Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove lifestyles’ Category

10:50 am, and the crowd has already assembled on the Ocean Grove pier. December 7, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photographs. ©

10:50 am, and the crowd has already assembled on the Ocean Grove pier. December 7, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photographs. ©  Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Blogfinger.net    While we are on the subject of Pearl Harbor Day.

Every December 7, at 11:00 am, a group of service club members and citizens meet at the fishing pier to remember the atrocity which was Pearl Harbor. We lost 2,400 Americans on that day in 1941 “which shall live in infamy”  (FDR.)

The Ocean Grove event is quite unusual as most towns in USA do not have such ceremonies.  Each year the ritual is unchanged:  The Neptune High School color guard is present; military organizations are there; taps are played, a prayer is recited, and “God Bless America”  is sung.  A few words are spoken to remember the soldiers and sailors who died that day, and mention was made of those who made the supreme sacrifice for America in other conflicts.    A floral wreath is tossed into the ocean.

Taps sound and echo over the water. Blogfinger.net ©

Taps sound and echo over the water. Blogfinger.net ©


As the crowd began to disburse, a female member of the Neptune VFW  heads back and then enters the beach,  walking slowly to the waters edge, as if to offer her personal tribute.  Then she walks back onto the boards where Blogfinger gets to speak to her for a few minutes  (see below).

Neptune High School honor guard. Blogfinger .net ©

Neptune High School honor guard. Blogfinger .net ©


Neptune VFW. Blogfinger.net ©

Neptune VFW. Blogfinger.net ©


The color guard must be shown in color. Blogfinger.net ©

The color guard must be shown in color. Blogfinger.net ©


RUBY BRAFF AND DICK HYMAN  “America the Beautiful”


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Paul Goldfinger ©. July 4 parade in Ocean Grove.  Wesley Lake swan boats.  Main Avenue. 2016. Blogfinger.net



BRIAN WILSON:  From  Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin


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The Albatross. Ocean Pathway, Ocean Grove.   Blogfinger photo © 2017 re-post on the occasion of the 2021 sale.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor   Blogfinger.net:


The article below was from 2017 on Blogfinger when a reader called the Albatross “..just another menace to society.”  But rest assured that the recent drug raid on Oct. 9, 2020, on Ocean Pathway was at another address, closer to the ocean—-a tribute to skepticism regarding preconceived notions and stereotypes.


Ocean Pathway drug bust Oct 9 2020



From Samuel Taylor’s  poem :    Ryme of the Ancient Mariner:

“With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross.

‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.”

But now, in Ocean Grove, Joe Grove has something similar to say about the Albatross, but he is referring to an old hotel on the Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ.

“The Albatross has been functioning as vagrant housing. It seems the B and B’s of Ocean Grove have a 10 day stay limit for guests and to circumvent this limitation one simply has to change rooms. The Albatross is apparently applying a 90 day limitation and has basically converted into vagrant housing. The residents from the Whitfield and La Pierre are staying there under contract with a state agency.

“To have a B and B  on the Pathway between the Great Auditorium and the boardwalk pavilion operating under this charade is pretty amazing. The integrity of the surrounding area has negatively impacted other residents, and the vagrants in the Albatross have definitely left their mark with cigarette butts and other trash inconsiderately tossed on the streets.

“Hats off to the owner of the Albatross which has become just another menace to society…”

There had been talk that the owner of the Albatross would like to turn it into condominiums, but we don’t know for sure. It had some moments of fame on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

As portrayed on HBO–cast as an early 20th century hotel; which it is. Blogfinger photo of the TV showing Boardwalk Empire (HBO).

The Albatross appears in “Boardwalk Empire”

But why can’t these old hotels succeed as they did in the past?  The Manchester Inn seemed successful, but the owner wanted condos….and then it burned down.  Single family homes resulted.  But others deteriorated like the Whitfield which was demolished and will become single family homes.  One recently tried to become a drug rehab center.  And yet others have become condominiums with pseudo-Victorian facades and no parking, increased congestion, and no character.

