Archive for the ‘Conversations we’ve heard’ Category

Streit’s matzoh factory is on Rivington Street, lower east side of Manhattan.

Scene:  Wegmans checkout counter.  A man is at the “7 or less” register to pay for a box of Streit’s matzohs.

Checker:  “Did you have a nice holiday?”

Man: “You don’t have to be Jewish to eat matzohs.”

Checker:  “It’s the Star of David around your neck.”

Man:  “Oh.”

—Paul Goldfinger

Read Full Post »


By Paul Goldfinger, MD, FACC, Editor@Blogfinger

Scene:  Internist office in Neptune.  I have been ushered into an examining room by a woman who is dressed in a colorful uniform with flowery pants and top—like pajamas. She doesn’t identify herself or her job description  (eg nurse? aide? proctologist?).  She takes my BP and my pulse. While she is doing that, I say “70,” amusing myself while trying to predict my heart rate.  She looks up and says “75.”  She is not impressed with my accurate guess. She then says that she will take my temperature in my ear.  She sticks a probe into my ear and says, “96.5”   She doesn’t know that I am a physician.

Me:  96.5?

She: Yes

Me: What happened to 98.6?

She: You’re normal.

Me  (incredulous)  What?

She:  Oh yes, out of 500 patients here, most are 96 or 97.

Me: What do you do if you get 98.6?

She: Oh, that’s fever.

Me:  98.6 is fever?

She:  Yes

Me:  (to myself—–“Should I find another doctor?  Should I complain to the doctor? How can I start a ruckus over this inane conversation when I am constantly finding things wrong whenever I go to a doctor?  Medical practice is going to hell in a hand basket.  What does that mean anyhow?”)

Me:  Thank you.



BEE GEES:.   FRom the movie Saturday Night Fever.  “Night Fever.”

“…then I get night fever, night fever.

“We know how to do it

“Gimme that night fever night fever.

“We know how to show it.”

Read Full Post »

Conversation: NYC Street Series. By Paul Goldfinger

Conversation: NYC Street Series. By Paul Goldfinger. Click left for full view

By Paul Goldfinger   (Some of us miss that Wegmans Café on the second floor; Will it ever return?)

Scene: Wegmans, Ocean. Upstairs café where they have numerous tables and chairs. It is a weekday morning, about 8:30 am. No one else is there. I arrive with my coffee, bagel, iPhone (to check BF) and The New York Times paper edition — looking forward to my mellow morning routine. I find a table with a view overlooking the store. I set everything on the table and sit down.

Disembodied female voice: “With all the tables up here, did you have to sit near me?”

I look around. There is a column facing me, and behind the column I see a woman sitting at a laptop computer. I didn’t notice her before, but now she is quite obvious.

She is about 40 years old and is staring at me, with a slight but (am I imagining this?) menacing smile. I instinctively react negatively to her voice, her tone and her appearance.

Men, I think, always incorporate an assessment of a woman’s appearance whenever they get to talk to one. I thought she was pretty unattractive, although, if it weren’t for her bad attitude, I might have found something to admire.

I stand up and step closer to her.

Me: “Are you kidding?” (I was incredulous, but I also considered the small possibility that she was just teasing.)

She: “No!”

Me: “Well then, I don’t care.” (I mean, really….is she nuts? — thought I. But maybe I do care…a little.)

She: “I’m putting my ear phones on.”

Me: Silence. I resume my morning activities.

Postscript: About 20 minutes later I look up and see that she is gone, but she left a souvenir: all her breakfast detritus. Normally I might have tossed it into the garbage, but it is, in an odd way, part of her, and I didn’t want to think about her for another moment. The busboy will get it.

SOUNDTRACK: Harry Nilsson

Read Full Post »

Superhero with green cape. Mom holds the cape so Superhero can wash his feet. Paul Goldfinger photo reporting live from a bench on the boards. ©

Superhero with green cape. Mom holds the cape so Superhero can wash his feet. Paul Goldfinger photo reporting live from a bench on the new OG boards. ©  2014 posted on Blogfinger.net.


By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor.

Scene:  People leaving the beach in Ocean Grove.  Before climbing the stairs at Main Avenue, many stop to wash their feet. The water spray is close to the exit, causing some congestion.  A family was leaving, and one of that group was a little superhero with a bright green cape.

