For the past seven days I’ve been without the World Wide Web because I’ve been working a job in Atlantic City, NJ as a PA for a television show. This was a great experience for me, not only as someone who is trying to break into the entertainment industry, but as someone who is intrigued by the history of AC. For anyone who’s never been to Atlantic City here’s a brief rundown of what its all about…
Beach-> Boardwalk-> Disgusting people in swim wear-> Homeless people on PCP-> Casinos-> Cash for Gold store-> Ghetto-> Garden State Parkway.
Ahh, the wonderful Garden State. We were only the second place in the country to have legalized gambling. Back in 1977, The casinos were supposed to revitalize a city that had known excess for quite some time. What has it really done for the town though? Most likely played a large part in the local homeless problem. Cost people thousands of dollars in gambling losses and lost dreams. And the city has not done a single thing for tact. Atlantic City is ugly. Gaudy hotel interiors, blondes with caked faces, and large neon signs. (alright, that part I like) See Trump Marina for an example. There are prostitutes outside of the Cash for Gold stores, and their are homeless people living on the steps of churches.
The show I was working on was a love letter to the city. Painted the town in a positive light. AC does have a rich history, but its clouded by the grime that lurks around every Cash for Gold store now. The legendary 500 club was a mecca for Jazz and Pop in the area. Of course, its not even there anymore. Not sure what lies in its place but if I had to guess, its probably either an abandoned tract of land or a parking garage. The boardwalk was a first of its kind. And the idea of Atlantic City being a destination of leisure was revolutionary in this country. But seeing this and filming something else was odd. Its hard to paint with a favorable brush when the canvas is so defiled.
Is it fun for a weekend? You bet. There are of course lots of things to do at night that don’t involve gambling. Some decent restaurants too. Its a place every adult should check out once, but only if you can drive there. If you’re taking a plane, do yourself a favor and hop on one to Nevada. I can’t imagine wanting to go to AC more than once a year.
Have I mentioned there are Cash for Gold stores there? Probably two every block.