austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Nothing to see but the crowds keep a-staring at me

We got to the Boardwalk -- I didn't know exactly where the piers we wanted were, but I assumed that if we headed east we'd reach Atlantic Ocean, and most features would stand out from there -- it turns out we didn't have any trouble spotting the amusement park piers for Seaside Heights. We were snugly between the two, in fact, closer to Casino Pier (the northern one) than to Funtown Pier (the southern one). As is almost compulsive for me I walked to a map and studied it, looking for ... I don't really know. But I have trouble just completely ignoring a map, too. It didn't show anything important we didn't already know -- one pier was that direction, the other was this -- and I didn't think to learn the name of the street we had parked on.

The map raised a major question which it unfortunately refused to answer: there were cute little Tooth symbols dotting the map. The logical interpretation of this would be that they were pointing out dentists. I suppose it's easy to break a tooth on a set of amusement rides and boardwalk snacks like deep-fried sandcastles or whatnot, but would that need a half-dozen dental offices within four blocks of the shoreline? Maybe the symbol means something else, but the map had dropped just enough in its frame that this part of the legend was hidden. There was another map, several blocks north, but it had fallen the same distance and was just as obscured.

While bunny_hugger and I were looking over the map and puzzling over the dentistry of Seaside Heights and cracking each other up and hugging, she thought to take a picture. (Incredible as it may sound, I failed to take my camera, possibly out of subconscious fear that I didn't have a good way to stow it while riding. She, being much more skilled at amusement parks, was properly attired.) But while she was photographing and I was hovering close to her a woman came up and asked if we'd like her to take a picture of us together. We certainly would, and she did, and she wasn't the only person to offer to photograph us. Probably it helps we were at a tourist-centered location, which seems to bring out the volunteer photographer in people.

Trivia: The room in Sing Sing prison where William Kemmler became on 6 August 1890 the first criminal executed by electric chair was gas-lit. Source: Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World, Jill Jonnes.

Currently Reading: The Rise And Fall of The Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000, Paul Kennedy.

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