Fall 2019

exitzero

Fall 2019
Color Issue

EXIT ZERO

FALL 2019 « $7.95


Specializing in Sales and Rentals

Our team of 40 Agents is ready to

assist with all of your real estate needs.

609.884.1300

Todd H. deSatnick / Broker of Record

www.deSatnickRealEstate.com

Located at 1001 Lafayette Street “The First Light in Town” Cape May


“Best Pizza” Cape May County 2019 trenton times


about us

editor, publisher & designer

Jack Wright

jack@exitzero.us

general manager

Cathrine O’Brien

cathrine@exitzero.us

retail manager

Katie Dowe

contributing editor

Diane Stopyra

diane@exitzero.us

historical editor

Ben Miller

contributing photographers

Suzanne Kulperger, Aleksey Moryakov,

Jessica Orlowicz, Charles Riter

Serving Lunch & Dinner Daily

contributing writers

Bill Barlow, Catherine Dugan, David Gray,

Terry O’Brien, Tom Sims, Susan Tischler

exit zero color magazine is published four times a year.

Annual subscription is $32.50. To subscribe, call 609-770-8479

or visit ezstore.us

Published by Exit Zero

110 Sunset Boulevard

Cape May, NJ 08204

Telephone: 609-770-8479

Fax: 609-770-8481

E-mail: info@exitzero.us

Website: exitzero.us / Online store: ezstore.us

printed in the usa

(609) 884-9119

322 Washington Street Mall

Cape May

www.tishasfinedining.com

exit zero 2 fall


GOOD PUB FOOD IN COOL CAPE MAY!

A classic since 1926

Est. 2014

A new Irish

classic!

ON THE MALL

(609) 884-3459

“Best clam chowder and

lobster roll in New Jersey.”

- TripAdvisor

ON THE MALL

(609) 770-8559

“Everything we sampled was right on -

from wings to onion rings.

Exactly what we were

looking for!”

- TripAdvisor

Check our Facebook pages

for live entertainment!

exit zero 3 fall


inside this issue

editor’s letter 8

Welcome to the dance.

quick chat: bill macclemmy 10

Bienvenidos to Exit Zero’s new executive chef!

the ultimate food & drink chart 16

Four-page guide... eat your way through Cape May!

events around town 26

All the happenings you need to know about.

honoring hero harriet 32

A new museum will pay tribute to an American icon.

raise a glass 38

How Cape May’s drinking water tastes so good!

the ultimate cape may bargain 46

How to spend $20 and save $400 while having an absolute blast!

the dancing queen 52

Celebrating Joanne Reagan’s 50 years in the business.

small but mighty 56

Stina Smith’s Jersey Cape Dance studio is making big steps.

the ghosts of cape may 62

Psychic medium Craig McManus investigates Delaney’s.

how cape may got her groove back 78

The magic (and the man) behind Exit Zero Jazz Festival.

the definitive cape may trolley guide 92

From ghosts to mansions... it’s all here!

call it edible art 96

Meet the master behind the food at Peter Shields Inn.

property of the month 102

A coastal-style beauty near the beach.

picture of the month 104

Bald eagle nest, by Marian McSherry.

COVER PHOTOGRAPH SUZANNE KULPERGER

Fabulous Food & Cool Cocktails in a Casual Pub Atmosphere!

HAPPY HOUR

Daily from 3-6pm and

All Day Sunday!

3729 BAYSHORE ROAD, NORTH CAPE MAY | (609) 889-7000 | 5WESTPUB.COM

exit zero 4 fall

LUNCH & DINNER DAILY

Kitchen Hours:

11:30am-10pm


WINTER PACKAGES

Breakfast With Santa

/GrandCapeMay

GrandHotelCapeMay.com • 609.884.5611 • Oceanfront @ 1045 Beach Ave • Cape May NJ

exit zero 5 fall


Jazzing Up The Island

The Exit Zero Jazz Festival will be held from November 8-10. See story on pages 78-86.

Photograph by Suzanne Kulperger


editor’s letter

Given that it’s 85 degrees on this second day

of October, it’s difficult to feel in an autumnal

state of mind. But hopefully normal

service will soon be resumed and we can

put those flip-flops and shorts away for the

year and wear proper clothes again. I love it when the sun

is shining and it’s a 50-degree day. And the sunsets at this

time of year (especially later in the season) beat the summer

version all ends up.

For this issue, I’m once again indebted to the wickedly

talented photographer Suzanne Kulperger, whose brilliant

work is all over these pages. I was especially impressed

by a portfolio of local dancers that Suzanne sent me a few

months ago. I have to be honest and say that a feature on

local dancers wasn’t at the TOP of my mind, though it probably

should have been — got to start thinking outside of the

box, old man! Those dancers were from Jersey Cape Dance

and Gymnastics Academy, run by Stina Smith. When I

later got an email from a friend suggesting we run a story

on Joanne Reagan, who has been running a dance studio

in Cape May for 50 years (Stina is a former student), the

stars aligned and there you have it... a big dance feature in

this magazine! The photographs are wonderful and when

you add in interviews by the über-talented writer Diane

Stopyra ( yes, she’s my wife, too, but I’m not being biased),

then you have a wonderful package — see pages 52-61.

Suzanne also contributed photography for a feature

on a museum being planned for Cape May that will chiefly

honor the life and works of Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist

who we remember for her work with the Underground

Railroad (and the subject of a movie released this fall). I

hope you enjoy the story and I hope you consider donating

To illustrate Craig

McManus’ story on a

local haunting (page 62),

photographer Suzanne

Kulperger shot some

spooky images from

around town, including

this shot of me in the

kitchen at Exit Zero

Filling Station.

exit zero 8 fall

to this wonderful project. See pages 32-37.

Fall is a time when I am always in the mood for great

food. (No, that’s a lie. I’m always in the mood for great food,

from the moment I wake to the moment I fall asleep.) In

this issue we feature an interview with Carl Messick, who

runs the kitchen at Peter Shields Inn, one of the best restaurants

not just in this city, but in the region. Thanks again to

Suzanne for the photography there AND for the story on

another chef I’m fond of, Bill MacClemmy. You likely won’t

know Bill, but you will (I hope!) be enjoying his work soon.

That’s because he’s the new executive chef at our Exit Zero

Filling Station. Hey, it’s okay for me to plug my own restaurant

given that I promote everyone else’s, right?

Just to prove that photographer Suzanne is as busy as

she is talented, she also shot a beautiful portfolio of jazz

musicians who appeared at the spring version of Exit Zero

Jazz Festival. Her photographs accompany an interview I

did with Michael Kline, the festival founder and organizer,

who has done such a great job of giving this little city by the

sea a world-class musical jamboree (November 8-10 is the

next one) that is seriously good for business.

And, yep, Suzanne also shot the spooky portfolio of

photos used to illustrate a story by psychic medium Craig

McManus on the haunting of Delaney’s Irish Bar and Grill.

Craig made his writing debut in Exit Zero 15 years ago and

I’m always happy to have his work in this magazine. Wait...

she also got to work for writer Bill Barlow’s story on Cape

May’s little-known but super-important desalination

plant. There’s a lot of science that goes into making sure

your glass of drinking water tastes so fresh on this island.

Enjoy this issue and enjoy the fall!

JACK WRIGHT Editor/Publisher


LUNCH • DINNER • LATE NIGHT • KIDS MENU

BURGERS • FLATBREADS • SEAFOOD • FRESH SALADS

COCKTAILS • BEER • WINE

20 BEERS ON TAP

4 WINES ON TAP

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT

FISH TANKS



exit zero 9 fall


A QUICK CHAT

After two decades running

restaurants in Mexico, Bill

MacClemmy headed back to his

homeland. After a couple stops

at acclaimed shore eateries, he’s

taken over the kitchen at

Exit Zero. Bienvenidos, Chef Bill!

interview jack wright

photography suzanne kulperger

Bill, what made you want to take over

the kitchen at Exit Zero Filling Station? I

loved the concept, which is fun and casual for

the guests. I also love the fact that the menu is

a fusion of Indian/Asian with some American

classics. It leaves a lot of room for creativity.

How has your first couple of weeks

been? I feel like I am fitting right in. The staff

has been great in welcoming me, and we are

now working together to make a strong team.

Any big surprises? Yes, the demand for

healthier food options and vegetarian and

gluten-free dishes is really off the charts! We

are planning to offer more of these kind of

options in the near future.

There’s a good bit of curry on the menu.

Had you tasted this Indian classic before? I

have eaten curry before. I am by no means an

expert on curries, but I look forward to learning

more about this style of cuisine. There

are so many styles and differences between

Indian curries and the curries from Southeast

Asia — it’s gonna be a lot of fun! I love the flavors

and all of the variations that are possible.

These are complex styles of cooking that

are rooted in thousands of years of cooking

and culture. I look forward to putting our own

twist on it.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu

right now? The Thai Lobster curry.

What will you be changing or tweaking

about the menu? I really like the current

menu and the seasoning of the curries, but I

will be looking to bring a fresh, modern take

with the plating and presentation, and making

small changes here and there. I am very

excited about creating a vegetarian curry

that vegans can enjoy and include some noodle

dishes, plus more vegan and gluten-free

options in general.

Tell us about your last couple of jobs The

last job I had was at Jay’s on Third in Stone

Harbor. I was there for the summer as the

sous chef. I learned so much from Jay and his

team — they’re a very talented bunch. Before

Jay’s, I was the kitchen manager at Steve &

Cookies in Margate for nearly two years. That

was an amazing experience with regards to

logistics. They do such a high volume of good

quality food — the place is run like a well-oiled

machine. I’m looking to do that here, too.

And before that? I was in Mexico for 18

years after meeting my now ex-wife at the

Culinary Institute of America in New York.

We were married a year after finishing school

and we decided to stay in Mexico and work

for her father in his restaurant business.

Tell us about the restaurants you ran.

They ranged from casual Mexican fare to seafood,

Spanish fine dining, steakhouse, tapas,

exit zero 10 fall

plus breakfast and bakery. The whole gamut.

What’s your thoughts on Mexican food?

Is it much more diverse than people in the

States realize? It will always hold a special

place in my heart. It is so diverse and complex

that most Mexican restaurants here in

the USA fail to capture that. I admire chefs

like Rick Bayless and Enrique Olvera, who run

Mexican restaurants here and have shown

that it’s so much more than tacos, nachos and

guacamole!

How did you find the life there? How different

was it from the States? Life there can

be great, though it is also very hard for many

people due to the poverty. There are many

differences between life here and in Mexico

— too many to list here! One major difference

is the attitude of service you will find in many


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Open nightly at 5pm

$40 Early Seating Prix Fixe

Available Sunday - Friday

*Excluding Holiday Weekends*

1301 Beach Avenue ǀ Cape May

609.884.9090

www.petershieldsinn.com

exit zero 11 fall


estaurants — the service is incredible and

people are very eager to please.

Is there anything you miss about that

life? Of course, I miss the great friends I have

made, plus the food and the culture.

Where were some of your favorite

places to visit in Mexico? Oaxaca for the

moles, Riviera Maya for the beach.

Where did you grow up? Here in Cape

May County.

How has this area changed since you left

here? Honestly, not that much!

What do you think of Cape May? I love it

— the beaches and the wildlife make it such a

nice place to live. I also like that it has become

more of a year-round town than just a summer

beach destination. That’s good for business!

What are you looking forward to doing in

Cape May when you get some time off? I like

to explore nearby towns and find new restaurants

— I need to see what is being offered out

there. It usually inspires new and fresh ideas.

Which places in the States are you really

keen on visiting? I would really love to travel

the Pacific Northwest.

And finally, what’s the one restaurant

that’s at the top of your bucket list? That’s

a tough one, but I would probably say Alinea

in Chicago.

Preparing curries at Exit Zero Filling Station, above, and, opposite page, Chef Bill flanked by

executive sous chef Garrett Thompson and our skateboarding-to-work cook Eric Gerlacher.

7 DAYS A WEEK

4:30PM-10PM

Reservations

609-884-0200

Free Parking

Bringing you the fresh, unique flavors of

Italy in a charming, welcoming atmosphere.

Laugh • Dine • Enjoy

311 MANSION STREET, CAPE MAY

ICCARACAPEMAY.COM

exit zero 12 fall


exit zero 13 fall


a cape may moment

A farewell party for Hannah Faulkner at Iron Pier on September 18. Aleksey Moryakov

Breakfast at The Rio

Delicious! Everyday of the Week

7:30 a.m.~1 p.m. Monday~Saturday • Sunday Brunch 7:30 a.m.~3 p.m.

• $2.22 Breakfast ~ 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, 2 bacon 7:30-9:30 Everyday

• Mimosas in the Morning ~ Have a Mimosa or Bloody Mary with your breakfast.

Featuring build your own omelettes & frittatas, specialty pancakes, Egg Bennys plus

housemade chipped beef & corned beef hash

Join us for dinner...

Traditional steaks, prime rib, local seafood, award-winning wings plus

a selection of vegetarian & gluten-free dishes

Fresh locally-grown garden salads & vegetables are on our tables again. Vegetarian options join the traditional

steaks & local seafood that round out our summer menu. Enjoy a selection from our award-winning wine list or 14 beers on tap

including a large selection of New Jersey Crafts. Reservations suggested.

SUNDAY

BRUNCH

Every Week

7:30 am - 3 pm

www.riostation.com

AMERICAN STEAK & SEAFOOD HOUSE

Grande Center Mall • Routes 9 & 47 • Rio Grande, NJ 08242 • 609.889.2000

EVERY

THURSDAY

in the Bar

50c WINGS

exit zero 14 fall


We use

freshest

local

produce.

Served

in a

beautiful

Victorian

mansion.

FINE DINING

Open for dinner daily from 4pm

416 S BROADWAY, WEST CAPE MAY

609-600-1422 • @saporeitalianous

exit zero 15 fall


THE ULTIMATE CAPE MAY FOOD & DRINK CHART

What you

need to

know about

the food

and vibe

Meals

served

Bar or

BYOB?

Should I

book?

Food for

kids?

Other

details

ALEATHEA’S

7 Ocean Street, Cape May

(609) 884-5555, extension 226

www.innofcapemay.com

Excellent food at the glorious old Inn of Cape May.

There’s a cozy-but-elegant bar with access to the

oceanfront patio, which is pet-friendly. Check out the

antique-filled lobby first.

B, L, D

FULL

BAR

YES YES

u b

H U

AVALON COFFEE

7 Gurney, Cape May, 898-8088,

3823 Bayshore, North Cape May

(609) 846-0040

BEACH PLUM BAKERY & CAFÉ

484 West Perry Street, Cape May

(609) 770-8261

www.thewestendgarage.com

BEACH PLUM FARM KITCHEN

140 Stevens, West Cape May

(609) 602-0128

www.beachplumfarmcapemay.com

Superior coffee and healthy food that’s perfect for

breakfast and lunch. First-class wraps, sandwiches and

bagels, along with a good range of smoothies and cold

drinks.

This cozy-industrial café features some of the

most exciting doughnuts you’ve tasted, made with

ingredients from Beach Plum Farm. Add La Colombe

draft latte, and you’ve got a coffee lover’s dream.

Enjoy the quiet beauty of this 62-acre farm in West

Cape May and then indulge in the farm-to-table treats

for breakfast or lunch. The soups, salads, sandwiches

and juices are superb.

B, L N/A NO YES

b H

B, L N/A NO YES

b

H

B, L BYOB NO YES

u b

H U

BLUE PIG TAVERN

251 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-8422

www.caperesorts.com

Many of its menu items are coming from the local

Beach Plum Farm. The Pig serves classic tavern food

with quite a a twist or two along the way.

B, L, D

FULL

BAR

YES YES

u b

H

BOILER ROOM

251 Beach Avenue,

(609) 884-8422

www.caperesorts.com

Congress Hall’s chic basement nightclub — all bare

metal and brickwork — now has a brick oven serving

thin-crust pizza, and has added a line of draft beers.

D

FULL

BAR

NO NO

u

H

THE BROWN ROOM

251 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-8422

www.caperesorts.com

Congress Hall’s lounge was recently given a very cool

renovation, with a larger, circular bar. The decor is

elegant, the drinks are great, the staff attentive, and

the place just says “classy.”

