Fire station is at 800 Main Street, at Asbury Avenue in A.Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. 4/14/18.


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As you all know, we indicated in Part I regarding North End visual vistas, that the Revelopers Agreement didn’t seem to have much to say about blocked views due to the Project.

But the detailed HPC report (title in bold below) from November 2019 is available at OGHOA.org.

Review of Planning Board Related Aspects of the Ocean Grove North End Development (OGNED) Architecture and Landscape Plans:

And that report includes some “specific conclusions,” one of which is regarding the “view corridor” included in the OGNED plan.  Below is a copy of that portion of the HPC specific conclusions:

View Corridor. The Redevelopment Plan states, “A view corridor for the purposes of this Plan shall be considered an unobstructed area to afford a view through the site to Wesley Lake from Spray Avenue and to provide a “real” break in the building massing.”

It further states, “The views of Wesley Lake are important to the residents and property owners that adjoin the redevelopment area. The redevelopment project shall maximize, where practical, the view of Wesley Lake from Spray Avenue.”

HPC:  “The View Corridor does not conform to the town grid. It contradicts Ocean Grove planning principles from the Period of Significance. A realigned view corridor would better comply with the Ocean Grove urban town plan.

“The View Corridor, as placed, is incidental and no longer a singular feature of the Site Plan. It is far less grand than indicated on the Space Plan and is now subjugated to being part of the Complex driveway on Ocean Avenue.

“The oddly angled View Corridor only provides a narrow view toward Wesley Lake at the intersection of Spray and Ocean Avenues. This view is further obstructed by the height of the average grade plane at more than 3.5’ and the 5’ entry columns and gates of the courtyard parking lot.

“In addition, the View Corridor does not respect the views of residents and property owners adjacent to the redevelopment area. It does not maximize the view of Wesley Lake from Spray Avenue.”

Editor’s note:  So here we see OGNED making views out of nothing. Obstruction of views out to Wesley Lake is a real problem as are views eastward towards the boardwalk, beach, and ocean.

The HPC offers a fascinating discussion of the history of the area where grids and flair patterns were promised by the CMA as seen in old maps.

To try and copy the footprint of the former North End Hotel is to emulate a historic area that is not eligible for inclusion in any plan for the true north end which used to contain tents, single family houses on small lots, open space parks, and a “smattering” of somewhat larger hotels during the “Period of  {historic} Significance.”

From the HPC. This historic 1890 map shows that a grid pattern was planned at the North End with flares except for Surf Ave. These OG forefathers wanted light, air and breezes at the north end of town..   Source:HPC  Click to enlarge.


HPC image shows the original north end as it looked during the historic “Period of Significance.” Click to enlarge.  Note the Pierre for a landmark.



LARRY WILLIAMS  “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.”



Paul Goldfinger. Ocean Grove Daisies. July 5, 2020.©


BUCKY PIZZARELLI AND STRINGS.    “Laura”   From the album So Hard To Forget.


Mariah Carey and 2 of her backup singers perform in their own homes for the iHeart Living Room Concert for America. ©

On  March 29,  The iHeart Living Room Concert for America was shown streaming online.  Acts such as Elton John, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Backstream Boys, Billie Eilish and others performed, each from their own living rooms, using Zoom technology.

It was very good, and I even got a T shirt.  And no performer was endangered, because they all were home.  I was surprised how the ensemble effect, with all players in different locations, could  work out in presenting music live.  With music, the various components need to reach your ear, arriving exactly together. I thought the technology was very good, but the audio quality is another issue.

Concert halls have been shut down across the country because of the coronavirus, and many symphony musicians are out of work. For classical orchestral musicians, there are no concerts except for perhaps some small groups seated with distancing.

In June we received word from the Jewish Federation that one of the world’s finest orchestras, the Israel Philharmonic  (IPO,)  was planning a “global gala” on June 28, which would be shown online, featuring mostly prerecorded guest artists, and the entire orchestra performs live  briefly.  It would be seen by hundreds of thousands around the world and would be a fund raiser.  A few parts would be presented with soloists having recorded in advance, but most of it would stream live.

We were among 13,000 who pre-registered, but it was scheduled to be seen in 10 different time zones by many thousands of music lovers.  Actress Helen Mirren was the hostess.

Helen Mirren, host.

The concert was happening live in Tel Aviv, the home of the Orchestra.

