What Will ‘New Normal’ Look Like For The Jersey Shore?

As we battle COVID-19 all over the world, we all know there will be a new normal for all of us when the dust settles. What will that look like for the Jersey Shore?

Some of the things that will always, or at least for a long time, be with us after this pandemic include frequent hand washing, no handshakes and social distancing. The first two are the easy part.

When you start to picture what a summer will look like at the Jersey Shore if social distancing becomes a long term thing, which some experts believe it will, it’s definitely a different picture than we’re used to.

All you have to do is apply social distancing to boardwalks, beaches and restaurants and you’ll see the different picture. One thin about the Jersey Shore is that we are a resilient bunch and we’ll figure it out.

We will take our new normal, get creative, and make it work. We have to. Our local businesses and the way of life we love depend on it. We have proven time and time again that we can take whatever gets thrown at us and handle it.

We’ve done it before and we’ll do it again. Yes, this may be the biggest challenge we’ve faced in a long time, but one thing social distancing can’t diminish is my belief in the people and the businesses of the Jersey Shore.

We can do this. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay creative. We’ve never needed each other more than we do now.

Reach out and connect with others

During this time of social isolation, people everywhere are struggling with extreme loneliness. Being cut off from human contact and touch that we rely on daily can be detrimental for one’s mental and physical health. One easy way to give back during this time is to simply reach out to someone around you.

Feed those who are hungry

Whether it’s due to loss of wages or the inability to access school lunches, many are struggling to get proper meals right now. If you are able to, consider donating food or money to your local food bank. If you call, most will tell you what they are most in need of at the time. According to No Kid Hungry, around 22 million children in the United States rely on the free or reduced-price lunch they receive at school. Due to school closures, these children are likely not able to access lunch or other meals that they typically rely on. Consider donating to this organization to get meals to school children. It’s also important to remember that this is not a time to hoard supplies. Doing so could make someone else go without or force an elderly or immune compromised person to have to visit numerous stores, putting them at further risk of exposure.

Check in on your neighbors

One of the beautiful things that typically stems from disaster is a renewed sense of community. Take the time to check in on those who live around you, especially the elderly or those who are health-compromised. You can offer to pick up supplies while you’re out, limiting their exposure, and do a safely-distanced drop-off to a porch or doorway.

Support small businesses

As restaurants and small businesses have been shuttered, their owners and employees have been pushed to their financial limits. Show your support by purchasing takeout (remember you can freeze meals), shopping for merchandise online, or buying gift cards to use at a later time. We do not know when businesses like restaurants and bars will be able to fully reopen, so your support during this time will make a huge difference.

Foster or adopt a pet

Many animal rescue organizations are struggling during this time due to staff shortages and a reduction in donations. Since you’re likely working from home, consider fostering an animal in need. Few things are more calming than snuggling with a fluffy, warm creature during a difficult time, so contact your local animal rescue organization to see how you can help. If you’re unable to foster or adopt, consider a donation instead.

Give blood

Along with all events, blood drives across the country have been cancelled and the Red Cross is experiencing a dramatic drop in blood donations. If you’re able to give, Red Cross assures that they will keep you safe during the process through the highest standards of safety and infection control. You can schedule an appointment now to give at a location near you.

Thank essential workers

While we’re doing our part by staying home, many essential workers are on the frontlines, risking exposure to keep us all safe. Consider how you can show your gratitude to healthcare workers, your local fire and police departments, grocery store workers, postal workers, and delivery people. Small gestures like a meal delivery, handwritten note, a word of thanks, or added gratuity are great ways to express your appreciation. Get your family involved by hanging signs on the outside of your home celebrating these modern day heroes.

Make masks

The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings like grocery stores and pharmacies. Their website also includes simple instructions for sewing your own mask. If you don’t know how to sew, they’ve got you covered with tutorials on how to make your own mask with a t-shirt or coffee filter, no sewing required. It’s important to remember not to purchase surgical masks or N-95 respirators, as these are critical supplies that are needed by healthcare workers and first responders.

Pay your Employees

If you are financially able to do so, continue to pay service workers, like nannies, house cleaners, or dog walkers, even if you are not able to utilize their services right now. The people who provide you with these services on a regular basis have likely taken a drastic cut in income during the pandemic, so what better way to say thank you to vulnerable workers than to continue to provide steady pay. If you are a home care worker, nanny, or house cleaner who is experiencing financial hardship during this time, you can apply for the Coronavirus Care Fund (CCF) to receive emergency financial assistance.

Stay home

Returning to the scene after a tornado can be traumatic and anxiety can persist for long periods of time. Seek professional help if you are having trouble coping. Natural disasters can be especially disorienting for children. Encourage young members of your family to freely express their feelings and offer them ongoing comfort.