Bar

Menu

FULL

BAR

NO NO

u

CABANAS

429 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-4800

www.cabanasonthebeach.com

The party is here — always warm and friendly in this

lively beachfront bar, featuring great food and some of

the best live bands around.

B, L, D

FULL

BAR

YES YES

b

H

CAPE MAY FISH MARKET

408 Washington Street, Cape May

(609) 770-3790

www.capemayfishmarket.com

THE CARRIAGE HOUSE

1048 Washington Street

At the Emlen Physick Estate

(609) 884-5111

DELANEY’S IRISH BAR & GRILL

400 Washington Mall, Cape May

(609) 770-8559

www.delaneyscapemay.com

Comfy joint in the middle of the mall, featuring a raw

bar, surf-n-turf entrées, sandwiches and burgers, plus

outside tables for some great people-watching!

The Carriage House offers everything from hearty

wraps, salads, quiche and paninis to classic teas. Best

of all is the location — the gorgeous Emlen Physick

Estate.

Irish comfort food is just a small part of the huge

menu at this Irish-style bar and restaurant occupying

a prime corner spot on the mall. Naturally, there’s

Guinness on tap, too.

L, D BYOB NO YES

b

H

L BYOB YES YES

u

b

L, D BAR NO YES b

H

THE EBBITT ROOM

25 Jackson Street,

(609) 884-5700

www. virginiahotel.com

Enjoy your meal on the Ebbitt Room porch,

overlooking tree-lined Jackson Street, or enjoy the

simple beauty of this dining room, one of the finest in

South Jersey.

D BAR YES NO

u

SYMBOLS KEY u Onsite parking b Handicap accessible

H Takeout available U Dog-friendly patio

exit zero 16 fall


THE HEAT IS ON

NOW THROUGH DECEMBER

Feel the warmth of the Rusty Nail beyond summer. Kick back with

beach-inspired bites surrounded by the Nail’s classic surf scene; featuring a

sand bar, indoor-outdoor picnic dining and fire pit. As the weather starts to cool,

stay toasty warm with inside seating near the new fireplace - roaring all night long.

BREAKFAST | LUNCH | DINNER | DRINKS

Dogs Welcome | Live Music | Open through December

205 BEACH AVENUE 609.884.0017 RUSTYNAILCAPEMAY.COM #THERUSTYNAIL

exit zero 17 fall


THE ULTIMATE CAPE MAY FOOD & DRINK CHART

What you

need to

know about

the food

and vibe

Meals

served

Bar or

BYOB?

Should I

book?

Food for

kids?

Other

details

E. M. HEMINGWAY’S

1045 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-5611

www.hemingwayscapemay.com

Casual and family-friendly, E. M. Hemingway’s offers

great seafood, prime beef and nightly specials. Enjoy

their happy hours daily from 4-7pm and weekend

DJs.

B, L, D BAR YES YES u b

H

EXIT ZERO FILLING STATION

110 Sunset Boulevard, Cape May

(609) 770-8479

www.exitzero.us

Fill your car at the pumps, fill your shopping bag with

cool merchandise and fill up your belly with great

curries, some of the best burgers around, and two

bars offering cool cocktails and local draft beers.

B, L, D BAR NO YES

u b

H U

FINS BAR & GRILLE

142 Decatur Street, Cape May

(609) 884-3449

www.finscapemay.com

Really cool decor and exciting food make this newish

restaurant a welcome addition to the local landscape.

It’s located at the former Pilot House, just off the mall.

L, D BAR NO YES

b

H

5 WEST PUB

3729 Bayshore, N. Cape May

(609) 889-7000

www.5westpub.com

A gastropub from the owners of Tisha’s, a Cape May

favorite. Expect exciting dishes, good drinks, and a

scene that’s usually buzzing. A few minutes drive from

town.

L, D BAR YES YES

u b

H U

410 BANK STREET

410 Bank Street, Cape May

(609) 884-2127

www.410bankstreet.com

After four decades, 410 still one of Cape May’s

finest restaurants, serving food that’s as brilliant and

inventive as ever. Always a lively atmosphere. New this

year: brunch on Sundays!

D BYOB YES YES

u

HARBOR VIEW

954 Ocean Drive

(609) 884-5444

www.harborviewcapemay.com

A locals’ favorite for a reason. There’s a Key West

vibe, good food, regular entertainment, and the views

are spectacular. Spend the day — or night. Check out

their Burger Mania on Sundays.

B, L, D BAR NO YES u b

H

HARPOONS ON THE BAY

Beach Drive and Browning

(609) 886-5529

www.harpoonhenrys.net

It’s become famous for its sunsets. Sip on a cold beer

or a funky iced cocktail, listen to fun live music, and

watch a beautiful day slip away. And note that the

menu has a LOT of excellent new dishes.

L, D BAR NO YES

u

b

HARRY’S OCEAN BAR & GRILLE

Madison & Beach Avenue

(609) 884-2779

www.harryscapemay.com

The Montreal Inn’s restaurant successfully mixes a

friendly, family feel with a stylish oceanfront vibe. And

you’re going to love the renovation, with the indoor/

outdoor bar.

B, L, D BAR YES YES

u

b

ICCARA

311 Mansion Street, Cape May

(609) 884-0200

www.iccaracapemay.com

Just steps from the Washington Street Mall, Iccara

Italian Bistro & Seafood brings you the fresh flavors of

Italy in a charming, welcoming atmosphere.

D BYOB YES YES u b

IRON PIER CRAFT HOUSE

429 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-1925

www.ironpiercrafthouse.com

Remember Martini Beach, above Cabanas? Well, Iron

Pier is there now. Same owners, but a delicious new

menu, great new craft beer list, and the decor got a

nice spruce-up, too!

D

FULL

BAR YES YES

H

THE LOBSTER HOUSE

Fisherman’s Wharf, Cape May

(609) 884-8296

www.thelobsterhouse.com

Take-out, fish market, restaurant, raw bar... the

Lobster House has it all. Drinks on the Schooner

American, watching the boats before dinner, is a

lovely experience.

B, L, D BAR NO YES

u

b

LOUISA’S CAFÉ

104 Jackson Street

Cape May

(609) 884-5882

This tiny, loveable spot has been a favorite for four

decades. Expect fresh, simple, delicious food, using

produce from the local Beach Plum Farm.

exit zero 18 fall

D BYOB YES NO b

SYMBOLS KEY u Onsite parking b Handicap accessible

H Takeout available U Dog-friendly patio


Harbor View

RESTAURANT, MARINA & BAR

Open for Lunch & Dinner Daily

Breakfast on Saturday & Sunday

Mon-Fri 3-6

half-price apps

Voted the best

Happy Hour

in NJ!

Don’t Miss Our Famous Fall Dinner Specials!

Prime Rib Turkey Dinner & Burger Mania!

954 OCEAN DRIVE, CAPE MAY ¯ 609-884-5444 ¯ HARBORVIEWCAPEMAY.COM

exit zero 19 fall


THE ULTIMATE CAPE MAY FOOD & DRINK CHART

What you

need to

know about

the food

and vibe

Meals

served

Bar or

BYOB?

Should I

book?

Food for

kids?

Other

details

LUCKY BONES

1200 Route 109, Cape May

(609) 884-BONE

www.luckybonesgrill.com

A huge hit and locals’ favorite for a reason. Excellent

food, great bar vibe, superb service. Lucky Bones

gets it right every single time.

L, D BAR

For

tables of

eight or

more

YES

u b

H

MAD BATTER

19 Jackson Street

(609) 884-5970

www.madbatter.com

It’s the original fine dining restaurant in Cape May.

The food is always creative and the breakfasts and

brunches, hard to beat — hence the lines.

B, L, D BAR YES YES

b

H

MARIO’S PIZZA

Washington Commons

(609) 884-0085

www.mariosofcapemay.com

Homemade specialties and secret sauces, from

classic pizza (using homemade dough daily) to

paninis, garlic knots and pasta dishes.

L, D BYOB NO YES

u b

H

MAYER’S TAVERN

894 3rd Avenue, Cape May

(609) 435-5078

www.mayerstavern.com

The legendary harborfront dive bar reopened last

year, with a smart renovation undertaken by the

Laudeman family. But the character remains, along

with those fried scallops.

D

FULL

u b

BAR NO YES

H

MERION INN

106 Decatur Street, Cape May

(609) 884-8363

www.merioninn.com

The dim, amber lighting, classic wooden bar, period

fittings and classy staff deliver a special ambience.

Listen to live piano music as you eat, or linger over

expertly made cocktails at the bar.

D

FULL

BAR YES YES u b

H U

OCEAN VIEW

Beach & Grant Avenues

(609) 884-3772

www.oceanviewrestaurant.com

OUT THERE COFFEE

315 Ocean Street at

Washington Commons, Cape May

outtherecoffee@gmail.com

At this oceanfront staple, expect a large menu, full

of classic diner food that’s reasonably priced. Locals

frequent it, and you know that is always a good sign.

This brainchild of thirtysomething couple Nikki and

Craig is a little slice of Colorado in Cape May. Expect

gourmet, imaginative coffee AND teas, along with

ridiculously tasty scratch-made treats.

B, L, D BYOB NO YES u b

H

B, L N/A NO YES u b

H

OYSTER BAY

615 Lafayette Street

(609) 884-2111

www.oysterbayrestaurantnj.com

A lovely dining room, a buzzy separate bar, a new bar

menu, great martinis and classic, generous dishes.

Check out their happy hour from 4-6pm.

D BAR YES YES

u b

H

PETER SHIELDS INN

1301 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-9090

www.petershieldsinn.com

RIO STATION

3505 Route 9 South

Rio Grande

(609) 889-2000

RUSTY NAIL

205 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-0017

www.caperesorts.com/rusty-nail

SAPORE ITALIANO

416 South Broadway

West Cape May

(609) 600-1422

The Georgian Revival mansion on Cape May’s

beachfront is magnificent, and the creative modern

American menu matches it all the way. A classy

eating experience.

With a new menu, Rio Station offers steaks, local

seafood, creative salads, vegetarian options and

an award-winning wine list. Plus 14 beers on tap,

including local crafts.

Coldest beer and coolest vibe in town. The iconic

Rusty Nail is the place to be for a uniquely Cape May

experience. And they even have non-alcoholic brew

for dogs!

Located in a magnificent Victorian mansion, and

the food does it justice. Excellent Italian food and a

lovely family-style ambience.

D BYOB NO NO

H

B, L, D BAR YES YES

u b

H

B, L, D BAR NO YES u b

H U

D BYOB YES YES u b

H

SYMBOLS KEY u Onsite parking b Handicap accessible

H Takeout available U Dog-friendly patio

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THE ULTIMATE CAPE MAY FOOD & DRINK CHART

What you

need to

know about

the food

and vibe

Meals

served

Bar or

BYOB?

Should I

book?

Food for

kids?

Other

details

SALT WATER CAFE

1231 Route 109, Cape May

(609) 884-2403

www.saltwatercafecapemay.com

A fairly new addition to the Cape May food scene.

The harbor setting is mighty fine, and so is the food,

which is freshly prepared. The soups are simply

superb.

B, L, D BYOB N/A YES u b

H U

SEASALT

1035 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-7000

www.seasaltcapemay.com

Black wood and granite tables, mother-of-pearl

barfront, river rock decor... the vibe is as cool as the

food is delicious. Reserve the chef’s intimate private

table for up to 14.

B, L, D BAR YES YES

u b

H

SHAMONE

421 Washington Street

Cape May

(609) 884-6088

Looking for something different? The Karapanagiotis

brothers offer one 15-course tasting menu nightly. For

$35. It’s an adventure for your tastebuds.

D BYOB YES NO

TISHA’S

322 Washington Street Mall

Cape May

(609) 884-9119

TOMMY’S FOLLY CAFÉ

251 Beach Avenue, Cape May

(609) 884-6522

www.caperesorts.com

UGLY MUG

426 Washington Street Mall

Cape May

(609) 884-3459

A hot spot on the Washington Street Mall, where

they serve up irresistible concoctions for lunch and

dinner. A great people-watching spot, too.

Situated in the lobby of Congress Hall, this shop has

great coffee and to-go breakfast goodies, as well as

healthy and tasty lunch wraps, plus soups, shakes and

more.

A Cape May legend, and a good place to stop while

shopping on the mall. Such a treat. It has a classic pub

vibe, and always a warm, friendly atmosphere.

L, D BYOB YES YES

b U

B, Café NO NO YES ub

H U

L, D BAR NO YES b

H

UNCLE BILL’S PANCAKE HOUSE

Beach Avenue and Perry Street,

Cape May

(609) 884-7199

Reliably good food for breakfast and lunch — there

is a reason why people wait in line here. You can sit

outside with ocean and beach views and dine with

your dog if the weather is nice.

B, L BYOB NO YES

ub

H U

UNION PARK

Beach Avenue & Howard

(609) 884-8811

www.unionparkdiningroom.com

Exquisite dining in a classic old hotel, where both the

decor and the food are inspired. Voted one of the

best restaurants in the state by New Jersey Monthly

magazine.

D BYOB YES YES

u b

H

VIGGIANO’S ON SUNSET

109 Sunset Blvd, West Cape May

484-344-5561

www.viggianosbyob.com

VINCENZO’S LITTLE ITALY II

3704 Bayshore Road

North Cape May

(609) 889-6610

WASHINGTON INN

801 Washington, Cape May

(609) 884-5697

www.washingtoninn.com

THE YB

314 Beach Avenue,

Cape May

(609) 898-2009

A new family-friendly Italian restaurant, from the

same owners as the popular Conshocken restaurant.

Expect classic Italian food done right and a welcome

as hearty as the pasta dishes.

If you want to bring the family for a fine and fun

Italian meal, look no further. The kids will love

it. Excellent pasta dishes, and they’ve recently

expanded their pizzeria.

Superb gourmet food, and a cool but cozy bar. Check

out an amazing wine list of over 10,000 bottles;

they’ve got the largest wine cellar in South Jersey.

The chef and manager just took over this popular

eatery. The food and service is as good as ever, and

the renovation is beautiful! Enjoy both brunch and

dinner time in this cozy beachfront eatery.

D BYOB NO YES

u b

H

L, D BYOB YES YES

u b

H

D BAR YES YES u b

H

B, D BYOB YES YES b

H

SYMBOLS KEY u Onsite parking b Handicap accessible

H Takeout available U Dog-friendly patio

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award-winning dining

BEST AMERICAN &

TOP 25 RESTAURANTS IN THE STATE

- new jersey monthly

Winner 2018 OpenTable

Diners’ Choice Award

3-course Prix Fixe $39

5pm-6pm

oceanfront porch dining available

Weddings l Rehearsals l Private Parties

BEACH AVENUE & HOWARD STREET

At the Hotel Macomber

609-884-8811

unionparkdiningroom.com

RECENT TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS...

“A dining experience that was perfect.”

“The service was wonderful, as was the

atmosphere. Highly recommended.”

“The food was delicious and the service was

superb. Much of the food is locally sourced,

and the chef is talented!”

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Cape May has never seen anything like it!

Gas station

with oldfashioned

service

Restaurant &

bar serving

fab burgers,

Indian & Thai

Coffee shop

& breakfast/

lunch to-go

specials

Exit Zero

merchandise

& souvenir

store

110 Sunset Boulevard 609-770-8479 exitzero.com


events around the cape

October 13

Victorian Weekend Crafts and

Collectibles Show

Dealers from throughout the region display

and sell their wares on the lawn of the Emlen

Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street,

from 10am to 4pm. Free admission. Free

parking available. Call 609-884-5404 or visit

capemaymac.org.

October 13

Cape May Wine School

At the Washington Inn, 801 Washington

Street, this class will refine your palate. 1pm.

Admission $40. Call 609-884-5404 or visit

capemaymac.org.

October 13

Lighthouse Full Moon Climb

Let the light of the full moon guide you up the

199 stairs to the starry top. Don’t miss a rare

opportunity to see the light of the moon at

the top, weather permitting. The Cape May

Lighthouse is located in Cape May Point

State Park, Lower Township. 8-10pm. $15 for

adults, $8 for children (ages 3-12). Call 609-

884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

October 13

Eighth Annual Lessons of History

Distinguished Lecture Series

Features a distinguished speaker on topics

of historical interest and importance at

4pm. A Meet the Lecturer reception to follow

at 5:30pm. Admission $30 lecture only, $50

lecture and reception. Call 609-884-5404 or

visit www.capemaymac.org.

