KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
The time had come to leave and to say goodbye to our New York family. Arun was due back in India; Neena was staying on a couple of extra weeks. We promised to be back together before too long and bid our farewells. Our friend, Bharat Kumar was waiting for us in Washington, DC and besides, the weather was turning cool again – it was time to ‘get out of Dodge’.
Instead of joining the hordes on the New Jersey Turnpike, we chose a different route and headed towards Atlantic City. The summer crowds have long faded away and I wanted to get a glimpse of the famous Boardwalk. Through the late 19th century and into the early 20th century the city was known for its grand boardwalk and the world’s largest oceanfront amusement pier. In 1977, the state approved gambling casinos in the hopes of revitalizing the once popular resort city. The casinos have filled the pockets of those in the business, but have done little to alleviate the crushing poverty in many areas.
We arrived at the coast in the early afternoon, to almost deserted streets. I knew I was not going to see the Boardwalk as it was in its heyday, but still, I was a little disappointed. It seemed more like a theme park with fake ‘old’ buildings and tacky souvenir stands facing the sea. I should have been aware that the pier was long gone as that was the main thing I wanted to see. I guess I’ll just have to watch some old movies to see it as it once was.
We walked through a couple of casinos to get a taste of the ‘action’ but all was pretty quiet and there was only a scattering of old men and women working the slot machines and poker tables. There didn’t seem to be any big names in town at the time, although I did see a poster announcing that Madonna would be performing in the near future. The Trump Plaza seemed frozen in time with all the marble, mirrors and brass fixtures. It reminded me a little too much of West Edmonton Mall. Time to move on.