-old James and twoyear-old William that I sensed with Ann? These children would have died back in Philadelphia, not with Ann in Cape May. Did these young souls stay tethered to their mother until her own death? There are many unanswered questions about ghosts, and we only will know the answers should we become one. As for the ghosts of the Wilbraham Mansion, they certainly have a great place to spend their afterlife. I would recommend a stay here for the living as well, if you want to experience a taste of the Victorian good life — with a few leftover Victorians to help make you feel right at home! This is one of Cape May’s historic gems that all should enjoy. With the recent expansion, one can enjoy both new and old together. I hope that you enjoy this fall in Cape May, and I hope to see many of you at one of my special events this October. You can keep up to date with what I do at CraigMcmanus. com. Until next time, keep the light lit: young children may be afraid of the dark — even dead ones.

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walking WHETHER YOU TAKE THIS TOUR, OR JUST READ ABOUT IT, YOU’LL LEARN THE RICH HISTORY OF THIS SPECIAL PLACE Story by Ben Miller exit zero

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the cape DOWNTOWN CAPE MAY The 400 block of Washington Street is shown here in the 1920s. Cape May County Historical Museum exit zero

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I

N THE 1970s, during the early days of Cape May’s Victorian revival, volunteer tour guides would lead teams of visitors around the city, stopping at virtually every corner to tell a historical story. It wasn’t hard to do, given Cape May’s rich, fascinating history, from the Colonial Era to the not-so-distant past when the city’s urban renewal proponents squared off against the preservationists. Local public relations literature may focus on the Victorian days, but make no mistake about it, there is much more to the city than that. This is the second part of my historical tour of America’s Original Seaside Resort – as with the last tour, if you’re physically unable to walk for too long, or simply prefer not to, feel free to take the trek from a comfortable chair or even a blanket on the beach. Close your eyes at each stop and picture the scene with your mind’s eye, thinking about what is

demolition time The Rotary Park bandstand sits in what was once the back yard of this home, which was demolished as part of the city’s urban renewal program. Don Pocher

there today and imagining how it once was. Enjoy! Rotary Park Bandstand Our tour begins in a tranquil section of the city, a small community park with a bandstand that seems to have leapt off the canvas of a Norman Rockwell painting. Look around you at all the trees, benches and quaint, gas-lit street lamps. You’re standing in the heart of what used to be Cape May’s thriving AfricanAmerican district. You’re in the former backyard of a large three-story Victorian cottage that had been “modernized” with the addition of asbestos shingles and the removal of Victorian gingerbread. It sat next to a two-story bungalow on one side and a large Gothic Revival Victorian home on the other. The latter was nearly identical to today’s Ashley Rose Inn at 715 Columbia Avenue, with the exception of a large addition that was added in the front when the home was split into

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apartments. Cape May in the 1960s was a much different place than what you see now. Dilapidated buildings lined the streets, bars and rooming houses dominated the landscape and many in town believed the tourism industry was slowly dying away. A portion of the local inhabitants were still living in homes that had no heat other than a fireplace, no electricity and no indoor plumbing. The solution that the city fathers came up with was an urban renewal rehabilitation program. The idea was to knock down unsightly or uninhabitable buildings in order to redevelop the downtown area and make it more open and accessible to visitors. If you look across Lafayette Street at the All Irish Imports gift shop, you will see where the (segregated) Douglas Hotel stood in the 1930s. Behind the Irish shop is Cape Bank, sitting on land that was once the site of Edward Dale’s large three-story opera house. The building had an imposing brick exterior


the early 1900s. Looking across Jackson Street you’ll see Collier’s Liquor Store, formerly known as Charlie’s Bar. Before it was Charlie’s it was probably one of the most popular spots in Cape May. Behind the façade of a typical store lay a good oldfashioned speakeasy, thumbing its nose at Prohibition. Even today, the store invokes its heritage with the slogan, ‘Legal since 1934.’ The Victorian Motel Our next stop on the tour is the Victorian Motel at the corner of Perry Street and Congress Place. Walk one block west on Mansion Street and then hang a left. As you stroll along Mansion Street, consider that the southern lane of traffic was created through the demolition of an entire city block of buildings. Urban renewal chewed indiscriminately through buildings both historic and modern, clearing the way for the Rotary Park, Lyle Lane, part of Mansion Street

new location. It’s bright pink, you can’t miss it. The Pink House, as it is now known, was originally built in 1892 along Congress Place. When word of its impending demise reached the publisher of the Cape May Star and Wave, Thomas Hand, he arranged for it to be moved to its present location at 33 Perry Street in 1970. The Star and Wave building was right next door and has since been converted into the Carpenter’s Square Mall. The only problem with the publisher’s plan was the fact that a building was already standing on the property – Cape May’s original VFW building. To accommodate the relocation of the Pink House, the VFW building was leveled, along with the structure next to it that was removed to make space for Carpenter’s Lane. Back on Congress Place, one of the most historical of all the demolished buildings was the 1884 Elberon Hotel. The Elberon was a four-story hotel that

Looking across Jackson Street you’ll see Collier’s Liquor Store, formerly known as Charlie’s Bar. Before it was Charlie’s it was one of the most popular spots in Cape May – behind the store façade lay a good old-fashioned speakeasy. with the word ‘Auditorium’ emblazoned in concrete above a 20-foot window. Dale’s opera house featured shows, concerts and boxing matches, and during World War I it was used as a USO building for African-American servicemen. You’ve probably never heard it on other tours of the city, but there was a time in Cape May’s history where segregation was the law. Although they were eligible to fight and die for our country, non-Caucasian soldiers, sailors and airmen were not welcome in the ‘whitesonly’ USO. Behind the bank, one former African-American business is still standing. The three-story commercial building on the corner of Broad and Jackson Street was previously known as the New Cape May hotel. Though it was a segregated hotel in later years, it was originally just another hotspot for Philadelphia and Baltimore visitors. Society pages in the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun were filled with mentions of the hotel in

lost to the bulldozer Edward Dale was cited by a county grand jury for selling liquor on Sunday at his theater in September, 1902. The building is pictured in the 1960s, prior to its demolition. Don Pocher

and Carpenter’s Lane. The Victorian Motel was built in the early 1970s, following the demolition of urban renewal. This innocuous building filled with happy vacationers was at the forefront of the struggle between those who favored redevelopment and the preservationists. Preservationists took umbrage with the fact that a number of historic structures were demolished to make way for the motel. On the corner where you are currently standing was Mecray’s Pharmacy, a small candy shop and sundry store. It was a favorite of longtime visitors and locals, who will fondly share stories of the large selection of penny candies. Next door to the store along Congress Place was the Congress Hall garage, which was used for auto repairs and storage towards the end of its days. Next to that was a building you will surely recognize, the Eldridge Johnson House. If you turn around and look down Perry Street, you can see it at its

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was also routinely mentioned in late 1800s and early 1900s society pages. It also had the unfortunate distinction of being linked with a former guest of the hotel, a 23-year-old socialite who returned to Cape May and attempted to take her own life. 300 Block of Washington Street Mall For our next stop on the tour, take a walk across Perry Street and continue a halfblock until you’re in front of the Whale’s Tale. This is considered the 300 block of Washington Street and it was once a part of the city’s bustling commercial district. Washington Street was akin to Main Street in other small towns, where locals could watch a movie, shop for furniture or pick up groceries. That all changed in 1971 with the Victorian Village project. Going hand in hand with urban renewal was a plan to establish a new ‘Victorian Village’ in the center of town in an attempt to attract visitors back to Cape May. At the head of the project was Mayor Frank Gauvry, who laid out his vision to close Wash-


ington Street to traffic and create a Victorian-themed outdoor pedestrian mall. Gauvry had also led the urban renewal program and he believed the future of Cape May lied in replacing the aging hotels with modern structures, while retaining a semblance of the city’s age-old charm with his Victorian Village, replete with touristy shops and restaurants. Unlike today’s council-manager form of government, where the Cape May mayor is little more than a figurehead, the mayor position in the 1970s gave Gauvry significant power. He used his authority to see his plan to fruition, even in the face of stiff criticism from residents and other city leaders. He was even able to secure $3 million in federal funding for the project. On June 24, 1971, Mayor Gauvry officially dedicated the mall and right from the start it was a smashing success. The first incarnation of the mall looked significantly different than today. There were no brick pavers, flowers or fountains and few benches for resting. Restaurants did not have outdoor seating, and decorations like that beauti-

a local favorite The Pink House is shown here prior to its move and restoration, when it was known as the Gingerbread House and was located on Congress Place. Cape May County Historical Museum

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ful clock you see in front of the Whale’s Tale were non-existent. The mall was a simple, utilitarian space with wide open concrete paths and a row of silver maple and ornamental cherry trees lining each side of the former street. The closest thing to a decoration were the pay phones that stood on the end towards Perry Street. The 300 block of Washington Street has seen quite a few other changes over the years. Direct your attention to the north side of the mall, towards Cucina Rosa and Swede Things. None of those four neighboring storefronts were there in 1971. The buildings that did stand on those properties were destroyed in a fast-moving fire on December 6, 1976. Thanks to the skill of the Cape May Fire Department, the adjoining structures were saved. This was in stark contrast to the 1878 fire that spread throughout the city and leveled nearly 100 homes, businesses and hotels. One of those hotels stood on the southern end of the street, spanning from Cape May Popcorn and Pizza on Perry Street to Fralinger’s on the other corner. It was known as the Centre

before the mall Above: If you can look past all the snow, you’ll see an extraordinary picture of Washington Street in the early 1900s, taken from where the Whale’s Tale is located today. Don Pocher Right: This 1976 fire on the mall was so intense that firefighters resorted to using a deck gun, or water cannon, to shoot water through the broken windows. Cape May County Historical Museum

House. At four stories tall and an entire city block long, it could accommodate 400 guests at once. For some reference, that’s 100 more people than today’s Congress Hall can house. The Centre House was built in 1840 and was painted a shade of yellow similar to Congress Hall, one of the first hotels on the island to feature exterior

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paint. It was constructed right next to the Washington Street sidewalk with the hotel’s main entrance on Jackson Street. The 1878 fire had begun in the equally large Ocean House hotel, which stood right behind the Centre House along Perry Street. Going back even further, the Mansion House hotel was constructed on the


northern side of this block from Perry to Jackson Street in 1832. It was built by Richard Smith Ludlam, who aspired to create a new commercial district. Prior to that time, there was no Washington Street and Jackson Street was the business center of Cape Island, as the city was then known. While Ludlam built the hotel, he also commissioned the construction of Washington Street from Perry Street to what today is known as Jefferson Street. Construction may be a bit of a misnomer, though, since the original Washington Street was little more than a 50-foot-wide dirt road. The three-story Mansion House didn’t last 25 years before it burned to the ground in what was labeled as a suspicious fire in June of 1857. Nonetheless, as you enjoy your time on the Washington Street Mall, remember you have both Mayor Gauvry and Richard Ludlam to thank. 400 Block of Washington Street For the next stop on the tour, all you need do is walk one block east until you’re standing in front of the City Centre Mall in the 400 block of Washington Street. This block escaped the fire of 1878, but it didn’t fare so well nine years earlier when another fire devastated the downtown area. The 1869 fire began in a small shop known as the Japanese Store in the 500 block of Washington Street. Thanks to a nearly non-existent fire department made up of a handful of volunteers, the flames quickly spread to the 400 block and south towards the beach. Prior to the fire, this stretch of Washington Street was home to shops and a couple saloons on the north side and the three-story American Hotel spanning from Jackson to Decatur on the south. Most of the buildings you see today on the southern side are original to the reconstruction efforts that followed the fire, with the exception of the Jackson Mountain Café building. The northern side of the block is a much different story. Other than the green building on the corner at Decatur, each of those buildings is a newer recreation of a Victorian building. Prior to urban renewal, the Savoy Bar stood where Henry’s Jewelers is today, next door was a liquor store, and where Casale’s Shoes now sits was once E & W Taxi, a small café, a barber shop and Casale’s

scenes from old cape may This 1870s picture of the Centre House was taken from the middle of Jackson Street. Greater Cape May Historical Society Opposite, top: Washington Street at Decatur, around 1860. The American Hotel on the left is displaying a sign for renowned diamond cutter, Henry Alexander, who died in 1865. In the background is Congress Hall. Cape May County Historical Museum Opposite, below: This railroad station for the Reading Line was built in 1894 on the corner of Washington and Ocean, where Washington Commons is today. Lynn Zettlemoyer

Shoes, who have been around since 1957 in the previous building. On the southern side of the block, the buildings have remained but the businesses inside them have changed over the years. Longtime visitors and residents will remember the Lampost, which previously occupied the space now home to Ben & Jerry’s. A couple doors down was a florist shop, which then became Royal Pizza and in 1988 was renovated into the Great White Shark. 500 Block of Washington Street Our last stop on today’s tour is just one block east along the mall, in front of The Lemon Tree. There’s a lot of history on this block and you’re standing in front of the former Liberty Theatre property. The theater ceased operation in the 1970s and was renovated into a strip mall, which was then demolished in the mid1980s to make way for the long corridor of shops you see in front of you today. Next door on the western side is Dellas, which has been a Cape May staple for over 60 years. The building was recently remodeled to take on the appearance of a 1950s soda fountain and general store, similar to the configuration of the store when it first opened. Robert and Norman Dellas, along with their partner Robert Sullivan, purchased the shop in 1947 from the Faulkner family, who had

