I have absolutely no interest in gambling. None at all. But I do like exploring interesting places, so this past March my wife and I spent a weekend poking around Atlantic City. We did discover that casinos are excellent places to go to the restroom.
The famous casino-lined boardwalk was pristine, as one would expect from such a cash cow. The rest of the city: Not so much. Everyone knows Atlantic City inland from the boardwalk gets dicey, and we were prepared for that. We weren't as prepared for the flood damage.
The northern boardwalk, which isn't lined with casinos, was completely destroyed. Behind it was a motley collection of flooded city blocks and beaches, strewn with bricks and other detritus.
Not only was the northern boardwalk gone, but its seawall was breached in several places.
Mere blocks away, the northernmost casinos are doing fine.
Towards the center of town, we found a parking garage from which we could survey the city. Unlike some resort towns, there is an actual city here.
This is the train station, which is attached to the convention center. Being the nerd that I am, that was the first place I wanted to check out. Yes, before the boardwalk.
Meh. Decent train service, but fairly unspectacular station. Passable, I suppose. Better than an Amshack.
The walk from the train station to the boardwalk has been redeveloped as an urban outlet mall. It's interesting, sorta.
The boardwalk, of course, remains mighty.
The beach beyond the boardwalk wasn't in such great shape. But this was in March, when the water was still cold. I expect now, in the heat of summer, it's been cleaned up.
Under the boardwalk there apparently lives a large clowder of feral cats. Interesting.
Inland from the boardwalk, besides the outlet mall, the central city is largely devoid of recent investment. Old buildings are filled with low-rent users. It's like walking through pre-gentrification 1980s DC.
Ever since Katrina hit New Orleans we all know what these blue tarps mean.
This is the bus station. It's actually pretty nice.
Spotted a cackle of grackles funnily disrespecting the fake owl clearly put up in a lost attempt to scare them off.
But even in the ghetto of inland AC, you can still see glimpses of the wealth that once flowed through there.