Wednesday, July 08, 2009

ocean city

I used to go to Ocean City for a week every summer when I was a kid. We didn't actually stay IN Ocean City most of the time; we usually stayed in a campground outside of Berlin/Snow Hill. But we would hang out on the beach near 1st Street. We would fish off the getty there. And we would spend one day on the Boardwalk, eating Thrasher's Fries, playing Skeeball, riding the rides, playing the games. Mom would spend the whole day in the Bingo hall (don't know if it's still there).

Ocean City then was crowded. The people were invariably white, and blue collar below 50th Street or so, and white and white collar north of 50th. Traffic was crazy, and it was very difficult to walk around.

I just spent a few days around the 4th of July at the Carousel on 117th Street. Oddly, even with the holiday, Ocean City was less crowded than when I was a kid. They have made improvements in the flow of traffic, and in the local bus system. It was pretty easy to cross Ocean Blvd, even at high noon.

The people were the biggest change. Ocean City has discovered diversity, finally. For the first time, I heard people speaking foreign languages. I saw people of every ethnic background, skins of every hue. It was great. Northern OC is no longer the province of the wealthier summer visitors.

There has been some attempt made to plant some grasses, and to clean the beach. The sand is weird, too soft to be "natural" if that makes any sense. Basically when you walk on the beach, you sink into the sand. I think it's because the sand is carted in, and cleaned by machine daily. It looks great, but isn't the beach sand you find in Ocean City New Jersey, or the Outer Banks.

I enjoyed the visit. I might even go back.

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