Someone recently pointed out the (now) abundantly clear parallel between Ocean City as Pawnee, and the coastal Delaware towns (Dewey, Fenwick, Bethany, Rehoboth) as Eagleton. I should back up a few steps and point out that this is a Parks and Recreation nod to Leslie Knope’s stomping grounds and oft-mentioned nemesis. If you watch Parks and Recs, than you’re most likely already chuckling to yourself. If you don’t, well shame on you, stop reading now, and go punish yourself accordingly for having missed the boat on one of the funniest, well-written comedies of the last ten years. But I digress…
Back to the point at hand. Ocean City versus Dewey/Rehoboth/Bethany/Fenwick. It’s no secret that at GCFL, we spend a significant amount of our time in Dewey, Bethany and Rehoboth. What started as a weekly trek over the state line to foster business relationships has evolved into a second home of sorts. While we initially abhorred the thought of the summer drive and subsequent traffic battles, we now welcome every excuse we come across to film, market, eat, play, and explore the Delaware area. So when we heard the Eagleton/Pawnee comparison we couldn’t help but wonder, are the Delaware beach towns better than Maryland?
Before you Marylanders light the torches and start a social media reign of terror, hear me out. In the show, Eagleton is parodied as the cleaner, classier town, overflowing with all of life’s greatest conveniences, trends, and amenities. The citizens are well manicured, perfectly dressed, and modelesque. In stark contrast is Knope’s beloved Pawnee…the red headed step-child (sorry ginger friends) and the proverbial ugly duckling if you will. Now, it could be argued that with their cleaner boardwalks, wider scope of shopping, and killer culinary scene, Delaware towns are in fact the Eagleton to Ocean City’s Pawnee. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to this notion, most notably being the fact that while Ocean City went the way of hotel/motels, condo row, and a trashier interpretation of the boardwalk, Rehoboth/Bethany/Dewey kept to their pricey beach houses which in turn yielded a clientele from a higher tax bracket. It’s ok, we’re all friends here, we can admit it.
In defense of our beloved OC, we look to the one and only Leslie Knope. Despite the glimmer and glam of Eagleton, Leslie never stops fighting for and unconditionally loving her dear – albeit diminished – town of Pawnee. Pawnee maintains its own unique charms, but more importantly it’s home, which is exactly how we feel about Ocean City. It’s home. We may cross over the state line to enjoy their dining, nightlife, and shopping. Hell, we may even daydream about owning a second home there one day. But when all’s said and done, Ocean City is our first love. Late nights a Mackys, trips down the rabbit hole to Pepper’s Tavern, boozy brunches at Fagers…Ocean City, you’re our tried and true, our ride or die, and the moon to our stars.