Aside from drummed-up “Winter Fridays” trend pieces, winter weekends tend to get overlooked as a valid time to get out of our slushy urban hell and out into the rest of the world. If you’re not a ski person, it’s sort of assumed you’re staying put, which is an unfortunate state of affairs, to say the least. Also unfortunate? When people do decide to leave town, it seems that it doesn’t occur to them to go to Atlantic City (at least this is anecdotally the case for other young people I know in Brooklyn, so make of that what you will). And it’s such a huge mistake! Granted, there’s a certain suspension of disbelief necessary, say, to ignore the obvious evils of gambling, the existence of cocktails comprised of Mountain Dew and gin (I’ve seen them with my own eyes!), the embarrassing gauntlet of casinos making 70-year-old women put on glorified Playboy Bunny outfits just for the privilege of serving free drinks in plastic cups to people zoned out in front of slot machines. But existing in society is nothing if not one big, long exercise in suspension of disbelief, and we may as well do it in a splashy, neon-laden candyland for adults, no?
Especially as the city tries to figure out its identity in a world where it no longer has a monopoly on non-Vegas gambling, Atlantic City is, for my money (much of which I lose, like an idiot, at the Sex and the City slot machines every time I visit), one of the most interesting places on the entire East Coast. And few things have the same unique charm as a beach town in the winter. So! With that in mind, we’ve put together a starter’s guide for a restorative off-season weekend in AC. Getting out of Brooklyn for the weekend while you still can also means getting through the rest of the winter with your sanity intact.