To Atlantic City, with Love.
While many from the east coast may consider to be Atlantic City a dump due to the many casino closings and perceived failures of hopeful city planners, to me Atlantic City is my playground. With its close proximity to Philly, beautiful boardwalk, and new hotel offerings, I'm betting on Atlantic City to make a major comeback this summer!
Back in the day, Atlantic City was lit. It was every entertainers dream to perform at the Tropicana, the hotel offerings were second to none, and the waters were peaceful and calm.
When I first moved to the east coast, it took almost a whole year before I ventured to check it out. I remember I was working in New Jersey and I saw the sign on the highway that read, "Atlantic City" I didn't have any plans and I have always been one to adventure so I kept driving.
It wasn't quite beach season yet, I believe it was mid-May, so it was still a little chilly- but you couldn't tell me I wasn't on vacation somewhere tropical and lush. I couldn't believe that such a place existed so very close to me!
The wind was blowing, since it wasn't quite summer yet, the air was crisp and fresh and I just felt completely rejuvenated!
Since that first time about 4 years ago, I have been to Atlantic City countless times, often bringing friends and family along for the fun.
Beach essentials for the FlyyGirl include: a bluetooth speaker for the tunes, a nice cool alcoholic beverage to get the party started, a couple portable chargers so the party doesn't have to stop because of a dead battery, a footlong sub & lots of yummy snacks for nourishment, and a camera of course for good pictures!
We always had a good time, but I remember every time I would tell anyone from Philly that I had been in AC for the weekend, their nose would turnup. They cited the rampant homelessness, semi rundown hotels, and dirty water as their reasonings. After a while, I started seeing my beloved Atlantic City through this lens... I even started frequenting different beaches.
I tried Point Pleasant, Rehoboth in Delaware, Bellmawr and a few others. While they may have been appeared to be peaceful shores on the outside, they lacked the character and grit of Atlantic City. Some of the beaches also required a fee or proof of residency to enter as well- which Atlantic City does not.
With the addition of two new casinos, The Hard Rock (formerly the Trump Taj Mahal) and Ocean Resort (formerly Revel) Atlantic City is poised to make a really strong comeback this summer. In addition to the new hotels, there is now an open air Biergarden at the Tropicana, an arcade with old school games like Pac-Man and Galaga called Starcade at the Showboat casino, a Chocolate Bar, a New Orleans inspired restaurant, Bourre, several new beachside bars and lots of shopping options. Will these new developments be enough to cancel all the naysayers? Only time will tell.
Honestly I think Atlantic City gets a bad rap because people don't like to see the depravity that comes when major business leave a city while they are on vacation. People prefer to go on vacation and see nothing but sunny skies, peaceful shores and beautiful people that don't make they feel "other-ed".
After what I have been through this summer after my car accident, I understand that something beautiful can come from the worst pain. I believe that the new hotels are a sign of better days to come for the city- more jobs, more opportunities, more life.