My “Jersey Shore” birthday

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MTV may be premiering Season 4 of “Jersey Shore” tonight, but I’ve already caught a glimpse of Season 5!

Move over, Florence: The kids are back in Seaside!/All photos by Ava Gacser

I was down the Shore last Tuesday, July 26, to celebrate my birthday at Island Beach State Park, which is adjacent to Seaside Heights, the home of “Jersey Shore.” On a whim, I decided to drive by the infamous den of iniquity just to see what it looked like in person. Seriously, I had no expectations other than that.

Well, guess what? I drove (then walked) right into the middle of filming for the show! Happy birthday to me!

A small crowd of maybe 20 people was standing across the street, gawking at the house. The sight of the two Escalades confirmed that the cast was indeed in the vicinity. I quickly parked around the corner and joined the group. Within about 10 minutes of my standing there (which began roughly around 4 p.m. or so), a cameraman, sound guy and another dude came out and started getting ready to film.

Let's get this party started!

Several minutes later, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio emerged from the side entrance. Gasps were clearly audible around me, although I don’t recall anyone yelling anything at them. Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola followed a moment later and down the stairs they came.  Once they hit the sidewalk in front of the house, a teenage boy next to me said, “We should follow them.” Exactly my idea, good boy! A passel of us sprinted across the street, but the show’s security team (as well as Seaside police, who were stationed all around) made us keep back several paces. The entire time, the MTV camera crew is walking BACKWARDS up the block. How they didn’t run into something or trip is amazing, but I guess after several seasons they must be pros.

Do you know how hard it is to race after somebody AND focus a camera at the same time? That guy sucking down the water is part of their security... and it looks like he's packing heat, too.

Anyway, the “Jersey Shore” house (which is directly behind/above the Shore Store) is actually located one building in from the corner. Once the cast reached that corner, they turned left and headed up onto the Boardwalk. (Yes, in Jersey we capitalize Boardwalk. We also capitalize Shore.) Again, we were forced to keep our distance. I gather the people who were already on the Boardwalk were shocked to suddenly see The Situation, Pauly and Sammi walk right past them. I know I would have been.

The crowd gathered in front of the Shore Store took up much of the width of the Boardwalk. And yes, that's the infamous deck where all of the hottub smushing goes on.

The trio then walked down the Boardwalk a little bit and straight into the Shore Store, ostensibly to *work.* I joined the crowd gathered there as we all squinted against the bright sunlight, trying to distinguish those crazy kids from the rest of the shadowy figures inside. Cameras clicked, necks craned and more people gawked as they happened by. I could make out Pauly D in the back of the store. It looked like he was transferring images onto T-shirts. (Clearly, it was T-SHIRT TIME!!)  I couldn’t see Sammi at all. The Situation, on the other hand, couldn’t stop making himself visible. Not content with standing in the back, he walked all around the store, chatting with people in front of and behind the counter. At one point he looked like he was advising a female customer on the right T-shirt purchase.

Don't you always pose when you're standing around waiting for food? Then again, how many of us have cameras following us around 24/7?

Ten to 15 minutes later, The Situation clearly needed to take a break from his rough work day. He walked out of the store – and with a cameraman and a bunch of us following him (again, at a distance) – and down the Boardwalk a short ways to Bubba’s Dog House to pick up something to eat.

Not content to just stand there and wait for his food, The Situation decided to entertain all of the eyes on him. Words couldn’t possibly do it justice, so I’ll let my photos speak for themselves. (And yes, he’s wearing a Shore Store T-Shirt that looks like the Garden State Parkway logo, above):

Not sure if any of this will make it into the show, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless!

I hung around for several more minutes once Situation returned to the Shore Store with the food, but nothing else seemed to be going on, so I gave up and left. There was a rather long line of folks waiting to get into the Shore Store, however. Apparently they were only letting small groups in at a time and were requiring everyone to sign waivers allowing themselves to be filmed. I heard something about kids under 18 not being allowed inside, but I’m not sure if that still stood if a parent or guardian was in accompaniment.

Even though I realize how lucky I was to have witnessed this small bit of “Jersey Shore,” I had no idea how fortunate I was until I read in the Daily Mail that MTV wrapped filming for Season 5 on Aug. 2, just one week after I was there! The Daily Mail has some cool photos of the cast leaving the house, too.

Here are some random additional photos I took during my visit:

The house itself. The blue tent on the right seemed to be where the MTV film crew was stationed.

The infamous deck where Ronnie likes to throw all of Sammi's belongings. Just sayin'.

Both Escalades were present, so I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Snooki, too. No such luck.

This was the first photo I took when The Situation and Pauly D first exited the house.

If you still haven’t had your “Jersey Shore” fill after reading this, be sure to check out creator Sallyann Salsano’s hilarious column in Entertainment Weekly about filming in Italy. My favorite line: “The cast was three weeks into the trip when they realized (the Vatican) wasn’t in Florence and the building they were looking at was actually the Duomo.” Duh! Or maybe you’d be interested in purchasing a tuxedo from The Situation’s new line?  That kid is laughing all the way to the bank! Or, last but not least, perhaps you want to check out Britney Spears on tour? I hear she’s bringing Pauly along on a few dates!


  1. avagacser said,

    August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Thanks, Jay! I realized it was the house when I saw the cops nearby and and I noticed the big roof deck. THEN I saw the Escalades! I really thought there would’ve been more people hanging around, but I guess there weren’t because it was a weekday. The cast barely speaks English as it is – how will they master Italian? I read that they were calling the Vatican the “Atican.” Good zombie post – bet if they were zombies they would be more articulate!

  2. August 4, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Ava, this was a fantastic article. I’ve passed that house uninentionally a bunch of times and never realized it. I’ll be watching the new season tonight too. I too did a little post in honor of Jersey Shore tonight.

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