Tuesday, April 28, 2009
When you live near the Jersey shore, The winters are long and empty. Many of the towns shut down, businesses are closed for more than half a year. It's hibernation season. So, it's the summer season that keeps these towns afloat and you think the locals would be happy with all the tourists and visitors that helps their towns prosper.
You would be wrong. Many a sign can be seen at the shore that says "Benny Go Home!" or "Bennys Go Home" The term Benny is a "Backronym" for residents of Brooklyn, Elizabeth, Newark, and New York. or add the S to include residents of Staten Island. I've learn this term in recent years since I lived here. I hear their complaints about why Bennys are undesirable. They're loud, obnoxious, and make a mess. In other words, they're like the locals, just a lot more of them in the summer. I've worked with the locals of Belmar and they embody much of the "Benny" behavior they complain about. Very xenophobic, bordering on racism at times.
My ex was like that. She always pointed out the flaws of outsiders whether they were "Pennsylvania Trash", Hunterdon County Trash" or my favorite, "Staten Island Trash".
Still, when you live at the shore and are Bennyphobic, you look forward to this time of year. The warm days before the summer. A chance to lie in the sun without the crowds, without the summer residents. I prefer the time after Labor Day because the water is warmer. Still, I took advantage of the hot weather to ride the new trail that connects Atlantic Highlands to Highlands. It runs along the shore, which made the ride a little cooler. I headed to Sandy Hook but didn't go to Gunnison Beach because of my weight gain. I instead went all the way to the North Beach only to see tons of turkey vultures hovering around me enough to make me think I may be dead. Maybe my pale pallor might have something to do with it.
The water was so cold even for just my toes but I was getting my skin burned in April no less! Finally for the first time in my life I saw Horseshoe Crabs that were alive.
So, yeah I feel this is a good time of year to be here despite my inability to frolic in the water. I got to feel the burn, my annual burn before tan.