Monday, February 28, 2011

Why do I do this?

If you want to know why I blog about Cape May each day, it's because I love finding blog posts like this: PEACES OF LILLY: Cape May . Lilly posts photo after photo of Cape May, and it appears these are recent photos. Regardless, there are just so many good photos, like the ones above and below which are just three among many more -- it does an old man's heart well to be reminded of so many perfect places in that most beautiful town in the world.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Boat on the Beach

Photographer Donald Stevenson has a nice photoblog right here, and you can click that link to see the photo above, as well as at least one or two others of Cape May and other neat scenes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Older Moviegoers Could Spur Revitalized Beach Theatre

Unfortunately, the tide seems to be running in favor of the
property owner. That being said, this article in the NY Times suggests that a renewed Beach Theatre could make a comeback if run correctly.

From the article:

Hollywood, slower than almost any other industry to market to baby boomers, may be getting a glimpse of its graying future. While the percentage of moviegoers in the older population remains relatively small, the actual number of older moviegoers is growing explosively — up 67 percent since 1995, according to GfK MRI, a media research firm.

And the first of the 78 million baby boomers are hitting retirement age with some leisure hours to fill and a long-dormant love affair with movies.

“There is an older audience that is growing, and it’s an underserved audience, which makes for an obvious and important opportunity,” said Nancy Utley, co-president of Fox Searchlight, whose “Black Swan” has sold over $100 million at the North American box office. If the core audience for a particular film is over 50, she noted, “that’s now a gigantic core.”

There are glimmers of a shift. Aging action stars; theaters with adult fare, like better food; reserved seating; and, most important, movies like “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech” that have become hits based on wit and storytelling, not special effects.

Cape May's tourist population runs the gamut, but I suspect the over-50 crowd's money comprises a large percentage of the annual tourist dollars brought in by the city's businesses. If the over-50 crowd will go to the movies if the right movies are shown, then perhaps that is the key to a re-born Beach Theatre.

[b/w Theatre photo courtesy CapeMay.Com.]

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Wetlands Institute

The Wetlands Institute
in Stone Harbor provides
a wonderful opportunity
to see and experience
'natural' New Jersey.
Here's a little history
about this Southern
New Jersey treasure:

Founded in 1969 by Herbert Mills, Executive Director of the World Wildlife Fund, the Wetlands Institute is a not-for-profit organization promoting appreciation of wetlands and coastal ecosystems.

Located in Middle Township near Stone Harbor and historic Cape May, the Wetlands Institute is uniquely housed in a cedar shake building designed to resemble a turn-of-the-century coast guard station.

Situated overlooking 6,000 acres of pristine coastal wetlands, the Institute hosts over 40,000 visitors each year. Here, visitors can learn the exciting facts about life in the salt marsh environment. Througout the year, many species of birds can be seen from our viewing areas.

The Wetlands Institute provides any number of great activities for its visitors. These include the Tidepool Museum Shop, Summer Nature Classes, Crabulous Crab Days, a great setting for birthday parties and weddings, and much, much more. They even have the original Cape May County Salt Marsh Safari, which cruises the Hereford Inlet.

So check out
the Wetlands Institute
at 1075 Stone Harbor Blvd
in Stone Harbor~Middle Township, why don't you!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sailing up and down the East Coast

Mid-Atlantic Musings is a boater's blog on traveling up and down the coast visiting seafaring towns like Cape May; you can read about this sailor's recent visit to Cape May right here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

School Day in Cape May

photo courtesy Cape May Times

Schools in Cape May County are closed today; you can see the snow that caused the closings at this link for at least a little while.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Salt Marsh Safari

I like to feature different Cape May activities,
but some time I'm a bit too parochial. Here's
an activity outside my wheelhouse that looks like
fun. WWW.Skimmer.Com is
the home of the one and only Cape May Salt Marsh Safari.
Here's a nice description of the Salt Marsh
Safari from the proprietors:

We are the premier wildlife boat tour in Cape May. Our tours explore the coastal salt marsh. Itinerary includes natural history, fish, crustaceans, shellfish, marine mammals, plant life, tidal flows, and bird life. Tours remain on placid inland waters. Your fare promotes a non-consumptive use of our environment.