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operated it as Faulkner’s Five and Dime. A few years after the first sale, the Dellas family purchased a neighboring café and assimilated it into their store. Down the street on the Ocean Street corner is the Star of the Sea church, which has occupied the property since 1911. Prior to that, the congregation operated out of a much smaller house of worship they had built in 1848. It was originally constructed across the street about where La Patisserie is today, but the congregation moved the building in 1872. The church also underwent a name change in 1878. It was first known as St Mary’s. As an aside, if you’d like to see firsthand exactly what that 1848 church looked like, you can take a short drive to 501 Cape Avenue in Cape May Point and visit the St Agnes chapel. It was built to the same specifications as St Mary’s and still looks nearly identical. On the other side of Star of the Sea was a church parsonage that was removed about 1960 and then remnants of an old railroad station that had been used alternatively as a coal depot and a gas station. Prior to the late 1960s, Ocean Street ended at Washington and did not continue north to Lafayette. If you look across Ocean Street at the Acme, try to picture long lines of train cars and coal bins where the parking lot is today. The Acme itself is another


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urban renewal project, built on land that previously held the Cape May High School. Let’s bring things back to the mall area, specifically the Colors store on the southern side of the street. On this spot at approximately 2:30am on August 31, 1869, the first of Cape May’s two destructive fires began. This is the former site of Peter Paul Boynton’s Japanese Store. Flames were sighted almost immediately and all neighboring structures were evacuated, including the United States Hotel next door which was filled to capacity. As groggy vacationers filled the street, flames leapt to the nearby post office. A bucket brigade was organized by Mayor W. B. Miller, who attempted to bring some semblance of order to the scene. The United States Hotel had a 1700-gallon water tank in its attic which was quickly employed in an effort to suppress the fire, but the flow of water ran out while the fire continued to spread south towards the beach. Not long afterwards, flames spread to the United States Hotel and then across Decatur Street to the American Hotel. Both were reduced to ashes and rubble within an hour. The United States Hotel loss was especially devastating for its owner, Charles Conway, who had purchased it only a week earlier for $80,000 and retained only $43,000 in insurance. The hotel was never rebuilt and instead, the lot was subdivided into commercial spaces. Of those new stores, one was William Essen’s bakery and ice cream shop, built in 1872. William Essen’s shop is now known as La Patisserie and has the distinction of being the oldest

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continually operating bakery in the state. Essen passed the bakery down to his sons in 1895, who later sold it to the Kokes family. The bakery was known as Kokes for years, before it became La Patisserie in the 1980s. The resident baker, classically trained French pastry chef Michel Gras, still uses the original brick oven. I’m going to end today’s tour by directing your attention to the small booth near the entrance to Winterwood and A Place on Earth, at the Ocean Street end of the block. It’s an information station operated by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC) and it’s also the starting point for a number of tours offered by the organization. This booth was built in 1876 as a guardhouse for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1970, the founders of MAC heard the guardhouse was going to be demolished and they were able to save it. They had the building moved to Cape May and it was presented to the city to commemorate the opening of the Washington Street Mall in 1971. Space limits the amount of history I’m able to share on this tour and I encourage everyone who is interested in learning more about the city to stop by the MAC booth. There, you will find volunteers happy to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the wonderful history Cape May has to offer.

«

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the farmer

JAIME ALVAREZ RUNS BEACH PLUM FARM, THE SOURCE OF CAPE RESORTS GROUP’S FRESHEST PRODUCE. Story by Diane Stopyra Photos by Rachel McGinn

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D

ON’T bother asking Jaime Alvarez, the 39-year-old farmer in charge of maintaining Beach Plum Farm in West Cape May, to compare his job to anything else. “There’s nothing to compare farming to,” he’ll say. “It just is what it is. You’ve got to really love it.” And love it, Jaime does. Since he took over as farmer-incharge last March, Jaime has braved everything from 72-hour-long work weeks (“It’s normal for me”), to multiple snake bites (“No big deal; they were little,”). And his dedication has paid off. This fall, the 62-acre farm, purchased by Cape Resorts Group in 2007, is providing 90 to 100 percent of the produce for all three of CRG’s Cape May restaurants – The Blue Pig, the Rusty Nail, and the Ebbitt Room – all located less than two miles away. While Jaime’s been growing, Executive Chef Lucas Manteca has been planning his fall menus. They’re organic, sustainable, and of course, farm fresh. Jaime took me on a tour of the Beach Plum Farm, where we discussed everything from training a chicken to falling in love with Cape May. This is what he had to say about breaking ground on Cape Island… How did you get involved with farming? My parents were farmers in Mexico. They were conventional, huge-scale vegetable farmers. Their farm was around 300 acres, so that was a big production, and I learned from them. I came to the States at 15, and started farming and breaking horses. I worked for an estate manager for a while who wanted to grow his own vegetables. He had two ten-acre gardens, one in Princeton and one in West Hampton, so I went back and forth. At first because I didn’t speak a word of English. I thought that speaking slowly would help people understand. [Laughs.] I was still speaking Spanish so, of course, speaking slower didn’t help. After about three months, I started learning English. I think it was ten years before I saw my family again, and I still keep in touch with them, but I like what I do here. I’ve learned that you have to like what you do, or you’re never going to be productive. Working for a great company like Cape Resorts Group makes all the difference. What are you growing for use in the Cape Resorts restaurants this fall? For

master of his domain Jaime Alvarez is responsible for all of the crops at Beach Plum Farm that end up in cocktails and on plates in Cape Resorts Group restaurants like The Blue Pig Tavern and the Ebbitt Room.

the fall harvest, we’ve got mixed greens, baby greens, fennel, golden beets, striped beets, red beets and ornamental corn. Then we have our famous sweet corn. We have lots of different peppers, including yellow, red, green and bell peppers, and we have the sweet banana peppers. We have a lot of collard greens as well. We have different varieties of basil, including lemon and cinnamon, and we are harvesting onions and celery. We’ve got Cherokee beans, white beans and regular string beans. Broccoli, cauliflower and rutabaga are going to be part of our main fall harvest. Same thing with our sweet potatoes. We’re growing herbs as well, which are used in the restaurants and also at the bars, to be muddled into drinks. Then we have our pumpkin field for the fall. We have Jack-o-lantern pump-

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kins, gourd pumpkins that look like swans and giant pumpkins. We’re going to see just how big the giant ones get; they say about 50 to 70 pounds. And what about beach plums? What are they? And do you grow them? A beach plum is a fruit, kind of like a blueberry. A lot of people use them to make jams and jellies. We do have a small amount, about 20 plants, and we’re planning to get more this fall. I heard about another exciting development at the farm this fall. Is it true that you have a greenhouse now? The most important thing is that we have this greenhouse. We built it so that we can keep growing a lot of stuff, even out of season. The stuff we’re harvesting in the fall, we can continue growing throughout the year. We’ll continue growing the stuff


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405 W. Perry Street Cape May (609) 675-1360 SeasideGlassworks@yahoo.com

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that grows best in the heat, like tomatoes, corn and pole beans. The greenhouse is the biggest tool on the farm. I know that you’re raising animals for use in the CRG restaurants this fall, too. What are you raising? First, we have chickens, all free-range. [Laughs.] Most people think it’s strange that I knock before entering the chicken coop. I tell these people it’s because I need to make sure the chickens are dressed, but really, it’s so the birds don’t startle. That’s important. We’re training the chickens so that they stay away from predators, like wild hogs and falcons. People have a hard time believing you can train a chicken, but it’s normal for me. We’re also raising pigs, lambs and alpacas. People eat alpacas? The alpacas are here because they are protective. If any coyotes or foxes want to attack the lamb, the alpacas will protect them. They are the only animals who will make it as pets. Don’t you ever have a pang about all the animals on this farm that aren’t going to “make it as pets?” I mean, those pigs are really cute… [Laughs.] Rule one – never get attached to the animals. Unfortunately, these little piggies are going to the market. And they’re going to market antibiotic and hormone-free, correct? Absolutely. When you start applying hormones and antibiotics to animals, the yield will be higher. But that’s not what we’re about. We don’t have huge chickens, we have tasty chickens. And it’s about health, too, right? I mean, if I eat a chicken that’s been pumped up with hormones, won’t I be pumped up with those same hormones? I think in the long run, it has an effect on people. I’m no doctor, but I think that’s part of the reason why there is so much illness out there. All this stuff they’ve been putting into the animals, it’s got to catch up with us eventually. Is all of the produce from this farm organic as well? Yes. We’re not a certified organic farm, but we’re following all of the certified organic rules. For example, we keep all of our seed records; we don’t have to buy them organic, but we do. Why don’t you have the organic certification? Don’t you want it? This farm could qualify because we’ve gone three years without using any pesticides, but it’s just a label we’d be getting. Supposedly, inspectors come to check out

“Most people think it’s strange that I knock before entering the chicken coop. I say it’s because I need to make sure that the chickens are dressed, but really, it’s so the birds don’t startle.”

certified organic farms, but they never do; they just go off of what you tell them. You may start doing things more the wrong way than the right way, because you end up doing them for profit or for that label. I would not encourage Curtis [Bashaw, Principal Managing Parter of Cape Resorts Group] to seek out an organic certification, because then you’ve become just another label. I like it better this way. If you taste our product, you can tell it’s organic. If the food here is not genetically engineered to be perfect, is it less… well… pretty? It might be less appealing visually. Sometimes, some of the produce comes a little deformed, or a carrot might be a little crooked, but if you can get past that, the taste is worth it. So if BPF is organic and pesticidefree, how do you keep the bugs off? We use what I call home remedies. We use garlic, cayenne pepper and soap without the chemicals. That repels a lot of the insects. If we do have to spray, it’s not a pesticide; it’s to prevent disease, and we use only organic. But we try to stay away from any spray, whatsoever. We try to maintain everything without it, and this

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makes a big difference. I can give you an example: the corn. Corn requires a lot of spraying because so many bugs are drawn to it. Any conventional farmer will spray it with chemicals every other day or sometimes even every day. By the time you harvest your corn, it’s already super loaded up with chemicals. You don’t know it, but all that stuff ends up going into you. By doing it organically, every other day, the soap mixture is all we spray. But it is time consuming. It takes one guy half a day to do the whole thing, and that accumulates. You must have a lot of guys working here. Just one other. It’s me and Dennis [Cerra]. Occasionally, we have people come to help out for a few hours, but they weed until they get tired and then they go home. Dennis and I get everything done here, side-by-side, and I like it better that way, because with your workers right next to you, you get better results. You mean with your worker right next to you…[Laughs.] Worker, correct. It’s amazing that two of you are maintaining this entire farm. What’s your typical day like? In the summer we start at 6am, Dennis goes home around


3pm, and I stay here the rest of the day, until 7 or so. I try to take Sundays off, but I always end up here. In the fall, the days are a little shorter. But you’ve still got to walk through the whole place, a lot of times, to prevent insects, picking them off by hand and putting them in a little bag. That’s every day, all year round. By the time you’ve done everything, it’s already getting dark and it’s time to go home and do it all over again tomorrow. What happens if you get the flu? Even the flu goes away if you work through it. I think the only thing that would keep me from working is if I were to lose any body parts. I like to work. I work long hours, but I never feel tired. As a matter of fact, when I get home, I get on my bike and ride around Cape May. And on a lousy day, I go to Cape Fitness to work out. I guess it’s what your body gets used to. People say it’s too much, but I think your body learns to work on autopilot after a while. What else do you enjoy doing in Cape May… You know, in all of your spare time? I don’t have much time to enjoy it, but I do love it. It’s a historic place, which is great. There’s a little bit of everything here; you’ll never be able to say there’s

nothing to do. And I’ve always loved the water. My goal is to have a boat someday where I can go and relax once in a while. The only thing that I hate here are the mosquitoes; they’ll eat you alive! You don’t spray your crops for bugs, but do you spray yourself? No. I use vinegar, which is good, it repels the bugs, but I’ve got to tell you, if you have cuts, you’re going to cry when you’re applying it! Do you practice what you preach when it comes to the food? Are you eating all organic, or are you sneaking off to McDonald’s? I eat a lot of stuff from here, or I’ll go to the restaurants that are serving it. If I’m cooking something special at home, I’ll bring produce from here to use. Do you think eating organic is a fad, or is it here to stay? I think it’s here to stay, definitely, because more and more people are turning to organic. They choose organic food to be healthier, but you have to focus on fresh and local food too. When you get produce through suppliers, you’ve got to remember, this stuff is coming from California, or maybe from overseas. Who knows, maybe it’s even coming from my parents’ farm in Mexico. [Laughs.] It doesn’t get here in one day; it

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can take a couple weeks and it’s got to be sprayed to preserve. When you’re eating, you’re eating all of these preservatives. That’s why it’s so important to eat local. Do you have a family? I’m not sure how you have time for one of those, either! I do; we live on Lafayette Street. I’m married, and I have a son and a daughter and two stepkids. The oldest graduated from High Point University in North Carolina. The next one goes to West Virginia University. The two youngest go to Lower Cape May Regional High School. My son loves what I do here. As his summer job, he works at Swain’s Hardware, but when I ask him what he wants to do on his day off, he tells me that he wants to come work with me. I say, “Sounds good!” Does your family ever get attached to the pigs? I mean, they’re REALLY cute… They do, but I tell them not to name them! When I was working as an estate manager, I had a huge pig there. We started to raise it for food, but everyone thought she was so cute, they kept feeding her, and she got too big to use for food – she was seven hundred pounds – and she became a pet. This is why I say, don’t ever get

