Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ob Portu

I have shared some of Pastor Rudy's sermons previously. Rudy Sheptock of the Lighthouse Church in Cape May Courthouse has inspired this Catholic boy more than once in my life. This is my favorite Pastor Rudy sermon, I hope it inspires you like it has inspired me:

By Pastor Rudy

I've got a story that wonderfully relates to those of us who live by the sea. It is rooted in the phrase "seize the opportunity." Hundreds of years ago, when almost everybody made their homes along the coast so that they could be near the ocean, the word "opportunity" was coined.

It came from the time when ships needed to wait until the tide was in before they could head out to sea, otherwise they would have surely run aground. In the Latin language, the word "ob portu" described that perfect moment when time and tide converged for a ship to get underway.

I believe into every person's life, some God-ordained "ob portu's" come our way. These are those moments when an urgent life-challenging yet changing need comes rushing like the incoming tide right at us and we know that our name was written upon its calling. We know that it is time to run to it and not away from it. These are those instances where legacies are made or broken. And while there are many unanswered questions, all we do know is that there is no denying that an assignment is somehow converging with our ability and God is inviting us to come away from the safety of our cocoon so that we could embark out upon the open sea into an experience that has history making consequences.

But some of you may be asking, "Isn't sailing in such crazy stormy times dangerous?" Actually- sailing vessels have a much better shot at survival out in the midst of the open waters during a storm rather than caught "hugging a harbor" as author Leonard Sweet likes to say.

For boats, the shore is the most dangerous place to be in inclement seasons because all they become is battering rams to nature's fury! And not to mention, there is no story to tell afterwards of how you not only survived the "perfect storm," but you became a better person because of it.

I just sense that in the chaotic days that may be on our entire horizons, God may be bringing a tide in for us, to get us out of our comfort zones so that we may head out into the open seas with no other agenda other than using this life to make a difference. You can almost hear the Creator singing to us the old Styx song, "Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me."

The pessimist may be complaining about the wild winds, but a believer must be asking how is this wind going to be used to propel me to where I need to be? I believe that "ob portu's" are God's open doors to another journey that we were created to be a participant of. It is time to lift anchor and sail out beyond the "kiddie" pool sections of our lives and head out into the deep where it is more of a "sure" thing than a "shore" cling.

Right now, in the juke box in my mind, I am playing all the wonderful songs that have been written about sailing. I want you to see how many you recognize. Lyrics like, "Somewhere, beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for..." "Sailing, takes me away to where I always heard it could be..." "Haul the sheet in as we ride on the wind, that our forefathers harnessed before us, hear the bells ring, as the tight rigging sings, its a son of a gun of a chorus..."

"To sail on a dream of a crystal clear ocean, to ride on the crest of a wild raging storm..." And courtesy of my buddy Bayside Tom, a tune by Rod Stewart that sounds like a prayer called "I am Sailing." Some of the lyrics go like this, "We are sailing, we are sailing, home again across the sea. We are sailing stormy waters, to be near you, to be free. Oh Lord, to be near you, to be free..." Maybe we are at our freest, when we give up our control and allow ourselves to sail via a course that we might have never even considered or dreamed of.

I close with some inspiration from a man named A.B. Simpson. He once challenged his flock with words that almost sounded more like a sea captain than a preacher. He shared that when worry and anxiousness tries to tie your soul into knots and it causes you to be petrified to go out any deeper than you already are, that's the time to wait for the tide to come in so you can sail out and launch out into the deep and let the shore line go.

Launch out into God's ocean of divine love and providence because that is where the full tides flow. It is time to be on board and lose touch with the stuff that weighs you down and keeps you landlocked when you should be hanging ten. It is no time to be seasick, but it is the moment to give up harbor hugging and grab your next "ob portu" to come sail away, not alone, but with me.

Thanks, Pastor Rudy.

Brightening a rainy, gray day in Cape May

Brief little story about things to do when int rains: Brightening a rainy, gray day in Cape May - pressofAtlanticCity.com

Friday, July 30, 2010

Icon of Cape May

Brit Mike Crewe's* Birding and Wildlife Blog rarely disappoints. I checked in on his blog recently, and found a number of great posts, including this in-depth look at Cape May's laughing gulls. That's one of Mike's many photos to the right. If you find the gulls as fascinating as I do - the icon of southern New Jersey as Mike calls them -- then you'll want to check out Mike's post. To see more of his posts that I have featured, click his tag below.

