I Have a Gripe

September 14, 2013

We are Still Jersey Strong

“I Feel Like I Want To Throw Up” ~Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey

Gov. Christie said pretty much what many of us were saying on Facebook on Thursday. As I watched the coverage of the Seaside fire on the WABC website, I felt physically ill. All the work those businesses did to come back after the unthinkable damage from Sandy – most of it literally went up in smoke. Over 400 firefighters reported to Seaside Park and Seaside Heights to fight this unbelievable 10-alarm fire. It is a true miracle no one was killed or seriously injured.

 The Carousel Arcade

The Carousel from The Carousel Arcade in Seaside. Sadly, it was destroyed in the fire. (from the Facebook page of The Carousel Arcade)

Anyone who lives in Jersey knows summer down the shore is a right of passage as a teenager. As couples get married and have children, they head down to walk the boardwalk with the next generation and that right of passage continues. My day down the shore would always end heading south down the boardwalk. After playing skee ball at Lucky Leo’s, I would make sure to have a cheese steak and lemonade at The Midway, I walk down and play the wheel at the Union Jack, continue down the boardwalk to ride the antique carousel, and enjoy an orange creme cone from Kohr’s. Maybe hit the raw bar under the Log Flume or hang out at The Saw Mill. Then on the way out I would hit Berkeley Sweet Shop to get salt water taffy for Grandma.

It is all gone.

Just as all these businesses started to get back on their feet after Sandy, they are hit hard again.  How much can these business owners take?

Of course in Jersey’s typical dark humor, I heard people say we are being punished for allowing that nightmare of a television show “Jersey Shore” exist. There are some that wonder if it was intentionally set and it just got out of control.

No matter what, I think these business owners need time to take a breath, be allowed back into their location

Funtown Fire

Photo: WABC News

(they haven’t been allowed in yet), see what their options are, and consult with their families.

Michael Carbone, owner of The Beachcomber who had to be dragged out after trying to protect his place by fire fighters, is absolutely determined to rebuild. Others, may be too beaten down.No matter what they decide, they will definitely have the support of everyone who have made memories down the shore.

But you know what? We are Jersey Strong. And we’ll rally like we always do and we’ll be back.

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