We waited by our computer as the show began. First came Pinchas Zuckerman the violinist along with Amanda Forsyth cellist and Brian Waghorn pianist.They played “Ladies in Lavender” from the movie of that name. It is a beautiful short piece, so bear with me while I make a recording of a recording.

But this studio recording is better with Joshua Bell, Nigel Hess, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra:

Then came a piano solo by Khatia Buniatishvili,a 32 year old Russian artist. She performed Clair de Lune by Debussy.  But my recording is poor, so here she is with a You Tube video and a red dress which Debussy would have liked—he was French.

Then the concert broke down.   Although 170,000 did see it live streamed, many thousands more, including we in New Jersey, were out of luck.

After a few days it was determined to be a cyber terrorist attack.  But the entire concert was recorded and can be seen at the IPO website.  We saw it about a week later, and it is wonderful

If you wish to view this concert, it is free.   Go to your browser and type in:  Israel Philharmonic Global Gala.   Most of the artists appear prerecorded in small groups and from places like Sweden and Vienna.  The selections are brief and wonderful.  At the end the full orchestra plays one piece and then the Israel National anthem  Hatikvah.

Dame Helen Mirren said,  “Stay safe and know that this will pass. But music will be with us forever. Thank God for music.”

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Delaware Water Gap. Pennsylvania. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©

By Jean Wiarda, FOB  (Friend of Blogfinger)

This post takes place in the Pocono Mountains near the Delaware Water Gap (see photo above taken from her front patio)

“We were treated to a wonderful July 4th fireworks show last night.  We were just finishing up the last of the movie “1776”  (I love it and watch it sometime around the holiday every year, and this year it just happened to be on the 4th!)  And,  as it turns out, I timed it perfectly though that was purely accidental. At the very end when each of the individual signers was stepping up, one at a time, to sign, we started to hear fireworks.  I thought at first it was part of the movie, then I realized it was outside.

“A few moments later, when the DVD had finished, we stepped outside our front door to a scene that was incredible.  All across the valley and along the ridgelines of the hills and mountains, clear to the Delaware Water Gap there were fireworks displays going on.  Some were not far away, others were miles away but I would have to guess that we were able to see at least 50 sites sending up displays, and it went on for the better part of 2 hours.

“The closer-by displays were not visible (too many tall trees) but they did not disappoint when it came to the sound effects. Not to be outdone, the fireflies provided the ground show, and the full moon was there presiding over it all—just slightly to the right of the show.

“I  had seen on the news earlier in the week that the regional fireworks vendors were saying that they had never had a buying frenzy like this year.  People were lined up with hand trucks piled high with cases on cases on cases!

“It was truly a night to remember.  Wish I had invited everyone I know to sit in the front field and enjoy it with us.  We could’ve easily social distanced.

“Hope your celebrations were great too!”


“If I Could Be With You  (One Hour Tonight.”)

  • Jean Wiarda is a retired registered nurse who lives with her husband John in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania.  Their property overlooks fields, and woods and lovely vistas. For the 4th, she presides over thousands of day-lilies in bloom providing their own colorful display for Independence Day.

Rendering of the proposed North End Project seen by looking west from the Ocean. Shore Point Architecture. 2019

This wonderful OG historic home is what our houses should reflect. The proposed monster at the North End is like the Greek Temple in being totally incongruous to our visual history.    We should instead get 25 single family homes like this.   Paul Goldfinger photograph July 4, 2020. © Embury and New Jersey Avenues.

By Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net

Ocean Grove is a historic and essentially beautiful town, and the HPC is supposed to insist on appropriate architecture, with the support of OG citizens.

Don’t expect our elected officials, CMA, Chamber of Commercials, Historical Society, Groaners, and historic Grover families to care.

Did you ever drive or bike along Ocean Avenue in Bradley Beach and be impressed by the welcoming and inspiring  Ocean Grove skyline along the northern banks of Fletcher Lake?

And have you glanced up lately from Bradley or OG to get a glimpse of how the Asbury skyline has been deformed by that giant skyscraper with the multi-million dollar penthouses on top? That building doesn’t fit in, but maybe AP will become another Long Branch. They don’t seem to value their history at all.

