Thursday, September 17, 2015
Next time at Rehoboth, look north
Practically every September I visit Rehoboth for a day, but this year, having been to P-town in August, I tried something different: the Lewes Ferry (homonym) to Cape May, from nearby Lewes. I had last tried it in 1990.
Inside, there’s some luxury seating a bit like a wide-bodied airliner, a bar, and views all around. The crossing takes about 75 minutes, but you have to be in your car 15 minutes before departure. Curiously, Verizon Internet did not connect in the terminal or on the ferry, but it had its own WiFi, which was a little slow but still worked. There is a view of the water behind the boat that reminds me of the movie “The Master” (2012) (Movies, Sept. 23, 2012).
Cape May is a spectacular place, with a World War II defense tower (with valuable history of civil defense), the lighthouse, and many channels and beachfronts with spectacular Victorian accommodations, glitzier than Provincetown or Rehoboth. But it’s not particularly “gay”, being 120 miles from NYC and 70 miles from Philadelphia, and hard to reach from DC and Baltimore.
For New York City residents, the biggest attraction is, of course, Fire Island (the Pines and the Grove – “Where the sea meets the sky”) but I haven’t gotten around to visiting it since 1978, when I last lived in Manhattan.
As for Rehoboth: Route 1 was crowded when I got there, even after Labor Day, and on a weekday, with the usual outlet mall (no sales tax) traffic. How many same-sex couples go there to furnish new homes together? The town itself was quiet, although it was a dry, sunny, “California-like” day.
There has been a minor attic fire in a small bar in Rehoboth, the Swell Tiki Bar and Grill, which is actually pretty near Route 1, just after the turnoff, on a strip mall, a mile from the beach, story here. I had never visited it. The cause was electrical, but it demonstrates the practical problems property and business owners have in maintaining older buildings. A much bigger incident happened at the end of July in Harpers Ferry. W Va, in the upstairs portion of a business.