Mama’s home cooking can’t be beat. From 2014.


Sautéed grouper with cherry tomato sauce.  Paul Goldfinger photo  © Sautéed grouper with cherry tomato sauce. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Eileen Goldfinger, Food Editor   @Blogfinger

1/2 pound  grouper fillet (or any mild white fish)

1/2 pint  cherry or grape tomatoes

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 scallions, diced

2 cloves garlic, grated or minced

2 tablespoons Smart Balance Original “buttery spread”

1/4 cup white wine

4 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon freshly ground  black pepper

1 tablespoon searing  flour

4 teaspoons canola oil, plus 1 teaspoon to rub into fish

salt and pepper to taste


Make this early in the dinner  preparation. It needs to cook slowly.

In a sauce pan place cherry tomatoes, scallions, extra virgin olive oil, margarine, garlic, white wine and a pinch of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Cook on low to medium heat until the  tomatoes get soft—-approximately a half hour.

The sauce should simmer not boil.


Heat a…

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A taste of the Asbury Park that only the locals see.


Ridge Avenue. Dec. 27, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger © Asbury Park, Ridge Avenue. Dec. 27, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©  click left. “The Other Side of Asbury” will be an ongoing photographic project.

KID ORY  “The Birth of the Blues”   New Orleans style:

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By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

On July 20, 2017 the New York Post posted a piece  (link below)  proclaiming that the city had  finally arrived—for the rich. They told how real estate prices were zooming up  (18%) in the last year while comparing the city to places like the Hamptons.

The writer was drooling so much about the art and music scene coupled with high end restaurants that he forgot to wonder where the middle class and the poor might live in the newly resurrected A. Park. which he thought had finally made it.  He compared the city to the seashore resort of AP back about 100 years ago.

The article was mostly about real estate and it compared prices to Spring Lake and Belmar.

But don’t you think this journalist might have mentioned Ocean Grove?  After all, we are right next door, and as we have been pointing out on Blogfinger for years, these two towns are natural siblings which complement each other. And our real estate is nothing to sneeze at. Besides our town offers a much different experience, physically and otherwise, than AP, and that should have been mentioned.  After all, what are we—chopped liver? *

The fact is that whenever the biased real estate and tourism media talk about Asbury Park, they never mention Ocean Grove. They do always mention the gay scene in AP and never say that OG offers a thriving gay community and that our town has a unique historical background and  (still)  affordable wonderful  housing for transplanted New Yorkers, many of whom have already moved to the Grove.

Here are four quotes from the article:

“On most weekends the beachfront pulsates with mostly young residents who pack the shops along the restored mile-long boardwalk. An AP realtor says that the reinvigorated seaside gives Asbury the atmosphere of its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, when it was a fashionable resort.”

“Over the past few years we’ve really seen Asbury come back to life,” the realtor adds. “But now the city has finally arrived.

“The city has done a great job of adding restaurants, galleries and music venues that really make Asbury not just a seasonal destination.”

“Much of that all-seasons feel is fueled by a booming restaurant scene and thriving nightlife aimed at the town’s numerous second-home buyers, many from the LGBT community.”

Asbury Park was a war-torn place when we first came here in 1998, and you could buy beautiful homes (often in need of work) for $5,000-10,000.  But now it has had explosive real estate growth, but it is far from being a full blown community. It has many problems and does it want to be known as an enclave for the rich?  If that happens, it will be like Atlantic City—a sad failure.

As for Ocean Grove, we can’t compare ourselves to or keep up with the new A. Park, but we really  should not strive for that. OG needs to define itself as a peaceful seashore community with its own traditions, history, culture, arts and lifestyles. Will the residents and institutions in the Grove be willing to fight for that?  I’m  wishful, but skeptical.

NY Post Asbury article

PUPPINI SISTERS:   “All is merry and bright…”


—-* chopped liver reference:

What am I? Chopped liver?


APP.com  (an on-line appendage of the Asbury Park Press) has a column called “What’s Happening” by Austin Bogues.  It is said to be  “about Asbury Park and Neptune.””

On July 19, a piece appeared under that banner called “Will Ocean Grove charge for parking?”

It begins by saying that “a discussion is emerging again on curbing the number of people who park for free in Ocean Grove to get to Asbury Park. Ocean Grove doesn’t charge for parking anywhere, but the township committee is eyeing some changes including parking permits.”

Really?  Are parking permits going to help with the Asburian invasion of OG?

They interviewed Barbara Burns of the OG Groaners who said that she “would like to see a pilot parking program set up this fall.”  She complains that people are “parking and then walking from Ocean Grove to get to the Asbury Park Beach and to the Asbury train station.”  She failed to recognize that the Asburians are usually heading to the Cookman Avenue night life.

She said, “In my view, this is totally normal behavior, but we need to take some action.”    But who cares if she thinks that this invasion is “totally normal,” and is she saying that parking permits will solve that problem?

She not only did not explain how permits will help that, but she offered no suggestion as to what “action” she would take.   This is pure double talk, issue conflation, and fake news.

Then the column goes on to quote Committeeman Rizzo who said, “Our greatest successes in this area have come with the critical input of the residents, and their needs will continue to be the number one priority as discussions about permit parking progress,” Rizzo said.

So this Neptune Committeeman seems also to think that parking permits will help solve the invasion of the Asburians. But what “critical input” from residents is she talking about?  We have heard of no such input. And what “great successes” is she touting?  And what “discussions about permit parking” is she referring to?   Certainly the readers of this APP.com column could have no idea.

And finally, what about the headline which suggests that “Ocean Grove may charge for parking?”  Where is that fake news located?

Then, to add insult to injury, the column went on to talk about Asbury Park “backing the Paris Climate Agreement.” The mayor there is “signing on to the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda.” Wow!   Where is Mayor Brantley on this one?