But Neptune’s elected officials  should  owe their allegiance to the citizens of the “historic district” and not to developers.  The ideal should be a historic town that brings comfort and beauty to the residents and the visitors.  It should be a place with honesty, light and air.  It should attract art, music, children, flowers, teenagers, yard sales, dinner on the porches, bicyclists, film festivals, ice cream, theater, girls in summer clothes, good eateries, diversity, and more….not trash and scum in Wesley Lake, not politicians in the shadows,  and not cigarette butts on the ground.

Too bad for the owners, but the dying old hotels should revert to single family homes.  Why did the Township bother to write a master plan?

And what will happen to Ocean Grove in the future—maybe it will become like Ocean Grove, Australia, which now bears no resemblance to Osborne’s dream.  It’s a surfers’ town now. Maybe that’s OK.  Some wouldn’t care if our Grove were to drift away to become something else.


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Witches assemble on Heck Avenue for Halloween. 10/31/15. © Paul Goldfinger photograph

Witches assemble on Heck Avenue for Halloween. Under the levity is what?  10/31/15. © Paul Goldfinger photograph.


YO YO MA: ” Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The eternal vow”   by Tan Dun



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A tale of two bicycles on a Sunday in Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger ©




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Boardwalk Pavilion. Summer, 2017. Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net.  Click to see Harry’s head better—it’s right in front of us—the guy with the trumpet.


Link to a prior BF post about the summer band:

Summer band Jean Bredin

This group loves to play Broadway show music thanks to Harry Eichhorn.   Here is the original Broadway cast of Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein:

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Wet, windy Monday in OG. The cottage is blue too.  Blogfinger photo.  November 30, 2020. Beware of the…




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Memorial Day weekend in the Grove. May 28, 2017. Paul Goldfinger photo. © Click for a closer view.


“It’s Easy to Remember (and so Hard to Forget).”   This song is from a 1935 movie Mississippi by Richard Rodgers (music) and Lorenz Hart (lyrics.)

“Your sweet expression
The smile you gave me
The way you looked when we met
It’s easy to remember
But so hard to forget

“I hear you whisper
‘I’ll always love you’
I know it’s over and yet
It’s easy to remember
But so hard to forget

“So I must dream
To have your hand caress me
Fingers, press me tight
I’d rather dream
Than have that lonely feeling
Stealing through the night

“Each little moment
Is clear before me
And though it brings me regret
It’s easy to remember
And so hard to forget…”



JOHN COLTRANE   (instrumental)




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Ocean Grove: Can we keep it? Paul Goldfinger photograph along the edges of Wesley Lake/Lake Avenue. © Undated  Click to enlarge.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.net.  This is a repost from 2017 updated in 2021.

Probably the biggest complaint about the Historic Preservation Commission relates to its inconsistencies.  For example, a Grover couple owns a large Victorian home that they have tried to maintain with great attention to its historic attributes.   It is actually a Victorian showplace.  Up in back of their house there is a staircase ascending to an access at the second floor.  They wanted to put a fairly small deck up there.  It would be barely visible from the street and would improve the couple’s life-style.  But the HPC refused the request on the grounds that such a structure was not historic.

Yet around the Grove there are all sorts of porches and decks that have been added. Just take a walk and you can see them.  If you were a prospective home buyer here, you might look around and think that such decks are historic.

We had one on the second floor, in the rear, of our Centennial Home on Heck Avenue.   If I tried to build that from scratch, it might (or might not) be approved. The HPC is unpredictable.  Another person we know  was given permission to put up a deck just like the rejected couple’s.

Double standards by the HPC  (as with their parental  group, the Township Committee) are toxic to good will and lifestyles in this town.

But if some of you are shocked, shocked that we might have double standards at the HPC, consider this:

And, speaking of astonishing double standards, consider the photo below:

HPC approved this “historic design” on Ocean Avenue in a fairly conspicuous location. Blogfinger photograph. ©

The funny thing about this building is that locals and visitors find it to be amusing.  So, thanks to the HPC, we have a giant conversation piece that is famous not for its Victorian architecture, but as a sort of joke; and the HPC has become the straight man for this humorous offering which does nothing for our town’s reputation and designation as an example of  historic preservation.  And rumor has it that the HPC allowed a historic roof top pool, something Rev. Stokes himself would have been shocked over.

