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Archive for the ‘Asbury Park lifestyles’ Category

St. John’s Island. Sunset Lake.  Asbury Park.  There is a white shore bird on the island which is hard to see. It is an immature great blue heron. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

BOB DYLAN    “Once Upon a Time.”  From his album Triplicate.

 

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A blond in a black dress ordering coffee. That’s who you see around a corner in A. Park at Café Volan.   Paul Goldfinger photo © 9/14/17  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

It seems like Greenwich Village by the sea. Café Volan can be a bit hard to find.  It’s tucked into a side street, at an angle off of Cookman, unobtrusive on the left side of Bangs Avenue.

When you walk in, it feels like a beat up Beatnik hangout from the sixties. You expect to find Alan Ginsburg sipping an espresso. The crowd is not boisterous; in fact it is downright in whisper mode with no laughing.  The customers seem serious, but maybe that’s because they are seriously enjoying a superb cup of real coffee. The cappuccino’s are excellent, although they serve them warm–the baristas say that’s the correct temperature.

I like the vibe  at Café Volan.  Steve Valk, who is spending a month in the Grove (from Germany where he lives) loves to go there, and it is not because of the V thing.  It’s about the mood and the coffee. We met there to discuss a variety of subjects. The place  feels comfortable.

Steve is  is enjoying his family in the Grove while developing some serious academic ideas as he plans for his PhD studies.  Next week he will go to Duke for discussions with faculty there.

But now, in the Grove–where he spent his childhood summers—he tries to figure out how we could obtain some coherence among the Groverian factions.  Steve has a lot of experience working with diverse populations and he is an optimist.

He wants to meet with anybody in authority:  CMA/Neptuners/HOA or whoever would agree to talk to him  (besides Blogfinger—we like to talk to Steve)  because he has ideas as to how to pull this town together.

Personally, I don’t see much chance of that without a sea change in attitudes among Grovers of various stripes.

BOB DYLAN.   He would like Volan. He played a lot of coffee houses in the day.  This song is from his latest album Triplicate.

“I Could Have Told You” is a Sinatra song and a standard.  It’s a far cry from the folk music scene of the fifties and sixties, but Volan is a far cry from Bleeker Street and the Bitter End.

 

 

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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.

 

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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Zombie clowns—October, 2013. A. Park.    Paul Goldfinger portrait ©  Did someone say, “Send in the clowns!”  C’mon Stephen, cut it out.

 

JUDY GARLAND AND GENE KELLY

 

 

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By Moe Demby. March 22. 2014. Blogfinger staff photo

By Moe Demby. March 22. 2014. Blogfinger staff photo

THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES

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Asbury Park. Monday June 5, 2017. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge.

THE CARPENTERS

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Cookman Avenue summer of 2015. We also photographed this trio  heading back to OG across the New Jersey Avenue bridge.  ©

The night life over in A.-Park-By-The-Sea and don’t forget your credit cards. Paul Goldfinger photo. 2016 ©  Click to enlarge.

 

Scene:   The coffee bar at Ocean Wegman’s.  Two employees are discussing what they did the day before

He:  “Yesterday I went to Asbury Park to take a walk on the boardwalk.  I parked in Ocean Grove because they have free parking.  Most other shore towns, except maybe Spring Lake, have meters.”

She:  “I know.  I do the same thing.  The Asbury meters can get expensive at $2.00 or more per hour.”

 

Editor’s note:  About 6 months ago we reported that Asbury employees such as restaurant workers  are intentionally going straight to Ocean Grove for parking, especially at the north end near Wesley Lake and behind the Windmill.  From there they walk a few blocks to work by crossing the access bridge nearby.

This has proven to make parking an even bigger issue for those of us who live in that part of the Grove. We live near that access bridge and we  often see visitors, mostly 20 and 30 somethings, pile out of a  car, often trailing suitcases, as they head for the New Jersey Avenue bridge to A.Park.   And there are large numbers who, heading for dinner out or bar hopping, do the same thing except without the suitcases. And then they come back late and loud.

This is a new and growing situation which we first reported on in 2015.

The conversation above indicates that the knowledge about free parking in OG has spread to a wider circle of parking manipulators.

Here is a link to the night life in A. Park  post written last year on Blogfinger,  and it is a must re-read:

NY Times says AP is “reborn.”

NICKI MINAJ  “The Night is Still Young.”  But Nicki, can’t you keep it in A. Park? We’re sleeping in Ocean Grove.

“The night is still young
The night is still young
The night is still young
And so are we.”

 

—-PG

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Asbury Park bridal party. Undated. Paul Goldfinger. ©

 

BRUNO MARS:

 

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Asbury Park boardwalk. By Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger.net © Undated.

DINAH WASHINGTON:

 

 

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A sign of the times in Asbury Park. April 4, 2017. By Bob Bowné. Special to Blogfinger.net.

SMALL POTATOES finding the direction to spring in Bob’s image:

 

 

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