Explore the Cape May Coastal Wetlands Wildlife Management Area aboard the 40' SKIMMER. Tour one of N.J.'s densest populations of nesting Ospreys. Nearly a dozen nests are visible at once! The SKIMMER routinely visits these spectacular natural areas.

The striking Black Skimmer is proof that the most exotic wildlife lives right here in New Jersey. See the world's largest colony of Laughing Gulls. Visit a heron rookery. Cruises offer an up close look at salt marsh ecology.

During the summer they offer a Crabbing 101 class, as well as Marine Life Discovery Cruises.

Finally, there are videos and slide shows on their website to learn more about what they offer, including this great slideshow of all the nature you will encounter on one of their cruises.

And hopefully it goes without saying by now, but I feature businesses like this one because they look like they offer a good time... no gratuities for the humble blogger were exchanged.

So go check out the Cape May Salt Marsh Safari why don't you, or at least put it on your To Do List for this summer!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Original Blue Pig

The Original Blue Pig is a home for rent in the heart of Cape May that was the original 1800s tavern from which Congress Hall's Blue Pig took its name. Here is a brief description of the original:

This was the original Blue Pig Tavern, back in the 1800's. Now, this historic property is a bright, airy summer house, just two blocks from the beach. Leave the big French doors open and let the sea breezes waft through the house morning and evening. Catch up on your vacation reading while you rock your stress away on the the old fashioned, wrap around front porch.

Plan your day in the big country kitchen, then walk just about everywhere from here. The quiet, tree lined steet is close to shops and restaurants as well as the ocean, and there's private parking.

And here is a photo of the home, which sits at 15 North Street:

And why am I featuring the Blue Pig? Stay Tuned!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Copper Fish in the AC Press

Copper Fish Chef Geoffrey Johnson, photo courtesy AC Press

Always nice when the locals get a press shout-out. The AC Press has a nice feature about Geoffrey Johnson, the chef at Copper Fish Restaurant on Broadway. Here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

The menu at the Copper Fish is filled with fresh, seasonal local fare as well as interesting specials the self-taught chef is constantly adding to the menu.
"I like to introduce new things to our customers that they may or may not have ever had or have forgotten about, like blowfish tails," Johnson says.
The chef added them to the Copper Fish menu last summer, and they were an instant hit. Johnson could not keep enough of them on hand to satisfy customers once the servers mentioned them tableside to an older clientele that remembered eating them as children.
"I like to bring in exotic foodstuffs and make them a signature dish," Johnson says.


Johnson is working on a set menu for the spring that also will give him free reign to offer creative specials every day. During summer, when diners seem to crave seafood, he brings in different kinds of fish from all over the world. His menu also serves up a full helping of locally caught favorites.
Scallops and monkfish are definitely from local docks. Fresh flounder, too.
"All our fish is wild and the meats are organic," Johnson says. "People are more conscious about what they are eating."
Sauces are fresh and healthy, typically made from fruit and vegetable reductions and less with butter and heavy cream.
After many years in the business, Johnson has increased his knowledge but never lost his sense of fun for cooking.
"Growing up, your mother always told you not to play with your food, but I still am," Johnson says.

Copper Fish, as if you didn't know, is in West Cape May. Great article.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cape May Surf & Foam

photo courtesy Shanti's Photos

Shanti's Photos is a good photo-blog that recently featured some Cape May surf photos, including the photo above.

In other news, the Herald reports that the state Dept. of Environmental Protection has green-lighted the new Convention Hall. Glad to see the project is moving. Also see that story for some interesting comments from the Mayor on the Historic Landmark Watch List that has been in the news lately.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

a quiet birding blog post for a quiet February day

photo courtesy DC Birding Blog

Look here for a nice little birding in Cape May post describing a trip earlier this week. Some nice photos at the blog, including the one above and the one below. Click the website link to see more at the blogger's website and flickr stream.

photo courtesy DC Birding Blog

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day From Your Cape May Blogger

photo courtesy wildwoodweather.blogspot.com

A nice valentine's idea here at CapeMay.com.

I don't think the owners of the Cove Restaurant are going to send the city a valentine this year. In this Atlantic City Press story, we learn that once again the city and The Cove Restaurant are battling over the size of the sand dune outside the restaurant. This time, however, one has to wonder what the city was thinking? Nature had solved this dispute a few years ago, by washing away the dune that bothered (with good reason) the Cove Restaurant's owners. One would have expected the City to try and work with the restaurant in trying to create a new dune that would be less obtrusive to the restaurant.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Old House Online Puts Cape May in Top Ten

This is not Cape May, but it is a building in a city featured in Old House Online's e-zine.

