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Month: June 2013

ArtBox Opens in WIldwood July 2

art-in-box-thumb The Wildwood boardwalk is known for the gleeful screams of children on rides, the tram car and its long and free beaches. Now added to the list will be the ArtBOX.

The ArtBOX is a collection of 11 upcycled shipping containers on Adventure Pier. It now houses everything from art studios and an Exit Zero museum shop, as well as a new sushi restaurant called Tokyo 4B (the Wildwood exit number off the Garden State Parkway).  Tokyo 4B is operated by Tsong Lin, who owns several of the Middle Township restaurants, including Tokyo in Rio Grande.

The ArtBOX is meant to add an artistic experience to the Wildwood boardwalk. The target audience is both children and adults alike.

Jack Morey, executive vice president of the amusement-pier operator, and his brother Will have enlisted five regional artists, painters, glass blowers and more to set up shop, offering visitors a chance to interact with the artists and watch them at work The Exit Zero Museum Shop came to be when Jack Wright, the publisher of Exit Zero, joined with the Morey brothers to create the ArtBOX.

Morey has recruited five regional artists, painters, glass blowers and more to set up shop. Artists include Peter J. Bieling and his son Peter C. Bieling, both from Florence, Burlington County. Each will have their own shipping containers in the ArtBOX.

Last year, several of the containers were painted and this year the project took the next step. The ArtBOX opens July 2.

Saltwater Cafe opens at South Jersey Marina

thumbs_img_0147The newly renovated Saltwater Café in the South Jersey Marina is officially open and serving breakfast and lunch. Not only does the café offer both indoor and outdoor seating at the restaurant, they have available both shower and laundry facilities for boaters. Coming soon is a new deli, featuring dockside fare, as well as a new nautical apparel retail space called Fathoms. The restaurant will also feature a selection of Hawk Haven wines.  Saltwater Café proudly shares a portion of their profits with Wild Oceans. The décor of the restaurant fits in perfectly with its marina view. There is free parking and they are open seven days a week. Breakfast is available 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Call 609-884-2400 for more information.

6th Annual Harbor Fest Enjoys Sunny Skies and Great Crowds

IMG_6635Cape May’s 6th Annual Harbor Fest, Saturday, June 15  combined the best elements of a street festival and community block party complete with vendors, nature programs, children activities, live music, exhibits, a beer garden, and the ever popular scallop challenge.This year WIBG (Wibbage) & Philly Bill Culp broadcast live from the festival this year.

Five years ago, derelict and abandoned boats littered Cape May’s beautiful harbor and posed a threat not only to the harbor’s fragile ecological environment, but to the very commerce of the nation’s 3rd most important fishing port. Conceived in response to the abandoned boat issue, HarborFest combines the elements of conservation, preservation and marine education while promoting “green” water recreation activities all while retaining the character and flavor of a street festival and backyard block party.

Who’s New, Who’s Moved, Who’s Gone 2013

It’s June and time for the long awaited Who’s New, Who’s Moved and Who’s Gone.

Let’s start in the 500 block of the Washington Street Mall. A few changes there. After many years in business, Gifts Galore is gone and the new owners are completely remodeling the building. Look for a June or early July opening of Galvanic, specializing in men’s clothing, accessories and furniture. Just across from Gifts Galore, on the corner of Carpenters Lane and the Mall, Pearl’s has a new owner, Nicolina Stoyanovavideva. Longtime proprietor Shirley Goodroe has sold her popular boutique. Nicolina is also the owner of A Ca Mia Restaurant at 524 Washington Street Mall.


Cape May Smokehouse, located on the Mall at Liberty Way, is new. The Red Monkey is gone, after only one year at that location. Glitter Girl is gone but Hello Gorgeous is new at the Liberty Way location. Hello Gorgeous sells bling – jewelry and accessories – and if we are lucky they might be selling wine by summer’s end. We’ll keep you posted on Facebook. Right next door to Hello Gorgeous is Shirt Outlet which also traded as Glitter Girl last year.


No one has come or gone in the 400 block but one small change. Pano is now under the management of Yiannis Karapanagiotis. That is one change. The second one is the menu which is completely salad driven, offering 15 to 20 different salads each day, plus a daily special. Lastly, Pano removed the sofas and the coffee house look and put more tables in for customer enjoyment. It is eat in, take out or delivery. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.


In the 400 block of Carpenters Lane, the entire street got a re-do and is now red-bricked to match the 500 block of Carpenters Lane and to match the Washington Street Mall. Next year, repaving of the 300 block will complete the job. No changes – store wise – in the 300 block.

On Carpenters lane, Rowhouse Tile is gone. Their cute little yellow building location is still vacant. Rowhouse Tile is now located at West End Garage on Perry Street.


Walking down to Beach Avenue, there are a few new faces. Exit Zero has added a new location to the beachfront where the old Village Leathersmith, and most recently Ella Rae Boutique, once were. They opened for business Memorial Day weekend. Ella Rae has relocated to the Washington Commons on Washington and Ocean streets.

