Ideas, idle gossips and occasionally important odds ‘n’ ends… by Jack Wright
I have always wanted to go see a movie on the beach ever since the Chamber of Commerce launched the event a couple years ago. What could be better – watching a fun movie on Cape May’s beautiful beach, under the stars, with the waves lapping in the background, and it’s free, too.
I don’t know why it took me until last Thursday to finally go, but that’s neither here nor there. I couldn’t miss Jaws, which I believe to be one of the most under-rated movies of all time. I mean, everyone knows it was a blockbuster and great fun to watch, but I also think the characters and the dialogue and some of the filming was Oscar-class.
When my girl and I first walked on to the beach my heart sank. There were around 10 people gathered around the large inflatable screen and we couldn’t hear a word from the screen. “The speakers are on the other side,” said one of the folks sitting on the beach. (I think it was Scott Swain, actually, but I couldn’t be sure in the dark, and I’m not sure why he and the others were sitting on the quiet side of the screen.)
Sure enough, we walked around to the other side and suddenly it looked like a scene from Woodstock (if the festival had been located on a beach rather than the hills of the Catskills – and yes, I am also exaggerating quite a bit). There had to be around 400 people there, either lying on blankets, sitting on chairs or, in the case of the ingenious Mullock boys, reclining on a sofa carved out of the sand.
We had come unprepared and settled for lying on a blanket. But still, it was a beautiful thing, even if I had to switch from leaning on my left shoulder to my right every 15 minutes. Congratulations to the chamber for running another successful season of Movies on the Beach, although I should add that it’s not over – this Thursday (tomorrow) the wonderful ET is showing. The movie starts at 8:30pm.
As I sat there watching it was hard not to think about the building lurking in the background – old convention hall – and what is to become of it. Regular readers will know that I was very much in favor of the beautiful building concept that two-thirds of the people of Cape May voted for in a referendum nearly two years ago.
Since then, as most of you will know, there has been a public debate that’s been a lot of things – highly democratic, feisty, tense, unseemly and at times farcical. And still we don’t have a definite plan. We’ve already lost the summer of 2011, and the earliest a hall could be built is 2012, meaning a four-year gap without a convention hall, which has been a terrible thing for certain Cape May businesses.
As we stand right now a special committee set up by city council has chosen a new plan – a scheme called design number six. This calls for a one-floor building slightly larger than the current one, and it would necessitate the demolition of the Solarium, which has itself been a controversial subject, though I am wondering why some people are treating a building that is less than 20 years old as some kind of historical talisman – let it go, people. Let’s move on with the plan that city council recently voted on or I, and many folks like me, really WILL think a certain group of you have nothing better to do than cause trouble.
Here is some VERY good news for our subscribers, who number 431 in 25 states. Many of them have to wait more than a week to see Exit Zero, which is how it goes when the post office delivers bulk mail. It’s the same for any other publication, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for our devoted readers. And this is why we are happy to announce that you can now read the whole of Exit Zero online, with a rather nifty little page-turning device. And it’s free!
So, if you live in Honolulu, Hawaii (hello, Majken Mechling), or Boulder, Colorado (hello, Edmund Simmons), or Jackson, Mississippi (hello, Carol Hammond) you will be able to read Exit Zero on Wednesday morning, just a couple hours after it is delivered to our office. And if you cancel your subscription, we’re okay with that because we don’t make any money from them – it’s really just a public service. We want you to be able to read our peppy periodical.
So go online right now and see what I’m talking about. Visit www.exitzero.us
Finally, I recently returned from a trip to Europe, where, among other things, I witnessed, in the Polish mountains, the marriage of Maciej Nabrdalik, the brilliant photographer who helped me launch Exit Zero. I also hatched a plan that hopefully will lead to some of you visiting my favorite town in Scotland – indeed, my second favorite place in the world after Cape May. Watch this space…