Why Should I Visit the Jersey Shore? Didn’t They Just Have a Hurricane?

Yup, we did.  Pretty bad one at that.  Amazing that as late as 12 hours before hurricane Irene hit, I actually spoke to someone who said they were “skeptical” (his word, not mine!) that the storm would “even hit New Jersey.”

Ummm, well, uhhh, WRONG!  The National Weather Service pretty much nailed the forecast on this one.  The computer models were all very accurate.  I think the biggest deviation from the forecast was the strength of the storm when it finally rolled over NJ (the winds died down a bit), but it was still bad enough.  Days later we still have flooded towns, thousands of people without electricity, and boil-water restrictions in some areas.  There are trees down, roads closed, bridges destroyed, basements flooded.  Certainly not the utter devastation of a Katrina or an Andrew, but we don’t get too many hurricanes in these here parts.  And people died.  Again, not a Katrina or Andrew (or any one of a hundred other bad storms), but the loss of even one life is too many, even if, as in some cases, it was their own damn fault (when they say evacuate, you go.  When they say don’t drive on flooded roads, you don’t!).

Oh, and we also felt an earthquake!  Remember that, a few days before?  How quickly this week’s top story forces us to forget last week’s top story.  And of course the week before that was the financial crisis and the “plummeting” stock market (don’t look now, but that plummet came back… had you “bought low” you would have made money- just sayin’).

OK, so back on topic and more in line with photography.  Why should you visit the Jersey Shore this weekend?

Here’s why:

Because that calm, blue ocean is back.  Because the people who work at the shore need your business.  But most of all, because through plummeting markets, earthquakes, and hurricanes, you need to spend time having fun with your family.

This photograph is a study in patience.  I was kind of tired and didn’t feel like doing my usual walk on the boardwalk, so I sat down on one of the many benches and watched the families and kids play on the beach one breezy evening.  Today, I figured, I’d let the picture come to me instead of me finding the picture (way easier on the knees).  So I sat.  And sat.  And sat.  Nothing.  Fiddled with the camera.  Made a few test shots just to see if the exposure was right.  Yup, ISO 200, f/11, 1/125.  Checked my watch.  I was only here because I dropped Victor off at his drum lesson.  I only had a few more minutes… I wish something would happen.  There was a family right in front of me on the beach.  The father had been struggling to get this kite airborn the whole time.  Finally, he did.  Had I been doing my usual walk along the boardwalk, I would have missed this shot.

To me, this photograph is the reason you take your family to the Jersey Shore.  Are there nicer beaches?  I guess.  Are there beaches with bigger hotels and five star travel ratings?  Yes, there are.  But for this one day, for this one moment, for one little girl and her dad, this was the best beach on the whole planet.

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