Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove feature article’ Category

Summer tents. August 22, 2015. ©

Summer tents. August 22, 2015. ©  By Paul Goldfinger.  Click to enlarge.

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor, Blogfinger.net

The OG summer tents are sought after by painters, photographers, tourists, renters, historians, strollers, bikers,  and others. Our tents are unique.   From a photographer’s point of view, we look for new ways of seeing the tents;  we try to be creative with lighting and composition.  It’s not easy to come up with something different, but that is what we require at this Ocean Grove website where photography is used more than words to describe our town.

When I submitted a “plain vanilla” portrait of the tents for the book “New Jersey 24/7” I was surprised that the image was one of the winners, but then I realized that those of us who live here are a bit jaded, like New Yorkers who take the Empire State Building for granted.

But for you OG photographers, Blogfinger will continue looking for fresh ways of seeing our historic and beautiful tents.

ADAM LEVINE   “No One Else Like You .”  From the film Begin Again

Read Full Post »

xxxx

Blogfinger
.  2020 re-post  (The original question posited in the headline is still valid.)

There are multiple factions in the small town of Ocean Grove (pop  3,700,) and these organized groups are largely isolated from each other. Woven into the fabric are homeowners and renters who live here but do not belong to any organizations, thus becoming, by default, a faction of their own.

According to social scientist Steve Valk, whose family has lived here for several generations, it would be important for these factions to find ways to appreciate and cooperate with each other. For example he cites the religious groups and the secular groups which ought to find common ground for the benefit of the town. One example of such cooperation is the recent interaction, since Sandy, between Ocean Grove United (OGU) and the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association  (CMA); however we have recently seen how tenuous that relationship is when we recall the  clash about Sunday sermons this past summer.

The CMA ran the town from 1869 to 1980—-111 years. Neptune Township  treated OG as a sort of gated community.  The CMA made the rules and imposed blue laws until the N.J. Supreme Court put a stop to that in 1980 when Neptune  took over active governance in the Grove  (although they were technically the governing body almost since the town’s founding.)  Since 1980, the CMA has continued its mission and  it has largely kept out of the way of Neptune Township.

But we now see the CMA and the Township working together on the North End Redevelopment Project, but suspicious elements have been revealed, and that project does not seem to be designed primarily with the town’s best interest at heart.

As for the Neptune Township governance, you have seen the results of our recent poll which shows  that 80% of respondents mistrust  the Neptune Township Committee. Interestingly, over the years, there were times when the citizens rose up against Neptune control resulting in law suits and even a failed referendum to allow the Grove to become a separate town which it did for one year in 1925.

The other organizations here also tend to have their own agendas and to be run like private clubs. Such groups include the Homeowners Association, the Historical Society, Ocean Grove United, and the Chamber of Commerce.

They don’t work together very much for the good of the town.  They are busy with their own activities.  For example, the Chamber of Commerce runs big events to try and drum up business for the merchants.  But what do they do for the benefit of those who live here?  We asked them to take over sponsorship of the Town-wide Yard Sale, but they refused.

 When we introduced a new idea for the town—the Blogfinger Film Festival—a benefit for the boardwalk—-only a few of the members would be sponsors for the program, and hardly any attended the event.

When we think of factions in town, we can see the visible ones, but how about the invisible ones such as families that have lived here for generations and are part of networks that act in concert with each other, with the CMA,  and with the Township governance, especially where land use, zoning,  and parking are concerned.  Let’s call that “the network of special interests.”

For them the town of Ocean Grove seems like a gift that keeps on giving. This network never speaks publicly, shows its face, or identifies itself, but what it does and has done will impact all of us and will determine what the town will be in the future. 

We have seen the results of favoritism for those special interests in the Greek Temple and Mary’s Place.  The North End Redevelopment Project is a good example to keep an eye on.  Who will be the winners, and who will be the losers?

Because of indifference by the public, organizations, and special interests, Ocean Grove may become an at-risk town which could end up a failed historic  place without focus and character, such as is seen in other shore towns—unless the public pays attention and the organizations here begin to work together for the overall benefit of the town and not just on their narrow pet projects, like the Homeowners Association which is currently circulating a simple-minded parking survey while ignoring the improprieties and illegalities around town regarding land use issues.  The HOA has teamed up with the Neptune Committee ever since 2008 when it supported 165 residential units, mostly condos, at the North End.