“At some other farms, they may have the dream to get a chicken coop and some chickens, for example, but they just keep dreaming. Here, all the dreams come true.”

attached to the animals! How much time lapses between you picking, say, a rutabaga, from the ground, and Lucas Manteca serving it on a plate? It happens the same day. That’s the greatest thing about growing it here. There is a small window for some stuff. If you cut leafy produce in the middle of the day, for example, it’s going to be a little more dried out. In the morning is when the plant is most alive, because the sugar level is the highest. You can notice the difference in taste. We’re always sending the best product with the best taste. Any crises on the farm that have tested your perseverance? Lots. Once, we came up with a system for drip irrigation which I was very happy with. The following Sunday, I saw a lot of vultures, and I thought ‘Neat, there’s all this wildlife here.’ The following day, I turned on the irrigation, and I saw leaks all over. The vultures came and ate all the water lines! I had to replace and cover them all. The worst one was with the corn. We spent half a day planting and two days later, the crows picked every kernel. I thought I would never win! I put a bunch of scarecrows out and the crows treated

them like a landing point. Now there’s a gun that makes a noise and scares them away. No, it doesn’t hurt them! What makes this farm different from other farms with similar concepts? What makes this farm great is that Curtis comes up with all of these ideas, and he makes them happen. At some other farms, they may have the dream to get a chicken coop and some chickens, for example, but they just keep dreaming. Here, all the dreams come true. We truly harvest what we say, instead of just pretending. You hear so much today about Americans being disconnected from real food. Do you find this to be true? That’s not true, because the healthy food is there. People just have to believe in it and start concentrating on eating healthy. It’s always been there, but people turn the other way, maybe because the other food is easier or cheaper, but you pay the price. What’s your dream job? Something where crows won’t intrude? This has become my dream job. I can see myself always doing this. My biggest dream is to make this farm even more successful. I’m a simple guy; I don’t ask for much.

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art under

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an open sky STAN SPERLAK BEGAN CREATING LANDSCAPES IN SOUTH JERSEY. NOW HE’S GIVING CLASSES THE WORLD OVER. Interview by Jack Wright exit zero

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F

OR some people, one career just isn’t enough. Take Stan Sperlak: he came to Cape May County as a teenager, got a degree in landscape architecture and started a landscaping business and nursery, Cape Shore Gardens, at 24. Fifteen years later, he enrolled in The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and graduated enamored of his second calling: landscape artist. If you ask Stan, these two careers aren’t all that different – whether you’re working the land or rendering it on paper, it takes a critical eye and an appreciation for beauty. Though he’s spent years capturing the landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic in brilliant pastel, Sperlak is hardly bounded by the confines of our state. He’s travelled across the country and world creating art and giving lessons, and his wanderlust shows no signs of abating. Case and point: this interview was conducted via email while Sperlak was in Scotland, teaching classes and preparing for his September show at SOMA NewArt Gallery in Carpenter’s Square Mall. While Stan enjoyed the scenic Isle of Arran, he told Exit Zero about his experiences teach-

Field Studies Right: Sperlak’s “South Jersey Landscape,” captures and the golds and greens of a marshy view. Far right: “Cedars” illustrates the incredible textures available when using pastels. Previous page: The artist carries his supplies through the Scottish countryside. Joseph Sperlak

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ing, where he finds inspiration and why, no matter where he goes, he’ll always call South Jersey home. Stan, tell us about your new show at SOMA. We hear it features work from much further afield? Entering into my fourth solo show at SOMA Gallery is a tremendous honor. Janet Miller is great and I am proud to be one of her artists. She really just wants her artists to present themselves as they best can and this year has encouraged me to show works from my travels, along with my traditional scenes from the Jersey Shore. This year those travels include the island of Arran, Scotland. You’ve become very involved in teaching. How did that start and where is it taking you this year? Since 2005 when we did some improvements at my Crow Creek Farm, I started conducting local workshops. They proved popular and I wound up with referrals teaching across the Mid-Atlantic. Last year, with my designation at a PSA (Pastel Society of America) signature level, many doors opened for me and I started to get offers to teach in Colorado, Maine, Cape Cod, New Mexico and Scotland. I will also be

teaching four workshops in Australia in November this year. Have you always been interested in teaching, or is it a relatively recent decision? My wonderful teachers at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and my dear mentor Pat Witt, made me realize that teaching is a give-and-take experience. I may take information from my teachers, but there is an unwritten rule that those who really feel the teaching find a need to give back, and often become teachers themselves. That is the case with me. I can’t help passing it on. Are you planning on expanding your travel in the future? I love to travel, and we are planning on visiting France and Italy in 2012, heading back to Scotland in 2013, then it’s off to Norway and a very small island in the South Pacific in 2014. I just might have to toss Argentina in there somehow, as a friend has invited me to teach there too! Where have you not been that you would love to visit? Beyond those farflung places? Maybe Costa Rica and Japan, and I’d love to go to Yellowstone and Alaska here in the USA. When you want to travel to another

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country, does that decision come purely from you as a painter, or partly as a regular tourist too? I’m a traveler first. I’m interested in the food, the landscape and the cultures. I just paint where I go. How do you feel when you return to Cape May County after these trips? Glad to be home, or does it give you itchy feet? Cape May County is wonderful. Being away makes me appreciate it more. Of course there is something left to be desired about the cost of living here, but it can be much worse in the places I have been. As much as I enjoy being home, the fun I have had with my travel companions, who at times have included my sons Mike and Joe and often include my foreman Cory, has been legendary. How do you promote your work, and how important is social media in that process? I used to be active with my website. I still update it, but Facebook has become my promotion tool of late. Many students have first contacted me there, paintings have been sold, attendance at openings has increased and job offers have come as a result. It really works when managed correctly. Other promotion that really helps is getting involved with orga-

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Tools of the Trade The myriad pastels, brushes, clips, pins and other devices Stan uses to paint. Opposite: Stan teaches a class at his “platform on the marsh.” Mike Sperlak

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nizations like the Center for Community Arts, the Beach Theatre Foundation, the AJ Meerwalk and my mentor Pat Witt’s Barn Studio of Art. By sharing my works with them, they can raise funds and I get to grow friends too. How difficult is it for beginners to take up painting? What kind of skill levels do your typical students have? It isn’t difficult if you have the time to develop it. Too many are impatient and expect to succeed so fast. There is just as much work in painting as in any other discipline, and rewards only come from practice. Most students have lots of enthusiasm, which is needed, but are in search of their own voice. I provide direction there and now having quite a following. I humbly think I can help those who are ready themselves. Do you plan well in advance what you want to paint, or do you act on instinct when you see a memorable sight? If so, when do these inspirations usually strike you? As a professional painter, with many commitments to galleries, I have to paint often and I need dedication, not inspiration. The former gets the job done, the latter keeps

“There is just as much work in painting as in any other discipline, and rewards only come from practice. Most students have lots of enthusiasm, which is needed, but are in search of their own voice.”

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the Hills of scotland At left, this vertical sketch provides a quick lesson in capturing the immensity and color of Scotland’s mountains. At right, Stan stands at his easel painting Glen Rosa on the island of Arran. Joseph Sperlak

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you motivated. I find you have to look in many places for inspiration. Your heart, your soul, your friends, your everyday surroundings. You have to be receptive when you least expect it. Sometimes when I’m travelling, I just can’t stand the onslaught of visuals around each corner and have trouble stopping the car to paint. But sooner or later a gentle wave comes over me and I say, ‘You know, this spot works fine.’ Out of the wind, some good contrasts, a sense of place... You’re in Scotland right now, teaching a class, right? Tell us exactly what you’re doing now, and describe the scenery around you. I’m in Scotland, standing before a ring of beautiful mountains, with velvet green rolling down the hillsides punctuated by huge drifts of red and blue violet heathers, cobalt skies and sails of gray and yellow clouds rolling about. Red stag deer with racks four feet across are grazing within our view and the students are in silent awe. The wind is fresh with the scent of all things north and the ground underfoot is soft, but warm. You don’t know whether to paint or just say, ‘I’m ready to come to heaven now.’

master and apprentice At Crow Creek Farm, Stan teaches more than art: nature, history and life. Mike Sperlak

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musthaves

from the shops of cape may

ACCENT ON BEAUTY

128 Sunset Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 884-7040 accentonbeautycapemay.com Haircuts are a dime a dozen, but a haircut from Accent on Beauty, starting at $35, is a bargain, especially once you start collecting all those compliments. At Accent On Beauty, they like to say that they care about what they do, and it shows in every detail of your cut. Let them care about you!

Cape May Day Spa

ARTIZAN SALON AND SPA 600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 884-4499

Who says you have to settle for what Mother Nature gives you? Not our friends at Artizan Salon and Spa. Sun, sand, and aging can all conspire to sap the color from your hair. Allow one of the pros at Artizan to restore vibrant color, shine and highlights to your crowning glory.

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607 Washington Street, Cape May (609) 898-1003 capemaydayspa.com

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A full-service spa offering state-of-theart services in a serene, tranquil setting, Cape May Day Spa is an indulgence for locals, vacationers, bridal parties and reunions. For that special someone, try their couples’ treatments, including sideby-side massage packages starting at $220 for 50 minutes.

If you’re looking for dental care with a personal touch, your search ends here. From personalized appointment reminders (not computer-generated) to free patient transportation to being able to reach Dr Feldman day or night, the patient is top priority for Dr Feldman and his staff.

Balance Pilates & Yoga balancecapemay.com

You say you’re in need of some serenity? Go looking for it at Cape May’s only yoga studio – we guarantee you’ll find it. Their intimate setting is the perfect place to begin or deepen your practice in Pilates or yoga, strengthening your body and mind in the process. Check their website for rates and a schedule of classes.

It’s the only complete weight training and cardio full-service fitness center right here on the island, featuring classes every day, with everything from spinning to Pilates to well… how about Spinlates? You can work with their certified fitness instructors to find out what works best for you. Now shape up!

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EXIT ZERO Store

937 Columbia Avenue, Cape May (609) 898-0800

109 Sunset Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 770-8479 exitzero.us

Sure, you want to see well, but you want to look good doing it, too. This full service optometric office offers comprehensive eye care and some very cool eyewear! They have an amazing selection of authentic vintage frames – who wants run-of-the-mill glasses, after all? Or set yourself apart with designer frames.

No visit to the Cape is complete without a stop at the Exit Zero Store, Gallery and Global Headquarters. The coolest souvenirs, clothing and publications are here, including The First Resort, Ben Miller’s outstanding collection of stories and photos outlining the history of the original seaside destination, for only $24.95!

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CAPE FITNESS

600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 898-1515 capefitness.com

600 Park Boulevard, West Cape May (609) 884-3001

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musthaves

from the shops of cape may

North Beach Gym

3860 Bayshore Road, North Cape May (609) 886-4842 northbeachgym.com

251 Beach Avenue, Congress Hall (609) 884-6543 congresshall.com

1400 Texas Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-3011

Shear Sunsations

Yoga Cape May

If you’ve been searching for the motivation to get your butt into gear and get yourself into shape, look no further than North Beach Gym and their wildly popular Boot Camp (or as some call it, “booty camp”) Their professional trainers will whip you into shape in no time. So get in there and get moving – you can thank us later.

As if Congress Hall isn’t already a haven of serenity, the Sea Spa kicks it up a notch for pure indulgence. Try their Hot Stone Massage, the application of smooth, warm stones incorporated into a Swedish massage. The stones’ warmth flows into the body to melt tension. 50 minutes for $125; 80 minutes for $190.

This beauty salon mainstay has been a part of the Cape May landscape for over 30 years, and staying in business that long simply doesn’t happen by accident. A full-service salon offering sets, cuts, color foils, low lights, perms, manicures and pedicures, Shear Sunsations is onestop shopping for getting gorgeous.

What could possibly be more relaxing than yoga? Why, yoga on the beach, of course! Instructor Karen Manette Bosna leads classes of all levels at various locations throughout the area, including several tranquil beach settings. Check the website for classes – and beaches – near you.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry

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Aqua Trails

Sea Spa

1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May (609) 884-6500 aquatrails.com

1200 Lincoln Boulevard, N. Cape May (800) 643-3779 capemaylewesferry.com

You haven’t really seen the beauty of Cape May until you’ve seen it from the vantage point of a kayak. The folks at Aqua Trails make it an educational as well as scenic experience. We definitely recommend the Full Moon Tour, where you can watch the sun set and the moon rise in one outing – sublime.

Sure, the ferry is the way to go if you need to get from here to Delaware for some reason. But how about for no reason at all? Climb aboard as a foot passenger and take a pleasure cruise for a change of scenery, or bring your bicycle aboard and take a little tour of Lewes once you cross the bay.

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(609) 827-8866 yogacapemay.com

Bayberry Inn

1121 Route 109, Cape May (609) 898-8359 eastcoastparasail.com

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Looking for a seashore activity that’s a wee bit out of the ordinary? How does soaring 500 feet above the Atlantic Ocean over historic Cape May grab you? It’s a safe, fun and high-flying experience that the whole family will love. (And just think about the Facebook pictures you’ll be posting!)