The North End project proposed for OG  will create a monolith which will compromise views of Wesley Lake and the Atlantic Ocean for those who live behind, and it will change our northeastern skyline as seen from the boardwalk, the beach, and the ocean as well as sidelong from the north and the south.  All of us will be affected by this monstrous design.

It will introduce visual ugliness to our town in addition to crowding, more cars, more groundwater dirt–all ugly; as if our north end had become Asbury Park South.  Will we still be able to retain our historic register appointment?

The new and illegal Rizzo North End Redevelopers Agreement only mentions blocked views once when it brags that “view corridors” will be left along Spray Avenue “through to Wesley Lake.”

That’s not much of a promise if you look at a map of OG.

And speaking of maps, if you look at the CMA’s map of OG in their “Joyful in Hope” Summer Program Guide, you will see that the North End site has been cleverly eliminated so as not to distract anyone with the geography of the site plan.

Along Main Street Asbury Park looking straight east into Sunset Park. Blogfinger photo. July, 2020. Even overdrawn A. Park has left this vista alone.

Great architects take into consideration the visual vistas that accompany their designs, but not in Ocean Grove.

Stonehenge. Photograph by Paul Goldfinger. Even those Druid architects from 3000 years ago considered the setting, light and breezes. Do you suppose they were Druish? ©

Those North End ocean views should be left open for the people, the light and the sea breezes, and the views there are part of our history and should be left alone,  especially for those who live in that neighborhood and whose homes are often up to 150 years old.  What about our history in this misbegotten plan?  We must pay attention to the HPC.

This is from our November 2019 article about the HPC Report on the latest North End Plan:

The document of greatest interest is the General Conclusions prepared by the Historic Preservation Commission and the Neptune Township Land Use Department.  For more details, go to OGHOA.org.

There are nine conclusions, and here, below, is the essence of it:

a.  The site plan does not follow the historic site plan.  “This is contrary to the mandate of the Redevelopment Plan that the site be developed in accordance with the Period of Significance ” (late 19th and early 20th century) “Instead it follows the 1930’s development of the North End.”

b. “The proposed North End plan does not follow Ocean Grove’s historic planning principles.  It offers an “isolated and virtually private enclave, defined by fences and gates, with minimal controlled public access.”

c. The complex resembles a contemporary gated sub-division”  which “contradicts the open interaction that is the very intention and fabric of this Historic District.”

d. “The redevelopment ignores the precedent of the grid of 30′ x 60′ lots.” Instead it would become “a large space with buildings that are out of scale and character with Ocean Grove’s historic architecture.”

e.  The landscape plan looks like what might be found in a “contemporary suburban development.”  The “design of the main entry gates and columns separates the development from the rest of the Ocean Grove community.”

f. “The residents-only, fenced-in, private open space is far greater than the public access easement area.  This is antithetical to Ocean Grove’s historic planning principles of minimal private open space in favor of shared public open space.”

g. There are problems with the site plan’s conforming to OG’s urban town plan and grid.

h. A flare was placed on the north side of Spray Avenue where none was historically intended.

i. “The proposed plan does not demonstrate an in depth understanding of or regard for, Ocean Grove’s character and the need to preserve the town’s ‘sense of place, established in its plan.”

This document ought to be the kiss of death for this OGNED plan.  If the plan passes despite this, then all hell should break loose.

Congratulations to the HPC for courageously telling the truth to power.

All of us should read through the documents, especially the HPC report,  and then attend that meeting.

Undoubtedly the developers will try to slip by these objections with the help of double talk and their allies at the Mother Ship. But the citizens need to stop that freight train.


One of the first sports to resume with limited live attendance.  They will open  with 2,000 patrons in the stands.  A  July 4 tradition.  Paul Goldfinger photograph. Undated. ©


HIGH HIGHS    “Open Season” from the movie soundtrack Pitch Perfect Perfect.


Light house….

Heck Avenue. Ocean Grove. 7/4/20. Paul Goldfinger photo.


EVITA:  London Cast recording 2006.


Paul Goldfinger photo   Ocean Grove, NJ.  Click to enlarge.



ENNIO MORRICONE:  “Once Upon a Time in America.”


Historic Park by the GW Bridge. Watching the fly-overs. Jean Bredin. Blogfinger . 7/4/20 ©


FROM KEN BURNS FILM The War.   This is Music for Movies IV.  “The Story of Grovers Corners” from Our Town by Aaron Copland and the Philadelphia Orchestra.


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