And for something mostly different, a photographer took her kids to the Point the other day, and she shares some great photos. The first few photos are family, but at the end she shares some great sunset and beach photos. That's one of them to the left.

Have a great weekend. If you're going to Cape May, please share some photos from your trip!

*incorrect link fixed.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wilbraham Mansion

Once again, time to get to work. Here's a few photos of the Wilbraham for you, another special place in West Cape May...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jack Wright's Thoughts on Convention Hall

I looked forward to Jack Wright's thoughts on Convention Hall this week and he does not disappoint. He makes a very strong case for the bigger Hall and explains what happens next:

The people of Cape May voted by a majority of around two to one for the larger hall in a referendum in November, 2008. And it looks like the people are going to get a chance to either underline that decision, or to show that the mood of the town has changed.
Just as the group which was campaigning for the smaller building threatened a referendum if the vote didn’t go its way, the other side has hired an attorney and is proceeding to compile a petition in order to put the referendum on the ballot this November.

Some of you may read this with a very heavy heart – not ANOTHER delay!
It’s a fair point. And yet… this is the most important decision the city has had to make in decades. This new building will be a vital part – most likely THE most vital part – of the city’s tourism infrastructure of the future.

I find it remarkable to learn that in 2008 the city voted for the larger Hall. I simply did not know that, and I wonder why the proponents of the bigger Hall did not emphasize that in the last few months. That fact needs to be emphasized more in the coming days, as it stands in sharp contrast to the vote that led to the three new city council opponents to the bigger Hall.

And meanwhile, if you want to learn more about what was said at yesterday's city council meeting about the scaled-down plans, read Jack Fichter's article right here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Care to Guess the Restaurant?

Now THIS is a funny-as-he11 blog. The writer is a waitress at an unnamed Cape May restaurant, but I'm pretty sure I know which one it is (piano greets you on the porch veranda..., servers wear white and black...)... The waitress rants about the patrons and is very, very funny. Waitressing Woes: A Server's Rant is worth reading for a really good laugh, here's an example:

I never cease to be amazed by what gets our clientele all riled up.

Last night, a man flipped out on his server (not me), the hostess, and the dining room manager because the table of four next to him wore t-shirts to dinner. “Where have your standards gone?” he yelled, “This is atrocious and I’ll never be back.” Finally, Sandy, a mild-mannered cocktail waitress from New Orleans, couldn’t take listening to his rant any longer.

“These are hard economic times,” she said. “We’re not really in a position to turn anyone away.”

“That,” he said, pointing a bulbous finger in Sandy’s face, “is irrelevant to me. “ The man’s tie looked almost comical on top of his giant, protruding belly. His face was an explosive kind of red. He spit when he spoke. The sight of him made me cringe.

Sandy didn’t so much as flinch. She simply raised a hand to lower the finger in her face and said, pan-faced and steely eyed, “There’s a war going on in Iraq, there’s a catastrophic amount of oil spilling into the Gulf, women still make seventy cents to a man’s dollar, and, every four seconds, a child dies of starvation. And you are worked up about t-shirts at dinner. Shame on you.”

Other clients applauded.

Amen, Sandy.

Anyone else want to guess at the restaurant? I'd put up a photo but not til I'm sure. And the blog posts get funnier, this one is just an example.

anyone seen a convention hall around here? is it here? is it there?

The Shore News Today reports that there's a City Council meeting today (Tuesday) at 1pm at 643 Washington Street to address how to move forward with the scaled-down Convention Hall. Meanwhile, Jack Fichter digs into the possible "new" plans in his latest article. Frankly, those all sound like pretty good plans, some better than others. But I have a feeling that those who want the 13.6 mill C-H are not done fighting just yet. And I don't blame them.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Even in a photo you can tell the sand is HOT

photo courtesy Kecia/Lemoncholy (see below)

Kecia, proprietor of the Lemoncholy's Flights of Fancy blog, shares some very cooly-enhanced photos from Cape May this weekend right HERE. The above photo is one of them, but there are several more worth checking out.

And the Jersey Shore Journal has a nice restaurant review of Fresco's on Bank Street right Here.

And since Monday is sign day, a big thanks to the Journal for this photo of the Fresco's sign:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

News news news

It's Saturday but it doesn't mean that the news stops. Jack Fichter of the Herald tells us about the 3.5 hour zoning meeting this past Thursday to review the potential demolition of the Beach Theatre .