In 2002, a professor* at Monmouth University published an academic paper about OG history, emphasizing the powerful way that the activist HOA of 25-30 years ago  fought for the town and saved its life.  Below  is a quote**  from that research about that era.

Contrast the conclusion below with the current HOA which now is failing Ocean Grove through impotence, inaction, and lack of focus towards the issues which currently threaten our town the most.

The Home Groaners need to step up and save the town once again,  but this version appears to so far be hopeless in that regard.

** 2002:   “The HOA has maintained or reconstructed the carefully planned infrastructure of the founders, and even as Ocean Grove is being reborn as a contemporary tourist site, the HOA has worked with the CMA to preserve its sacred foundations. Just like the CMA, the HOA has been outstanding in its ability to secure what it wants and what it believes the community needs. Property values have risen, the community is again a safe place, tourism has been revived, an enormous amount of social capital has been generated, and the Victorian charm of the town has been restored.”

By Karen Schmelzkopf*  in the Journal of Historical Geography, 2002

BLOSSOM DEARIE:

 

 

Read Full Post »

Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger photo. 9/22/15 © Whitefield Avenue runs down the middle of Embury Arms, oriented north and south,  providing private parking spaces. Blogfinger.net  photograph. 9/22/15 ©

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

 

Here is a re-post of part I of our research about the Embury Arms Condominiums posted in September of 2015. Time to re-read it now in 2020.  The dots between it and the current North End Plan can be connected.

Recently a reader wondered about the Embury Arms condominiums. Her concern came about in the midst of our real-time discussions of the North End Project and Mary’s Place zoning. She asked how that large condo project came about and whether there were issues then similar to the ones that we have been considering recently.

Embury Arms condominiums on Whitefield Avenue consist of 112 units. It was built in the 1980’s. Old OG newspaper reports say that the CMA approved the project in 1978, and then the ground breaking ceremony was held in 1980.  Those news reports never mention approvals by Neptune Twp. nor do they mention any concerns about historic preservation.  They do talk about energy conservation measures that won awards for the developer.

These condos are 1 and 2 bedroom apartments within four large 3 story buildings. The complex sits in the middle of the Grove, surrounded by Benson, Delaware, Heck and Abbott Avenues. Embury and Webb Avenues stop short as they go west to Delaware Avenue, right at the border of the Embury Arms  condos, and Whitefield Avenue goes straight through the middle, with private parking spaces on the perimeter of a public street.

Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978. Ocean Grove Times, August 25, 1978.

An ad in a 1982 local newspaper  describes “authentic Victorian designs.”  The apartments were starting at $49,900.00.

These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ © These are the Embury Arms buildings as seen from the Delaware Avenue side. Blogfinger photo/ ©

The official 2015 CMA summer guidebook map shows Webb and Embury going straight through  to Lawrence Avenue, but they do not and they never did because west of Delaware, where Embury Arms now sits, there were stables, used mostly for storage by the Camp Meeting Association. Apparently some of the buildings were rented out for parking, but it was not an area for public parking.

It is not our intention to review the detailed history of this  condo project, but anyone walking by has to wonder how the heck the developer got permission to do this distinctly un-Grovian style condominium complex. It not only is contrary to the Master Plan as we know it, but it takes up space that could have been filled with single family Victorian style homes in order to match the appearance of the rest of the Grove.

Embury Arms provides PRIVATE parking by allowing head-on placement of vehicles on Whitefield Avenue that is partly on private property (using the theoretical front yards of those lots) but it also allows the cars to stick out over where the public sidewalks should be. In other words, that parking lot violates the public pedestrian right of way.

 

Note how Note how the sidewalk (pedestrian right of way) ends to allow parked cars to protrude into that right of way.  This is Whitefield Avenue taken by walking from Heck Avenue.  Blogfinger photo ©

Normally the right of way along a public street is 40 feet wide, consisting of the road (auto right of way) and the sidewalks (pedestrian right of way) measured together.

