Atlantic City is a much sadder, slower place in the winter than it is in the summer. It makes me melancholy and blue. But it’s the good kind of blue. It’s not the kind of blue that drags you down. It’s the kind of blue that makes you sit up straight and appreciate what you have. It’s the kind of blueyou get when you listen to B.B. King play his guitar or Billy Holiday sing. I like it just fine.
I certainly don’t mind navigating the summer masses that choke the boardwalk. If crowds bothered me, I wouldn’t have stayed in New York City all those years. But there’s a certain sad allure to strolling on a cold, snowy, almost empty boardwalk.
The beaches are deserted and clean. The lines where sky meets water and water meets sand aren’t broken by a gaggle of noisy tourists. By the end of August, the sand will be disrupted and large metal drums filled with trash will dot the shore. Occasionally, a treasure hunter with a metal detector will come into view.
He’ll stop, bend down and dig furiously. His efforts will be rewarded with a bottle cap or a key.
Though chilly, the sun can be quite bright and sitting outside is comfortable. The broken, the lonely and those brought to their knees by their bad luck in the casinos claim a bench and stare out at the ocean.
The oul dogs wonder where it all went and what’s left.
There’s a colony of feral cats that live under the boardwalk. They’ve been there for as long as I can remember. Local volunteers have built shelters for them and drop off food in the winter time.
You can see them napping in the afternoon sunshine. Nobody bothers them.
They don’t seem to have any fear of people. They will almost always jump up on your lap if you invite them. And, like us, they enjoy a good scratch in the right place.