And in the AC Press, we learn that city voters will vote regarding parking meters in the east, and whether to have angled parking on the beachfront.

Finally, the Press also has a story about what happens next with Convention Hall. Many questions to be answered, like will there still be a kitchen (that seems like a no-brainer), and is there no longer a need to reconfigure the promenade if the building simply uses the current footprint.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The New Look

Hope you like the new look. I will continue to try and spruce up the blog, with new links and stuff. I love the boardwalk in the morning, and hope this new title photo reminds you of good times. The corner of Jackson and Beach -- doesn't get much better than that. Overall, I think the new look is a step up.

Before I started posting my own photos over the last month or so, I regularly linked to other photographers and their photos of Cape May. Well, Rachel Hulin has some amazingly cool photos that she took with or for Exit Zero, if I understand her right. Check out her photos by clicking HERE. Here's one gorgeous example of her work:

photo taken by rachel hulin

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Young and the ConventionHall-Less

For how long will the City leaders leave the current C-H sitting on the boardwalk, depressing everyone?

Comments about the decision on Tuesday night to shoot down the new bond issue -- look here and/or here for some comments -- suggest to me that the issue is not really over just yet. According to solicitor Tony Monzo, a citizen initiative process could still take place if enough individuals ask for it, which would allow for a vote in November. And I would not be surprised if that is what occurs.

(Now for a barely-related tangent.)
By the way, I love the commenter at the Herald who says (in response to the failed effort of a few decades ago to turn Cape May into 'little Wildwood'): "Its a shame they didnt [sic] get there [sic] way, it would give the kids something to do instead of wandering around aimlessly cursing, drinking and being un-ruly [sic], and giving the so called promenade a black eye."

Yes indeed, because we all know that in Wildwood the kids on the boardwalk do not wander, aimlessly curse, drink, and act unruly. Don't get me wrong, I love Wildwood in small doses, it's part of our annual trip to the Shore, no doubt. But to suggest that CM should have become a little Wildwood 'for the kids' -- egads.
(tangent over.)

I also found it surprising in these comments to see that Mrs. Skinner is apparently opposed to the new Convention Hall. If that is the case, I have to say that seems inconsistent with her usual perspective.

Ok, it's off to work I go... here's the house photo of the day for Thursday...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday and on the run!

Nice blog entry about Cape May's architecture (with photos!) HERE... and NJ Monthly tells us a little bit of this and a little of that right THERE. Will try to write more later but for now -- duty calls!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ben Miller on The Windsor

Thanks to Ben Miller for the great article about The Windsor Hotel which you can read HERE. Ben, a commenter to your story appears to suggest -- or imply -- that despite the lack of insurance, the owner of the hotel benefited due to the fire b/c it allowed the property be sold unencumbered. What do you think of that theory?

It's Summertime Summertime Sum-Sum-Summertime

Monday is Sign Day; do you know where this sign is?

Margaret Montet, a freelance writer in Cape May, has a nice WWII Tower write-up right here. Margaret really brings unique insight to Cape May living, and I've featured her great blog many times.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It's a Shore Thing

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

If you initially see just a black box, give it a sec' and it should turn into a Philly tv news video on Cape May.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

News Updates on a Friday Afternoon

The AC Press lets us know that the fish kill in Lake Lily is over:
Read about that here and The Herald lets us know about more sturm and drang regarding the mythical future Convention Hall:

CAPE MAY — While the Taxpayers Association of Cape May is in favor of the city building a convention hall as soon as possible, it is questioning the size of the proposed hall, its financing, the operating cost, projected revenue and the pace of the project.

In a press release, the Taxpayers Association noted the voters of Cape May approved $10.5 million in bonding for the hall.

“Since February, city officials have known that figure to be insufficient to build the hall as presented prior to the referendum. After two rounds of bidding, all far above what was promised in February by a panel of officials, consultants and experts, we learned in June from that same panel of officials, consultants and experts that it will take minimum of another $3 million and change just to get it started,” said the release.
It notes a study by Johnson Consultants projected a cost of a like facility to be between $16 million and $21 million.

“Council needs to be reminded that the voters signed a $10.5 million check– not a blank check,” said the association.
“Shortly after the passage of the referendum, city officials retained a consultant – Temple University in Philadelphia - to prepare a business plan for the use of the hall to include what events the hall would be used for, how much revenue we can expect, and how much the operating costs would be,” it continued.

