SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. AP — They’re the places where generations of families savored fast-melting ice cream cones and chowed down on garlicky slices of pizza, where teens scoped out potential dates, where a tipsy Snooki tottered unsteadily, and under which the Drifters sang about falling in love.
For all their nostalgia, boardwalks are still a major economic engine for shoreline communities in New Jersey and New York. Tourists and residents alike spend their money on food and drinks there, or on games of skee ball or balloon darts to win a stuffed animal. So weeks after Superstorm Sandy, towns are racing to rebuild their boardwalks by May, for reasons both sentimental and financial.
They will need the tourism money this summer more than ever as they try to rebuild homes and other infrastructure. The expensive efforts are forcing decisions not only about how much to spend, but also whether to rebuild with environmentally sensitive wood or more durable materials.
The destruction in Seaside Heights has become emblematic of the storm because of a roller coaster that plunged into the ocean. Yet Sandy also destroyed the boardwalk where families eat belly-busting foods like zeppoles — fried dough laden with powdered sugar — and where Snooki and company partied their way through the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore.
Mayor Bill Akers said 75 percent of his town’s budget comes from tourism, with the remaining 25 percent raised from local taxpayers.
“You can see how important it is for us to get the boardwalk back up and running, and to make sure we have a summer season,” he said. “It’s something we have to get done.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phil Orlins knows everything about producing TV in three dimensions. The ESPN producer has captured the undulating greens of Augusta National and the flying motor bikes of the X-Games for ESPN’s 3-D channel. But he can only guess how well his shows resonate with viewers. That’s because 3-D audiences are so small they can’t be measured by Nielsen’s rating system.
“The feedback on The Masters was fast and furious. You could go on Twitter at any moment, and there’d be comments coming in every minute about 3-D coverage,” said Orlins while giving a tour of a production truck at this summer’s X-Games. “But then you go to some other events where it’s pretty quiet.”
Orlins’ problem is that fewer than 115,000 American homes are tuned into 3-D channels at any one time. That’s less than a hundredth of the 20.2 million-strong audience that saw television’s highest-rated show, “NCIS,” this week. 3-D viewership is so tiny that The Nielsen Co.‘s methods are unable to capture any meaningful data about viewers’ programming preferences.
ESPN 3D is one of nine 3-D channels that launched in the years following the late 2009 release of James Cameron‘s “Avatar.” The 3-D blockbuster won three Oscars and ranks as the highest-grossing film of all time, garnering $2.8 billion at the global box office.
“Avatar” was supposed to change everything. Enthusiastic television executives expected the movie to spur 3-D’s transition to American living rooms, boosting sales of TVs and, they hoped, getting people to pay for 3-D channels.
That never happened.
The Bay Shore, N.Y., retiree expects to hit 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo P1800S sometime next year. And he has held a solid lock on the Guinness Book of World Records since 2002 when an entry for High Mileage Vehicle was created for him after passing the 1.6 million mile mark.
“It’s just a car I enjoy driving,” the 72-year-old former teacher told The Associated Press.
Before his retirement Irvin clocked 125 miles a day commuting. But he is an inveterate road-tripper. Before his divorce he would routinely pack up the family and head off to Canada, the Midwest, Texas. Even today, divorced and with his children grown, he continues to pile on the mile traveling alone.
“I have had coffee in every state,” said Gordon. “I am my own travel channel.”
Irvin said it took him 21 years to reach the first million miles, another 15 to get to 2 million. Now, however, he’s driving more than ever, an estimated 85,000 to 100,000 miles annually as a retiree.
Ironically, he loves to go visit auto shows. But he’s looking, not buying. He said he has no interest in retiring the old Volvo – as a 93-year-old Florida woman did earlier this year when her 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente was put to pasture with 576,000 miles on it.
