‘Don’t go to the beach’

When Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said this the other day, we knew two things: 1- A lot of Philadelphians were going to ignore him this weekend. 2- He’s not from Philadelphia because a Philadelphian would’ve said, “Don’t go downashore.”

Who don’t love the Jersey Shore? (Photo: N.J.com)

Like Farley, I did not grow up around here and I don’t have summer downashore in my DNA. My Philly friends have it, and I understand the Shore isn’t just sand, sun and water. It is memories of family gatherings, of first dates and summer loves, of walking the boards or hanging at Memories or Tony Mart’s.

Farley was raised in Westfield in North Jersey. I don’t know where he went to swim in the ocean, but it was the beach. In Brooklyn, I went to the world-famous Coney Island, which had baby waves because it is located on a bay, not directly on the Atlantic Ocean. It was the beach, loaded with Popsicle sticks, chicken bones and cigarette butts.

As it was part of New York City, it was always a day trip, no one had a summer home there. Although it had a very long boardwalk, and amusements, and roller coasters, it was a completely different experience than the South Jersey Shore, where I have had friends with homes, where I was welcomed in years past.

But I wasn’t so keen on it because I did not have the nostalgia, and I also don’t like sand in my bathing suit. I know, crazy, right?

Mayor Jim Kenney — who does understand the Shore — also implored Philadelphians not to go downashore because, he said, they will bring back the virus and kill their family. That assumes they will not keep social distances, because they’re in as much danger, if not more, at WalMart.

I enjoy Philadelphia during the summer because it empties out — easier driving and parking, more space in restaurant and theaters, fewer hassles.

Farley wants to keep everyone here, and went out of his way to pick a fight with the governors of New Jersey and Maryland for opening their beaches. I don’t speak for them, but they obviously believe it is not as dangerous as does Farley. Who’s right? I don’t know. Time will tell.

But for Memorial Day, I won’t be leaving town.

16 thoughts on “‘Don’t go to the beach’”

  1. I agree. Beach Boys Murphy (NJ) and Hogan (MD) are singing the wrong tune.

  2. I have observed that its almost all liberals pushing the continuing panic narrative. I think I know why. The virus is real, but something tells me the panic narrative part of it will miraculously vanish on November 4th.🤔

    1. Regurgitating something “articulated” by Eric Trump of all people. Can’t people come up with their own stupid thoughts instead of parroting someone else’s idiocy?

  3. To beach or not to beach. That is the question. I’ll be downashore, but not in Wildwood. I don’t want to tangle with Kenney’s daughter.

  4. I agree with Gary. You can stop by my place just over the BFB on the Jersey Side, too. I live on a former peach orchard, a full acre’s worth of very sandy soil. In addition to hot dogs, I would also offer you some Planter’s peanut products just to give it some of that “AC” feel. Sorry, no roulette wheels.

    Having spent my early formative years in AC, in the 50’s and 60’s, with much extended family living in AC at the time, and with my mother having been born there, and, furthermore, having been a young nerd at the time, I became a Steel Pier addict, with special attention and time paid to the GM exhibit there. Unfortunately, no dreams left in that city any more.

    Bottom line – only time will determine how much of a mistake was made by the various governors on opening their beachfronts to everyone that can make it there. I agree with you, however – it’s too soon yet to do the deed.

  5. All this covid-19 news/issues is frustrating the heck out of me! I’d feel much better if there was a sound, comprehensive,non-partisan strategy. That strategy should start at the White House!

  6. By and large, politicians are horses asses. Some of the ridiculous decisions they make cause me wonder if they have any sense of humanity in them. Going ‘down the shore’ is a tradition that ties Philadelphians to New Jersey in a way that is inexplicable. To stomp on that tradition is unforgivable. The way we have been cowering in our homes because of this disease causes me to wonder if today’s people would have had the sand to cross the continent in covered wagons, facing hunger, thirst, Indian attacks, and more.

