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Thursday, June 27, 2013


7…8…9…And New Jersey is up because

not so FUNTOWN

 But not by very much!

Mrs. Cranky, myself, and a revolving parade of sisters, nieces, children and grandchildren are down on the Jersey Shore for a well-deserved vacation from the world of retirement.

We have been bombarded by TV and radio promos that the Shore is open and vacationers are welcome because “We are stronger than the storm.”  On first glance that appears to be true.  Driving down rt. 35 to Mrs. Cranky’s Aunt’s house where we rent a ground floor apartment behind the garage, “The Shore” seemed unchanged.  Familiar landmarks were still present and seemed untouched by Sandy.  Then we passed the sign marking the entrance to Mantoloking. 

This is an area of beautiful mansions right up on the beach.  Now some people might be jealous of the owners of these mansions as they are out of the reach of 99% of the world.  I loved this area of fantasy beach homes.  They are beautiful; they set you a-dreaming.  I’ll never own the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty, but they are mine to see and admire.  I felt the same way about the Mantoloking mansion row. 

It is no more!

I knew Mantoloking was devastated.  I saw it on TV; but driving by and seeing just sand where multi-million dollar homes once stood took my breath right away. 

As devastating as the loss of these fabulous homes is at least the owners are probably still rich!  That does not mean I do not feel for their loss, most of these people earned their treasure through hard work and risk taking, still as much as I feel for their loss, it was the ordinary beach homes that were lost that really choked me up.

All along the road to our summer retreat are small homes and tiny bungalows.  Most appear fine at first glance, but then you realize they are gutted from water damage and mold.  They probably cannot be replaced by their owners who face tougher building standards and higher insurance costs.  These homes were purchased by people of some means, but they were probably still bought on a shoestring and the owners relied on rentals to help defray the costs of their dream vacation home.

And then you see homes of yearlong residents. These are homes gutted and unlivable.  Where are these residents living?  Will they ever return to their little piece of heaven on the shore?  My heart goes out to them the most.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the destruction.  Some blocks, like the one where we rent, were untouched, while ten blocks to the south the homes are in ruin.

Is New Jersey stronger than the storm?  There is rebuilding all over.  There are also many houses for sale.  The boardwalks are back.  Businesses are reopening and there is a sense that yes the New Jersey Shore will recover and be better than ever.  Still there is much pain and plenty of sorrow.  The shore will recover, but many people’s lives will never be the same.

In the meantime, the beaches are not crowded and there is plenty of parking.  

There used to be a ride here
Lonely Dinosaur



  1. i can imagine it will never be the same again...

  2. It will take a lot to get this place up and running again. Once the cameras stop rolling and bringing in media attention places are overlooked.

  3. I wonder if the sadness will be gone, even in a generation.

  4. It hurts to look at those pictures!!

  5. Mother Nature is a harsh taskmistress.

  6. Very sad indeed. Like you said, the rich can probably come back strong, bigger and better than ever. But the working stiffs who saved and dreamed and sacrificed so they, too, could enjoy the shore in their own vacation home....probably won't ever recover fully. :(

  7. Those pictures are very sad. Take more in a year's time to compare, hopefully some improvement.