Yes they put some recessed sidewalks there, but that is private property, and public access could theoretically be shut down at any time. The Whitefield Ave. auto right of way is intact for cars driving through, but is not inviting for autos to drive through, and warning signs threaten anyone who would dare park there.

In addition, the project deprived Ocean Grove of many potential public parking spaces if private homes had been built on streets. Instead, all those curb cuts created a giant parking lot. Where else in town is a public street (in this case Whitefield Avenue) used for private parking?

The property was originally used for stables, so no private homes were demolished to make room. Undoubtedly the CMA, the Township, and the developer were in collusion to create this massive mistake, but the history of the time* indicates that OG was not as proactive in historic preservation then. It was a time when governance here was in a state of flux**, and the public did not protest much.  There was a suit that delayed completion, but eventually the Embury Arms condominiums were finished.   At least the condo developer of Embury Arms provided parking, even though the law was stretched to make that happen.

We have no information as to how the zoning was finessed to allow this, nor do we know what the Planning Board had to say. At any rate, it is a done deal, and nothing can be done about it at this point.

It is interesting that there is an earlier precedent.  In 1964, across from Days, a large hotel burned down, and in its place rose the Arlington Court Co-op.  consisting of one bedroom apartments for which no mortgages were allowed.   This was a new idea for the Grove, and evidently no one cared that single family Victorian homes were not built.  The CMA was in charge then and they must have supported the idea.   (? sound familiar)

However, now we are in a position to do something about the largest condominium development in the history of Ocean Grove—the North End Redevelopment Project.  But there is concern that public apathy will once again allow a wrong-headed condo project to go ahead. We have seen this illegal process before.  If no one takes  legal action when work begins or sooner, then, as with other projects in town, nothing can be done after the fact.

The CMA and the Township are counting on public inaction.  Will we let them do it again?

CREDITS:

Ted Bell*, Ocean Grove historian

Jack Bredin, Blogfinger researcher

Tom Constantino, Blogfinger researcher

** In 1980, governance of Ocean Grove was turned over to Neptune Township by the NJ Supreme Court. That transition must have taken years to work out, but the Embury Arms project took hold during that delicate time.

 

Here is a link to Part II of this Embury Arms historical review.

 

Embury Arms Part II. Blogfinger.net

 

NANCY WILSON  “Please do it again.”

Read Full Post »

Ocean Grove is a “dog town.”  Where’s our dog park or beach?   Go to Asbury.  Paul Goldfinger photo © Blogfinger.net

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   Re-post from 2017.

Cindy Stiles, the proprietor of Pet Boutique* on Main Avenue in OG, has collected 1,000 signatures on petitions and she has gone before the Camp Meeting Association at least twice to ask them to permit a “private” dog park facility on their land near the tennis courts, but each time she has been turned down.

Ocean Grove could be called “Dog Town” because it’s loaded with dogs—residents and visitors.  But evidently there aren’t too many dog lovers on the CMA Board.

Today, at the Annual CMA Labor Day Report, Cindy went to the microphone to try again.  And try she did:  Cindy even told them that “God spelled backwards is dog.”  She seemed a bit desperate when she said that “some dog owners would like to pray with their pets in a dog park.”  Her main argument was that many visitors to town are dismayed when they learn that there are no dog runs for their pets.

However, regardless of how many persuasive arguments Cindy could muster, Dale Whilden, CMA President, could not be moved saying that the Board had a variety of reasons for rejecting the idea including concerns about animal “spats”, diseases, poop, security issues and more.

But the idea was checkmated when Dr. Whilden disclosed that the CMA had its eyes on that property for a possible parking lot or a place to store off-season life-guard chairs and/or more beach lockers.

And  the final coup de grace was when he said that the CMA needed to focus its attention on its “vision and mission”and that they had a “long list” of new ideas to get to, and a dog park was not on that list.  Priorities trump pets.    He did mention that the OG beach was open for dogs during the off-season, and many Grovers with dogs take advantage of that courtesy.

But Cindy was still not backing down, until someone shouted,  “Let’s move on,” followed by a smattering of applause.

So Cindy had to step away—-clearly she was barking up the wrong tree.

