Omg the shore. I love it so much. I can barely contain myself.
On Sunday my pal and I went down the shore. That’s what we call it in New Jersey. “The shore” and we go “down” to it. I don’t know where “shore” or “down” comes from. I don’t know why it’s “down the shore” and not “to the beach.”
lengthy preamble regarding linguistics and also counties.
Maybe it’s “down” in direction because “the shore” is pretty much all south of the tastemakers of our state, who live in the northeastern part of the state. Yes I said it. We in Hudson/Bergen/Essex/Passaic counties are the tastemakers of NJ. We didn’t ask for this duty but it was bestowed upon us due to our proximity to “the City.” Aka New York City, aka Manhattan, ever heard of it?
And don’t think I forgot my beloved homeland, Hunterdon County, but tastemakers that set the pace and vernacular for the whole rest of the state they are not.
If you know me you know that I am VERY interested in counties and I will 100% write an entire post about that another day but I have to stop now or I will NEVER stop.
The only relevant NJ county to this post is Ocean, and that is because we went to the ocean. This particular county is named for its most prominent geographic feature and that makes it easy to remember. DO NOT DISAPPOINT ME WHEN I ASK YOU WHAT COUNTY “THE SHORE” IS IN. For what it’s worth it could also be in Atlantic or Cape May counties but it takes no less than 600 days to get down that far south so we won’t talk about them for now.
Ugh here I go with the counties again. Sorry.
The word/action/description/verb(?) “down the” is a silly New Jersey-ism. Some folks say “down the house,” as in “So and so was down the house yesterday.” Meaning someone was at your house. Don’t ask me where this comes from either.
Also I’m having a hard time figuring out what part of a sentence it is. In the shore one it’s like you’re going to a place and in the house one it’s saying someone else was at a place. What the heck.
I give up.
Here’s some more about that whole thing, if it interests you: down the shore?!
actually about the shore here.
You guys, I love the shore. I already said that but I do.
On Sunday my pal and I awoke at the crack of dawn and I saw a blue jay in her backyard and we packed up the car and it was time to HIT THE PARKWAY, YA’LL.
Growing up I never went on the Parkway unless I was going to the shore, so leaving from my pal’s home in Woodland Park (aka West Paterson) and driving on that NORTHERN part of the Parkway was exciting. It really was.
Once you pass a certain point, Holmdel maybe, it becomes the true “Parkway South” of your down the shore dreams.
God dammit why does this keep getting so geographical it’s like I can’t stop myself from being a know it all. Maybe I don’t want to stop.
On the way we stopped for some Starbucks at a rest stop and it was EVERYTHING. Do you know how long it’s been since I had Starbucks?! The idea of a rest stop and being inside of one was a bit scary but everyone had masks and shit was distanced and everything was fine.
Driving down that part of the Parkway is a beautiful summer experience for me every time. When I think of it, it’s always bright green and covered in eternal golden light that spills through the car window. It’s in New Jersey, so of course winter comes, but I’m never down there to see it. And I’d rather not.
When you pull off the Parkway you shoot out into some random town full of urban sprawl. You’re like wtf this isn’t the beach, but as you drive on a westerly path you start to see some clues like an increased gull population and sandy driveways.
Because most of the shore beaches are on barrier islands, at least the ones I go to most, excluding Asbury Park, there is always a big ass bridge over a big ass bay that you drive over and then boom you’re there. The big ass bay and bridge moment is a special one because you’re like “holy shit I’m down the shore let’s do this.” And then you do. You do it.
here we are, at the shore.
In this particular case, we rode over that big ass bridge and then turned left to go to Ortley Beach.
A day at the shore is relaxing. You just hang out. I freaking love it. You can bring drinks and snacks. Maybe you’re not SUPPOSED to drink adult drinks but you CAN. And you should exercise your privilege in a fun way, sometimes.
I do love a jump in the ocean, but only if there are showers of fresh water very close by. This time around there was some kind of tropical storm and the ocean tried to murder us in cold blood. So I got all oceaned up and really needed that fresh water shower.
We got out of the water and I ran up the beach and onto the boardwalk and crashed into the shower and hit the button with all my might. Then I stood under it for at least 5 minutes. Completley monopolized the entire operation. It felt so good to get the salt out of my face I think I said “Oh yeahhhhh” out loud and maybe some moms were scared.
I’m not sorry.
then we ate food.
After the day at the beach we packed up and went to this place called The Crab’s Claw for foods. I was seeking foods of fish, in particular. I do love a clams casino, a tuna steak, a lobster bisque…the shore has ’em all! I ended up with this tuna sandwich and it was my best choice in a while. It was like a tuna steak inside of a sandwich. I wish to eat foods of fish every meal from now on.
I also chugged two huge cups of Diet Coke. I didn’t drink enough water and then I felt sick. I also got sunburned. Maybe I had heat stroke because I was still exhausted AF until last night. As in it took me 2 full days to recover from being in the sun for hours and not drinking enough water.
I am a responbsible adult.
Even more so because after the tuna sand at the Crab’s Claw I got an ice cream at Kohr Bros.
I mean like, WHY THE HELL NOT.
After the ice cream we journeyed home. My pal asked me more than once if I wanted to take a shower at her house before I caught my train back to JC. I really didn’t want to. I wanted to feel like I had been at the shore until the last possible moment. My hair felt salty and my skin was burning and I had NEVER BEEN MORE ALIVE.
I must return immediately.