Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Boring Postcards

[posted by Callimachus]

Time to revive everyone's favorite feature! Here are two views of the Jersey Shore, circa 1930. The first is North Wildwood:

It prominently features Ed Morton's Bit of Broadway, a popular restaurant run by a retired Vaudeville star who had been known as the "Singing Cop;" and it shows how far Skee Ball, sport of kings, had migrated in 20 years from its birthplace in Philadelphia.

And this is Ocean City:

The old Moorlyn Theater visible in the background survives, sort of. But Shriver's Salt Water Taffy is still going strong, much to the fiscal benefit of the dentists who have to replace the fillings it pulls right out of your teeth.

What amuses me about this pairing, though, is that nowadays, Ocean City is "America's Family Fun Place," a dry town suitable for young children and old people (and with a zoning board's nightmare of liquor stores and dance clubs stacked up on the traffic circle just outside the city line). While Wildwood is where the teenagers go after graduation to take their first plunge into sin.

But in these pictures the order seems reversed. North Wildwood (which admittedly is not quite Wildwood) features old people and families with young kids. While Ocean City features loafers who look like extras from a gangster film, that trio of bad-girl flapper Clara Bow wanna-bes over on the left corner, and that disreputable fellow with the unmarked parcel on the right.