Why I Prefer the OBX to the NJ Shore,....
And it isn't because of Snooki and The Situation,....
More like "Avalon, Crueler by the Mile."
Chris Freind recently opined on my childhood summer stomping grounds:
Without question, Avalon is one of the best beach towns on the South Jersey coast. Jutting a mile further out in the Atlantic than other shore points, its cool ocean breezes and pristine beaches make for a fantastic family vacation.
That is, unless you happen to cross the Avalon Beach Patrol, who seem to relish acting like storm-troopers.
Avalon, like most governments, has laws and regulations on the books that make darn near everything a violation.
Games on the beach? Can’t do it. Throw a ball in the ocean? Nope. Have a gas grill on your deck? Don’t even think about it.
All against the law, but virtually never enforced.
Government should never have ordinances which are selectively enforced.
This breeds contempt for the system and leads to widespread abuse by overzealous wannabes on a power-trip.
There are many good things about Avalon, but, as is always the case, they are overshadowed by the bad. The city fathers would be wise to eliminate all but the necessary ordinances, and start remembering who makes the town what it is.
As is the case with most shore towns, beach tags are required. This policy has long irked the vast majority of beach-goers, who believe they more than pay the cost of beach preservation by the many taxes and fees levied on them. And they also believe, not unjustifiably, that the beach belongs to everyone, and no one should have to pay to use it.
Disdain aside, most comply. Incredibly, though, that wasn’t good enough for the Avalon Patrol.
As I said, I grew up going to Avalon every summer through the 70s and early 80s. Then work and other such life situations intervened and I found myself traveling abroad as much as locally.
Then something strange happened a few years ago: the Blue Bloods of the Main Line, apparently tired of their over-development of Ocean City, decided to buy up everything not tied down in Avalon and make it "Bryn Mahh-by-the-Sea." My old haunts are now art galleries and $100-a-plate restaurants. Wawas and 7-Elevens infest Ocean and Dune Drives. And if you cannot provide the official Merion Cricket Club handshake, you might as well keep driving north to Sea Isle City, or you'll be the next victim of the Main Liners'
Gimme the quiet and warm waters of Corolla, NC any day!