Voted “Best In Cape May for Walking to Shops and Restaurants” by Arrington’s B&B Journal, this romantic and historic B&B couldn’t be more centrally located. Ask your hosts, Toby and Andy, for suggestions on fun things to do, or just relax on the porch with your favorite book.

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my perfect day ELAN ZINGMAN-LEITH, CURATOR, EMLEN PHYSICK ESTATE

Curating a perfect Cape May day

I

’LL assume my perfect day is in summer, and that I don’t have to work – so this IS fantasy. First, I wake up late with my sweetie, Suzie. We’re in a bed and breakfast (Leith Hall comes to mind, but someone else is cooking). They’re serving Challah French Toast with fresh apricots and blackberries. The morning is sunny, so we go to the beach, where the water is warm enough for wading – I can’t really swim. Suzie and I walk along the beach to East Cape May, basking in the admiring glances of other beach-goers (in this fantasy, we are very fit and good-looking). We stroll toward the mall for elevenses at the patisserie; in this dream-world, Michel Gras is still making “divorcees” and “religieuses.” The weather is getting cloudy, so we go

for a long walk, getting thoroughly disoriented in the streets behind the Chalfonte. We end up at the Physick Estate and take a tour (curated by some unknown genius!). Lunch is Chinese for me, sushi for Suzie. The afternoon includes a cutthroat game of miniature golf and a walk in the Point. At teatime, for a change, we have gelato at Cione’s in Washington Commons, provoking flashbacks of travels in Italy. Falling asleep in the Mainstay hammock is a favorite afternoon activity – then dinner at La Verandah. Our Lady Star of the Sea announces we’ve won the Mercedes, and we just make the music festival concert – Rhapsody in Blue for me and Bach’s double violin concerto for Suzie. We feel like dancing after that, and end up at Carney’s, where they’re playing exit zero

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Variations on a theme “I might give up my hammock nap for an afternoon boat ride or back bay tour,” says Elan ZingmanLeith, curator of the Phsyick Estate Aleksey Moryakov

2011

danceable rock-and-roll without calling it “oldies.” We drag ourselves home late. The perfect Cape May day has variations: finding a spectacular antique Eastlake table for practically nothing (and having a space for it). Dinner may be Union Park, the Washington Inn or 410 Bank Street. Bouillabaisse, maybe, with fois gras as a first course. I might give up my hammock nap for an afternoon boat ride or back bay tour. A Cape May Stage play with friends from New York sounds diverting – the play would be something fierce like Glengarry Glen Ross, or completely mindless like Anything Goes. The nice thing is that my fantasy perfect day isn’t too different from my real days in Cape May. Now if only the church would come through with that Mercedes.


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FROM OUR ARCHIVES THE QUEEN’S CORONATION, 2006

«

JULIA Autumn Grossman was crowned the 74th Queen Maysea at Convention Hall back on August 2, 2006. Pictured with Julia are Haley Lynn Riess, Jenny Rose Weidman, Zoë Bea Lambert and Victoria Mary Kanya. They were accompanied by Celeste Paige Matthews-Delp, Alexa Elizabeth Pir, Jacklyn Demera Reinhart, Nicole Bernadette Kanya, Gabrielle Fiore Notch and Shannon Riane Sachs. Flower girls were Paige Mackenzie Riess, Briar Rhiannon Paige McNeill, Erin Rose Connelly, Emily Nicole Sockriter , Elise Virginia Heim, and Abigail Rose Sachs and paige boys Cole Allen Rothwell and Robert Walter Elwell.

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ARTS MATT LIVELY BRINGS HIS SURREAL CANVASES TO GAIL PIERSON

Lively exhibits wit and whimsy

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HE Gail Pierson Gallery is pleased to present a sixweek exhibition of the bold and imaginative paintings of Matt Lively. The

new show will run from September 17 through October 30. This is Lively’s third anniversary show in Cape May, and an

dreamscape Lively’s “Float” presents an airborne bed in a sea of cottonball clouds.

important event for the gallery. Lively is truly a local favorite with a growing following in town. Matt Lively’s paintings and drawings offer up familiar and decidedly provocative views of reality. They portray a surreal world with recognizable and repeating places and characters. Animate or inani-

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mate, the characters seem familiar, even comfortable, until you notice they are instead unusual and just a little bit “off.” There’s a story in every painting, and everything moves. The result is at once timeless, mysterious, familiar, whimsical, edgy and playful. Fiction or nonfiction? You’re not sure. That’s what makes


experiencing a Matt Lively painting so much fun. Chairs, tables, windows, fans, shoes, beds, dresses, phones with coiling cords, an ironing board – are Lively’s moving and acting regulars. Alongside these, Lively puts characters that are supposed to move – clouds, sheep, a ubiquitous dog and unusual birds. The result is an interesting and entertaining world. Each painting has a story without a beginning or an end. Lively teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He is

SURReality Clockwise from top left: “Chair 4” disappears into the background. In “Deer Fort,” homes are skewered on a set of antlers. The approaching tsunami in “Wave” may be the last thing you notice. One home escapes suburbia in “Flight.”

dedicated to the support of several education initiatives. One of his most recent and most interesting honors is his reign as SQUIGGLES Champion of the World. A Squiggle Champion is able to complete a clever drawing from just a squiggle, anyone’s squiggle. As a fundraiser for the non-profit organization Art180, a group of artists making a difference in kids’ lives through art, Lively has published a book, Squiggles: Grandma’s Big Breakfast and 99 Other Drawings. The book is on sale at the Gail Pierson Gallery, with all proceeds

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going to Art180. More Squiggles, along with the daily Squiggles Challenge, can be found on the new Squiggles blog at squiggler.tumblr.com. Located at 658 Washington Street, the Gail Pierson Gallery celebrates its third summer season in the heart of Cape May’s historic district. This fine art gallery provides top-quality exhibitions for artists of varying styles in a charming downtown setting. Open all year, the gallery welcomes new artists and art lovers from all over to Cape May to a full schedule of exhibitions and events. Art in education is a key year-round focus.


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A stunning new coffee table book about the remarkable story of The Chalfonte Hotel

THE NEW CAPE MAY HISTORY BOOK YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO OWN! A 256-page, full-color hardcover book packed with great photos and stories. Available at select local stores and at www.chalfonte.com exit zero

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ARTS AMERICAN GEMS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT EAST LYNNE THEATER COMPANY

Comedy, mystery and good advice

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HIS autumn the Equity East Lynne Theater Company presents a season full of fine performances. The company’s mission is to produce provocative classics and history-based contemporary entertainment, and the programming in September and October perfectly meets these goals. From September 21 through October 15, East Lynne presents Dulcy, a screwball comedy penned by Pulitzer Prizewinners George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) and Marc Connelly (1890-1980). The play centers on a well-meaning wife’s attempts to create the perfect weekend party, so her husband can conclude a brilliant business deal. Even her bestlaid plains go awry, however, leading to a possible wrongful arrest and much

divine comedy At left: Mark Edward Lang and Alison J. Murphy pause for tea in Why Marry? Both actors will perform in Dulcy this fall. Right: Megan McDermott, who will play Dulcy, in ELTC’s production of Berkeley Square.

more. All these mishaps prompt Dulcy’s brother William to remark “This is probably the first weekend party on record that ended on Friday night.” The eleven-member cast of Dulcy includes ELTC favorites: Erin Callahan, Suzanne Dawson, Megan McDermott, Drew Seltzer and Thomas Raniszewski (all from last season’s Berkeley Square), Mark Edward Lang and Alison J. Murphy (from The Guardsman), Fred Velde (Rain), Dave Holyoak (He and She) and Gayle Stahlhuth, who also directs. New to ELTC is Larry Daggett who just finished performing in The Full Monty at Sierra Repertory Theater in Sonora, California. Dulcy runs from September 21 through October 15 every Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm. There is no show on Wednesday, October 5, and an added performance on Sunday, October

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9 at 7:30pm. All performances take place at The First Presbyterian Church at 500 Hughes Street, where the company is in residence. On opening night there is an after-show party at Aleathea’s Restaurant at The Inn of Cape May where patrons will have the opportunity to meet and talk to the cast and crew. On Friday, September 30, is an after-show Q&A, and on Friday, October 14 is an American Sigh Language performance. Tickets for Dulcy are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors and those with disabilities and their support companions; $15 for students; and anyone age 12 and under is free. ELTC’s final Tales of the Victorians is on Saturday, October 8 at 4pm at The Cliveden Inn at 709 Columbia Avenue. Come 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 and anyone age 12 and under is free. Coming up on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5, is Sherlock Holmes’ Adventure of the Norwood Builder. Step back in time as ELTC presents this tale in the style of a vintage radio broadcast, complete with live sound effects and commercials, just like the 1930s NBC radio shows. All of the evidence points to a young lawyer as the murderer. But is he being set up, or is he the murderer after all? Top ticket price for Sherlock Holmes is $25. “What was good for the baby forty years ago is not good for the baby of today. The best therapy for the baby is to leave it alone, to put it outdoors, and to seemingly forget all about it,” says Mae Savell Croy, giving a lecture on children and household duties in the production of Helpful Hints. The advice is taken from Putnam’s Household Handbook, written by Mrs Croy in 1916. This witty adaptation, written and performed by Susan Tischler, with Lee O’Connor playing the stage manager, Mr Wilcox, was directed by Karen

take a hint Susan Tischler wrote Helpful Hints, an adaptation of Mae Savell Croy’s Putnam’s House Handbook. Tischler will also perform the work on September 16 and 17.

Case Cook. The show will be at The First Presbyterian Church on Friday and Saturday, September 16 and 17 at 8pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission; $15 for students, and anyone age 12 and under is free. In 2007, when Gayle asked Susan Tischler to adapt Putnam’s Household Handbook, neither producer nor playwright had any idea that the Croy family would learn about the show – and want to see it.

Debbie & Mike Downes

When Susan performed Hints at The Chalfonte Hotel in 2009, Jake Schaad wrote an article for The Cape May Gazette. A few months later, Jake received a phone call from Hank Ebert, Mae Savell Croy’s grandson, who, after seeing the article online, wanted to know more about the show. Jake contacted Gayle, who immediately followed up with her own call to the Croys, and contacted Susan, who began corresponding with the family. On the September 26, 2010, opening night of Helpful Hints at The Mad Batter, the Croys were there, all the way from Virginia! The group included two of Mae Savell Croy’s grandchildren, Hank and Dee, and their spouses and children, and Mae’s own daughter, Carol Croy Ebert. A very good time was had by all! To make reservations for any of the performances listed above, call 609884-5898 or visit eastlynnetheater.org. ELTC is partnering with the following restaurants for dinner and theater savings: Aleathea’s, 410 Bank Street, Frescos and The Washington Inn. Call the restaurants for reservations and mention the ELTC Dinner-And-A-Show Package.

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Natural spectacles, all autumn long

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HY do people come to Cape May in the fall? Great weather? CHECK. Fewer crowds? CHECK. World-class natural spectacles? CHE... Did he say “world-class?” I did, and if this celebrated facet of autumn in Cape May has thus far escaped your attention then you owe it to yourself to discover what thousands of other non-summer visitors know and affirm. When it comes to being captivated by natural wonders, no place on the planet can vie with Cape May in mid-September and October. From butterflies to birds of prey, great concentrations of migrating

Story by Pete Dunne Photos by Mike Crewe

Monarchs on Parade Each fall, Monarchs migrate south across North America and Cape May gets its fair share. The year 2010 saw a spectacular movement, with a single day revealing some half a million Monarchs.

things carpet this narrow peninsula and map the entire natural spectrum. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate them. In the spirit of Woody Allen, all you have to do is show up and marvel. The trick is knowing the right time and right place. That’s where the Cape May Bird Observatory comes in. A Blizzard of Monarchs Some estimate that the number of Monarch butterflies that passed through Cape May September 18, 2010 was in the neighborhood of half a million. The next day, the high estimate was one and a half million. That’s right. There were 1,500,000 gossamer-winged insects filling the airspace of Cape May Point. According to one observer, “It was like standing inside a kaleidoscope.” Me? I thought it was like being suspended in a blizzard

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of animate orange tickertape. Was this aggregation of migratory insects unusual? Absolutely. The big push of migrating Monarch butterflies most commonly occurs on the last several days of September or the first few days of October. Last year’s midSeptember movement was about two weeks early, although it did come right on the heels of a cold front. Cold fronts are the meteorological trigger for Monarch (and bird) migration. Almost everyone is familiar with this big, showy orange-and-black butterfly and many know that the insect winters in Mexico. What you may not know is that every September the last emerging generation of butterflies elects to migrate instead of mate. Flying south, they are concentrated by the wind along the Atlantic coast and then are further concentrated as they pass


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the Cape May Peninsula. By the time they round the corner of the Cape, the number of migrating insects may exceed 500 a minute as recorded from a single land point. Monarch numbers vary year to year. In dry years, Monarch numbers are usually high. When New England is subjected to a wet, rainy summer, butterfly numbers are lower. What kind of migration will it be this year? Hard to say at the time of this writing. Only one thing is certain. If it’s a major flight, and you see it, you will consider it one of the most amazing moments of your life. If you miss it, the only good news is that you won’t know what you missed. Your loss. The Peregrine Express Everyone has heard about the Peregrine Falcon, the “fastest bird that flies.” Okay, there are some species of birds that can out-fly Peregrines in level flight; but in a stoop, or dive, Peregrine Falcons have been clocked at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. But did you know that Cape May is one of the four best places in North

Bird of prey You may find a Bald Eagle sitting on a cedar at Cape May Point State Park. There are six pairs nesting in Cape May County.

