End of an era?

New Jersey's colorful 'Doo Wop' motels falling victim to real estate boom

June 04, 2006

WILDWOOD, N.J. -- The Lollipop and The Starlux. The Shalimar and The Caribbean. The Imperial 500 and The Tangiers.

With garish neon signs, multicolored exteriors and sweeping deck overhangs, the "Doo Wop" motels of the Wildwoods are the architectural equivalents of a Vitalis-slicked pompadour.

THE FEARLESS GOURMET: DECODING MENUS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

MQ Publications / $14.95

If you always wondered what a boxty is (an Irish dish that is part potato pancake, part griddle scone) or who invented the fortune cookie, or even the origins of Caesar salad, this well-written and fascinating book should more than suffice. More than just a dictionary of worldwide culinary dishes (from Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Americas), it is also a rich compendium of cultural lore. It also features fun sidebars such as a "pasta shapes" glossary.

JUNE SAWYERS

NEW YORK CITY

A night at the Rockefeller

A new hotel has opened in the heart of Rockefeller Plaza. The Rockefeller Center Hotel will occupy the first six floors of a new 25-story building at 51st Street off Fifth Avenue. All 80 rooms come with flat-screen TVs and high-speed Internet access. Some offer views of the skating rink, Radio City Music Hall or St. Patrick's Cathedral. Introductory room rates, through next month, begin at $225 per night. Call 888-660-0212 or visit rockefellercenterho tel.com.

NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

SURVEYS

Going back to Cali

Move over, Florida. California may be the tourism hot spot this year. That's what the 14th annual National Leisure Travel Monitor says. The survey of 1,353 Americans by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell of Orlando, Fla., that was released last month says that 34 percent of respondents are very or extremely interested in visiting California. Florida fell to No. 2 at 32 percent, down from 40 percent the previous year. Rob Caborn, vice president of public relations for YPB&R, thinks the shift may reflect hurricane concerns. "Florida's gone through it for two years now, and I think people are looking at it a little more carefully," he said.

LOS ANGELES TIMES

GEAR & GADGETS

The lightweight, easy-fold Baby Jogger is a cutting-edge stroller designed for running, jogging or zipping around the neighborhood. Weighing 21.5 pounds, the jogger has a reclining seat with a firm, padded back, a multi-position canopy, an adjustable five-point harness, side ventilation panels, a large mesh storage basket under the seat and zippered compartments for keys or a cell phone. For safety, there's a center foot brake that locks both rear wheels with one step, and a hand brake with parking button. Safety straps prevent accidental folding. For storage, grab the strap in the seat and lift up; the stroller collapses and folds in half. Baby Jogger Q Series Single Stroller, $300. 800-241-1848; babyjogger.com.

JUDI DASH

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