Ocean City (NJ) To Put Booze on the Ballot


In 2005, Ocean City, New Jersey was named the Best Family Beach by the Travel Channel.

Since, the town has been referred to as “America’s Greatest Family Resort.”

I stayed at least a week in this beach town every summer until college.

The story:

It did not take long for my friend and I to remember what we used to love so much about Ocean City as high school punks: high school girls on vacation with their families.

Last week, we walked along the water as men in our mid-twenties, and we did our absolute best to find another person in our age group (eventually we decided we’d take anyone between 20-30). I swear to God we saw one, but it was through the crowds and we did not get the chance to confirm.

In high school, this same friend and I used to travel to the shore with our families on the same week, and we teamed up to become the ultimate force on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

Our goal: Talk to girls.

Our problem: We were the two shyest kids on the planet.

So we created a game – one that took place during the day – where a tennis ball could initiate conversation (we called it Biddie Ball). We’d spread out in the water, tossing the ball back and forth until a target came into range. Then we would go fishing (as American Pie 2 so eloquently put it) – we’d intentionally send the other into the splash zone of a group of girls with pinpoint accuracy.

We had a lot of girls complain that we had splashed (and almost landed on) them, but I don’t think our conversations ever got beyond that.

That’s all right – we had fun trying (hope is a powerful thing).

We’re a tick more mature now, but walking through the town and seeing the current high school boys chasing after the same feelings we were ten years ago was an amazing experience for me – the way I used to think about life as a 15-year-old flooding back into my brain.

I’m working on a piece that contains some recommendations for the town if you ever pass through.

There is also an interesting political push to allow the sale of alcohol in the town. As of now, it’s a dry town, so you have to carry in all your own booze if you want to have a happy hour at the house. Needless to say, the town is missing out on a ton of revenue. At the time same, they are keeping out all the drunken young professionals and providing a top-notch family town.

I know which side I’m on – I think it’s ridiculous that you can’t go out and have a drink with dinner, and that you have to drive into the next town to buy a case of beer.

Which pretty much brings me back to the story where my friend and I had trouble locating people in our age group.

Some photos:

Where's the ocean? Damn crowds.


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