Archive for the ‘Blogfinger Presents’ Category


Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Directed by Sergio Leone.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger

This movie was made in 1984 by the great Italian director Sergio Leone.  It owes a lot to the 1972 film The Godfather, but it is wonderful in its own right.

The soundtrack is by Ennio Morricone whose association with Leone is well known.  (As in “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly”)

Here is a link to my still portrait of Elizabeth McGovern in black and white:




The video below shows the wonder of movie-making as done by a master, even if viewed as still images.  The acting is great, especially with the stunning Elizabeth McGovern (the adult Deborah), DiNiro (Noodles)  and James Woods (Max.).

“Deborah’s Theme” is magical and plays in the background of this video and, during the movie, when the beautiful Deborah glides across the screen.


Jennifer Connelly as Deborah

Jennifer Connelly as Deborah


Here is our description of the ballet scene from our previous article about this film:

“There is an early scene where the teen-aged Deborah (played by Jennifer Connelly) is practicing her ballet moves while wearing a tutu. Noodles (later played by Robert DiNiro) is watching her through a small portal in the wall. It is shot in a storage area behind her parents store.

The whole scene is done as if in slow motion, and the music playing then is the song “Amapola.”  The clarinet carries the solo while a violin plays the counter melody. A lone guitar provides the rhythm. The total effect is exquisitely beautiful.


Jennifer Connelly plays the young Deborah in this marvelous movie. The ballet scene is filmed in a dusty storehouse. Paul Goldfinger still photo 10/6, 2021 from the streaming movie.


Ballet scene in Once Upon a Time in America. Paul Goldfinger photo from the movie. Oct 6, 2021. M-9 Leica digital camera.


This version of  “Amapola”  is done in a nearly identical  tempo and effect as in the movie, although this cut, by Stuart Matthewman, is from the soundtrack of another film called Twin Falls, Idaho.  


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October 7, 2023. Paul Goldfinger photograph on the bypass between the OG side of the Casino and the Asbury boards. With permission from Mom.


These girls went to the Zombie Parade.   They are good friends at age 5.  Despite the horrid depictions on the AP side, Mom told us that the girls were not afraid…..they had a great time.  Now they were heading home to Ocean Grove.




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Paul Goldfinger photo. Stokes looks straight ahead towards the ocean and sees fog.


a. What’s New? CDC–go to CDC.gov for more information:

  • For the first time ever, vaccines are available to help protect against severe illness caused by all three of the major fall and winter respiratory viruses – flu, COVID-19, and RSV.
  • You may get flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines at the same visit, making it easier to stay up to date with CDC recommendations.
  • If you choose to get your vaccines at different visits, there is no minimum waiting period between vaccines.


b.   I’ve discovered that some  barber shops around here are blossoming with self importance, arrogance, and cutesy names.  They call their barbers “artists.”

I looked at “Talking Heads” in Asbury.  Their technology requires that you navigate a system that works like a doctor’s office.   You can do all sorts of things such as make appointments, choose a barber and pay with credit.

They also threaten you should you miss an appointment.  Like a doctor’s office they badger you with text reminders for appointments, but I found out that you can’t cancel by replying to a text message.  I tried that–three times, and I even got a thumbs up in reply, but you can’t talk to anyone.  A robot answers their phone, so I couldn’t speak to anyone.

So I thought I had cancelled, and they charged my card $30.00. I called to explain, but no barber would talk to me.   Their secretary finally  took the call and told me that I shouldn’t have responded to their texts because they don’t read text replies!!

Evidently that is legal.  I won’t go back there.  That sort of high- tech system is fine if you are comfortable with it , but not everyone is so adept with computers.  I can handle Blogfinger and my doctor’s system,  but not the local barber.

The “Handsome Devils” in Belmar are very similar.  I plan to find out if I can cancel by phone before I make an appointment.

Both places have a menu for choosing extras like trimming a beard.   So getting a haircut has now become high end, so do your homework before getting a haircut.

Here is Blogfinger’s idea of a barber shop:



c.   RSIS update: I found this on NextDoor from Tom Coan an activist from Bradley Beach.

This sounds bad for Ocean Grove. Now Neptune just ignores the protection of RSIS.

“On Thursday, the Assembly State and Local Government Committee favorably reported A-4984/S-3605, which would reduce the number of parking spaces required under the statewide site improvement standards at residential developments by 20%, 30%, and 50%, relative to the development’s proximity to public transportation.
Under current law, a developer can obtain relief from the standards from a reviewing board on a case-by-case basis, but such relief is subject to the scrutiny of local officials. When done at a local level, this allows for individual projects to be reviewed and relief to be granted when appropriate. This type of review ensures that the total amount of parking is appropriate for the development within the community.

“A wholesale reduction without appropriate review for each project risks creating insufficient parking to service the area’s residents and businesses.

“In other areas of the country where similar policy changes have occurred, they have been done in conjunction with efforts to increase public transportation usage or make roads more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. A-4984/S-3605 does not include such efforts.

“For these reasons, the League opposes the legislation.

“The Senate has already voted to approve S-3605 and the Assembly is now set to vote on the bill. We encourage our members to reach out to their legislative representatives and share their concerns with these bills.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, fmarshall@njlm.org, 609-695-3481, x137.”


d.   Neptune Township is making available a number of key North End documents:  email today 12/5/23:

In response to the request for documents related to the Ocean Grove North End Development Project, please see below link to access the following:

  • Changes made to plan for settlement
  • Comparison document for Redevelopment Plan
  • Comparison document for Redevelopment agreement
  • 11-13-2023 Letter from Historic Preservation Committee related to Ocean Grove North End Development
  • Memo to Township Committee summarizing Settlement agreement and Restated Redevelopment Agreement for Ocean Grove North End Development.
  • Response list to HPC resolution

Ocean Grove North End Development- Documents


Hopefully the OGHOA’s legal committee will read every one of these and then report back to the citizens of Ocean Grove.


e.  Flooding risk for Wesley Lake and Fletcher Lake has attracted attention since sever Sept. rains.  No solution in sight. APP reported on it:

ASBURY PARK – Three lakes — Wesley, Deal and Fletcher — have become so prone to severe flooding that both Neptune and Asbury Park are working on solutions in the short-term and for the future.







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Ocean Grove beach life. Photograph by. Paul Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net    Click once to enlarge the fun.



KINGS OF LEON.  “Going Back Down South Now.”


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Committeeman Carol Rizzo assumed the Neptune office in 2016 and took the oath.  Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net   Last year (2021) she resigned.



This is written by Charles Krauthammer, * from his book The Point of it All:

“Whenever we bestow upon anyone the authority to wield the power of the state over free citizens, we make them swear to protect not the people, not the nation, not the flag, but the Constitution of the United States.  

“A  piece of paper. Of course, it stands for the pillars of the American experiment itself: the ideas, the structures, the philosophy that define a limited government with enumerated powers, whose mission is to preserve liberty and individual rights.”

 *     The Point of It All  is Krauthammer’s  book published posthumously in 2018.    The subtitle is “A Lifetime of Great Loves and Endeavors.”




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2023 Asbury Park Zombie Parade. Paul Goldfinger photo . Blogfinger.net.   10/7/23


BOARDWALK ANGELS:  John Cafferty  and the Beaver Brown Band.   Eddie and the Cruisers


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Monochrom Christmas

Ocean Grove. Mt. Hermon Way at Delaware. 12/1/23. Paul Goldfinger photo. Click once to enlarge.


“A Christmas Lullaby” by John Rutter.


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Ocean Grove near Tent Village. Photo by Eileen Goldfinger .   2017 Re-post.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net. 2017

We recently had a flurry of interest regarding  Airbnb rentals in the Grove. Some individuals seemed to think that this phenomenon was causing a deterioration in OG lifestyles in terms of crowding, parking, and boorish behavior. But such issues were not well documented.   Short term rentals have always been present in the Grove.

Here is a link from 2019 on the subject:



We have heard about illegal rentals as well as outrageous rentals. Recently a woman from  the south side wrote us a long letter that renters were ruining her block and home, including mice infestations.

It’s hard to generalize about OG since we are a town of small and diverse neighborhoods.  My block,  for example, has only one renter, but one block over, there are quite a few.  But fast forward to 2023, and we are seeing more renters at the North End.

Among the special interest groups in town  are the realtors who don’t share the nuts and bolts of what is happening to our real estate market now (2023) and what is happening with the rental market.

I do know that a young person who would like to live here. (2023)  might be unable to rent an efficiency for even $1,500.00.   How about renting a room?  Is that legal?

But to update to 2023, many houses are sold to be used for rentals,  and renters may be more likely to rent than to buy. Many of the buys are by New Yorkers who seem to have no trouble forking over  $800,000 to  $1 million for a 1500 ft2 home in the Grove. In some shore towns the prices are dropping, but not here. And the house inventory is still sparse.

I also heard from a woman who rents her house in summer and finds it to be essential to keep her head above water financially. She was concerned that her endeavor would get a bad name on Blogfinger, but really there have been few complaints.

If you do some searches on Blogfinger  you will find historic references to the vast number of rooming houses that used to be here and were actually essential in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the Grove given the vast religious tourism industry.

Anyhow, this post allows me to bring back a favorite song by Teddy Thompson from the film Brokeback Mountain:

Homes for rent. Click here for the music.

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Band of Strays in Firemen’s Park, Ocean Grove for the Pet Parade.  Paul Goldfinger photo.  Blogfinger.net. Two of them live in OG.


“Down the Shore”is the name of their song below.

“Down the shore”   is a unique phrase referencing beach towns in New Jersey.

WIKI:    “The Scotch-Irish families that began settling on the Eastern branch of the Susquehanna River referred to Waynesburg as ‘the Jersey shore’  since  most of the settlers in Waynesburg were from New Jersey who moved to the area to own farmland after the Revolutionary War.”

I’m from north Jersey, and everyone I knew referred to the beaches in this area as “down the shore.”


Band of Strays:  “Down the Shore.”  It’s their song:



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Jennifer Connelly plays the young Deborah in this marvelous movie. The scene is filmed in a dusty storehouse. Paul Goldfinger photo 10/6, 2021


Ballet scene in Once Upon a time in America. Paul Goldfinger photo from the movie. Oct 6, 2021.  M-9.


Here is our description of the ballet scene from our article about this film. Our review is currently missing.


“There is an early scene where the teen-aged Deborah (played by Jennifer Connelly) is practicing her ballet moves while wearing a tutu. Noodles (later played by Robert DiNiro) is watching her through a small portal in the wall. It is shot in a storage area behind her parents store.

The whole scene is done as if in slow motion, and the music playing then is the song “Amapola.”  The clarinet carries the solo while a violin plays the counter melody. A lone guitar provides the rhythm. The total effect is exquisitely beautiful.


The video below contains my still images from the film.   The music is”Deborah’s Theme”  Below all that is “Amapola”–two versions; the instrumental is played during the ballet sequence.


Below is Andrea Bocelli’s version of this song, and an instrumental version, as in the movie, can be heard by clicking the  second link:






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Auditorium Square Park. Ocean Grove, NJ, USA. Saturday night 12/2/23. Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net.  Click once  to enlarge.


Paul Goldfinger,  Editor,  Blogfinger.net. Ocean Grove, NJ, USA.  12/3/23.

This photograph was obtained while the Live Nativity was coming to life in the Great Auditorium.

I’m  having trouble finding the word “Christmas” as I travel around in my BMW electric sleigh.



12/4/23  Christmas update:


OG entrance. 12/4/23. morning. Blogfinger photo.




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Sobibor. From the Russian movie. Still photo by Paul Goldfinger. 2018.  Click once to enlarge image.


By Paul Goldfinger, MD.   Editor.  Blogfinger.net

In 2019, Russian film makers completed their movie Sobibor about a Nazi death camp that took about 200,000 lives between 1942 to 1943.  It was one of a few concentration camp locations where courageous Jews planned and staged a revolt. Many escaped, but only about 50 managed to survive WWII. One who survived was Alexander Pechersky, the Jewish Soviet Captain who led the successful escape.


Escape from Sobibor from the 2019 movie. Paul Goldfinger still  photograph. Click to enlarge.

The movie Sobibor  is one of the best about the Holocaust.  It is powerful and tells a true story of a terrible massive crime against humanity. Amazon Prime.

This song , “Dona Dona,” was written by Shalom Secunda and is known in Yiddish and is generally interpreted to be about the Nazi murders of defenseless people.  The metaphor is a rural one–of an innocent calf being taken to slaughter.

Here is one translation:

“Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why
But whoever treasures freedom
Like the swallow has learned to fly.”

Joan Baez had an English hit of the song back in the sixties when she was one of the  protest movement leaders.

This Blogfinger post from just a few months ago takes on new meaning in view of the latest events in the Middle East.


SHALOM SECUNDA:   “Dona Dona” from the album Les Musique de Chagall.  Yiddish.




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Michael and Chico photographed in Ocean Grove. Undated. Blogfinger.net




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