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Wesley Lake seen from Ocean Grove. November, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Wesley Lake seen from Ocean Grove. November, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger © Click image to see more

WILLIE NELSON.  “The Night Life”

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At the OG north end, a Grover family returns from AP. 2012. By Paul Goldfinger ©

At the OG north end, a Grover family returns from AP. 2012. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click left.

KAREN O. and EZRA KOENIG (From Vampire Weekend.)  Academy Award nominee 2014.   “Moon Song” from the movie “Her.” But this is a studio version duet.

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Convention Hall. Asbury Park, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Convention Hall. Asbury Park, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©  click imagefor bigger wedding.  Re-post from 2013.

THE TYMES. (c. 1963)

 

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Asbury Park July 2016

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

I’ve come to the conclusion that all those “best” lists are created by payoffs. After all, how can Asbury Park be one of the world’s best beach towns, better than famous beaches in California, Australia and Florida?

As a result, we have ignored those lists lately, because the A. Park that we know is usually awarded top billing on those lists. The only list I ever saw with Ocean Grove was some years ago, when we were rated higher than AP as the best place for gay folks.

However, to those of you who are cynical, as I am, about this subject, I did find a list that excluded A. Park. Maybe the payoff was too high for the Cookman crowd and iStar’s publicity department

U.S. News & World Report 3/19/19: Best Places to live near the beach:

1. Melbourne

2. San Diego

3. Sarasota

4. Honolulu

5. Charleston, South Carolina

6. Fort Myers

7. Jacksonville

8. Pensacola

9. Santa Barbara, California

10. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

11. Tampa

12. Port St. Lucie

13. Daytona Beach

14. Virginia Beach, Virginia

15. Los Angeles

16.Corpus Christi, Texas

17. Miami

18. Salinas, California

19. Brownsville, Texas

20. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Here’s a link to a recent post on Blogfinger about this topic:

 

Asbury accolades BF post 2019

 

PINK MARTINI  “Sway”    Do people still dance on vacation?

 

More Stories

 

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2nd Life Bikes. April 2004. Photos by Paul Goldfinger ©

2nd Life Bikes. April 2014. Photos by Paul Goldfinger ©. Left click  Re-post from 2014.

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

Kerri Martin, the Director of Second Life Bikes” at 21 Main Street, right outside the OG gates and a little to the right, presides over an ocean of used bicycles within a cavernous space that looks like it could house a brewery or an armory. Kerri founded this “community organization” in 2006 when she ran it out of a garage as a sort of bike church.

 

Kerri Martin. Director. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Kerri Martin. Director. By Paul Goldfinger ©

The idea is to help the community and promote solid values through the “resurrection” of bicycles and secondarily of endangered poor kids. She says the program “changes the destiny of people and bikes.”

 

People donate old bicycles to the group, and they are fixed up by a team of 3 experts: Kerri, Pete and Terry. Then the bicycles can be purchased from $60.00 up or given to kids free through the “Youth Earn a Bike” program. Kids ages 12-18 must work 15 hours to get a bike. They learn how to use tools and restore life to damaged cycles.

By Paul Goldfinger ©

By Paul Goldfinger ©

 

Kerri is quite famous around these parts for her witticisms which she writes by hand on a blackboard outside the shop. She says that she is giving vent to her “inner comedian.” The program has been covered by national media, but now Blogfinger gets a shot.

 

I brought over my son’s Huffy which had been ridden twice before the brakes failed. Pete, a bike repairman and raconteur found that the bike was fine, but it had been assembled wrong. So much for the great deal at Walmart. Pete is originally from Jersey City and he used to do darkroom photography, so we had a few things to talk about. Pete has a short graying pony tail; maybe I should get one of those.

 

Kerri isn’t sure what this building was used for in the past, but it stood empty for many years before Kerri and her biker gang took over four years ago. I felt like Bob Bowné at the silk mill when I roamed around taking photos. But unlike the silk mill, this strange building has humans and cats roaming around still.

 

Kerri said that another blogger was due in for an interview and photoshoot, but, at least for today, Blogfinger got the scoop.

 

2nd life cat has 7 more. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

2nd life cat has 7 more. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

The crew at the 2nd Hand Bikeland also consists of volunteers, and visitors are welcome. You Grovers should walk over there and step inside. It is a fascinating and unique treat. You might even be inspired to make a donation—the 2nd Hand biker gang wants to buy the building and continue the good deeds at that very special location

BARBRA STREISAND from her greatest hits album:

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Paul Goldfinger photograph ©. December 2, 2018. Click to enlarge.

 

THE BLUEJAYS with “So Long Lover’s Island”  (Soundtrack Green Book)

 

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Cookman Avenue. Santacon 2016. A. Park. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

 

SHE AND HIM:

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The lobby bar is the Soundbooth where you can hear live music every night. All photos by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net July 21, 2016. ©

The lobby bar at The Asbury is the Soundbooth where you can hear live music every night. All photos by Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net. Re-post from July 21, 2016. ©  Click on the music below and then return here.

