NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 62: The Beachcomber in Seaside Heights

This past weekend I took a trip with my girlfriend and some other friends to The Beachcomber in Seaside Heights, NJ. I wanted to check out It Ain’t Pretty, a band churning out modern rock and pop cover songs. The band is made up of Dennis Zimmer, P.J Farley (Trixter, Ra), Shawn Mars, Mark Hall and Dave Clauro. They rocked the place and helped the Beachcomber live up to it’s renewed reputation as a fun place to go to drink and let loose.


When your establishment’s claim to fame is “This is where Snooki got punched,” it’s easy to attract business. Even their t-shirt has become a collectible with the stamp of approval: The Beachcomber Bar and Grill: The Official Bar of MTV’s Jersey Shore.

While walking around the Seaside Heights boardwalk that night, I realized why MTV chose the Seaside Boardwalk as opposed to the other stretches of the expansive Jersey Shore. Why not Point Pleasant, Atlantic City, or Wildwood? The answer is because the Seaside Boardwalk is unbeatable. There’s so much crap to do! There’s games, stores, bars, and rides; you’re almost guaranteed to have some sort of fun. So, for those watching Jersey Shore repeats thinking that Seaside Heights has a cheap, shlocky mess of a boardwalk, well, you’re absolutely right and that’s why it’s awesome.

Ghost Ship: Walk Through Ride in Wildwood!

Calling me SUPER PUMPED after I originally saw this video reporting the opening of The Ghost Ship at Morey’s Pier in Wildwood was an understatement. Since the ride opened, there were several other reports and reviews of the ride around the ‘net and in local papers that mistakenly referred to the Ghost Ship as a Dark Ride, which it most definitely isn’t. In case you plan on hitting the Wildwood boardwalk before the summer officially comes to an end, heed my warning: The Ghost Ship is merely a walk through, and not a very scary one either.

Most of the conventional aspects of a walk through haunted house are present in the Ghost Ship. There’s a hallway with inflated walls that you have to push your way through, there’s creepy actors hanging in shadows and corners, and of course there’s times when you feel like a complete idiot because you don’t know if you’re going the right way. The ghoulish displays and the creepy atmosphere were well done and deserve credit for the fine detail, but overall it just wasn’t very thrilling.


The Ghost Ship attraction has 2 main factors riding against it. First, it’s not much different than the majority of walk through haunted houses you’ve been to, and second, it’s pretty damn expensive for such a short length of time. One adult admission will soak you nearly $11.50, and there’s not even a nice little boat ride involved! Honestly, I was hoping the entire time I was walking through the ride that I’d eventually reach the part where we all loaded onto boats. I’d be happy to pay extra for a true dark ride, whether it’s in a boat or a coaster car. I guess it would be silly to ride a boat while inside a ship.

Many people are into the walk through style attraction, so it’s easy to be sucked in by the hype and cool advertisements for it. I fell for it and was disappointed, but I bet The Ghost Ship is immensely more exciting for a kid. Boardwalk rides are all geared toward kids, as they should be. But, years ago it seemed the attractions didn’t hold back. When I was a little kid, I went to Castle Dracula on the Wildwood Boardwalk every summer, which was an authentic Dark Ride, and in comparison to The Ghost Ship, it was crap your pants scary. They just don’t make ’em like they used to! Maybe The Ghost Ship would’ve been more effective if I watched The Triangle first.


The Subpar Seaport Aquarium in Wildwood, NJ

Seaport Aquarium, Wildwood NJ

Last time I visited the Wildwood Boardwalk I had no interest in going inside the Seaport Aquarium, but I did feel compelled to snap some photos of the Shark hanging out underneath their sign. Various reviews from around the net claim that the Seaport Aquarium on the Wildwood Boardwalk is the biggest scam going.

Lori D. from Blackwood, NJ reported that they have a Piranha tank where you could purchase a goldfish for $3.99 and watch it get eaten by the little spiky toothed punk. She went on to say that there are 2 nurse sharks that you can touch, but they are too big for their small tanks. Other reviews claimed that the aquarium looked more like a pet store, their reptiles were sick, and there was a lack of animal supervision on the part of the staff. Next time you take the gang to the boardwalk you may want to say no to your kid who is pulling your arm out of your socket in hopes of going in there. Click here to read the other reviews at Insider Pages and this one from Yelp.

