Monday, August 31, 2009

It does not get more beautiful than this.

This stunning photo of one of the wonderful stores on the Washington Street Mall may be found on an amazing photo of the day blog RIGHT HERE.

Mystery Hotel???

Do you know this hotel?

My son's bedroom furniture is many years old, a gift from my grandparents, and the furniture itself was my son's grandfather's bedroom furniture. Anyway, while cleaning out one of his drawers today, the boy found this fantastic mystery photograph caught in the back of a drawer that would not shut. Please click the photo above to see the mystery hotel enlarged.

My first instinct was that the hotel looked like the Windsor, however, based on photos I found on the web (like the ones at the Mother Brown site) I suspect I'm wrong.

Does anyone know what hotel this was? That's obviously the boardwalk in the back post-1962 hurricane, and the VW Bug and the Mustang in the background make me think the photo must date to around the late 60s, maybe 1970. If you know, please let me know by way of the comments!

The Mother Brown House

The Windsor Hotel

The Mother Brown House is a home for rent in Cape May on Windsor Avenue. It gets a link today because of the great photos of Cape May, particularly the old Windsor Hotel, pictured above. I like this link for the photos, but also because of the photo my son found earlier today, in my grandparents' antique furniture. I will share that photo later, and why it may be related to the Windsor...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

400th Birthday in Style

The Boss with the hot sauce!
Cape May celebrates its 400th Birthday this year, recognizing the fact that Henry Hudson landed at Cape May 400 years ago before he made his way up to NYC. Here's a great story about the dance party with the one and only Jerry Blavat held on the beach yesterday, and another story about the parade the city had yesterday. Thank you to the Cape May County Herald for these two great stories!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bloggy here and there

Cape May's Black Dog website has many updates lately. Just keep scrolling...

Nice little piece on the story behind the Fisherman's Memorial
HERE, with many photos (like the one above)...

And finally...

Lake Lily

I don't think I've featured
the Villas Photo Girl's blog before. If you love photos of Cape May, you should really be checking it out regularly. This photo of Lake Lily is really neat.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cape May Real Estate Prices

If you like daydreaming about buying a home in Cape May, then the Cape May County Herald has the SITE for your clicking pleasure. At that link, you can track all real estate transfers in Cape May County. They post the sales every few weeks, and they cover all sales in the county. The archives go back many years. I check it regularly and have been amazed at the relatively little decline in the r.e. market in Cape May vs. the rest of the country. When you click the link, look for the portion of the page which says "property transfer charts" and then you can pick the week you want to look at. A .pdf will open up for that week.

Happy house hunting!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Everyday something different

Now this is interesting.... anyone know where this building (on the left) is? Check out the blog where this appears HERE.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cape May's Designer Show House

The Jersey Journal has a nice writeup regarding this year's Cape May Designer Show House HERE. My Mom loved touring the Show Homes each year. This one's for you, Mom.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

SURF'S UP (Post No. 2)

Here's some great video, courtesy of Cape May County Herald's website, with video of the Cape May surf yesterday. Obviously, with Hurricane Bill at sea, the surf was very churned up:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

ImageFiction: Cape May In August

Here's a photo blog post worth your time: ImageFiction: Cape May In August... I'm not really sure what this guy does, but he makes the Columbia House particularly beautiful...

Hurricane Bill: Surf's Up!

Today should be a day that is FUN TO WATCH LIVE unfold at Cove Beach. With Hurricane Bill offshore, the ocean should be churned up, according to this Philly Inquirer article. Surfers are already in the ocean, having checked out the above live video feed earlier this morning. Enjoy watching and wishing you were there!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Birding Blog

If you're a birder or just a particularly serious fan of Cape May, then you should be checking out THIS BLOG regularly. This "View from the Cape" blog of the Cape May Bird Observatory updates every day with updates of the birds spotted in the area, and many many photos. Cape May Point is a birder's paradise, and this blog tracks each day in that paradise. Check it out. The photo above is a Black Rail bird peaking his head out from the Cape May Point Meadows.

