“Seaside was a reality show before cable,” says professional photographer David DiMicco. “When I was a kid, it was loud, it was colorful, it was out of control all the time — never in a dangerous sense, but always colorful.”
In his youth, DiMicco remembers spending summers working at Nevers — his father’s steak shop — surfing by Casino Pier and chasing girls on the boardwalk at Seaside Heights.
So eight months ago, when the wrath of Superstorm Sandy displaced residents, shuttered businesses and ripped up the boardwalk, DiMicco’s attention and camera returned to Seaside Heights. From January to May, DiMicco began a personal project documenting the destruction and rebuilding of the boardwalk.
“You have the beach, and the arcades and the buildings, but no boardwalk. There is no threshold,” said DiMicco. “Without the boardwalk, it’s a different thing. You have all this talking and screaming, but it is only to the ocean.”
At sunrise and sunset, DiMicco captured the iconic JetStar roller coaster wading in the Atlantic, the Ferris wheel balancing on the Fun Town Amusement Pier, and the deserted carnival-like atmosphere. As the project progressed, DiMicco showed pilings on the beach and the rebuilding of the boardwalk. He captured people once again strolling along the shops.
Listen to an interview with NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller and David DiMicco about his collection of photographs, “Seaside Heights Boardwalk: A Landscape in Transition” using the audio player above.