Old House Online has a nice survey of their Top 10 Historic Districts that you can read right here. I was surprised that Savannah did not make the list. Of course, Cape May made the list; they describe Cape May thus:

Cape May, New Jersey
The streets of most beach towns tend to be filled with tacky souvenir stands and tourist attractions, but Cape May’s collection of cheerful, gingerbread-festooned Victorian-era houses, hotels, and churches puts it a cut above the rest. The town is so into its Victorian heritage, in fact, that it holds regular period-themed events to celebrate it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interesting story on Cape May Tourism

this photo has nothing to do with the story. I just like it.

The Shore News Today writes a nice story about the upcoming tourism season, you can read it at this link. Here's a snippet:

What’s the 2011 outlook for Cape May County tourism?

Tough times bring lean budgets. For the Cape May County Tourism Department, that means spreading the message about all the area has to offer without blowing a big wad of cash.

The Jersey Cape is open for business, and Tourism Director Diane Wieland is working social networking such as Facebook, along with travel shows and anything else that showcases the seashore peninsula.

“We’re getting smarter,” said Wieland. “We know what has and hasn’t worked in the past. We can’t afford to go into new markets, so we’re concentrating on the people who know us. We’re reminding them that we’re here, encouraging them to come.”

For Cape May County, it’s all about location, location, location. The area is the epicenter of summer fun.

“We have the beach and Boardwalks,” Weiland said. But so do coastal communities in Delaware and Maryland. So Cape May County has to stand out. Doing that with a meager marketing budget is a challenge, but the Cape is an easy sell.

“Studies show that people come here mostly for the beach, but they’re looking for other things to do,” Weiland said. “They like to shop and go out to eat. There are a lot of hours in a vacation day to fill. Most of the spending happens after six o’clock, but most visitors want some type of recreation.”

The marketing department highlights parks, the county zoo, museums, farm-fresh markets, golfing, nature trails, fishing, boating, kayaking and antiques.

Cape May County, Weiland said, is considered one of the Top 10 birding “hot spots” in North America. Every spring an estimated 1 million migrating shorebirds stop to feed on horseshoe crab eggs along the beaches of the Delaware Bay.

“This phenomenon attracts birders from all over the world,” she said.

August through October is the time to see the greatest diversity of birds, while raptors, songbirds and shorebirds are found in the spring.

“You can see birds throughout the year, more than 400 species have been sighted in Cape May County,” she said.

Weddings, she said, particularly on the beach, are big.

“We’re the third most popular wedding destination in America, behind Las Vegas and Disney World,” she said.

The multi-prong approach to marketing has paid off, Weiland said.

“We’ve done a lot of travel shows,” she said. “We highlight all of our activities, and we’ve had a good response. The economy is affecting us, but we’re finding that so far we’re on par with last year. At the travel shows, about 10 percent of the people stop and pick up literature. We’ve been to North Jersey, Wilkes Barre, Philadelphia. We’re staying in our market, where we have recognition.

“The same as last year – right now that’s very good,” she said. “Nobody is saying they can’t come. They stop to see us because they’re making plans. The response has been much better this year than it was two years ago. I feel very positive.”

The Canadian market, she said, is good.

Check out the whole story.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cape May: Reality Stops Here

"Cape May: Reality Stops Here" is a cute video short put together by students at the Cape May Film Festival. Executive Director Tom Sims explains:

“Cape May: Reality Stops Here” is the first short video created by our students. It’s a play on the catch phrase made popular by Ink Well’s t-shirt maven, Heidi Cummings! The mayor, George Mesterhazy, East Lynne Theater Company’s cast, and even Hot Dog Tommy got in on the act! The film promotes our great region.

I think you'll agree with the sentiment of this video, or at least the idea that a better reality exists in Cape May...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Cape May Diamonds are a Girl's Best...?

A photography blogger shared the nice Cape May Diamonds photo
right here. And Mike Crewe wraps up the first month of the year in bird and other creature watching in Cape May right over here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl at Cabanas

Great article about Cabanas Bar in the AC Press today. Not much of a fan of the Super Bowl but the party sounds like a great time in the best place on Earth...