55. The amusement park rises bold and stark

 

There’s a crazy mirror showing us both in 5-D
I’m laughing at you you’re laughing at me
There’s a room of shadows that gets so dark brother
It’s easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love

Springsteen, Tunnel of love

 

Jersey girl and I have spent the past two days down on the Cape May peninsula. This area holds a special place in our hearts as it was the first place we ever travelled to together. This was Jersey girl’s birthday gift to me – to return to the Candlelight Inn in Wildwood and revisit all the haunts of that first magical trip.

In the end, we did a lot more besides. It will take a couple of posts to cover it all, so I’m going to focus on Wildwood this time. The Wildwoods, as North and South Wildwood are known, constitute one endlessly fascinating place.

For my non-American readers, the nearest analog I can think of is Blackpool in the UK. It is a seaside summer holiday destination; part town, part amusement park. This lends the town a fairly surreal quality. It presents as a place where the fun never stops but, come the off-season, the image begins to fray.

We arrived on the cusp of the season during a period of particularly bleah weather and the entire town felt desolate and empty. It was, in fact, the epitome of an off-season resort.

I guess I’m kind of perverse because I loved it. I’ve always been attracted to faded glory and to looking behind the facade. Wildwood offered so many opportunities for my lens that I was in shutterbug heaven.

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The Boardwalk was just beginning to wake up (the summer season kicks into gear this coming weekend) but I must confess, this was how I really wanted to see it. When not dressed in the summertime crowds it reveals its true nature and all the bright colours in the world can’t hide the crumbling, rusted reality. I don’t know why I find that so beautiful; too many Nick Cave songs growing up?

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For your larger dogs.

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Behind the facade.

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Faded beauty.

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Next stop, Cape May.

 

Words and images are my own.

©2016

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19 thoughts on “55. The amusement park rises bold and stark

  1. Can’t wait to see more of your stunning photos. I haven’t been to Wildwood in a very very long time, nice to see how it looks these days. I agree by the way, the off season especially at a summer resort is a nice time to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s because you’re a creative type. You want to see behind the curtain, you’re aware of fading time for all things and you feel for abandoned desolate places as much as loud whiz bang shows…I’m guessing and certainly not projecting. 😉 A sense of truth and empathy would be a shorter way to put it. By the way Jersey Girl is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wildwood has the most beautiful wide white sands beaches. Sometimes in summer it’s overwhelmed by all the lights and noise and crowds. Sometimes I try to imagine what that beach would look like if you took away all the development. Growing up my family vacation was two weeks a year in Wildwood.

    Liked by 1 person

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