“To date, no such plan has been presented, although some sketchy details were discussed in a cursory manner at this past “informational forum” conducted city officials in June. A consultant suggested that full use of the building for 85% of the year would generate about $550,000:
•$135,000 for community recreation and Leisure use
•$17,250 for all MAC and Jazz Fest Activities, fairs and exhibits
•$215,000 for private rentals
•$188,000 for commercial space leases,” noted the press release.

“As to the operating cost, another consultant offered only one item, an estimated annual energy cost that far exceeded all of the revenue reported above. City officials may well know the details of this “Business Plan’ but have been unwilling or unable to share them with the public to this point,” said the Taxpayers Association.
“We’re all annoyed that it’s taking so long, our business are feeling the loss of revenue, our residents are tired of wondering what’s taking so long and we’re all tired of the jokes and snide comments about the “Eyesore on the Shore,” said the association.

The Taxpayers Association statement notes: “There is even now at this late date, simply too much that too many do not know about the project. After all this time, we are still being asked to act in haste.”

Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the $3.1 million additional bond ordinance Tue, July 20 at 7 p.m.

In other news, a committee has been assembled by a group of residents to gather signatures on a petition to require the city to hold a voter referendum on the $3.1 million bond ordinance in the November general election.

Getaway Friday

I couldn't help but click a blog called Airstream Hobo and I'm glad I did. Only an Airstream Hobo has a photo of a birdhouse Airstream:

The Airstream Hobo is from P.A. and made it to Cape May yesterday. She calls the post "A Great Day in America," which suggests to me she had the kind of time in Cape May that brings us all back year after year. She went to the Lobster House, the Zoo, Sunset Beach -- you can tell from these photos that they were all over the peninsula.

I'm jealous of such a great trip!

All of these photos our from the Airstream Hobo's blog and Picasa page, which I recommend you check out!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thursday is House Day

So in trying to create 'theme' days, I think I said that I would make Thursdays a day where I feature a photo of a Cape May-area home. I think all would agree that the Cherry House is a good place to start.

The Cherry House helps contribute to the beauty of Hughes Street, in my opinion. I very much appreciate the owners putting up a sign to tell all about the home's history, as that makes it all the more special.

I think 'Thursday house-photo day' this may become my favorite of the theme days.

In other news...

A nice little blog featurette on Cape May HERE. And some stats on Cape May visitors if you look at this Herald article.

It's almost Friday!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sunrise/Set of the Week

Continuing the new photo feature of the day idea, hopefully you like this sunset from earlier this summer over the Bay at the Point.

In bummer news, fish are dying at Lake Lily. Read about it HERE.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A B-and-Ber's Perfect Day

Very nice day in the life story of the John F. Craig House owner HERE... and a nice newbie's story here.

No Longer Almost There - Now She is There

I featured Barbara 'Bobbie' Petrucelli's Almost-There Blog a few months ago, and I know I had looked at it many times before. There was -- and is -- something peaceful, and comforting about the blog. Apparently the blog proprietor was a pretty special lady who is no longer 'almost there,' as her daughter noted -- she's now home in Heaven. To read a wonderful tribute to a mother from a daughter, click this link. And to read a very nice feature in the AC Press about Bobbie, click this story: A Life Lived: Lower Township nature lover and autism activist kept causes alive through her blog - pressofAtlanticCity.com

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Sign of the New Week

I intend to revamp the look of the site but life keeps getting in the way. So, in a nod to my presently-delayed intent, I will start the slow roll-out of the new look with a new 'photo of the day' feature. Each day of the week I will try to have a consistent photo, e.g., a Cape May 'sign' on Monday, a nature photo on Tuesday, a sunrise or sunset on Wednesday, a house on Thursday, etc....

So, the first Cape May 'sign' is above. We'll see how this goes. Sometimes I get a little too over-the-top even for me.

Not much on the news front today. For a cute story about a newbie's visit to Cape May, read THIS.

Have a good work week! Wish we were in Cape May!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Don't Look Back

art show on a rainy day - AC Press

The Promenade Art Show, a fun event every summer, featured with a nice story HERE. And the AC Press also lets us know that business was up this past Fourth of July weekend.

And lastly, a nice blog post for a peaceful Sunday about why so many of us bring our children to Cape May each year...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Wooden Rabbit and Convention Hall

I love The Wooden Rabbit on Howard Street. So many houses say "This is Cape May" to me, and this is one of them (The Abbey is another).

