SEASIDE HEIGHTS – Anyone who has walked down the Seaside Heights boardwalk on a summer night has probably been struck by two feelings.
First, a visceral connection to the past as you move through a place that, despite fires, storms and the Disneyfication of vast swaths of the public sphere, still provides an experience that has remained remarkably similar for much of the past 100 years.
The second is the urge to approach the many wacky characters you see along the way and ask, « So, what exactly is your deal, bro? »
Through the magic of interactive video, you can satisfy both feelings without actually hitting the boards yourself.
The above is an interactive video — one video of the stroll down the boardwalk and 18 elements that you can stop and check out as you wish. Click on and off each one, spending as much time at each stop as you like before continuing your stroll down the boardwalk.
In the process, you can take a glimpse into the boardwalk’s past and chat with the present day characters – from a 3-year-old mini golf cheat to a biker dude doing bird calls – that make the place such a beloved treasure.
NOTE: While the main video will play, the interactive features (this is the 18 clips ‘inside’ the main video) do not work on phones. For the full experience, find your way to a tablet, laptop or desktop.
The vast majority of this project was filmed by myself and NJ Advance Media videographer Andre Malok on one night last month. (I went back another night only to shoot the sky ride) and while videos of the carousel and the Coin Castle wheelman were previously produced pieces, both the carousel and wheelman Dave Scott were in action the night we shot.
So for the most part, it really does represent the sights and characters present on one single night on the Seaside Heights boardwalk. Nothing beats the real thing, but I’m pretty sure it’s the closest you’ll come to walking the boards without heading to Seaside yourself.
Special thanks to Chris Vas of Seaside Heights for the historical photos and Greenrose Media for the vintage 1980’s footage.
Check out the video. And enjoy the rest of your summer.
Brian Donohue may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @briandonohue. Find NJ.com on Facebook.