USA Today listed Ocean City as the state’s most drunken city on its 2017 list of “The drunkest city in every state.”
The most drunken city in a state that has Hoboken, Jersey City, and Perth Amboy? How can this be?
Ocean City is a dry town, started as a Christian retreat by four Methodist ministers in the late 1800s (They bought the land from the Somers family who owned the entire island.) Growing up with family vacations in Ocean City, Sunday blue laws were enough to shock my adolescent mind. Go to a boardwalk movie theater on a Sunday and you would be seated in a church service . . . literally. Gates to the playgrounds were locked on Sundays. The only activity available for me was to go to the beach and ogle the girls. (Do you see now why I am the way that I am?)
Perhaps when you bring-your-own-bottle or drink at home, you are more inclined to finish the bottle and open another. Or, perhaps Ocean City people are more inclined to admit they are heavy drinkers. Who knows?
Ocean City is drunker than Atlantic City or Wildwood? I don’t believe it. Show me the data, USA Today.
Keep in mind that USA Today is a struggling newspaper company hungry for attention, not a legitimate survey company.
In a separate, un-referenced survey, 18.3% of adults in Ocean City metropolitan statistical area (which includes all of Cape May County) drink alcohol heavily or binge drink, the highest percentage of any metro area in the state. (All of those benign-looking seniors in Cape May County must be hitting the sauce pretty heavily behind their closed doors.)
Ocean City’s winter population is declining. The census population in 2010 was 11,701, a decline of 23.9% from 2000. The summer population is estimated (only estimated, but the summer population is the one that counts) to be 115,000 to 130,000 from the influx of vacationers and second homeowners. (The total number of visitors must be much higher because many are only there briefly, such as for a two-week vacation. I also suspect the permanent population is declining as more corporations and absentee owners are getting into the property-for-rent business.)
Probably their most famous native son (or daughter) is the writer Gay Talese that I mentioned in a previous posting. He now lives in New York City, but grew up in Ocean City’s vibrant Italian-American community.
Talese appeared as a character in several strips of the comic Doonesbury, evidence of his fame.