Then this “What’s Happening”column, which is supposed to be about Neptune and A. Park, goes on to report that the AP Beach Bar has been named to the top 25 Beach Bars in the USA.  We should have a toast to that one.  The column goes on to report that “the accolades and superlatives keep pouring into Asbury Park. ”  Well of course, when your PR people are working overtime to stuff those accolades into our inboxes.

Then they tell us about a new honor for AP:  “The website Thrillist named Asbury Park one of the top 13 beach destinations for tourists to visit this summer.”  Thank goodness OG didn’t make that list.

After that comes about 4 other posts about AP.

So much for their coverage of “Neptune.”   And the gibberish goes on.

Link below:



Paul Goldfinger ©. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. July 21, 2017. Click to enlarge.


KEVIN KLINE    (with Ashley Judd)   from the  film De-Lovely   “In the Still of the Night.”


This is the historic look of Ocean Grove neighborhoods—no condominiums. Blogfinger photo. ©

In a letter to the Coaster today  (7/20/17,) entitled “Ocean Grove’s Future,”  Norm Goldman  says that ongoing condominium conversions in the Grove threaten our quality of life by further increasing density in town. We urge you to read his letter, but here are some of his main points:

a.  Allowing condominium  conversions without parking provided leads to further congestion.

b. Neptune Township zoning code does not allow for construction of multi-family homes in OG.

“A variance is required to convert hotels, inns, or multi-unit homes into condominiums.”  He says, “Residents as advocates against more condos would have to oppose applications for variances when they come before the zoning board.”

c.  “Single family homes–in Victorian style–are specified in the Master Plan for Ocean Grove.”

d. RSIS standards are supposed to protect the Grove from parking congestion, but developers can ask for waivers to get around that barrier. Citizens need to oppose such requests at the State level.

e. He criticized a “local developer” and the OGCMA for  wanting the North End designated as an area in need of redevelopment. He also cited the Historic Preservation Commission for failing  to do more to enforce the Master Plan.

Norm concludes by saying, “In the final analysis, residents of Ocean Grove have to be knowledgeable to seize opportunities that will sustain the quality of life that initially attracted them to this land.”

Here is a link to a prior BF poll regarding this topic:

2015 poll about single family houses in OG

DOOLEY WILSON  from Casablanca —   “As Time Goes By”



2015_0225_02580500 (1)

Jean Bredin ©  Wesley Lake. 7/19/17

Jean says:   “Watching the swan boats at twilight is about as relaxing as you can get.
This couple were enjoying their ride, talking and laughing the whole time.
Maybe one day I will actually take a ride.”

CAST OF LA LA LAND:  “Another Day of Sun.”

Please skip the details. Florida photo. Blogfinger ©

Adj: what is essential and basic : specific practical details. (Merriam- Webster)

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It is true that Blogfinger will not be posting comments or articles about the specifics of permit parking plans, because none has been put forward by the Township, and discussing hypothetical details now would be an aggravating, chaotic waste of time.

So those of you who keep trying to do that  (“Well, what about the condo owners;  aren’t’ they taxpayers too?”  etc etc. ) please stop.

However, we have no problem with generalities, such as the principals/philosophies of permit parking or other general issues as seen in the two examples below.

#1 From Phillip Orton:

“A simple explanation for why Neptune Township may not be very responsive to OG residents requests for parking permitting systems is this: OG population is only 17% of NT!

“Paying property taxes doesn’t give you ownership of the street. The other 83% of the NT population may not enjoy the reduction in free parking spaces in OG. And the Township Committee is elected by and represents the population not the property tax payers.

“This may be a fundamental roadblock to permit parking, and nobody seems to have thought of it. What do you think?”

# 2 From Kenny:

“Paint the permit numbers on the curb.

“Enforce the code.

“Visitors? You’re on your own. Get here early.”

MICKEY GILLEY   “Talk to Me.”

Ocean Grove. What kind of town do we want? Is it what Neptune wants for us? Blogfinger photo.



In New Jersey, a planning board may not approve a project that creates or adds to existing traffic congestion.

When a 2 lane road that was built before farmlands became subdivisions now becomes congested at peak-volume hours, it is obvious that some planning or zoning boards violated State Law and approved more residential housing units than they should have.

Expanding the congested 2 lane road to a four lane highway in an effort to reduce the traffic congestion, will only create an “induced demand” for the use of the road and soon, the four lane road will become congested with twice the air polluting traffic.

We can apply this to what Kevin Chambers has been saying for years:

“When the town illegally approves condominiums without providing off-street parking, it creates the need to shoehorn in more parking spaces into our already overcrowded streets and then the town thinks it can approve more condos without off-street parking. And that creates the need for more parking spaces.”

And the dog will never catch it’s tail.


The writer is a reporter/researcher @Blogfinger.net. He also is an advocate and activist for the town of Ocean Grove

Editor’s note: At Blogfinger we have been arguing that the ultimate solution to congestion in our town is not to create more parking spaces, which is what our Parking Task Force and HOA Parking Committee came up with.  Instead, steps need to be taken to reduce demand for parking, and that includes moving immediately into single family zoning and reducing the volume of huge tourism promoting events.

After all, who benefits from the giant Pathway events or the Main Avenue shut down shopping celebrations? Do the residents of OG benefit?

This town needs a revised plan for its future and governance by its own people.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor



Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mary Chapin Carpenter. Reposted 2013 BF.

“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” was written by Burt Bachrach and Hal David for the 1968 show “Promises, Promises” starring Jerry Orbach.  This version is lovely and is from the soundtrack of the 1997 blockbuster movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Mary Chapin Carpenter (b. 1958) is a country singer/songwriter who has won five Grammys.  The soundtrack is a very good compendium of popular singers and styles.

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