Thursday, March 19, 2009

Atlantic City Day 2

On Sunday, I took these images in the morning from the hotel room looking down towards the boardwalk. After two cups of coffee because I'd annoyingly forgotten to bring my teabags, I headed out to explore further. On my way into A.C. the day before, I'd noticed a sign for Margate. Because there is a Margate on the south east coast in England, I wanted to see the U.S. version to find out if there were any similarities. There were none. Margate and the other small towns in that area where all largely residential areas with a few shops flanking a main street.

There was a nice sandy beach but it was too cold to investigate that but I did come across Lucy the Elephant who stood proud of all her local rooftops and looked out towards the sea. She is a National Historic Landmark standing 65ft tall and weighing over 90 tons. She was built in 1881 to encourage real estate sales and has known various owners before ending up at her present site in 1970 where she was restored extensively and has become a tourist attraction and popular landmark.

This Dairy Queen is the most retro one I've seen so far but unfortunately was closed so I had to forgo my favorite peanut butter blizzard. After lunch and a quick stop in a nail salon, I headed over to the other side of A.C. near the marina.

They certainly love their water towers in A.C. and these two really stood out in an housing area that had seen better days, with many houses bulldozed, boarded up or standing derelict.

A lot of A.C. is undergoing change with new housing being built and the image above looked like a new hotel was being erected, looming over a few houses that had been left standing.

Another narrow house stood alone which must once had neighbors on each side. I thought it was abandoned until I saw someone walk into it.

This was a tiny shop proudly showing its Obama wares, the only place still being occupied in a street of boarded up houses. I wondered whether it had many visitors.

I had seen this wind farm on the way in and tried to get as close to the turbines as I could. A notice board by the gates supplied visitors with information. The wind machines are 262ft high and each of the blades are 120ft long making the total height over 380ft. Over a year the turbines can provide power to 2500 homes. They turn automatically to maximize the power from the winds but will shut down when wind speeds exceed 45mph. I would much rather see more of these that have nuclear power stations built.

This book store drew me out of the car, but I was very disappointed to find it closed. It looked as though there was no entry into an actual shop, but instead, the windows opened at the front of the shop and people selected their books that way.
As it got darker, I headed back towards the hotel so I could explore along the boardwalk.

Most of the big hotels back onto the boardwalk along with the usual tourist shops and restuarants and through most of the evening, this proved to be a popular place to visit.

I took this picture of the sea and really liked how the camera picked up the shine on top of the waves, even the blurriness seemed to look OK.

I was pleasantly surprised to come across this beautiful Korean War Memorial along the Boardwalk. It seemed a little out of place amongst the tackiness of the tourist attractions but had a power of presence that commanded silence from the people that stepped down to investigate. There were video screens with commentary and hundreds of names carved into a wall. The bronze statues were so realistic that you could feel the pain felt by the soldier looking at his lost comrade's dog tags and the loyalty of the team carrying their wounded or dead compatriot.

Walking back to the hotel, the pier looked like a ghost town attraction, but I walked in and chatted with some construction workers who informed me that it would be opening again in a couple of months once repairs had been finished.
Atlantic City is an exciting place at night and a wonderful introduction to Las Vegas, but I had to agree with many that I spoke with, that it isn't a place that you'd want to spend too much time in. Some residents spoke of the decline that had taken place and the general apathy of many people living there. Hopefully, with the new housing being built and the obvious attempt at sprucing the city up, these views may soon change.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Your pics of AC are wonderful. It is a far cry from what it was in the early part of the 20th century. Its very sad to see it suffer so.

I grew up 20 minutes north of the city and visit it now and then for shows. I want to thank you, sincerely, for your kind words and honest representation of a once glorious city.

It is in decline, rapidly, even within the past decade...and it is certainly not a place to wander alone in, or at night. Not very friendly anymore at all.

Most people write it off and say very unflattering things. You sounded much more optimistic. I hope you are right. It will never be the same, but perhaps someday it will be good again.