Published: August 2nd 2012August 2nd 2012
Note the fog on the buildings. The morning was rainy and cool.
May 1: Today I drove to the NJ outer island on which the great Atlantic City is located. Ever since I began my travels, this place has been on my list of places I really wanted to visit. The City of the game of Monopoly, the Boardwalk, salt water taffy and the Miss America Beauty Contest. When I was young, this was the city to rival Las Vegas. It was the Gambling Capital of the East Coast.
Legend has it that the candy originated here in 1883 when hurricane waters flooded many of the beachfront stores including a taffy factory. The candy maker thought his candy was ruined, but when he gave some away, it proved to be a big hit instead of a loss. The salt had added an unusual flavor. As to Monopoly—I wonder if the young people who play the game today know that the streets are named after those of Atlantic City?
The huge beachfront hotels were built before the turn-of-the-20th
-century during the golden age of hotels. They thrived during Prohibition boomed with their elegance, grandeur and free-flowing booze. The depression brought bad times and the war did not support a city based on a
This mural was on the exterior of the Tropicana in Atlantic City
tourist industry. Gambling was introduced in the 50's to try and revitalize business, but ultimately brought mobs, scandal, sordidness and financial woes. Now, once again, the city fathers are working to restore not only the city's reputation as well as its industry. A lot of work is being done on the beachfront/boardwalk area to make it attractive. I wonder when they will rename the city Trumpville, though. The millionaire's name seemed to be everywhere.
The boardwalk is unique to Atlantic City and symbolic of it. Aptly named, the beachfront walkways are built from boards. One of the hotels built the first boardwalk in 1870 to reduce the sand brought onto the floors of their lobbies. Originally, the boardwalk was seven miles long. Now it is four. I walked a lot of it.
There are still casinos, but they are no where near the grand scale of Vegas. The Tropicana and the Taj Majal were the largest. I played the slots in the Tropicana and lost my five dollars. Still pretty good entertainment for a small price. Fortunately, I am not tempted to keep putting my money into those "bandits."
Walking along the boardwalk I saw many interesting
Main Gambling Area Tropicana
A very opulent interior to lose ones money, huh?
things. One long wall was painted to look like different colorful storefronts. I'm not sure what that area was or represented, but I liked the creativity and colors. There weren't many people walking when I first started, but more came as the day went on and the weather improved some. It was cool, rainy and foggy throughout the morning, but was clearing up by mid-afternoon.
Since the boardwalk covers about four miles, many tourists opt to take a boardwalk taxi. These are little carts which are pulled by men up and down the walk. Since there weren't a lot of tourists when I was there, the cabbies weren't very busy. I caught a picture of two of them passing the time in a push-up contest.
Many of the original ocean piers are gone, but The Steel Pier, one of the originals has not changed much over the years. There is still an amusement park as the central attraction It is across from the Taj Mahal Casino. One of the old piers has been converted to a high-end shopping mall and is now called the Ocean One Pier. I window- shopped this pier. When I say high-end, that's what
This building holds the administrative and ticket offices to the boardwalk area and shows.
I mean. Tiffany's, Guggi, Louis Vittan ( know I didn't spell that right.) were some of the big names. There were two things I really enjoyed about this place. One was the dancing, colored fountains. A shopper could view them from the ground floor or from the three floors above. I spent a little time doing just that and taking pictures from all angles. Photos couldn't do it justice, but the entertainment was free!
The Ocean One Pier also had places to sit down and rest while looking out a wall of windows. I dubbed it the “indoor beach”. One could sit in beach chairs, wriggle the toes in the sand and watch the waves come in without getting wet in the rain that fell intermittently throughout the day. Watching waves is one of my favorite pastimes. I got some pretty good pictures even through the glass walls.
One of the longest-running attractions in Atlantic City is Ripley's Believe it or Not. Still going after 60 odd years. The Celebrity Corner Cafe may have changed hands, but the walls of celebrity hand-prints are still there. (The area made me think of Graumann's Chinese Theater walk of stars and
Detail on a Column
I liked the detail on the columns of the Boardwalk Building.
footprints.) I spotted Liberace's and Frank Sinatra's hand-prints among the blocks.
The Boardwalk Hall is the administrative building for the area. It's gray, formal, Greek architecture seemed out of place with the rest of the neon lights and rainbow colors. I did like the detail on the columns, though. Another “out of place” site was the somber Korean War Memorial tucked between the Claridge and Sands Hotels and Casinos.
My walk up and traverse back down the boardwalk came to about four miles. I was sorely (pun intended) tempted to hire one of those taxi's on the return trip. By the time I got to the RV I was a tired puppy. The dogs in my shoes were talking to me!! Bootsie—Puppy? Did someone say puppy” Not in my house! No dogs either! What is Marty talking about? I think that outing must have done something to here brain as well as her feet!
On my way out of the parking lot, I stopped to give the attendant a tip. Yep, this penny-pinching tightwad actually tipped someone of her own free will! He was such a friendly, cheerful guy and had been extremely helpful in getting
Boardwalk Looking South
More boardwalk, beach and fog.
me parked that I had to reward him.
I drove back across the bridge to the mainland to pick up Highway 9 and spent the night book-docked in Manahaven, NJ.
There are more photos below