In news today,
On Friday, the new City Council introduced a new bond ordinance to allow for the extra money for the new Convention Hall... interesting... let's hope decisions continue to be made quickly!

Friday, July 9, 2010

City schedules Friday meeting on Convention Hall

Big Meeting on Convention Hall Today - Friday. Click this link to read about it in the Press. Strive to approve a Hall to be proud of -- it's time (again) to do right by this beautiful town.

And in other news, read a nice story about the owner of Key West Tacos in West Cape May HERE.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Facebook Thing

I don't have much use for Facebook, but I must admit that CapeMay.Com's Facebook page is the exception to my general rule of Facebook avoidance. First of all, it appears to be publicly accessible regardless of whether you have a Facebook account. That's good. Second, the editors have really included a great deal of fun stuff on Facebook, and they update it regularly. There are Mystery Questions on Tuesday (for example, this past week they posted a curious photo of legs, and your job was to say where the legs were standing -- Hot Dog Tommy's), and they post videos from around town each week as well, on Wednesdays.

So, despite my grouchiness regarding Facebook generally, I will give a thumbs up to CapeMay.Com's Facebook page. Check it out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The Geator with the Heater usually starts his summer shows with Martha & The Vandellas singing Heat Wave, which seems most appropriate today, so I'm embedding the song down below. And by the way, the Geator's Thursday night shows at Lighthouse Point in Wildwood are being simulcast on 94.3 Wibbage from 8 to midnight, so if you like the Geator's show, check it out by clicking the Wibbage link and then hitting 'listen live.'

In Cape May-related news, I have linked to the Cape May Naturalist here and there in the past. Well, after a hiatus, he is posting again, and you can read his new posts here and here.

Now, try to stay cool, and enjoy one of the great oldies of all time!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gonna be HOT!

da beach...oww, that sand is hot!
I understand it's pretty HOT in Cape May this week. If you head to the beach, put on your sun screen! For upcoming events in CM, click Susan Tischler's weekly column here. And to cool off, head over to...


Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Weekend Comes to a Close

With the Fourth of July weekend coming to an end, I thought I should feature a second flag ceremony that doesn't get as much attention as the Cape May Point flag ceremony. Each night the Kiwanis Club puts on its own flag ceremony, complete with music, at Cove Beach -- the end of the boardwalk. This year two of my children were lucky enough to participate in the ceremony, and both received a certificate at the end of the ceremony. The volunteers who put on the program each night pick a few children out of the crowd to participate before the event begins. Like the ceremony at the Point, you can't help but well up with pride during the ceremony, as each night veterans are asked to raise their hand so the rest of us can show them our gratitude for their sacrifice. It may be a bit of a walk from the arcade to the end of the boardwalk, but if you have children I highly recommend making the walk so as to have them participate or at least see this event. Very, very special and memorable.

And since it's the 4th, I thought I could go up the coast a little bit to feature one of the Jersey Shore's own, Bruce Springsteen, as he serenades Sandy on on the 4th of July, in Asbury Park, many... and I mean many ... years ago. Here 'tis:

Enjoy the last day of what I hope is a long holiday weekend for you... and thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Fourth of July

Thank you to all the veterans who protect the Fourth of July, and the rest of our 364 days, here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. And thank you to CBS News for this great story about a very special Cape May Point tradition that is most appropriate to watch today:

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday in the Park, I think it was the Third of July

Cape May, Fourth of July Picture Puzzle

This and that on a great American holiday weekend...

Nice little History of the Washington Street Mall here.

And DelawareOnline has a great gardening in Cape May column you can read if you click this hyperlink.

Ecotourism is booming in Cape May, read about it in the Philly Inquirer.

Ben Miller, one of my favorite Cape May authors, is featured on the Travel Channel this weekend. Read about Ben, a guy who deserves his success, right here.

And finally, if you like that Cape May on the Fourth of July picture above, it's for sale on Amazon here. The internet is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Convention Hall tops priorities for new Cape May City Council members - pressofAtlanticCity.com

Convention Hall tops priorities for new Cape May City Council members - pressofAtlanticCity.com

Good luck to the new council members! We are counting on you...

The Admiral Never Far From Cape May Thoughts

If this CapeMay.Com article about the Christian Admiral doesn't bring tears to your eyes, then I suspect you never spent any time in that magnificent hotel.