October 14

Show Us Your Undies

Fashion Show and Brunch

Living history presenters from Grand

Oak Plantation show an overview (or under-view!)

of ladies and men’s Victorian

clothing and foundations via live models, accompanied

by a delicious brunch at the Carriage

House Café & Tearoom, Emlen Physick

Estate, 1048 Washington Street at 10am. Admission

is $30. Call 609-884-5404 or visit

capemaymac.org.

October 18

Mad Batter Beer Dinner

Celebrate Oktoberfest with a four-course

comfort food menu paired with craft beers,

at the famous Mad Batter restaurant, 19

Jackson Street at 7:30pm. $65 per person.

Limited seating. Call 609-884-5404 or visit

www.capemaymac.org.

October 18-20

NJ Audubon Cape May

Autumn Festival/The Bird Show

This island is the birding capital of the

universe, and we have the show to prove it.

Convention Hall. 10am-5pm. Call 609-884-

2736, or visit birdcapemay.org.

October 19

Historic Cold Spring Village

Pumpkin Festival

Families can enjoy pumpkin painting and

games throughout the day. A variety of crafters

will sell their wares along the Village’s

shell-paved lanes. Vendors will be selling

hot dogs, funnel cake, and other snacks. Visit

a haunted house at the Village Barn and hop

on a fall hayride through the farm. Call 609-

898-2300.

October 19-20

Lighthouse Challenge of

New Jersey Weekend

New Jersey Lighthouses, museums and life

OPEN YEAR ROUND

.

A SHORT DRIVE FROM HISTORIC CAPE MAY

. .

CAPEMAYBREWERY.COM @CAPEMAYBREWCO #CRAFTEDONTHECAPE

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at Congress Hall

Cape May’s

Living Room

Cocktails & Small Plates | Live Entertainment

brownroomcapemay.com

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saving stations will host this “Lighthouse Challenge of New Jersey”

weekend. The public is invited (and challenged) to visit all participating

lighthouses over the weekend and help raise funds for continued

lighthouse preservation. YOU can support and preserve the maritime

history of our state. Begin the Challenge at any of the participating

lighthouses, and purchase a tri-fold souvenir pamphlet ($1) to be

stamped at each lighthouse as proof of visit. Hours of operation for

each participating lighthouse can be found on the lighthouse and

museum websites, and at lighthousechallengenj.org, njlhs.org and

visitnj.org.

October 20

Halloween Parade

Have you always wanted to be an astronaut? A doctor? Freddie

Krueger? Mayor Lear? Here is your chance. Dress in costume or

just spectate; Perry Street at Congress Hall is a clutch watching

spot. The parade kicks off at Rotary Park. Registration begins at

1:30pm at Perry and Washington Streets, Judging at 2pm, parade

at 3pm. Party to follow at 4pm at the Physick Estate. Call 609-884-

9565, or visit discovercapemaynj.

October 20

Trick or Treat on the Mall

Get your sweets from local merchants. Washington Street Mall.

From 12-2pm. See washingtonstreetmall.com.

open seven days year round

Uncle Bill’s

& FAMILY RESTAURANT

Pancakes, perfected!

October 25-26

East Lynne Theater presents Sherlock Holmes Adventure

of the Blue Carbuncle

It’s a race against time for Holmes and Watson to stop murders in

a country manor. Performed “radio-style” with live sound effects

and commercials. 8pm. First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500

Hughes Street. Adult admission $28; $20 students and military, children

under 12 free. Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

October 25-27

Sherlock Holmes Weekend

New mystery, new dates for 2019! Join Sherlock Holmes and his

partner, Dr. Watson, for a weekend of solving clues in the new

mystery “Sherlock Holmes and The Wake at the Wedding.” Stalk the

gaslit streets in search of clues and compete for the $250 grand prize.

Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

October 26

Sherlock Holmes Search for Clues Tour

Travel from inn to inn in Victorian Cape May while you try to solve

the new Sherlock Holmes murder mystery for 2019, “Sherlock

Holmes and The Wake at the Wedding.” 1- 3pm. $15 for adults, $10

for children (ages 3-12). Tour begins and tickets are available at the

Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Call 609-884-5404 or

visit capemaymac.org.

BEACH AVENUE & PERRY STREET

609-884-7199 « Pet-Friendly Outdoor Seating!

October 26

Crafts & Collectibles By the Sea Show

Crafters and collectibles dealers from throughout the region display

and sell their wares at Cape May Convention Hall from 10am-4pm.

Admission is $2. Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

October 26

Lucky Bones Lunch & Learn: Ghostly Tales and Music

Hear talks on popular topics of history, culture and the arts over

lunch at Lucky Bones Restaurant. Featuring a creepy slideshow

and chilling ghost stories from the past two centuries. Doors open

at 11:30 am. Admission is $20 and includes a buffet luncheon and

lecture. Beverages may be purchased separately. Limited event. Call

609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.October 31

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HARRY’S OCEAN BAR & GRILLE

“Best Appetizers; Best Cocktails; Best Happy Hour” - CapeMay.CoM

open ‘til the end of november! *

*oCtober hours: thursday through sunday, 8aM - 10pM. noveMber hours: Friday dinner serviCe through sunday breakFast.

FOOD • FAMILY • TRADITION

BEACH AT MADISON AVENUE • CAPE MAY, NJ • 609.884.2779 • HARRYSCAPEMAY.COM

photos by JessiCa orlowiCz

CAPE MAY’S ONLY BEACHFRONT LIQUOR STORE

BEACH AT MADISON AVENUE, CAPE MAY, NJ • (609) 884-6114 • MONTREALBEACHRESORT.COM

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Adored by Visitors

Loved by Locals!

Trick or Treat at the Physick Estate

Some spooky characters are waiting with treats for good little ghosts

and goblins and pirates and princesses. From 5-7pm.

November 1-2

East Lynne Theater presents Sherlock

Holmes Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

It’s a race against time for Holmes and Watson to stop murders in

a country manor. Performed “radio-style” with live sound effects

and commercials. 8pm. First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500

Hughes Street. Adult admission $28; $20 students and military, children

under 12 free. Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

November 1-3

Sherlock Holmes Weekend

Join Sherlock Holmes and his partner, Dr. Watson for a weekend of

mystery and intrigue. Get into the spirit of things by donning Victorian

attire. Stalk the gaslit streets in search of clues and compete

for the $250 grand prize and a variety of other valuable gifts as you

attempt to solve the mystery. Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

Beach & Grant, Cape May

609-884-3772

November 2

Sherlock Holmes Search for Clues Tour

Travel from inn to inn in Victorian Cape May while you try to solve

the new Sherlock Holmes murder mystery for 2019, “Sherlock

Holmes and The Wake at the Wedding.” 1- 3pm. $15 for adults, $10

for children (ages 3-12). Tour begins and tickets are available at the

Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Call 609-884-5404 or

visit capemaymac.org.

November 2

Fall Crafts And Collectibles Show

Dozens of vendors come to Cape May to sell handmade novelties and

crafts including seasonal decorations, gift items and more. 10am-

4pm. Cape May Convention Hall, Beach Avenue at Stockton Place.

Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemaymac.org.

American Cuisine

Freshest Seafood

Sizzling Steaks

Great Bar Menu

HAPPY HOUR 4-6

615 LAFAYETTE STREET, CAPE MAY

609-884-2111 • oysterbayrestaurant.com

November 7-10

Exit Zero Jazz Festival

Venues throughout Cape May are taken over by other superb

musicians from various genres. An absolute can’t-miss event. For

ticket information, see exit0jazzfest.com.

November 11

Veterans Day Ceremony

Honor those who have served with this special commemorative

event. Columbia Avenue All Wars Monument. 11am. Call 609-884-

9565.

November 15

Mad Batter Wine Dinner: Autumn Flavors

Savor the flavors and colors of autumn during this five-course

seasonal menu paired with wine, presented at The Mad Batter

Restaurant at 7:30pm. $75 per person. Call 609-884-5404 or visit

capemaymac.org.

November 22-January 1

Cape May’s Holiday Season

Six weeks of special holidays tours and events including Holiday Preview

Weekend (November 22-24), 46th Annual Christmas Candlelight

House Tours (December 7, 14 and 28), plus Lamplighter Christmas

Tours, Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides, Emlen Physick

Estate Christmas Tours, Holiday Inns Tours, Evening Holiday Lights

Trolley Rides, Evening Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides, Santa’s

Trolley Rides, and more. Call 609-884-5404 or visit capemay-

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Savor Summer

Fine Food & Craft Cocktails

From the relaxing front porch, to the classically comfortable bar and

lounge with live piano music on weekends, The Ebbitt Room is strongly

rooted in a farm-to-table, farm-to-glass dining philosophy featuring the

freshest ingredients from our very own Beach Plum Farm.

Edible Jersey Local Heroes 2019

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2018

• Dining Room and Lounge Open Nightly

• Live Piano Music

• Complimentary Valet Parking

• Happy Hour Monday - Friday 4pm - 6pm

• Early Dining Menu Sunday - Friday $35 +

Reservations 609.884.5700 | EbbittRoom.com | 25 Jackson Street

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Harriet, Our Hero

How the community is united behind a new museum honoring American icon

Harriet Tubman, along with the island’s African American heritage.

photography suzanne kulperger

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On September 6, a group of Cape May luminaries

gathered at the home of Dave and Chris

Clemans on Sea Grove Avenue, Cape May

Point, where they enjoyed wine, gourmet hors

d’oeuvres, and a riveting lesson on Harriet

Tubman and her connections to Cape May. The point? Raising

funds for a Harriet Tubman museum that will pay tribute to an

important — and long-buried — piece of island history.

Before you roll your eyes with skepticism, Harriet Tubman,

escaped slave and chief conductor on the Underground Railroad,

really DID stay in Cape May. At one point, in her own

words to the Auburn Daily Advertiser newspaper in New York,

it also served as her “headquarters.” So, this is not just something

the tourism commission made up to help quench visitors’

thirst for historical drama. Although, until recent research

clarified some things, it HAD been difficult for visitors to separate

fact from fiction.

“The things I’ve been telling people are finally true!” joked

Bob Mullock, owner of The Chalfonte hotel and a driving force

behind the museum initiative. “This may have started out as a

Mullock family project, but those days are long gone. This is a

community project now.”

Judging by a slew of outside media attention (and at least

one family which flew in to see the museum’s progress from

Texas), it’s a campaign which has indeed reached far beyond

this seaside hamlet.

“There is so much excitement,” said Revered Harold Harris

of the Macedonia Baptist Church, which owns the museum

property. “I was called to say prayer with a sick person in

Atlantic City recently. She asked me which church I am from,

and when I told her, she said, ‘Oh, you’re the ones doing the

museum!’ It’s been wonderful to see it all coming together.”

But what, exactly, is everyone so stoked about? We sat

down with the major players to fill you in on some frequently

asked questions about the island’s newest (and worthiest?)

endeavor.

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The Mullock family and friends are behind the renovation of a former Macedonia Baptist Church property into a new museum honoring the

legacy of Harriet Tubman, along with the African American traditions on Cape May and the memory of the late Reverend Robert Davis.

Was Harriet Tubman ACTUALLY in Cape May? Yes! In the

summer of 1852, she worked here to raise money for her work on

the Underground Railroad, a system of loose, secret routes by

which she led more than 300 people out of slavery. What did she

do? We can’t know for sure.

“It’s possible she worked at the Banneker House Hotel,” said

Barbara Dreyfuss, whose research for the Center for Community

Arts has inspired Cape May’s Underground Railroad Tour and

informed the museum’s work. “This was certainly the only resort

hotel for blacks in Cape May, maybe in the country, and it’s where

all the black abolitionists and Underground Railroad leaders from

Philadelphia came to regroup in the summer.” And also, possibly,

where they conducted operations.

One New York newspaper clipping from 1909, for which Tubman

was interviewed, maintains she established a settlement in

Cape May for a number of slaves she led to freedom. Translation:

If Tubman was the Moses of her people, this town may have been

her Mount Sinai.

Why would slaves have come here? Moving north, those

escaping bondage would not have been safe even in Delaware,

which was a slave state. New Jersey, however, became free in

1804, meaning if you could make it 18 miles across the Delaware

Bay, you had a chance. Often, fugitives attempting the journey did

so on small rowboats, evading slave catchers and using the Cape

May Lighthouse as a guide. At least 20 slaves that we know of fled

across the bay to freedom.

How do we know this? Some of these accounts we’ve learned

from William Still, aka the Father of the Underground Railroad.

He spent time in Cape May, and he interviewed men and women

escaping bondage in the mid-1800s for his book The Underground

Rail Road: A Record. This book will be one of the pieces showcased

at the museum, thanks to a loan from Emily Dempsey, who

discovered the work at an estate sale in West Cape May. Owner

of the Attic Treasures antique store on Sunset Boulevard, she represents

the fourth generation of her family on the island. “Black

history has been suppressed every day,” she said. “I’m amazed by

what I’m learning. This project has been an adventure through history.”

Whose idea was the museum, anyway? That would be Bob

Mullock. In November of 2018, his family signed an 18-month lease

agreement with the Macedonia Baptist Church, who own the

museum property. (The church is located next door.) Then they

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formed a nonprofit to raise funds and support. Bob’s son Zack, city

councilmember, is working (for free) as construction manager on

the project.

Where will the museum be? On Lafayette Street. The home,

currently being restored, once housed the Revered Robert Davis,

pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church, and his wife Carolyn. Until

his death in 2015, Reverend Davis was a beloved member of the

community. He was also a strong advocate for the preservation of

African American history, and his collection of African American

artifacts will be showcased in the museum.

The museum project is also being called a preservation project.

What does that mean? Parts of Reverend Davis’ house were

built in 1799, which means this house is among the oldest on the

island. Because it’s fallen into disrepair, it may have been demolished

if not for Bob Mullock’s suggestion to turn it into a museum.

Does the house have any other connections to African

American history? It’s possible this space, originally owned by a

Quaker, was also used as a safe house for fugitive slaves. “We’re

still investigating,” Dreyfuss said.

Okay, that’s pretty cool. But what’s so special about the

area? Remember that Banneker House Hotel we told you about?

That used to be on the same corner. And a house formerly owned

by Stephen Smith still IS on this corner. Smith was a freed slave,

and the wealthiest black man in America at one point. The owner

of a coal and lumber business, he used his money to ferry slaves

to freedom in the 22 cars of his railroad. (No metaphor here…

we’re talking about an actual, aboveground railroad.) Across

the street was the white Baptist church where the editor of a

local newspaper often preached anti-slavery rhetoric. In other

words, this area was a hotspot of abolition discussion, and possibly

more. It’s a big part of the reason Cape May is now included

on the Network to Freedom, a nationwide program from the

National Parks Service that recognizes locations with verifiable

connections to the Underground Railroad. But beyond that, this

area was also home to a thriving black community, long after slavery

was abolished. (For more on that, see below.)

What is the mission of the museum? That’s three-fold,

according to Lynda Anderson-Towns, trustee chairperson at the

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Bob Mullock with a portrait of American abolitionist Harriet

Tubman, painted by local artist Sydnei Smith Jordan. It will be among

the exhibits at the new museum, being planned for completion

on Lafayette Street next year. Above: A still from the new movie

Harriet, released November 1, which tells the story of the famed

Underground Railroad activist.

Macedonia Baptist Church. Mission one: Honoring Tubman. Mission

two: Honoring the Revered Davis. Mission three: Honoring

the contributions of the wider black community on the island, of

which there are many.

“There’s always been a great push to bring tourists to Cape

May for its Victorian history, forgetting the role of the African

American community,” Anderson-Towns said. “There’s so much

more to this story, and so much of it has yet to be shared.”

In the 1920s, African Americans made up approximately a

third of Cape May’s population, and its members established

restaurants, bars, shops and other businesses frequented by

both whites and blacks. With Urban Renewal money in the 1960s,

after much of Cape May had fallen into disrepair, many of these

buildings were demolished, and this began the decline of the

African American population on the island. Hopefully, Anderson-Towns

says, staffing the museum may provide an opportunity

to bring at least one or two of these African American families

back.