I think Aquarium W. from Manchester Township NJ sums it up real nice for us all: “Holy Balls This Place Sucked.” Cool sign though…


Ad Jerseum 9: Coca Cola in Wildwood

Ad Jerseum: So much Jersey advertising it’ll make you vomit!

During last year’s trip down to Wildwood, NJ, I snapped pics of Coca Cola ads specially made for Wildwood. All you need to do is walk up and down the boardwalk for merely a few seconds before you get the feeling that the Coca Cola company may actually own the entire city of Wildwood.

soda,jersey shore,wildwood
Banner ads hung from every light pole, and every single soda machine and beverage freezer was plastered with Coca Cola ads. I haven’t been down there yet this year, but I’ll wager that they rolled out a whole new ad campaign. Last year’s ads had a cool retro sensibility that I think Coca Cola should use more often.
soda,jersey shore,wildwood
This ad lacks the vintage look of the previous banner, but gains a girl in a bikini. If you look at her right boob, you’ll notice that the ad began peeling off. I found it on the side of a refrigerator in a convenience store on the boardwalk. Hopefully I’ll make it down to Wildwood this summer to see if all the ocean water was replaced with Coca Cola. 
*Not only does Coca Cola have several bottling facilities in the southern NJ area, but Maywood NJ is home to The Stepan Company which produces the non-narcotic cocoa leaf extract used in the soda.

Trick or YouTube Treat?

The Sexy Armpit wishes all of you a Happy Halloween, and to celebrate here’s some NJ related videos from YouTube that will scare up the spirits:

First up, YouTube user Carriedark has recreated Wildwood’s Castle Dracula in 3-D.

YouTube user clarkkent1367 posted a news clip reporting when Castle Dracula burned down.

Mike Spade’s legendary Halloween display:

Here’s one that I first saw at our friend The Retroist‘s site, A Halloween Safety video from 1977! The adviser was the Toms River, NJ Chief of Police! Posted by YouTube user vancefink.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 20: Wildwood Part 2

wildwood,new jersey
No, it’s not 1990…it’s just Wildwood. What was that I was saying about Wildwood t-shirts being hideously ugly? The last time I discussed Wildwood T-Shirts I made it abundantly clear that you won’t be finding any runway couture on the Wildwood boardwalk.

From the top left:

1) The shirts you’ll see on the boardwalk are so terrible that they have to leetch off of another tourist attractions tag line. “What Happens in Wildwood Stays in Wildwood???” Are they serious? That’s the lamest thing I’ve ever seen, and to make matters worse it’s splattered with neon green, pink, and blue paint because we love that shit.

2) I’m not opposed to Zebra print in any shape or form, but when it’s ruined with Funfetti it just reminds me of a Little Debbie creation.
3) As we move to the top right I’m taking a vivid trip back into the ’80s. It could seriously pass for a title screen on an early ’80s Wildwood travel video.
4) This one should be called DRIPPING NEON KISSES FROM WILDWOOD! Was Paul Stanley the lip model for this shirt? Because I’m pretty sure he was doing a lot of lip modeling during the KISS Asylum days in ’85.
5) Finally a generic Wildwood shirt made for tweens. Unfortunately they had to infuse the entire pastel color spectrum into this one.
6) As ridiculous as this last one is, it’s actually the only one that’s remotely wearable. Dig those Palm trees, huh? You are reading this correctly: palm trees on the beach in Wildwood.
Until next time folks, this has been NJ T-Shirt Tuesday, where things keep getting more neony.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 18: Wildwood Part 1

