Younger than springtime

Chester, New Jersey. 2000. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

Chester, New Jersey. 2000. By Paul Goldfinger. © Silver gelatin dark room print. ©


Who can we trust to do what’s best for Ocean Grove?   Paul Goldfinger photograph. 2018 ©.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger.

On October 10, 2019. The Neptune Township Committee passed ordinance 19-34. Below is the “explanatory statement:”

This ordinance authorizes the execution of a Public Access Easement Agreement with OG North End Development, LLC to set forth the terms and conditions for public access to open space, such as the waterfront promenade, pedestrian plaza and view corridors within the North End Redevelopment Project.” 

It also includes Wesley Lake which is mentioned elsewhere.

So, OGNED is granting Neptune Township an easement, but because the project is a public Redevelopment plan, Neptune has to pass that easement granted to itself.

You can read the entire ordinance, including the Public Access Easement Agreement by going to the Neptune web site and click on minutes and agendas.  (Neptunetownship.org)

The easement is ostensibly designed to allow the developer OGNED  (who is leasing the land from the CMA)  to make sure there are places where the public can go  (see Attachment A in the document.)  But what is not stressed is that there are some exceptions.  You may recall that one of the two buildings which will be built will be against the boardwalk and consists of a “boutique hotel”and “condominiums and “retail.”

They plan an area called the “Pedestrian Plaza” which is spelled out in their “Open Space Plan.”  The Plaza is “an area in front of the grand entryway to the Hotel, running south from the Hotel entryway to Spray Avenue for the purposes of providing the public with certain open air gathering space.”

Regarding the “Waterfront  Promenade”, ie Lake Avenue (called Beach Avenue by some) and Wesley Lake, it will be “dedicated public open space to which the public shall have continuous, uninterrupted access twenty four hours per, every day.”   But the other “Public Access Areas” may be closed during (up to ) dusk to dawn daily.

And  the “Pedestrian Plaza” access may not be treated like the other “public” areas;  its access may be limited, and the Hotel can “impose reasonable restrictions upon public access.”   Also, the Hotel may elect to “close the Pedestrian Plaza to the public on occasion for certain periods of time for purposes of hosting private events, such as, by way of example, weddings”

And there is more:  Although they say that the public will be granted “regular  and meaningful” access to the “Pedestrian Plaza” during the off-season (Fall, Winter an Spring,) it seems that they can (or will)  close it to the public during the prime season.

The wording here is confused, but it seems to say, in so many words, that summer is off limits to the public at the Pedestrian Plaza.

Note there are no illustrations that we have seen which show these “public” areas.


BILL FRISELL   From his album When You Wish Upon a Star.



OG beach, Oct. 19, 2019. Paul Goldfinger ©



JONI MITCHELL:    “The Circle Game”  from her album Ladies of the Canyon.


“And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and dawn
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.”   Joni Mitchell


N. Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida southwest. Paul Goldfinger photograph ©    c. 1990.




October, 2019. Seaside Heights. Moe Demby© Blogfinger staff.  17 mos. old Noah is half her size.



NILSSON:   “Remember” by Irving Berlin.  The magic of photography will preserve this memory.


"The Hand of Man" (1902) by Alfred Stieglitz.

“The Hand of Man” (1902) by Alfred Stieglitz.

Paul Goldfinger, Photography Editor @Blogfinger.

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) was born in Hoboken of a German-Jewish immigrant family.   He first trained as an engineer, but later he discovered photography.   After the turn of the century he moved to New York City where he began an illustrious career as a fine art photographer and gallery owner.  He led the photo-secessionist movement which was about promoting photography as a fine art.  He also introduced America to many European impressionist painters.

Stieglitz published the first fine art photography journal called Camera Work which existed from 1903-1917.  All the images in Camera Work were made with an exquisitely beautiful method called photogravure which utilized etched copper plates to make the prints.

Stieglitz had his gallery in New York City. It was called Gallery 291.  Stieglitz was also the husband of the painter Georgia O’Keefe who posed for many nude studies by her spouse.

One of my favorite Stieglitz Camera Work images is a photogravure called “The Hand of Man” taken (see above)  in the the New York Central Railroad Yards.  It is one of only two known train photographs by Stieglitz. I have a copy of the other which is quite similar and is called “In the Central Railroad Yards (1910.)”

