July 24, 2016

Jersey Shore Power Rankings: A special DNC week edition

Feeding seagulls, hearing Huey Lewis and honoring the Geator all impact the latest list from the coast

Opinion Jersey Shore
DNC in Atlantic City File art/AP Photo

The Pageant Motel on Mississippi Avenue, pictured in this August 1964 file photo, was a block from Atlantic City's famed boardwalk and the political White House for the 1964 Democratic National Convention in the resort city.

They say former President Richard Nixon once rented a place on Long Beach Island as did his peers Grover Cleveland and William McKinley a little farther north up the shoreline. 

Over in Long Branch, there's a place called Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, which is named after Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Chester A. Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, McKinley and Woodrow Wilson, all of whom once smelled the Jersey sea air. Heck, Grant even named the place America's "Summer Capital" in 1869.

Shore lore holds that Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary spent time in Cape May. Though no documentation of that exists, Presidents Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Grant, Arthur and Harrison all stopped by its Congress Hall at one point of another.

Oh yeah, the Democrats – you know, the ones gathering here in Philadelphia this week – held their national convention in Atlantic City way back in 1964, nominating President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had been in office less than a year after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

All of which is to say that the Jersey Shore has long been plugged into the national political conversation. The Definitive Jersey Shore Power Rankings do not take yesteryear history into account, however. 

Nope. This is a what-have-you-done-for-me lately rankings system, and for delegates who may be seeking a voyage downashore during their stay in Philly (hey, all the speech action is at night and the sun shines brightest during the day, amirite?), that's what matters most. Heck, not even candidate Hillary Clinton's recent visit to the outside of the shuttered Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City makes a difference today.

So, let's take a look at how the shore towns fared on the eve of the DNC festivities in Philadelphia.

Seven days ago, the list was as follows:

16. Atlantic City (-14)

15. Cape May (-7)

14. North Wildwood (+2)

13. Long Beach Island (+2)

12. Cape May Point (-2)

11. Wildwood (+1)

10. Ocean City (+4)

9. Longport (+2)

7. Margate (+5) and Ventnor (-1)

6. Brigantine (+3)

5. Strathmere (-4)

4. Avalon (-1)

3. Wildwood Crest (+2)

2. Sea Isle City (+2)

1. Stone Harbor (+6)

Let’s see how it stands today:

16. North Wildwood (-2) I don’t care what historical mumbo-jumbo they claim is behind it: Some folks in North Wildwood want to change the town's name to shed the stigma of repeated weeks at the tail end of the Definitive Jersey Shore Town Rankings calculations. You can’t hide from who you are, and self-loathing is not a good look. Even Santa can't save you now, Anglesea.

15. Wildwood (-5) Who cares if North Wildwood wants to leave you, Wildwood? Pfft. Good riddance. So stop complaining about it, Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. They don’t love you, and they don't deserve you. Let them go.

14. Atlantic City (+2) Huey Lewis playing in town is +4 levels of cool. Dealing with SWAT teams renders the “Power of Love” half-moot. Also, wear sunscreen. It’s summer and the sun is hot.

13. Longport (-4) Not all cops break the windshield in their cruiser and concoct a cover story. But apparently this one did in Longport and ended up getting a raise.

12. Cape May Point (even) You know, this really isn't a shore-town shore town, is it? Oh well. Too late to remove it. So how about this: If you like cool lighthouses, head here for your day trip, delegates. It's serene.

11. Cape May (+4) The ferry fleet is back to full strength. Cool. Now, people can flee North Wildwood’s dystopian aggression more effectively.

10. Ventnor (-3) Shore town police should encourage visitors to put the phones away and enjoy the natural splendors all around them, not serve as PokemonGo enablers, even if in the name of public safety. There’s a war going on, and Mother Earth will defeat Team Rocket in a pitched battle for all our souls.

9. Wildwood Crest (-6) Selfie contests for free T-shirts is one step above PokemonGo enabling.

8. Brigantine (-2) Happenstance. Expect a major bump next week.

7. Stone Harbor (-6) It’s not easy holding onto the top spot in these rankings, as Stone Harbor learned this week because of the mistreatment of a tree in the name of commerce.

6. Avalon (-2) Trees shouldn’t be mistreated in the name of deadly beetles which may or may not have infested the dune forest, either. Y’all need to get to the bottom of this before you chop ‘em down, yo.

5. Margate (+2) The Geator bump. Congrats on being named the 2016 Person of the Year with five months left until 2017 arrives, Jerry Blavat.

4. Strathmere (+1)

3. Long Beach Island (+9) For hosting its first-ever all-women’s lifeguard tournament, LBI has embraced a collection of ladies who deem themselves “badasses.” Respect.

2. Ocean City (+8) Seagulls are rats with wings. 


Ugh. They’re the worst. Good on Mayor Jay Gillian for coming correct with a letter to say people who feed flying rats could face a $500 fine and up to three months behind bars. That’s not nearly enough payback for anybody’s who’s ever been on the receiving end of a sated seagull....

1. Sea Isle City (+1) Discussions of lawlessness have given way to remembering those who served on the resort town’s beaches. RIP, Joe and Hughie Bowen.