On the surface, the Atlantic City Diary is a collection of drunken recaps of my degenerate life. However, what truly lies beneath all these ramblings is my undying nostalgia for AC. Each entry a time capsule, preserving a moment that may soon be lost. Nostalgia is a main reason I’m drawn to Atlantic City – while each year comes with something new (a make-over the Pier Shops, the Hard Rock, Ocean), the boardwalk is still littered with dollar stores, t-shirt shops, and carnival rides that have been there since I was a wee lad.
However, I’d like to dedicate this entry to a lost bar: the Dizzy Dolphin. Part of the late Atlantic City Hilton, the Dizzy Dolphin never stood out from the typical casino bar. It had local musicians, screens to play video poker, and drink specials – staples fairly unremarkable compared to literally any other casino bar. In fact, I was probably only there a handful of times myself, mainly around 2007 and 2008. So, why am I still thinking about it a decade later? Four words:
THE DIZZY DOLPHIN DRINK
This concoction was everything a youngster like me needed/desired/dreamed of back in my early Atlantic City days. For some exorbitant price, you received a green beverage served in a plastic cocktail shaker. I don’t recall what exactly it was composed of, and for good reason: it got the night going. Now, combine that with the fact that you could attain this at the dirtiest/cheapest casino in town. You see where this is going?
From what I recall, the Dizzy Dolphin Drink was eventually taken off the menu. I’ve frequently scoured the Internet for any information I could find relating to this drink, but have come up short. In fact, the Dizzy Dolphin bar itself seems to be eroding its digital footprint: the best I could find scattered amongst my Goolge results are a few photos from Facebook pages. I’d say that the Dizzy Dolphin didn’t last long enough to make it to the age of social media, but it died less than 5 years ago. It wasn’t like we weren’t already taking videos and pictures of everything in our lives. The harsh truth was: nobody cared about the Dizzy Dolphin.
Except me. And I’m sure, like, eight other people somewhere.
So here’s to you DD. Thanks for the drinks, the memories, the messy nights, the nostalgia, and THE DRINK.
This past Friday, Mrs. ACDiary and I took our fortunes to the Hard Rock Atlantic City. While I had previous gone in early July, this was my first time as an overnight guest and gambler. So now, I feel like I’ve gotten the full Hard Rock Atlantic City experience, and am ready to share it with you, my loyal reader(s?).
Dinner at Council Oak Fish
While I’m usually freeloading my way through AC off the efforts of OB the Gambling Don, tonight I wanted to make is special between me and the missus. So, I put on my blazer, and dashed her away to Council Oak Fish at the Hard Rock. I’m not a foodie, so I won’t waste your time here – it’s a bit high end, but I liked it. What I can comment on is the ambiance.
If you can, I highly recommend getting a window seat – the restaurant is right on the boardwalk, and you have the perfect viewing of all of AC’s crazies. However, I will say Council Oak felt a bit empty, almost like the restaurant was two sizes too big. We passed Il Mulino and Robert’s Steakhouse on the way, and those places were packed to the gills. That’s the true conundrum I’ve found frequently in Atlantic City – you’ll go to some place, and you’ll swear that Atlantic City is having a renaissance, you go to another place, and you’d swear it’s the next Detroit. And, as you can see, it can happen within the same casino.
Don’t Let The Makeover Fool You – This Used To Be The Trump Taj
Despite all the memorabilia and cool music (I heard The Strokes, Pulp, and LCD Soundsystem – which would usually be mistaken for medical conditions by the AC clientele), there’s definitely some signs that this was a dilapidated casino suffering a union strike not that long ago. I was on several shaky elevators, and, somehow, I also suffered my second clogged toilet of the summer! It was immediately after we went to our room after dinner, and sure enough, the maintenance crew found that someone flushed a bar of soap down the toilet. If this happens a third time, I’m writing to the mayor of Atlantic City and demanding a golden plunger.
With Mrs. ACD, I try not to gamble too much. I stick to the old tried and true “sit at a slot machine and order free drinks” method. However, luck was not on our side at the slots, with the first two drinks setting us back $40. So, I moved to this odd “community gambling” section, where players had a choice to play digital craps, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. For $3 a hand, I was playing blackjack with some other random strangers. I love the “community” aspect of blackjack, such as the dealer busting and everyone winning, but this ratcheted it up – we were all playing the same cards. It is hard to describe without playing it yourself, but in the end my next two drinks earned me back $20, so I’m a fan.
Hard Rock Mischief
After a fancy night of dinner, clogged toilets, and $3 blackjack, my wife and I needed end the night with some shenanigans. Last time I was in the Hard Rock, we found out that each floor has it’s own artist associated with it (OB was staying on the Bon Jovi floor). This trip, we were staying on the Bo Diddley floor. So, out of drunken curiousity, we rode the elevator to the 40th (Beyonce), and stopped on every floor on the way down, singing a song by the designated artist. Good times. Very drunk times, but still, good times.
So, that’s what I’ve got for my end-of-the-summer Atlantic City blowout. If anything, this summer rekindled my love for AC. The last few years, the trips have been few and far between, and usually only for special occasions. These last three months have revived the lost art of the pointless trip, as they’ve been various levels of successful. Winter is coming, though, meaning empty casinos, meaning comped rooms. I’m sure there will be more impromptu and unnecessary trips coming.