Experiencing a natural disaster can disrupt each and every area of one’s life and cause devastating levels of loss. Reach out to those around you for support and seek out a local shelter if you need a place to stay, along with other essentials such as food or water. Above all else, focus on keeping yourself and those around you safe during this challenging time.

 

 

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Phicklephilly – Summer of Loss and Lust

Cherie is in Japan with her family. They are going to visit her brother and his wife. He works in Navy intelligence. So we can’t talk about what he does over there in Asia. I miss her and she’s having a wonderful time over there with her family. I hope they are all safe but I’m sure they are protected by the US military. This is the last time they will all be able to go visit him as a family before the Navy ships him back here stateside. I think it’s great.

While she’s in Japan with her family, I’m  here in Philly just working my butt off. My birthday and our 10 month anniversary is approaching and I don’t even care. My buddy Church just told me to come to Square 1682 at 8:30 on Wednesday so I guess I’ll go there. I’m not into my birthday as I get older so I don’t really want to celebrate it but if there is a party, I’m down. It’s really sweet of him.

I’ve been working non-stop at the salon just to hold it together but I love my work there. Hopefully the gym will be open by Labor day. It’s been an interesting summer and I’ve been happier and more calm and centered than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m glad all of my friendships, family and work stuff is hitting on all cylinders. I’m not suffering any fallout from the loss of Ambria and everything between me and Cherie has been sweet magic as always. She continues to delight and amaze me with energy and sexual prowess.

I write a dating blog. I went into this just to tell my stories. I was single and loved a bunch of waitresses but then I got into my past relationships and it grew. I needed material for the blog, so I went on a bunch of dating sites.

I went on a lot of dates and saw the bottom of the online dating world. I tried dating women my ages and older and it was just a boring expensive waste of time.
I have too much to give.

I met Cherie and she’s been amazing. I love her so much and think I could have a long-term relationship with her, She’s a wonderful woman. But to support the blog I stayed on all of the dating sites just to gather information to keep writing. I figured my relationship series would carry it forward but it wasn’t enough.

I could hear my father’s voice in my head. “Anything worth doing is worth over doing.”
I’ve got to create more content. Better stories. I’ve got to make this the best blog because of my low self-esteem.

I continued searching even though I had a lovely distant girlfriend that seemed the perfect match for me. Zero maintenance, sexy and wanted no more kids.

Then the Ambria affair. I’ll probably lose followers because many of the women will think I’m a schmuck. But that affair makes for good content.

I was neglecting my contact with Cherie because I was playing kissy face with Ambria. I’ve patched things up with my girlfriend. She was putting up the wall to protect her heart and was worried about the relationship.
I fixed it. Everything’s amazing and loving again.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.
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Wildwood Daze – Summer of 1979 – Lola – Part 5

Lola and I continued to see each other on a regular basis. I guess she was my girlfriend now. We only had that one opportunity to have sex, but it was glorious, and that changes you.

I looked back on my short life. In just two years I had gone from high school loser to a guy that was doing better in school. I had emerged in one piece from my horrid puberty, joined a band, learned how to play guitar and write songs. I was having another great summer and was reeling in the euphoria of it all.

I had started jamming with a kid I met and at least that was a start. I’d deal with the new high school in the Fall because there was nothing I could do about it. I was seventeen years old now. In New Jersey I could get my driver’s license before the end of the year.

Lola had to go back to Newark and back to middle school so it was bittersweet, but she assured me she’d visit. Her mom liked to get away from the city even in the winter. (Who wouldn’t want to get away from Newark as much as possible?) She said she’d come down with her mom on the occasional weekend to visit with her aunt, so we could be together.

 

I was playing my favorite pinball machine, ‘Flash’ at Botto’s when my middle sister, April and a friend of hers entered the arcade. They played some songs on the jukebox and played Ms. Pac Man and sipped sodas.

Other than my sister, April and her friend Brenda, we were the only ones in the place. It was nearly Labor day and the summer was basically over so nobody was around. There would be one last surge of tourists for the three-day weekend, but the summer of 1979 was on its ass, as my dad would say.

Her friend goes outside to the phone booth to make a call. (Google it, millennials!) April approaches to watch me play.

“You love that machine.”

“I do.” I say, not taking my eye off the ball and slapping the buttons on the side to drive the flippers to keep that ball scoring. I never look away for anyone. Unless Farrah Fawcett walked into Botto’s then I might make an exception and let the ball drop.

“I see you’ve been spending time with Lola lately.”

“Oh, who? Oh Yea. Lola. I see her here sometimes. She seems nice.” (I like keeping my life as private as possible, unlike now where every meal people have is posted on social media. Fools!)

“I’ve seen you in here with her a lot.”

