We all have our earliest memories of being down the shore. One of mine is of biking around Ocean City as a kid as if I owned the streets… feeling independent and safe on my Huffy with the banana seat. I rode down the entire Boardwalk, and though two and a half miles, it felt like I somehow traversed Earth on two wheels. This memory and others like meeting friends at the 34th Street playground, buying jelly sandals from Hoy’s, rolls from Bennie’s, and building sandcastles ’til the ocean took them back still resonate some 40 years later.
This feeling of nostalgia for home is what guided the magazine covers this year by artist Lauren DeMarco. When I first saw Lauren’s artwork, it was like a hook lured me in. Her palette and eye for using textiles in her painting made my heart happy and I knew it would make incredible magazine covers. What I didn’t know was how much nostalgia for Ocean City there was behind Lauren’s art. Read her story in the Meet the Maker column on page 30 and see how it resonates with you.
At Ocean City Magazine, we’ve been watching these shores since 2010, documenting the people, life and times of this barrier island and its surrounding communities. I’ve referred to the magazine as my fourth child and now that she is a fully blown teenager (14!), the nostalgia is hitting hard and I’m left wondering how the years went by so quickly. Luckily, the magazine is like a mini time capsule – a glimpse back into the not-so-distant past showing the people, places, and things swirling around OC at the time. If you’re feeling it – check out the archived issues online at www.ocnjmagazine.com.
Tis the season for giving and this month, we really got into it. We’re giving you loads of ways to spend your days… including giving back to the community. From inspiring stories of sharing family traditions with recruits in Operation Fireside to a gigantic gift guide from local shops for everyone on your list – there’s a lot of heart, art, and love on these pages. We go In the Kitchen with Express Pizza, where new owners Chris Monihan and TJ Heist recently joined up with Mike Fitzick from the former (and legendary) Bakeria 1010. Mike is bringing his square sourdough pizzas to the north end, and we couldn’t be more stoked.
From pizza to taco Tuesdays… we head into the cool beachy shack that is Peace of Wood, a gallery and space for creative kid art programs (including taco nights), owned by Kristina Young and her husband Marshall. Kristina painted our Welcome to Ocean City guidebook cover for 2023 celebrating women, relationships, and the ocean. It’s sunny and warm, just like she is. Read Shop Talk on page 40.
When it comes to art, it’s like the change of season. It just is what it is, nothing more, nothing less. You can love it, hate it, be indifferent about it, but you can’t deny it.
See you next year!