* Cindy lost her business in the Grove due to unaffordable rent increases by her Main Avenue landlord.

HARRY NILSSON:

Read Full Post »

To the Editor:

“Below is a link to an interesting article about Pitman, NJ.   Ocean Grove is specifically mentioned:

Pitman, New Jersey. From their web site.

‘Originally a Methodist camp town, similar to Ocean Grove, its streets were once lined with tents. Now, quaint cottages fill those spaces. An alcohol-free town until 2014, you can now purchase wine by the bottle at local wineries and beer by the glass at breweries. Very much a family friendly town, the borough is big on community events. ‘”

“I know you write about how OG can adapt in changing times to reflect the needs of its residents. Thought this was a valid comparison of how a similar town has adapted.”

Pitman, NJ. Internet photo.

 

The Small Town In New Jersey That Transforms Into A Magical Harry Potter Wonderland http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-jersey/nj-small-town-harry-potter-festival/

STACEY MAISCH

September 13, 2017

Editor’s note:  Pitman is in Gloucester Country and has a 2010 population of 9,011.   Its history is remarkably like ours including a governing Camp Meeting Association, but Pitman Grove (it’s historic name) jettisoned  that plan and became an autonomous borough in 1905 with the approval of the State of New Jersey.   It is on the State and National Historic Registers.

Unlike OG, it has continued to evolve as a community.  In 2014 it became an ex-dry town. Two years ago it  added an annual art stroll to its activities.

It is known for two major craft shows per year, spring and fall,  but that’s it as mega-events go.

This year it will begin a tradition of an annual Harry Potter Festival and, as part of that, will be a theater event.   They have a Pottery Festival in October and, of course, Christmas festivities.

This sounds a lot like what Blogfinger and others have been hoping for in Ocean Grove.  Thanks Stacey.

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net

ANITA O’DAY AND CAL TJADER    “Thanks For the Memory.”

Read Full Post »

Blackbirds sit along the front downstairs railing at the Quaker Inn in Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Re-post from 2012.

By Paul Goldfinger, wildlife editor @Blogfinger

Carl Hoffman was startled when he walked by the Quaker Inn on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. There along the front railing was a row of blackbirds. So Carl tipped us off, and over we went to get some photos. Sure enough, there were 13 blackbirds sitting there unperturbed. I decided to interview one of them and to get a quote. He wasn’t shy — quoth the raven, “Nevermore.” After that there were no more quothes.

It seems one of the innkeepers at the Quaker found the birds and put them up for Halloween. While we were there perusing the blackbirds, a young man named Nick Scott, age 14, came flying out of the house trying to make a getaway on his bike. Nick, a personable 14-year-old student at St.Rose, is the son of Liz Scott, one of the innkeepers. She preferred not to be in the picture, but Nick agreed to pose with the birds; that’s not to say that he is for the birds — only with the birds. Not that there’s anything wrong with being for the birds.

Nick Scott, Ocean Grover who was fearless in posing with a fake flock of finely feathered flying blackbirds. PG photo

The Quaker Inn dates back to 1877, making it an old hotel. It’s terrific if you are from out of town and feel like packing up all your cares and woes. There are no woes at the Quaker. So, if no one seems to love or understand you, this is the place.

The Quaker Inn sans blackbirds. Website photo.

SOUNDTRACK: From the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” by Joe Cocker (who sure sounds a lot like Ray Charles, but they cannot be brothers).

Read Full Post »

Dave Shotwell emerges from the Atlantic after a Thanbksgiving dip. Ocean Grove, 2015. Blogfinger photo. © Click to enlarge and look for goosebumps.

Dave Shotwell emerges from the Atlantic after a Thanksgiving dip. Ocean Grove, 2015. Blogfinger photo. © Click to enlarge and look for goosebumps.

Chico and the man, Grover Moe Demby, enjoy some Thanksgiving games. © Blogfinger photo ©

Chico and the man, Grover Moe Demby, enjoy some Thanksgiving games. © Blogfinger photo ©

Quite a few folks in Ocean Grove were out today for a sunny nearly 70 degree Thanksgiving  day in the Grove.  This morning  there were a few people downtown on Main Avenue, walking around or having a coffee at the OG Bakery.

