Today a lifetime of memories were burned to the ground. The boardwalk at Seaside Park and Seaside Heights was engulfed in flames that stretched for more than 6 blocks. My uncle, aunt, and cousins lost their two candy shops: Berkeley Sweet Shops. And more than 25 other businesses were also lost. Livelihoods have been completely shattered.
After a fire started at the southern end of the boardwalk in a Kohr’s ice cream shop, fast winds blew the flames and embers northward into other shops and stands. Almost a year after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Jersey Shore, large sections of the boardwalk were being rebuilt. In order to stop the spread of the flames, parts of the new boardwalk were ripped up in order to build a trench. While it was stopped from spreading to Casino Pier, everything from Kohr’s and Sawmill to the Carousel has been lost.
The place, with so many memories that I have cherished, is gone. The Carousel arcade where I spent countless hours with my parents, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles is gone. While I’m sure New Jersey won’t rest until the boardwalk and many of its shops are rebuilt, I can’t help but feel so depressed by the fact that it will never ever be the same. It will never have the same smells. It will never have the same sounds. I’ll never be able to take my kids there and show them all the same places I went and let them play all the games I used to play and recount all the memories I made. It’ll all be so different.
100 years of history went up in flames in less than 8 hours.
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