But isn’t there a Victorian connection, too? There IS. Queen

Victoria once gifted Harriet Tubman a shawl as a token of her

respect.

How much will this museum project cost? Approximately

$500,000.

How is this being funded? Through donations. And we’re

about halfway there. So far, approximately $150,000 has been

raised in cash (shout-out to that fundraiser at the home of Dave

and Chris Clemans). Another $100,000 is coming in the form of

in-kind donations or pro-bono work. Among the generous members

of the community who have offered or discounted their services?

Swain’s Hardware, Mohr Masonry, the law firm of Barry,

Corrado, Grassi and Gillin-Schwartz, Fulcrum Design Group and

others. “I am taken aback by it, but then I ask myself why,” said

Mullock. “People are naturally good. This community is naturally

good. We want to do the right thing, and sometimes we just need

the opportunity.”

When will it be done? Hopefully in 2020.

How can I help? Donations can be made at harriettubmanmuseum.org.

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Call him Agua Man... Carl Behrens,

superintendent of water and sewer,

at Cape May’s desalination plant.

Raise A Glass

Of water, that is! Thanks to an under-the-radar desalination plant,

that water in your glass is seriously fresh. Here’s how it stays that way.

article bill barlow

photography suzanne kulperger

Typically, when visitors to Cape

May evangelize about our

beautiful water, they’re gushing

about the ocean. Pretty, clean

and frequented by leaping dolphins,

it’s an understandably big reason this

little resort is regularly ranked among the

best in the nation.

But it’s not the only newsworthy H20 in

town.

Cape May’s drinking water has won multiple

awards, including the title of fifth best

in the nation, according to the National Rural

Water Association. Most recently, in 2014, it

took first in a contest run by the South Jersey

Water Professionals Association, which

judged appearance, odor, flavor, mouthfeel,

aftertaste and overall impression. (Yes, those

words DO apply outside of the Washington

Inn’s Wine Bar.)

But it’s not just the quality that sets apart

potable water on the Cape. It’s the fact that

potable water exists here at all.

If it weren’t for an inauspicious, underthe-radar

desalination plant on Canning

House Lane, just off Broadway, which transforms

saltwater into fresh, Cape May would

have been thrust into a water-scarcity crisis

long ago.

Unlike the almost-submerged Concrete

Ship at Sunset Beach or our storied lighthouse

in Cape May Point State Park, this plant isn’t

covered in town brochures. But, while our

famed beaches and historic sites command

all the attention, this marvel of modern technology

is, perhaps, the most essential feather

in Cape May’s cap.

Since its storied launch in 1998, the desal

plant has kept Cool Cape May from going

dry… one pure, fresh, sustainable glass at a

time.

Cape May’s Water Emergency

For more than a century, Cape May obtained

its water like much of South Jersey — from

wells dug in the early 1900s. These wells tap

into Jersey Cape aquifers which, contrary to

popular belief, are not underground lakes.

“Everybody thinks that,” says Glen Carleton,

a New Jersey-based hydrologist with

the US Geological Survey. “It’s absolutely

nothing like that.”

Instead, under the earth for the hundreds

of feet between, say, Madison Avenue

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and the bedrock of the continental shelf, sit

layers of clay alternating with layers of sand

and gravel. When rain is absorbed into the

ground, it becomes suspended within this

sand. These wet sections are the areas from

which freshwater can be extracted.

The good news is that such aquifers are,

for the most part, plenty full in South Jersey.

Thanks to eons of rain in the New Jersey

Pinelands, many hold a healthy freshwater

reserve. Stone Harborites, for instance, will

likely draw as much uncontaminated water

as they want for hundreds of years to come.

In Atlantic City, that time period is likely

closer to thousands of years.

But, the farther south you travel in the

state, the more vulnerable these freshwater

reserves are to saltwater intrusion. As Glen

puts it, “Cape May is between a rock and a

hard place.” Or, more literally, we’re between

a bay and an ocean.

The infiltration of saltwater is exactly

what began happening in Cape May in the

1960s, when the city’s first two wells — one

near Madison Avenue, the other across from

Cape May City Elementary School — were

contaminated. More were dug, but those


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were eventually contaminated, too. A growing

population meant the city needed to

increase its pumping of these wells, which

only compounded the problem — at the tip

of the peninsula, the more freshwater you

take out, the less time Mother Nature has to

replenish it before saltwater pours in to fill

the gap.

In other words, Glen says, “The situation

became dire for Cape May.”

The Salt Solution

In the mid-90s, with a dwindling supply of

available freshwater, city leaders adopted a

new approach: Instead of trying so hard to

avoid the briny, brackish water of the Cape,

how about embracing it? Led by then-mayor

Ed Mahaney, Cape May turned to what was

then still a newfangled idea in the northeast:

making saltwater drinkable via desalination.

Typically, water moves through a semipermeable

membrane from an area of low

salt concentration to an area of high salt

concentration. But, in order for this desalination

— or reverse osmosis — process to

work, water must be pumped in the opposite

direction through a very fine synthetic filter.

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In the end, all the brine is left behind, and the

resulting water is pure and consumption safe.

In short order, building a $5 million facility

capable of this work became the city’s

main focus. With state and federal grant

money, and with overwhelming public support,

construction of the plant — then the

largest capital improvement endeavor in city

history — began in 1997 and completed the

following year.

The finished product was cutting edge

but, fitting for Cape May, it was partly historic,

too, housed inside a brick waterworks

building constructed more than 90 years ago

and previously used as storage for the public

works department.

Today, this plant looks much the same as

it did 21 years ago — like a set from the kind of

sci-fi movie mocked in Mystery Science Theater

300 — but it sounds just like a waterfall.

Inside, an imposing system of 10-inch-wide,

20-foot-long PVC-looking pipes called pressure

vessels are arranged into two compact

skids that stretch from the floor to well overhead.

From two wells drilled into a brackish,

800-foot deep aquifer near the plant, 1,300

gallons of water per minute during peak summer

season are pumped through these pipes,

where the filtering process takes place. With

salt and other minerals removed, the liquid

becomes what Carl Behrens, superintendent

of water and sewer for Cape May, describes

as “aggressive.” This is why the desal facility

stabilizes its product with carbon dioxide

combined with a lime slurry before it leaves

the plant. Otherwise, the remaining water

molecules might try to bond with whatever

minerals they can find — including copper or

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GRAB

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And if you’re in the mood for rewarding yourself, we have pastries, cupcakes and cookies, too.

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lead from within the facility’s pipes or, even,

the minerals inside your mouth, potentially

leading to a parched feeling.

It’s a system that requires a huge amount

of energy to run but, at the other end, the

resulting water is about as pristine as you’ll

find anywhere — approximately 99.998 percent

pure.

“I always forget how many digits it is past

the decimal point,” says Carl.

This potable liquid then fills the water

towers of Cape May — including the pale blue

landmark painted with “Cape May” in dark

letters on Madison, as well as a standpipe

near the desal plant and the red-and-white

checkered tower at the Coast Guard Training

Center — before flowing through faucets all

over the city.

Fish Approved

This all begs the question: What do we do with

all that leftover salt? The more than 18,000

desalination plants in operation worldwide

produce an overwhelming amount of brine

waste. Late-night host Bill Maher has publicly

joked that we should save this supply for

“seasoning fucking almonds,” because what

typically happens is that it’s dumped into the

sea. At a salinity level twice that of normal

ocean water, it can be deadly for marine life.

It can also mess with ocean circulation and,

therefore, our climate. In other words, on a

macro scale, desalination could potentially

lead to more droughts, worsening the very

problem its intended to assuage.

But the Cape May plant utilizes brackish

— not ocean — water, which is much less

salty to begin with. For every four gallons that

enter the facility, the result is three gallons of

purified H20 and one gallon containing those

filtered-out, dissolved salts. This gallon is

not discharged into the sea, but from an outfall

pipe near the bridge at Elmira Street into

Cape Island Creek, where it lands at the midpoint

on the salinity spectrum. From here,

it merely flows out with the tide, doing no

detectable harm.

“You’re not killing any fish; you’re not killing

any crabs,” says Glen. “That’s a big deal.”

Time For An Upgrade

The Cape May Desalination Plant is a beast

that requires constant taming. Fighting rust

— a frustrating problem due to that “aggressive”

water — is almost a full-time job.

“You wire brush, you sand, you scrape

and you paint,” Carl explains, adding that

most of this work falls to Joseph Mendo, a

decades-long employee of the city who takes

care of the day-to-day maintenance. “We

could really use another body down there.”

Carl believes it’s time for an infrastructure

expansion, which would double the amount

of water Cape May can process from about

two million gallons per day to four million per

day. In other words, enough to see Cape May

— as well as the Coast Guard base, Cape May

Point and West Cape May, which all currently

buy Cape May water — well into the future.

Carl has convinced city council to include

this new, $4 million system in its upcoming

capital plan. While details are still being formulated,

the vision is to increase capacity in

phases, starting with another skid of reverse

osmosis pressure vessels — similar to the

ones already in use but more up-to-date.

A new well, drilled into the brackish aquifer

near the plant, is already in place, ready

and waiting to feed this new capacity.

It’s only a matter of time before it starts

pumping.

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WOOD-FIRED BRICK OVEN PIZZA

Start your night underground at the Boiler Room, where locals

dine on made-to-order pizza, cold beers, and more, featuring

fresh ingredients from our very own Beach Plum Farm.

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2020 edition


SPECIAL PROMOTION

HOW TO

HAVE

FUN IN

COOL

CAPE

MAY &

SAVE

$400!

Presenting the greatest

collection of money-saving

offers you’ve ever seen...

elegantly packaged as a

designer deck of cards.

perfect gift for

the holidays!

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THE EXIT ZERO DISCOUNT DECK 2020

USUALLY, something that seems too good to

be true is just that. Well, here’s the exception

to that rule! The Exit Zero Discount Deck,

from Exit Zero magazine, really IS everything

it appears to be... which is THE best way

to enjoy Cape May while saving a lot of money. To be

precise, you will save more than $400 if you use all the

cards in the elegantly designed pack of cards. And all you

pay is $20. MAKES THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT!

Go for dinner at The Ebbitt Room, followed by breakfast

at SeaSalt the next morning and you already got your

money back! And unlike many other special offers, there

are no exceptions or blackout days. These cards are good

for every single day this year, through December 31, 2020.

You can buy the Exit Zero Discount Deck from the Exit

Zero Filling Station, 110 Sunset Boulevard, at Collier’s

Liquor Store or Tommy’s Folly at Congress Hall. Or call us

on 609-770-8479 and pay by credit card. You can also buy

it online at ezstore.us.

Savings you can taste!

There are no hidden catches with your Discount Deck. For example,

you can save $10 off the cost of lunch or dinner at the Ugly Mug, with

a minimum spend of just $40! You can go any day of the week, even a

Saturday in sunny August. So get out there and use your deck to enjoy the

tantalizing Cape May eating experience!

} participating restaurants

Aleathea’s

Save $5 on breakfast/lunch — minimum spend $20.

Backstreet

Save $10 on dinner — minimum spend $75.

barefoot bar & Grill

Save $10 on minimum spend $35.

Blue Pig TAVERN

Save $5 on breakfast — minimum spend of $30.

CAPE MAY Brewing Company

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $30.

CAPE MAY Fish Market

Save $10 on lunch/dinner — minimum spend of $50.

cold spring brewery

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $30.

delaney’s irish bar & grill

Save $10 on dinner — minimum spend $50.

THE Ebbitt Room

Save $15 on dinner — minimum spend $100.

exit zero filling station

Save $10 on breakfast/lunch/dinner — minimum of $30.

fins bar & grille

Save $10 on lunch/dinner — minimum spend of $50.

5 West Pub

Save $10 on lunch/dinner — minimum spend $30.

Harpoons ON THE BAY

Save $10 on lunch/dinner — minimum spend $50.

Harry’s OCEAN BAR & GRILLE

Save $5 on B/L, beach service — minimum spend $20.

hawk haven vineyard

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $50.

Mad Batter

Save $10 on dinner — minimum spend $50.

magic brain cafÉ

Save $5 on minimum spend $15.

Merion Inn

Save $15 on dinner — minimum spend $75.

Oyster Bay

Save $10 on dinner — minimum spend $50.

quincy’s original lobster rolls

Save $10 on minimum spend $50.

RUSTY NAIL

Save $5 on breakfast — minimum spend $25.

SeaSalt

Save $5 on breakfast — minimum spend $20.

SeaSalt

Save $10 on dinner — minimum spend $40.

Tisha’s

Save $10 on lunch — minimum spend $30.

Ugly Mug

Save $10 on lunch, dinner — minimum spend $50.

washington inn

Save $10 on dinner — minimum spend $50.

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WE’RE NOT JUST FARM TO TABLE,

WE’RE THE TABLE ON THE FARM.

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THE EXIT ZERO DISCOUNT DECK 2020

} participating stores

Savings that will inspire you

THE best thing about The Exit Zero Discount Deck?

It’s packed with the kind of establishments you

already frequent, like Collier’s Liquor Store. Enjoy

$10 off a minimum spend of $60 at the iconic Cape

May liquor store! Or wander down the mall to Bath

Time, home of fine bath products. Or sample the goods at A

Place on Earth, where you could save another $5 in minutes!

Wherever you choose to go, it won’t take long to get a return

on your $20 investment. Spoil yourself with a signature

treatment at Accent on Beauty or Sea Spa at Congress Hall.

If you’re feeling a little bit adventurous and in need of some

activity during your vacation, go see the good folks at Cape Sea

Excursons for some whale and dolphin watching. And for some

quality theater, Cape May Stage and East Lynne are offering

$10 off their regular ticket prices. That’s a pretty dramatic

saving! (Get it? Drama?) Let the fun, and the savings, begin.

A Place on Earth

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $30.

Bath Time

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $30.

CAPE MAY HONEY FARM

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $25.

Cape may Olive Oil Company

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $35.

Cape may peanut butter company

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $25.

Collier’s liquor store

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $60.

exit zero filling station

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $50.

Flying Fish studio

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $40.

Good Scents

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $50.

ORIGINAL FUDGE KITCHEn

Save $3 on a minimum spend of $20.

red oak trading

Save $10 on a minimum spend of $50.

seaside Cheese

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $30.

Trinkets

Save $15 on a minimum spend of $75.

} participating salons & spas

accent on Beauty

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $25.

Sea Spa at congress hall

Save $15 on a minimum spend of $100.

} participating activities

Cape may bird observatory

Save $10 on any two-hour walk.

Cape May Stage

Save $10 on a show ticket. (Regular $40)

Cape may trolley tours

Save $3 on a $15 trolley tour

Cape sea excursions

Save $10 on a trip. Minimum spend of $30.

East Coast parasail, Jet ski & jet Boat

Save $10 on some fun. Minimum spend of $40.

East Lynne Theater company

Save $10 on a show ticket. (Regular $35)

historic cold spring village

Save $5 on a minimum spend of $24.

STEGER STANDUP PADDLEBOARD

Save $5 on paddleboard rental — minimum $30.

sunset beach

Save $3 on a round of mini-golf.

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It Happens Around The Hearth

THE PIG’S OUT OF THE BLANKET

Hop out of bed and into the Blue Pig Tavern for a hearty breakfast. Enjoy signature

menu items to start your day like our Eggs Blackstone, featuring two poached eggs, freshly

made cheddar scallion biscuit, crispy bacon, tomato, wilted greens, black pepper hollandaise

and home-fried potatoes. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl,

rising and shining is no challenge when there’s breakfast at the Blue Pig.

BREAKFAST • LUNCH • DINNER

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Located in Congress Hall 200 Congress Place

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The Dancing Queen

Joanne Reagan celebrates 50 years of creating movers and shakers

INTERVIEW DIANE STOPYRA

PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE KULPERGER

Joanne Reagan still dances about four hours a day, four days a

week. “It’s not as easy to pull it out of myself as it used to be,”

admits the 70-year-old owner of Joanne Reagan Dance Studios,

celebrating its 50th year in business. But age is just a number at

JRD, where Joanne’s student roster includes a 72-year-old tapand-ballet

enthusiast and an 18-month-old child who’s “working

on her creative movement.” These are just two of the 5,000

people who’ve benefited from Joanne’s tutelage over the last five

decades, some of them making it all the way to The Great White

Way (or Broadway, for those not in the biz).