Planet Spaceball ran out of air, but it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll ever run out of tacky, Jersey related t-shirts to discuss here on NJ T-Shirt Tuesday. I was literally bombarded by a barrage of terrible new tees during my recent trip to Wildwood. Much like the upcoming Autumn harvest promises to yield plentiful crops, this trip has provided me with copious fodder which I know you’ll enjoy, or at the very least snicker at.
You’ll notice a theme running through the next few T-Shirt Tuesday posts and its NEON! Yes folks, apparently everything you’ve heard about the Jersey Shore is 100% TRUE. It’s still the early ’90s there. I can tell you first hand that shops on the Wildwood boardwalk have not evolved passed 1993. It’s hard to miss the bright colors splashed all over every sweatshirt, hoodie, tank, wife beater, and t-shirt you see hanging on the racks as you stroll down the boardwalk. Without a doubt this is pretty strange, but my purpose in life is to bring you this pressing information. If you’re in Alaska reading this (which apparently there are quite a few of you), you may be wondering to yourself “I’ll never get to the Jersey Shore, but I’d love to know just how gaudy it really is.” See folks, I am actually providing a service. Read on for more insight on these terrible t-shirts.
My woman noticed the “GIRLS GONE WILD WOOD” tee, which is quintessential NJ T-Shirt Tuesday material. Aside from it’s riff on the Girls Gone Wild DVD series, its obvious they couldn’t resist making the fonts as bright as possible. Honestly though, I feel that this T-Shirt really speaks to me. It says “I’M LOOKING AT ASHLEY DUPRE’S TITS WHILE EATING FRUIT LOOPS AND LISTENING TO KID ‘N PLAY.”
If you’re not blinded by the bright splotchy colors you’ll notice that the second shirt is clearly inspired by expressionist painter Jackson Pollock. When you’re creating shirts to be sold on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, it’s a no brainer to let yourself be inspired by great abstract artists of our time. When the fat guy with ragged cut off jeans, greasy hair, cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and a big gulp mug full of beer walks by that store, he’s definitely going to pick up on the Pollock homage immediately. I can see him now holding it up in all of its glory, cigarette tucked between two fingers as he points at the shirt and his other hand holds the hangar, “‘Dat wood look grate on my old lady…dont’cha tink?” The Jersey Girl shirt gets people every time. When the late ’40s overly tan mommy from Staten Island passes by with her two obnoxious kids, she nearly has a heart attack at the sight of the shirt, “…OH…MOI…GAWD…look sweety! Don’t yew LOVE dis, awwww yew would look soooo cute in dis t-shut!!!” The language mutilation is no exaggeration. FAW REAL!
This tank top is a party unto itself. And what a steal it is. At only $3.99 this amazing “Jersey Girl: Wildwood” tank top includes every color in the spectrum and it will send you straight into convulsions if you stare at it too long. **WARNING** Please don’t try this at home because then some asshole will sue me. Ah, who cares if they do…they’d only make enough to buy 3 tank tops at the Wildwood Boardwalk!

The Avaricious Elephant & The Splendorous Sonic Drive-In

Lucy Elephant Sonic Drive In
I spent the weekend in Atlantic City and Wildwood or “The Wildwoods” as they’re apparently also known as, and I felt the need to report back to you with an account of my experiences.

She’s an icon and she always has people going inside her. No, I’m not talking about Tera Patrick, it’s Lucy the Elephant! For years, I’ve meant to visit this local oddity, but I suppose visiting an inanimate 65-foot elephant doesn’t take precedence over seeing Motley Crue or watching old episodes of Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (A man needs to have priorities). While heading home on the Garden State Parkway, I thought “Why not stop in Margate and see Lucy the Elephant?” Not the greatest idea of mine, believe it or not.
After taking the Margate exit, I awoke the voice of William Daniels by firing up my Knight Rider GPS, and he informed us that there would be a toll road in our future. Confused, I wondered why there would be ANOTHER toll since we already exited the Parkway? We began to see signs for a toll coming up as we drove through a swampy dock area. After rolling over a short bridge we officially entered Margate City and we were greeted by a toll exchange that only had room for 3 or 4 cars to go through at a time. I couldn’t believe we were getting soaked for ANOTHER toll! Usually on the Garden State Parkway the toll fees range from $0.50 to $1.00, but this toll was $1.50! Forget appalled, I was downrightsupermuthaf-cking PISSED!!!
Once we arrived at Lucy’s chill zone, the sight of her was exactly what I expected. If you’ve seen pictures of Lucy then that’s all you’ll ever really need. A tour of Lucy’s innards is available, but I assure you it’s nothing like Body Wars. Go ahead and have your girl take silly pictures of you standing under Lucy’s bunghole, it’s all fun and games until 2 1/2 minutes later when you realize you’ve exhausted all activities with the wood and tin behemoth. When it’s time to go, make sure you scrounge up as much change from your pockets as you can, because you’ll have to cough up that $1.50 toll when LEAVING Margate also! The balls on these people! The country is in a terrible economic crisis and they’re charging $3.00 to enter and leave a town to see a f-cking elephant?!?! It’s not like we’re going to get to interact with an animatronic Snuffleupagus!
That $3.00 could have gone to much better use at Sonic.
Rio Grande, NJ’s Sonic Drive-In was the absolute best fast food experience I ever had the pleasure of enjoying. You might think that’s an embellishment because my Sonic cherry has been popped so recently, but it’s every bit as good as their commercials make it seem. For years, Sonic has advertised in the Tri-State area via TV commercials, magazine ads, and billboards, but there’s only one or two locations in New Jersey, and they are not around the corner. We noticed a Sonic billboard while driving into Wildwood and vowed to finally eat there on the way home.
At first, we didn’t realize that Sonic was exclusively a drive in. I figured it was just part of the gimmick and that there must be an option to sit inside and eat, but that’s not the case. When I noticed the patio furniture we opted to sit outside since it was sunny and cool. Did I mention that it was only 10:00 AM? This meal had to serve as my breakfast, lunch, and keep me fueled for the entire monotonous drive home. I ordered a cheeseburger, fries, and a Watermelon Creamslush. All were superb and exceeded my expectations in the taste and quality department.
I shouldn’t have, but my curiosity forced me to check out the nutritional information that’s published on the Sonic website. How could they do this to me? I might as well blow up right now like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. I’d really love to have a Sonic closer to where I live because I’d be there everyday trying a new Creamslush. I know it’s for the better, otherwise they would need a crane to remove me from my bedroom.
If you’re also a Sonic Drive-In virgin, then you might want to take a trip to their Howell, NJ or Hasbrouck Heights, NJ locations to experience it for yourself.