He was struggling a bit because the cape was getting in the way of washing his feet.

Mom :  “Superhero, you have to lift your cape.”


Finally Superhero made it onto the boardwalk where he ran around, a mile a minute, so that his cape would fly through the air behind him.

Superhero moments before he flied away.

Superhero moments before he let go of mom and flew away. Blogfinger photo ©

SOPHIE ZELMANI   “It’s Always You”  from My Best Friend’s Wedding

Read Full Post »

We have no idea of the impact of coronavirus so far in Ocean Grove. Exactly what is the CMA’s Badger monitoring “every hour?”  Do we have any test results for the Grove?


This APP article offers very little of substance, but this is what was said in their 4/30 piece today:

a.  The reporter says that the CMA and not the Township decides if the boardwalk remains open.  What is the truth?  According to Jack Bredin, it’s the other way around.

b. Andy Levine, the head of the Better Parking Alliance in OG, who likes to jog on the boards, says that he agrees with keeping our boards open, but he believes that as the weather gets warmer, the CMA “will have to follow everyone else and probably shut things down.”

Hey Andy—stick to parking. “No comment” would have been a better choice for you.

c. ” Barbara Burns, President of the Home Groaners, said she was supportive of the approach taken by the CMA.”

She also is a mind reader saying, “Most people I think are pretty comfortable with following whatever guidance we get from the state.”

It seems she thinks the state has offered “guidance” about our boardwalk, but they have actually shown no interest in the subject.

d.  Michael Badger of the CMA said, “We are monitoring it hourly.”  He explained the CMA’s plan “is to keep the boardwalk and beach open, with a phased approach to events as the summer months approach, but he cautioned that if there is any danger to public health, that approach could change quickly.”

So, the CMA is monitoring the situation “hourly,”  but has he noticed that New Jersey has more cases and more deaths every day?

Evidently he doesn’t see any danger to public health in the Grove.  Is he so ignorant of the infectiousness of this virus that he  thinks that so far, it’s all fine?

Badger still has not mentioned publicly that there are thousands of people who live in the Grove and who can be impacted by his policies.  He doesn’t want to recognize that we have a community of residents who live here and should be factored into his plans which seem to ignore the priority of public health.

And the APP also has also not recognized the community of residents who are most vulnerable to out-of- control tourism.  This is journalism at its worst. The reporter couldn’t even come up with stats  (cases and deaths) about the virus in Ocean Grove and neither has his paper. He doesn’t seem to understand the public health issues here as well as the clash of opinions.

Why not take the most careful approach and close the boards, like our neighbors, and then, later, if the numbers work out, to consider opening along with other towns around us?

Who in this town is paying attention to the health risks for our citizens?  Certainly not the ding dings quoted above.

Paul Goldfinger MD, Editor.

Read Full Post »


Scene:  A senior citizen goes to the counter to pick up his prescription for Viagra at Wegmans.  He is greeted by a young, pretty pharmacist.

He: ” I’m here to pick up my prescription.”

She:  She asks his name.  “I have to check the computer.”  (She types into her computer)

She:  “Your prescription won’t be ready for two hours.  Do you need it right now?”

He:  (Laughing—is momentarily speechless)

She:  There is a pause then the tiniest of smiles emerges on her face.

He:   “2 hours will be fine”


—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger


WOODY ALLEN from “Everyone Says I Love You.”

Read Full Post »


This lucky bug sits contentedly in a rare OG driveway. Don't be rude and block his egress, or his people will be very mad. Paul Goldfinger photo. Undated. ©

This lucky bug, Mr. Blue,  sits contentedly in a rare OG driveway. Don’t be rude and block his egress, or his people will be very mad.  His theme song, by the Fleetwoods,, is below  Paul Goldfinger photo. Undated. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net


This conversation was begun in the context of storm news, as a snow storm hit Ocean Grove on January 27, 2015.  Comments are posted  chronologically here instead of the usual location.   Editing might be required for clarity, grammar, spelling, and sanity.

