If I had told myself four years ago that I would be spending summer (my favorite season) in New Jersey, I would have laughed and probably slapped myself in the face. Any true Southern Californian scoffs at the idea of summering anywhere else, let alone summering at the Jersey shore. After all, what do we know about the Jersey shore other than that it is highly populated by those GTLing guidos on MTV. How then did I find myself in Ocean City, New Jersey?
It started a week after graduating from Bowdoin College. Apparently in my family, a week is the maximum vacation time allotted to recent graduates, as my family gave me about a week before hounding me on my summer plans. I had been enjoying a life sans plans before moving to Italy for my teaching job in early September, but bumming around the east coast and then California was apparently not an acceptable plan. Luckily, my friend and college roommate Laura had a solution. I was invited/kidnapped to work for her aunt’s cafe Who’s on 1st in Ocean City.
I have to say, life is not too shabby. In the morning I learn the art of coffee, while perfecting my Jersey accent. In the afternoon I head to the beach where I enjoy the warm water. I must say I am personally beginning to understand the Gym-Tan-Laundry lifestyle. Ocean City, however, is nothing like the glimpse of the shore we get on MTV. Most of the people who come here are from Philadelphia, and there is not a single bar as Ocean City is in fact a dry island. Why in God’s name would they ever create an island with no alcohol? Don’t ask me, but it does seem to keep away a large percentage of the guido types. This leaves the bros, surfers, and trophy wives to play in the sand, a spectacle I observe with great amusement.
As a proud La Jollan, I prefer playing in the ocean, an activity made more fun by the fact that there are actually some good sized waves that hit this island. Stranded without my board, I have not yet managed to surf, but my swimming adventures have proved quite therapeutic. All this aside, the water is the most mucky brown color, and the waves do not compare to Black’s or even LJ shores. However, I live and work less than ten minutes from the ocean, so I cannot complain. All and all, I’m living the island life and loving it!