When I went to Wildwood last week, some people said "Why? Why go to a beach town when you hate the beach?"
True, I do hate the beach. I hate heat. I hate excessive sun. I don't like to wear a bathing suit. I don't like sand. I do like to swim but it's hard to do laps with all those waves smacking you all the time.
But I like quirky culture. And Wildwood has plenty of that.
It's billed as the "Doo Wop Capital of the World." What that means is that plenty of old-fifties-era buildings still exist. Wildwood was a major center of pop culture fifty years ago, when the Garden State Parkway and the modern era of car culture was new and exciting. Think Happy Days. Think the Twist, tail-finned cars, Route 66-style, neon signs, and angular designs. Think a beach town in the vein of Disney's Tomorrowland, cutting-edge at the time. Kind of quaint and quirky now.
Gentrification has taken its toll on Wildwood as it has all over the US, but the crashing economy seems to have put a stop to that.
Bus tours of Wildwood's unique leftover architecture happen on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I've been meaning to get down there for a few years but it's tough to get out of work mid-week. I finally went last Thursday to check out Wildwood.
Here are some photos.