(Picture by Ryan Morrill)
It was with shock and disappointment that I browse the Feb. 3 write-up about the closing of the Sandbox Café’s more mature locale in Ship Bottom. Just one of our family’s favorite “go to” spots for breakfast, it has been on the LBI restaurant scene for a whilst. Coming so before long soon after Kubel’s Much too closed just in advance of previous summer, two of our favorite places to eat will no for a longer time be.
We have been coming to LBI each individual summer for shut to 50 yrs, and there have been several modifications in the profile of the Island. In 1974, our very first time right here, we right away fell in really like with the relatives atmosphere, the absence of commercialism and the affordability of lodging. That yr, lured by good friends who were leasing a small bungalow on Ship Base Avenue, we brought our 3½-year-aged daughter in a borrowed motor residence for which we reserved space at the trailer park in Holgate.
As quickly as we drove in excess of the Causeway, we have been hooked! The seaside cottages, the “Mom and Pop” stores and the friendliness of the people today were a considerably cry from the northern New Jersey seaside areas to which we experienced been accustomed.
The following yr, we returned with two daughters, the youthful a infant, and rented the bottom floor of a home on Central Avenue in Ship Base. We stocked up on groceries at Foodtown, shopped at the Hand’s Retailer and ate at household-pleasant places to eat. Lugging an monumental total of paraphernalia, we break up our time involving the bay beach and the ocean.
Each and every subsequent calendar year we returned. We rented a person floor of a residence on 14th Road in Ship Base. It was close to a bay beach front and walking or biking distance to numerous of our preferred sites.
By 1977, with a few children, it was time to come across a even bigger household. Fortunately for us, one was available a several blocks away but nonetheless close to the bay beach front. Our youngest was an toddler and the oldest was 6 many years outdated. She and her 3-calendar year-old sister beloved romping in the bay, digging in the sand and, of course, at times likely out for ice product just after meal.
The good friends who experienced at first introduced us to LBI even now stayed in the Ship Bottom bungalow. We experienced adult companionship when their women and our kids performed alongside one another. It was perfect on lots of concentrations. Our LBI stays ended up now a tradition and each individual summer’s emphasize.
Quick ahead to 2008: Our developed small children experienced married and experienced kids of their individual. They shared our rentals or rented their individual places. Our pipe desire experienced often been to get a residence on LBI. The dwelling we experienced been in for lots of several years was no more time heading to be accessible due to the fact the owners had been retiring and going into it as their permanent residence. That was a sign.
We identified a excellent house in Brighton Beach: 4 bedrooms, enough room for all 10 of us, and going for walks distance to a bay beach. It was also biking distance to many favored destinations like Bay Village, mini golfing and, of training course, the Sandbox Café.
We started off a new tradition: breakfasts at the Sandbox, timed so we may possibly not have a extended hold out for a desk, even bringing 10 partners there the day just after a 50th wedding day anniversary party for LBI and North Jersey pals. We were welcomed by Dana and Vinnie, who graciously accommodated all of us.
All these yrs and so several reminiscences afterwards, we are saddened by variations that have appear to LBI. Massive, showy houses are changing the cute seashore bungalows and cottages, and some eating places and stores are closing. The pandemic has caused substantially of this improve, understandably so. But the whole face of the Island is slowly but surely starting to be some thing thoroughly unique from the family members-helpful place we really like.
It appears like greed is getting above. Houses are bigger and even bigger, shopper-helpful outlets are starting to be boutiques and even the people really don’t seem to be to be welcoming. Quite a few of the business properties are changing to condos.
Saddened by these alterations, we nevertheless seem forward to summer season 2022 – to the ongoing abating of COVID and to paying time with family members and friends. Our adore for LBI remains potent.
I just keep hoping establishments being torn down are changed by LBI-proper companies and properties. Modify is normally good, but I’m not confident the LBI of the foreseeable future will be for the improved – at least not for people of us who have a very long historical past in this article.
Ellen S. Konwiser life in Mount Arlington, N.J., and Brighton Beach front.