Beaches Reopened!

Ocean Street Beach (seen here) and the other beaches that had been closed have REOPENED... great news!

Another beautiful Cape May photo

THIS is a scene in Cape May not often seen! Thank you, Brian Switek!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cape May Turns 400

You probably know that 400 years ago Henry Hudson accidentally landed in Cape May just prior to making his way up to NYC and the Hudson River (isn't it a coincidence that Henry Hudson discovered the Hudson River? What are the odds that he'd discover a river with his name?... what's that you say? The river was only named after he discovered it? ... oh...never mind...)

Anyway, here is a wonderful little news report about the 400th anniversary filled with cute interviews and a number of great photos and video from yesterday and today. I particularly like the old photo of the Colonial Hotel/Inn of Cape May, which comes towards the end. Enjoy!

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.

Odds and Ends

This blogger writes about her vacations; she is spending time in Cape May this month. Read about both the good and the bad, and check out her photos, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

New photo of a house on one of my favorite streets HERE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cape May Surfs

Here's a Cape May magazine story about surfing that CapeMay.Com recently put on-line. Definitely a good read.

Some blogs worth your time today...

photos, photos, and more photos- just keep scrolling...

the birds of Cape May are a topic I haven't focused on much yet, hopefully during the offseason I will get there. In the meantime, here's an interesting blogwhich featured Cape May's bird count yesterday.

CapeMay.Com's Daily Photo Blog is on a roll -- just keep scrolling...

Have a great day!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Flying Fish Studio

I'm not sure that after all these years the Flying Fish Studio still classifies as a hidden gem, but I think it's about as close as one gets in Cape May. In the wilds of West Cape May, on Park Blvd just not far from the CVS (or is it Walgreens?), you'll find the neatest little t-shirt and sweats shop in town (well, it's my blog and I think so).

One of a kind shirts, with neat Cape May-related logos that are a bit off the beaten path...

like the Poverty Beach logo to the right -->.

If you're in town, check it out. If you're not, check out their web address!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Author's fictional Cape full of mystery, murder

Author's fictional Cape full of mystery, murder - pressofAtlanticCity.com : Cape May County

Now this is a great story! I want to know more! I will try and follow up later with more information about this author with the Cape May home address...but for now, here is her Amazon page.

Salt Water Taffy

If you love Cape May, then you know all about Fralinger's and The Bogle Brothers' Original Fudge Kitchen.

For a little more history about salt water taffy and Cape May, you'll find an interesting history piece HERE.

Steger's Beach Huts

According to this blogger and artist, Steger's little beach huts are actually works of art, or at least worthy of an artist's blog. Who knew?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lady Mary Investigation Continues

I have followed the investigation of the Lady Mary sinking since the inception of this blog. Today, the Atlantic City Press has an in-depth look at both the sinking as it unfolded, the Coast Guard's immediate reaction, and the investigation that continues to this day. Newspapers do this kind of story better than anyone else, and I thank the editors and writers of the story for doing this work. I encourage you to read the whole article if you are interested in the reasons for both the sinking and the problems that arose in trying to save the crew members. One interesting nugget from the story:

The documents show the Coast Guard only got a couple of calls from other fishing vessels that day. One called at 3:16 p.m. to report that it heard a mayday call at about 5 a.m.

No reason was given for the 10-hour delay.

I hope the investigators get to the bottom of this sinking, and prosecute those responsible if criminal culpability exists.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Guess the Fish!

Over to the right I have a link to the Sunsetcam website which shows live streaming video looking at the Lighthouse. Another website called StriperCam links to that same live video feed, but also links to a live feed of the harbor, which can be seen HERE. This website, as opposed to the Sunsetcam site, focuses on fishing, and is hosted by the people behind the Miss Chris Fishing Center. Click HERE to learn a bit about the hostess of the site, Patti. The site has been around a long time, and on this site you can see some great photos of the Cove from years gone by, great photos of fishing scenes, and you can GUESS THE FISH in their long-running (at least 5 years) contest (after clicking the link you have to click another link on the left hand side of the pages which reads, "Guess Fish Contest List." Every month they post a picture of a fish (the photo above is this month's fish) and the winner wins a hat and is entered in a drawing to win a fishing rod. My son has participated in the contest many times, since he was young, and Patti always has responded kindly to his emails, telling him when he was wrong so that he could guess again. They also have a fishing-related discussion board.