Eye on the game. Scoring. “I come here a lot. People come here. It’s everybody’s hangout.”

“I saw you on the beach with her.”

“Umm… I’ve seen her at the beach.”

“No, I mean like together on the beach.”

“Yea… I might have hung out with her once at the beach. No big deal. I hang with a lot of people at the beach.

“I saw you in the water with her.”

I just keep playing but I’m starting to get annoyed. “So? The water’s warm this time of year.

“But you guys were doing more than just swimming and body surfing. I saw other things.”

Now I’m starting to struggle with my game due to the interrogation from my obvious ‘future prosecuting attorney’, fourteen year old sister, April.

“Whatever.”

“And the stuff you were doing on the blanket together. I saw you.”

“What’s the big deal?” I smirk.

“What are you some kind of cradle robber, Chaz?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Dude. She’s MY AGE!”

“WHAT?”

Lola’s FOURTEEN YEARS OLD!”

The ball just falls past my flippers. “WHAT?”

“Yea. She’s fourteen.”

“Oh, Fuck.”

“I’m not going to say anything, but just be careful. I’m just looking out for you.”

My heart is pounding and I’m having an anxiety attack, but I’m keeping it inside.

“Well she went home so…no problem. I probably won’t hear from her again.”

April looked at me with a suspicious eye.

“Right….”

She smirks, and her friend Brenda returns. “Let’s go across the street and play mini golf.”

 

I’m standing there alone in the arcade. My mind is reeling. What the fuck? Fourteen? What have I done? I thought Lola was on the right side of sixteen with that slamming body.  I never asked, just assumed, and she never said anything.

Have I just punched a teenage girl’s V card and committed statutory rape on a girl I love?

What am I going to do?

 

Nothing.

That’s what I’m going to do.

 

Nobody knows anything except me and Lola. It’s between us. April just saw us making out on the beach.

Nothing happened.

 

Jesus!

I calm myself by just breathing. I don’t want to throw up in Botto’s.

I reach in my pocket and pull out a quarter. I thrust the coin into the open slot of the machine…. and have a memory.

I start playing again.

 

And I like it.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Brooke – 2013 to Present – Legs for Days

Brooke was on point with the drinks. She even stuck around and hung out with us.

When I worked for the online start-up, back in 2013, there was a kid that worked in the office who was always playing crazy music. It was mostly all shit. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but it was also played too loud every day. (Yea, I’m getting old)

There were only two artists he ever played that I could stomach. One of them was a band called Tame Impala. I liked them because their singer sounded a bit like John Lennon. They were in town to open for the flaming lips at Festival Pier. So me and the kid decide we want to go. Somehow I got the hookup, probably through Keila when she worked at Live Nation. We were in the VIP section, which is nice because you can see the stage, it’s fenced in, you’re away from the animals, and you have your own clean bathrooms, and your own bar.

We grabbed a bite of over priced food before the show. Actually, the opening act was playing. It was Sean Ono Lennon. How sad is that? Your father is 1/2 of the two greatest composers of modern music in the 20th century. Let that sink in for a moment.

John Lennon is your father. Your half-brother Julian looks and sounds like dad, but your mom is Yoko Ono. No. Sorry. You’re just a filthy rich kid. Your dad was in the Beatles, and your shitty band is opening for the band that is opening for the Flaming Lips at Festival Pier in Philly. Sorry kid. Give up.

So we’re back at VIP and I need some wine. There is a very tall lean brunette that is serving me. She cracks a bottle for me. She fills my cup with ice and then pours the wine in on top of it. This is how I like my chardonnay. So I won’t have to keep coming back to the bar, she says she’ll just keep coming out to me in the section and keep my cup filled. I liked her already  because she was tall, beautiful and charming. Now I’m falling in love.

Tame Impala were good. I dig some of their music. It was a good show. Brooke was on point with the drinks. She even stuck around and hung out with us. I remember telling her about my girlfriend and just raving about how much I loved her. I was telling her about all of the romantic moments I created to celebrate how much I loved her. Brooke loved this and I feel like I made a memorable impression upon her.

I’ve run into her since then at different gatherings. I remember a bunch of us were all sitting around at Rouge. (Not a fan. Rittenhouse douche/snob watering hole) It was me, Keila, Alice, Brooke, a couple other girls and I think one or two guys  I didn’t know. At one point Brooke gets everyone’s attention and says: “(My name) speaks about women the way wish any of the men we know spoke about us when we weren’t around.”

That’s one of the nicest compliments I have ever had the honor of receiving. I’ll be taking her to Keila’s farewell party from the IT recruitment firm this week, So I’ll write more then.

Note: Brooke’s story continues in tomorrow’s post: (Church – Birthday Boy)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 8am EST.

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