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Margate, NJ Lucy is the world's largest elephant, and the only one in America designated as a National Historic Landmark. She was built in 1881 by James V. Lafferty, a real estate developer with a knack for promotion. Standing six stories tall, weighing 90 tons, covered with 12,000 square feet of sheet metal, Lucy was more than an object of awe -- she was a functioning building, serving first as a hotel, then as a tavern. She also gave people a reason to come to Margate City while Lafferty gave his real estate pitch. Lucy proved very useful. Jim L. made a bundle and went on to build other, even larger elephants in Cape May and Coney Island. Sadly, only Lucy has survived. She nearly didn't. By the late 1960s, Lucy was an abandoned wreck on the verge of collapse. Happily, the citizens of Margate banded together and raised money to restore the proud pachyderm to her former glory. Now, 25,000 visitors each summer tour Lucy's innards and buy post cards in her gift shop. For a small admission fee, the adventuresome can tour Lucy's innards, a display of regional maritime artifacts and Lucy history. The tour climaxes with a stop in the open-air "howdah" atop Lucy's back and a few of the Jesey shore that for an acre of beachfront in Margate City now commands seven figures.

The Hindenburg, for those who don't know, was the largest zeppelin ever in America a hydrogen gas-filled, metal-framed airship. It had just crossed the Atlantic, on its maiden voyage of the year, when it exploded over Lakehurst. Thirty-six people died and so did the popularity of zeppelins as mass transit. The Naval Air Center, just a hundred yards from the Air Ship Bar, is where it happened. The guard at the gate gives you a special Hindenburg pass that you set on your dashboard.

A tribute to Lou Costello

One of Jersey's many cultural statesman is honored by his hometown, Paterson, NJ. Titled "Lou's On First," a life-size bronze of comedy genius Lou Costello carries a bat and wears his trademark derby, now splattered with bird shit. It shares a little grassy square along with a gazebo and a couple of horseshoe pits. We think that Patterson has the right idea. Now maybe Asbury Park will erect their own statue of Bud Abbott, Newark will erect one of Jerry Lewis, Nutley of Robert Blake, Tenafly of Leslie Gore, Bayonne of Brian Keith, Passaic of Michael J. Pollard, Englewood of John Travolta, Teaneck of Ricky Nelson, and Jersey City of Flip Wilson? Get to work, NJ! (Lou Costello Statue: At Cianci & Ellison Sts., only a couple of blocks from the Great Falls.) "


Visit this true King of New Jersey Wackydom, Uncle Floyd! "The Best!" img

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