“Sure you can take my picture.”   Ft.Myers Lakes Park Market. By Paul Goldfinger.  Jan 31, 2014.  © Click image to enlarge.


The best radishes. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

The best radishes ever.  $1.00 per bunch.   Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Customer:  (He picks up two bunches of bright red radishes)   “These are the best I’ve ever had.  I eat them with beer.”

Veggie man:  “Buy ‘em now, because next week I’ll be on the road to Morocco.”

Me:   “With beer?  Are they really the best?”

Veggie man:  “I don’t know—I don’t eat them.”

Eileen:  “Are you taking Lauren Bacall with you?”

Veggie man: “I’m taking her great great great grand daughter and she’ll be about 47.”

Eileen:  “I’ll take one bunch. A second would get soggy.”

DON AZPIAZU  and the Havana Casino Orchestra:  “Me Odias.”

From the Circus Series by Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. © Undated

From the Circus Series by Moe Demby, Blogfinger staff. © Undated. Click to enlarge.   Darkroom print.

AARON WEINSTEIN  violinist.   “A Dream is Wish Your Heart Makes.”  The album: A Handful of Stars. It was featured in the movie “Cinderella.”

“A dream is a wish your heart makes

When you’re fast asleep

In dreams you lose your heartaches

Whatever you wish for, you keep

Have faith in your dreams and someday

Your rainbow will come smiling thru

No matter how your heart is grieving

If you keep on believing

the dream that you wish will come true”

The Summer Wind

Ocean Grove. July, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove. July, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge


Ted Bell, historian, enjoying the festivities and my joke. Paul Goldfinger photo 6/18/18 ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

A small group of interested people showed up this morning, June 18, 2018, to watch workers from Robinson Iron Works in Alabama take apart the remnants of the cast iron Fountain of Hope.  This company was chosen because they owned the original molds that were used in 1907.  The goal is to have the restoration complete by the 150th anniversary of Ocean Grove in 2019.

Jason Tramm showed up, but he left his brass band home.  Maybe he’ll have something rehearsed for the return of this historic iconic fountain next year.

Ted Bell, the historian who has been in the middle of this project was present, driving his Batmobile.  Ted was a mere five years old when the fountain was built and  first splashed water on him.

Alabama crew works their butts off while a bunch of Grovers stand around and observe in Founders Park.  Blogfinger action photo. 6/18/18 ©

The workers will truck the fountain remains back to Alabama today.  Later the cement foundation will be removed, awaiting a new one.  The rim will go on next.

The beginning of the pieces loaded on the truck to Alabama. 6/18/18 Ocean Grove, NJ .

Once the fountain is returned, perhaps in  2-4 months, the rim will take another 2-4 months.  This company is a national treasure and they are often working on 25 projects simultaneously, including a lighthouse from the Gulf Coast.

The final steps will involve landscaping, electric and water line work, and plaque engraving,

The special  Fountain Restoration Fund at the HSOG currently has about $86,500.   Another $20,000 will be needed, to finish the job locally, so keep the checks coming.  Most people give $100.00-1,000.00, but anything is acceptable even Ted’s lunch money.

Send gifts  (tax deductible) to The Historical Society of Ocean Grove.  PO Box 446, 50 Pitman Avenue, OG 07746     732 774 1869.  Tell them Blogfinger sent you.  (We get no respect.)

Here is a recording made in the Great Auditorium 1890-1900,  It is from the remarkable work called “Waxing the Gospel.”   The singer dedicated this to a boy who got lost on the way to services. His name is Ted Bell.  The hymn is “Where is My Boy Tonight?”



Internet photo

Musical selection from Avenue Q.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

If you rent out an apartment or a house in Ocean Grove, you are engaging in a business.  And if your property is marked R  (residential) on the zoning map, then what you are doing may not be legal.  But have no fear, because Neptune Township allows you to do it, and it has been done for many years in this beach town.

Just get a Mercantile (business) license once per year. and have a CO inspection done whenever you have a new tenant. Such rentals in the Grove are not unusual, and it is not uncommon for vacationers to rent a place for a week or two.  If you rent for over 30 days, then a lease would be needed.  And note that you cannot rent out just a room unless you are a hotel with business zoning.

But what about those Airbnb people who are renting out houses and apartments on the Internet for short term use, down to one night.  Currently there are 105 properties for rent on Airbnb in OG. Apartments rent from about $100 to $300 on average per night.  Houses will be more.     Some owners offer Airbnb rentals in more than one home in the Grove and sometimes in more than one town.  This can be a significant money maker for some.

We have heard from Grovers who have been complaining about Airbnb renters who are not gracious visitors and who change the entire complexion of a neighborhood.

But at the last Township Committee meeting  (June 11) another side has been heard from.  Committeemen Carol Rizzo reported that she had met with an Airbnb businessman who owns a number of buildings for purposes of short term rentals, and some of those are in Ocean Grove. She said that he complained to her about all the red tape that he must endure whenever he has a new renter.