America to see these celebrated birds of prey? Between September 25 and October 12, between 1,000 and 2,000 Peregrines will be tallied at the Hawk Watch at Cape May Point State Park. It’s the official hawk counter’s job to keep score. All you need to do is look up and marvel as these boldly patterned falcons

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speed by on their way to South America. There to assist visitors will be naturalists whose job it is to get inexperienced eyes onto passing Peregrines, as well as other birds of prey. Approximately 50,000 raptors of more than a dozen species will migrate through Cape May between September and November. That’s almost three times the number of hawks counted at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. Visitors to the Hawk Watch can also expect to see Bald Eagle, Osprey, Merlin, Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks. Cape May has been called the “Raptor Capital of North America,” and while there are places where more migrating hawks can be seen (most notably Veracruz, Mexico) few hawk watch sites can vie with Cape May when it comes to diversity. And ease of viewing! There’s no mountain to climb, no need for a passport. Just park in the big parking lot just past the entrance to the Cape May Lighthouse and walk the short distance to the elevated platform. No fee. No excuse for not seeing one of Cape May’s most celebrated natural spectacles.

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You don’t even need to get up early. Hawks keep banker’s hours. Between 9am-5pm is prime time for hawk watching. The best Peregrine flights commonly occur between 10am and 2pm. If you get to the Hawk Watch a little late, don’t fret. Merlins, a smaller and somewhat feistier first cousin to Peregrines, are afternoon birds. These zippy little falcons speed down the dunes and amuse themselves by harassing just about everything that flies. Including, and maybe especially, each other. Cape May has been called the “Peregrine Point.” But it is also known as the “Merlin Mainline.”

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Fallout If you are a child of the Cold War, the term “fallout” has a chilling connotation. For birders it is something to cheer about. Autumn fallouts in Cape May involve millions and millions of migrating songbirds. At dawn, on peak flights, they may literally reduce the amount of sunlight falling to earth. Starlight, too. Most songbirds migrate at night. Step outside on a cool, still night and you’ll hear the short utterances of migrating songbirds falling to earth. The piping or lisping sounds you hear will be warblers. The more nasal or burry sounds are thrushes. The raucous croaks are bitterns. Look up and you can often see the bodies of small birds illuminated by the lights of Cape May or, if you are extremely lucky, before a full moon, or in the shadow of the lighthouse beam! Last year’s greatest migratory push came on the Halloween weekend. Birds were buzzing around the street lights of the town before dawn. Bushes and hedges were festooned with birds by daybreak. The NEXRAD radar image of the sky over Cape May was green with birds all night long. How many birds? Hard to say, but hundreds of millions is probably a defensible estimate. Of course, there are birds in Cape May every day. The peninseptember

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sula is one of the planet’s bestknown birding locations; some say the best, period. The best way to see the spectacle of migrating birds for yourself is to stop by the Cape May Bird Observatory and pick up a schedule of the daily walks and events. There are guided bird walks scheduled every day. No pre-registration required. No experience necessary. Just show up. You can always pick up a free map to birding locations and a free checklist of all the birds found in Cape May. Over 420 species have been officially recognized (more than half of all the breeding birds found in all of North America). And while you’ll have no trouble finding birds, you may have difficulty enjoying and identifying them. That’s why we suggest going on an organized walk. The outings are two hours long and led by local experts. You’ll be in the company of bird watchers as new to the activity as you are (so don’t worry about “looking dumb”). As has been said, the only difference between a new birder and an experienced one is that thus far new birders have misidentified very few birds and experienced birders have misidentified thousands. So come and rely on the experience of those who were once beginners just like you. It will save you frustration (and you’ll get to see lots of birds). How many species? Between 40-70 depending upon the walk and the bounty of migration that day. Like Smoke on the Water On or around October 25, the waters just off Cape May host an extraordinary exodus of migrating sea ducks. Upwards of a hundred thousand Surf and Black Scoter ducks speed by like writhing strands of smoke on the water. The best place to view the birds is from the northeastern corners of Wildwood and Avalon (they aren’t streets in Cape May; they are other Jersey Shore towns just a short drive north of here). At


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copyright All rights reserved 2011


H AT S • TO P S BAG S • A RT B OT TO M S BOOKS MORE

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these junctions, the coast juts eastward. Migrating seabirds, hugging the coast, cut the corner, passing close to landbased observers. Ducks are not the only birds on the move in the fall. In September, hundreds of thousands of cormorants are passing by. In November, the seas sprout loons, gannets and several species of gulls. Good optics are a must for this sort of long-distance viewing. Happily, the Cape May Bird Observatory has the largest selection of quality optics between New York and Washington DC. Stop by either store and talk to one of the store naturalists, then test the finest birding optics on the planet. Leica, Zeiss, Swarovski, Nikon, Kowa... to name a few. These are quality instruments that start at about $100. Spotting scopes are available too, when distances are great. Use the opportunity to test instruments side by side and... Remember, the holidays are coming. Instead of giving someone a mere gift this year, why not give someone special a hobby! One that will turn backyards into a world filled with wonder and give you an excuse to visit Cape

The Early Birders... The Morning Flight Project platform at Higbee Beach gives watchers a great vantage point to enjoy the daily passage of birds.

May over and over again. North America is filled with great birding locations. But Cape May is the one you’ll come back to. The Cape May Autumn Weekend As you might expect, any place as famous as Cape May offers a birding festival. On October 28-30, New Jersey Audubon hosts its annual gathering and you are invited. Since 1946, New

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Jersey’s oldest and largest conservation organization has gathered to celebrate the bounty of birds found in Cape May. The program includes multiple field trips, indoor programs, field workshops and events, celebrated evening speakers and, of course, all the great birds the peninsula has to offer. You can stop by the Cape May Bird Observatory on East Lake Drive (sec-


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ond right on your way to the Cape May Lighthouse, just off Lighthouse Avenue) and pick up a brochure or go to their website at www.BirdCapeMay.org and get all the information you need about North America’s first birding festival. We’ll supply the birds and the expertise. You bring the enthusiasm. Yep. Spring bird watching in Cape May is just as spectacular as it is in the fall. In some respects, it gets even better. Going It Alone Just in case you are one of those people who likes to engage nature one-on-one, you should know that bird watching is tailor-made for you. Birder-worthy binoculars and a field guide (an imagedriven book designed to help you identify the birds you find) is all you need to set off on a hobby that will engage you for the rest of your life. There are thousands of bird watch-

Birds of a feather Hard to miss with their improbable bills, Black Skimmers can be found resting on the beach near the 2nd Avenue jetty any time from late July through October.

ing locations. Ten thousand species found on the planet. Nobody has ever seen them all. You could be the first. Think about that and all the adventure you’ll have visiting such outstanding ecotourist destinations as East Africa, Antarctica, Peru, Papua New Guinea... And of course, Cape May. The world-famous birding hotspot in your back yard (and vacation orbit). There are several guides to the birds of Cape May. These, too, are available at the Cape May Bird Observatory. The centers are open year-round from 9:30am to 4:30pm. During spring and fall, they are open daily. Stop in. Make yourself at home. When you walk out the door, you’ll step into a world of wonder and discovery. Yes, it’s the same world you just left. Only now, armed with the instruments

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you need, the natural wonders you’ve been bypassing are within reach. Welcome to my world; welcome to Cape May. 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 has written for virtually every birding publication, including The New York Times, and has a weekly column in Exit Zero. His books are available at the CMBO and, if he’s in the building he’ll be happy to personalize your copy. Cape May Bird Observatory locations: Northwood Center, 701 East Lake Drive, Cape May Point, 08212, 8842736. Center For Research & Education, 600 Route 47 North, Cape May Court House, NJ, 08210, 861-7000.


the more

CAPE MAY IS A PATCHWORK OF THE OLD AND NEW Postcards courtesy of Don Pocher

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things change...

along jackson street The Virginia Hotel was known as the Ebbitt, Poor Richard’s B&B was a private cottage, and horsedrawn carriages filled the street instead of cars, but The Carroll Villa has retained its name, and not much else has changed on this beautiful street.

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OUr Lady Star of the sea Star of the Sea Church was built in 1911 as a replacement for a smaller, wooden building known as St Mary’s. The church was rechristened Our Lady Star of the Sea in 1878. The parsonage shown in the earlier picture was demolished in the late 1950s.

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ocean street Save for the Colonial being renamed the Inn of Cape May, the east side is much the same, but things have changed across the street. The Weighman Cottages and the Star Inns were moved to East Cape May and replaced by a motor inn addition to the Lafayette Hotel.

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Morey’s Piers will host an epic Halloween event for the first time ever. Morey’s Fears: Terror on the Boardwalk

will transform Mariner’s Landing into a nightmare for six nights in October. Aside from dark incarnations of the Sea Serpent, Super Scooters, Tea Cups, Pirates of the Wildwoods, Rollie’s Coaster and Moby Dick, look for an especially traumatizing Ghost Ship experience as well as two frightening all-new Halloween attractions that will only be available during Morey’s Fears.

Friday and Saturday nightS , OctOber 14 thrOugh 29 Not recommended for Children under the age of 8. Morey’s FEARS is a general admission gated event. www.MoreysPiers.coM • 609.522.3900

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Cape May’s Boardwalk Businesses like Roth’s Candyland and Ping Pong Studios once stood where there are now dunes. Trolley tracks traversed the area and, to accommodate a wide boardwalk, Beach Avenue was half the size it is today. Cabanas, then known as Arnold’s, was serving up libations.

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Cape May Point From The Lighthouse A combination of beach erosion and new construction has completely changed the landscape of Cape May Point from the way it once looked at the top of Cape May Lighthouse.

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Jackson Street The turrets of the Baltimore Inn stand on the east side of Jackson and the “witch’s hat” turret of the Red Cottage rises above the west side. Victorian Cape May may have had the Seven Sisters, but they didn’t have Hot Dog Tommy’s or miniature golf.

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peter shields Inn To the right of the inn is the Morning Star and to the left is the former Weighman Cottages, both moved from Ocean Street. The Shields home has received a transformation itself, recently renovated and home to an award-winning restaurant and boutique hotel.

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The Politics of Food in the 21st Century”

September 15-25, 2011

CAPE MAY FORUM - CHAUTAUQUA AT THE SHORE Exploring all sides of an issue critical to our times. National Speakers. Celebrity Chefs. Tours & Activities. Food Demonstrations. Gourmet Meals. Book Discussions. For program information & tickets: Visit www.CapeMayForum.org. Call 609-770-2626. “ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL” BY SANDRA BLOODWORTH, WINNER OF “THE POLITICS OF FOOD” ART COMPETITION exit zero

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cape may’s Winter At the Point One of Lyons’ unfinished scratchboard pieces depicts a group of children ice skating over a frozen Lake Lily exit zero

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THE LIFE AND WORKS OF RUSSELL LYONS: ILLUSTRATOR, PRESERVATIONIST AND LIFELONG LOVER OF CAPE MAY. Story by Jon Roth

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HIS story starts in 1899, when Franklin Russell Lyons was born. Or it started three months ago, when his grandson, Lynn Lyons Smith, started to tell me all about him at the marble bar in the Brown Room. It was getting crowded, and I couldn’t catch every word over the cocktail chatter around us, but certain facts about the late Mr Lyons caught my attention: he was an illustrator, an amateur naturalist and a great lover of Cape May – so much so that he may have been her original preservationist back in the 1950s, about 20 years ahead of the curve. It sounded like the perfect story for Exit Zero, and maybe Lynn knew that. When I asked if he’d help us with an article, and if he had any of his grandfather’s work on hand, he almost laughed. “Sure, just come on over,” he said. “I’ve got loads of stuff – more than I know what to do with.” A few days later I visited Lynn at his grandfather’s old home on Cape Avenue in Cape May Point. It’s a two-story wooden cottage with a low sloping roof set back under a shady stand of trees. He met me at the gate and led me up the stone walkway and into the living room – a cool, dark space where I met Lynn’s mother (Russell’s daughter) Jean Lyons Reeves, who still lives in the home she grew up in.

A Lifetime in Cape May Russell Lyons after his enlistment in the Navy in 1916. Right: He points out a carcass to his wife, friend Carola Porter, and grandson.

