Coney Island, Cape May, Atlantic City, Asbury Park – A Tour de Force of Shore Towns
Welcome to the Jersey Shore (+ Coney Island). These photos are a collection from various points along the Jersey Shore. I had the Coney Island photos since my last post from New York, but decided to hold them until now when I had other photos from the shore to go along with them, since they didn’t fit in so well with the New York photos I had. So, these are from Coney Island, Cape May, Atlantic City, and Asbury Park. All of these towns have been changing quite a bit, and there are massive plans for new development in Coney Island, which benefits from great connections to the NYC subway. Atlantic City, on the other hand, suffers from insufficient connections to New York. Atlantic City is in a complicated situation at the present moment, as 7 of its casinos have closed in the past two years. The most interesting one, I think, is the former Revel Casino. Revel was built for $2.3 billion three years ago, and was open for business for two years. The entire time, it didn’t make a profit, and the owners went into massive debt and were forced to sell the building. There are a lot of reasons why it failed, not the least of which is its bizarre location within Atlantic City. It sits on the north end of the boardwalk and hulks over the modest three story row homes on the surrounding, largely vacant, blocks like a glass monster. Now that it’s empty (it was even out of power for several weeks in a literal power struggle between its current owner and its power supplier), it stands as an even greater symbol of the sad position of Atlantic City. With 18% unemployment and no transitioning economy, Atlantic City needs some sort of stabilization. Currently, Glen Straub owns the former Revel Building, after buying it for about $80 million last year. He plans eventually to ferry and fly New Yorkers in to Atlantic City in order to bring in the big spenders that Atlantic City needs in order to thrive. With the rise of casinos in the region, Philadelphians and New Yorkers have less and less reason to go to Atlantic City, and with the possible casino in the Meadowlands which still needs to be voted upon, things look to be getting worse for AC before they get any better.
I’d still never been to Asbury Park, but from what I saw, it was a cool small town, with hope for a new type of economy. Asbury Park was the second home of Bruce Springsteen when he was growing up, and in dedication to my hero, I had to go and see the Stone Pony, where he played all the time back in the day. Although I didn’t go in, it was quite amazing being near it, and knowing how many times young Bruce played there.
Stay tuned for more photos to come soon, likely of Philly. I already have a few to build upon, but I’m living in Philly this summer, so I’ll have some time to get out and shoot more in Philly. I’ll also be heading down to DC soon so I’ll have some photos from there in a while.