This site has to be one of the longest-running Cape May-related websites on the web. Thanks to Patti and everyone else there who runs this great site.

Julie and Julia

This blogger tells us about her great meal at The Lobster House and about how much she loved the movie Julie and Julia. I have to agree with her on both scores. My wife and I saw Julie and Julia earlier this week and if you like food, or like to write and/or blog, you will love this movie. No, it's not Casablanca. But it is a fun, and funny, movie.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cruise Around Cape May

Ben Miller treats Cape May lovers to another small gift. You know, of course, about his NEW BOOK which you can buy HERE. Well, Ben has put up a great video of his family's dolphin cruise that you can watch below.

Thanks, Ben! And it looks like your book is going like gangbusters based on all the autograph sessions, etc. That's great news!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

here and there

cute blog entry: HERE.

evocative photo from last evening in Cape May HERE amd then the rest of the photographer's cape may vacation blog entries THERE.

Have a great day!

Cape May Blog's Time Machine A Work in Progress

May 27, 1894 New York Times

I have previously linked to a 19th Century NY Times article related to Cape May HERE. That was a story from 1873. Well, the article I have captured to the left is not quite so old -- it's from 1894. Although I hope that in the future I'll be able to display an article like that so that it is readable just by looking at the blog, I can't do that just yet (I've already spent too much time to get to this point!).

Instead, if you click the article itself it should open up/enlarge the picture of the article such that you can read it (scroll down to see the first column of the article on left side of the file, then scroll up to read the second column).

Alternatively, you could just CLICK THIS LINK and read it straight from the NY Times's archive.

One other alternative: I can summarize it for you. That alternative is no fun, I recommend you read it for yourself. But in sum, the article describes how in 1894 the City of Cape May had designs on winning New York visitors; in the past, local visitors (read: Philadelphians) were the norm. In reading the article, you can't help but be struck between the similarities - and differences - between yesteryear and today. By way of similarities, I offer up the story of President Benjamin Harrison's family Cape May home -- former President Harrison had the home for sale for a small sum of $8500 -- a full $2500 less than his family had put into the home. That significant potential economic loss reminds me of today's real estate debacle.

And as far as differences, I offer you this little nugget from the article: "these smooth, sandy, beaches are the same yesterday, to-day, and forever." Far be it for me to correct a long-since-deceased NY Times writer, however, the writer overshot the mark in suggesting that Cape May's sandy beaches would remain the same forever! As Exhibit One I would offer him recent photos of the dearly-departed Cove Beach!

In reality, the article is a joy to read for any Cape May reader, as it describes hotels still around, like Congress Hall, some not so long gone, like the Windsor, and some that I scarcely have heard of, like the Brexton Villa. And of course there are many hoteliers, and a former mayor, named in the article -- perhaps you'll know of one or two of them, they are all new to me. Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Theme of the Day: Painters in Cape May

Well, this is kind of neat. This morning I linked to a Cape May painter, and now this evening I discovered a new painting blog produced by a Rio Grande (NJ obviously) painter who focuses on Cape May -- Thomas Pohlig. Click on his name to go to his profile on his studio's website, and click HERE to check out his new blog. He already has three paintings posted, all for sale. Here is today's painting:

Thomas Pohlig's Cape May Sunset.

Mr. Pohlig has a number of wonderful Cape May-related paintings. Check out the
BEACH SCENES HERE and what he calls the CAPE SCENES HERE and check out all of his online galleries HERE.

Check out his website's STORE if you're inclined to purchase a painting.

Good luck to you, Mr. Pohlig!

Blog Posts Worth Your Time

Rutgers paleontologist Brian Switek, who I have featured before, has some great new Cape May nature photos on his blog. Look here, here, and here. Thanks, Brian, for the fantastic photos.

