Big day in Atlantic City yesterday, as it felt like half the political class of the state was in Lower Chelsea for a few hours (see our recent profile of the neighborhood). We counted seven big black SUVs and three news vans, in town for Governor Phil Murphy’s to-do at Richmond Avenue School.
And that wasn’t even where the cool kids were hanging out.
On Albany Avenue, Steve Sweeney was leading the ribbon-cutting at the new Stockton campus, meaning Murphy didn’t go to Sweeney’s thing and Sweeney didn’t go to Murphy’s thing.
Did some clever clogs schedule two parties for the same day in the same city to emphasize what large, adult children run the government? Guess who doesn’t care?
Ya me cansé, as we like to say.
Anyway, Route 40 wandered up to the Boardwalk to the Stockton thing to cover the event, in our haphazard way. Here’s what we saw!
Councilman Jeffree Fauntleroy
We wish we had his optimism! We asked him for a quote, and he delivered:
“This is a great day for Atlantic City. You get to see—urban, city kids get to see a university in Atlantic City.
“It’s hope, and it’s aspiration. And it really gives them pride in their city.”
Sorry the picture’s out of focus.
An Expat Australian
Samantha Ambridge was here, all the way from Rockhampton University in Queensland, Australia, where they have a partnership to send exchange students to Stockton.
She says getting kids to come to America is an easy sell.
Rockhampton is about eight hours north of Brisbane so I think we’re talking semi-Woop Woop here. Thanks for coming all this way to “Do AC!”
Ambridge was originally from Devon, England, she said, but had been “Down Under” long enough to have a new accent. Relatable!
Sharon Aloi and Sherry Hartman, who are friends, each independently characterized the Stockton project as “fabulous.”
Next to Sherry and Sharon was Alifa Akram, who called it “awesome” sted fab.
They were seated in the Adirondack chairs in the quad, which is visible from the Boardwalk but won’t be open to the public most days.
“These are the really good ones,” Sharon, seen here holding the beach ball, said. She meant the chairs.
“I hope the views of the ocean and the beach don’t prevent the kids from studying too hard,” Sherry said.
“It looks a lot better than Temple, where I went to school.”
“It makes it a wonderful city to stay in all year. And we get rid of the shoobies,” she said.
September 20, but it’s never too late to gratuitously dump on shoobies!
Little Water Distillery CEO Mark Ganter
He was standing on one of the walkways across the dunes, in a pair of stylish, summer footwear.
“Still sandal weather!” he said.
As the ribbon was formally cut and a bevy of beach balls sent skyward, a helicopter happened to buzz past.
“I arranged that,” Alex Marino, director of operations for the Atlantic City campus, also atop the dune walk, joked. He was wearing a pair of stylish green Stockton sunglasses.
Elsewhere in shwag: This ACDevCo hat I initially refused. DM me if you want it as I’m “no logo.” It’s very soft.
“The Stockton future is bright in AC!” Marino later said, in a statement. “Hence the need for shades.”
As a pen fetishist, this is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
It’s open to the public. Someone who seemed like an official said they’ll be open until 8pm for 30 days, after which they’ll reevaluate.
Apologies to Mr. Murphy for taking such a crap picture! I had the auto-focus thingy set wrong all day. If you look, you’ll see the spot over the right shoulder of all the portraits is in focus.
“Once in a lifetime,” Murphy said of the college’s grand opening.
He wondered why the governor wasn’t there.
Arthur Henry has been working ten-hour days (some of them) to put in new water mains, but Ventnor Avenue is still all tore up.
Aka “Carluccio” the owner of the restaurant.
He says they’ll be doing pizza and meatballs, no pasta.
Surfboard Storage, A Bottle-Filler-Upper and a Lactation Room
I get the feeling the surfboards were props, but the bottle thingy and the lactation room seemed like the real thing!
Also: The bicycle parking was designed by someone who has seen a bicycle and performed the imaginative excersize of locking one up.
Three cheers for whoever that was!