(This posting is about the website AtTheShore.com that shows hundreds of live web cams, mostly from New Jersey shore resorts, and especially from Ocean City. See previous postings of 5/25/2015 and 9/7/2016.)
* * *
Now that the summer is over, some of the businesses where the actual cameras are located have closed down, and their cameras are closed, too. You may wait about 15 seconds for a webcam to load, only to get an error message. This could be the reason, or it could be something temporary. They don’t say, so check back in the next day or so.
The direction of the sun is important. My favorite camera, 9th Street Boardwalk North, currently number 32, is useless in the morning because it is pointing into the sun, and the people are just silhouettes. Instead, I check the camera at the same location pointing south, camera number 29, 9th and Boardwalk. (The numbers can change as new cameras are added.)
People are learning where the close-up boardwalk cameras are located and you can often see someone lingering uncomfortably in the center of the view, trying to look casual, like they have no idea they are on camera. They seem to be looking at a store window that I suspect has a TV feed of the camera view on display. They soon move on after soaking up their 15 seconds of fame.
A view soon after a storm can be impaired by dried salt spray from the ocean, but so far they have been prompt about cleaning the lenses. Just come back later, or often there is a similar view from another direction that was not hit with the spray.
My other favorite is number 21, Gardens Plaza 3rd Skycam II, that gives a high, southern view from the north end of the boardwalk and a sweeping view of the entire island. In the evening, you can watch the lights come on and often see spectacular sunsets.
Clicking on the full-screen icon removes the ad that obstructs part of the view. You can also remove the ad by closing its small window, but you should view the camera display full-screen, anyway.
You can view cameras in other cities, too. Most are New Jersey shore resorts, but AtTheShore.com is expanding into Philadelphia with high, spectacular live views of the Delaware River, the Walt Whitman and Ben Franklin Bridges, and the battleship USS New Jersey. Seeing the tiny cars moving along the expressways, the moving ripples in the water, and flags waving in the breeze may seem trivial, but they make a big difference in the feeling of actually being there.
Also check out the Camden cameras. These are mostly views of the battleship USS New Jersey, the Philadelphia skyline and the Delaware River, but facing west, so the views are lit by the morning sun.
They also have three cameras in the Bahamas that seem to be ocean views from someone’s condo window. These tropical scenes could be pleasant on a blustery winter day here, but are otherwise boring.
I hope they do not try to charge to see the camera views. That would be a deal-breaker for me. We have gotten used to free apps, and we are already paying a fortune for Internet access.
Depending on the season and the time of day, many views are spectacular. AtTheShore.com has a bright future, especially with the growing use of smart TVs and dongles that can display the views full screen and big screen. Each year they have gotten better and better. I hope they work out their business plan and make lots of money, but not from me. I wish them well, I kid you not.