Archive for the ‘Asbury Park lifestyles’ Category

Ocean Grovers enjoy walking to downtown Asbury for restaurants, special events, music and a lively bar scene. Paul Goldfinger photograph for Blogfinger.net.

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor@Blogfinger.net

In 2016  we posted an article about the praise being lavished upon A. Park.

2016 AP rankings

Last spring Money Magazine named AP as having the second best beachfront in the US, ahead of many famous locations in California, Texas, etc.   “Asbury Park offers the classic combo of beach and boardwalk,” the magazine says.

The Asbury Park Press also reported that list.   Asbury has also been ranked high for the city’s “cultural scene.”  In 2017 it was named the “coolest small town in America.”

But,  not so fast.  Asbury has recently  been reported to have the second highest violent crime rate in the state.  And, according to the AP Sun, the city has been named this February to the “top 50 worst cities to live-in across the nation.” Similar reports have been mentioned in articles in the AP Press and the AP Patch.

Among the statistics, the city is reported to be high in poverty rankings, low median incomes, and high median home prices.

So, which is it:  best or worst?

Blogfinger:   The best or the worst?    “It depends on where you stand.”

NANCY LAMOTT: “Not Exactly Paris.”

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New York Times, July, 2016. Fake news. Photograph by Tony Cenicola NYT.


This is Asbury Park in December 2016. They want to be a year-round attraction, but that goal seems to be a stretch—or is it?  Paul Goldfinger photo of the Asbury Beach near Ocean Grove. ©


A. Park. Sunday 3 pm 8/6/17. Beach and boards very busy. A long line waits for Korean food (MOGO). Cuban music wafts from Cubacan. Blogfinger photo. © Click to see more.   This is a re-post from August, 2018, but it is a topic which interests us, and some may have missed it. —Paul


Heading to Asbury on the OG boards. 2018. Paul Goldfinger ©


A. Park near the ocean. Paul Goldfinger ©. 2018

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.

It’s good to keep tabs on the neighbors. The “small city” just north of us is being treated to a media blitz that is designed to promote tourism to our  “sister city” on the other side of the Casino. There is no doubt that the deluge of visitors to Asbury Park is increasing, and we are positioned awfully close to this rapidly expanding and increasingly “in-our-face”  place. The Asburian invasion is real and is causing rising density and parking problems in the  Grove.

What do you Grovers think about the way that Asbury Park is progressing?  What is it adding up to, and how will it affect Ocean Grove? We have spoken about  the AP connection to the Grove and about how these two much different towns could compliment each other.

The photograph top  above was part of a NY Times article extolling the beach community of Asbury Park. The caption says:

“View of the amusement park area of Asbury Park from a rooftop bar at the new Asbury hotel.”   It gives the impression that there are permanent amusements like the ones above, but that was just a temporary carnival. 

Over the course of the last year or so, Asbury Park has been named to a variety of “best” lists including being named  #1 as “the coolest small town in America” by Budget Travel Magazine. 

Source: http://us.pressfrom.com/lifestyle/travel/-56239-asbury-park-named-coolest-small-town-in-america/

Travel site Thrillist named AP as among the “25 best beaches in America.”

USA Today said that the Asbury Hotel was the “best new hotel in America for 2016.”

Thrillist named AP to its list of “the top 13 beach destinations for tourists.”

Travel and Leisure magazine named AP as the “tenth best travel destination in the world.”  It ranked higher than Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Daily Meal named the beach bar by Convention Hall as one of the “top 25 beach bars in America.”  What in the world can you do with bloody Marys and clams on the half shell?

The New York Post said that Asbury Park “had finally made it” as a top tourist attraction in America.  Here is a link to our recent article about what was said at the Post:

NY Post article on Asbury Park

Car rentals.com named AP #14 to its “20 most unique cities to visit in your 20’s.”

NJ.com chose AP as “the top beach in Monmouth County.”

Oh, does Ocean Grove get any respect?  NJ.com made a list of “the best things to do in each of the Jersey Shore’s 47 towns.”  Even Deal is there, a town with nothing to do, but OG? You guessed it; we were AWOL.  But that’s probably a good thing if we want to lower density in the Grove.

VINCE GIORDANO AND THE NIGHTHAWKS   “Darktown Strutters Ball” from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.  (A show about prohibition bootleggers in Atlantic City.)

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Asbury Park seen from Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger©. 2017. Click to enlarge.



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Paul Goldfinger ©. October, 2018. Click to enlarge.



“I’m Into Something Good”   (From the movie Valentine’s Day)

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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 ©.


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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



LINK:   Click on this NY Times article below.

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


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Residences on Deal Lake Road near the bridge to Norwood Avenue. Paul Goldfinger © 10/1/18  Click to enlarge.

We have posted other examples of wall art in A. Park going back a few years.  It is a wonderful idea, bringing color and imagination into public spaces for all to enjoy.

Here is a link to an example from 2015:

Yellow submarine


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Blogfinger walking the dog by the New Jersey Avenue bridge in OG on Sunday afternoon 8/12/18. ©  All photos by Paul Goldfinger.  Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

I was playing “sit” with my son’s dog Pooja when I found out a few things.  First, cute girls will stop and pet a dog with lots of oohs and ahs and “what’s his name?”   “It’s a girl,” said I, but no one wanted to know my name.  (“Is it Mary or Sue?”   as in the song.)   I would have allowed them to pat my head, but no such luck.


Secondly I became distracted by the steady stream of people heading north to “sin city,”    But, to be fair, there were all ages, genders and sizes.  And they all seemed happy  to be heading in that direction, so the “Asbury Connection”  (with OG) seems to be working out.  On a summer Sunday, a walk to A. Park seems to hold great promise for laughter, fun, food, friends and ogling.

Grovers understand this, and so do the Grovarian realtors who are pushing this concept.

And where did they all park?  You know where.

A bridge not too far. Blogfinger photo. 8/12/18 ©


Heading north to the bridge from Asbury Avenue in the Grove.


Bring the kids. It’s not all babes, booze and bon-appetite. 8/12/18 Blogfinger photo


BOB GAUDIO  from Jersey Boys:



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Asbury Park Boardwalk. c. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Asbury Park Boardwalk. c. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to see that three’s not a crowd.   Re-posted from 2016.


BILLIE HOLIDAY AND HER ORCHESTRA.  From the Woody movie Celebrity

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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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This photo was part of a NY Tines article on July 5 (linked in our Asbury Hotel piece). Photo by Tony Cenicola. They had a Mermaid Parade (a la Coney Island) ©

This photo was part of a NY Times article on July 5 (linked in our Asbury Hotel piece). Photo by Tony Cenicola. They had a Mermaid Parade (a la Coney Island)


Could her name be Denise?  Here are  Randy and the Rainbows :

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