Atlantic City

Posted on by AJ Ianozi

I went to Atlantic City today with the family! For those that don’t know, Atlantic City is sometimes called the Vegas of the East Coast. It contains many mega-casinos and hotels such as the Trump Towers, Showboat, and the Taj Mahal. The famous board game Monopoly is based off Atlantic City. Well, with the current state of the economy, the city is now a ghost town, and even the 50+ story high casinos have seen better days.

Atlantic City is about an hour and a half away from where I live, it’s part of South Jersey’s shore, north of Cape May. After arriving, we noticed that there weren’t many people at all walking around. The city used to be lively, but it was quite dead.

We decided to go to Rainforest Cafe for lunch, and we were one of two families dining in this iconic establishment.

The restaurant contains mist, simulated thunderstorms with robotic animals, and even a water fountain.

Every 15 minutes or so, a scale-model of an elephant would “come to life”, moving its truck and making noises at us.

Though when looking around, it becomes apparent that this overpriced cafe is just as dead as the rest of the town.

Ruins, obviously from a more vibrant time.

When looking above our heads, we were greeted with an array of plants and birds, strung together in the lighting.

In the canopy, various robotic animals would move about back and forth. There was also quite a bit of mist.

In the gift shop, foxes and ponies; they make the world go around!

Dragons also make the world go around.

This price was the only thing preventing me from buying a ton of these $5 snugglies.

Tracy the talking tree, tenaciously told us tree tells!

Also masks that I couldn’t afford.

After lunch, we decided to check out the casinos. Caesars was the first. A very large hotel and casino with many attractions, a ball room, and a restaurant. Even a built-in mall across. You will notice there are some people visiting the city, so it’s not a complete ghost town, still very empty compared to its glory days.

Inside Caesars, the place is pretty much dead. There were a few people walking around, the guy on the right is actually smoking a cigarette. The man in the center is my dad, trying to ask front desk if they give free slot dollars to first-time customers (they don’t).

I decided to start taking pictures of my father taking pictures. This is Gordon Ramsay Pub, a fine dining restaurant that the famous Ramsay himself owns.

He apparently had just visited this place last month. We just missed him!

Across from the casino is a bridge leading to what I could only imagine is a mall, owned by Caesars. It was three stories high or so.

As soon as you walk into Caesar markets, you’re greeted with a flashy red car.

We went on the second floor, there was a Star Bucks. I had a Chai tea latte as we looked out the window into the ocean.

There was actually someone sleeping on the beach naked. Didn’t know that was legal in NJ.

Across the brilliant mall-thing’s staircase is a hallway with flashy stars, leading back towards the casino.

The lifts going to the final, and third, floor.

The third floor had a food court with chairs in the sand, facing the ocean. At the end of the hallway was an observation deck.

One such restaurant.

The central staircase, intersecting the food court.

Another view of the skyline, this time from the third floor.

Sadly, security closed the observation deck MINUTES BEFORE I GOT TO SEE IT. So I took a picture near the observation deck out of spite, still sad that I couldn’t get my panoramic shot.

View of that mall from a distance.

Old-fashion style town for what I think is still Caesars.

Probably the only fake casino in Atlantic City.

We also passed this place, but didn’t go in.

The sign reads: ahh, never mind.

The next big casino we decided to check out was Bally’s. Another “superpower” in Atlantic City, this casino since the 70s.

And it was empty.

Out in the field, there’s some words that made for great puns when we were walking past. I don’t actually remember what the words said, you’ll have to zoom in.

A possibly neat theater that has since been closed down.

Things were getting bright outside, so we decided to stop by Peanut World and grab some sunglasses!

They also had arguably affording peanuts.

This might be my first selfie in this blog. For those who have stumbled across without prior knowledge, you now know what I look like.

Another big casino that is probably empty, as well as a building that looks like it’s falling apart in the distance.

Believe it or not, it was Ripley’s!

Sadly, we didn’t have money for admission fees. Next time.

My dad trying to negotiate free admission. He’s saying “But we drove all the way from Delaware, you have to let us in!”

Right in the center of Atlantic City lay, as the plaque states:


The next casino was the glorious Taj Mahal.

Filled with various features and resorts, surely this capital casino would still be flourishing….right?


I walked around outside for a bit, I’ll give it points for atmosphere.

My father heading towards the front desk to find out if they give free slot dollars to new visitors. They don’t.

Many of the restaurants were closed.

Since we spent a bit more time walking through this massive casino, I decided to take another picture.

Another iconic restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, was also empty.

Trump Towers has recently closed down, I have a feeling that the Taj Mahal will be the next.

In the distance, is another large casino and hotel, Showboat. I was readying my camera to take some shots of the casino floor.

Sadly, I couldn’t even get into this one. After almost 30 years of operation, they’re out of business.

Casinos are a big part of this city’s economy. When they go down, everything attached to them sinks too.

The last building along the boardwalk took up almost an entire city block. It’s absolutely massive, and higher than any of the other buildings. As we approached, we noticed that this was also empty.

The owner was building a super ambitious casino, with the intent to replicate the World Trade Center.

After building the first tower, they ran out of money. The new owner is currently negotiating with bankruptcy court.

Compare the people walking to just the base of the building. It’s hard to have scope of just how massive this structure is.

View from the other side.

Once the boardwalk ends, you see apartments and wasteland. Atlantic City, back to ghost town status.

I’m not sure why I took this picture, but ocean.

The one carnival pier across from the Taj Mahal.

I often wonder if more was planned for this area.

At the end of the boardwalk, there’s a free museum on its own little pier. Inside, are various pictures and memorabelia of a time long past:

After the museum, I decided to do something neat. Take the elevator up to the 50th floor of the Taj Mahal. I causally walked past the guards, went into the elevator, and hit the 50th floor. I’ve never been in a lift so fast before!

I walked over to the window to snap this breathtaking shot, when a security guard saw me. He just kidn of nodded and let me take the picture. When riding the elevator back down, my ears popped because of the sudden change of pressure.

There are no 99-cent stores here.

Another casino that’s seen its last day.

A ride that depicts the current state of Atlantic City.

Before we left, I wanted to try fried ice cream. This was the result. It tasted okay. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t be having it again.

One last casino, also closed.

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