Sunday, November 29, 2009

Atlantic City

Earlier this month, we took a very short overnight trip to Atlantic City, NJ. Now, before you jump to conclusions, we did NOT go there to gamble! Dan actually had a business meeting to attend at the Trump Taj Mahal. Yes, a legitimate business meeting. The FAA Technical Center, which is a major R&D and testing facility located in Atlantic City, held a meeting there for industry members. It was a two-day event which required an overnight stay, so Barb went along for a mid-week getaway. Only 200 miles from our house, we drove up on a Tuesday morning and returned Wednesday evening.

Only knowing of Trump properties what we have seen on TV, we expected the Taj Mahal to be a grand and opulent place, and it was.

The Taj Mahal rises up at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, right along the boardwalk.

The chandeliers were a sight to behold, specially made in Germany. The marble required all the output of one quarry in Italy for a year.

There are over 3,100 slots which created a visual cornucopia of lights. But we don't gamble and the sight of people sitting, mesmerized and robotically pushing the buttons, was really rather discomforting.

Atlantic City was founded in 1854 as a place to escape the heat and soot of nearby major industrial cities. It was later revitalized as a casino town. The Hotel Dennis, built in 1892, stands in stark contrast to the modern Bally's just beyond.

Atlantic City has its own version of the Hollywood "Walk of Fame" where celebrities have left hand and foot impressions. Most of them, though, were from the 1980's and 90's, none more recent than 1995. I wondered why they stopped.

The first boardwalk was built in 1870 to help keep the sand out of the hotel lobbies. It now stretches over 4 miles.

Caesars has built a three-story mall on one of the piers.

After the conference ended, Dan and Barb had a chance to walk the boardwalk together before leaving for home.

In the final analysis, we didn't like Atlantic City very much. Aside from the opulence and decadence of the casinos, and kitsch of the boardwalk, the city itself was rather run down and unattractive. It was interesting to see once, but we wouldn't go there on our own time or money, and don't recommend it for you, either.

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