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A Most-Anticipated Summer

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After Old Man Winter and the West Chester Area School District had conspired to lay waste to our daughter’s Easter Break, we opted to hit the Shore in advance of our traditional Memorial Day kickoff. There was no sunning, swimming or surfing, as the water was a bone-chilling 47 degrees and a northeast wind churned up a mean side-shore current for most of the weekend. Instead, we spent most of our time eating and napping. Not so bad, really.

My parents, of course, were thrilled that we’d be spending the holiday weekend with them (and not Harry Potter). We had a casual Friday dinner at the always-reliable (and open) Concord Cafe in Avalon, savored the luxury of walking the dogs on the beach on a Saturday afternoon, and enjoyed a righteous lamb dinner back at the house that night. The next morning, there was brunch at Congress Hall’s Blue Pig Tavern in Cape May ($5 Bloodys!), another walk on the beach, another nap … and so on. 

Easter dinner was spent with friends at Mama Mia’s Ristorante, an unassuming BYOB tucked away in Ocean View’s Acme shopping center. Its brick-oven pizzas
are exceptional, especially the one with Caesar salad heaped right on the pie—it tastes better than it sounds.

All weekend long, Seven Mile Island was humming. We even witnessed some nut splashing chest-deep in the ocean at 30th Street Pier, wearing nothing but bright-red swim trunks. And, frankly, who can blame the guy? After the relentless winter we endured, summer can’t come soon enough. 

Here at the office, we’ve been counting the days since March, when we began assembling our annual Shore Guide (page 64). You’ll find fresh news on your favorite towns, an offbeat look at Atlantic City, a list of great beach reads from local authors, and more. We hope it builds some well-deserved anticipation for the warm-weather months ahead.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Chester County’s David Chauner may be best known for the Manayunk Wall, a steep stretch of pavement in Northwest Philly that comes alive every June with chanting crowds and huffing, puffing athletes. Chauner coined the name for this unnerving climb when he cofounded the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship in 1985. He’s since moved on to yet another chapter in his tireless efforts to advance his sport. “Not everybody loves—or even likes—him,” says senior writer J.F. Pirro of Chauner, whom he profiles in “Last Ride” (page 84). “He’s already succeeded and failed multiple times, but even in defeat, he’s picked himself up, reloaded, and returned to his unwavering quest.”

Have a great summer. Old Man Winter owes you one.

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