Two workers were operating heavy machinery at the 50 Main Avenue building site. That was an insensitive and disrespectful thing to do, especially when people were already downtown early on Thanksgiving, trying to enjoy small town America in the historic seaside village of Ocean Grove, a community with a unique personality and style that doesn’t normally include construction work on Thanksgiving morning.  Fortunately the workers  didn’t stay very long.

Downtown the OG Bakery was serving coffee and…..outside their tables were still set up.  Some people were on their feet watching the workers. The flower shop was open.

At the beachfront, folks were playing with their dogs by the water’s edge, and Dave Shotwell, a Grover, was taking a swim in the 50 degree frigid water. He didn’t spend much time in the surf, but he emerged refreshed, and he wasn’t even shivering. Evidently he has done this ritual in the past.  The boardwalkers were active, and we met some who were from out of town.

In Firemen’s Park, a spirited game of Wiffle ball was going on. (see below.)

 

ELLA FITZGERALD  with a big band:

Read Full Post »

Ken and Annie plan to make Ocean Grove their home. Founders Park. 7/31/17. Stephen Goldfinger, Blogfinger staff. ©

Annie and Ken, from Inwood, New York City, are singers.  They first met on the OG beach a few years ago when they came to town to sing in the Annual Choir Festival.  But it turned out that they harmonized in ways that they hadn’t planned, and now they are married and they will  soon leave NYC and move full time to Ocean Grove.

Our reporter Stephen struck up a conversation with Annie and Ken in Founders Park where they hit the right note with this spontaneous pose.    (Re-posted from July, 2017)

THE WESTERN SWING AUTHORITY:

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

Some Grovers are investing huge sums to create authentic Victorian restorations like this gorgeous newly redone Main Avenue showplace, but that alone does not define us.  Paul Goldfinger photo May 2, 2017.

 

Another ambitious Victorian restoration. Note the original siding being brought back to life at great expense . Blogfinger photo © Ocean Grove at  Main Avenue.

 

Ocean Grove July 4 parade, 2015. A truly unique community event. Paul Goldfinger photograph

 

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger–updated and re-posted from 2017.

 

In 2019, on its 150th birthday, Ocean Grove is a small town without a clear sense of identity.  It has a local government that treats us like an appendage to be milked, but otherwise there is no love emanating from Neptune Township. We may be part of Neptune officially, but we are clearly NOT part of Neptune in our hearts.  Most towns have a continuous thread of history that has resulted in a strong sense of identity, but not Ocean Grove.

Citizens say that they “love” the town, but the definition of that love remains undefined.   Many just like being here at the beach.  Is the Grove  just a collection of old houses interspersed in another cozy shore town?   Or  maybe it is the perception of the town as a place with an unusual and special  culture that attracts people to live here.

Many  like the urban feel, the friendly neighborhoods, the comfortable  sidewalks for walking, the porch culture, and the magic of summer evenings on the boards or fun at the beach.  And for some it is the closest nicest shore town to NYC.

Those who say they “love the town”  often have little knowledge of the town’s history as a religious enclave.  They have no interest in it as a historic place recognized by State and Federal historic registries.  So, to what extent is OG an authentic and serious historic district—a very special place for that reason?

A related question is whether this town was conceived as a tourist attraction?  The answer to that is an emphatic no.  Sure, in the late 1800’s, religious tourists came here in droves, mostly by train, and that identity persists to a  lesser extent today,  but the CMA community is no longer as central to life in Ocean Grove as it once was.  OG evolved into a residential community with cottages and boarding houses.   The Victorian buildings were  less valued than they are today and many had gone into decline.   Its census population was more than it is today.

Forty years ago, the downtown was not a tourist place to have a burger, buy a T shirt, take a tour, go to a massive craft show on the Pathway, or close down Main Avenue to sell Thai food or sell shlocky art or display old British cars.

