austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Waterloo sunset's fine

Although FunTown Pier is gone (though a few odd rides, ones with their own support, actually survived), the base of the pier was ... well, truncated too. There had been a modern fiberglass carousel at the base and we had worried about its fate, but that carousel too survived and we rode it. The building it's housed in was partly over the pier and that shows, as the back half is just gone, replaced with a plywood temporary back structure, part of that obscured by video games and pinball machines. That particular arcade used to have a room of pinball machines, most from the late 80s or 90s, and a vintage arcade room where I learned I'm still no good at Donkey Kong, and those rooms are just gone. I imagine what happened to the games, but didn't want to ask anyone.

We spent longer at Seaside Heights than we anticipated, considering we knew the Casino Pier wasn't going to be open, and it felt better than I'd expected it to in the circumstances. I did have the idea, though, that we might go north a little to Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant. We somehow have overlooked going there before, maybe just because it isn't quite the nice direct ride of other Shore spots.

The most direct way to there, though, was driving north on Route 35, though Lavalette and Mantoloking and some other towns. Those names probably communicate little, but, where Seaside Heights was visibly and, frankly, photogenically smashed, Mantoloking particularly was destroyed in the storm. It was completely off-limits until February and it's only barely staggering back into occupancy. The destruction of Superstorm Sandy was most evident here and it's difficult to drive through homes that have just been lifted off their foundations and tossed sideways, or worse, without realizing that whatever problems you have they're pretty small things considering.

Jenkinson's Boardwalk was a relief to see, naturally, and we managed rock star parking, literally right next to the entry gate. It's not a big attraction, but it did have a small carousel, and a powered roller coaster named Tornado (with the backdrop of the roller coaster as interstellar bus featuring aliens flying through domed cities in space, said cities having mushroom buildings because apparently Roger Dean was doing the theming), and a cute and frightfully tight little bobsled coaster called the Flitzer. To fit on the Flitzer, bunny_hugger had to basically lie down horizontally, while my knees tried to find any available space, and ... you know, it's a fun roller coaster, and we got a ride photo, but we would have to figure out a better way to ride it in order to be quite comfortable, on the off chance we'd see one again before returning to Jenkinson's.

The boardwalk is also generally wonderful, including featuring a little train ride that bisects the boardwalk, just as the bigger ``CP Huntingdon'' type trains do at Cedar Point or Michigan's Adventure. They also have a Super-Himalaya called the Music Express, which is baffling as Himalaya and Music Express are alternate themes for the same ride; the ride decorations split the difference by having penguins and polar bears --- neither of which live in the Himalayas --- playing musical instruments.

Who could complain about this, in the onset of night, and the wrapping-up of the boardwalk in that warm glow of amusement lights in muggy air?

Trivia: The clock at the Berlin Observatory had by 1877 managed a daily deviation of between 0.02 and 0.03 seconds (averaged over a month) from the true (Earth-rotational) time. Source: A History Of Mechanical Inventions, Abbott Payson Usher.

Currently Reading: Detroit City Is The Place To Be: The Afterlife Of An American Metropolis, Mark Binelli.

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