At that point I still had much to learn about Russ Lyons, and even then I could see his hand in the house. This isn’t so much a mystical conclusion as simple deduction: his paintings hang on every wall of the home,

walls he built himself back in the 1930s. Lynn brought out a portfolio jam-packed with illustrations, set them on the table and began telling his grandfather’s story. Like many Cape May transplants, Russ came from Philadelphia. He was born just before the start of the 20th century, and his father Franklin was the vice-president of Jacob Reed’s Sons, a Chestnut Street institution that sold men’s clothing and manufactured military uniforms. “His childhood was spent growing up in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, and I don’t know a lot more about that period,” Lynn says. “In approximately 1916 he enlisted in the United States Navy and was stationed at the Navy base in Cape May, which is now the US Coast Guard base.” Lyons likely started training in 1917 at Camp Wissahickon, a barracks capable of holding 3,000 men. Camp Wissahickon, along with Navy Section Base No. 9, were built in the wake of German attacks on a New Jersey munitions dump and a foundry the previous year. Around the same time, the War Department leased the Hotel Cape May for a military hospital. Lyon’s first impressions of Cape May were shaded by the realities of wartime, but his enlistment had one particular advantage. Had he never come to Cape May, he would never have met Mella Hand, a fresh-faced, dark-

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haired girl who came from one of Cape May’s oldest families – her ancestors had signed the Mayflower Compact and moved here in 1682. Russ and Mella met in 1917 and married – he was 18, she was 19. Shortly thereafter the war ended and the newlyweds moved to Camden, New Jersey. A year later Jean Lyons Reeves, Lynn’s mother, was born. Russ Lyons took advantage of his proximity to the city upon his discharge and enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Art, focusing his studies on illustration and commercial art. His first commissions came in around 1922. “He worked for the John C. Winston Company of Philadelphia, and they published textbooks, so he illustrated a lot of those,” Lynn says, handing me one of these books: Radio Simplified: How to Build and Operate the Apparatus. Inside are painstakingly precise illustrations, charts and graphs that indicate an artist with real technical skill. “I just Googled ‘F. Russell Lyons illustrations’ and this book came up. It came from a woman down in North Carolina who was cleaning out her father’s library,” he says. This is just

one of many pieces of his grandfather’s legacy that have come back to him over the years. “My grandfather’s first major job came in 1926, and it was to illustrate this dictionary, also for the Winston Company,” Lynn continues, and out comes another book. The well-worn dictionary is filled with drawings, at least four to a page. It’s difficult to imagine the prowess required to illustrate a dictionary – you must be able to draw anything. In the interests of happily mixing work and pleasure, Russ, Mella and Jean relocated to Haddon Heights, New Jersey, which offered easy access to Philadelphia as well as the Seashore Line to Cape May. During this time the family made frequent trips to Cape May, where Mella could see her family and Russ revisit his days in the Navy. While in town they often stayed at the Hotel Cape May, which Russ and Mella must have remembered in its former days as a military hospital. Lynn says they also stayed at the Albert Stevens Inn, though in the 1920s they simply referred to it as “renting an apartment from Doc Stevens.” It was around this time that Russ began to

Lay of the land In 1949, the Lyons sent out this Christmas card featuring a map of Cape May Point, including details about bird watching, botany and fishing. The rectangle in the middle labelled “The Cabin” marks their home.

take a marked interest in bird watching, fishing and duck hunting. Russell’s reputation grew in the 1930s and he began producing freelance work for several high-profile companies, including Whitman’s chocolates, Camay soap, Shick razors, the Budd railroad company, General Motors, Webster heating and Disney Studios. His preferred technique at this time was to work on scratchboard – a thick surface he coated with India ink, carefully scratching away the dark top layer to expose the brilliant white beneath. This method allowed for maximum precision and provided strong contrasts that translated well into print media. While all his scratchboard work was in black and white, even a cursory glance at the finished product testifies to the rich gradations of light and shadow he achieved through stippling, hatching and crosshatching. Lyons also did a good deal of work for the Curtis Pubishing Company, which owned Ladies’ Home Journal, Holiday and The Saturday Evening Post. Curtis Publishing also employed Norman Rockwell and Perce Eadline, who would also retire in Cape May, and

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Russ was friends with both of them. After 20 years of vacationing in town, and no doubt aided by his success in commercial illustration, Lyons was able to build his house in Cape May Point in 1937. “He bought several lots here for $25 each,” Lynn says of his grandather’s project. “At that point the Borough of Cape May Point was in financial trouble, and the whole idea was to sell lots to people so the town could collect taxes on them. During the 1930s Cape May Point was a failed religious community, and the hotels and buildings were all falling into the bay, so the beach was not appealing at all. But

genius at work Examples of Lyons’ commercial illustrations include, clockwise from top left, a Bayshore West brochure, an advertisement for Budd railroad company, a sketchbook of the 1941 DeSoto and a Whitman’s sampler illustration.

for my grandfather the appeal was the proximity of the lake for bird watching.” The house began as a summer cabin, built of cedar logs dredged from the swamps of Dennisville. Spending the summers in Cape May allowed Lyons to pursue his interests in nature and hunting (pursuits he did not consider antithetical). He became involved in the Cape May Geographic Society, an organization that included natural scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Franklin Institute, as well as avid amateurs. Each week the society contributed a piece to the Cape

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May Star and Wave relating to marine life, bird watching, botany or geology, though occasionally topics strayed further afield. “He lectured for the society very often. He also conducted walking tours of Cape May County and took me with him as an eleven-year-old boy,” Lynn remembers. “I have recollections of touring the oyster industry and Bennett Bogs. It was the Geographic Society that discovered a rare species of orchids growing back there.” Lyon’s intellectual curiosity about Cape May, compounded by his artist’s eye for design, led him to explore the architecture of our town in the 1950s.


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Lynn says, “Back then, all the houses were painted white with green shutters, and in pretty dilapidated condition. He photographed them in 35mm slides and would give presentations to the society.” In 1955 Lyons submitted an article for the society’s yearly bulletin on the value of Victorian homes, excerpted below: “Cape May has the distinction of possessing more and better existing examples of this era than can be found elsewhere. Be sure to include in your stroll the area of Hughes Street, Franklin Street, Columbia Avenue, Guerney Street, Jackson Street, Perry Street, Congress Place and Street, Windsor Avenue and Lafayette Street… Many of these homes were built completely for two to three thousand dollars, and some for less. A little thought gives us a better respect for this heritage that has for so long been neglected. See the profuse use of fretwork from roof edgings to porch railings. Often referred to as ‘ginger bread,’ it is still a graphic record of this period of our past that has been gaining in appreciation. It could never be dupli-

cated again. The materials, the time, the craftsmen, the costs, the demand, do not fit into our present or future living. We should view it, photograph it, and record whatever information about its origin we can secure, for it could easily be lost forever…” Russ Lyons also initiated a program to place dated placards on the older homes on the island, particularly in the vicinity of Lafayette Street. “They tend to be more on the Colonial houses, because in 1950 they seemed more significant to most people than the Victorian houses did, datewise,” Lynn says. While he acknowledges that interest in preserving Cape May’s Victorian heritage didn’t take off until it was threatened by construction in the late ’60s, Lynn is proud of his grandfather’s impact. “He worked to get Cape May interested in their architecture. I’ve always felt it really important to let it be known that it was my grandfather who really got this thing started,” he says. In the same year that Lyons published his article in the Cape May Geographic Society, he and Mella moved to Cape May permanently, winterizing their house and adding an art

“We should view it, photograph it, and record whatever information about its origin we can secure, for it could easily be lost forever…”

studio on the back. Lynn took me into the former studio, which has been converted into a guest apartment. “It was a lot brighter then,” he says. “The magnesite plant had killed all the trees back here, so his easel was by the window and there was plenty of light.” Above that window hangs Lyons’ old fishing rod, and across from it is a map he recreated of Townbank (then called Portsmouth) as it looked in 1726 when Mella’s forebears lived there. After his permanent move to Cape May, Lyons began illustrating brochures for new motels that began springing up in Wildwood, as well as post-war housing developments like Bayshore West in North Cape May. “By then his primary medium was airbrush. He had established a reputation, partly through his greeting cards. He sent out hundreds to local people, so that could have been a networking opportunity,” Lynn says. Russ’ freelance schedule afforded plenty of time for recreational art. He created pen-and-ink drawings and scratchboard renderings of the Cape May Lighthouse, various wharfs, ducks, orchids and dramatic images of schooners cresting sunlit waves.

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Visions of Cape May Point Above: A watercolor of the Dolphin House, which Lynn recovered at a yard sale. Right: A scratchboard rendering of the Cape May Lighthouse.

He also worked in watercolor. As a member of the Cape May County Art League, he exhibited in the Carriage House of the Physick Estate long before its renovation, as well as in the lobby of the Beach Theatre.

Towards the end of his life Lyons and his wife travelled extensively, collecting wood carvings in the Smoky Mountains, bringing home artifacts from Pueblo Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. “Sometime

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in the 1950s I believe he suffered from a stroke. Possibly he knew that time was short, and this was his way of seeing everything he wanted to see,” Lynn says. Shortly before his 60th birthday Russell Lyons suffered from a heart attack and died in the house he built more than 20 years earlier. He is buried in Cold Spring Cemetery. The Cape May Geographic Society sent his family a letter of condolence, thanking them for “his selfless service to the community,” and remarking “those who were with him had their lives enriched by the things that he said and the places that were visited.” For Lynn, who spent summers with his grandfather and often accompanied him on painting trips, it was a tremendous loss, but he’s carried Russ’ sensibility with him: “I see things through his eyes. The way I visualize things are the way he painted and photographed things. At a very young age it was all kind of subliminal I think.” Then, over the past decade, pieces of Lyon’s work started returning to his family by happenstance. One man came knocking on the back door of the house on Cape Avenue with a paint-

ing of two houses he’d found in his mother’s estate. He noticed the signature, remembered Russ’ address and had come to return it. Then another man who was reorganizing before a move called up Lynn’s mother and said “I have a painting here that’s signed by your father. Are you interested in it?” Of course she was, and she and Lynn rode to pick up the piece. “It was the largest watercolor I’d ever seen that he had done,” Lynn says. Another painting of a home called the Dolphin House was uncovered at a yard sale on Lighthouse Avenue, and later, the 1726 map of Townbank turned up at another yard sale at Tom and Sue Carroll’s house on Hughes Street. As Lynn finished telling me about his grandfather’s life and work, he led me through his home, proudly indicating framed Russ Lyons originals. They hang in every room, ranging from pin-sharp scratchboard nature scenes to dreamy water colors of Victorian homes and local boatyards. “I find it amazing that he was able to create such precise black-andwhite images and then do something as imprecise as watercolor, where you don’t have a lot of control. If you fol-

“I find it amazing that he was able to create such precise blackand-white images and then do something as imprecise as watercolor.”

low chronologically, his watercolors go from very precise to very loose, almost a little like Wyeth.” Standing in that quiet cottage on Cape Avenue, it seemed to me that Lyons had found the perfect town to pursue his passions. He first came here by chance as young enlistee and left as a married man. He would return again and again, studying wildlife, hunting, fishing, walking the town’s historic streets, all the while capturing his impressions on paper and canvas. When he moved here for good, he began giving back to the town that he enjoyed so much. His nature walks and submissions to the Geographic Society enriched the lives of visitors and locals, and his love of Victorian architecture helped sow the seeds of the movement that would only come to fruition decades after his death. Despite all this, he is surely best remembered for his art. He rendered familiar Cape May scenes with a practiced and masterful hand, creating images that have retained their power long after his passing. Lynns Lyons Smith can be reached by email at lynnlyonssmith@comcast.net for any comments or questions.

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Fall Family Fun! September 9-10: REVOLUTIONARY WAR ENCAMPMENT The American Revolution comes to life as Loyalists and Patriots visit the Village and demonstrate camp life, weaponry and more!

