We dined last night at Martini Beach and, sure enough, I snagged a parking space across the street. I still have rolls of quarters in the console from the Newport Film Festival in June, so we gouged the meter and climbed the stairs.
From the balcony dining area you can watch the passing scene with a great perspective. The service is always terrific, though the wine list is, well, a list. But they can make a wonderful, frosty martini, and the manager found a glass of Sauvignon Blanc that went nicely with the outstanding tuna. It was a fabulous meal and the place was packed. I think Cape May is quite crowded this year, and I’m guessing a lot of people have substituted this for a trip to the islands or a cruise. A great many out-of-state plates, some from quite a distance. Restaurants are not hard to get into, meaning that a lot of people are cooking their own meals.
This morning, as is my habit, I awoke at about 6:30, wrote a couple of columns, and then figured that the Sunday Times would have arrived. I hiked two blocks over to the sister property, Congress Hall, and found the newspaper and a cup of coffee. I encountered a guy with three tennis rackets, waiting for a triple shot of espresso. He then went outside to smoke. The humidity is about 98 percent. I told him he was going for the trifecta, and he smiled, telling me I was right. He said he had to change his shirt twice yesterday. I thought he was lucky he didn’t have to change his heart.
I strolled over to the beach. Coffee is not a drink for me, more like a ritual. It’s the excuse to put the dogs in the truck and get some biscuits in the morning, or to have after a nice meal alongside a brandy. But coffee itself is not what I need in my system, so it’s sort of an accessory, like my hat. I sat with my coffee and Times on a bench overlooking the water and the power walkers, joggers, runners, and bike riders in the passing scene. (They can use the mile-long strip until 10 am.)
To each his or her own, but a lot of them looked very unhappy to me, and very temporary. You can tell the real runners by their posture and build, and their technique. For the rest, it appeared to be the exercise equivalent of lip service.
Bad storms last night, it seems, but the sun is out this morning. I’ve got three books and the Times, and the surf awaits.
Scenes from Cape May:
© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.