Strange Random Car Quote:
“If someone were to ask me for a short cut to sensuality, I would suggest he go shopping for a used 427 Shelby-Cobra. But it is only fair to warn you that of the 300 guys who switched to them in 1966, only two went back to women.” ― Mort Sahl
- NY Man Nears 3 Millionth Mile in Beloved ’66 Volvo (abcnews.go.com)
- NY man nears 3 millionth mile in beloved ’66 Volvo – Kansas.com (kansas.com)
- Man Nears 3 Millionth Mile In Beloved ’66 Volvo (uniquedaily.com)
- NY man nears 3 millionth mile in beloved ’66 Volvo (miamiherald.com)
ATLANTA (AP) — Fifty years ago, a group of 106 influential cultural and civic leaders from Atlanta traveled to Europe to visit famous museums and demonstrate the ascendant southern city’s commitment to culture.
The Atlanta area’s population in 1962 had recently hit a million people, but political and business leaders worried the growth wouldn’t continue if the city didn’t improve its museums and venues for theater and music. The city’s cultural development would be altered forever by the trip, but in ways that had to do more with its tragic end.
The group was on its way home June 3 when its chartered Air France plane crashed on takeoff at Orly Field in Paris, killing all but two flight attendants. It had been the worst single plane crash to date.
“The community was just in shock,” said Joe Bankoff, outgoing president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. “I mean, to lose over 100 people in a moment was just unbelievable. But to lose such a cross section of Atlanta was particularly important.”
On the flight were artists, company leaders, the first woman elected to the city’s school board and other leaders. Among the sites on their packed agenda were the Louvre in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome and London Bridge.
Out of the city’s grief grew a sense that something needed to be done to memorialize them, to improve on its tiny art museum in an old house and struggling art school.
“These people were heads of companies in Atlanta. They were the wives who did a lot of the volunteer work at the art association,” said Susan Lowance, who had traveled with the group but had decided to stay in Europe longer to visit friends.
She believes the development of the arts center is a fitting tribute to her friends.
“These were people who had a stake in what was going to happen, and what happened was wonderful,” Lowance said.
Atlanta is now home to a world-class art museum that has collaborated with the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Louvre, a Grammy-winning symphony orchestra and other top-notch cultural institutions.
Strange Random Culture Quote:
Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle. This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future. – Albert Camus
- The Louvre Mounts a Rare Exhibition of American Paintings (elliottingotham.wordpress.com)
- Plane Veers Off Taxiway in Atlanta (fox2now.com)
NEW YORK AP — It was a decade when tens of millions of people in the U.S. experienced mass unemployment and social upheaval as the nation clawed its way out of the Great Depression and rumblings of global war were heard from abroad.
Now, intimate details of 132 million people who lived through the 1930s will be disclosed as the U.S. government releases the 1940 census on April 2 to the public for the first time after 72 years of privacy protection lapses.
Access to the records will be free and open to anyone on the Internet — but they will not be immediately name searchable.
For genealogists and family historians, the 1940 census release is the most important disclosure of ancestral secrets in a decade and could shake the branches of many family trees. Scholars expect the records to help draw a more pointillistic portrait of a transformative decade in American life.
Researchers might be able to follow the movement of refugees from war-torn Europe in the latter half of the 1930s; sketch out in more detail where 100,000 Japanese Americans interned during World War II were living before they were removed; and more fully trace the decades-long migration of blacks from the rural South to cities.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University professor and scholar of black history who has promoted the tracing of family ancestry through popular television shows, said the release of the records will be a “great contribution to American society.”
Gates, whose PBS series “Finding Your Roots” begins March 25, said the “goldmine” of 1940 records would add important layers of detail to an existing collection of opened census records dating to 1790.
Strange Random Great Depression Quote:
“The Great Depression left a mark on all of the civilized world. It was a defining moment like a giant earthquake that reminds us of how little control we have over human destiny — despite our technology and innovation.” – Will Eisner
- Great Depression Census Scheduled To Be Released Soon (inquisitr.com)
- 1940s Census Release on April 2 (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Census documenting Great Depression to be released (johnhively.wordpress.com)
- Historical Gold Mine: Depression-Era Census to Be Released Online (newsfeed.time.com)
- *Special Edition* 1940 Census Records Release (bespacific.com)
- Trading Education: Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression (optionsanimal.com)
- Happy Birthday Clara of Great Depression Cooking (cleardebt.co.uk)
- Great Depression Data Goldmine to Finally Go Public (newser.com)
- Help index 1940 US Census (released on April 2, 2012) (examiner.com)