September 17-18: CIVIL WAR WEEKEND The Blue and The Gray take the field at this popular annual event! Union and Confederate reenactors highlight all things Civil War - including battle reenactments both days at 2pm! Sponsored by CapeBank Foundation

October 15th: 20th ANNUAL PUMPKIN FESTIVAL (Free Admission!) Crafts, children’s game, pumpkin painting, hayrides and more! Kids’ Halloween parade at noon. Guests are encouraged to donate a canned good for the ‘Share the Harvest’ Food Drive! Rain date: Sunday, 10/16. Presented by the Lower Township Rotary Club

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Activities for all the family

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HEN most people think “vacation,” their mind goes to a sandy beach where everyone is blissfully inactive. Guess what? Nothing makes for a better holiday than a bit of get-up-andgo. See the comprehensive list of ideas below to get started. 1. Morey’s Piers The Wildwood Boardwalk is now home to the biggest attraction the Jersey Shore has seen in years. The Ghost Ship, unveiled last Memorial Day, is a one-of-a-kind haunted attraction featuring animatronics, a scary soundtrack and live actors. Or take ride on It, the latest, most gyrating attraction on the boardwalk. Either way, visit soon: Morey’s Piers close October 9. 2. Cape May-Lewes Ferry Take a trip over to Lewes, Delaware, a quaint seaside town, then make sure you check out bustling Rehoboth Beach, the Fenwick Island Lighthouse or Cape Henlopen State Park. Take advantage of the tax-free shopping at the outlets, or just

Stalking The Plains This giraffe lopes across tall grasses at the African savannah section of the Cape May County Zoo. You can enjoy this spectacle for the bargain admission price of $0.

enjoy the quiet and vastness of the bay on the deck of the ferry as you watch for dolphins. To book a reservation call 800-64FERRY or visit capemaylewesferry.com. 3. 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 open-air living history museum, a seven-minute drive from town. Visitors here can make a connection with the past by experiencing it. The many authentically restored homes amid idyllic shaded areas make it hard not to feel like Abe Lincoln’s in office… The Village is open on weekends in September for special events – call for their schedule. Call 609-898-2300 or visit www.hcsv.org. 4. Whale and Dolphin Watching Dolphins are fairly common in the waters off Cape May, but it’s still a joy to see them. Cape May Whale & Dolphin Watch and Research Center offers you the best chance to see them up close. You might even see a whale. Tours take off at Wilson Avenue. Find it on your left as you cross the small bridge before the Lobster House on your way out of town. For direc-

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tions or more information, call 609-898-0055 or visit capemaywhalewatch.com. 5. Cape May Family Treasure Hunt Explore Cape May and uncover 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 only $5. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org. 6. Antiquing For a different kind of treasure hunt, check out the variety of antique shops that are in Cape May – just don’t get disheartened when you see your favorite childhood toy selling for $100. 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), North End Garage, 1400 Texas Avenue, (770-8703), Cape May Antique Center, 1228 Route 109 (898-4449). 7. Cape May Lighthouse and Museum Shop The structure, built in 1859, has 199 steps leading to the watch gallery with a pan-


oramic view of the Jersey Cape, Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. 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. Open 10am to 4pm. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org. 8. 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 bayspringsalpacas.com for more information. 9. World War II Lookout Tower Museum and Memorial Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard is New Jersey’s last freestanding World War II tower, part of the immense Harbor Defense of the Delaware system known as Fort Miles. Visitors can now climb to the 6th floor spotting gallery while reliving homeland defense efforts during World War II. The ground floor of the tower is fully accessible. Entrance fee is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Hours vary, but the tour is always open from 10am to 3pm. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

10. Cherry House Tour This Federal-style house was built in 1849 by Lemuel Leaming and named for the Cherry family of Philadelphia. It 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 offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2pm. Tickets are available at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth for $10. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org. 11. Seventh Annual Cape May Designer Show House Osprey Landing at Cape May Marina is home to glorious sunsets, unspoiled wetlands and now Cape May’s Designer Show House. This $2.2 million luxury townhome showcases the talents and products of some of the area’s best-known designers and vendors. It is open for tours from June 17 through October 30. Self-guided tours are offered daily from 1pm to 4pm and guided evening tours are offered at 7pm every Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday. Visitors receive a full-color program book with information about the designers and vendors. $15 for adults and $10 for children. Osprey Landing is conveniently located at 109 Rosemans Lane at the end of the Garden State Parkway. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org. 12. Salt Marsh Eco-Tour and Birding by Boat Join the crew aboard the Osprey, a 36-passenger

environmentally friendly pontoon boat. 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 to learn 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 609898-3500 or visit ospreycruise.com for more information or to book your trip. 13. 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 go online and visit usnasw.org. 14. 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 that will delight adults and children alike. Tours cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or go online and visit capemaymac.org.

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15. Road Trip It seems silly to suggest leaving Cape May, but when the road calls, it’s hard not to answer. Grab some gas and try out Route 147 (Ocean Drive). It runs through Wildwood Crest and Stone Harbor, and the Doo Wop hotels of Wildwood are a block away. Or why not explore Cumberland County, home to Bald Eagles and Port Norris, the onetime oyster capital of the world? Make sure you don’t miss the A.J. Meerwald, the lovely and historic Delaware Bay oyster schooner. 16. 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 to their park and zoo. The zoo features a reptile room, world of birds and an African savanna on its 80 acres of property. Surrounding the zoo is a gorgeous park that’s perfect for picnics, as well as a jungle gym for children. Open daily from 10am4:45pm, the zoo is just off Exit 11 on the Parkway. And, while the zoo is free, donations at the entrance are appreciated. Visit the county website at capemaycountygov.net or call 609465-5271 for more information. 17. Queen Victoria Gardens Tour Experience horticultural beauty september

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and design on this self-guided tour of the beautiful gardens surrounding the Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast Inn. Admission includes a keepsake book with descriptions of plants found in the gardens. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Visitors welcome between 11am-3pm and from 6pm until dusk. Call 609-8845404 or visit capemaymac.org. 18. Miniature Golf Cape May Miniature Golf on Jackson Street features sculpted greens, lush landscapes and real sand traps. A tropically themed ice cream oasis named Cocomoe’s is connected next to the course. There is also beachfront mini-golf available 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 mini golf course at the shops at Sunset Beach – each hole has ocean views! 19. Historic District Walking Tour Designed for those who like history up-close and in detail, this tour features knowledgeable guides who will lead a stroll down the streets of Cape May’s Historic District. Tours are offered Sundays at 10am. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For details on this tour, call 609-884-5404 or go online to visit capemaymac.org.


Vintner’s Delight Take a trip to Cape May Winery, stroll the lush grounds, then pull up a chair for a firstclass wine tasting. Afterwards make sure to take home a few bottles of your favorite varieties.

20. Buy Fresh Produce New Jersey is the Garden State for a good reason. There’s some great farmland in the area, and markets like Duckie’s and No Frills on Broadway carry some of the sweetest and freshest produce around. There is also one on Sunset Boulevard on your way out to Cape May Point. Stock up on pumpkins and cornstalks! 21. Winery Cellar Tours & Tasting Take a trip to the beautiful Cape May Winery, which has been producing delicious wines since 1994. This wine-lover’s delight begins in the vineyard, where you’ll see how grapes are grown. Then follow the winemaker into the winery itself to see how wine is made and bottled. To cap off your experience, enjoy a tasting of several of these local wines. Admission is $20. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit MAC online at capemaymac.org. 22. Sunset Beach Follow Sunset Boulevard until it ends, then watch the sun sink beyond the jutting concrete ship. Grab some food at the Grill, 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! 23. Self-Guided Audio Tour of Cape May Discover the Historic District of Victo-

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Cape May & Cherry Hill, NJ | 609 . 744 . 7886 email tina@tinaphotos.com | www.tinaphotos.com Member Professional Photographers of America (PPA) Member South Jersey Women in Business (SJWIB) Voted 2009 Winner Best Photographer at the Jersey Shore - MyFoxPhilly Voted 2010 Best of Weddings - The Knot 2011 The Brides Choice Awards on WeddingWire

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rian Cape May at your own pace with Acoustiguide Inform hand-held units. 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 (The Emlen Physick Estate), from 9am-2:30pm. For more information, call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org. 24. Murder at the Physick Estate  In a new production, “Bearcat Bootleggers,” it’s 1925 and The Blind Pig is the most notorious speakeasy in Cape May. Drinking is against the law of course, but everybody’s doing it, so how bad can it be? After solving the crime, meet the performers for conversations over dessert. Performances take place at the Physick Estate at 8:30pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays through September 24. $25 adults, $20 children. Contact the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities to learn the story behind their other productions, including “Finding Faith” and “Doorway To Darkness” (which runs through October 28). Call 609-884-5404 or visit the MAC online at capemaymac.org. 25. Arcade Treat your kids to all the flashing lights, beeps, bells and buzzers or relive great childhood memories. Cape May Arcade has two locations, one on Beach Avenue at Convention Hall and the other at Beach Avenue and Jackson Street. Open all September, weekends in October. 26. Higbees Beach It used to be a bit of a scandalous place (nude

Sunrise, Sunset The Sunset Beach trolley tour takes you to the WWII Lookout Tower and gets you to the beach in time for the nightly flag-lowering ceremony.

bathers – gasp!). Not anymore, though (well, not usually). Head down New England Road until it ends, walk the path – aka Mosquito Alley – towards the beach and enjoy a splendid shore. 27. 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. 28. 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 a major fishing port. Tours are offered on Saturdays at 11am. $10 for adults and $7 for children. For details, call 609-8845404 or visit capemaymac.org. 29. Sunset Beach Tribute Trolley Tour This tour visits New Jersey’s last freestanding World War II Lookout Tower, Fire Control Tower No. 23 on Sunset Boulevard. Climb to the 6th floor spotting gallery and visit Sunset Beach for its famous flag-lowering ceremony at sunset. 5:30pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. $15 adults, $10 children. Call 609-884-5404 . 30. Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tour This guided tour of Cape May’s Historic District is followed by a tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Physick Estate. $18 for adults and $9 for children. Call 609-884-5404.

If you enjoyed Terry O’Brien’s Vampire City story, then pick up a signed copy of Murderoke & other Spooky Cape May Tales Pick up your copy at these fine stores: Exit Zero Store | Atlantic Books | Morey’s Piers | Congress Hall exit zero

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FROM OUR ARCHIVES PREPARING FOR A LIFETIME OF FUN, 2006

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SOME couples choose to make their wedding a very serious event, but not this crew. Chris Lafleur and Gretchen Kriebel were up for some fun when they were married at Congress Hall on August 4, 2006. Hopefully they’re still enjoying a lifetime of fun together five years later. Aleksey Moryakov

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We have SO many ways you can get your feet wet.

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MAC 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 capemaymac.org. Welcome to Cape May Trolley Tour This tour is designed for the first-time visitor to Cape May who wants a quick introduction to the many cultural, historical and natural attractions on the island. From Cape May Harbor to Sunset Beach, tourgoers will learn all they need to make the most of their visit. Combination Trolley/Physick Estate Tours Enjoy a guided trolley tour of Cape May’s Historic District, followed by a guided tour of Cape May’s only Victorian house museum, the Emlen Physick Estate, with a theme for 2011, “Victorian Health and Fitness.” Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour Take a 45-minute evening ride through the haunted streets of Cape May. The paranormal findings of Ghost Writer Craig McManus come alive as your guide relates McManus’ spooky stories. Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour Take an evening tour down the ghostly path that leads to the lighthouse. You’ll hear Craig McManus’ paranormal findings related by a guide during your journey. Reach your destination and you’ll feel the presence of spirits. Do you have what it takes to climb the 199 stairs to the top? Historic District Trolley Tours Get acquainted with Cape May on a trolley tour as knowledgeable guides present entertaining and educational stories about the nation’s oldest seashore resort.

World War II Trolley Ride Learn about the impact of the war on the Cape May region and see the coastal fortifications at Cape May Point, including Battery 223 and the World War II Lookout Tower; see the Cape May Canal and tour Naval Air Station Wildwood on this two-hour tour. Mansions by the Sea Trolley Tour This tour features a century of beachfront development, from Victorian cottages of the 1870s through the most up-to-date of today’s housing. It includes some of the most magnificent structures ever erected in Cape May. Moonlight Trolley Ride Take this romantic trolley ride through the moonlit streets of Cape May as a guide tells tales of Victorian romance. Tours begin and tickets are available at Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

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Tales of Terror Trolley Ride Prepare yourself for some macabre yarns spun by your spectral host on this trolley ride through the darkest corners of the imagination. You’ll close your eyes and cringe at stories of imaginary playmates from beyond the grave. This tour only availabe in October, in honor of Halloween.

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Rum Runners & Bootleggers Trolley Ride Prohibition turned ordinary citizens into criminals and ordinary criminals into kings. While Nucky Johnson built his Boardwalk Empire, Cape May happily supplied the illegal hooch that made the ’20s roar. Your host on this trolley ride into the bygone days of moonshine and racketeers will be a genuine gun-toting gangster or a real bob-haired flapper. They’ll tell you what it was like in not-so-genteel Cape May under the Volstead Act.

Call Us Today or Check Us Out Online! 609.770.8357 • professionalpropertyservice.com Barry Bruno — Owner 609.602.4339 Licensed, Insured, and Bonded In NJ

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my perfect day CHRIS CLEMANS, OWNER CHRIS CLEMANS S.I. REALTY

All in the family in Cape May

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HE perfect day for me and my husband David revolves around visiting grandchildren – from both Nashville and Cape May. When they visit, it gives us the best excuse to take time off from work to play tourist, always a pleasure in this beautiful seaside town we’re so lucky to call home. The girls start their day early with a trip to Cucina Rosa with Grandpa to help Uncle Guy in the kitchen, chopping vegetables and baking some chocolate cakes (and eating most of the icing). Then home for a leisurely bike ride to Sunset Beach for our favorite breakfast sandwiches, followed by a stop at the gift

shop for souvenirs and postcards. After that, it’s on to the lighthouse and maybe a bike ride around Lake Lily. Then we head to the beach at St Peter’s to swim and boogie board the morning away. Then into town to visit Tom and Mary and enjoy the best lunch ever at Hot Dog Tommy’s. Of course, we can’t leave the beach block without a game of miniature golf and a stop at the arcade. Then it’s on to the Washington Street Mall for some serious shopping, with the Whale’s Tale and the Fudge Kitchen as must-visit destinations. And of course, we hit each and every T-shirt shop – after all, we must get Jersey Girl tees for the Tennessee girls to take home! Then we exit zero

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FAMILY TIES “When the grandchildren visit, it gives us an excuse to take time off from work to play tourist, always a pleasure,” says Chris Clemans, owner of Chris Clemans Sotheby’s International Realty.

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take the short drive to Historic Cold Spring Village – it’s a well-loved tradition with us to visit the pottery shop, the schoolhouse and The Country Store. Tuckered out by all this shopping, we all head home for a relaxing, refreshing dip in the pool. Is it dinner time already? Off to Harpoon Henry’s, the best spot to watch the sunset while eating our favorite burgers. Our last stop of the day is at Little Danny’s in Green Creek for dessert. We all get our favorite ice cream sundaes and savor every spoonful. Finally, it’s time to wrap up the day and head home. Everybody is happy, full and tired, but no doubt we’ll be ready to get up and do it all again tomorrow!