Further down, at what we locals refer to as the Beach Theatre shops, it would be easier to say who is left rather than catalog who is gone, but we’ll try to do both. On the Gurney Street side of the complex Louie’s Pizza and Avalon Coffee are very much still there but the Nail Salon and Massage Spa are both gone as well as the shop with the beach sundries. Facing Beach Avenue, in the same shopping center, Summer Salt, Separately Swimwear, Zoe’s and Rita’s are still there. Real Enchilada is gone and the store remains vacant, as well as three other store fronts.


Across the street at Convention Hall, Pete Smith’s Surf Shop is expanding into the adjacent store front, making it one heck of a surf shop.

Moving up Ocean Street, Bamboo Shack 208, which changed owners last summer, is gone and the store remains vacant.

Just a couple of changes over in Washington Commons, as we noted above, Ella Rae Boutique, which moved from its Beach Avenue location, is in, next to Victorian Walk Gallery. Bank of America is gone. The spot is still vacant. Also Nice Nails and Spa has expanded into the former location of By the Sea Realty, next to the Acme. Cape Advisers is gone and ReMax Realtors is in. ReMax left its former location on the Washington Street Mall across from City Hall. That location is now vacant.


In the B&B world, Alexander’s is gone and the new owners have brought its old name back – it is now the Blue Rose Inn and Restaurant. And if Washington Street ever opens up again, you can drive by and take a look for yourself.

On Columbia Avenue, longtime innkeepers Chip and Barbara Masemore have hung up their innkeeping hats and the John F. Craig House B&B is gone. It is now a whole house rental.


Over in West Cape May a few changes. As many of you know Higher Grounds on Perry Street, suffered a fire during Hurricane Sandy last year and they are gone. Emilia’s Garden is in. They are a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinners. And in the garden area of that location is Suzy’s Garden Gift shop.

Across the street on the Cape May side, Cappelletti’s Pizza, 1432 Texas Avenue, is opening another location on Perry Street, formerly Carli’s Furniture and Gifts. The new site is currently under construction, we’ll keep you posted on our Facebook page regarding the opening date.


Some big changes in West Cape May. Cape May Linen Outlet and Seaside Cheese are swapping locations. Nora Pascarellal, owner of Cape May Linen Outlet is moving from her present location at 110 Park Blvd., to a new location at 600 Park Blvd. AND will also be opening a new store at Marketplace @ Teaberry in Clermont, NJ. Both stores are slated to open June 1. Meanwhile, Steve White of Seaside Cheese, 600 Park Blvd., is moving into the old Cape May Linen Outlet location. Steve plans to add a sit-down restaurant to the right as you walk in and a kitchen in the back of the space. Cheeses and deli as you walk in. June 19 is the targeted opening date. During the transition, he is still open at the 600 Park Blvd. building two location. Remember, he broke through the wall and expanded a couple of years ago.


A little further along the Park Blvd. center, near Artizan Salon and Spa, Animal Outreach and VIMspirations (Volunteers in Medicine) Thrift Shop is new. Dr. Ron Goldstein’s, DDS, dental office has closed.


At 410 South Broadway, Copperfish is gone. Beachside Smokehouse is in. You also might remember that this was once the location of the following other restaurants: Swallows, Daniel’s and Indigo.


Moving onto Sunset Blvd., the Teak furniture, at 135 Sunset, is gone and in its place are two new stores – People People Boutique, a clothing and accessory emporium, formerly of Stone Harbor and most recently located on Broadway, across from Cape Island Garden & Gift Shops and Cape May Honey Farm, where all bee related products are sold.

Over at Utsch’s Marina, East Coast Parasail welcomes their newest adventure: East Coast Jet Boat, a a 45-55 minute jet boat ride on the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Cape May Harbor, including spins, tricks, and a high-speed adrenaline adventures you’ll never forget!

Well, that’s all I can think of the moment. If you come up with some changes, please let us know. Until then, here’s lookin’ at you, kids. cape may dog friendly beaches

Raging Waters Waterpark

Raging Waters Waterpark

It begins. Starting around May, the whispers build until they hit a fever pitch in late June. “Mom… can we go outside?” “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom. Can we?”

And then you know when the nagging gets loud enough to drown out the inner humming of Nicky Minaj’s Super Bass, that it’s summer at the seashore.

Raging-Waters-Waterpark-Sky-PondWe shore moms are lucky… any day that’s not rainy we can head to the beach, our built-in babysitter. But sometimes when it’s hot, super hot, there’s only one place to go.

Wildwood. For real.

There’s something wild about Wildwood. I appreciated its wildness when I was a teenager, but now that I’m a mom of two small boys, I tend to avoid anything with the word “wild” in it with the noted exception of Where the Wild Things Are. That’s just a great book. But the lure of flying down a slide on a tube and thick Curly’s Fries dipped in bright orange cheese took over. So, despite my aversion to crowds, germs, and kids screaming in wild glee, my husband Bill and I packed up our guys and headed north, just about a 10-minute drive into the wildness of Wildwood and into the chlorinated kingdom of Raging Waters.

