As I write this, Hurricane Sandy is approaching the New Jersey shoreline. Here at my home in Connecticut, we are waiting and hoping that we don’t get hit as hard as predicted. I can’t help but remember the little town that provided an amazing summer escape for my family and hope that it is still standing at the end of the night.
At the end of the summer, we packed up and headed for the beach. Typically, we go north to Newport, RI or Martha’s Vineyard. This time we headed south to the Jersey Shore.
I hadn’t been to Long Beach Island in 20 years. I hate saying that. It makes me sound so incredibly old. Not much has changed.
The kids loved it. I actually got to relax, which is unusual for a mom on a family vacation with three kids and the dog.
We stayed at the southern end of the island, less than a block from both the ocean and the sound. Regardless of which direction you walked in lovely Holgate, you would come across one of these signs. Wilderness Dad had to take a picture.
No Disrobing. Not even on weekends or holidays, not between the hours of 1 am and 6 am. Not ever.
Seems pretty strict. I wonder what the penalty is? This sign is across the street from the beach. People walk up and down the street in swim wear all day. Is that not okay? And isn’t it disrobing when you take off your beach cover up and reveal a teeny bikini? And are you allowed to walk out of the house with nothing on, as long as you don’t disrobe on the street? Isn’t taking your clothes off on a street corner already illegal?
So why the extra signage?
I needed clarity. I did a quick search and found that there was a problem in Holgate a few years back. Surfers were changing on the beach with towels wrapped around them and occasionally, there was slight exposure. A crack now and then.
And one time, a guy just went out for a walk down the street in the buff.
I suppose, having not much to do in the off -season (other than prepare for possible hurricanes), the residents of quiet little Holgate, NJ took action.
“The gist of it was we don’t want a lot of naked people running around the streets” said the town’s commissioner to the New York Times.
I am happy to say that during the duration of our vacation there this past summer, I saw not a single person disrobe on the street.
I did see quite a few cracks at the beach obscuring the incredible view of the ocean. Low rise swim wear is to blame. And it is the Jersey Shore, after all.
Are the people of Holgate working on that?