The Day I Got To Be Batman

This whole Dark Knight countdown is becoming a huge obnoxious competition against myself to find out who is the bigger Batman fan, ME or ME? Either way, it’s on like KONG! (the article above appeared in the Cineplex Odeon newsletter called “The Biz” in ’97)

When I was 16 I applied to work at the local Cineplex Odeon Cinema at the Menlo Park Mall. (Cineplex Odeon is now AMC Theaters) I knew it would be the perfect job for me especially since I was in high school and didn’t want a job where I had to be too serious or have too much responsibility. Without even realizing how fast the time went I wound up working there for about 5 or 6 years! I met so many awesome people throughout that time and saw a ton of movies. Sometimes on a Thursday night we would have screenings of the big films that were coming out the next day. I remember getting sneaks of all the cool movies especially for all the Star Wars re-issues and The Phantom Menace. I have some great memories of that place.

For the first 2 or 3 years I worked there the management was very supportive and excellent to work for. One busy night at the theater in 1997, Bob, the house manager, pulled me aside. I got a bit nervous. Bob was easy to get along with but he was nothing but business. He wasn’t smiling so I thought something was wrong.

JAY: “Did I do something wrong, Bob?” I always ask that of all my bosses…I just like the sound of it.
BOB: “No of course not, as always you’re doing a great job! I just have something I want to ask you…”
JAY: “Oh Ok sure”
BOB: “How would you like to be Batman for us at our premiere of Batman and Robin?”


JAY: “Are you serious? Holy Crap, of course!!!”

F–k Jean-Paul Valley! What an opportunity for me since I used to pretend I was Batman for the first 16 years of my life and now I could actually be him in front of people. I definitely felt like I was a shoe-in for the job because everyone there knew I was the resident Batmaniac. When I put on the cowl and cape, such a familiar feeling came over me as if I had put on a cape and cowl every day of my life. I did my best impression of Michael Keaton when he became Batman. Screw Kilmer and Clooney, I was still a Keaton mark! Not only did they get one of the more professional looking bat costumes for me to wear but they also had a few members of the management team create an overhang above the ticket ripper that made you feel like you were entering the Batcave!

To make the premiere even more of an event they had one of the girls who worked at the concession stand, Jen, play Poison Ivy. Like me, she really ate it up. She waltzed in like she spent months taking lessons from Uma Thurman! The kids and adults loved it! I shook so many hands that day, was asked to be in a ton of pictures, and I was also asked for autographs which was bizarre but I had prepared for it just in case. I remembered that back when I was a kid I met a Batman impersonator at the Wildwood boardwalk back in ’89. I took a picture with him and he signed the Polaroid. I dug it up and took a look at how he signed it and I sort of lifted his technique. I know, I know…you all want to ask the burning question: Did I stuff my codpiece with socks? Don’t you know that Batman never reveals his secrets? Let’s just say, the ladies seemed to be quite aroused! Come to think of it, they were probably more distracted by my huge batarang. (pictured below: Batman/Me trying to resist Poison Ivy’s pheromones)