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June 12, 2016

Jersey shore-town power rankings: through the second weekend of June

A highly scientific look at what barrier-island towns are better than others

Second weekend in June was always relatively chill. Well, at least chiller than the Fourth of July on.

Anyway, this week’s definitive shore-town power rankings calculations factored in some surfing, the Mummers, horrifying sea creatures and one of my favorite staples of the former shore life.

After all that was compared, contrasted, scientifically analyzed and peer reviewed, there was a new caboose, a major leap and a precipitous drop. Wouldn't expect to see that this early in the season, but here we are.

Let's get our bearings, first. Last week, the list was as follows:

16. Avalon (-11)

15. Atlantic City (-7)

14. North Wildwood (-10)

13. Ventnor (-1)

12. Wildwood (+4)

11. Longport (+4)

10. Cape May Point (+3)

9. Wildwood Crest (+5)

8. Cape May (+1)

7. Ocean City (-1)

6. Brigantine (+5)

5. Long Beach Island (+5)

4. Margate (+3)

3. Stone Harbor (-1)

2. Strathmere (+1)

1. Sea Isle City (even)

So, let’s see how it stands today:

16. Atlantic City (-1) Normally, Mister Softee handing out free ice cream in a shore town would bump said shore town up in the rankings. But that’s not possible in a week that we learned a man whose name is somewhat synonymous with the town made bank off his bankrupted casino properties. Definitive ranking's gotta have a code.

15. North Wildwood (-1) The tumble continues as the Mummers were in North Wildwood this weekend. I’m far from a Mummers fan. (See here and here.)

14. Ventnor (-1) Jitneys are great modes of shore transportation. Last week, Ventnor’s Board of Commissioners approved a jitney route in the city. This is a good thing. Alas, Ventnor drops a spot for not realizing it was a good thing before they had to take a vote on it.

13. Longport (-2) You can blame Anna and Joseph Eldred for this drop.

12. Long Beach Island (-7) Two words: Clinging jellyfish. Five more: Found near Long Beach Island. Two plus five equals seven.

11. Cape May Point (-2) Happenstance.

10. Wildwood (+2) Wildwood’s been on a quintessential roller-coaster rankings path this season. Started off good because of familial considerations then nose-dived on account of trashed beaches. This week’s improvement comes courtesy of an anonymous contributor to the Cape May County Herald’s most marvelous "Spout Off" section. But first, you have to know that Spout Off was Twitter before Twitter existed. An ever-hilarious Sizzler comments-box of complaints and whimsical shore oddities to family beefs and borderline defamation. That’s the America I want back. It was great in print. Now it’s also available online. It is your OG and it will be respected. Here’s one post regarding equality and breastfeeding includes the question, “Why should women who choose not to have children be deprived of the right to remove their tops when mothers are allowed to do so? In a nation which aspires to the ideals of equality and justice for all, this seems un-American.” That’s a deep question, and intellectually impressive considering the locale.

9. Cape May (-1) If you haven’t already, check the bay beaches. Free running animals and cursing owners are not what any community needs, even if it's not yours.

8. Avalon (+8) The Cape May County municipality tumbled last week because of its elderly lifeguard’s lingering beef with PhillyVoice contributor Angelo Cataldi. (We stand by our own, remember). In any event, it’s marching back toward its top-tier ranking on account of trees and traffic stops.

7. Margate (-3) No shore politics in the summer, please.

6. Wildwood Crest (+4) S/O to Crest native Maddie Peterson for winning a heat at the Los Cabos Open, Surf Junior Women’s competition. Also, this sunrise pic is just right.

5. Ocean City (+2) Hosting an autism-benefit surfing contest is the type of goodwill that plays well in the definitive shore town-rankings algorithms.

4. Stone Harbor (-1) It’s an alright place.

3. Brigantine (+3) This week, neither its dependence on neighboring Atlantic City for matters of access nor a promise made to a peer could outpoint a series of emails sent to Jersey Shore-Town Power Rankings HQ from Kevin Bogle, a Mystic, Ct. resident who cited roots in Roxborough and Brigantine. (Remember, reader submissions are always welcome in this series!) The former lifeguard (with bloodline ties to The Original Fudge Kitchen) cited Brigantine's surfing offerings, the one-time chain-wide prowess of the Brigantine Boulevard Wawa location, outdoor bars with sunset views and "Outcast Beach." He described the latter (aka 12th Street North and the last beach on the island) as such: "Not many locals there since people drive up and park on the street. From PBRs to families to young kids ready to party, 'Outcast Beach,' where everyday is a new experience." Sounds fun. Might check it out.

2. Strathmere (even)

1. Sea Isle City (even) Nobody stepped up enough to dethrone royalty, yo. Not even this War on Christmas micro-aggression could change it.