Umami Mart Barware
The only thing that I've been thinking about for the past few weeks is the beach. The beach! Sun, sand, and surf- it's all really important to me. I've never lived more than an hour away from the beach, anywhere: LA, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Padova, NYC. I NEED it.

So for our very first trip to the beach this year, we went to the Jersey Shore. I had dreamt of the Jersey Shore since I was little- probably the Babysitter's Club? We packed Chisa's car with food and a cooler full of beer, and drove out an hour and a half out of Hoboken, through lush Garden State greenery, until we smelled the salty sea-tinted air and knew we would soon be there (that rhymes!).

We just wanted a peaceful, family oriented beach - as one friend put it, NOT "honky tonk" or "Ju-ee-zee Sho-ah." You know what I'm talking about. Through various recommendations, we settled on Spring Lake- a very posh community along the shore, lined with huge, gorgeous, all-Americana ranch-style houses.

It was a beautiful day- hot but breezy, the sun was shining, cumulus clouds. The beach was really clean, and the water so blue. The Jersey Shore! We paid our entrance fee ($8 per person), and started walking towards the sand with our bags of lunch and cooler.

Then, we were stopped.

A long list of rules near the entrance said "No food, beverages or coolers allowed on the beach." WTF. No food, no drinks AND we had to pay $8? OMG. WHO would go to the beach without food or beer? What kind of day at the beach would that be? We panicked.

We were about to give in, but then I thought- NO FUCKING WAY. Chisa, the amazing person that she is, made rice balls for all of us, AND fried chicken AND edamame; Ryo had a bag filled with snacks- there was no way in hell we were NOT going to eat every last bite of it.

So we came up with an alternate plan- to put the beers in a bag and ditch the cooler back at the car. The food, we would just hide among the towels. I'm not sure we needed to be so sneaky about it, but it worked. We got in safely with our food and drinks. WHEW!

Once we picked a spot, we encountered problem #2: HOW exactly would we EAT the food and drink our beers? We were going to have to be super clandestine about it. Commence Operation-Eat-But-Don't-Make-It-Look-Like-You're-Eating.


Every so often, there were these teenagers on scary 3-wheel motor bikes that said "Spring Lake Police" zooming up and down the Shore. We hid the food under towels whenever they drove by. We masked our eating with our hats and towels. It was so ridiculous- we might as well been shooting up on the beach. Hilarious.

I had made yakisoba- a bit more difficult to be sneaky with a fork, but we got through it without getting arrested.
We poured our Coors Light into styrofoam cups that we had brought for our mugi-cha (cold barley tea). Apparently, it's ok to bring in bottles of water, so drinking from cups wasn't so out of the question. A neighboring family was doing the same thing- they looked equally scared to be caught.

Hard-boiled eggs!!!

Despite the fact that Spring Lake was one of the nicest beaches I have been to on the east coast, the act of eating and drinking on the beach is absolutely mandatory, in my book. So, sorry Jersey Shore... nevermore.
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2 comments

  • All Japanese outting at the beach! Love the yakisoba eating shot. How can they enforce a rule like that??

    Sonja on

  • You can go to a nude beach in NJ, taking a ferry from Wall Street, pretty close. I brought CRAP load of booze and food, and no one said nothing. The hitch was, we had to eat food while seeing many old people (a few young attractive people) and their genitals wide open.

    Yamahomo on

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