Look HERE to learn more about that beautiful Cape May dune painting I have posted above. To learn more about Karen Margulis, the artist, click HERE, and to see the rest of her paintings click HERE.

And lastly, here's another unrelated MILLER who loves Cape May. Look at that link for some new photos of old Cape May landmarks... have a great day! Wishing I was in Cape May....

Hot! Hot! Hot!

How you feeling? Well, it's late August at the Jersey Shore. How do you think it should feel? To quote Buster Poindexter: Hot! Hot! Hot!

But if it's hot, at least if you're in Cape May you can do the one thing those of us there cannot do: Hit the Ocean!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cape May Mosaic

Beautiful new Cape May photos at this link. Thank you, Penn State, for some beautiful photos (including the one above)...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cape May Baby Parade

I missed it this year... and in case you did too, HERE are some cute photos from this year's parade... and for last year's parade, which I did not miss, look HERE.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

National Lighthouse Day a Success

The Cape May County Herald has a very nice story and video online about yesterday's National Lighthouse Day celebration in Cape May Point. Thank you to Jack Fichter, one of the Herald's longtime reporters, for a very interesting story and video.

P.S. -- and if you still want more lighthouse news via video, look here....

P.P.S. and here's one more lighthouse photo for you, found on a professional photographer's photo blog. She took the photo on August 6, one day before Lighthouse Day, but close enough for our purposes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Godspeed to you, John Hughes

Earlier today I learned John Hughes passed away.

I have many memories of John Hughes' films. I am a child of the 1980s, after all. I vividly remember convincing my parents to let me see Pretty in Pink in one theater while they took in -- and my two younger brothers were forced to watch -- Out of Africa in another theater next door. I won the lottery that day, as far as I was concerned.

And I have many memories of the Beach Theatre. I can remember paying for one movie, and seeing two, more times than I can count (the statute of limitations has run, I'm pretty sure). I remember seeing About Last Nite when I was too young to see that movie. I remember crying at the end of La Bamba when the song Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny was played, and Ricky's brother yelled his name into the L.A. valley. I even remember waiting in line to see Empire Strikes Back at the Beach Theatre. I'm sure my memory plays tricks on me, but it seems like the line went all the way around the building. Cape May summers and the Beach Theatre were synonymous.

My love for Hughes' films, and my love for that essential Cape May landmark The Beach Theatre, came together one magical evening in the summer of 1986.

It doesn't seem that long ago. Fifteen, and not a care in the world. The lifeguard of a condominium pool on the east side of town, near the Christian Admiral. There was a girl -- Dawn (last names left out to protect the innocent)-- much older than me, at least two years, which is like a chasm when you're fifteen. Very pretty, very north Jersey (Nutley, to be exact). I cannot remember how it was we became friends, other than as the lifeguard I became friends with about every pretty girl who stayed with her parents at this condominium. Usually not more than friends, despite my hopes at the time!

Anyway, Dawn liked my friend James. Everyone liked my friend James. Particularly girls. I've never known -- and will never know -- a guy who could slay the ladies like he could. But Dawn also liked to have fun, and Jim... well, sometimes it seemed like he didn't know how to have fun. Ferris Bueller's Day Off had already been out a few weeks at this point, and I'm sure both Dawn and I had seen it at least once when Dawn asked me (not James) to go see it with her. She wanted to see it again for one reason -- she wanted to get up and dance in the theatre during the parade scene, when Bueller sang along to the Beatles' Twist & Shout.

I thought that was crazy. But I also thought Dawn was very pretty. And her beauty overcame my fear of embarassment. I think! I can vividly remember Dawn dancing in between the seats when the movie finally reached that wonderful scene. And I like to believe I got up and danced, too.

You have to be a pretty amazing filmmaker -- a pretty amazing person -- to cause two crazy teenagers to love a movie -- and love life -- so much that they get up and dance in a movie theater full of strangers.

Thank you for all the laughs and all the tears, Mr. Hughes. May you rest in peace.