Instead the downtown had a serious grocery/butcher shop, several doctors’ offices, a video store,a flower shop, a cleaners, a cafeteria, a newsstand, a newspaper, a drug store, a barber shop,  a fishing club, a seashell shop, and a town pool.   In other words it was a town that was largely for the residents. So many towns at the shore are not  primarily for tourists, for example Atlantic Highlands, Avon-by-the Sea, Long Beach Island, Spring Lake, Deal, Avalon, and Allenhurst.

But now Ocean Grove has become  a mish-mash—a combination of all of the above; but for those who actually  live here  (year round or part-time), or want to live here, we need to define our situation more clearly: what is the heart and soul of this town?  Or maybe those attributes don’t even exist. Maybe it will never be that sort of town.

Elected officials do not really represent the Grove’s citizens. So democracy doesn’t exist as defined by representative government. The Neptunite governing operation is like a secret foreign occupying power that has undercover agents and contacts who live among us, but has underlying agendas based upon self interest.

A local government is supposed to represent its community of residents and try to make their lives better, but our situation now is the opposite.  Witness the efforts to bring large numbers of tourists to town to the consternation of those who live here, and the failure to solve problems like zoning abuses, over-building, and the invasion of the parking snatchers.

The Camp Meeting Association ran the town for 111 years.  During that time, until 1980, they had reason to believe that the unique religious culture which prevailed till then, as odd as it was in America, would last  forever.  They certainly did not envision the town becoming a historic site.  They had no problem letting many of the early houses deteriorate. And it is unclear if stores during those years sold T shirts, surf boards, jewelry or pizza.

But when Ocean Grove was handed over to Neptune Township in 1980, and with the CMA giving up governance and most blue laws,  it was like a child who lost his parents and was given to someone for foster care—for money.

The town, which was becoming quite diverse by 1980, went forward without a clear sense of who or what it was, and today, what is its character and purpose?

The result is a place with a variety of power centers, all self interested  and largely propelled by an active real-estate market;  and all without the will to find a framework, a common identity, and direction for the town as a whole.

So the town of Ocean Grove, lacking leadership and a sense of town-wide community, is adrift and thus what goes on here is helter-skelter and out of focus.  That is why no progress is made in solidifying the town as a real place with its own sense of being.  If it weren’t for the homeowners who have brought to life historic homes that had been on life-support, this would be a pretty disheveled and much less desirable place.

The vision of an authentic historic town, defined by its historic designations, is currently fraudulent because most citizens don’t give a rat’s tail about its history. Even the “Historic Preservation Commission” has gone dark and has seemingly slipped into the shadows, never to be trusted again.

It is rare to find a historical event here such as re-enactments, poetry readings, vintage music concerts, classical street musicians, jazz, and educational programs about the town’s history for those who actually live here.  Instead we shut down Main Avenue for car shows and we crowd the town with huge numbers of strangers (ie tourists)  to have giant retail events of no value to the town itself while the residents struggle to find a parking place and to share our streets with the free parkers heading to Asbury.

We have had a major Walt Whitman Poetry Festival and a Blogfinger Film Festival (for collegiate film students.)  And we had arts in the parks,  People’s Garden Tours, classical street musicians, and other community cultural events, but most of them died on the vine.

The Ocean Grove Homeowners Association has no idea what it should be doing, and its leadership has no idea what its mandate is. It is not only essentially worthless in terms of bringing this town together and forward, but it has actually become a force working against the people—a subversive presence.

Jack Bredin is correct that the only workable solution is to become our own town again  (it actually happened for one year in 1925, but the church vs state  dilemma caused it to collapse on itself.) Perhaps it is possible once again, but not in a place where the citizens are apathetic and don’t seem to care about a vision for the town.

So  Ocean Grove, despite some wonderful attributes, is poorly defined, and the citizens are seemingly satisfied to ride the waves, sleep on the beach and enjoy being here, much like so many other Jersey Shore towns, although many of those towns actually have their acts together and know who they are or what they want to be. For example Belmar has only one mega-event each year.  Its mayor says that his main concern are the town’s residents.  The beach scene is a given in all Shore towns.

