Margate SHOOBIES and LOCALS and TOWNIES, Oh My!

The following is a social media post from a Margate homeowner.

If you look in the Urban dictionary, the term ‘shoobies’ is a regional nickname denoting a tourist to the South Jersey shore. This term originated in the 1920s when tourists, visiting the beaches were easily identified by the shoe-boxes they brought to carry their lunches.

A hundred years later, some, and I stress SOME local residents of Margate, New Jersey refer to anyone who’s not a full-time resident as a Shoobie.

margate shoobie

Yes, in the once quaint and welcoming town of Margate, you can own a home, pay taxes, know your neighbors, support local business, restaurants, police, fire and beaches, and still be labeled a derogatory, antiquated and denigrating term ‘shoobie.’

In other towns and hamlets, you would be known as “second home owners” or “summer residents” but in Margate, an ignorant and vocal few are elated to shout from the rooftops “It’s September. Go home Shoobies.”

Margate Townies vs Shoobies

These ignorant and vocal few are also adamant that they’re entitled to shoobie tax dollars to support local infrastructure year-round.

However, if, “off-season” as in a time of emergency like Covid, a shoobie dares to unlock the door of their property and venture to the supermarket, they’re branded interlopers.

Post-it notes left on cars with out-of-state plates telling driver to go back to where you came from.

Margate Homeowner

These ignorant and vocal few are not the majority of the year-round Margate population. They are not all the local residents. They are what is defined in the same dictionary where you find the word “shoobies” as “townies.”

‘Townies’ are ignorant and vocal few of any town, who give it a bad name.

They (Townies) are small-minded, ill-educated (even with Master’s and Doctorates and law degrees) and have limited knowledge of anything past high school or the frat house where they peaked.

These hypocrites will take tourist money from Memorial Day to Labor Day and then tell them to get out of their town. They give Margate a bad name.

I write this because love and appreciate Margate and my neighbors. I love the restaurants that stayed open during the pandemic, the Wawa and Dino’s that made sure they were stocked for the extra residents through last spring.

I love Casels and CVS and all of the places that made sure people were fed and had toilet paper. I love my neighbors who always check in to see if everything is ok and I don’t want them to be confused with the others…the name calling, small-minded who taint Margate with their limited views and sad lives.

We are in the middle of a very difficult time. Things like Covid and Hurricanes and God knows what else are all going to challenge us more and more as time goes on.

Imagine if we weren’t ‘locals’ or ‘townies’ or ‘shoobies‘, but just neighbors who came together.

That’s the Margate I want to live in, whether for a day, a season, or all year.

BSP: thanks so much for sharing that post. Covid brought out the worst in full time Margate residents. We pay same taxes too as full time residents and are called names really? We also eat and shop off months to help keep stores afloat during the off months. I grew up summers my entire childhood in Ventnor and Margate as an adult. I just wish people during this awful time for businesses would just take a deep breath and realize how hurtful they are to people like us that are not full-time and get rid of the obnoxious name calling

Cnochur O’Grádá: Our Shoo…um, 2nd homeowners are still under the impression that they’re some kind of boon to the town. That needs correcting.

8 thoughts on “Margate SHOOBIES and LOCALS and TOWNIES, Oh My!”

  1. Thank you so much for writing this article. Love Margate, been coming for years.

    This past year it brought out the worst in some people. To the point that I would never want to live there full time.

    We tried last year, but the discrimination because our license plate was PA, was horrific. My teenage daughter was driving and some man screamed at her to go back where she came from.

    With all that said, your article is so pleasant to read.

  2. There are various opinions of us shoobies. In fact, I find the term flattering.

    In all the years of Margate’s existence, it’s only claim to fame was Lucy. In fact. As I grew up with summers at the Jersey Shore. Margate was known as the Barberry Coast.

    We chose to own a 2nd home because the city was small had easy access to great restaurants, and the people we met were very nice.

    Those of you who still look down on us shoobies should remember a few things:
    1. We add significant dollars to the city
    2. We patronize the local businesses
    3. Do you honestly believe your $100k properties would now be worth $800k without the shoobie investment in the city?

    Not only are views archaic, but foolish.

  3. There is little new here that hasn’t been described to exhaustion. The push and pull relationship between the local island and those coming from the mainland to escape summer heat in search of memories and experiences of generations prior.

    It’s a dance that most often is tolerable but most recently abrasive in reality.

    I will say this relationships of opposites and the bravado chest pounding can be seen in many parts of the country. In the North West for example, San Juan Island locals took offense justifiably to those from cities like Seattle and Bellevue traveling back and forth between their primary homes and island retreats. Island folks said chose one…. but not both.

    Those Islanders and our Islanders felt this march of back and forth as a threat to health of locals during the pandemic. They were correct in their calculations and fear. Here on Absecon Island, the visual of second homeowners escaping the shutdown was a tough pill to swallow for many islanders.

    Personally, we kept our home in Ventnor locked down to visitors and followed the guidelines at the time. I could not imagine adding to the clear and present danger of the moment and made a calculated choice of safety.

    There is a perception those who come here are disrespectful, loud, pushy and tend to trash the area leaving beaches and streets littered and in some cases a danger to others. It is a exaggerated view, but certainly we can see elements of the Summer crowd not giving a care to others and the environment around them.

    That is the reality and with reality comes the harbored frustrations of locals protecting what they feel is “their home”.

    Who could disagree with the frustration of long lines, pushy people and the volume of trash that litters the streets and beaches from May to September?

    I was once a local and now come during the Local Summers hoping to grab the best of times on a struggling Island.

    People on both sides of the discussion can be brutally mean and insensitive while others do everything they can to be polite and kind. I prefer the latter because I know when harmony exists everyone’s needs can be met.

    The reality is they need each other to enjoy the area both calling the Island home. I live most of the year in the beautiful Seattle area but refer to Ventnor as home.

    Aware of the conflict, I treat it with kid gloves and do what it takes to treat everyone respectfully. Apparently, that philosophy isn’t share but could if some on both sides of the issue held a mirror up to see their own behavior to make things better for everyone.

    This pandemic brought to the surface what has always been the drip drip of Summer frustration. Terrible what I heard and see from all parties.

    Get over It and start acting like grown adults with respect for each other. You may have a better experience on the island we claim to care for so much.

  4. I am born & raised in margate & back in the day 2nd homeowners were few & far between. People who did summer here were considered shoobies & “everybody” joked about it. Laughing on both sides.
    Unfortunately those times have changed & 2nd homeowners find it offensive & year rounders use it in an insulting context to agitate & it works.
    Raw nerves on both sides serve no purpose. Let’s hug it out!

  5. The year round residents are entitled to their 60×90 sq ft lot just like everyone else, They have as much right to the island as 2nd home owners do. They live mid island paying 4000 a year in taxes but want to dictate to a beach front home owners paying 40,000 a year in taxes. It’s comical actually, Other than the CVS pharmacy counter and Robert’s, what bussiness’ do the townies even support? We are all home owners and thats the bottom line.

  6. There is a small group of townies , young townies , who think they are funny.
    They have their own Facebook page Margate Community Elite . They also troll other pages. Sole purpose to demean 2nd homeowners.

    Matt Re who is Matt Reece.
    Jon Brooks, Robert Coppola, Sean O’Leary, Joseph Clearkin , Chuck Cavanaugh and Frank Cavallaro of Ventnor, nasty and mean, just to name a few.

    They do not represent the majority of good and nice people of Margate.

    Stay away!!!!

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