Am I Too Old For A Shore House?

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I'm a huge fan of the beach.

I grew up in the suburbs of Philly, and every summer from 1985 to 1994 I was in Ocean City, NJ. We first started as weekly shoobies, and eventually we rented a home for the whole year. I'm the kind of guy you can give a towel, a chair, some magazines and my iPod and i'll stay on the beach all day.

Growing up I was a bit....spoiled....with my beach experience.

My parents had a beautiful shore house with 5 bedrooms, 4 full baths and 2 half baths across the street from the ocean on 28th and Wesley. 010808.jpgThey even had it when I moved up to New York, but I didn't have a car. I tried renting cars, but that proved difficult because Hertz was always closed on Sundays (at the time) and i'd get charged an extra day for returning the car on Monday.

I had a shore house with some friends in 1996.

When a friend of mine, Brian T., said, "Hey, want to get a half-share in a shore house in Spring Lake?"

My mind immediately thought of Ocean City and my experiences there. I figured it would be a big place, with like 5 bedrooms and 10 people or so. I agreed to a "half-share", after it was explained to me that i'd have the rights to come every other weekend.

Sounded like fun, and for $800 it seemed like it was a good deal.

I can't describe in vivid detail to you about this place, and you have to just take my word for it. First, it wasn't really even a house. It was three seperate shacks that had 2 bedrooms each and one shack had a shower. As a half-share I didn't have rights to a bed, I would "just have to find a place to crash" which was a couch (if I was lucky) or the floor, which smelled like mildew.

Sleeping, as you may know, is sort of a big deal to me. I can sleep on couches. But my first weekend was me on some pillows on the floor and waking up at 7am on Saturday with roommates making breakfast and the room filled with light from our barely shaded windows.

I wasn't happy.

I think I went one other weekend, and that was it. That was my first shore experience.

For years after that, when I would hear about people going to the northern NJ beaches, I would think of my experience in Spring Lake. I had a bad experience, and little incentive to go again.

For years I have enjoyed Hoboken in summer. It was quiet, and most of my friends didn't have shore houses. So it worked out nicely. I did miss the beach, but after Spring Lake, I would always groan when I thought about being in overpopulated shore houses sleeping on an air mattress. If the right situation presented itself, i'd be interested.

I was coaxed once again to do a shore house in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island in 2004, by my buddy Chris.

LBI certainly wasn't as bad as Spring Lake. I had a full share, my own bed, and only one roommate (Chris). It wasn't the Taj Mahal, it was a very basic place with very little frills. It was four blocks from the beach, and a block from a local pub, The Hud. The only downfall was the 2 hour drive from Hoboken, depending on traffic.

This year Chris again has a possible shore house in Bradley Beach. I'm 99% sure that i'm going to do it but I also sort of wonder....

Am I too old for a shore house?

I'll be 36 in a month. Chris is 37. The rest of the renters are in their 30's, I think. Plus, its a 3 bedroom place, with about 8 full shares. I haven't seen it, but Chris lived there in years past, saying it was a block from the beach on Ocean Avenue. Bradley Beach is about an hour away from Hoboken, if there's no major traffic.

I don't know Bradley Beach at all. I know that Belmar, the bastion of everything Guido, is just south and inside i'm cringing at the thought. Hey, i'm half-Italian, and probably more Italian than most of them, but i'm embarassed to see how my countrymen from Italy act.

I honestly don't see myself going to the clubs. I'm hoping there's a cool pub down there that I can chill out at after a day on the beach. As much as I enjoy Hoboken during summer, i'm kind of up for something different this year.

1 Comment

I don't know Bradley Beach, but judging from my last visits to the shore (Spring Lake and Sea Girt 2005/2006) you won't be old by comparison. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but there are lots of 35+ (guys and girls) and even some 40 somethings. If you stay out of drama and maybe keep your eyes open for a nice gal -- and not just one that meets your narrow requirements, it could be considered a great investment of time and $. (I met my husband in our shorehouse--but didn't date till after the summer was over--and like you, thought I was too old. Sometimes things happen when you least expect :)).

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on January 8, 2008 12:28 AM.

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