Raging Waters sits right on the beach, in the back of Mariner’s Landing off the Wildwood boardwalk. Parking was fairly easy, so we pulled into a lot, hopped out, grabbed our beach bag filled with sunscreen, swimmies, flip flops, towels, a change of clothes, and snacks and headed up the concrete plank and into the pier.

Caution: the pier is filled with fun distractions that can easily sweep you in, so put your blinders on and don’t stop to knock over those cans, don’t stop to win that giant panda, and don’t even think that your coin is going to land on that milk bottle. There will be time to play later, so keep on walkin’.

You smell the chlorinated cleanliness of Raging Waters before you see it and to me, a self-proclaimed hyper-hypo mommy, this is music to my nose, er, ears. The staff at Morey’s was pleasant and attentive the entire three hours we spent at the waterpark. From the moment we checked in, got our bracelets, (which turned into badges of coolness that we unwillingly took off at the end of the day), secured life jackets for Sam and Finn, and grabbed a locker, things went fast and smooth.


Then things ground to a halt.

In front of the lockers, Sam, Finn, Bill and I just stopped, let our eyes wander and necks crane to see all there was to see. And at Raging Waters, there’s a lot to see up high and down low. It was decided that our first ride would be the lazy river so we could check the park out without actually having to move on our own. Seriously, how can you beat that? It’s a ride where all you have to do is be lazy on a river. And this river is clean, with no fish, or worse, weird bugs. We moved as a unit toward the river and walked carefully into the circular entrance pool. Empty rafts went by one after the other, just waiting for bathing-suited bottoms to plunge inside. Bill was first. He went in, grabbed two rafts and plunged our boys in them. It was at this point that I realized it wasn’t so easy to get into the rafts when you stand a little over five feet tall, the current is pretty strong and there’s no one to launch you tushie-first into the float.

Rut Ro, Rorge.

My first attempt to leap up, maneuver my legs and somehow end up in the raft facing the sky and not the pool was, let’s just say, not that good. A cat probably could have done it better. After about four failed flailing attempts, something clicked and I walked with head hung low over to the steps, got up on the second one, did some kind of strange side kick and poompf! Landed upright without tipping. I’m pretty sure I heard some applause and perhaps a bit of snickering… but I didn’t care, I grabbed onto my kids’ raft handles and away we went down the river of laze and through the entire water park, planning our future adventures.

After about three trips round the park with our other lazy lazers, we leapt out. It was time to hit the slides.

Raging Waters has slides for anyone, whether you rate a 2 or a 10 on the brave-o-meter. We started small, by plunging into the activity pool, which was warm and vast enough for the four of us to have our own space, but still revel in the fun had by the other pool goers. Bill attempted to walk across the lily pads, a straight course of ropes and floating buoys, and made it. Salem and Finn looked suspiciously at the gang slide, a superwide and superfun straight slide that empties into the west end. The boys convinced themselves that they were not going to go down that slide. It took about two hours, but eventually Salem took the leap (or slide as it were) of faith and went down. Finn stuck to his guns. Maybe next year, he said.

slideBill and I took turns playing with the kids in the activity pool and going down the big slides, such as the Rocket Raft tube slides, the Speed Slides, and Sky Pond Journey. On each ride, I felt a mixture of panic (will I tip over the edge?!), elation (I’m soaring down a waterslide!) and relaxation (I’m by myself and for the next three minutes don’t have to get anyone any Cheerios!). Our favorite ride was the Shotgun Falls. It’s a 14-foot drop from the end of the slide into the deep water, which looks way more intense from the sidelines than it actually is. It was so much fun that we both felt giddy afterward and crept back on a second time while we were “off duty.”

Now you’d think that the kids would be b-o-r-e-d by now, and normally you’d be right. There are only so many times they can swim around a pool without wanting a little more action. Well, here’s the thing – some genius planner at Morey’s knew this, and created two amazing water areas for kids that were so entertaining Bill and I wished we could pick them up and magically transport them into our backyard. Our fave was the Shipwreck Shoals, a tall pirate ship with water pistol cannons, little to medium-size slides, shallow splash pools, and loads of climbing and play areas. The best part? There were a ton of lounge chairs all around for parents who might have a split second to sit. Bill and I wanted to sit, but we were having too much fun pretending to be pirates. Arrr!
Behind the pirate ship was another play area for kids called Camp Kid-Tastrophe. There were slides and tons of interactive water play here too. It was fun to let the kids run around with a little freedom and a lot of water. They were soaked by the time we called “five more minutes.”

Our few hours at Raging Waters at Mariner’s Landing was such a blast that we actually had sad faces on as we sat on the picnic bench back on the pier and ate our Curly’s Fries. Luckily, the park is just a few minutes away for an easy return. I can almost smell the chlorine now.

Raging Waters is open every day in July and August, and closes for the season on September 9. For tickets and other information, please visit www.moreyspiers.comendmark

Editor’s Note: This Day Tripping feature written by Stefanie Godfrey originally appeared in the July 2012 issue of Cape May Magazine.