One sport in town is to provide it with ironic nicknames.  For example, one person in the Grove calls it “An Ode to Cement.”   We call it the “Greek Temple.”  Somebody else refers to it as “The Bank.”  What do you call it?

2021 update:  As many of you know, the North End Redevelopment Plan has been tied up in meetings with the HPC. The Township has failed to keep the citizens of Ocean Grove informed as to what’s going on, and the HPC is on mute.

As you know, the HPC only concerns itself with exterior design issues.

We have already seen preliminary drawings of the project, so for many of us, that project should not have been permitted in the first place, and I have no information as to what the HPC is fussing over, but we will probably be left with the same concerns: blocked views,  blocked breezes, crowding, neighborhood congestion, environmental issues, and a significant change in the town’s character, appearance and mood.

It will be Asbury Park South. And the timing, now that the town is changing in a variety of ways, is unfortunate.  This project will slither in silently under the door, while the rest of the town is concerning itself with COVID, many new citizens, many rentals including Airbnb and its problems, a striking sellers real estate market with great demands by buyers, a shortage of affordable rental housing, and rising prices for rentals and buys that have shut many out of the market.  The town needs stores that provide services to those who live in town, and such down-home businesses will not be found at the new North End.


DOOLEY WILSON  from Casablanca   “As time goes by.”

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New Jersey Marathon in Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo © 2015.


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger,net.  (Re-post from 2017 and then 2019)

On August 23, 2017, Newsmax published its top 50 religious landmarks in America.  They began their coverage with this:

“Christian pastors and Jewish rabbis and leaders have initiated nearly every significant sociopolitical event in America. Their churches and synagogues were catalysts and hubs that made possible the American War of Independence, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and civil rights. They founded schools and hospitals, created architectural wonders, and emphasized the preservation of nature.

“Religious landmarks in most of the original 13 states could easily fill their own top 50 lists, especially the cities of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. However, these sites exemplify the diversity of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and commitment to religious freedom — the hallmark of American exceptionalism.”


The statement above is extraordinary and true.


Below is what they said about Ocean Grove. (…ranked #1 among the 50 religious landmarks in America.)


1. “God’s Square Mile;” Ocean Grove, New Jersey; 1869 This popular seaside retreat, concert, and vacation destination for millions is a lasting testament to the Victorian-era revivalist movement that followed the Second Great Awakening.

“Methodist ministers founded Ocean Grove believing ‘religion and recreation should go hand in hand.’   Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this quaint town is crammed with picturesque Victorian homes, antiques, a historic Auditorium, chapel, and tent community, and offers numerous tours and activities on land, sea, and air. Methodists still gather here regularly as well as other Christian groups.”


Editor’s Note:

This Newsmax designation is huge, at least in the eyes of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association.  It  is a great honor for the CMA, but it perpetuates the myth that Ocean Grove is still a religious community and not a small town with multiple factions including the CMA.

You will notice that OG is the only town on the list. They did not name a true “landmark” such as  The Great Auditorium. The rest on the list are mostly buildings from all over America, such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral.   So does the religious aspect of OG meet the definition of “landmark?”

And, it is wrong to continue characterizing OG as if nothing has changed, and it is wrong to refer to the religious life here as “Ocean Grove” which is a place where there is more going on than the CMA’s activities.

The CMA is a powerful presence here, but the most salient historic emblems of the town are the Victorian homes which are maintained and paid for by a largely secular and diverse community of residents. Without that Victorian architectural renaissance, OG would not be on this list or the National and State Historic Registers.

This award will have practical consequences, and perhaps our readers would like to speculate as to what these consequences will be.

Here is a link to the Newsmax presentation:



BEN WEBSTER (tenor sax.)  “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz.

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