I’m down the shore with family this weekend in Ocean City, New Jersey. It’s been an annual ritual of ours since I was a kiddo, when we first were visiting Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It’s been an overcast and rainy week, and I wanted to share something that captures the spirit of the island in one of its quieter neighborhoods—1st Street and Ocean Avenue.

So many of us come to the shore year after year and enjoy a few fleeting days of happiness and vacation with loved ones. But when we leave, how many of us are taking any lessons with us about the physical place we left—specifically lessons about the sort of community life, neighborly culture, walkability of the place, density of the housing, and intermingled residential and restaurant/business life with us when we go?

We should be living down the shore all year round…