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Experience Thought-provoking Theatre

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HE AUTUMN light in Cape May casts a golden glow on the narrow brick streets of our town, and Cape May Stage shifts gears from the lighter fare of the summer to more thoughtful programming in both the main stage and second stage series. William Mastrosimone’s first commercial success was his poignant story of two misfits finding their own version of love in The Woolgatherer. A woolgatherer is a dreamer, yet this title takes on a very special meaning in the play. Audiences are let in on this “double meaning” by the end of the play and it is great fun to learn what the title really means. Set in South Philadelphia, it premiered at Circle Repertory Company in the 1980s. Cape May Stage has brought this lauded writer to our town to do a “polish” of his original script. William Mastrosimone is updating the dialogue and Cape May Stage will be presenting the world premiere of this new version. Perhaps best known for Extremities (which was also a feature film), Mastrosimone is scheduled to have two plays on Broadway this season. Cape May Stage celebrates this writer’s work. The Woolgatherer plays from September 14 through October 22 and features two Equity actors who are perfect for their roles. Cape May Stage is pleased to present a light, epicurean evening of entertainment in conjunction with Cape May Forum’s “The Politics of Food in the 21st Century.” On Monday, September 19 at 8pm, Blue Plate Special, starring Kate Hathaway and friends, will be performed at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse. This cabaret celebration of food in story and song is a lighthearted finale to a week of serious exploration of the economic and political implications of what we eat. David Brunetti will accompany Ms Hathaway at the piano. In a script specifically created for Cape May Forum’s agenda, writers and comics will be quoted and songs like “If I Knew

You Were Coming, I’d A Baked A Cake” will be crooned by Ms Hathaway and friends. On Monday, October 3, Nancy Hasty brings her tour-de-force show, Florida Girls, to our Second Stage. This 90-minute autobiographical play, set in 1965, is filled with barbed comedy. A kind of combination of Lily Tomlin and Eric Bogosian, Ms Hasty tells the story of a small-town family where the daughters are dropped off at the home of their fundamentalist Christian grandmother. The action of the play builds to a beauty contest where one sister warbles an off-pitch rendition of “I Enjoy Being A Girl” while the other answers an absurd question for her competition. Cape May Stage reveres the written word and we bring new plays to the attention of our community. We will read a new play by Shawn Fisher on Monday, October 17 starring Lynn Cohen whom many people know as Magda in Sex and the City. The play concerns the reunion of a man and a woman who shared a mysterious past. Tickets for all of these plays can be reserved online at capemaystage.com or by calling our production office at 884-1341.

Kate Hathaway performed to a sold-out house last year in Star Songs and appeared in the Stage’s popular summer productions of Steel Magnolias and I Hate Hamlet.

Nancy Hasty single-handedly creates 15 unique, hilarious, and true-to-life characters in her one-woman play, “Florida Girls,” a story that takes place in Crestview, Florida circa 1965 and focuses on the upheaval in a middle class family when two daughters compete in a high school beauty pageant.

HERE’S WHAT’S COMING UP IN THE SECOND STAGE SERIES “Blue Plate Special” featuring Kate Hathaway and Friends Monday, September 19, 8pm Tickets $50

“Florida Girls” starring Nancy Hasty Monday, October 3, 8pm Tickets $20

«Call (609) 884-1341

NOW PLAYING: “The Woolgatherer” Wed - Sun, 8pm Tickets $15-$35

This column is made possible through the generosity of Second Stage Series sponsors CHRIS and DAVE CLEMANS as part of their support of the arts in Cape May

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Big Sale!

The updated second edition of THE FIRST RESORT is now on sale at THE EXIT ZERO STORE & GALLERY & OTHER FINE LOCAL STORES... Also available online at www.exitzero.us “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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27 Questions for... Russell O’Neill

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F YOU have more than a passing familiarity with Cape May, you are familiar with Swain’s ACE Hardware Store. And if you know Swain’s, you most likely know Russell O’Neill. Or, as he’s more widely know, Russell from Swain’s – he’s been a fixture there for 32 years. We sat down with him recently for a conversation at the Depot Market Café, one of his favorite spots for dinner. Thirty-two years is a long time – have you ever worked anywhere besides Swain’s?

Interview by Kate Chadwick Photo by Aleksey Moryakov

Of course I have – how old do you think I am? I used to work for the coast guard. I wouldn’t hazard a guess at your age – how old are you? I’ll be 64 in July. Really? You don’t look it. What’s your sign? I don’t look my age because I walk. I’m a Cancer. What did you want to be when you were a little boy? I didn’t really care – I just wanted to have a job to go to. Did you grow up here? I grew up in West Cape May. I have a sister who is a teacher at the Sandman School in Lower Township, and three brothers. One is a CPA here in town, one lives in North Cape May, and the other one is out in California, but he was here for a visit exit zero

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not too long ago. How do you think the town has changed from the one you grew up in? It was just seems like it was a lot more fun then. And there were no beach tags! So I’m guessing if you could change anything about Cape May, it would be to abolish the beach tags? Absolutely. I also don’t think making Elmira a two-way street was a good idea, either, but I guess we’ll see about that. Describe a good night in Cape May. Having dinner with my friends at Cucina Rosa. What’s your favorite place outside of Cape May? I like to go to Atlantic City to the casinos every once in a while. We know you like to visit New York City,


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and that you frequently attend Broadway shows. Describe a good night in New York City. Well, I really can’t, because I only go to New York in the daytime. If I went at night I wouldn’t be able to get up for work the next day. So I go to Broadway matinees. What is the best Broadway show you’ve ever seen? That would definitely be The Producers, with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, without a doubt. That was just an excellent show. And what was the worst? That was a play called Contact. It wasn’t what I expected at all. All of the music was pre-recorded, piped in, and there was no singing. That’s not what a musical is supposed to be, I don’t care what they say. What do you like to do on your days off, if you’re not in New York? I like to relax by doing nothing at all, or as little as possible, anyway. I take my walks – I like to walk from Poverty all the way down to Second Avenue, see what’s going on. People say you know where all the bodies are buried – are you good at keeping secrets? I don’t know anything like that, and no, I’m not! Is there anything that Swain’s DOESN’T sell? Alcohol, bread and milk. And that’s just

about it. In what aisle are the hoses? They’re in aisle seven, down on the left-hand side. I know this is a tough question, but if you had to choose: Lowe’s or Home Depot? I guess if I had to, I would go with Lowe’s. I’ve heard some bad stories about Home Depot, that the people there are pretty clueless. What’s the craziest question a customer has ever asked you? “Do you have a rest room?” I mean, of course we have a rest room – we’re human beings! Okay – we’ve got some random questions for you now: what’s your middle name? Joseph. How tall are you? 6’1.” You look taller than that. I’m not. Which is the better drill – DeWalt or Mikita? DeWalt. What kind of music do you listen to? Vintage rock ’n’ roll, mostly. If a customer asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, what do you do? Just make something up? Of course not, I try to figure it out! What’s your favorite number? It’s 706 – can you guess why? Is it your birthday? Yes – you got it! What’s your favorite vegetable? I don’t

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know if this counts, but I really like green bean casserole. How did you feel about the Wawa closing on Bank Street? It sucks! I was very disappointed when that happened. How handy are you? Not very handy at all. We never had to be, when we were growing up – our dad did all that stuff around the house. He’s gone 20 years now. Do you ever go to the beach? Not since the beach tags went into effect, and that was in 1976. What do you smoke in that pipe of yours? I gave up smoking the pipe! I had pneumonia twice last year. But for 30 years, it was Captain Black tobacco. Who is your best buddy in the world? That would be Benjamin Bard – he’s a bus driver for New Jersey Transit. Who is your favorite Swain’s customer? That’s hard to answer, because I have a few of them. What about your least favorite? I don’t want to answer that because I know it will get back to them. You always walk home from work. Does anyone ever offer you a ride? Only on sunny days – when it’s raining, they drive right on by me!


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GOOD HOUSEKEEPERS Call on Us for All Your Real Estate Needs! 501 LAFAYETTE STREET, CAPE MAY NJ 08204 TOLL FREE: 877-884-8907 • LOCAL 609-884-1007 FAX 609-884-4407 • WWW.WILSEYREALTY.COM

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my perfect day PATRICIA RAINEY, LOCAL ARTIST

An artist’s view of Cool Cape May

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Y PERFECT day begins after the arrival of family the night before. I love having them here and the great times we have enjoying everything Cape May has to offer. At around 6:30am, while the rest of the crew sleeps, I’m in my garden with my first cup of coffee and the paper, enjoying the roses, peonies and other flowers that all seem to bloom at once. Mandevillas climb up the frame of the swing, along with English Ivy. My vegetable garden has just about every plant known to grow in the area – so many that friends and neighbors are the recipients of most of it. I spend about an hour each morning tending it while it’s cool and shady. A walk along the bay is also nice early

in the morning. It’s so quiet and peaceful – just me and the horseshoe crabs, with the ferry going out in the bay. I cannot help but feel privileged to live here. When the rest of my guests are up and about we have a leisurely breakfast on my second-story deck and watch the sailboats on the bay while we plan our day. We like to walk on the mall in the morning, stopping into the shops to see what’s new, and I also check to see who needs another delivery of my 2012 calendar and Victorian Wonderland book. A stroll down the side streets always provides some great photos from which I’ll paint in the winter. Next, a stop at the Lobster House for lunch out back or on the Schooner – always great food and atmosphere. We pick up appetizers for later, then head home to change for the beach, picking up an umbrella or exit zero

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inspiring environs “A stroll down Cape May’s side streets always provides some great photos from which I’ll paint in the winter,” says local artist Patricia Rainey. Aleksey Moryakov

2011

two at Gram’s. We’re lucky to find parking spots right in front, and as this is a perfect day, there is lots of time left on the meters! After a great afternoon at the beach, it’s off to the outdoor shower with calls of “Me first!” in the air. Time for happy hour, so we all gather on the deck again for cocktails and appetizers. A beautiful sunset is one of the joys of living at the bay, and it never ceases to amaze me that I get to see them every night. Evening promises a terrific dinner at any of the restaurants for which Cape May is known far and wide – they are too numerous to name a favorite, but The Merion Inn and 410 Bank Street come to mind. A carriage ride through town would top the day off to show off our little town. How lucky we are to live here – a wonderful town with wonderful people!


The Cape May Crossword SO YOU love crosswords and you love Cape May? Great. Sit down, get a cup (or glass) of your favorite beverage, relax and enjoy this puzzle. The answers to this crossword are all related to the Victorian Era. The solution can be found on our website, www.exitzero.us. Puzzle compiled by Jon Roth. ACROSS 2. These homes on Jackson Street were built in 1892 by Stephen Decatur Button for his daughters. 6 . Victorians would wear jewelry made of this as a memento mori of deceased love ones. 10 . This is Cape May’s only Victorian house museum – lovingly restored by the MidAtlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities. 12 . This British poet, playwright and novelist was famous for pithy epigrams like “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” 13 . This iron and glass building was constructed in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851. It was relocated and finally destroyed by fire in 1936. 15 . He sailed on the HMS Beagle and wrote the groundbreaking book On the Origin of Species. 17 . Charles Dickens published this novel in serial form – it includes characters like the ambitious Pip and the deluded Miss Havisham. 21 . This popular lawn game involves hitting balls through hoops with a mallet – it took England by storm in the 1860s. 22 . This was placed on the headrests of chairs to preserve the fabric from the hair oil commonly used in Victorian times.

23. While we do have electric street lights, this provides outdoor illumination in parts of Cape May’s Historic District. 24 . A spiced cookie, or a way to describe the elaborate scrollwork on Victorian homes. DOWN 1 . After his death at 42, Queen Victoria and her court wore mourning for the rest of her life. 2 . This form of smokeless tobacco originated in the Americas but filled boxes across Europe in the 19th century. 3 . Also known as a posie, this small floral bouquet became en vogue after Queen Victoria began carrying one – often the combination of flowers conveyed a message.

An iconic building of the Victorian Era... 13 Across

describes a series of booths on Beach Drive. 8 . This sort of eligible young woman used to be presented before the Queen in a white dress when she made her entry into society. 9. This was placed under a woman’s skirt in the back to make her waist seem smaller – the less-constricting cousin of the corset. 11 . This was a sporty open carriage, or the name for the son of Helios, who perished when he attempted to ride the Chariot of the Sun. 14 . The term used to describe the glittering excess of America during England’s Victorian period. 16 . This Missouri native was an eminent humorist – he frequently travelled to England and the rest of Europe to lecture.

4 . This style of architecture reacted against industrialization and embraced medievalism. It’s characterized by pointed arches, high gables and towers.

18. This describes the era that immediately followed Queen Victoria’s reign.

5 . This librettist and composer pair were famous for operettas like The Pirates of Penzance.

20. This popular gambling house opened in Cape May in 1840. It has since become a private dwelling, but a certain tavern still bears its name.

7 . This architectural ornament goes on the apex of the pediment or its corners. It also exit zero

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19. And this era (interrupted by the Regency) directly preceded Queen Victoria’s rule.


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exit zero iii september

2011


exit zero iv september

2011

2011 September Color Issue  

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

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