330 South Broadway
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During my recent vacation I stayed at a campground in a quaint little town called Seaville, New Jersey. Seaville is in a cool location in between a number of popular tourist destinations like Avalon, Stone Harbor, Sea Isle City, Atlantic City, Ocean City and Wildwood. We visited each of these towns during our trip, but my favorite by far had to be Wildwood (ok, I'll plug the town's Website, but it's almost impossible to stomach for more than a few seconds—you'll see)...
I had never been there before, but I was amazed at what I saw in this town. It was seemingly stuck back in time. My first hint was the Wawa we drove past on our way to the boardwalk—it was unlike any Wawa I had ever seen:
After passing this Wawa I started paying closer attention to the stores and businesses in the town. I started noticing that many had a similar retro or throwback design. Some of the signs were incredible.
Here are some of the other sights I saw:
After coming home I immediately went online to research this town to find out the deal. I had certainly never seen or heard of anything like this—nearly a whole town that has gone retro. In my research, I found this: The Doo Wop Preservation League.
Apparently, the town of Wildwood has put together a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about and preserve elements of the popular culture and imagery of the 1950s and 1960s—the so called "Doo Wop" era. As someone who has always been a fan of vintage design, I was in love.
I was really excited to see some of the really cool vintage hotels and motels of Wildwood (those were my favorite). But it was great also to see some of the national retail chains participating as well: Subway, Wawa, and Harley Davidson to name a few. As a child of the 1980s it was interesting to get a peek at what these brands might have looked like before my time.
To me, these designs have so much personality. Much more than so many of the signs and storefronts we see in modern-day America. These retro brands give me comfort for some strange reason. Perhaps it's the association of the 50s and 60s with a time when life was simpler, slower and less besieged by capitalism? Who knows...
Having this experience and being able to digest it for a while makes me think that I'd love to see more of this style (something that really defined Wildwood in my mind) in the tourism marketing for the town. Before my trip I honestly had no idea about this unique characteristic, and that just means they haven't done a great job of building that brand over time. Am I just living in the dark?
You're welcome to browse more for yourself HERE.