We are not sure why she brought this up officially, at his request;  ie where does she stand on this issue? He also got to present his problem during the public portion.  He had 5 minutes, and he said that the Neptune rules are too restrictive and complicated for his business;   No one spoke up in response, one way or another.

The Mayor did not commit to placing this complaint on a forthcoming agenda, so we don’t know where he stands either.

Consider this:

a.  Usually if a person is interested in a zoning ordinance change, the matter is referred to the Planning Board.

b. One of Ocean Grove’s most important citizens, David Shotwell, Sr., the former long-term COO of the CMA said this yesterday  in a comment to Blogfinger regarding our article on the subject:   “A helpful discussion  of the short term housing situation. Much to be done to manage the situation.”  I consider his interest in this topic to be a beacon that we all should pay attention and that active legislation may be needed on behalf of the citizens.

c. We can’t speak for Mr. Shotwell’s motives, but some of our readers are already alerted to a possible threat to our way of life in the Grove.   As it is, there are other concerns as well regarding the quality of life in Ocean Grove such as gridlock.  We have written plenty on that topic.

d.  Any attempt by any citizen group or government entity to increase the crowding of Ocean Grove should be resisted by those who live here. Short term rentals will undoubtedly increase crowding of the Grove.

e. The Home Groaners are having a meeting next Saturday about the Neptune Police Department.  How many of you think that we in OG have serious problems with our police?   Shouldn’t the Groaners be addressing this topic—Airbnb.  Where do they stand?  They are all too often on the wrong side of issues that affect our lifestyles here.

f.  From Airbnb: “What started as a simple platform to offer mattresses and home-made breakfast has today revolutionized the way people travel. Airbnb business model is unique, profitable, and has evolved to such a level that the brand is now the world’s most loved hospitality brand.”  Each of the 3 founders now has personal wealth of $1 billion.

If you read their sales pitch, you will see that they want to invade small popular  communities such as ours, and as they tout the profits to be made, they offer no interest in the towns themselves.  And thus we will see more business opportunists coming into town to buy houses just for  short term rentals profits, but with no concern for the Grove itself.    This exploitation bodes ill for our historic district and its Master Plan.

Only Neptune Township can find ways to protect our lifestyles in this town, as did our neighbor Ocean Township.   For a change Neptune should worry about us and act preemptively.

And meanwhile, is Neptune effectively enforcing the existing rules?


Noah gets a new hat. 6/16/18. Photo by Mom.


He’s  8 weeks old, and Grandma, who belongs to “Happy Fingers,” a knitting and crochet group out of Ocean Grove, spent a morning making Noah a hat with the crochet method.   And as he gets out more, his bald head needs protection. He has a wisp of hair with a bit of length in the back of his head. Maybe he’ll grow  a pony tail like what the guys are wearing these days.  So maybe his parents will locate a pair of infant sun glasses which will look cool with this hat.

Kids grow up so soon.  Before we know it he’ll have a date and go to the prom.

Imagine this:  Here are a group of Noah’s girlfriends years from now.

ANDREA MARCOVICCI,  MAUDE MAGGART, AND BARBARA BRUSSELL: With a Kurt Weill Broadway song  “That’s Him.”  From the show In America.

OG Boardwalk. 2 pm. Sunday 6/17/18. Blogfinger photo ©


This guy is distracted. He must be in love. It’s that summer Sunday for him:




Aubrie the badge checker. Ocean Grove beachfront. She is an out-of-towner new to the thrills of working in OG.   Click to make her smile bigger.  June 16, 2018.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor and beach comber  @Blogfinger.net

Actually, that’s a joke, fake news,  based on the fact that we often interview one badge checker each season.  That’s because they have to sit outside at beach entrances all day long to check credentials for admission.  It can be a challenging job because so many pretenders give them a song and dance peppered with excuses as to why they don’t have a badge.  The most common, based upon my observations for about 5 minutes, is that they left the badge at the blanket while they ran some errand.

Aubrie  (yes, it’s with an ie at the end—I’m a bit of a spelling and “what’s on your birth certificate” fanatic. )  As some of you know, I love making up nicknames and choosing pseudonyms for anyone who comments on BF as “Anonymous.”  My favorite so far this year is “Pumper Nichol.”

So this is Aubrie’s first summer doing this gig in the Grove.  I noticed that she has a forgiving personality tinged with a lovely sense of humor.  She doesn’t actually laugh out loud; she mostly smiles in a wonderful way that will calm any grandma with a problem.  One of of her techniques is to defuse any dispute by merely waving the culprit on, following the Wegman security secret which is not to stop someone engaged in a petty crime like grabbing a donut and eating it on the spot.

It also should be noted that these checkers must be careful to not be distracted.  A clever ruse is to get her attention while your pal walks right through.    It is a job where the checker will become more effective as the summer wears on.

So we left Aubrie at her station, still in a good mood, even though the end of Saturday beach time was approaching.




Are Airbnb renters causing density problems?  Blogfinger.net photo. ©



Will all those Airbnb renters spoil our views and thus our quality of life in OG?  Blogfinger photo. ©

The letter, below, comes from an anonymous source whom we shall call “Crowded in the Grove.” He titles his inquiry “Where is our Community?”  We are reposting this article because there will soon be renewed interest in this topic. (2018)

“The impact of transient summer rentals has all but eliminated our town as a community, and we are just at the brink of becoming just one big motel. Having lived here for many years, I feel like Rip Van Winkle returning from a deep sleep, not recognizing any vestige of what once was Ocean Grove; in just a matter of two to three years, a drastic change has occurred.

“Neighbors  no longer exist, as weekly and daily transients have taken their place on both sides of my house. I no longer have neighbors with whom I can make small talk to but people I have to be suspicious of, because I do not know who they are, as they have become weekly “ships in the night.”  Many of my original neighbors have moved due to the fact that they did to want to live in a revolving motel atmosphere which these homeowners have created.

“These crammed rentals are also part of the parking problems in the Grove as they sometimes have 5 or 6 cars, and they demonstrate little regard for the the residents.

Editor’s Note:   This is a fascinating inquiry, because Airbnb has created a business model that lets any homeowner turn their house or condo or apartment into an instant make-shift hotel.

A quick (2017) survey of Airbnb.com reveals that there are currently 87 ads for Ocean Grove with daily fees of $90-$600 per night.

The homeowner supplies some amenities, but that varies.  It could include towels, linens, and soap. Two links below show some of the listings:

We don’t know if our writer is correct about the prevalence and consequences of this phenomenon in OG, but given the already tight density situation here, anything that might further cause deterioration in quality of life for residents interests us at Blogfinger.  I am a homeowner and have not (yet) noticed this situation, but most of my neighbors are year-round residents.



The new concept of instant hotels is part of what’s called the “sharing economy.”  One person has set up a business to rent out home swimming pools by the hour.

Neptune Township has no special ordinances to govern these transactions.  We are trying to find out if Code Enforcement has any rules such as certificates of occupancy.

But Ocean Township has just passed an ordinance banning short-term rentals——defined as any residential rental under 30 days*   They say that since they have no beaches, they don’t need short term rentals.   (So why are they named for the ocean?)

The Coaster quotes the Ocean Twp. ordinance:  “Short term rentals are detrimental to the community’s welfare and are prohibited  by local law because occupants of such vacation rentals do not have any connection to the community and to the residential neighborhoods in which they are visiting.”  The ordinance also says,…..”such rentals may jeopardize the community’s welfare and degrade the quality of life within the township.”

It’s not clear if the Ocean Twp rationale for banning short term rentals might apply to Ocean Grove, where short term vacation rentals in our beach town are common and could be accomplished through a realtor or a web site like Airbnb.

It seems that the presence or absence of an ocean shouldn’t make their ban OK while leaving us without one.  Anybody out there a lawyer??  Will that Ocean ruling be overturned in the spirit of Fats Waller (below)?

–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

—*Source: The Coaster, August 10, 2017. Page 4.

FATS WALLER:   “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do.”

Seasons General Store design


“Mophead Hydrangea.”  Seen while walking on Mt. Tabor Way, OG. Blogfinger photo June, 2018.



img jpg024

Ignore the numbers. Use this to ID the street names.



PARTICIPATING GARDENS.  We have five.    Gardeners don’t have to be home, but most will be. No fuss. As you are.   It’s not exactly Paris, but you can walk here. To add your garden to the tour send your address to Blogfinger@verizon.net.  Prize for the visitors who stop at Blogfinger headquarters in the mountains  (Mt. Hermon Way.)  Bring your cameras.

1.  113 Mt. Hermon Way      Eileen.   Backyard garden (enter at Delaware)  with plantings around the periphery of the house.  Fish pond and metal sculpture  (Etruscan Horse)  Will be home.

2.  94 1/2 Heck Avenue.  Jean and Jack. Misc plantings around the house and come to the backyard.  Will be home.  Come and walk around.

3.   47 Broadway.   Ginnie.  “As long as I don’t have to do anything special for the occasion just sign me up! ( Although I may repaint the pixie’s hats – I’ve been meaning to do that as they’ve been looking decidedly shabby lately.) I think that my English garden can best be described as “cheerful” and  “exuberant” – bursting with colour and featuring an eclectic assortment of ‘rescued treasures.  Cheers! Ginnie.”

4.  114 Mt.Tabor Way.  Bev and Melinda.  Beautiful manicured yard with a small  pond and other surprises.  And it’s next door to Paul and Eileen.  How lucky that is!

5. 11 Atlantic Avenue.   Anne.    “I’m happy to have my garden included in the the OG People’s Garden Tour. Anyone strolling my block will see see several lovely gardens besides mine.  I agree that OG’s gardens are one of its great charms.”



%d bloggers like this: