popartpete.com February 15, 2010 edition

Got $15,000???  If so, you can rent the MTV Jersey Shore house…

It seems that skeptics were wrong about the effect of MTV’s Jersey Shore, which turned into a huge breakout hit on the cable television network.

Rather than the feared negative backlash after an outcry from some Italian-Americans who thought the show’s premise and use of the terms “Guido” and “Guidette” offensive, the success of the show has been a boon for local businesses in Seaside Heights, were it was filmed last August.

Ever since the episodes aired in late 2009 and early 2010, Jersey Shore has become a huge phenomenon, with a life of its own, especially at ground zero: the actual apartment where Snooki, Paulie D, “The Situation” and other cast members stayed in the oceanfront community.

The house, which is located between Fremont and Kearney Avenues along Ocean Terrace, has caught the interest of huge media outlets, including New 12 New Jersey, which took an on-air exclusive tour of the residence with Michael Loundy of Seaside Realty last week.

Additionally, the house and Seaside Heights was featured on the homepage of internet search engine, Yahoo and NBC News New York, said Mr. Loundy.

The house is available to rent, at high dollar prices, starting at a cool $2,900 a night, according to Mr. Loundy. If one desires to rent the location during peak weekends, such as Memorial Day or Fourth of July , it could cost upwards of $15,000, demand is so high.

For those on a lesser budget, Seaside Realty has other rentals starting in the $600 per night range.

According to one Seaside Heights business owner, “There is constant activity outside of the Jersey Shore house. On any given Saturday night, you might see at least 100 persons simply standing outside, snapping pictures or just staring up at it.”

The 6-bedroom, 3,000-square foot rental comes complete with some of the furnishings and appliances actually used by the group of twenty-somethings last summer, who are now filming a second season of the show in South Beach, Florida.

Renters can eat out of the same refrigerator, and sit at the very same table as the cast of Jersey Shore, which was custom-built, and left behind by MTV.

However, the oceanfront deck and hot tub are long gone: temporary props built especially for the filming, and since torn down.

Anticipation of the upcoming summer of 2010 is high in the Seaside Heights business community, eager to reap the benefits of the vast amount of publicity that has centered-around Jersey Shore.

“It’s a matter of shear economics.” said another Seaside Heights business owner, “The type of demographic that emulates the Jersey Shore cast will undoubtedly be the kind with a lot of money to spend.”

The hope is that the show will bring a boost to the greater business community, with a resounding, “Cha-Ching” at merchant’s cash registers this season.

Another business owner said, “I had the opportunity to meet the Jersey Shore cast last summer, but didn’t, never realizing the cultural phenomenon they would become. I would give Snooki’s Bump-It (referring to the distinctive hairstyle of cast member Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi) to go back in time and do things differently.

Click here to view: Party Time at MTV’s Jersey Shore House from NBC New York

See Vinnie’s “Bad Ass” Range Rover…

Seaside Heights has survived three major blizzards during the 2009/2010 winter season so far.  That has not worried Vinnie Craparatta III, the owner of a vintage 1970 Range Rover, which cuts through the snow like a hot knife through butter.

Vinnie’s Range Rover is the very same type driven by Queen Elizabeth II in her 1969 documentary Royal Family.  QE II used the Range Rover while on holiday on her Balmoral Estate, because, of course, the Queen of England doesn’t do her own driving on public roads.

Vinnie describes his vehicle, which has special “QQ” license plates, indicating that it is a classic car, as “Bad Ass”.

When it was pointed out that it is the same type used by the British Monarch, who never goes second rate, Vinnie replied, “Neither do I.”

Evan, can we touch your feather???…

PETE’S NEPHEW Evan VanDeventer had a role in Toms River East’s production of My Favorite Year. Post-show, one girl demanded to “touch Evan’s feather”.

Evan is shown here with friends David (left) who played Alan Swan, and Tyler (right), who played Benjy Stone.

Joseph Huttenburg, son of Bryan from the Bamboo Bar, had a part in the play as well.

Rest in Peace Daniel “Danny” Licata…

Daniel “Danny” Licata 1997-2010

Tragedy in Seaside Heights as 12-year old sixth-grader falls through icy waters of Barnegat Bay

An atmosphere of overwhelming grief cast a shadow over the normally happy halls of the Hugh J. Boyd Jr. Elementary School on President’s Day Monday February 15th, as staff, students, parents, Board of Education members and friends gathered in response to a tragedy that occurred on Saturday February 13th.
Daniel Licata, 12, a sixth-grader at the Boyd School,had been playing on the thin ice near the Kearney Avenue bay dock, which is located directly across from the school itself, when he fell through. A friend, also a Boyd sixth-grader, tried to help his friend, but he also fell into the frigid waters.
Right as the boys fell through, a witness had called police, and reported the incident. Also, around this time, an adult passing by stopped to assist the boys, but he also fell into the water. The unidentified man, and student were pulled to safety by members of the Seaside Heights Fire Department, but Daniel  was not immediately located, and died from his injuries, presumed to be drowning, hypothermia or both.
The other boy was at first in criticial condition at Community Medical Center, but was later released, and was in attendance at the Monday gathering.
Although the school building was closed for the President’s Day holiday, nearly every member of the staff appeared for a grief counseling session.
Seaside Heights Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Ritacco, said he was shocked and saddened by the news.
Before his death in 1984, former Superintendent of Schools Hugh J. Boyd Jr., the school’s namesake, used to hold annual assemblies, speaking of the danger of walking on the ice, which is a constant temptation in cold weather. Above that, the bay is a threat year-round as well, he would say.
“Mr. Boyd would explain to us that the bay was dredged during the construction of the Route 35 causeway, to create the artificial land that extends Seaside Heights from its natural border right in front of the school, to the created border where the docks and bay beachfront are now located.” remembers one former student. “Mr. Boyd explained that it was perilous to walk in the bay at anytime, as its initial gentle slope drops off suddenly and dramatically at points when the water depth goes from waist-level to over one’s head within a few steps.”
At the Boyd school, the immediate focus is to concentrate on the shock and grief, and the services for Danny.  Later, perhaps, thoughts are for some type of permanent memorial to the deceased student.


DUE TO THE WINTER, VACATIONS, AND OTHER OBLIGATIONS….we will be on the following schedule for the immediate future:

Publishing dates:

February 28, 2010:  Polar Bear Plunge photos

March 14, 2010: St. Patrick’s parade photos

April 4, 2010: Easter photos


February 19, 2010 marks 17-years since the  unsolved abduction and murder of Jennifer Odom, which happened within walking distance of Pete’s college, St. Leo University.  The small town tragedy will never be forgotten by those who lived through it. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement produced and issued packs of playing cards, with information regarding unsolved, cold cases to all of its state’s prisoners a few years back, in hopes that it would produce a lead. In the pack, Jennifer Odom is The Queen of Diamonds…

JENNIFER RENEE ODOM (1980-1993) Unsolved murder victim.

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