I am a huge Jersey Shore fan. I am even co-authoring a research agenda and proposal for a Jersey Shore academic conference. Today, I made the GTL equivalent of the Hajj. I ventured to Seaside Heights, New Jersey. I went to the house. I went to the Shore Store. I creeped up and down the Board Walk, to no avail. I did not see Snooki, the Situation, or even (who cares?) Deena. I did see Danny (the owner of the Shore Store, and teh short-lived host during Season 1). Alas, the trip was well worth my time. In this post, I shall provide pictures, videos, and provide certain anecdotes about the show.
The House that Snooki Built
The shore house is located at 1209 Ocean Terrace. My immediate impression was that it was much, much smaller than I thought it would be. It is really this small, crappy, brown house one block from the boardwalk. They removed the Italian-flag-filled-map of Jersey painted on the garage. It was totally nondescript. Other than the fact that there were about 6 Seaside Heights Police Officers (who looked like people who narrowly missed the cut at auditions for Seaside Height Season 7), a huge trailer (which I assume was some kind of production studio) next to the house, and all of these blue tarps covering the backyard.
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After finding a sweet parking spot directly across the street from the house (a quarter gets you 10 minutes!), I proceeded to the house. After getting over the immediate awe of (at the time, at least, so I thought) being in the presence of the cast members, I was halted. There were many police officers standing in front of the property. Anyone who stopped on the sidewalk in front of the house were immediately yelled at. The officers told them “Private Property! Keep moving! Take pictures across the street!” As best as I could tell, the officers spent the entire day screaming the exact same message. I did notice that if an attractive girl (or better yet, a group of attract girls) rolled up, the cops started chatting them up.
After positioning myself across the street, beyond the grip of the law, I started observing. First, I noticed a huge trailer next to the shore house. I assume this was some kind of control studio. Next to the house was a series of tents with blue tarps on top. These must be some kind of production thing. There were so many people walking in and out of the house. It is amazing how we think of this show as “reality,” when in fact I counted a dozen production crew meandering around (and I don’t even think they were home).
But, there were no paparazzi. That told me that the cast members probably were not inside, or were somewhere else.
Another interesting bit. Did you ever notice that when one of the castmembers is in a room with the lights off, during the day, that they need to use the night camera to film them? I always wondered, why isn’t there daylight. Well, I got the answer. The windows are totally blacked out. Totally. I could barely see anything inside the window other than lights. Even with a 7 am grenade call, when the sun comes up, they smush in the dark.
I viewed the house from several angles. Viewed from the boardwalk, you can see the patio that is above the Shore Store. I was able to make out the bar on the roof, part of the hot tub, and at least one camera-woman who was setting up a shot. Alas no cast members. Viewed from one side, I could see the stair case that leads up to the roof-top patio. Viewed from the other side I was able to see the side of the house where people enter up the stairs.
The Shore Store
The Shore Store was popping! It was absolutely packed. I walked in and there were probably 15 girls standing at every aisle constantly asking people if they needed help. And….Danny was there. Danny personally made a special something for my favorite grenade. The way it works is the store is filled with blank t-shirts, sweats, hats, and panties, and you can pick from one of the hundreds of patterns on the wall. They do it for you right away (it took literally 2 minutes). I wanted to get a shirt that said “Give me Jersey or Give Me Death” but it was $2 a letter and that is too rich for me.
The store shore is directly underneath the roof-top patio of the House. The shore store is directly across from the beach. I have no frickin clue how Snooki got so lost.
After failing to see any of my favorites at the house or the store shore, I did what any fan would do–creep the boardwalk. I walked along most of the boardwalk, and saw many of the same games, rides, and restaurants they frequent. I also saw countless beachgoers who could have served as a body double for Sitch or Snooki (they won’t have too much trouble replacing them). Plus a slice of pizza is humongous (though it is pricey at $4.25)!