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Mulberry Street, near Chinatown. By Paul Goldfinger © Sept 2013.

Mulberry Street, near Chinatown. By Paul Goldfinger © Sept 2013.  Click to enlarge.

Little Italy has been fading away for years. Yet you can still take a food tour there and visit family businesses that exist after more than one hundred years.

On Columbus Day, today, the Italian-American community is celebrated —-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

 

SALISBURY CATHEDRAL BOYS AND GIRLS CHOIR   “The Lord is my Shepherd”

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images

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman*  was a great actor, although he sometimes made weird movies. In 2010 he directed his first film called “Jack Goes Boating.” It’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the four characters are depressing. I forced myself to watch it for the sake of the soundtrack, but we couldn’t get  past the first half.

The music, on the other hand, is varied and interesting. We recently posted one of the songs on BF — a re-do of “Blue Moon,” which is quite wonderful.  Here is the link:

The song which opens the film, however, is “The Rivers of Babylon” by a reggae style (“rock steady”) Jamaican group from the 1960’s and 1970’s called the Melodians who had embarked on some Rastafarian themes in their work, resulting in an international hit called “The Rivers of Babylon” recorded in 1969.

The song was chosen to open the movie, and I really liked it. Then I listened carefully to the lyrics (I’m always first attracted to the music — then the lyrics.)

It turns out that the Melodians were using parables taken from Psalm 137 which tells the story of the invasion of the ancient kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE. This Jewish nation was destroyed by the Babylonians who , after demolishing the first holy Temple, carted off most of the Israelites to Babylon (now Iraq).

The rivers in the song title refer to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. What does this Bible story have to do with the movie? — I ‘m not sure.

The middle east around 586 BCE.

The middle east around 586 BCE.

But here is “The Rivers of Babylon” from Jack Goes Boating. —   (*Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed in 2014.)

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Suffragists put up a poster in Long Branch. Joe Czachowski 2010 fromLibraryof Congress; Remembering the Jersey Shoere 1915

Suffragists put up a poster in Long Branch, 1915.   Photo from the Library of Congress in   Remembering the Jersey Shore  by Joe Czachowski, 2010.

By Paul Goldfinger

“Votes for women” activists were busy in the summer of 1915. These three were advertising a speech by activist Anna Howard Shaw whose biography  The Story of a Pioneer”was published that year.  Suffragists  organized concerts, lectures, parades and even ball games from Keyport to Atlantic Highlands to Asbury Park.    Alice Paul was born in  Burlington (see Mary Walton’s book about Alice Paul, available at  the Comfort Zone).

The Historical Society of Ocean Grove has a great deal of information about the women’s movements in OG.

SOUNDTRACK:  COUNT BASIE AND TONY BENNETT—What is the world coming to??

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November 3, 2012. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. One of the first fishermen to return. By Paul Goldfinger. Copyright. Click left for full view

November 3, 2012.  5 days after Sandy.  Ocean Grove, New Jersey. One of the first fishermen to return. By Paul Goldfinger  ©. Re-posted from January,2013. Click for full view.  See the comments for some photographic notes.

 

SOUNDTRACK:   CAROL KING

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Paris flower market. by Paul Goldfinger  Re-posted from Blogfinger.net  January, 2015. ©

SOUNDTRACK:   Madeleine Peyroux is an American who has spent many years in France.  This song, sung in French, is called “La Javanaise.”  Supposedly it is difficult to translate. But it evidently is a bitter-sweet love song—something about true love only lasting as long as a romantic dance.

So, forget the translation. Everything in Paris is about love—at least that is its reputation, so just enjoy it and imagine what it means.

—-Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

MADELEINE PEYROUX   from her album Half the Perfect World  This song, “La Javanaise” was performed in the movie the Shape of Water by Madeleine Peyroux in 2017.

Madeline Peyroux

Madeline Peyroux

 

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New Jersey Ave bridge seen from the OG side. April, 2013. PG photo

New Jersey Ave bridge seen from the OG side. April, 2013. PG photo. Left click for full view.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.  This 2013 piece brought 50 comments. It is worth re-reading.

Every night at midnight, the NTPD locks the gates on the OG side of those two bridges.  At 5:00 a.m. the gates are opened.  This policy has been in effect since 1995 and was initiated by Neptune Township as a method to stop high crime rates on the bridge and on both sides of the bridge. Many of those crimes were happening in the late evening and early morning hours.  The police tried foot patrols, a police substation by the bridge, covert ops and decoys, but despite some arrests, the problems continued.

The top priority for the NTPD was to do the right thing from a public safety perspective.  Soon after the gates/locks idea was implemented, there was, according to NTPD Chief Robert Adams,  a “dramatic impact” on crime in that location, on both sides of the bridges.

The Lock

The Lock

In 1995 some individuals complained about the idea*, especially from the AP side, who viewed the locks as keeping Asbury Park citizens out.   Others said that the purpose of the gates was to prevent criminals from quickly escaping the Grove, but Chief Adams says that cutting off escapes was not the main mechanism.   Instead the benefit came mostly from reducing the number of criminals hanging around in those locations, something that would help both communities.   In recent years, the police have received no complaints about the bridge closures.

Chief Adams says that his department is “constantly re-evaluating”  all its policies .  However, at this time, he believes that the vast number of Grovers support the continued implementation of the bridge closures and he continues to place “public safety” as the main focus for police work in Neptune Township and, specifically, in Ocean Grove.

* Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 12, 1995  link)  From Jamie of Ocean Grove:      1995 newspaper article link

Editor’s Note:  If you wish to comment on this topic, please tell us which side of the lake you live on.  I think your comments will have more credibility if you do, especially if you say your name, but neither is required.  —Paul

GRASCALS

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tin_men

 

By Paul Goldfinger MD, Editor @ Blogfinger.net.  Re-posted.

Barry Levinson (b. 1942) is a film director known for his work featuring the city of Baltimore. I’ve always loved his movies, especially “Diner” and “Avalon. ” He also directed “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Rain Man.”

In 1987 he made the third in his Baltimore series—“Tin Men” starring Danny DeVito (a Jersey guy born in Neptune Township,) Richard Dreyfuss, and Barbara Hershey.

Danny DeVito on the Asbury beach July 29, 2002 during the Springsteen launch of "the Rising" Paul Goldfinger photo

Danny DeVito on the Asbury beach July 29, 2002 during the Springsteen launch of “The Rising.” Paul Goldfinger photo. © Blogfinger.net

The film, set in 1962, is about the con-men who sell aluminum siding door-to-door in Baltimore. The characters and dialogue are wonderful including several scenes with the guys sitting in a diner discussing television, gambling, women, money and their adventures as tin men. It features a soundtrack from the 1960’s including our song below by the Nat King Cole Trio, recorded in 1940.

“Sweet Lorraine” is a jazz classic written in 1928. There have been several hit versions, and the  Cole Trio rendition is the one featured in “Tin Men.”

Here it is:

I think that “Sweet Lorraine” is one of the best musical tributes written as a paean to a woman with a particular name. I found a list of 200 songs that contain a woman’s name in the title. These are the ones that have Sweet——: Lorraine, Mary, Melissa, Annette, Caroline, Virginia and Adeline.

But here is my list of favorite songs with a woman’s name in the title: (feel free to add your favorites:)

1. Judy is a Punk

2. Jennie From the Block

3. Wake Up Little Susie

4. Song for Myla Goldberg

5. Patricia the Stripper

6. Help Me Rhonda

7. Long Tall Sally

8. Lonesome Suzie

9. Christine Sixteen

10. Believe Me, Natalie

11.Run Around Sue

12. Donna and Blitzen

13. Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter

14. And finally my favorite: Don’t Walk Away Eileen

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Margaret Stickel on the porch of 91 Cookman, circa 1960

By Mary Walton, Blogfinger staff.  Re-posted from October, 2011.

Perhaps more than in most communities, the history of Ocean Grove lives in the hearts of families who have sunk deep roots in its sandy soil. For people like Paul Horn, a walk up Cookman Avenue is truly a trip down Memory Lane.

Some of his fondest childhood memories center on 91 Cookman, now a derelict house that has been prominently featured on Blogfinger’s pages. Earlier this year developer Jack Green purchased the house for the purpose of renovating it.

But for 41 years it was the home of Horn’s grandparents, John and Margaret Stickel, who bought it in 1924. Today Horn lives just down the street at 83 Cookman. Recently he and his wife, Loyce, and daughter, Cathy Cooper, reminisced about the family’s history.

margaret-john-stickel-2 (1)

Paul Horn’s grandparents, John and Margaret Stickel, immigrated from Germany in 1890

John and Margaret Stickel immigrated around 1890 from the Black Forest section of Germany to Newark, where John became a brewmaster for Krueger Brewing Company. They had ten children. After Stickel retired they explored the Jersey shore by train. When they reached Ocean Grove, says Horn, “they just decided without a doubt that this was where they wanted to retire.”

As a child, Horn, now 87, often visited his grandparents. He remembers being sent to buy breakfast buns at Friedman’s Bakery on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park. When no older than eight or nine he liked to rise early and walk south on the boardwalk to Bradley Beach to watch fishermen haul their catch ashore in a craft that looked like a huge rowboat. The men would push the boat onto the beach, where it was hooked to a cable and towed in farther. The glittering fish were piled into a truck and taken to the ice house at Newark Avenue. The young boy found the sight of the boat deep with fish “amazing. My eyes popped just to see it.”

In a celebrated incident, now a staple of family lore, his grandfather John was swept up by a riptide and pronounced dead when pulled ashore. But a lifeguard refused to accept the verdict and pounded his chest until he drew a gasping breath. He lived another 15 years.

Says Cathy, “When my grandmother used to tell the story, at the end she always said the same thing. ‘And he had ice cream later in the day.’ ”

Margaret Stickel lived at 91 Cookman until 1965, when she moved to a nursing home and the family sold the house. Paul Horn’s mother, Frieda, a crack statistical typist, eventually moved to Mt. Hermon Way. Paul grew up to graduate from Yale and become a professor of psychology at Indiana State. But every summer he and Loyce would pack up the family station wagon and drive back to the Grove. They rented 83 Cookman before purchasing it in 1990.

Loyce Horn says that her daughters, Cathy and Holly, “spent every summer of their childhood in Ocean Grove. As soon as they graduated college, they moved to Ocean Grove. They married in Ocean Grove and they’re still in Ocean Grove.” (Sort of. Holly Horn, a professional violinist, lives in Manhattan but summers here and is the owner and director of the Ocean Grove Violin Academy. Cathy, a family therapist, lives in Neptune City.)

As 91 Cookman became, in Horn’s word, “horrible,” he and his wife would look away when they passed the house. Now, with renovation underway, they fantasize about keeping it in the family. (Green plans to sell it after he’s done with the renovation.)

A few days ago Paul Horn walked up to the house, where a dumpster is now parked in front. His grandmother used to call the verdant side yard her “outdoor living room.” He pointed to the dilapidated second-floor porch. “That’s where my cousin had his hammock.”

The memories live still.

Today: The Stickels’ great granddaughter, Cathy Cooper, and her dad, Paul Horn, on the porch of the old house. Photo by Mary Walton

MUSIC by Charley Pride:

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4 degrees F. January 2004. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©

4 degrees F. January 2004. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click for full view

2004. Ocean Grove, NJ. by Paul Goldfinger © Left click for full view

2004. Ocean Grove, NJ. by Paul Goldfinger © Click for full view

By Paul Goldfinger, M.D.  Editor Blogfinger.net.   Re-posted from May, 2013, post-Sandy.

On May 2, 2013, we posted Part I of our piece about the Ocean Grove fishing pier,  “a historic landmark in a historic town.”  At the end of that article we discussed some of the more recent history of the pier and of the  Ocean Grove Fishing Club, also a historic entity dating back to the late 19th century.

That Part I  2013 article is reposted above.  Part 2 is below:

It would be best to pick up the story in December 1992 when a huge nor’easter destroyed most of the pier and some of the boardwalk. Only a small portion at the end of the pier was left, and the Fishing Clubhouse was carried out to sea.  The Club’s activities were curtailed until 1994 when the pier was rebuilt by the Fishing Club which obtained a Small Business Loan from the Government.  They borrowed $277,000 which was paid off by the Club members.

In exchange for that financial commitment, the only quid pro quo was that the Camp Meeting Association would grant them a 30 year lease extending out to 2024.

The mortgage was paid off a few years ago.  Note that the Club has always paid the property taxes for the pier, even though the property is still legally owned by the CMA.

Fast forward to August, 2011, when a hurricane named Irene damaged the fishing pier causing destruction of 9 pilings and 20 feet of pier. The boardwalk was not harmed.

The Camp Meeting Association applied to FEMA for $150,000 to make repairs to the pier, but the request was denied.

In a Blogfinger article  by Charles Layton (10/22/12)  about this matter, Mr. Ralph delCampo of the CMA is quoted as saying “The rejection was because the Fishing Club area is private.”  Once again the OG Fishing Club proposed to finance the reconstruction work if they could be granted an extension of the lease for another 30 years.

Link to 10/22/12 Blogfinger article about 2011 Irene damage to pier

Negotiations between the two sides moved slowly, and finally a decision by the CMA was to be presented on October 29, 2012, ironically the day that Sandy hit.  That meeting was never held.

Since Sandy, the Fishing Club has met with the CMA, but the CMA has not been willing to make a commitment regarding the future of the Fishing Club which still has 11 years on its lease.  The only thing that they will say with certainty is that they will rebuild the pier.

At this point  (2013,) the Fishing Club has lost some members, dropping down to 100.  Again, it has offered to finance the rebuilding of the pier, but the CMA has expressed concerns about that financing arrangement and will not agree to the proposal at this time. Mr. delCampo estimates that the pier will cost between $750,000 to $1 million, although the Fishing Club members think it could be less.

Mr. delCampo will not discuss the pier situation beyond what he has said already.  If the CMA has more specific plans for the pier, it has not revealed those plans publicly.

At a meeting of the Fishing Club Board of Trustees today  (May, 2013,)  we heard some frustration  expressed.  The members can’t understand why the CMA would refuse their offer to pay.  “Where is the downside of accepting our offer?” asked one member. “We are willing to foot the bill.”  The members pointed out that the 1992 nor’easter was a similar situation, and the club kept all its promises including paying off the loan   “There is a precedent,” said one of the trustees.

The Fishing Club views itself as being “good citizens” of Ocean Grove, always supportive of the town including a $5,000.00 donation to the Phase 1 rebuilding effort.   They say, “We want what’s best for the community.”  Their frustrations can be heard in their comments including: “We’re very disappointed.  We’re  saddened and perplexed.  What are their intentions? They don’t want to engage us. This is a stalemate.”

The Fishing Club trustees refuse to consider their organization as a private club.  They say that anyone can be a member, and the only reason for limiting the membership has to do with size—-“engineering and safety issues.”

Since 2011, the famous “teaching kids to fish program” has been curtailed. The group thinks that their history and their record of being a “community within a community” needs to be recognized.

What if the Fishing Club is not reinstated on the pier?  This is something they do not want to consider, but if it happens, they will continue as a surf-fishing club, but without the kids—it would be too risky and there would have to be lifeguards, rescue boats, etc.

President Al Dawson points out that Asbury Park and Bradley Beach have fishing clubs, but no piers.  However, continuing a fishing pier  tradition in the Grove that is at least 115 years old is the only way to satisfy these OG fishermen and fisherwomen.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  May 21, 2013.  Besides the members of the OGFC and the management of the OGCMA, I don’t know how many of you actually care about the intricate details of this situation.  However, after another interview with Mr. Ralph delCampo of the OGCMA, I have to clarify a few points.

First, the FEMA denial for funds to restore the fishing pier after Irene (2011)  was not due to the presence of a private club at the end of the pier.  That is what the October article in BF said, but Mr. delCampo believes there was a misunderstanding.

Instead, the denial in 2011 was because the pier was defined as a recreational facility owned by a private nonprofit organization.

The only difference now  (2013),  post Sandy,  is that financing for  both the pier and the boardwalk were denied by FEMA because they are deemed recreational and owned by a private nonprofit.

Second, regarding the OG Fishing Club, Mr. delCampo says that he cannot accept an agreement now with the OGFC until he has “clarity” regarding the FEMA appeal.  He says that there are “four or five scenarios” which could develop regarding financing  which could  influence decisions about the Fishing Club.  He said, “Once we have clarity we will talk to the Fishing Club and entertain all options.”

He reminded me that in 1992, when the OGFC financed the reconstruction of the pier, the collateral for that financing was the Camp Meeting Association itself. This is the first time that fact has been mentioned in this dialogue.  So here is yet another variable to consider.

Mr. delCampo says that he is working on “parallel sequential decision trees” which make a final decision impossible at this time. One variable that he acknowledges is that he has not seen a formal, concrete financing commitment  from the Fishing Club.  If one were to materialize now, he says that he would consider it. His working understanding, based on engineering analysis, is that  the job will cost $750,000-$1,000,000.

I think I have laid out the facts, so at this point, May, 2013, the two parties need to talk to each other.  Either party may, of course, comment below.—–Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger.

Editor’s note January 20, 2018:     *Eventually FEMA approved boardwalk funding in 2014, but they did not approve the request for public funds to rebuild the pier, and there was no appeal because the CMA did not want to rattle the cages in Washington once again.

The CMA has placed the pier reconstruction at the bottom of their priority list, and currently the North End boardwalk work is about to begin. At no time has the CMA bailed out on their promise to eventually restore the pier.

As for the Fishing Club’s current status, we have no information, but if that group still exists, they are welcome to comment below.

JOHN COLTRANE  “Say It Over and Over Again.”

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Paris, c. 1994. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Paris, c. 1994. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Blogfinger.net

REBECCA KILGORE and the Hal Smith California Swing Cats and Tim Laughlin:

 

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