Like lots of Pittsburgh families, my family loved Atlantic City. It was a direct shot by car to the ocean. It had a beautiful boardwalk and lots of resources. I found notices in the old issues of the Chronicle pronouncing that my Nana planned to take her children and spend the summer there. Here is a picture of my parents- young lovers enjoying a walk on the Atlantic City boardwalk. My grandfather would go there every year for the High Holidays and I remember vividly joining him there as a little girl, watching the Miss American parade along the boardwalk and eating cakes at the Shabbat Oneg.
Of course, times change, kosher hotels close, neighborhoods deteriorate, and Atlantic City decided to revive itself as a gambling resort. For a while it worked. I was happy to revisit it whenever nearby but it never became a go-to destination like the offerings of Las Vegas.
Today, if you want to have a little fun gambling, there are lots of places nearby with good food and interesting entertainment including our own just down from the Point. For a beach, people prefer the laid back nature of Long Beach Island or the upstyle of Hilton Head. And so this summer Atlantic City was forced to downscale from 12 casinos to eight, causing nearly 8,000 casino workers to lost their jobs and it looks like it will only going to get worse.
It kind of reminds me of the old East Liberty when the intersection of Penn and Highland was a second downtown Pittsburgh. The powers-to-be made Penn Avenue into Penn Circle and look how it took fifty years to bring it back to something of substance. It all makes me nostalgic and sad.