Ghost Stories

(ghost photo borrowed from CapeMay.Com)

(I like this post so much I am bumping it back to the top)
Anyone familiar with Cape May knows ghosts have become a part of its lore. Frankly, I'm not much of a believer in ghosts. Moreover, since my time in Cape May pre-dates the serious commercialization of ghosts that has taken place over the last 15 years or so, I'm a skeptic of Cape May ghost stories specifically.

That being said, if you want to read a really funny, and really believable Cape May ghost story experienced recently, then I have the story for you. It's written by a mom who spent a weekend in Cape May with a girlfriend. Although she doesn't say what hotel she stayed in, I have a strong suspicion as to what hotel it is. Please DO NOT CLICK THROUGH TO HER BLOG POST IF YOU DON'T LIKE CURSE WORDS (including the big one). On the other hand, like I said, if you are an adult and you want to read something a bit spooky and VERY VERY FUNNY, then click on this link.

Thanks to the blogger DG for the great story! And lastly, if you have a guess as to what hotel she stayed in, leave your guess in the comments and I will ask her if she will reveal the hotel.

Cape May for sale?

Would that it were true, I'd buy the city. Instead, I point you to Ebay.com, where you'd be amazed at the items you can buy straight out of Cape May history. I can recall spending a great deal of time on ebay when it was new, and the web was fairly new, and being amazed by all the Cape May-related trinkets and doodads - postcards, photos, posters, books, etc. - that one could buy via ebay. I'm a sucker for pennants like this one, but if you like old photos check this out, or if you like old postcards look at that.

Head over to ebay.com and plug "Cape May" into the search box. You won't be disappointed.

Tomorrow is National Lighthouse Day!

Tomorrow is National Lighthouse Day, and you can read about the planned activities for Cape May's lighthouse HERE. From the article:

So you've been meaning to get to the Cape May Lighthouse but haven't been able to convince the kids to go?

Here's a great excuse to introduce the whole family to the 1859 structure, one of the oldest continually operating lighthouses in the country: celebrate National Lighthouse Day with a host of family-friendly activities from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7.

The best news? Admission to the activities is free; refreshments will be for sale.

Visit the grounds of the lighthouse, located at Cape May Point State Park on Lighthouse Avenue off of Sunset Boulevard, to enjoy hands-on activities for children like pirate-hat making, storytelling and demonstrations on boater safety and the importance of the Cape May Lighthouse by the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Meet Pete the Pirate, mascot of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, as well as current lighthouse keepers. Representatives from the Cape May County Zoo will be on hand with a few friendly animals.

Grownups will enjoy more than a dozen craft vendors exhibiting unique wares and one-of-a-kind handmade goods including nautical merchandise.

Thanks to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts (MAC), Cape May's leader in historic preservation, the lighthouse was restored to its original condition and re-opened to the public in 1988. Visitors can climb the historic beacon's 199 steps in a spiral staircase and take in unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May Point and surrounding areas from an enclosed deck.

"It's definitely something everybody has to do at least once," says Margo Harvey, MAC spokeswoman. "It's the best view in all of Cape May."

I agree with everything in the article except with the idea that climbing the lighthouse steps is something you need to do "at least once." I would say you need to climb the lighthouse steps EVERY TIME you come to Cape May! It's a tradition!

Neat Cape May Video

If I were to make a video of Cape May spots, many of the ones in this video would be part of the video. Thank you to the videographer, wherever you are...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mixed Multimedia Day on the Cape May Blog

In keeping with the spirit of my first video posting, please check out THIS LINK for a great Cape May slideshow from the New York Times. Although it begins with some birdwatching shots, there are many nice photos of Cape May landmarks, and other surprises (like the photo above -- a shot that is such a landmark in Cape May yet I doubt it is photographed often)...

First Video: Inn of Cape May

Since my first memories of Cape May are from the Colonial Hotel (see post immediately below this one), I suppose it's only natural that I would post this video of the latter day Colonial -- now the Inn of Cape May -- as my first experiment with embedding video. Hopefully you will see below a video of The Inn as it pretty much currently appears. It is a piece of living history.