Joanne, a Cape May native, has performed with the likes of

dance legends Gregory Hines and Luigi, and she’s honed her craft

in Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago. We chatted with

her about what she’s learned, what she’s looking forward to, and

what still gets her toes tapping…

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Does it feel like 50 years? Not usually. We

live in the moment. But then I see a photo or

other memory from when we first started and

I’m reminded: Oh yeah… it HAS been a long

time.

Was teaching always the dream? I started

dancing when I was eight with a wonderful

instructor named Gerry Barber, whose Uncle

Ludy wrote “On the Way to Cape May.” She

was my inspiration. We trained in her little

garage on Winona Avenue. Have you heard of

the variety TV show, Arthur Godfrey’s Talent

Scouts? I used to think if I put on shows in my

garage, a talent scout might drive down Pittsburgh

Avenue and see me.

You’ve trained a lot of places, including

University of the Arts in Philadelphia and

Northwestern in Chicago. And you could

teach dance anywhere. Why did you ultimately

decide to return to your roots and

open a studio in Cape May? Ms Gerry was

fabulous, and I wanted to carry that on. I also

wanted to develop more of a cultural awareness

through dance and the performing arts

here in Cape May County, because I felt as a

youngster there needed to be more of that. I


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“Dancing develops your mind and your soul. Those endorphins and

that serotonin kick in when you move, and when you marry that with

music and a concept... it is just such a glorification of life.”

ventured out of the area to get it, and I wanted

to afford that to other people.

How has your business changed in 50

years? Dance hasn’t changed. People have

changed. One of the challenging things today

is instilling the need to have to work for something.

In dance, there’s no such thing as instant

gratification. Sometimes, students are like, “I

want to be able to do that.” Well, you’re not

going to be able to do that until you master

this. As an upside, the dance world has continued

to proliferate. I remember so many years

ago, people said tap dancing was a dying art.

And there was a point in time when it felt in

remission, so to speak. But now? We’re not in

remission at all. Any of it.

What does dance do for a kid, besides

the exercise component? It develops your

mind and your soul. Those endorphins and that

serotonin kick in when you move, and when

you marry that with music and a concept… it is

just such a glorification of life. It adds the color.

It develops that creativity. That’s what life is —

it’s a creation. And so having dance in your life

adds to that creation, so you’re never stagnant.

Who’s your most famous student? There

have probably been 150 kids over the years

who’ve done some professional work. DeAndre

Wolf was on Broadway in Riverdance, and

he toured 21 countries. He started with me at

three years old, and for his first solo, I had to

bribe him onto stage with candy. Hans Crown

was in Peter Pan with Sandy Duncan. Michelle

Nigalin was in Miss Saigon. Several have been

in Annie on Broadway. We’ve had Disney dancers,

Radio City Rockettes and Nickelodeon

performers.

Your daughter, Anne Reagan, is a very

accomplished dancer in her own right. How

long have you worked together, and what’s

that like? About 18 years. Sometimes it’s very

good! Sometimes, it’s probably frustrating on

both sides of the fence. But she was born and

raised in this studio. She’s worked one-on-one

with Debbie Reynolds in That’s Entertainment

Live; she was one of the last Copa Girls at the

Sands, home of the original Rat Pack; and she

was line captain for Legends in Concert in Las

Vegas. She’s been on Oprah and E Entertainment.

She’s done much more than I could say

here.

Tell me about the movie you worked on

together. In 2008 they shot a film in Cape

May County called Standing Ovation that

was in theaters in 2010, and Anne and I were

choreographers. James Brolin was the executive

producer, so he was there the day we

shot this one big scene. The piece was 10 minutes,

but we were there nine hours. That’s the

thing about film — you can shoot, and shoot

and shoot until it’s right, and if there’s a problem

on set, it’s not like the audience is sitting

there waiting for you. I was an extra once in

the movie Blow Out in Philadelphia with John

Travolta. I had to wear a fur coat in July and be

a bystander as he came barreling out of City

Hall down Market Street.

Give me your best “the show must go on”

moment. Well, it must. There’s no two ways

about it. I remember once there was an electrical

problem between act one and act two,

and the theater had been evacuated. I was

like, “You cannot do this.” It did end up getting

fixed. That’s the great thing about live theater.

You have to deal with the situation right then

and there.

When dance becomes the way you make

your living, is it difficult to maintain passion

for it? You have to separate it. Something

that’s difficult sometimes as an artist is to be an

administrator and a business person. it doesn’t

always mix. You have to make the division. My

daughter is pretty good at helping me with

that.

Is dance something everyone can learn to

do if they work hard enough, or is it an innate

skill? We all have it innately. If you’re going to

take it — raw and bare — we’re all born with

it. It’s the beat of life. But as far as being able

to stay with the training to become a professional,

you have to have that drive.

Are you training your dancers to compete?

We don’t do competitions, but I have

a performance company. This allows students

with a desire or a need to perform to do so

for a live audience at something other than a

spring dance recital. We’ve performed in the

local Christmas and Halloween parades, the

Mummer’s Parade in Philadelphia, at Disney

World, and at two pre-season openers in the

Phillies stadium. The astroturf was so hot at

that last one, it burned through our shoes.

So what do you hope the next 50 years

will bring? That’s kind of hard to say! Right

now, I’m hoping to continue to inspire kids to

feel good about themselves. I want them to

leave the studio saying, “Wow, that was great.”

That will make for sunshine every day.

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Small But Mighty

Stina Smith’s Jersey Cape studio became the little dance engine that could

INTERVIEW DIANE STOPYRA

PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE KULPERGER

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Jersey Cape Dance owner Stina Smith (in red) with her fellow instructor (and daughter) Kendra Heminway and some of their students, opposite.

There are 250 students enrolled at Jersey Cape Dance and

Gymnastics Academy. But that doesn’t stop them from going

up against dance schools across the country — from California

to Vegas — who boast 1,000 kids on their competition teams.

“We don’t do rinky-dink competitions,” says owner Stina

Smith. “We take kids who would be back row on other national teams, and

we put them front and center.”

It’s paid off.

Jersey Cape has been named among 50 dance schools in the

nation to watch by Dance Teacher Now magazine, and they’ve produced

professional performers who’ve gone on to grace some of the country’s

biggest stages.

The students here haven’t had the advantage of growing up in a

cultural mecca like Manhattan, where the power and beauty of the New

York City Ballet or the American Ballet Theater seep into one’s psyche

through osmosis. Many of them arrive never having seen a Broadway

show. And that’s something to which Stina can relate.

“When I was young, the closest dance studio was in Cape May Court

House,” she says. “There were five kids in my family and only one car. We

couldn’t afford the drive. We were poor, though we didn’t know it.”

It wasn’t until Stina became a teenager and Joanne Reagan (profiled

on the previous pages) opened a dance studio on the island that Stina was

able to begin her training, an education she then continued as a student

at Glassboro State (now Rowan University). From there, she moved onto

a professional modeling and performing career in Manhattan and Atlantic

City. But she soon felt tugged back to her roots in Cape May. (A string of

casino shows that let out at 2am will do that to a person.)

Here, in 1985, Stina opened her own studio with a major goal in mind:

“I wanted a special school that focused on technique, one that would

show kids what it’s like to dance outside of Cape May County.”

It’s a mission statement that requires setting standards so high they’ve

put off some potential students. But these standards have also resulted in

what Stina calls a “small but mighty studio,” one that’s brought acclaim to

this little corner of the earth.

We recently chatted with Stina for a look at Jersey Cape by the

numbers. No, she wouldn’t tell us how many crazed dance parents she’s

had to deal with over the years (“Most are great,” she says), but we did get

some other interesting trivia. And... five... six... seven... eight...

Approximate number of students who have trained

6,600 with Jersey Cape over the years.

22

15

Number of years Jersey Cape dancers have competed in national

competitions. Stina and the gang have taken home at least two

national awards a year since then.

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Number of cities 12-year-old Jersey Cape student Cameron Smith

will travel to between October and April as a teacher with the


exit zero 59 fall


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“I wanted a special school that focused on technique, one that would show kids what it’s like to dance outside of Cape May County,” says Smith.

Artists Simply Human (or ASH) Convention.

She’ll be working with the likes of Mandy Moore,

choreographer for the multi-Oscar-winning

musical La La Land and the TV hit Dancing with

the Stars.

4Approximate number of conventions Stina

and her team of Jersey Cape instructors

will travel to every year in order to further their

own dance education.

3

Number

of national television shows

on which Jersey Cape Dancers have

performed, including America’s Got Talent

(seasons four and nine) and Paula Abdul’s Live

to Dance. Nineteen kids performed in the latter,

becoming one of only 18 acts selected from

across the country.

20

Number of states, and counting, in

which Jersey Cape dancers have

competed.

Approximate number of pop stars for

30 whom Carrie Locklyn, Jersey Cape

alum, has served as backup dancer, including

Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey and Janet

Jackson.

13

Number of award shows at which Jersey

Cape alum have performed, including

the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys and MTV Music

Awards.

3

Number

of teachers at Jersey Cape, out

of 10, who are related, including Stina, her

daughter Kendra Heminway (whose pedigree

includes performing at Walt Disney World

and appearing in the Leo Di Caprio hit movie

Catch Me if You Can) and niece Bryce Sol Yerk

(former member of the US Dance and Acrobatic

Team). Stina’s sister, Annika Nash, was also an

instructor at one point. You’ll also find Stina’s

three-year-old granddaughter frequently in

the studio, getting a jumpstart on her training.

“All my teachers are either former students or

have had children who are former students,”

Stina says. “They want to give back what they

received from us. It’s not about the money.

They’re not just coming to work and punching

a clock.”

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14

Number of times Stina performed

“Singing in the Rain” with the legendary

Gene Kelly when she worked at Resorts

International, Atlantic City’s first casino.

1

Number

of weeks Stina spent as a dancer

opening up for Bill Cosby at Resorts

International. “He wasn’t creepy at all, at least

not to us,” she says. “He was funny, and we did

thoroughly enjoy the laughter.”

25,000

Number of costumes

that have been worn

by Jersey Cape performers over the years. The

studio comes up with 40 new styles per year,

and does all the design work themselves. Then,

these costumes are sewn by Katie Newman, a

Jersey Cape alum who decided, after tearing

her ACL, to attend the Fashion Institute of

Technology in New York City. Now, she works as

a top wardrobe mistress on Broadway’s Frozen.

Another alum, Kevin Garcia, works as head wig

master on Broadway’s Hadestown.

The age of Jersey Cape’s youngest-ever

18 student, in months.


The

Ghosts

of Cape May

Famed psychic medium Craig McManus visits a popular attraction on the mall,

and begins to unravel the mystery of a cold, unfriendly presence named “John”

photography suzanne kulperger

What would you do if you were sitting in a bathroom

stall, heard the person next to you moving around,

then heard that person flush the toilet, walk to

the sink and turn on the water, but never see them

leave? What if you left your stall and realized no

one was in the room with you, but the sink water was still

running and the door had never opened or closed? Welcome

to a place that must have the most hygienic ghosts in town!

Before there were automatic flushing toilets and sinks,

people would visit the men’s or ladies’ rooms on the second

floor at Delaney’s Irish Pub and Grill on the Washington Street

Mall and report hearing someone washing their hands and

flushing toilets in the bathroom when no one else was present

in the bathroom. Sink faucets would turn on and toilets would

flush for no reason. This happened to me on several occasions,

but I was never inclined to start up a ghost investigation in the

middle of a bathroom, at a busy restaurant. I knew there were

ghosts, but tracking them down was the challenge.

Delaney’s was always bustling when I visited. Rarely

did I have a chance to investigate for ghosts without having

a million people interrupting me. Staff members over the

years reported strange occurrences to me, but it took a few

years until the opportunity finally arose to investigate the

restaurant after I met general manager/owner Paula Geserick.

I met Paula early one October morning prior to the

restaurant opening. With the exception of a few staff

members, I had the entire place to my psychic senses. Sitting

in the middle of the dining room, I scouted the room with my

mind. The room was void of diners and ghosts alike. There

was nothing. Just an empty feeling. This is what a place that is

not haunted feels like to a psychic medium. This is how I begin

an investigation of a larger space. If nothing is present, I begin

to walk around. As I moved closer to the wall at the back of

the restaurant, I felt a tingling. A rush of cold air was moving

past me. I studied the area and decided at one point there must

have been a door where there is now a solid wall. Something

was moving to and fro, going right through the physical

barrier that divided the dining room from the kitchen. Paula

said it was amazing that I picked that area as they had recently

captured a white, filmy figure on the security camera hovering

around the very spot and then it disappeared.

We followed the energy (using the current hallway and

exit zero 62 fall


exit zero 63 fall


doors) back into the large kitchen. The

room’s psychic energy went quiet as we

entered the room, as if we had walked in on

a private conversation. As the exhaust fans

and kitchen equipment whined and buzzed

around us, I refocused my thoughts on one

strong, sentient energy. It was the spirit

of an older male, annoyed that we were

bothering him. He could see us and sense

what we were doing. I was watching him and

he was watching me. I probed with my mind

for information. It was a psychic standoff.

He was not giving up the information.

I localized the spirit’s energy. He was

near the stove. I offered him a chance to speak

on the tape I was running. Faint whispers

are heard on the tape. It’s a man’s voice,

but his words are inaudible. I asked him if

he worked in the building in the past. I also

asked if he knew Paula. The answers, while

terse, were, yes, he did work in the building,

and no, he did not recognize Paula. This was

a ghost who did not want to be bothered.

The stove near where we were standing was

hot, but the air around us suddenly became

icy. Several of my group got chills. Then the

coldness rushed past us and vanished. The

man did not want to be bothered anymore.

He left.

The odd thing was, I did not have a sense

of him cooking or prepping. If he worked

in the building, what was he doing in the

kitchen? My encounter with the ghost must

have opened a door. Now I felt the energy

radiating above us. Not his — others. I

grabbed my equipment and moved the group

upstairs.

What a difference one floor makes in a

haunted building! Now, there were multiple

disembodied personalities coming at me

from all directions. We went from a phantom

famine to feast by moving up a level. They

were in back, in front, all over the place.

Completely different energy from the first

floor. The main room was set apart from

the restaurant, but closing my eyes I saw

nothing related to a restaurant at all. The

ghosts here go back even further than its

previous incarnation, Jackson Mountain

Café, Harvey’s or the Victorian Lounge

before it. They felt like they had been here

for a very long time. The upstairs rear of the

building was now an office, and the entire

upstairs had been apartments at one time,

exit zero 64 fall

but the energy I sensed predated all of that.

I wasn’t being told that by the ghosts. On

some level, I just felt it.

There were now two distinct presences

in all of the psychic babble coming into my

head — a man and a woman. The man’s

presence was much stronger. On the tape,

a man is heard laughing and joking, “Don’t

arrest me!” I had the feeling I was being

mocked, but was not sure what the ghost was

doing that would merit a warrant.

I thought this was strange coming from

a ghost haunting a restaurant. The woman’s

spirit moved away from us, heading in the

direction of the offices in the rear of the

building. The man headed for the men’s

room, and I followed. Standing in the

bathroom, the epicenter of many ghost

encounters over the years, I had the feeling

the ghost was not seeing what the rest of us

were seeing. In this man’s time, the space

was not occupied by a bathroom.

The presence was in the bathroom with

us for a few moments, then it was gone. On

the tape, a rather electronic-sounding voice

says, “They’re thinking we can walk.” I have

no idea if they were referring to something


exit zero 65 fall


we said or if it was responding to another

spirit on something completely unrelated.

The only thing I could equate this response

to was I had just said to the group with me,

“I think we just followed the ghost in here.”

Maybe the ghost did go into the space, but

not by way of walking. If ghosts are fields of

energy with a consciousness, they may just

drift or float from place to place. Once the

room cleared, I followed the psychic trail

back to where the office space is now.

