Posts Tagged ‘Rehoboth Beach’

Fantasy land comes to Second Street in Lewes

August 30, 2010

A small disco ball with directed lights adds a magical atmosphere to King's Ice Cream in Lewes.

Rudy and Chelsea Spoor recently added a touch of the fantastical and magical to their King’s Ice Cream store on Second Street in Lewes. Rudy and Chelsea met in the Netherlands while she was dancing and he doing technical and lighting work, both for the Royal Netherlands Ballet.  They brought some of that theater to their store when they added a mirrored disco ball beneath the porch and hit it with blue lights mounted under the corners of the porch. The turning ball scatters soft blue spots of moving lights around the front of the store – on the sidewalks, on the planters and the porch posts, and on the people walking by and standing in line.  A touch of quiet disco without the hammering beat. It reminds me of Tinker Bell in Peter Pan and the bubbles that LaLaLand used so effectively in front if its Wilmington Avenue restaurant in Rehoboth Beach.

The lights are attractive in a subtle and creative way and add a new element to the nighttime summer scene on Second Street.

Coastal flooding reveals Lewes history

December 22, 2009

Last weekend’s coastal flooding revealed a brief but important chapter of Lewes history when the marshes between Freeman Highway and Savannah Road filled with the high tide mid-morning on Saturday.  It’s no accident that the cedar-studded line working its way across the marsh toward the city’s wastewater treatment plant forms an almost perfect arc.  In fact, the arc is part of an early 20th century railroad system that combined train and steamboat travel.  The rail line that the arc peels off from, in the foreground of the photograph, is still in use but the rail bed built above the marsh to make the looping line for the cedars went out of use nearly 100 years ago. Read more about this interesting rail line in my Barefootin’ column in the Friday, Dec. 25 edition of the Cape Gazette.

The storm also accentuated the red ruins of the old Lofland Brick Company on Round Pole Branch Road just outside the easterly limits of Milton. I will post a photograph of those ruins on Wednesday morning.  I will also post a photograph taken at the height of last weekend’s storm in Rehoboth Beach, about a half an hour after I took this photo in Milton.  It shows the Boardwalk project work at the end of Rehoboth Avenue with the nor’easter-driven seas licking at the dunes just beyond the grasses.  This nor’easter made up in intensity what it lacked in duration.  The amazing thing about Rehoboth on Saturday was that there was zero snow here compared to the six inches already on the ground in Milton at the same time.

We were in a pocket here along the coast that protected us from the brunt of the storm.  As Walter Brittingham often says, we’re so blessed to live here.

Paddles, pedals, pints, politicks and pales

October 26, 2009


People paddled, pedaled, drank pints and politicked through much of the day Sunday to enjoy a beautiful October day and raise money for the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park. While the young winter season’s largest flock of snow geese rose from Gordon’s Pond, filling the sky between canal and ocean with an explosion of motion, a fleet of 40 kayaks made its way eastward from Lewes toward Rehoboth.

Organized by Dogfish Head, Quest Fitness and Lewes Cycle Sports, the event took advantage of two of the area’s great outdooring activities –kayaking on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and bicycling on the Junction and Breakwater Trail – and paired them with pints of Dogfish beers, ales and sandwiches at the brewery’s Rehoboth Beach restaurant.  A northwest wind and rising tide joined forces to push the kayakers Rehobothward from the Canalfront Park where the fleet made the first organized use of the canoe and kayak launching area underwritten by Dogfish Head. The trip started a little after 10 a.m. and ended with a return to the park – after delivering the cruiser bicycles to Lewes Cycle Sports – at about 3 p.m.

The trip was not only invigorating and inspired by immersion in the beauty of the state-park-surrounded canal, it also raised several hundred dollars for the friends group.  People came from as far as New York City and as near as Lewes, Rehoboth and Salisbury.

The politicking aspect came from discussions about a water shuttle between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach via the canal and the need for a public landing area on the Rehoboth Beach end to complement the Canalfront Park landing at the Lewes end.  Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione has offered a $5,000 grant to begin the planning of a shuttle and Rehoboth Beach landing project.  The trails of the area and the shuttle possibilities create an opportunity to make transportation and mobility in Delaware’s Cape Region an amazing tourist attraction. Now the seeds have been spread.  Time will tell whether they have landed on fertile ground.

Nature has already done its work exponentially. The work remaining pales in comparison.


Paintings and power plants

August 19, 2009


Milton sculptor Paul Rendel exhibited his latest work at a recent garden party to benefit the Milton Theatre. As dramatic as his new work is, Rendel will be forgiven for keeping it in two dimensions as opposed to his usual three-dimension medium. The large-scale oil shows a bird’s eye view of Rehoboth Beach during a July Fourth fireworks show. The work is truly remarkable, giving a unique sense of the resort town on its biggest night of the year. “It took me about three months,” said Rendel. “That’s working about eight hours a day, five days a week – sometimes more.” Rendel has prints of the monumental work available and for $12,000 the original can hang in your house.

20th District Sen. George Bunting called this week, feeling vindicated for the years of pressure he and others applied to the Indian River power plant operation to improve its compatibility with the local environment. “I remember walking through the plant and having employees tell me I was going to cause the plant to be closed down resulting in the loss of many jobs. Now look . It’s ironic – just the opposite has happened. NRG has announced its plans to spend $500 million to reduce its total emissions by 90 percent and the work is going to create lots of jobs. So our economy and our environment are benefiting. Jim Cresson [who covered Indian River’s environmental problems for the Cape Gazette for many years before he died] would feel very good about this. What they’re doing there means they will be there for many generations to come, virtually guaranteeing the security of those jobs.”

Indian River power plant color

A great July 4th celebration

July 6, 2009

dennis20090706Great weather and lots of events brought tons of people into Delaware’s Cape Region for the July Fourth weekend. On Friday night at 9:30 p.m., 25 people stood in line outside of King’s Ice Cream in Lewes while live music poured out the doors of Besemé a block away. On a parking meter in front of R&L Liquors, police placed a courtesy notice advising motorists that the street would be closed to all traffic starting at 6 a.m. the next day.

Saturday was non-stop from sun-up until after sundown. In Rehoboth Beach, when the sun was clearing the horizon, the dawn found people preparing for the 7:30 running of the Beach Paper 5K. More than 300 runners and walkers toed the mark and pushed their molecules into motion down Henlopen Avenue and around the in-town circuit. The Nation’s Summer Capital never looked back as the streets stayed full all day, until well after midnight when the final stragglers watched the Funsters pack up their equipment in the wake of a post-fireworks concert at the Bandstand.

In Lewes, the July Fourth games filled Second Street with children, parents and grandparents, chalk on the streets, eggs flying through the air and plates filled with dark and gooey fruit awaiting mouths eager to participate in the pie-eating contest. People strolled into the heart of town from the Historic Lewes Farmers Market and the crowd pulsed all day through the artists’ stalls at the annual St. Peter’s Sidewalk Sale of Art as they came and went from the games and the boat parade. Red, white and blue and stars and stripes were everywhere. The annual Fourth of July Doo-Dah Parade rolled out of Manila Avenue somewhere in the vicinity of the appointed hour between 5:15 and 6. Thousands of people lined the streets to witness dozens of patriotically decorated floats rolling past houses flying flags and hung with bunting while the occasional crackle of fireworks rung out from sidestreets.

Then in the evening, eyes from all over Delaware’s Cape Region shifted upward as public and private fireworks displays filled the Sussex skies. When the Fourth of July lands on the weekend, it’s wide open along the coast. And when it falls on a Saturday, and the celebrations go into the wee hours, the day after – Sunday – provides an amazingly welcome day of rest.

Furloughs mean more beach days

July 1, 2009

They say it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow any man some good.  Most winds do blow some good and such is the case with the furloughs announced this week as part of Delaware’s plan to balance its budget.  State employees are seeing their wages cut by 2.5 percent, but with the cut comes an extra five paid days off.  Other states are doing furloughing as well and the impact is already being felt in Rehoboth Beach.  According to a reliable source, the coming July Fourth weekend is swelling beyond its usual boundaries because furloughed employees from Maryland and elsewhere are using some of their extra days to lengthen their summer break.  That can only be seen as a good thing for Sussex County which relies so heavily on the tourist industry for economic boost.

The world continues to adjust to a new economy where there is more emphasis on time than money.  It will give everyone a chance to get to know their friends and family more, spend time outdoors where the pleasures are free, and walk and relax in their own communities rather than traveling great distances and spending lots of money.

Man pulls and nature pushes: a business fundamental

May 20, 2009


A long white Pontiac Catalina convertible sat in front of Café Azafran in downtown Lewes one recent spring evening. Just about suppertime, its occupants were off in one of the local eateries, leaving their transportation for passersby to ponder. Its shiny red interior sparked imaginative cruises on Sussex County’s winding and lightning bug-lit country roads on hazy summer nights.

General Motors, in an effort to find a business model that will work without billions of more dollars worth of U.S. taxpayers’ life support, recently announced that Pontiac is one of the models it will be eliminating.

There truly is nothing constant but change. That and the inexorable pull of gravity and nature on all things stretched across this planet. The Catalina’s current owners remember when cars like the white convertible drew all the stares when they promenaded up and down Rehoboth Avenue in the thick of the season. This one has been lovingly restored, its metal dashboard and chrome accents shining and bright, surprisingly hard against the hands of young ones more familiar with the safety-conscious padded dashboards of newer models. In field-rimming woods and behind barns in the countryside of Delmarva, more cars like this – but nowhere near as pretty – sit on their rims, windows shattered and tires long ago flattened by time’s insistent forces. Honeysuckle and briars climb through gaps created by rusting metal, occasionally given a head start by some youngster out target shooting with a .22 rifle. But even without the youngster, nature and all her soldiers – rain and sun and corrosive bird droppings – make short work of abandoned vehicles.

Businesses, large like General Motors, and small, like the hundreds we see around us in Sussex, need constant care and attention, cultivation and nurturing, to avoid the sure fate of cars abandoned to nature.

But, adjusting to changing times, with liberal application of brain power, common sense and elbow grease, businesses can thrive for long times and take on the patina and grace of the Catalina convertible, so obviously cared for, so obviously appreciated.