Atlantic city is a 1½ hour drive from New York city. Designated a resort area since its incorporation since the 1850s, the city lives on tourism but in recent years had been struggling to keep up with competition for the same customer pool.
And the city thrived from casinos like Las Vegas thus like Sin city its casinos are full of slot machines. From the looks of it all, it probably contributes significantly to revenues for the State. Your options to surrender your hard earned cash ranges from 5¢ (called a nickel here in the US after the metal it is stamped from) to 50¢ (aka half dollars). Many old ladies hogged the nickel machines all day long…so much so that it was impossible for us to even try out how it feels to be waylaid by the one armed bandit.
Unfortunately though time has not been kind to the city which has,
Lost glory of the past
Today all of these are a shadow if its former glory. But at the time of our little road trip, the hustle and bustle could be compared to Las Vegas!
Because it has some sort of similar set up like its cousin in Nevada, there were many themed restaurants in the casino hotels. We had our dinner at a one such place – this one’s Egyptian, though we have to say the food had absolutely nothing Pharonic to crow about! And overall the experience was not exactly one of exuberance.
Suan posed with a cut out of the Taj Mahal casino mascot – an elephant. The best time to visit is in the evenings when the lights come on. However, this hotel casino has since been shut down in 2016. Another victim of the downward economic trend and increasing competition of casinos being opened in neighbouring states etc. One of many in fact, plus a string of them that eventually did not even get to the point of opening.
Now back at the time of our journey, we were more prudish then we are today…heheh. Maybe it was the upbringing we had but gambling was considered a heinous waste of time (and money) in the households we lived.
Thus normally we would probably have not included this on our travel itinerary except to experience and see how it all works. Perhaps we were like the Amish…lol
Coming to Atlantic city which is by the coast, one would really have considered missing it all if one did not walk,
Under the board walk
No, you don’t walk under it. That’s just the song. This famous boardwalk along the beach makes an important part of the lyrics of a popular 1960s song. And when it opened in 1870, it was constructed temporarily for the summer. But little would it be known that this walkway becoming one of the icons of the city. Running about 6km long, it is home to a host of restaurants and shops.
We took a walk along this boardwalk, and luckily for us it was a nice and sunny day. Skaters zipped past, children dropping ice cream on the floor and the seagulls screaming in your ears. Yep, that’s the life.
There is a lighthouse further up, but we were too lazy to get there. Instead, we opted for exploring some of the piers that jut out to sea. Being a seaside resort city, what can be more important than to have fun? Thus no surprise that the piers have amusement parks. Fancy taking a roller coaster that brings you up high overlooking nothing but water?
And how can we not talk about the beach?
New Jersey has what it considers its coastline to be the crown jewels of the state. From Sandy Hook (we mentioned it our journalog here) to Cape May, it is dotted with fishing villages and beaches. Here at Atlantic city, the jewel that we experienced – was the white sand beach though we did not swim. Duh.
Fast forward 20 years, it is clear that the city is but a shell of its former hey days.
We think it is still a place to visit, if not to do the boardwalk. Perhaps come here for the air show every late summer. Or be here for the Miss America pageant during early fall.
For all of these a day trip might suffice, though if one wishes to see the bright lights of the gambling dens (as we call them), then an evening meal and stroll by the sea would top the day.
We walked the board walk in June 1997