Mr. Right   Jan. 27, 2015 —–“Something needs to be said about parking etiquette. If one neighbor spends 30 minutes digging his car out only for his **#$@% neighbor to pull into that spot as soon as he leaves, that is wrong! In the past, diggers have placed garbage cans, etc. to hold their spot, and as far as I am concerned, that is perfectly ethical to do, even though the police will not back you up if someone removes the can and parks there anyhow.”

Marie Coppinger. Jan. 27, 2015—-   “May I comment on “parking etiquette”? I have been in O.G. for many years and this comes up every year. These are public streets. You cannot “hold” a parking space just because you shoveled it out. How would I know who shoveled any given space? And if I do park in my neighbor’s spot, it is because some one has parked in the space I recently shoveled. Let’s be reasonable.” 

Blogfinger.  Marie is correct that this topic has appeared before, but some subjects are worth rehashing.  Here is a link to July 2013 when there were many comments about this subject.   holding spaces link

Plump Mike.  Jan 28.   “I guess Mary took her neighbor’s parking spot. If each homeowner took the time to dig out one space near their home, making it easy to enter and exit, then this wouldn’t be as much an issue. It’s  a shame that OG taxpayers don’t have a space reserved for each home like they have in many north Jersey towns. If you could dig out your space, it would be there for you when you get home from the grocery store.  Taxpayers should get a break from the town on the parking situation, especially in the winter where it can be a hardship to walk four blocks in the cold.” 

Pam.  Jan 28.  “It is a shame that as tax payers we aren’t entitled to one parking spot. Nevertheless my husband and I try to show courtesy to our neighbors even in the summer and other seasons. We try very hard to park in the same spots every time thus leaving spots free for our neighbors to park in front of their houses.

“I wish something could be done for our OG elderly who should be able to park in their spot. It’s hard for them to have to carry groceries or maneuver in the snow if their car is a ways from their houses; and they shouldn’t have to search for a parking spot during the height of the summer. If only a little civility could be shown to our neighbors and the elderly. Then we could get busy figuring out a way to provide parking for tourists and for those owning commercial trucks so they don’t take our spots away.”

Mary Lou.  Jan 28.  “We are all pretty respectful of each others “parking territory” on my street. I like to park in the usual space nearest to my front door because I leave for work at 6 am in the morning. On a dark, icy winter morning, I appreciate the fact that I have a short distance to get to my car. During the summer, I don’t care if I’m parked at a distance.”

Doubting Thomas.  Jan 28.  This reminds me of internet etiquette, which is still evolving.  Rules of politeness  must be written down and acknowledged by most civilized citizens if they are to be honored, but such rules don’t exist for Grovers with snow drifts.  So we must rely on the instincts of residents who perhaps have certain values in their DNA, or, at, least in their subconscious where common themes exist based on our culture.  Having said that, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, because the NTPD won’t get in the middle of this unless there is blood on the snow.

Embury Resident.   Jan. 29.     This is intended for the parking etiquette conversation. I have a driveway and only come down on weekends. I try to be a good neighbor and pay someone to clean my (empty) driveway & sidewalk after a snow fall. I did this yesterday. He cleaned everything, only to call me today to let me know that one of my “neighbors” threw all the snow he shoveled from his property onto my driveway. Not very neighborly.

Paul Devine.  Jan. 30.  I am not in OG many weekends in the winter. Without reserved spots neighbors are able to use the spot which eases parking for our wonderful neighbors. I do agree that something should be done with cars that are warehoused on the street and not used.

Jo Ann Marino. Jan 30.   Homeowners in Lavallette who do not have a driveway pay an annual fee to the town for a designated parking space on the street near or outside their home. A win win situation.

Paul Goldfinger.  Jan 30.  Jo Ann—There are a number of constituencies in Ocean Grove including tourists, homeowners, renters, merchants and others.  The group that is ignored in this conversation are the homeowners who live here year round or part time. They have been ignored as far as the parking situation is concerned.  I totally agree that we too should receive a reserved space in front of our homes. This is a common solution around the state of New Jersey.

Wisher. Feb. 1—I am bothered that few people shovel. Now ice and snow have solidified around cars, and cannot be removed. So instead of winter in New England, the scene looks more like Arctic Station Ocean Grove.  There are many able-bodied hipsters renting in my Asbury Ave. neighborhood with nice cars and no shovel. Out of the whole two blocks around me, it was just me and another older guy shoveling our spaces. Then we pull out, and someone is there in the space when we get back.

It is a shame because it is great exercise and a way to meet people through simple acts of kindness.


Read Full Post »

Portrait of Tina at the Lush Bakery, Fort Myers, Fla.  By Paul Goldfinger   ©

Portrait of Tina at the Lush Bakery, Fort Myers, Fla. By Paul Goldfinger ©   2013

Young man  at the bakery counter:   “People always think I’m angry.”

Customer–a woman:  “Are you?”

Young man:  “No, not at all. I’m usually happy”

Customer:  “Why do they think you are angry?”

Young man:  “It’s because of my face.  I have squinty eyes, and my bone structure just makes me look that way.”

Editor’s note:  I was curious  in hearing this conversation which was about whether one could judge a person by looking at their face.  I think all of us understand that you can be often fooled if you try to do that, yet we all do it.  In our everyday lives we often have only someone’s face to use in predicting a person’s character or personality or mood.

Winston Churchill 1941 by Yousef Karsh.

Winston Churchill 1941 by Yousef Karsh.

I’ve been interested in this issue for a long time as it relates to portrait photography. One of the most famous portraits ever was taken in 1941 of Winston Churchill. He looks angry and perhaps determined.  But, when Yousef Karsh, the famous portraitist, took the image, Karsh had just yanked the cigar out of Churchill’s mouth. Churchill reacted and Karsh hit the trigger.  But just a minute later, the second exposure showed Churchill smiling.  Of course the dour puss became the famous image that supposedly revealed Churchill’s true nature.

I’m not sure about painters, but I am skeptical of art critics who see all sorts of personal qualities in photographic portraits.  I think photographers can reveal what a person  looks like and can photograph them in their usual environment, showing what they do, or even suggesting their mood.  But the photographer can manipulate the facial expressions of their subjects, and the idea of capturing character in the best portraits, well I remain a skeptic.

Cindy Sherman self portrait.

Cindy Sherman self portrait.

Cindy Sherman became famous taking self portraits, but she always fooled the camera by creating characters for herself using makeup, prosthetics, wigs and costumes.  If she wanted to look like Marilyn Monroe, she would stuff socks in her bra. Other times she would wear giant curlers in her hair. She denied that she ever revealed her true self  in these images.

A critic who interviewed Sherman said,  “She says that she’s managed to star in her pictures ‘without giving anything away.’  She pauses and smiles. ‘I’m not about revealing myself,’ she says.”

“Cindy Sherman took photos of herself that were anything but self-portraits; photos that stuck two fingers at the then received wisdom that the camera never lies – her camera always lied.”

So I guess it boils down to “you can’t tell a book by its cover.”  And in photography, I rarely take formal portraits, preferring candid shots of people.  That seems the closest you can get to revealing someone’s character in a photograph.

—Paul Goldfinger, photography editor  @Blogfinger

ROLLING STONES:  “Far Away Eyes.”

Read Full Post »

Fireman's Park  c.2002.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Fireman’s Park c.2002. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Scene:  Fireman’s Park. A young couple is walking by…

Her:  If you want to go, I’ll go, but I don’t want to go.



Read Full Post »



This conversation with Officer Adam came about after a letter to the editor appeared on July 8, 2013, on Blogfinger, about the subject of holding parking spaces by placing cones or garbage pails in the streets.  The topic attracted 33 comments, and here is the link (below) where you can read all that discussion if you wish.

July 8 discussions about blocking parking spaces

When you read the conversation  below,  you will see what you have to do if confronted with this situation again.  I must say that I am pleasantly surprised.   Make a copy of Officer Adam’s response in case you need to show it to  a  Neptune policemen subsequently  —–Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

July 8, 2013.  Blogfinger to P.O. Adam :   Someone has said on Blogfinger that holding a parking space  (e.g. with garbage cans or cones) is illegal and that the police will ticket the offender.  I had heard the opposite.   What is the law on that?    Thanks, Paul

July 18, 2013.  P.O. Adam to Blogfinger:   Paul,  In previous summers, the police attempted to find out who put the cones or garbage cans in the street and to tell them that they cannot save a parking space on a public roadway.  If we can’t locate the person that put the cones or garbage cans out, we take the cones and put the garbage cans on the sidewalk.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: