I first heard the phrase when I was here in college and I was all, “Wait, what shore? We aren’t living on a shore and thus there is no shore for us to go down, or up for that matter.” What can I say; I was a too-literal journalism student. Over the years I continued to fight the phrase on one ground or another, but none of my reasoning stuck. And then one day earlier this summer, the inevitable happened.
“Hey,” I said to George. “We ought to go down the shore in July some time.” Gasp. And then I referred to water as “wooder.” Just kidding. I still have some principles, people.
The Jersey Shore was kind of a non-entity in Lancaster County, as most folks just sort of naturally migrated to the Delaware or Maryland beaches, the fancier among them heading as far south as the Outer Banks.
So while it didn’t surprised me that, in a similar fashion, Philadelphians generally venture to South Jersey, what did surprise me was sort of the neighborhood-here-to-neighborhood-there correlation. Live in Bridesburg? Brigantine’s your spot. If you’re from the Northeast, head straight to Wildwood, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Travel out to Delco and follow the masses, lemming like, to Sea Isle City.
For the past few years we’ve been Stone Harbor people, which I gather is the beach—I will never totally cave—of choice for those from Philadelphia’s Northerwesterly wards. But this weekend, we will throw in our lot with those who travel to Atlantic City.
I gotta be honest. I’m not really sure who goes to AC these days. Developers looking for a too-good-to-be-true tax abatements? Old folks on tour buses with rolls of nickels burning holes in their pockets? Tom Jones fans? (What? Doesn’t it seem like Tom Jones is ALWAYS playing AC? It does. Admit it.) Whatever I find, you can bet your bottom dollar (Get it? AC? Bet?) that I’ll report back.
All this to say, I think after nearly 15 years in the city, I can almost officially call myself a Philadelphian, and thus, one who, dare I say it, enjoys a journey down the shore.