In the process of convincing the world that photography was a full-fledged art form, he often gave his images names that may seem somewhat pretentious  such as the title of our featured photograph.  Another of his photographs, a NYC skyline, was called, “The City of Ambition.”

Below are some samples of the kind of critical analyses which are often brought to bear for works titled this way.  Personally I think these sorts of images, as gorgeous as they may be, should not be given titles.  Better to let the viewer form an opinion.

From the Museum of Modern Art in NYC:       “The Hand of Man was first published in January 1903 in the inaugural issue of Camera Work. With this image of a lone locomotive chugging through the train yards of Long Island City, Stieglitz showed that a gritty urban landscape could have an atmospheric beauty and a symbolic value as potent as those of an unspoiled natural landscape. The title alludes to this modern transformation of the landscape and also perhaps to photography itself as a mechanical process. Stieglitz believed that a camera could be transformed into a tool for creating art when guided by the hand and sensibility of an artist.”

From the Pratt Institute of Art and Design:    “The title serves a dual purpose, both serving as a commentary on the idea of the hand of the photographer and his ability to depict this modern world in such a fashion, but also more figuratively man’s footprint on the landscape and how humans have transformed their surroundings.”

And finally, this is what Alfred Stieglitz himself said about photography as art,  “In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

FATS WALLER:  So if art appreciation is about the pursuit of reality, here is  Fats Waller with:  “Until the Real Thing Comes Along.”


OceanGrove Flea Market. May 30, 2019. Paul Goldfinger photo





Sandy Hook Lighthouse. From 1764–the oldest working lighthouse in the US. Paul Goldfinger photo. October, 2019.  Click to enlarge.


BILLIE HOLIDAY    “How Deep is the Ocean?”



Here is a link to Bob Bowné’s  beautiful rendition of this historic site.




The North End of OG has looked like a gulag for many years. We don’t know if or when construction will begin. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©.  Click to make that site bigger.





Missing is the Mayor who is out in the audience berating a citizen.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger.


In a bizarre example of what passes for journalism at the Quoaster, the paper filled 3/4 of a page on an assessment of 4 candidates for 2 seats on the Neptune Committee in November.

It is bizarre because the report does not explain how the information was obtained.  It is written as if all the candidates were together for a forum/ debate  interview session with the Quoaster.  But is that how it was done, or did the reporter conduct interviews with the 4 individually, by phone or in person, or maybe 2 at a time by party, by phone or in person.?

Or were the quotes obtained by sending each candidate a list of questions and then receiving the answers by email and then writing the report as if it were a sort of conversation.

I expect it was the latter, because the “reporter” did not report on any questions which he asked the candidates and then had a conversation with followup questions. At no time were the answers challenged  by the reporter. This is not journalism.

Regardless of how the information was gathered, there is one bottom line which should interest us:  at no time was Ocean Grove or its issues mentioned.

What were mentioned were: taxes, bond ratings, safety, quality of life, attracting new businesses, fighting crime, police resources, crime stats, empty storefronts, Midtown development, and candidates credentials.

If you want to read the report, pick up the Coaster.  Note that the candidates  barely mentioned political party in this report.  Maybe they all want to pretend that political affiliation has no bearing locally, but these days it does, and having 5 Dems run the town does not allow for bipartisan thinking, representation, and philosophy.

Qoaster quote:   ” Rizzo said she thinks the committee operates  in a bipartisan manner when it comes to important issues.”     Really?

The two Democratic incumbents are Robert Lane and Carol Rizzo , and two Republican challengers are Kendra Hogan and Gary Moll.

All 4 candidates will appear together at the Ocean Grove HOA meeting on Saturday, October 26.   Who knows if there will be sanity at that meeting after the last session where OGNED was allowed to skirt relevant questions from the audience.

Hopefully citizens will ask  pointed questions about OG issues including permit parking, DEP permission for the recent Lake Avenue easement, North End Redevelopment Plan which snatched the proper zoning away from the people, and lack of transparency by the current crew which has shown little concern for the people of Ocean Grove.

I have little hope that the challengers  will know anything about OG’s problems, unless they surprise us later, but this report doesn’t raise any hope.

However,  the challengers should be elected just to have some opposing voices on the Committee.  But their chances seem slim. However, a strong OG vote for them would send a message if not provoke a wake up call for the Neptune Committee.




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