In the offices, in back, I started getting

the same feelings I did upstairs at a previous

visit to Cape May Fish Market, further down

the mall. Whatever building used to be here

still had some sort of psychic imprint on the

space. Can physical matter leave a residual

imprint? Is the former building still standing

on some ethereal plane of reality? Do the

ghosts see it? There was a ton of residual

energy in the office. Leftover imprints

from another time and place. I saw flashes

of imagery in my mind that related to the

previous building.

Paula related a story about Ed, one of

the managers, who upon entering the office

one day heard a man talking, but no one was

anywhere nearby. There was a strong male

presence on the second floor, but it wasn’t on

my psychic radar in the office. I kept getting

flooded with feelings of the past. I decided

to leave the office and return to the upstairs

dining room. There, the dead man’s ghost

was very much front and center. The image

now was of him standing next to an old brass

bed. Everything I saw in my mind made me

think of a hotel room. Paula thought the

upstairs may have been apartments at one

time, so this would make sense. Did this man

die in his sleep?

At various times when I have been eating

at Delaney’s, I have asked the servers if they

have experienced anything paranormal.

Several have reported seeing someone at the

bar, when no one else is in the building. A

few described him as an older man. When I

tried to put my mind toward any male spirit

energies in the building, the name “John”

popped into my head. John is such a common

name it gave me little to go on. Still, the man I

experienced in the kitchen and whom others

have seen in the restaurant, always seemed

centered around the bar or where the food

was being prepared. That gave me a pretty

exit zero 66 fall

clear idea that the ghost worked here, rather

than dined or stayed as a guest.

One of the most interesting experiences

I had was when a group of friends and I ate

at the restaurant right after it had changed

ownership from Jackson Mountain and

became Delaney’s. We were sitting upstairs

and I ordered the corned beef and cabbage. It

was not like the corned beef I make at home

and I was commenting about the difference

in taste. I started a conversation about Irish

cooking and visiting my cousins in Ireland. I

suddenly felt a buzzing around my head, like

a heaviness. Thinking someone was standing

behind me, I turned and found no one. With

that, I could have sworn I heard someone

humming the song “Danny Boy.” Well, it

was an Irish pub and I assumed someone

somewhere, living, was responsible for the

humming. It was a man doing the humming,

but no one saw anyone dining in the room

with us and our server had gone downstairs.

The feeling disappeared as quickly as it

came.

On previous visits, the ghosts have

always had a light, distant feel. They moved

away as I tried to get closer. The restaurant


With DJ Tony Steff

exit zero 67 fall


was always busy, so I couldn’t go chasing dead people thought the

dining room and up into the bathroom, without looking really

strange. Those light feelings changed completely when we visited

when the place was closed and empty. It was me and the ghosts (and

a few living friends). As I moved, the male ghost countered. This time

he wasn’t moving away from me, he was moving right at me.

This one-on-one psychic bombardment was most intense in the

kitchen. Less so upstairs. That energy was all over the place and a

lot of it was residual, not actual spirits. The ghost in the kitchen and

surrounding areas had an imposing personality. People or things just

don’t seem to get in his way. Each time I attempted to communicate

with “John,” I have been brushed aside, ignored. Several people have

reported feeling blasts of frigid air go right through them. Paula

and I had experienced this in the kitchen, in front of a hot stove. It

happened again on the main staircase. Like a sudden cold burst from

a car air conditioner on a hot summer day. I would not be surprised if

this icy feeling was being generated by the resident ghost — the one

I call John.

During the investigation in October, I also sensed a female. She

was also fleeting, but not as ill-mannered as her male counterpart.

She was watching from afar, but not speaking to me. She respected

the fact that I was a visitor. I am convinced this ghostly woman is

also attached to the previous building, but at the time of the last

investigation, I could not determine in what way she was connected.

Her movements seemed confined to the upper floor. Was she a guest,

or a possibly a housekeeper? Was she the wife of a previous owner?

I finally had some sense of the ghosts who are haunting the

restaurant. The next thing to do would be to identify them if

possible. Audio tapes yielded very few EVPs. Some places I get tons

of EVPs, other place, close to nothing. Delaney’s was awash with

disembodied voices. Without any physical evidence pointing to the

ghosts’ identities, I would have to backtrack through the history of

the location. I had learned more than I ever wanted to know about the

American House hotel. The problem was, while the American House

almost covered the entire block from Decatur to Jackson, it ended at

the Delaney’s property. Koenig’s Saloon was at the end of American

Row, and that was the building between Cape May Fish Market and

Delaney’s.

I had heard over the years that a fire had destroyed the building

around 1960. A clothing store called Frymire’s had occupied the corner

lot where Delaney’s is now for many years before fire took down

the previous structure. My theory about the mysterious bathroom

activity (of the paranormal kind) was always that the ghosts must

have been associated with the apartments that were above Frymire’s.

After doing a full investigation with the restaurant closed, allowing

me to spread out psychically, I wasn’t so sure anymore if the ghosts

belong to Frymire’s time. I sensed food and drinks being served, and

heard old piano music. These were things that would connect with

the current building and the restaurants that occupied the retail

space. What I was seeing and sensing and the actions of the ghosts

had little or nothing to do with a clothing store. They may have been

associated with the apartments upstairs, but no one I spoke with who

exit zero 68 fall


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exit zero 69 fall


had been in town since Frymire’s burned had

heard anything about people dying upstairs

in the new building. A dead end.

I once again turned to history sleuth

extraordinaire, Laurie Thomas. As luck

would have it, Laurie had already done

some research on the property. Digging up

old deeds and newspaper articles, Laurie

helped me understand the back history of the

buildings that predated the current structure.

The corner lot where Delaney’s stands

today was, according to an article in the

August 31, 1869 Evening Telegraph, occupied

by “a double three-story French roof

building owned by Anspach and Stanton

of Philadelphia… one of these (halves) was

occupied by J. P. Sloan, clothing store… the

other by Mr Huffnall, druggist.” This corner

building had only been erected in March

of 1869 and was barely a year old when it

burned. No one was killed in the 1869 fire.

It is unclear exactly Anspach and Stanton

rebuilt, but it must have been soon after the

fire as the 1872 F. W. Beers map of Cape May

shows a building on the lot. As with the

previous building, Anspach and Hall leased

out retail space in the new building as well.

The 1877 Swain and Woolman map of Cape

May City lists “S. Ware, Anspach & Co’s Drug

Store” as the tenant. Samuel Fithian Ware

was a local druggist who also operated a

drug store where the House of Royals is now.

When the Great Fire of 1878 wiped out over

30 acres of prime real estate in downtown

Cape May, the firefighters achieved one

important goal — they stopped the fire from

reaching the main business district along

Washington Street. The inferno left all the

buildings here untouched.

Now that I had the history in place, it was

time to start eliminating suspects. The first

building housed Huffnall’s Drug Store and

Sloan’s Clothing Store. Experiencing John’s

pushy ghostly personality, I doubt he was

selling ladies silk stockings or dispensing

prescriptions. He was much more the salt

of the earth type. The fact that he has been

seen at the bar was a huge clue and the more I

learned of the location history, the clearer my

assessment of this ghost became.

As I mentioned, Laurie had already been

researching the property when I contacted

her. She was focused on an Irishman named

John Joseph Ratty who ran a hotel and saloon

called the Homestead. When Laurie wrote

me that the information may be interesting

filler, my first thought was, “Where the hell

was the Homestead?” I thought I knew all the

old hotels in town, but I was wrong.

John J. Ratty had been in the liquor

business in Philadelphia and, like many

others, was drawn to Cape May’s lucrative

summer retail market. He was born in

Ireland around 1851 and came to America

as a young man in 1865. As a young adult

living in Philadelphia, Ratty was a bartender

by trade. In 1875, he married Chicago-born

Teresa “Bridget” Loftus, who had also moved

to Philadelphia. While the Rattys are listed

as living in Philadelphia in 1880, John must

have started working summer in Cape May

around that time. People left Philadelphia in

droves in the summer, and business would

surely be more lively (and prosperous) at the

famous seaside resort.

An 1885 newspaper advertisement lists

John J. Ratty as the proprietor of Dillon’s

Capital Hotel and Saloon (the building that

is now Fralingers — and is also haunted.)

John Ratty was managing the Capital Hotel

and bar when an opportunity arose that he

exit zero 70 fall


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could not resist. The large new building right

across Jackson Street was in foreclosure. On

the 1890 Sanborn map, half the building is

listed as vacant. The Cape May Fish Market

building is also listed as vacant. Times must

have been tough as the country had been

recovering from a long depression. It was

a business opportunity for Ratty and he

jumped at it.

Ratty got the property (now Delaney’s) as

part of a final judgement from Clara Elizabeth

Stanton in 1892. Stanton’s father William

Anspach and husband M. Hall Stanton had

purchased the original lot in 1868. They

lost their first building nine months after it

was built in the 1869 fire. William Anspach

died in March 1890 and M. Hall Stanton in

November 1890. Clara Stanton assumed the

position of administrator of her late father

and husband’s estates, but for some reason

lost the Cape May property. According to

Laurie’s research, John Ratty was awarded

the property by the Master of Chancery

Court on April 27, 1892. Ratty acquired the

two and a half story building across the way

while managing the Capital Hotel and bar

next door.

At the time Ratty purchased the property

where Delaney’s is now, the Temperance

Movement in the United States was in

full swing. Liquor licenses were granted

to Ratty and others in Cape May in 1888,

then the town suddenly went dry. In 1892,

licenses were once again granted and the

headlines exclaimed, “Cape May No Longer

Dry.” Ladies temperance groups kept trying

to pressure liquor establishments in Cape

May to give up the booze. Famed teetotaler

(and axe wielder) Carrie Nation on her antialcohol

crusade throughout United States

wanted to come to Cape May to speak. Alone

or accompanied by hymn-singing women

Nation would march into a tavern, sing and

pray, while smashing bar fixtures and stock

with a hatchet and telling the bartenders

they were evil. Her request was apparently

(luckily) refused by the town fathers in Cape

May who felt business was booming and

they needed liquor to keep it that way. Carrie

Nation had her eyes (and axe) set on Cape

May’s saloons. John Ratty was not worried.

When asked by a reported about Nation

coming to Cape May, Ratty replied, “Mrs.

Nation will not dare to do anything at Cape

May. There is no better, cleaner place on all

the coast than Cape May. This resort is in

greater danger from corrupt politicians than

Carrie Nation.”

Ratty leased out the building next door

while managing the Capital Hotel and

bar. There is a strange changing of titles

on the deeds in the next couple years for

his new property. In March of 1895, Ratty

and his wife Bridget sold the property to

Bridget’s sister Katherine Loftus. Katherine

immediately flipped the property back to

Bridget Ratty only, not to her husband John.

For some reason, he needed his name off the

title of the property and could not just sign it

over to his wife.

The turn of the new century seems to

be when all the fun really started for John

Ratty. In October of 1900 he was fined for

exit zero 72 fall

“illegal sales of liquor” at the Capital. After

appearing in court and paying a fine for

this criminal act, Ratty must have quit or

had his lease terminated by the owner of

the Capital building. In May 1901, he was

granted a license for his new hotel and bar

across the street called the Homestead. It

didn’t take long for Ratty and the law to meet

once again. During the summer of 1901, his

saloon was raided and illegal slot machines

were found and seized. In September 1901,

Ratty and eight other hotel proprietors were

indicted for keeping illegal gaming activities.

Suddenly, the ghost laughing and saying

“Don’t arrest me!” started to make lots of

sense. If it is John Ratty haunting Delaney’s,

he probably knew someone would eventually

uncover his ghostly identity.


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exit zero 73 fall


The 1910 census shows both John J. Ratty and his son John “Joseph”

Ratty as proprietors of the Homestead. In 1911, for some unknown

reason, Ratty sold the property to Alex Mears. The property went

into foreclosure shortly after. Maybe this was done to avoid Ratty

having a foreclosure on his record. Charles T. Campbell (Saltwood

House story) and his wife Katherine (Saltwood House future ghost)

bought the property from the Sheriff. I am speculating that Katherine

Campbell (nee Loftus) was the same Kate Loftus who flipped the

property with the Rattys earlier. She was most like Bridget Ratty’s

sister. It’s interesting how the living — and the dead — all intertwine

in Cape May’s history, isn’t it?

In 1915, the Campbells sold the property back to the Rattys, to

Katherine Ratty, John junior’s wife. Apparently, beginning in the

late 19th century, the Married Woman’s Property Acts that entitled

women to own property also afforded men a special benefit. By

having properties put in their wives’ names only, husbands protected

their other assets as these could not be touched should a wife’s

property go into foreclosure. Ratty was a smart businessman. No

wonder he makes such a good ghost.

John J. Ratty passed away (but didn’t leave) in 1916. His wife

Bridget and son John continued to run the hotel, with Bridget

listed as the proprietress of the hotel in 1920. When the Eighteenth

Amendment was passed in January 1920, the Rattys (and everyone

else in Cape May) were out of the liquor business. In 1930, Bridget

Ratty is listed as the proprietress of a “rooming house.” The Great

Depression had begun and the days of glorious seaside hotels were

numbered. Business in Cape May, like the rest of the country, took a

nose dive.

John Ratty Jr passed in December of 1939. Earlier that year,

in February, the Homestead was sold by his wife Katherine to the

Homeowner’s Loan Corporation. Homeowners flipped the property

to Mark and LuLu Frymire, and the rest is history.

John Joseph Ratty was a tenacious businessman in his day.

When he died at the age of 67, he probably felt his life was cut short.

The Homestead was back in his hands and business was probably

starting to pick up. His wife Bridget did not sell the hotel and bar. She

held onto the dream, faithfully running the hotel for years after her

husband’s death. How many loving husbands could leave for heaven

knowing a wife was struggling back at home, trying to maintain a

business and provide for the family? Probably not many. Whether we

choose to come back in spirit from the other side to visit and guide,

or stay with a loved one as an earthbound ghost, love is stronger

than death. If a soul knows it is needed by another soul, some way,

somehow it will find a way to be there, in the flesh or in spirit.

John Joseph Ratty is probably thrilled the Slaweks renamed the

Jackson Mountain Café as an Irish pub. Until now, the Rattys were

long forgotten in Cape May. I am glad I was able to pull their names,

and their story, out of the dusty Cape May archives — a shadowy

place where dusty old records and ghosts are one in the same, and

where many hauntings can finally be solved.

It’s actually a very cool coincidence that the Delaney’s brand

favors one of the original owners — or is it a coincidence? Maybe old

John Ratty has been whispering in the Slaweks’ ears! The ghost of an

Irish bartender haunting an Irish pub. It’s a match made in heaven or

(in this case) Cape May — where heaven and the seaside meet.

exit zero 74 fall


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How Cape May Got

Her Groove Back

A world-class jazz festival rocks this island twice a year, thanks to a New

Orleans transplant who headed north after Hurricane Katrina. We talk to

Michael Kline about what’s in store for the fall festival. Answer, a lot!

photography portfolio suzanne kulperger

Twice a year, every spring and fall, sensory experiences go

on overload in Cape May when the Exit Zero Jazz Festival

stages its world-class music fest in our little town. Music,

sweet music, can be heard everywhere in Cape May, on

the streets in the form of New Orleans-style second line

parades, in the clubs and restaurants bursting at the seams with music

and energy and on the Convention Hall stage with international touring

artists throwing down at what has become one of the most respected

and creative jazz festivals in the country.

Exit Zero Jazz takes its cue from European festival models, which

puts the city of Cape May center stage. Festival-goers stroll from club to

club along the streets of Cape May soaking up the exhilarating sounds —

proving that the magic of the festival is not so much who you know, but

the discovery of bands and music performing on the concert stages and

in the intimate clubs. Put simply, it’s a blast.

The fall festival hits town from November 8-10 at various venues,

and to whet your appetite, we chatted with festival founder and organizer

Michael Kline.

Michael, what excites you most about this year’s fall festival?

Opening the doors! There are so many moments — I call them bright

moments — where it’s so cool seeing each festival come to life. I get a

kick out of planning each one, solving the puzzle of the bands on the

stages, the musical flow of each stage each day — but what I find really

exciting is seeing people react and respond to what we’ve created.

Those are the bright moments. I’m really lucky because I get to see that

interaction from the krewe, the audience, the musicians — I get to see

people breathing life into it, that’s exciting. There is this thing that happens

around a festival, people interacting with musicians, it’s hard to

put into words. You get the greatest artists you can find, work to get

the people who are open to this creativity in the rooms, create the right

environments for the music and the musicians, and watch the energy

crackle from the interaction. That is really some great stuff.

What feedback did you get from the spring festival, and what

were the highlights? Watching Chick Corea interacting with students

after his show. He wouldn’t let anyone hide — asked each one a question

and didn’t lose eye contact with each student while he waited for their

answer. Krewe member Dan Barry shuttling The Lucky Chops to the

second line parade and the band playing live on the golf cart as they

zoomed around town. Preservation Hall Jazz Band digging deep into the

New Orleans musical canon on their second set. José James leading a

dance party in Convention Hall… those are a few bright moments from

the spring fest. That shit gets deep when I think about it... I love the

krewe!

The sky’s the limit, and you could get any performers you would

like, so who would be your headliners at a fantasy Exit Zero Jazz Festival?

(They have to be alive…) Don’t mean to sound corny, but that’s

what we do every festival! I love this music and being able to produce

the festival and bring these non-commercial forms of music — jazz, blues,

R&B — the real roots music with the artists who are performing at the

very highest of their art form is a fantasy played out every time. But if

you asked my partner Wendy, she would say Amos Lee would make her

fantasy festival.

Thinking back to the first festival in 2012, Hurricane Sandy really

did a number on you. Given you had come to Cape May after leaving

New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, what was going through

your head as the hurricane approached right in time for the festival? I

was thinking, well ain’t this a bitch. Just acceptance. Not like we have any

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control of the weather or anything, so let’s see what happens. I remember

walking down to Convention Hall the day before the storm and

there was this mound of sand in front of the hall to protect it, I guess.

Went back the next day and the mound of sand was gone but Convention

Hall was untouched — so there you go... After the storm passed and

Cape May was still standing but the rest of Jersey wasn’t in good shape,

it was a question of, how can I get back in the black? I mean, really, how

the hell are we going to pay for this? We thought about cancelling but

that would have really sucked because Cape May needed the business.

And if you had been watching CNN, you were thinking Cape May was

no longer on the map. We couldn’t cancel. Sponsors stepped up big time

but it took a while to climb out of that hole.

In the years since, has the festival grown as you hoped it would?

Yep. Breaking even is a good thing. There are a lot of great ideas out

there, but ideas are a dime a dozen if you can’t execute the idea and

make it work. I’ve got a lot of respect for breaking even and moving on

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at Congress Hall

SIMPLE PLEASURES FROM THE SEA

seaspacapemay.com

Call (609) 884-6543 to schedule an appointment

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Clockwise from above, performers from the spring Exit Zero Jazz Festival: Lizz Wright, Veronica Swift and Branden Lewis.

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1-800-23-FUDGE

Send your holiday greetings

with our traditional favorites:

PLAIN CHOCOLATE, PLAIN VANILLA,

CHOCOLATE NUT & VANILLA NUT

in a beautiful gift box.

presents

A Holiday Offer to Our Special Friends

A 1 lb. box of Fudge shipped

anywhere in the USA .... $24.50

2 lb box ....$40.95

SHIPPING INCLUDED

Price includes pure whipped cream fudge, elegant holiday gift wrap,

sales tax, postage, packaging and handling. We do it all.

All you have to do is call us at: 1-800-23-FUDGE (1-800-233-8343).

or visit us at: www.FudgeKitchens.com

Let us help you spread a little holiday cheer!

All of our other chocolates and candies are available as well.

Corporate orders welcome.

www.FudgeKitchens.com

1-800-23-FUDGE

FOR GOODIES MADE BY THE SEA.

This offer not valid with any other discounts or specials. Orders must be placed by Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019

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Clockwise from above, performers from the spring Exit Zero Jazz Festival: Chick Corea, Ben Jaffe, José James and Clint Maedgen.

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2019

Merry

Fishmas

Collection

Adult and Kid Sizes,

we even have onesies!

Perfect for

Your Holiday

Family Photo!

Makes a

Great

Holiday

Gift!

Hats

Tees

Tanks

Sweatshirts

Art

Hoodies

Zip-Ups

Jewelry

Wholesale

Printing

130 Park Boulevard & at The West End Garage 609-884-2760 theflyingfishstudio.com

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Take The Chill

Challenge!

Take an active role in demonstrating

that you care about Cape May by making

some energetic energy choices!

• Buy locally and invest in and use your own reusable grocery bags

• Invest in and use a reusable water bottle and coffee mug

• Use cloth towels instead of paper

• Conserve water in many ways – turn off completely when not in use

like when cleaning your teeth

• Cut your shower time and use cooler water

• Rinse and Recycle all that you can

• When you can, ride a bike or walk

• Be respectful of our trees

• Find local farmers markets and shop there – it’s fresh and fun

• Carry litter from the beach and use containers provided

• Dry towels and clothing on a clothes line when possible

• STOP idling your car

• Turn off lights when not in use/needed

• Use LED light bulbs and unplug electronics when not in use

• Grow your flower or vegetable garden with plants that attract bees

and butterflies, and require less water

• Tread lightly – explore local nature centers and trails

• Build responsibly – Support Green Energy!

ACT PERSONALLY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR THE

CAPE MAY COMMUNITY WE ALL LOVE!

Environmental Commission meets fourth Tuesday each month at

11am in City Hall. All are welcome. Get involved! THANK YOU!

to the next festival.

For this fall’s event, tell us about the acts that will appeal to music

fans who are NOT jazz aficionados. You mean, who should YOU go

see?!

Ha-ha, you got me. Okay, who should I see? The War and Treaty

will absolutely blow people away. I’m so glad we got them on the way up.

And John Oates in Cape May Convention Hall — I have to grin at that

one. I like that. And if you can’t have fun at a brass band show or dancing

to Phillybloco or Cintron, you got to check your heart for a beat. You

are seriously miscombobulated if you can’t have fun at this fest. Yep,

miscombobulated. That’s a word.

If you say so. The thing about the fest is, there is enough jazz to

satisfy the palate of the jazzers, and there is enough of a blend of other

musics to bring the festive into the fest. I’ll never get tired of people

walking up to me and remarking that they didn’t think they were jazz

fans, but they sure did have fun. That’s cool. It’s why we do this.

What kind of feedback do you get from local business people

about how the festival has contributed to the economy and the vibe

of the town in spring and fall? Overwhelmingly positive. The hotels,

restaurants, bars, pizza shops, coffee shops, retail — they see not only

great business but the audience is so diverse in so many ways. The festival

brings a celebratory vibe to the town that is palpable.

Give us an example. You know, there is a business owner in town

who has been in the festival’s corner for a lot of years, and he said something

to me — more than once — that was so heartfelt and I hold close.

He said, “What you do puts Thanksgiving on the table and Christmas

under the tree for a lot of my staff. And I can’t thank you enough for that

because we would not be open this time of year if the festival weren’t

in town.” That’s deep.

Tell us a little more about the Havana Jazz Festival. How did that

work out last year and what can we tell people about the 2020 event?

Oh man, Havana is so heartbreakingly beautiful in its contradictions. As

soon as I stepped off the plane it felt like going back to New Orleans —

just some cities that have a vibe with the people, the food, the mystery

streets — that just wraps its arms around you and invites you in for a

drink. Old Havana is just beautiful and there is a rhythm to it that works

its way into everything. We had about 30 people who went last year and

everyone had the time of their lives. The Havana Jazz Festival is set up

a lot like Exit Zero Jazz — two main stages and music in really creative

spaces throughout the town. They go a lot later, though... people are

not sleeping in Havana at midnight. If you like food, if you like music,

(and the rum and cigars aren’t bad, either) Havana is a town you have to

visit. The group does not stay in government hotels or eat in government

restaurants. There is a subculture of incredibly creative people who are

making things work. The restaurant scene is incredible — had maybe the

best meal of my life at Ivan Chef Justo and can’t wait to go back! Dates

are January 14-20, 2020.

What’s your own favorite festival to attend in the world, or where

would you like to go hear music that you haven’t been yet? For lots

of different reasons, there are a few festivals always draw me in. New

Orleans cause it’s a festival of food, music, colors, rhythms. Montreal

for its incredible performance spaces. Havana Jazz Festival, North Sea

Jazz, London Jazz, Bonnaroo, Newport Jazz Festival for its beauty that

is not unlike Cape May, the TIM Jazz Festival in Rio de Janeiro and Sao

Paulo, Barcelona Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz… man, I’ve been to some

great festivals.

And finally, describe your perfect fall day in Cape May for us. Outside

on the deck with a glass of Havana Club and the Eagles and Saints

are winning and the 76’ers are just gearing up and Simmons’ jump shot

looks great. And I got Mingus on the radio and the world’s alright.

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more

than

just

honey

135 SUNSET BOULEVARD, WEST CAPE MAY

609-425-6434 « capemayhoneyfarm.com


Professional Equity Theatre

The Robert Shackleton

Playhouse

405 Lafayette St. Cape May

609-770-8311

capemaystage.org

MURDER FOR TWO:

THE HOLIDAY EDITION

NOV 6-DEC 29

THUR- SAT | 7:30 PM

SAT & SUN | 3:00 PM

BOOK & MUSIC BY JOE KINOSIAN

BOOK & LYRICS BY KELLEN BLAIR

DIRECTED BY HANS FRIEDRICHS

It's Christmas Eve... and while there

shouldn't be a creature stirring, a

mystery writer has been murdered.

With a bevy of suspects, an intrepid

police officer aims to identify the

killer. This musical features just two

actors-one playing the investigator,

one playing the variety of suspectsand

the only weapon at their

disposal is a piano. Can the officer

make his suspects spill their guts

and sing? "Murder For Two: The

Holiday Edition" puts the laughter in

manslaughter.

PRESENTS THE 2019

CAPE MAY STAGE

Broadway Series

After Party

Provided by The Washington Inn

WILL AND ANTHONY NUNZIATA:

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL

Saturday, november 30, 2019

$50.00

8 PM

Luxury Housing Provided by

Cape Resorts

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Thank You for a Spectacular Season!

Summer 2019 is a wrap and we look forward to seeing you on the boards again next year.

Now it’s time to wrap up some Summer 2020 fun! Save the date and save BIG on

season passes, water park passes, ticket cards and more during our holiday sale!

November 26 thru January 3 at moreyspiers.com.


ing

rt

...

The First Resort

Fun, Sun, Fire

& War in

Cape May,

America’s

Original

Seaside Town

BEN MILLER

«

FIRST RESORT

Fun, Sun, Fire & War in Cape May, America’s Original Seaside Town

BEN MILLER

• The best-selling Cape

May history book.

• Now in its third edition

with many NEW wonderful

historical photographs and

updated stories.

• More than 300 pages,

filled with fascinating

photographs and stories.

A MUST FOR EVERY

LOVER OF CAPE MAY!

For sale at Exit Zero Filling

Station, Cape Atlantic

Book Company, Whale’s

Tale, Congress Hall, Sunset

Beach Gift Shop

One of the best coffee table books of the year

— Philadelphia Inquirer

Autumn Events Schedule!

Saturday, October 19 th

PUMPKIN FESTIVAL

Friday & Saturday

October 25 th & 26 th

GHOUL SPRING VILLAGE

Saturday, December 7 th

WASSAIL DAY

For more information, visit hcsv.org

Supported in part by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.

720 Route 9 Cape May NJ 08204 • WWW.HCSV.ORG • 609 898-2300

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Ocean View

Veterinary Hospital

HEALTHY PET

HAPPY PET

General Practice & Emergency Care

Complete Surgical, Diagnostic, &

Pharmacy Facility On Site

Fair Pricing Policy: Same Price, 24/7

New Patients & Vacationers Welcome

—Please Call Ahead If Possible

DOCTOR ON

PREMISES

24/7

DR. IRA S. NIEDWESKE, MEDICAL DIRECTOR | OCEANVIEWVETNJ.COM

609-486-5025 | 2033 US 9 NORTH, CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ 08210

A spectacular harbor setting

CORINTHIAN

YACHT CLUB

of CAPE MAY

for your special event

Our traditional clubhouse,

gorgeous sunset views and

exceptional cuisine lend a

memorable, distinctive touch to

any gathering. Relax around our

firepit before and after!

1819 DELAWARE AVENUE, CAPE MAY

609-884-8000 • cyccm.com / capemaybeachwedding.com

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If you haven’t seen those cute trolleys rolling

through the streets of Cape May, there are one

of two explanations: You’re not paying attention,

or this is your first time visiting America’s

Original Seaside Resort. In any event, here is a

handy guide that tells you the what, when and

why of trolley tours. For more information, get in

touch with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts

and Humanities, who run the trolleys, as well as

other fun things. Visit them at capemaymac.org.

The Definitive Trolley Guide

NEW! Roots of Cape May

Where It Goes Begins and ends at the Washington

Street Mall Information Booth and travels

through West Cape May, with a stop at the

Whalers Cottages at Batt’s Lane, a historic,

freed black man’s antebellum family home.

How Long It Lasts Ninety minutes.

When It Runs Sunday, October 13 at 2:30pm.

What It Is West Cape May has a history of farming,

and much more. Learn about the roots of

this area, both literal and cultural. Hear about

those who farmed the mighty lima bean. Learn

about the Native American tribes who inhabited

this land. Hear about the area’s history,

farms, shops and vintage cottages, highlighting

stories of the vibrant African-American community

who live and work here.

Who It’s For You enjoy learning about your surroundings.

CAPE MAYHEM & VICTORIAN ODDITIES

Where It Goes Through Cape May’s historic

district.

How Long It Runs Thirty minutes.

When It Runs Fridays, October 18 through

November 1 at 7:15pm, 8:15pm and 9:15pm; Saturdays,

October 19 and 26 at 6:45pm, 7:45pm and

8:45pm.

What It Is Headless photography? Electric

corsets? Coffin torpedoes? You won’t believe

some of the strange beliefs, oddities, fads and

superstitions of the Victorians. This trolley tour

explores them. Hear stories from Cape May’s

history that are bizarre, unexplained or just

plain weird.

Who It’s For You’re drawn to the macabre. Philadelphia’s

Mutter Museum — it’s on your fave

list.

Behind the Walls Under the Crawls

Where It Goes Begins and ends at the Washington

Street Mall Information Booth and travels

throughout Cape May

How Long It Lasts An hour.

When It Runs Monday, October 14 at 1pm.

What It Is See Cape May from a builder’s perspective.

Sewage and drains, water supply and

heat, structure and foundations. Discover who

had indoor toilets and who didn’t! Learn how

things really worked on this one-hour, guided

trolley tour.

Who It’s For You like to tinker with things — your

workshop or local hardware sore are favorite

hangouts.

GHOSTS OF THE LIGHTHOUSE

Where It Goes Begins and ends at Washington

Street Mall Information Booth, traveling through

parts of West Cape May to the lighthouse.

How Long It Runs One hour.

When It Runs Saturdays, October 19 to November

2 at 8pm.

What It Is The 1859 Cape May Lighthouse has

a frightfully lonely visage at night — the perfect

setting for the ghostly tales unearthed by psychic

medium and Cape May ghostwriter Craig

McManus. Your guide will share Craig’s findings

as you travel through West Cape May and end

at the lighthouse for a night climb to the top.

Hear about lonely maids who continue to wander

inns, ghostly pirates still desperately digging

for treasure, and more.

Who It’s For Those who enjoy a tantalizing tale.

Cape May’s Wild side

Where It Goes Throughout Cape Island to the

area’s natural “hotspots.”

How Long It Lasts About two hours.

When It Runs Wednesdays at 8:30am through

October 30.

What It Is Beyond the charming Victorian homes

and sandy beaches, Cape May is world famous

for its birdwatching, monarch migration and natural

history. Join Cape May Bird Observatory

GHOSTS OF CAPE MAY

Where It Goes Through the streets of Cape

May.

How Long It Runs Thirty minutes.

When It Runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays,

October 11 to November 2, hours vary.

Wednesdays, October 16-30 at 6:15pm; Fridays,

November 8-22, 7pm and 8pm; Saturexit

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naturalists on a trolley tour to local “hotspots”

with exits at several stops along the way, learning

about the diversity, abundance — millions of

birds pass through each year — geography and

extensive history of this amazing natural spectacle.

You’ll learn why Cape May has been called

the birding capital of North America. Co-sponsored

by New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Bird

Observatory.

Who It’s For Early birds and those who love

learning about Cape May’s natural wonders.

children’s ride

Where It Goes Through the streets of Cape

May, departing from Washington Street Mall

Info Booth.

How Long It Lasts Thirty minutes.

When It Runs Sundays through Thursdays, late

afternoon through August 29.

What It Is Board MAC’s red trolley for a guided

tour of Cape May’s Historic District created

especially for children. Funny, informational,

smart-alecky, just like your kids!

Who It’s For Kids 3-7, accompanied by a parent

or guardian. Parents or guardians accompanied

by kids aged 3-7. You missed the Historic District

Trolley Tour and you aren’t bothered by squeals

and such.


days, November 9-16 at 8:30pm.

What It Is What was that shadow? Was it the

undead of Cape May’s past wandering their

beloved haunts? You might scoff, you might

shudder, but rest assured: on board a trolley

with an experienced guide you will begin to

wonder what’s beyond when you hear the

tales of hauntings unearthed in Cape May

by famous psychic medium and author Craig

McManus.

Who It’s For You enjoy a tantalizing tale.

Mansions by the Sea

Where It Goes Along Beach Avenue, through

the early 20th century East Cape May development

areas

How Long It Lasts About 45 minutes.

When It Runs Monday, October 14 at 12:15pm,

Tuesday, October 15 at 1:30pm and Thursday,

October 17 at 1pm; Fridays and Saturdays,

October 18 to November 2 at 1:30pm.

What It Is You’ll be green with envy when you

see how the rich lived in the early 20th century.

When $1 million really meant something.

Also, see new, beachfront, second homes,

which run the gamut from the mere wealthy

to the fabulously rich.

Who It’s For Anyone who’s curious how the

one-quarter of one percent lives.

Psychic medium Craig McManus inspired the

Ghosts of Cape May tour

underground railroad

Where It Goes Throughout Cape May

How Long It Lasts About 45 minutes.

When It Runs Saturdays, October 12 to

November 9 at 10am.

What It Is Cape May was part of the Underground

Railroad and this new trolley tour

tells the stories of those dangerous days.

Hear how, fleeing their chains in Maryland,

Delaware and Virginia, African-American

slaves braved strong currents and stormy

seas, guided by the beacon at the Cape May

Lighthouse. Hear how legendary anti-slavery

fighter, Harriet Tubman, walked these streets,

as did businessman and former slave, Stephen

Smith, whose railroad cars carried hundreds

to freedom. Co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic

Center for the Arts and Humanities and

the Center for Community Arts.

Who It’s For: Anyone who seeks to understand

our nation’s history.

Historic District

Where It Goes Through the historic district.

How Long It Lasts About 45 minutes.

When It Runs Daily (except Thanksgiving and

Christmas); hours vary.

What It Is It’s beautiful. It’s charming. Cape

May — one of the few places you can wander

through and feel that it’s more than 100 years

ago. Tour guides will explain how and why it

survived.

Who It’s For Anyone and everyone who finds

Cape May charming.

Insider Tip Combine with a tour of the Emlen

Physick Estate and save $5.

Cherishing Life’s Moments

Serving Cape May & Lower Township

609-884-3793

spilkerfuneralhome.com

DENNIS J. SPILKER Manager/Funeral Director NJ # 4038 • KEVIN J. BEARE Funeral Director NJ # 3806

exit zero 93 fall


Robert Panaccio, VMD

Robert Moffatt, VMD

Nancy Reilly, VMD

A healthy pet

has lots

to smile about.

694 Petticoat Creek Lane • 884-1729 • capemayvet.com

Welcome to Cape May

Where It Goes: Throughout Cape May

How Long It Lasts: About 45 minutes.

When It Runs: Monday, October 14 at 2:30pm; Wednesday, October

16 at 12:45pm; Fridays and Saturdays, October 18 to November 2 at

2:45pm; November 9 at 12:30pm.

What It Is: The best introduction to Cape May for first-timers. Find the

hidden gems and little-known treasures as well as natural and cultural

points of interest.

Who It’s For: You just arrived to Cape May and can’t wait to see the

town. You’ve been to Cape May before, but it’s been awhile. You’re a

local, but you’ve never taken this delightful tour that celebrates your

ever-so-charming hometown.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Where It Goes Begins and ends at the Washington Street Mall Information

Booth and travels through Cape May’s historic district.

How Long It Lasts Thirty minutes.

When It Runs: Fridays, November 29 to December 27; Saturdays,

November 23-30 and December 21; Sundays, November 24 to December

29; Thursday, December 26; Monday, December 30; Tuesday,

December 31. Hours vary.

What It Is Listen to dramatic tales of Christmas woe featuring Victorian

ghosts, told by a member of the East Lynne Theater Company, on

this ride along the historic streets of Cape May. You’ll be happy you

live now, not then.

Who It’s For If you look for Jacob Marley’s ghost in door knockers,

you’ll appreciate this tour.

Strongly Suggested Advance reservations.

Spend your time making memories and let

The Beach Concierge take care of the rest!

Offering year-round professional concierge and

property management services in Cape May including...

• Accommodation recommendations • Linen delivery & bed-making services

• Stocking of refrigerators, pantries, coolers, beach bags & yachts

• Meal delivery, catering & party planning

• Reservations, appointments, experiences, events & excursions

• Arrangement of rentals & cleaning services • Reliable child & pet care

• Overseeing of seamless tenant transitions for home owners

f

Don’t see it on the list? Just ask!

locally owned and operated l fully licensed and insured

becky@thebeachconcierge.com

www.thebeachconcierge.com

i

Holiday Lights

Where It Goes Begins and ends at the Washington Street Mall Information

Booth and travels through Cape May’s historic district.

How Long It Lasts Thirty minutes.

When It Runs Offered nightly, November 23 to December 31 (except

Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas and December 7, 14 and 28).

Hours vary.

What It Is Who can resist the twinkle of Cape May’s beautiful Victorian

homes decorated for Christmas? This trolley ride through town is

a sparkly delight. Listen to Christmas music and sing carols along the

way and have a jolly time with friends and family.

Who It’s For Christmas makes you want to hold hands around a huge

Christmas tree — like in Whoville — and sing out loud.

Santa’s Trolley

Where It Goes Begins and ends at the Physick Estate, 1048 Washington

Street and rides through town.

How Long It Lasts Thirty minutes.

When It Runs Saturday, November 23 in the evening; and Saturdays,

November 30 to December 21 and Sundays, November 24 to December

15 during the daytime. Hours vary.

What It Is Mrs Claus comes direct from the North Pole to lead this

tour! She tells stories and leads holiday songs on this jolly trolley ride

through town. Oh — and she brought her hubby. Santa is at the Carriage

House organizing lists with his iPad and eating cookies to carb

load before Christmas. Children will visit with Santa and get a sweet

treat!

Who It’s For You probably should believe in Santa Claus. If you don’t,

you just might after this ride.

Strongly Suggested Advance reservations.

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exit zero 95 fall


Call it edible art

INTERVIEW JACK WRIGHT

PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE KULPERGER

Nestled in an imposing Georgian

mansion on the eastern end of the

beachfront is a restaurant serving

some of the finest, best-looking food

in the region. We asked Chef

Carl Messick to dish on the magic

being made at the Peter Shields Inn.

Carl, when did you first realize you

wanted to cook for a living? Since I was about

13 years old. My older brother Glenn, who’s

also a chef, is mainly the reason. At the time

he was in culinary school, and I started to think

that’s what I wanted to do, too.

What would be your dream job if the sky

was the limit? ​I’ve been asked this question

many times, along with, “What’s your favorite

thing to cook or eat.” I’m guessing that’s coming

later?! But my answer has always been the

same in the last eight years. It’s terribly clichéd,

but true. My dream job I already have... being

the chef at Peter Shields is as close to perfect

as I could ever dream of. Our ownership from

day one has trusted me to run PSI as I see fit.

They know I would only do what’s best for the

restaurant.

You’re right (wise guy). That other question

IS coming later! So, what’s the long-term

plan? I’ve always been honest with the owners...

I got into this profession with the dream

of owning my own restaurant one day. But I’m

super-happy with my current setup.

exit zero 96 fall

Where did you grow up? Swainton, just up

the road.

Did you study the culinary arts? I went to

New England Culinary Institute in Vermont.

When was the first time you came to

Cape May? ​I started cooking in Cape May in

2001 with an internship at The Ebbitt Room

under Andy Carthy. My brother went around

and found the places that were open (this

was during the offseason), and told me to mail

resumés to Union Park, Ebbitt Room, Washington

Inn, 410, Daniel’s on Broadway, Waters

Edge, all the high-end places. I remember only

getting a call from Andy. I knew nothing about

Chef Andy or The Ebbitt Room. All I knew is

I had a European accent on my voicemail and

I was slightly intimidated. I’m so happy I went

with Andy and The Ebbitt Room because to

this day I credit him for who I became as a chef.

I was there for about seven years. So the intern

worked his way up. To this day, we share a text

every once in a while.

So, what jobs did you end up doing at

The Ebbitt Room? ​I worked every position


exit zero 97 fall


Chef Carl plates a rare seared yellowfin tuna. “We don’t do too much to the main ingredient to the point where it gets lost.”

in the kitchen — became sous chef, executive

sous then chef de cuisine when Andy stepped

into the general manager job of the hotel as

well. I was his right-hand man for about four

years. When he moved on, I became the executive

chef. After that, I became co-sous chef

of Blackfish Stone Harbor with Chip Roman. I

learned a lot from Chip — he’s an amazing chef

and person. I credit Andy and Chip as well

as my brother for my cooking style and how

I operate in a kitchen. After Blackfish, there

was a falling-out between the owners so we

opened White Heron Grill in the spot where

Blackfish was — the old Henny’s in Stone Harbor.

I was executive chef. From there, I moved

to Peter Shields in the winter of 2011.

The PSI is famed for its beautifully presented

dishes. Where do you get inspiration

for this? ​I pull from all over. I like to make

sure that, regardless what we do, we don’t do

too much to the main ingredient to the point

where it gets lost. All of the flavors need to

blend as one or bounce off each other to help

the main ingredient be the showcase. Plating

ideas and trends come and go, but techniques

for the most part remain the same and produces

consistency, which is what I try to get

our team and myelf to strive for. Consistency

without complacency.

I’m sure you’ve taught a few young cooks

over the years. How much of it is natural

talent and how much of it can be taught?

Could a truly clumsy person be taught how

to function in a busy commercial kitchen?

Anyone can be taught how to cook, as long as

they want to learn. I often prefer people who

come in young and eager because we have a

better chance to mold them and teach them

our way — and when they leave they can take

what they learned and combine it with the next

kitchen’s ideas and philosophies. But you do

need to have the drive to want to learn, the

work ethic, and you need to be organized. And

the biggest thing is being punctual. If you can

be on time, be organized, have a strong work

ethic — because the hours are long — then you

can succeed in this industry with no formal

background.

Probably not many customers realize just

how much pressure there is working a busy

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line. Describe how it feels when it gets really

crazy back there. If you’re well prepared and

have a well-oiled machine (which we have

grown into), for the most part there is no real

pressure or stress. Things happen throughout

the night, but from our managers and host staff

to our servers and back servers, to our runners,

line cooks to our dish crew, we have built

a team that, for the most part, knows what is

expected, and all do their jobs very well.

That’s a beautiful thing, Carl. What are

your favorite cooking shows on TV? ​Now I get

to sound old. I would do anything to bring back

World Class Cuisine and Great Chefs on the

Discovery channel. My brother and I used to

watch these every day. These were real cooking

shows — before it was “cool” to be a chef,

before the Food Network was a thing. It was

raw in the sense that it wasn’t glammed up, but

they were really good shows. Netflix’s Chef’s

Table is my current favorite.

Me, too! What’s your opinion of the Gordon

Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen scenarios? Do you

get a guilty pleasure watching those disasters

​I enjoyed Chef Ramsay’s show on BBC,


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The F Word. I enjoy him as a chef, not as a TV

personality. The screaming and such isn’t for

me. Some of it’s funny, but then again most

of it is most likely scripted. We have changed

as an industry and that behavior is no longer

accepted for the most part.

Which chefs do you most look up to in

the world? ​I look up to Thomas Keller, Jose

Andres, Massimo Bottura, Daniel Boulud, Eric

Ripert and Charlie Palmer.

Tell us about the best meal you’ve ever

had. This is really hard for me. I’d have to say

Per Se or Le Bernadin, both in New York. It’s

really hard to pick one.

And which restaurants would you love to

visit that you haven’t got to yet? ​French Laundry

[in Napa Valley] is on my list for sure.

What are your favorite dishes to make at

PSI? See, I knew this was coming! I don’t have

one. I enjoy cooking our menu as it changes

with the seasons. We change our menu more

than anyone probably realizes. Every season

brings new flavors, new ingredients, ways to

try new techniques. I enjoy learning and getting

better in that aspect.

Do you keep dishes on the menu that

are customer favorites even if you would

ideally like to move on from them? I’m laughing

because some of our servers and Jeff [an

owner of Peter Shields] will get a kick out of

this one. Our menu is limited — we have a simple

two-page format — so in order for us to create

new ideas and play around with new things,

we must move on from fan favorites from time

to time. We have a few items that come and

go, but will always come back when the timing

is right. Our jumbo lump crab salad — the

first thing I ever created for Chef Andy — will

come on the menu in spring and go away in fall.

Could it stay year-round? Sure, but we want

to change it up. I want our guests to know we

listen to them. But at the end of the day, as a

chef I want to keep changing things up and I

hope our guests trust in me that we will bring

something even better — or at least get them

to try something new.

Which leads to the question... how much

is the menu about what the chef and/or

owner wants to put out there versus what

you think will please the customers? ​Our

owners have given me full trust from day one

to create a dining scene where food and service

come first. They have entrusted in me to

create a menu that appeals to many people,

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not just myself. My philosophy is balance.

We are a tourist town, but with a year-round

draw. I think we do a pretty good job at putting

together a menu that anyone can come in and

find something they enjoy.

Everyone asks a chef what they cook at

home, and this is no exception. So... what do

you like to cook at home? Ugh, I tend to slack

in this department. When I’m at home, I want

things that were comfort foods to me growing

up. Sure, we love prime dry-aged steaks on

the grill, but there’s nothing wrong with a little

baked ziti or meatloaf.

And do you have anyone who cooks for

you? My girlfriend can cook a mean ziti!!

Favorite breakfast dish? ​Breakfast burrito,

or western omelette, or banana pancakes.

Too many options. I don’t do well with decision

making

Favorite cocktail? ​Rum and ginger and, for

beer, a Glasstown Lunch Pale Ale.

Finally, tell us what your perfect day in

Cape May would look like. ​Grabbing some

hoagies, a few fishing rods, some adult beverages,

go out on our boat, do a little fishing,

laughing, stopping at a few waterfront establishments

and just relaxing.


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WINTER

WONDERLAND

Our elves are hard at work getting ready for the holiday season.

If you love the winter holiday as much as we do, we hope you

come back with family and friends this December to celebrate

the most magical time of year in Cape May.

WINTER WONDERLAND OPEN

rd

st

November 23 - December 31a s

TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

on Congress Hall’s Grand Lawn,

th

Friday, November 30

WEST CAPE MAY CHRISTMAS PARADE

st

Saturday, December 1s t

SANTALAND DIARIES

a production by Cape May Stage

Festive Holiday Decorations

Ride the Congress Hall Express and Carousel

Holiday Shopping Village with over 15 specialty vendors

Breakfast with Santa

Story Time with Mrs. Claus

Santa’s Workshop

Holiday Shopping Village with over 18 specialty vendors

Tasty Treats and Delicious Drinks

Holiday Ceramics

Winter Wonderland Concert Series

Gingerbread House Building

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