  7. Governor Wolf: “I don’t understand why the Governor’s of New Jersey and Maryland are opening ‘beaches.'” I love it! Maybe Republican Hogan of Maryland told Democrat Murphy of NJ, ‘Phil….It’s about the money.’
    I won’t be ‘at the beach’, but not because of Covid.
    A silver lining….Exposing how far the “Party of the working man” has embraced the left.

  8. You can’t go to the beach until you go down the shore first. I will take it down the shore this summer at some time but not Memorial Day Weekend. I don’t like crowds anyway but during this pandemic? No way! I’ll do a midweek. It will probably be real quiet this summer and there will be vacancies available. I think when that transplant Dr Farley said don’t go to “the beach”, the man’s right. At least for this weekend. Is it any of his business? If someone goes down the shore this weekend, gets infected and brings it back to Philly? Yes, it is.

  9. COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. It may not go away for a year or two and may not be eradicated for many years, so we have to learn to live with it and do what we can to mitigate risk. The current situation cannot go on as it is if we want anything resembling an economy in another year. That means being willing to accept *some* level of risk to live our lives as we desire. I can’t decide that level of risk for you – only you can make that decision. There are few certainties in pandemic risk management other than that fact that some people will die, some people in low risk groups will die, and some people in high risk groups will survive. It’s about probability. This is why some of the jerks refusing to social distance or wear masks may not have had any experiences with the sequelae of this pandemic. I guarantee they wouldn’t be so cavalier if they had.
    Moreover, if the governors do not start lifting, I sense a growing sense of lawlessness, as people of the NJ gym owner’s ilk begin displaying peaceful and non peaceful disobedience. The governors are weighing all of these factors. I’m glad it’s not me having to make the hard decisions.
    There are few absolutes, so we need to get comfortable accepting some calculated risks, otherwise we might be isolating for a really, really long time. Figure out how you can be in public and interact with people without fear and use common sense. If there are too many people on the boardwalk in the middle of the day, go very early or later in the evening. Walking on the beach should really pose very little risk. I encounter, mostly young people, walking, running, jogging all over the streets of Philly without benefit of masks and rudely refusing to move out of my way. I move into or cross the street.
    We are social creatures. We need each other. We will survive with and because of each other. Social distancing just means that we connect differently. Being afraid makes us contract and shut each other out. I hope we can fill that space created by fear and contraction with meaningful connections and learn to be less afraid of each of other.
    On that note, I won’t be going down the shore either. Not because I am frightened, but because I hate heat, sand in my crotch, the blazing sun baking me, and sand flies.

  10. I will not be going to my condo down the shore this weekend. I have always gone to the shore for Memorial weekend since I was very young.
    I live on a high floor in a large building and know that the elevators will be an issue, even though our wonderful building manager placed signs on every floor Requesting that people ask those already on the elevator if they are comfortable with additional passengers riding in the elevator with them. Let’s see how that works! The somewhat self absorbed millennials and their children rarely ask permission for anything and they tend to rush to the shore for this weekend anyway, especially now that the beaches are finally open. I know how crowded our elevators are normally during season, let alone now that most people feel A need to “ get out of dodge.” I will wait, patiently.

    ladies & gents,
    Glad to see so many people jumping on the politicians concerning “day trippers”, “sand snipes”and “shobees (?)”.
    Every year, sameo, sameo. Memorial Day weekend. enjoy your vacation, but please don’t forget our Veterans. On the way to the shore, then the beach, take the long way. Go down either the White Horse or Black Horse pike for a bit. When you see a cemetery, and you will, swing in, salute a Vet, offer a prayer and if the moment really grabs you, let loose with the “Pledge of Allegiance” . And if you can sing in harmony, try the “Star Spangled Banner”.
    Then go and enjoy and raise some hell, ’cause you deserve it !

  12. Sung to the song “If you’re goin’ to San Francisco…”

    “If you’re goin’ to Ocean City,
    Ne sure to wear a cash register around your neck…”

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