Archive for the ‘Asbury connection with Ocean Grove’ Category

A tale of two cities. By Jean Bredin at the Giant OG Flea Market, photographing between two extremes.  6/2/18 Blogfinger staff ©


By Paul Goldfinger, MD   Editor@Blogfinger.net

A recent ad at Zillow said that the average sale price of an Ocean Grove house is $800,000- $900,000.   And there are more now that are over $1,000,000.  Do you think that the Asbury Effect is contributing to the rising prices in the Grove?

A few days ago a piece in the NY Times discussed the new 17 story tower going up on the oceanfront where the price levels will be among the highest anywhere. Here is a quote from that article:

“Today, a 17-story tower with contoured glass is nearing completion on the parcel where two previous developers had failed. But in a town that is now one of the Jersey Shore’s most popular destinations, with a refurbished boardwalk and a bounty of new restaurants and breweries, the development is still a high-stakes gamble that people will be willing to pay Hamptons-like prices of nearly $1 million to nearly $6 million for oceanfront condominiums.

“The project, called the Asbury Ocean Club, is the pinnacle of a $300 million investment by iStar, a developer that about eight years ago made a significant bet that this once-forlorn city could attract wealthy residents while still retaining the quirky, artistic character that has made it appealing to visitors.”

Asbury girls in their summer clothes. NY Times photo caption says, “Asbury Park boardwalk has been refurbished.”   Really?  Nothing refurbished about those legs.  (PG )

The Asbury story is complicated, and we have posted about that subject with special interest in how the AP story will affect Ocean Grove, particularly in terms of real estate pricing and marketing, cultural runoff, and  resident demographics.  Other issues which may be affected include the water quality in Wesley Lake, the noise levels, congestion in town, and  the parking wars.

We see Asburian nomads park near our North End home causing parking gridlock, but even more so, we see the kinds of people as they walk towards the New Jersey Avenue bridge. They are frequently young and boisterous, often with New York plates, dressed trendy—often looking sophisticated/affluent, with jackets/ties/evening dresses, animated loud talk, tattoos, all white people, prestige cars, and, as they walk through the Grove they show no apparent interest in our historic architecture.  The young women love the F word, but in the Grove it stands for “flea”—as in flea market.

I suspect that some of the new home buyers in the Grove will be like that—being here but with their sights on A.Park.    What does that mean?—a different Grove, for better or worse.

The Times article  linked below was brought to our attention by a Grover who says,  “I’ve been watching this on my bike rides, with curiosity.”  But maybe she also has been watching with concern.

Times link:   Click on the photo below.

AMY WINEHOUSE:  (From her album Back to Black)   “What kind of pluckery  is this?”  Hip town requires hip lyrics.



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Paul Goldfinger ©. Asbury Park as seen from Ocean Grove. 2015. Click to enlarge the night.


TEDDY THOMPSON  (From the soundtrack  of  Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man)

“Tonight Will Be Fine.”    Composed by Leonard Cohen.

“But I know from your eyes
And I know from your smile
That tonight will be fine
Will be fine, will be fine, will be fine
For a while…”


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View of AP from Founders’ Park in Ocean Grove. Note the crumbling wall lining Wesley Lake at this location.   AP is all concrete over there.   No trees, no green. No warmth. No wind chimes. No church bells. Click to enlarge.  Paul Goldfinger © 12/1/17

THE PEARLFISHERS.    “Is It Any Wonder?”       A waltz from their album Across the Milky Way

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Paul Goldfinger © Bond Street. A. Park. October, 2017.

There seems to be a fondness for spontaneous art appearing throughout the hip city of Asbury Park.  You can see it on walls in the Casino, on the boardwalk and around the artsy neighborhood of Cookman Avenue and its side-streets–even painted on windows and doorways.  Art is especially beautiful when it is part of the everyday life of the people.

It reminds me of the work of Seward Johnson, the sculptor of ordinary folks, whose work is often found in public places:


Carl Hoffman of Ocean Grove helping this Princeton student prepare for SAT’s in Palmer Square. The boy is by Seward Johnson.  Blogfinger photo © 2015

Ocean Grove can use some public art to liven up the place. The town has no significant outdoors art displays for the public to enjoy.  It is wonderful when one can walk down a street and come across an art show of some sort, and Asbury seems committed to bringing their city to life with art.



Paul Goldfinger ©. The Casino belongs to A. Park.


AP Boardwalk  2016


Indie 184 2015. Asbury Boardwalk. Blogfinger photo.

Here’s a link to our article last year about Seward Johnson’s work in Spring Lake:

Seward Johnson in Spring Lake, 2016.








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Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park Exhibit #9. Paul Goldfinger photo Oct. 31, 2017. Click to enlarge.

ADELE:  “When We Were Young.”


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Al Venezia on Mt. Hermon Way in OG greets trick and treaters who come to his porch. Grrrrrrr!     Paul Goldfinger photo. 10/31/17 ©

Click on one image and then follow the large sideways arrows.  Little X to come back here.





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Boardwalk Casino, Asbury Park, as seen from the Ocean Grove side, c. 2011. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

Boardwalk Casino, Asbury Park, as seen from the Ocean Grove side, c. 2011. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

The name Casino conjures up life in 1950’s Havana.  This song is from the Casino Life album featuring  Don Azplazo and the Havana Casino Orchestra with “Amor Sincero”  (true love)

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Dominique Ciccarelli, Ocean Grove’s beautiful competitor in the Mermaid Promenade, is also joining the Blogfinger “Girls in Their Summer Clothes Series” 8/26/17. Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor , Blogfinger.net

We’ve had whales and dolphins this summer in Ocean Grove, but a mermaid?  We were over in Firemen’s Park this evening at about 7 pm when we spotted an iridescent vision strolling or maybe swimming diagonally across the park.  We got closer and discovered a mermaid.

These delightful and mysterious creatures, which have been reported in ancient mariner legends, are rarely seen in New Jersey, but here she is. There is even a Disney movie about them—The Little Mermaid.

Dominique Ciccarelli may be the first Grover who is a mermaid.  She spent her summer here, but mostly she is from Jersey City. She was just returning from the 3rd Annual Promenade (ie parade) of Mermaids in Asbury Park.

Dominique had a great time.  She said that the competition was tough, and even some mermen joined the parade.  We are happy to report that Dominique has some graceful moves, even on dry land. And that dress—it would attract even the ancient mariner —-a muse for a rhyme.

It’s wonderful that the Asburians could come up with a beauty parade other than the Zombie Walk.

We didn’t make the  event today, but Ocean Grove’s gorgeous entry Dominique must have done swimmingly well. If she enters next year, perhaps she will remind us to get an action shot for her.

We thank Dominique for sharing her amazing outfit with the Blogfinger readers and for our annual “Girls in Their Summer Clothes” 2017 series.

Watch for her riding the waves after 12 noon at the OG beach tomorrow  (Sunday). After the morning service, it would be a nice diversion.

How does she swim in that dress? She’ll have to use the breast stroke.


SAMUEL E. WRIGHT  from The Little Mermaid:


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Back from A. Park to OG  (speaking of mission bells)—it’s a less publicized theme. Paul Goldfinger photo. © 2017.

ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL   (with George Strait)  Celebrating the music of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.  “South of the Border”

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