Every time I visit Cape May, I look up at the corner of Pittsburgh and New Jersey and cannot believe I see -- nothing. In my mind's eye I see a ghostly visage of the hotel that was there, the hotel I could see when my family drove over the bridge onto the island at Exit Zero. As the author of the CapeMay.Com article writes:

The blue sky seemed to be a gaping hole, a rip where a solid surface had been. It was a shock to look up and see – nothing.

This is as true now as it was when they knocked her down.

For other memories of the Admiral, click here, here, here, and here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Old and New Convention Halls

Certainly the saddest aspect of my recent visit to Cape May was the boardwalk and the many closed shops, including the old Convention Hall. Convention Hall -- pictured above -- currently looks horrible. It is rundown, there is dirty red-white-and-blue bunting hanging on it, and of course the marquee is gone. The absence of the marquee leaves a label scar where it used to be, as you can see above. The current look of Convention Hall is worthy of Asbury Park in the 1970s perhaps, but not Cape May as the summer begins in 2010.

While I visited town there was a big meeting about the plans for the new convention hall, which I wrote about HERE. In short, mistakes made during the planning stage requires three million dollars more than the original approved bond issue allowed. My gut reaction was to say the city leaders should tighten their belt and get it done for the original bond issue amount, rather than ask the city for more money.

I must concede, however, that Jack Wright of Exit Zero Magazine does an excellent job of explaining why we should support the new plans, and new bond issue, in the latest issue of Exit Zero -- you can read his opinion piece HERE. I think his opinion is a bit unexpected -- at least from me, as a regular reader of his -- and that makes his opinion even more valuable than usual. Jack writes about the presentation at the meeting:

I wish that every resident of this city had seen it. If they had, I think a large majority of them would feel as I did after the show was over… the ONLY way to proceed is with the design that voters approved of, by a two-to-one majority in November of 2008. And I say this despite the fact that the price of the construction jumped from the original estimate of $10.5 million to at least $13.6 million (the lowest bid on the table right now).


I’m not going to dwell on the process that led us to this point. All I will say is that I think the city council put the cart before the horse by commissioning the architect, Kimmel-Bogrette, to design such a building without first getting an indication from the state as to whether or not they would even consider allowing the city to build on the beach. In so doing, I believe the city delayed this project since they had to go back to the architect after the DEP turned down their plan and ask for a new design, one that conformed to the state’s requirements.

But that’s done now. And the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is this – Cape May needs a convention hall as soon as possible.

Not everyone loves the new curved promenade that is planned for the front of the new building – but I do. Some say the planned building is too big for Cape May. I don’t agree.

I believe the center as planned would be a shot in the arm for the twice-annual Cape May Jazz Festival, which has suffered at the hands of the recession but which could attract even bigger names than it already does to such a fantastic new venue. Some people point to the fact that the old convention hall only sold out once in its 47-year lifespan. That may or not be true, but I can’t say I’m shocked. It had the charm, the facilities, and the acoustics of an oversized cow shed. Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but it was the kind of place where mediocre wedding bands would feel right at home.

It wasn’t a convention hall, unlike its 1917 predecessor, it was more of a community center and many happy memories were made there, to be sure. But it wasn’t a performance venue that could attract world-class performers. The new center would.

Imagine how the Cape May Music Festival would be served by such a venue.

Imagine how the Cape May Film Festival could spread its wings with such a venue.

Imagine how the new Cape May Forum (more, much more on that in an upcoming issue) could grow with such a venue.

Imagine how the antiques and arts and crafts fairs could benefit from such a venue.

Imagine the number of weddings and small conventions that would be attracted to such a venue, bringing in many hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local community, as well as into the city coffers, along with rent revenue from the three planned stores and restaurant (and what a pretty cool restaurant space it would be).


Whatever your views are on the new hall, it’s really, really, really difficult to oppose it on financial grounds. If you are a Cape May taxpayer and you are not willing to spend around $60 a year on such a wonderful addition to the infrastructure of this town then I don’t even know what to say to you.

Jack paints an excellent picture. Somebody taught him how to write persuasively, that is for sure.

Whatever the City does, it better do it soon. And after reading Jack's column, I believe that moving forward with the $13.6 mill plan is the correct plan. Please get that new bond issue decided on soon. This regular spender of too-much-money in Cape May (just ask my wife) wants a new Convention Hall to spend that too-much-money in, certainly no later than next summer.