Sunday, October 3, 2010
WEAPON OF MASS CONSUMPTION
Friday was my wife's birthday and I had originally promised to take here to the Wheaton Arts Festival, however, she changed her mind, wanting to visit the outlet stores in Atlantic City. These stores are massed between the train station and the Boardwalk. They were built a few years ago to provide a bridge of sorts between the hotels and casinos and the train station and adjacent convention center, replacing a run down commercial/industrial area. New Jersey Transit has been operating passenger rail service from Philadelphia to Atlantic City since the 1990s, after a break of a dozen years or more with no service. We caught the train at Cherry Hill. It was $6 each way for about a 45 minute ride. The cars are on the older side but the ride is fine as the track is virtually a straight line with no grades the entire way. The train operates as a push-pull with cab controls in the lead car - on the way down the engine, a GP40-2PH was in the rear, on the way back on the head end. One neat little service are the waiting casino Jitney buses when you arrive - free to any casino you want. We hopped on the one headed to Ballys as we basically wanted to walk on the Boardwalk a bit and then work our way back through the stores. It was a pleasant day for a stroll on the boardwalk. The Atlantic City boardwalk is wide and not crowded and it isn't as tacky as Wildwood or Seaside. The beaches are beautiful and unlike most Jersey beaches, free during the summer. It's ironic in a way as there are run down houses and apartments right up to the boardwalk - a few islands south is Avalon where you can't touch a beach block house for less than 3million - 4-10mil on the beach. We had a pleasant lunch at a steakhouse and then my wife started her shopping spree. A half dozen heels and handbags later we were back on the train headed home.