Ocean City Puts Its Spin on Valentine’s Day

first_imgBy Tim KellyLove was in the air. And also on Asbury Avenue.Last minute shoppers, couples enjoying intimate meals, merchants helping make Valentine’s Day wishes come true. It was all on display Thursday as Ocean City celebrated Valentine’s Day.Artist Todd DiCiurcio, of New York City and Ocean City, was picking up a bouquet for his Valentine, wife Megan, an executive in the fashion industry. “I leave it up to the good folks here,” DiCiurcio said of the floral arrangement the staff at Spinning Wheel Florists was creating.“This bouquet is off-the-rack, but they do an expert job putting it all together,” he said. Todd and Megan met when they were ages 8 and 6, respectively, and he said they were “lifetime” Valentines. He said the couple “summers in Ocean City” and has for years. But when it came time to plan a special Valentine’s Day, only the Jersey Shore would do. Todd drove down from his studio in New York and Megan, a vice president at Tommy Hilfiger, was flying in from a business trip to Los Angeles. Todd DiCiurcio picks up a floral arrangement for his wife, Megan.After their reunion, Todd said the couple would have a Valentine’s Day dinner at Steve and Cookie’s by the Bay in Margate.“We decided to meet up (Wednesday afternoon) and spend Valentine’s Day together in Ocean City,” he said. When it comes to a romantic setting “you can’t beat Ocean City.”Adding to the romance was a bright sunshiny day and temperatures hovering near 50 degrees. At Randazzo’s Pizza Restaurant at 34th and Asbury, the staff was making Sylvia Randazzo’s heart-shaped pizzas, which were selling quite well.“This is the second year we have offered the ‘heart pie’ and people are responding,” said Sylvia, who also created a shamrock pie the eatery will sell next month to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.  As of 6:45 p.m., she said the restaurant had sold approximately 40 of the Valentine pies. Regular price for a plain is $16, but a lunchtime special brought the cost down to $12 for the early bird pizza-lovers.One such happy customer was Alexis Amoroso, who bought two of the heart pies – plain and buffalo chicken – not only to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but also her 7-year-old son Brayden’s birthday.“It’s really special, because when (Brayden) sees all the Valentine decorations or anything that’s heart-shaped, he says it is to celebrate his birthday. He already had a party at school,” Amoroso said. Marian Randazzo displays the restaurant’s Valentine’s Day specialty, a heart-shaped pizza. The Valentine action was hot and heavy midday at Rauhauser’s Candy, 721 Asbury, where last-minute gift givers waited in line to select a wide variety of holiday confections, although none of the customers opted to speak.One reluctant would-be interviewee said, “Are you kidding? I remembered Valentine’s Day this year. Why would I want my wife to know I remembered on my way home on the 14th?”Employees Debbie Lambardozzi and Tina Mituzas said the candy store had been busy for most of the day. “People have been running in, coming and going all day,” Mituzas said. “We’ll probably be just as busy tomorrow taking care of the people who forgot to get something today.”Meanwhile, back at the Spinning Wheel Florists shop, proprietor Mark Videtto said he was finding his rhythm in dealing with one of the busiest days of the year.“It’s a fantastic, wonderful holiday,” Videtto said. “Everybody is happy and trying to make (their Valentine) happy. Ocean City is a great town for Valentine’s Day.” Debbie Lombardozzi, left, and Tina Mituzas were busy all day at Rauhauser’s Candy. Jon and Patty’s Coffee Bar and Bistro at 637 Asbury was doing a brisk luncheon business when a reporter stopped in.An office party was taking place at one of the large tables and most of the dining room was filled. Proprietor Jon Talese said he only expected things to get busier as the dinner hour drew near.Brandon Beckley, of Atco, was dining with girlfriend Savannah Delguercio, of Hammonton, and enjoying Jon and Patty’s signature specialty coffees.“(Savannah) had to work tonight, and I was off work, so I thought it would be nice to meet in Ocean City for lunch,” Beckley said.This is the couple’s second year celebrating, Savannah said.“He did a really nice job (planning the lunch date) and it’s nice to get together and celebrate before I have to go to work. He’s a pretty nice guy, and I think I’ll keep him around,” she said, laughing. Brandon Beckley enjoys a Valentine luncheon with his sweetie, Savannah Delguercio. Valentine’s Day is busy for Mark Videtto (left) and son Tony at their Spinning Wheel Florists shop on Asbury Avenue. last_img

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