I previously mentioned my Mother's passing last month (7/1/09). At the time, I suggested I would share some photos of her in Cape May from years past. Here she is with me (to her left) and my younger brother Matt (to her right) circa 1978 I think. We are sitting in The Colonial Hotel's dining room, which some of you remember used to be the height of gentility! The restaurant is still quite nice at the Inn of Cape May but it cannot compare to what it was then. And wow did we used to get sunburned back in the days before sun protection...


In this photo, we are again at the Colonial, however, I suspect this is an earlier photo, either 1976 or '77; regardless, my seriously pale skin demonstrates there wasn't much sun on that trip! Perhaps it's 76 -- we were there for the hurricane that summer, and I believe we evacuated to Lower Cape May Regional H.S. for one night. In this photo, we are sitting at the pool, in the background you can make out the intersection of Beach and Ocean Drives, and the white fence around the Colonial grounds.

Perhaps you remember how back in the day at the Colonial, families would race outside before breakfast to put their towels on the lounge chairs they intended to claim for the day. This was a major issue each morning, making sure you got enough poolside chairs for after breakfast. Of course, the beach in front of the Colonial at that point was nothing more than a sliver, long before the Army Corp of Engineers started replenishing the shoreline. So many people went to the pool more than the beach it seemed to me anyway. I assume I'm giving a Fonzie thumbs down there, and again it's me, Matt, and my Mom. No little brother Michael yet -- thus it has to be a year or two before he was born. I am so white it looks like I was locked up in the basement for a month before the photo was taken.

Man was my Ma a pretty lady... and so young.

I miss you, Mom.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Paleontologist Blogger in Cape May

"Laelaps" is the blog of a paleontologist at Rutgers in North Jersey; you can see the blogger's bio HERE. Of course, this would not bear mentioning here unless the paleontologist was a fan of Cape May-- of course he is! Here are a few of his Cape May photos and links: one, two, three, four; and five.

The third post is where the above Cape May Point sunrise photo comes from. Although it is the Cape May postings which drew my attention, Mr. Switek's blog looks interesting even without the Cape May connection. Thank you, Mr. Switek!

For the really obsessive...

I've located a few other Cape May blogs that you may like, if you like reading this blog. First, check out this site, which apparently is not at all unlike mine. The blogger is such a big Cape May fan she started a blog, and her spouse thinks it makes her a bit daft. Believe me lady, I know what you mean! The sandpipers photo above is from her blog, and she has many nice photos on her blog that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Mother Brown's Cape May House is a site run by the family of a Cape May homeowner who apparently rents her home during the season. I recommend the blog for its many beautiful scenes.

One day, I will exhaust all the Cape May-related blogs/sites. But until then, I keep searching them out and bringing the sites to you.....

Monday, August 3, 2009

CapeMay.Com does it again

The best website on the 'net for Cape May news is CapeMay.Com. A few days ago they posted this great explanation for the disappearance of the Cove Beach, which I have previously reported on HERE AND HERE. I also recommend visiting that site and filling out their annual Best of Cape May survey right here. The graphic above comes from that survey page. Susan Tischler deserves many, many kudos for all she has done to make CapeMay Magazine, and CapeMay.Com, the best Cape May snail mail and web publications around.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Another of the beautiful landmarks in Cape May is this tree-lined path just off Congress Street/Windsor Ave., if I recall. This photo "borrowed" from the contrarian consultant's site, which I've mentioned a few times over the last week. Check out his blog!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Angel of the Sea

The Angel of the Sea is perhaps the most beautiful bed and breakfast in Cape May; once located across the street from the Inn of Cape May, it is now located towards the north east end of town close to where you once could find the Christian Admiral. Even if you can't stay there, I recommend the free tour of the home that they offer. I'm not even a big tour guy yet that tour is worth it. Also, if you are looking for another Cape May-related blog, they offer a good one at The Angel of the Sea Blog. Check it out.