Bradley Beach , our neighbor to the south, which lacks the history that we have, knows what it is.   Go there to experience a true Jersey Shore town.  Forget the architecture, just view it as a fine place to enjoy the shore.   Take a deep breath and smell the ocean.  Go on Main Street on a summer night and have some Thai food or terrific Italian delicacies.  Sit outside at a real  coffee shop and watch the young people walking by or heading towards the boardwalk.  Bradley Beach has a heart and soul which goes all the way back to its founding. It knows what it is, and that’s a good thing.

And here’s a song for the kids in town, especially the teenagers who breathe life into the town no longer  known as “Ocean Grave.”

THE CRESTS:

Read Full Post »

Sackman Enterprises created 98 rental units near the beach in A. Park.  They own other properties in AP including a new condo project and the restored Steinbach building.  They also  own #60 Main Avenue in OG.   (the brick pizza building with high rentals)   Internet photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

Here is a link to a post we published last July regarding the relationship between OG and A. Park. It raises some important issues.

OG AP connection

In Ocean Grove the pressure on “our” parking will continue to increase due to the Asbury parkers. And this is on top of other parking concerns such as the Camp Meeting Association’s plans to increase its year round programming, and the ambitious new activities at the Jersey Shore Arts Center which has new year-round events that have made life intermittently difficult over in that west end Grovarian neighborhood, and the JSAC has even more ambitious plans for the future.

And then there is the pressure  (as with the Warrington site) to create multi-unit condominium or hotel units without offering off-street parking. Added to the mixed bag is the  continued large-scale extravaganzas by the Chamber of Commerce which shuts down our streets and crams thousands of tourists for their big events.  They, the Township, and the CMA have done nothing to help residents with the parking situation during these grid-lock megalomaniac events.

Real estate in Asbury Park continues to be hot as millennials*  come into town to be close to the Asburian action. A side effect of that is the growing AP housing demand resulting in real estate spillover to Ocean Grove—–be close to the action while paying less for housing here.  But then we will see rising price pressure in OG.

If you go to any fine restaurant in A. Park you will find well-healed young people enjoying expensive dinners.  This trend will increase, and a large new high-rise building near the ocean will have condominiums, a hotel, stores and offices.

Some condos in AP have doubled  (or more) in value in just a few years,  and resales can bring up to $1 million.  There are quite a few smaller condominium conversions as well as large units all over Asbury-town, especially at their north end.    Of course they have parking problems that keep increasing.   A recent condo project recently took over a parking lot near Wesley Lake.  All of this development impacts Ocean Grove to some extent.  Woe is us!.

And how about the street water runoff into Wesley Lake?  Jack and I visited the Monroe  work site  a few months ago  (below)  and all we saw regarding the Lake’s ecology were a few ironic storm drains along the lake with a carving of a fish on them.

Where is the DEP?   We hear that the DEP plans to get involved in shore lake management, but so far, no news on that front.

Storm sewer on the Asbury side of Wesley Lake. Blogfinger photo. Click to see the ironic fish.

This is the newly built  Monroe which faces Wesley Lake on the AP side. Internet photo.

In addition, Bradley Beach has become hot with higher prices for homes that sold for a lot less not long ago.  This is the Asbury Park effect to the south of OG. And you can buy alcoholic beverages in BB.

It’s interesting that back in the day, when AP  had roaring honky tonk going on, people from BB, Avon and other southern destinations  would walk through OG, heading north on the boards, admire the scenery and the peacefulness of our town, and then proceed as fast as they could to reach the promised land of Asburian hot-times before some Grover calls them sinners.   Now the Asbury Park two-step is back again, and developers want to turn OG into AP South.com.

Some buyers are seeking houses in OG and BB as sources of income for Air B& B and more long range rentals.  From the point of view of OG residents, this is not good news.  This kind of activity can change Ocean Grove significantly.

*Millennials often are highly educated and have good jobs. Now they have saved some money and they are looking for housing around here.  Some condos in AP have doubled their valuations  (and along with it their property taxes.)

The  Pew Research Center will use 1996 as the last birth year for Millennials.    Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 22-37 in 2018) will be considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward will be part of a new generation.

This is an explosive  time for the staid Victorian town of Ocean Grove.  Anyone who lives here, full time or part time or as a vacation destination should be aware.

LIANNE LA HAVAS     from the movie Loving Vincent—-“Starry, Starry Night”

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: