Author: D'Addono, Beth
Date published: June 15, 2011
Shore shopping isn't just for rainy days. From antiques to summertime tchotchkes, retail therapy is good for you in any weather. Beyond revisiting your usual haunts, here's a look at what's notable and in store at the beach this season.
Start in Atlantic City for high-end retail options, brandname discount outlets and everything in between. The Boardwalk is still the place for staples like salt water taffy, fudge, souvenirs and beachwear. Then head to Atlantic City Outlets - The Walk to drop a little coin on big names like Bass, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Timberland and Banana Republic. The Pier Shops at Caesars is the spot to impress with designer brands including Gucci, A I X Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and Burberry At The Quarter at Tropicana, the mix is fun and offbeat, where you'll find Jake's Dog House, Swarovski, Tahari, The Hat Emporium and The Old Farmer's Almanac General Store, www.atlanticcitynj.com
With eclectic, handmade textiles and jewelry sourced from local artists, and colorful, global fair-trade beads, scarves and journals, the Brownstone Emporium Boutique at Wheaton Arts in Millville is a Jersey gem. The shop also features glasswork made on location by the artists of the Wheaton Arts Glass Studio, www.wheatonarts.org
The "buy local" mantra extends to the art at Idiosyncrazies, the new gallery and gift shop in Point Pleasant. With a focus on New Jersey artists and artisans, fair-trade products and items made with recycled, repurposed or eco-friendly materials, fully 95 percent of the items in this funky and eclectic store are handmade, www.idiosyncrazies.com
Here's a twist on the usual ice cream shop offerings: Show Place in Beach Haven does more than just dish up sundaes and cones. The staff, decked out in olde-tyme outfits, sings and entertains with show tunes while you and the kids are enjoying the likes of "Funny Girl" and "Fiddler on the Roof sundaes (hot fudge and butter pecan/ caramel, respectively). A collaborative effort of Joe Hayes, the founder of the adjacent Surflight Theatre, and Scott Henderson, a local banker, Show Place is part cabaret, part audience participation. Order a "Wizard of Oz" ? a rainbow of sprinkles over emeraldy mint chocolate chip ice cream with hot fudge ? and you'll feel like skipping down the yellow brick road yourself, www.theshowplace.org/
There are new doings and bargains to be had at the Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township. Some of the most popular recent additions include:
Kathleen's Closet: A Second Chance Shop, a vintage thrift shop that carries clothing, home accessories and furniture, with all proceeds benefiting Community FoodBank of Southern N.J. The shop is named in honor of FoodBank founder Kathleen Dichiara, who started the FoodBank 35 years ago out of the trunk of her car. Today, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey is one of the largest food banks in the country, last year distributing over 35 million pounds of food throughout 18 of the state's 21 counties. Kathleen's Closet is open every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, call 609.383.8843.
More Shore Mall sure things: When you're ready to save some money, head to Designer Consignments, which specializes in upscale designer brands. You can enjoy deep discounts on all types of beauty products at Beauty Outlet, featuring all of your favorite brands. Looking for a bargain? Head to Coast to Coast for name-brand sunglasses and fragrances at rockbottom prices, www.shoremallshopping.com/
There is something new at Under the Sun, which has expanded its depth and breadth of offerings, becoming New to You Clothing and Accessories Consignment Boutique, offering a unique selection of vintage, new and gently worn treasures. www.newtoyouclothingandaccessories.com
New this summer is Steven (The Winkle) Winkelstein's second Lucy the Elephant book, coming out June 18 at a launch event at the Margate pachyderm from 12 to 4 p.m. Lucy's Great Adventure is a sequel to 2009's Elephant, Elephant Come Alive! In this new tale, Lucy travels from Margate to Philadelphia and Manhattan to get help in chasing away a slimy old sea snake! Local history and amusement fill this new rhyming book with educational fun. Look for Lucy 's Great Adventure at area shops including Lucy the Elephant, Margate Card and Gift, Paperchase, Atlantic Books, the Mays Landing Borders and Wrap It Up in Central Square and Zephyr Gallery in the Quarter.
Looking for something different? Check out the Cape May Artists Cooperative Gallery at the West End Garage, formed in 2009 to provide support for local artists. It is currently home to 20-plus Cape May County artists representing various media (watercolor and pastels, woodturning, jewelry pottery, fiber arts, stained glass, photography). On the second Sunday of each month, the spotlight falls on three members' work, with a reception open to the public, and a citywide, daylong event that includes five other galleries celebrating the work of local artists.
Shopping for unusual table accessories and furniture? Americana by the Seashore, in Barnegat Light, carries designer lines including Le Cadeaux, Agraria and Sabre, along with floor coverings and furnishings geared to the breezy shore lifestyle. And, in a welcome bit of truth in advertising, they also have a commendable selection of Americana. www. americanabytheseashore. com .
Beth DAddono is a frequent contributor to Special Sections.