 

Check in here or visit the juice/coffee bar. Get a snack and sit down and relax. No pressure. © Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

Check in here or visit the juice/coffee bar. Get a snack and sit down and relax. No pressure. © Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

 

asbury-3 (1)

The nocturnal Asbury. July 2016. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

One time, in Paris, we wanted to walk through the lobby of the Hotel George V, a very ritzy famous place.  But we were not allowed to even walk in the front doors. Some hotels are fussy about non-guests coming in.  But the new Asbury Hotel at Kingsley and 5th Avenue, near the ocean by the Paramount Theater, is just the opposite.

Anda Andrei (foreground) was guiding a photo-shoot in the lobby. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Architect Anda Andrei (looking at us) was guiding a photo-shoot in the lobby. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

The designer/architect Anda Andrei wants her new hotel to be full of life and to be welcoming.   Steve Valk and I took a tour of her new Asbury Park establishment and we found out that they want the public to come in and visit:  have a coffee, listen to live music, sit at the bar, do your homework, or chat with the staff.

Be sure to check out the roof top space called “Salvation” where the views are spectacular in all directions. It is particularly impressive at night.

The eastward view from Salvation (not the mystical place; it is a wonderful rooftop lounge and bar. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

The eastward view from Salvation (not the mystical place; it is a wonderful rooftop lounge and bar.) Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Photo from the NY Times July 5, 2016 by Tony Cenicola (see link below) ©

Roof top lounge and bar.   Photo from the NY Times July 5, 2016 by Tony Cenicola ©  See link below.

You can also watch classic or cult movies at the roof top garden called The Baronet, a tribute to the old Asbury Park theater which was torn down a few years ago.

Rooftop garden "The Baronet" where you can watch movies every night. © Paul Goldfinger photo.

Rooftop garden “The Baronet” where you can watch movies every night. © Paul Goldfinger photo.

In the lobby you can have casual food like a sandwich or something from the juice bar or the coffee bar.  Steve and I ordered cappuccinos, and they were very good.The lobby bar area is called the “Soundbar” and it is beautiful and functions as a music venue.

More relaxation space on the ground floor. Paul Goldfinger photo

More relaxation space on the ground floor. Paul Goldfinger photo

In fact you will marvel at the functional and gorgeous design features.   Every night there is live music in the lobby, and you can just walk in and sit down. The staff is welcoming and very proud of their hotel.

If you are from Ocean Grove, do not fail to walk or bike or even drive  (there are parking meters) to the Asbury.  You will be impressed and you will enjoy yourself even if you don’t rent a room…but then again….

Paul Goldfinger, Travel Editor @Blogfinger.net

THE HOT CLUB OF SAN FRANCISCO:  “J’Attendrai”

 

LINK:   Click on this NY Times article below.

Here is a link to a Blogfinger article in response to the Times piece above:

https://blogfinger.net/2016/07/16/how-are-the-neighbors-doing-to-the-north-the-ny-times-has-pronounced-asbury-park-as-officially-reborn-the-new-nickname-is-brooklyn-on-the-beach/

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Long view from Ocean Grove of the new A. Park skyline. September 21, 2018 © Blogfinger.net.  Click to enlarge.

 

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net.

The development of this site began in 1989 and was a failure.  Then the Esperanza project began and was lost in the Great Recession  (2009) leaving a steel skeleton.

Here is a Blogfinger post reflecting on the Esperanza:

https://blogfinger.net/2015/03/26/the-other-side-of-asbury-condos-frozen-in-time/

But now a 16 story mixed-use building will soon be finished. It will have 130 condominiums starting at $1 million each, a parking garage for 411 cars, and a 54 room boutique hotel.  There will be thousands of feet of retail space—the prospective occupants have not been revealed.

Some skeptics are doubting that this project will attract buyers for all those multi-million dollar condominiums.  We have also wondered if Asbury has enough juice to be special all year round. Last winter,  the city seemed pretty dreary in the off season, although the restaurant and bar scene should be able to hold on for a few months.

iStar is the developer, and some of us at Blogfinger speculate that  iStar has its eyes on our North End and may have met the Grovarian movers and shakers.

From Ocean Grove, the altered skyline is readily apparent.  The low slung A. Park silhouette now looks like it is on the way to become Long Branch, a once great resort trashed in the interest of money.  As you drive by on Ocean Avenue in LB, you rarely get to see the Ocean.  Tall buildings block the views.

But, in contrast, at Ocean Grove, if we can retain our unique look, there will be no trouble seeing the differences, and the Grove will be even more of a welcoming place;  unless the view south from Asbury Park begins to look like the view inside Asbury Park.

iStar has built the Monroe Condos—another skyline altering building seen from the Grove—this one viewed from Wesley Lake.  We wrote about the Monroe two years ago:

Monroe Condos in Asbury

It will be interesting to see the impact of this new building on the entire area.

 

KATHY BRIER with The NIghthawks:  from Boardwalk Empire

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Portrait of a Zombie. Asbury Park, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Portrait of a Zombie. Asbury Park, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©

BEE GEES

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