Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two Divergent topics for One Blog Post

In this corner, we have a nice blog entry about the natural beauty of Cape May. A blogging naturalist shares why he loves butterflies (at Cape May Point). The blogger's short musing on simplicity is worth your time.

And in this other corner, we have a news article about the ongoing battle between the entities seeking to eliminate a piece of Cape May's history (the City and Franks Theatres) vs. the non-profit entity seeking to save that history (the Beach Theatre Foundation). Earlier this week a local judge heard argument on whether The Beach Theatre Foundation can intervene in the lawsuit between the City and Franks Theatres (which has settled). Expect a ruling within the next two weeks.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Here Comes the Fourth of July 2011

The web is full of Cape May news today. First and probably most importantly, CapeMay.Com runs down all the great Fourth of July activities scheduled for Independence Day Weekend 2011. Fireworks on the 4th in front of Congress Hall, a great picnic at The Grand Hotel from 4-7pm on the 4th, and the annual parade on Beach Drive will take place on Saturday, July 2nd at 1pm. Those are only some of the events, check out the link to CapeMay.Com above to get the list of all the activities.

In blog-related news, Selfish Mom has another blog post about her trip last week to Cape May. In this post she reviews the great food options that Curtis Bashaw's properties offer -- from the Blue Pig Tavern, to the Rusty Nail, to Beach Plum Farm. Can't say I disagree.

And finally, a belated goodbye to one of my favorite Cape May reporters -- Jack Fichter of the Cape May County Herald. I noticed Jack had stopped reporting for the Herald a few months ago and hoped it was just a long vacation. In fact, he has moved to sunnier climes to be closer to family, according to the email I received from an editor at the Herald. Jack was one of the best reporters -- if not the best -- covering Cape May on a regular basis. He will be missed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Congress Hall Rave

I raved about The Boiler Room and Congress Hall last week, and now a blogger known as The Selfish Mom (that's what she calls herself) has also
raved about Congress Hall, as well. A very nice blog post by quite a good blogger.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Morning News

Lots of news to note....

Elmira Street (where Ocean Street meets Lafayette and cuts through the marsh to West Cape May) is now open as a third entrance to Cape May. We used it for biking (as we do most years) and I did not notice an uptick in traffic, but perhaps that will change as the season heats up.

The Point Lighthouse for now is just a funny shaped house and not doing much lighting. They are scrambling for a difficult-to-replace part and then the beacon will shine again, but for now it's dark. Cape May Point has had a lighthouse in that general area since 1823, according to the article.

In a bit of good news that reflects well on the current city councilpersons, the City intends to clean up pollution on the north side of town (near Vance's Bar) and open a 38-acre park, with nature trails, sports, picnic areas, and other amenities. This is a great idea that demonstrates forward-thinking; this park will likely become a popular place for both tourists and locals.

Lastly, I should note that all these stories come from the Atlantic City Press.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Terry'Oke - Don't Miss this Good Time

Terry O'Brien runs the show as Betsy Miller sings Madonna's Like a Prayer

After many years of reading about Terry O'Brien's internationally-famous Terry'Oke Karaoke, the Exit Zero Blogger got to experience the wonder that is Terry'Oke in person. Every Thursday night, from 6-8 pm, you can experience Kid'Oke at Congress Hall's Boiler Room (downstairs in the basement). Then, from 9p.m. til ?a.m., you can have a blast singing karaoke as bad or as good as you want to. There were many good singers last night, and a few not-so-good ones. I'm pretty sure your Exit Zero Blogger fit into the latter category. Regardless, everyone of those singers -- good and not-so-good -- had a hilariously great time.

If you're in town, and you want a good time, I don't know where you could do better than Terry'Oke at Congress Hall on Thursday nights.

Thanks to Terry O'Brien -- man about town, bon vivant, great thrill-ride creator (Ghost Ship), and legendary karaoke singer -- for a great night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Happy Mouth is an Interesting Name for a Blog

Not surprisingly, a blog known as The Happy Mouth Blog loves the Angel of the Sea, Gecko's and Jackson Mountain Cafe. Check out this foodie blog for some good recipes, too.

Catching up on the News

I heard the news today, oh boy...

I haven't much covered the news lately. In this AC Press article, the boardwalk shop owners say they're happy to see work on the new Convention Hall even if it's killing business in the short run. I hope some of these businesses survive until next Memorial Day to see the new Convention Hall open. Foot traffic on the boardwalk looks way down to these eyes. (The people are here regardless of the boardwalk issues created by the City's management, but in terms of shopping and eating I think most of the visitors are heading for the Mall instead of the Boardwalk.)

The Moreys have re-opened the ferris wheel with new safety procedures in place.

It was a few days ago, but Harbor Fest was a great success. I understand from John Cooke of the Cape May Chamber of Commerce that Harbor Fest is the city's biggest event of the year. Everyone I saw there looked to be having a great time. And I should note that if you want the inside skinny on events in Cape May, this link to John Cooke's twitter feed is a great resource -- I should say, John is a great resource. He's a very nice guy and very willing to help out anyone who needs information on Cape May. I will try to write more about twitter and Cape May in the future but for now I encourage you to follow John's twitter feed.

Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Rave Review for Harpoon Henry's

I can't say enough good things about Harpoon Henry's Restaurant on the back bay in North Cape May. We visited there last night for a Father's Day dinner. The views are great, particularly at sunset as you can see below, but the food is just as good, and the frozen drinks are fantastic, too. Harpoon Henry's is not far off the island. Just head to the ferry and hang a right just past where you would otherwise hang a left to go to the ferry. Head 7 blocks up the bay and you can't miss it.

If you used to like Henry's on the Beach (on the boardwalk), then you're already a bit familiar with Harpoon Henry's as both were owned by the same family. I think the restaurants are quite different though, or at least it seems that way to me. Again, I highly recommend the food, and the view, and the service. A great great restaurant that's worth the trip off the beaten track.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Big Man Has Left the Band

"Do I have to say his name?!!" ~ Bruce Springsteen, introducing Clarence Clemons more times than can be counted during the best rock-and-roll concerts ever staged.

Words cannot do him justice, but click HERE to read the New York Times obituary for the king of the world, the master of the universe, the minister of soul, and simply, The Big Man.

Listening to him play better memorializes the man. Here are three songs that feature Clarence. One that will break your heart -- IfI Should Fall Behind -- one that will soothe your soul -- Secret Garden -- and the solo for which he became most known -- Jungleland. Funny, each song requires you to wait for the Big Man's solo. In all of them -- three songs from different eras really -- Clarence's playing (and his singing in If I Should Fall Behind) is the highlight of the song. He gave the music its soul.

If I Should Fall Behind:

Secret Garden:


Thank God for the gift of Clarence Clemons. Rest in Peace.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Busy Day in Cape May

Saturday, June 18th is a busy day as the summer gets going. First thing in the morning, you should move your seat to the Cape May Point beat at the Cape May Point 5 Mile Run. The 5 miler starts at nine a.m., but if you're not quite so ambitious you can join your Exit Zero Blogger in the 2 mile run that begins at 8:30 a.m. If you're not registered yet, then I would get there early in order to register.

Another big event that begins just a little later in the morning is the HarborFest that starts at 10 am and runs 'til 5. Head to the Nature Center at 1600 Delaware during that time and expect to have fun.

As I've noted before, you should also head to the Rusty Nail between 4pm and 7pm to meet author Jen Miller, the author of The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May. While you're meeting her, make sure to buy a book or two.

There's more I'm sure, but that's a few high points for you. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Jen Miller Book Signing this Saturday, 4pm, at the Rusty Nail

Jersey Shore Jen, as she's known, loves Cape May, and she will sign copies of her new Jersey Shore guidebook this Saturday, June 18th, from 4pm to 7pm at the Rusty Nail at 205 Beach Avenue in Cape May. You can see the invitation HERE. Beer, bloody marys, and books. The three Bs that go perfect together. You can buy a book at the signing, or just bring your copy for Jen to shine.

In light of the upcoming local book signing, Jen kindly agreed to do a Q and A with the Exit Zero Blog about her love for the shore, Cape May, and whatever the questioner thought the readers might like to know. I think Jen's answers were very insightful into this young and successful author's drive and mindset that had allowed her such success at a young age. With that, here is your Q and A:

1) Favorite night spot in Cape May? Why that spot?
I'll state the obvious: the Brown Room, and for good reason. I come
down the shore year round, and it is the one place that I know will be
lively any time of the year. Also, I love the Blue Pig Tavern Ale.
It's yummy.

2) First memories of Cape May as a child? Favorite memory of Cape May?
My first memory of Cape May was losing my earring back in rough surf
when I was five years old. I had just had my ears pierced that winter,
and I was still in the "I really need to take care of this or the
holes will close up and I will possibly die of infection." Those
earrings were small gold spheres. I wore them into the ocean, and on a
rough day in the surf in Cape May, I was knocked down by a wave and
hit my head on the sand. I came back up, kept body surfing (yes, I was
that kind of kid), and then reached up to my earrings to realize one
of the backs was gone. I panicked. My parents were going to kill me! I
lost part of my earring! Now I'd lose the actual earring! Oh no! I ran
onto the beach to tell my mother who said "that's ok," and pulled the
back off her earring and gave it to me. "We have plenty extras at

3) Favorite memory?: I stayed at Congress Hall after my dad's wedding in
2008. The first edition of the book was just come out, and I was
exhausted. The wedding, which was at Peter Shields on a Friday night
in June, was a blast. It was also the first time I met my now step
sisters. The next morning we were all pretty beat from a long night in
- you guessed it - the Brown Room. It was also unusually warm. So I

bought a $5 bikini at Dellas and sat with my step sister, her
husband, and their baby at the pool at Congress Hall all day. We
watched THREE weddings. Fun times.

3) between first book and new edition, what have you learned about
Cape May that you didn't know when you wrote first edition?
That I must go to Hot Dog Tommy's every time I'm in Cape May. I missed
that one the first time around - in that book, most of the Cape May
research was done in April and May because Cape May is the most year
round town in the book outside of Atlantic City. Tommy, I'm sorry a
thousand times over, but you're picture is in this edition, so I hope
we're cool.

4) Where do you get your energy? You're always up and happy.
Through totally legal means. I swear. Seriously, though. A lot of
this doesn't feel like work. I'm loving what I do, which helps push
you along even when you just want to throw your hands up in the air at
another MTV joke and say I'm done! I also find a lot of energy in
running. I know that sounds backwards, but I feel better and have more
pep when I get in my miles. I haven't been doing that lately, but I'm
getting back to it now that the insane madness of promoting a book has
ebbed down to a steady madness.

5) A tip or two for aspiring writers?
Don't be afraid of rejection. The worst they can say is no. I've done
many things in my writing career that I thought were stupid or would
never work. Pitching a book about the South Jersey Shore was one of
them. I like being wrong sometimes.

A nice interview with a nice person. She certainly deserves to sell some books, and I hope you'll come out and see her (and maybe buy a book or two) this Saturday, 4pm at the Rusty Nail.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sunrise at the Point, Sunset at the Point

No matter how much time I spend in Cape May, no matter how many new attractions, theatres, and events open, I find that I most enjoy starting and ending the day with Mother Nature's legendary, long-running show at Cape May Point. My best days begin with sunrise at the Point, fishing the Alexander Avenue Jetty. Catching a fish is beside the point (no pun intended). Strangers who are there that early in the morning exchange glances with each other, as if they know they share a secret -- that there is nowhere on Earth more peaceful than where they stand right at that very moment.

We usually leave the Concrete Ship and the beauty of the Point mid-morning in order to enjoy the many pleasures (particularly restaurants, shout out to McGlade's, and biking, shout out to Shields' Bike Rental) that Cape May offers. But, we return to the Point at dusk, in order to enjoy a moving man-made ceremony -- Marvin Hume's daily tribute to veterans and our country as well as Mother Nature's most successful show -- the Cape May Point Sunset.


It doesn't get any better.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Original Blue Pig - A Great Place to Stay

The original Blue Pig (photo above) was built in the mid-1700s and used to be located approximately where Uncle Bill's sits today. If I understand correctly, sailors used to come into this home -- then a tavern -- and gamble, and do whatever else sailors would do. Now, it is a beautiful home located at the southeast corner of North Street and Windsor Avenue

The owner of the home, Pip Campbell, rents it out and has done so for the last 20 years. My family and I are lucky enough to be Pip's guests in her beautiful home for the next two weeks. So if you're in the area, please stop by and say hello - I'm the big guy drinking coffee on the porch. And if you are looking for a place to stay, click here and let Pip know you're interested. We are two days into our visit, and we love the original Blue Pig!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Quest

This boat in the Cape May Harbor is aptly named Sea Quest. We are on a Cape May quest here at the Cape May Blog. The weather is beautiful, the restaurants are hopping, the sand is hot, and why aren't you here? We're here, and loving it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

On the Way to Cape May...

If the plan works, then this video is the right one to play right now. I hope we beat the traffic!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Heat Wave (with some help from the Geator)

It's a heat wave out there, and the only thing better than Martha Reeves' Heat Wave is Martha Reeves' Heat Wave with the one-and-only Geator filling in the spaces in the music with his monologue about the boss with the hot sauce. Stay cool if you're down the shore!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Philly Market Cafe Likes The Rusty Nail

This nice and short positive review of the Rusty Nail starts with a note about The Secret Spot in West Cape May but ends with a rave about the new Nail. Nice to see.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Restaurant Week is Here

Cape May's Restaurant Week began this past Sunday and I neglected to mention it. What is Restaurant Week? Well, according to the website you will:

Discover new favorites during Cape May Restaurant Week.

Get your appetites ready, because the fourth CAPE MAY RESTAURANT WEEK is coming June 5 - 12, 2011.

Known for its variety of fine dining experiences, from casual sit-down to formal dining, Cape May, NJ will showcase its best restaurants for the eight-day event, with restaurants offering fixed prices that make our culinary adventure both affordable and tempting.

Many of the city's best restaurants are participating, from the Lobster House to Aleathea's to all points in-between. They will have different price points for those watching their wallet (and who isn't these days?).

If you're in town between now and June 12, you need to check out one of the many restaurants participating in Restaurant Week. Click here to see some of the menus.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Rave Review for Jersey Shore Jen's New Book

Jersey Shore Jen Miller writes about, well, the Jersey Shore. I have featured her freelance articles and website many times -- with good reason. Many papers publish superficial articles about visits to Cape May (or other spots along the south Jersey shore). But if you are planning a trip to Cape May and want the real skinny on what-not-to-miss (like you get with Exit Zero), then you need to read Jen's articles -- and her new book -- before you do.

Jen's new book is called The Jersey Shore: Atlantic City to Cape May. What's that you say? You thought this new book was a few years old? Well, yes and no. Countryman Press published the first edition of this book three years ago, but the new edition reads (and looks) like a whole new book. In 2008, Jen took on this book task and had to invent the wheel. In the ensuing three years, she has gotten to know even more about what makes Cape May (and the rest of the south Jersey shore) special. She took a very good guide and turned it into a great one.

She features out-of-the-way spots in West Cape May, and on the far side of the island, that many visitors simply don't realize could make their trip more fun, interesting, and beyond what they knew a trip to the Jersey shore could be. A visit to an alpaca farm at the shore? Yes. A visit to a beach that is more like an undiscovered beach on Florida's gulf coast than the teeming beaches of Jersey? Yes (Higbee's). A visit to world class theatre more like NYC off-Broadway than your typical dinner theatre fare? Yes (Cape May Stage). Meanwhile, she also writes up the regular spots that anyone visiting Cape May needs to know about -- the Ugly Mug. The Lobster House. The Mall. The Boardwalk. This guide book serves the "What Should I Do in Cape May?" niche very well, even while also hitting all the other towns on the south Jersey shore.

