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Monday, April 29, 2019

Eye on Atlantic City

Vintage image from
In the 1970s, Sis went to Atlantic City on an overnight trip--she was a member of the Junior Women's Club and the girls attended the Women's Club convention at the resort destination.

She is my big sister, seven years older. This exciting venture must have loomed large in our sometimes dull Dumont lives. Sis brought back a toenail clipper for Dad, with a white enamel inset that read ATLANTIC CITY. Dad had it til his death; we don't know what became of it.

I first went during college or over the summer. My long-time boyfriend, Jeff, lived with his family a few exits from A.C. His brother worked at the Golden Nugget Casino.

I remember us being with Jeff's brother in his car, the casinos lit up on our left on the Atlantic City Expressway, cutting a swath through swaying sea grass. The towers looked glittery and glamorous, bright night lights.

Also: Back in the early 1980s, casino buses ran from North Jersey. I caught one in the next town, Bergenfield, and was dropped off about 2 1/2 hours later. Each of us then went inside to the cashier, past the slot machines and tables, and received a roll of quarters, theoretically to feed the slots. I can't remember if that meant I broke even on my ticket price or made a profit. But I took the roll and met Jeff for a ride the rest of the way to his house.

Flash forward to the late 1980s, when Dan and I were dating. He was often booked with a popular party planning company named Le Clique, which provided a busload of colorful entertainment--including Dan, the 60-Second Novelist--at New Year's Eve parties for high rollers. One year, he took the party bus down early to work the event and I drove the Garden State Parkway from my apartment in Ocean Grove in time for which point I saw the Le Clique troupe dancing in a conga line. Dan was the one in the gorilla suit. 🦍 overnight stay with Punch this week at her Mimi's condo unit...formerly a hotel.

  • Saltwater taffy still a big attraction--those pretty, beachy colors and flavors like orange, mint and vanilla. But now you can also get it dipped in dark chocolate and wrapped in colored foil instead of traditional waxed paper. I didn't try; wanted just one, not a pack. The counterperson at Steel's Fudge explained that the other location had some by the piece but the boardwalk location didn't. It's really hard to make, she said. It must be, dunking sticky taffy in melted chocolate. 
  • Red Atlantic City lifeguard hoodies. Mimi got one of the sweatshirts for Punch at a boardwalk shop for about $15. She has been living in it.
  • Cornhole. 🌽 I'm not sure I ever played this before. But it was a throwback to simpler times and I liked tossing the bean bags in the hole on the boardwalk at Biergarten, team me/Mimi against Poppy/Punch. We creamed them. Then two men in their early 30s--plastic beer cups in hand and visiting from Westchester, NY--played Mimi and Punch.
  • Seagulls. Punch liked seeing them when we walked on the beach, and so did I. I also liked hearing them at night before drifting into restful sleep.
  • Restaurants. Big draw here. A lot of sushi, upscale raw oysters, shellfish towers and famous restaurants like Carmine's.
  • Entertainment. Names up in lights. Diana Ross will be in A.C. June 29 for Diamond Diana Tour.
That's it for now. Punchy home sick from school today, as if a 10-day spring break [counting weekends] wasn't enough. She threw up once and was up for hours in the middle of the night, so I kept her home. Now, of course, she seems fine.

I have to fit in a source interview and write article today.....

Punchy and I made this Two-Cheese Pasta with Cauliflower. P. grated the aged Provolone and the Pecorino Romano and cut the garlic clove [it was supposed to stay whole, but that's ok]. We made some vegan, too, with mock smoked Provolone cheese. Figgy just said Ummmmm!

Enjoy your day.


Big-ticket April spends so far [numbers rounded off], 29 days into the month:

Lamp, $79; luxe hand cream, $55; Giotto dinner to go + jar of imported Italian artichokes, $46; dog groomer/beauty salon, $75; vet for hamster, $157; necklace extension/repair/new clasp, $128; blowout, $55; Over the Moon, bday gifts for Punch friend + book for me, $60; Kings groceries, $132; liquor store, $32; bra/underwear/tights, $126; Joyist, $39 one day while working on assignments there; second blowout w service tips, $52; Punchy, Lululemon, $28; Justice, bday gifts and gift bag/pink tissue for Punch friend + shorts for Punch + $2 donation at register, $58; Kings groceries, $63; Joyist, $25 one day while working on deadlines; bike delivery, $35; Whole Foods, $69; CVS & Kings, Easter gifts/basket treats [counting lemon curd for tarts], $97; zoo day and lunch, spring break, $42; A.C. apps + drinks, treat Mimi & Poppy, $85; A.C. pretty lilac drape-neck top, $49; A.C. breakfast, treat Mimi + Poppy, $55; A.C. Skechers flip-flops, $35; A.C. sushi dinner, split bill, $52; Sis bday cards + gift, $35; Joyist, counting body oil, $71; Williams-Sonoma, gifts plus, $55; Kings, Sis bday lunch of caviar/blini/lox/small layer cake etc., $113; and Whole Foods, a lot of groceries, including scallops and lox, $201. Steep subtotal of $2,204.

MONEY THOUGHTS: I could have bought stuff online today! Chocolate, makeup, clothing. I'm glad I didn't. This accountability helps.

keeping my eye on


  1. Yay for Alice, who married the man in the gorilla suit! Such nice associations for AC ... I’m afraid my view of casinos was born of movies, so when I first went to one several years ago, I was disappointed to find it more like a video arcade. Zip on glamor. Boo!
    Frustrating day with financial institutions and government travel requirements, not much work done at all. And tomorrow the last day before vacation! Up early and shoulder to the wheel.

    1. Man in gorilla suit, indeed. LOL. Is it Ireland this week? I know the stress of hard work before leaving on a trip....take it easy, drink water....have a great trip, Liz. Also, sadly, A.C. has drugs, gambling and prostitution.....