If you're a long-timer and you think you don't need a guide to your home-away-from-home, give it a try anyway. I am sure you will find something surprising, or a reminder about something you forgot.

Finally, one other welcome change that makes this book stand out as compared to it's prior edition -- color. The previous edition was published in black-and-white, and the new edition jumps off the page in full color. She has added what seems like hundreds of color photos -- some new, some historical -- to bring the book alive . Jen also includes in this new edition fully mapped-out 48-hour trips to the different shore towns that would serve any visitor well as an introduction to the best the shore has to offer.

Have I convinced you to pick up this book? I hope so. If I have, You can buy this book right here at Amazon. You can also find it at Atlantic Books on the Washington Street Mall, or pretty much most bookstores down the shore.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Boardwalk Mornings

Nothing better than biking the boardwalk in the morning.

Before 10 A.M., that is.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rest in Peace

Yesterday a little girl lost her life at the Wildwood boardwalk in a tragic, tragic manner. Say a prayer for her parents and family.

(She is a child so I am choosing to not use her name out of respect for her family.)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Don't Forget West CM Strawberry Festival

Sometimes when you're in Cape May, hitting the mall, the boardwalk, the beach, etc., you can forget that there are many cool things happening in West Cape May. This weekend is one of those times. If you're headed to Cape May this weekend, make sure you hit the West Cape May Strawberry Festival. Here's a description to tempt your tummy:

The event will run until 5pm. I am sure you will not be disappointed if you visit!

Credit for the above-photo goes to Joe Coughlin, you can see many of his Cape May-area photos by clicking here and moving backward and forward in his Flickr photo stream. He is nice enough to allow use of the photo pursuant to a Creative Commons license. Check out his photos.

An In-Depth Look At Things That Are Not There

If you can find a more in-depth web/blog post about ghosts in Cape May (not written by Craig McManus) than this one, I'd be very surprised. If you want to read about ghosts in Cape May but don't want to buy a book, this is the link to click. Here's the blogger's take on the Inn of Cape May/Colonial:

“Coming up on your left is The Inn of Cape May,” Caitlin announces as we pull up next to a large white building. This is the first building that’s been on our side of the trolley, so I quickly fumble with my camera and snap a few pictures. Most of them are too blurry to use, but the two that are usable have some strange things happening in them. In the one on the left, the bottom window is almost highlighted. I’ve looked at the picture several times, but I can never come up with a logical explanation: it’s not a reflection from the other trolley windows, I didn’t have my flash on, and nobody else on the tour was taking pictures. The picture on the right I took quickly as we were leaving the street. On the left side of the balcony is a red orb. I know orbs are not generally considered evidence of the paranormal, but it’s still strange. You be the judge: did I capture something in these pictures?

You'll have to click through to Ms. Juliana Lopez's blog -- she authored this ghost blog post -- to see the Colonial photos to which she refers. That picture above is just one of my boring photos of my favorite hotel in Cape May. If there's a ghost or "orb" in that photo, I've never noticed it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Old News, New News

It's not everyday that you read a story about early American Henry Clay in Cape May, but Shore News Today has just posted an interesting article on that very topic. An odd but interesting read.

In more up-to-date news, CapeMay.Com has posted its annual update on the Who's New, Who's Gone, Who's Moved since last summer. I was disappointed to hear that Whiskers had moved, that store was always a favorite to visit with my children. But at least they haven't thrown in the towel completely -- they have moved to a booth at the antique center on Perry Street.

And finally, The Philly City Paper interviewed Jen Miller about great places to eat at the Shore. The Ebbitt Room gets a mention.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tisha's and Reed's Beach

The AC Press has a nice review of Tisha's Restaurant right here... new location, but still great food.

I really enjoyed this blogpost about Reed's Beach, red knots, fishermen, horseshoe crabs, and birders, all of whom converge during this time of year at the South Jersey shore. The blogger, who blogs at the aptly named blog Somewhere in New Jersey, explains really well why the ugly horseshoe crab is so important for our local ecosystem.

Can't believe it's June 1st! Have a great Wednesday!