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Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove lifestyles’ Category

Ocean Grove, NJ. May visuals. Paul Goldfinger © c. 2016.

 

 

KARRIN ALLYSON from her album Round Midnight

 

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By 6:30 pm there was a long line waiting to get in at the Auditorium Pavilion on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove. © Click to enlarge the photos

By 6:30 pm there was a long line waiting to get in at the Auditorium Pavilion on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove. © Click to enlarge the photos. Blogfinger.net   Reposted from July 2016.

 

The assembly line was well oiled. This was the tartar sauce station. All photos by Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger.net

The assembly line was well oiled. This was the tartar sauce station. All photos by Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger.net

 

You needed to be a red head to work here. It all smelled so good. Nothing like fried fish and chips right out of the fryer. ©

You needed to be a red head to work here. It all smelled so good. Nothing like fried fish and chips right out of the oil. ©  The cooks were professionals from Kearny, NJ, fish and chip mecca.

 

This is the sort of community event that breathes life into a town like OG.

FRED MOLLIN AND THE BLUE SEA BAND  from the movie Ratatouille 

 

 

 

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OG Saturday Giant Flea Market June 2016. Gridlock. Blogfinger photo. ©  Where else can you find this?  Click once to make the crowd bigger.

 

OG mega Flea Market. Blogfinger photo 2016 ©

 

By  Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor@Blogfinger.net

May 5   Spring Fling  Chamber of Commerce closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

May 19  Vintage Car Show  CC  closes down Main Avenue:  gridlock

June 2   Giant Spring Flea Market  CC floods Ocean Pathway with thousands of junksters:   gridlock

June 16 OGCMA  Giant Craft Show —-300 artisans:   Gridlock all over town

June 23   OGCMA Huge Christian festival:  Bridgefest:  Gridlock all over town.

August 4  OGCMA    Saturday of the Camp Meeting Week:   Gridlock all over town.

August 18  OGCMA   Beach boys:  Gridlock evening.

Sept 1 Doo /wop:   Gridlock evening

Sept. 8  Giant Fall flea Market:   CC floods Ocean Pathway —gridlock

Sept 16  British Car Show  CC closes down Main Avenue:   gridlock

October 6 Fall Harvest Festival CC  closes down Main Avenue: gridlock

Note: Every Saturday during the summer season is a gridlock day due to beach attendance and when residents and their guests crowd the town during all those weekends. But that is to be expected. This is a beach town.

But now we are addressing mega Saturday tourist events such as the Giant Craft Show on the Pathway which make the town hopelessly paralyzed.

So what other Jersey Shore towns have so many gridlock Saturday special events geared towards tourists and oppressively imposed  on the residents?

Consider Bradley Beach:  Just one–The Lobster Festival.  Holiday celebrations such as Memorial Day weekend don’t count because they are automatically part of summer.      The rest are things like line dancing, music on the boards, opera by the sea, Italian Festival, Bradley Beach Day etc. which are primarily for the residents and don’t cause gridlock.

Here is a link to our recent piece about the struggle in Bradley Beach over one such mega event.  It’s very interesting:

Bf reports on Bradley Beach struggle with mega-event

Consider Belmar mega:  Just a car show and the NJ Seafood  Festival.

Consider Avon mega:  no mega events

Consider Asbury mega:  Oyster Festival.  They have many activities including music, shows, farmers markets, fine restaurants, bars and boardwalk events like the Zombies,  but these enhance the image of A. Park and are not merely mega events to suck in huge numbers of tourists like we have. They have crowds and parking issues, but those crowds are drawn to the vibe of A. Park not to giant marketplaces where you can just buy stuff.

Consider Seaside Heights:  Nothing mega.   Jersey Shore Festival;  otherwise arts and crafts, boardwalk fun/food, and soccer tourney.

Consider Spring Lake:  Nothing mega.  Just sensible small events for residents and guests:    House tour, art in the park, garden tour, art walk, sidewalk sale, etc.

 

Only OG has huge  events that overwhelm the town.    What good does any of this do for the people of Ocean Grove?  The CMA mostly attracts crowds from outside the Grove.  All of the Shore  towns have events, but they are primarily for the residents, such as ballroom dancing, concerts on the boardwalk, competitions for kids, etc.

Of the towns listed, we are the smallest and the most paralyzed by contrived tourist events.  There is no reason to continue these overwhelming Saturday gridlocks—the Township needs to reduce the numbers to be in line with other Jersey  Shore towns.  But will they?  No.   These other communities make sure that their citizens enjoy the summer season in their home towns.  Tourism, yes, but sensibly done.

Do the people of Ocean Grove want their town to be a circus every Saturday in season?  Here is a march from Barnum and Bailey:

 

 

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Tewksbury girls at the Ocean Grove Flea Market.  May, 2015 Flea Market. Paul Goldfinger photo ©   Click to enlarge.

RIHANNA:  ‘You Da One.”

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Ocean Grove beach. June, 2002. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

 

Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

Jack, Kevin and I left the Mother Ship to return to our car after attending  the Neptune Township Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA)  meeting  May 2, 2018.  But as we walked through the parking lot we were approached by a couple who had attended the Aurora Hotel hearing but did not say a word during the hearing for which they had traveled one hour to attend.

They said that they moved to the Grove in 2005 because they thought it was a “charming and special place.”   Like so many who have moved here, they had fallen in love with this unique small town, but in recent years, they noticed a decline in their quality of life.

They mentioned the noise and congestion.  A strong sense of community had failed to materialize.  Parking had become awful, and the town was becoming overrun with tourists who often clogged the streets causing gridlock that was becoming progressively worse.

The heavy-handed Neptune government was allowing a deterioration of  historical preservation, culture and zoning in the Grove, and their decisions were causing perceptible damage to life styles for residents.

They thought the taxes were  exorbitant for what they received in return.  Then they had enough and moved to a New Jersey town that was more appealing to them. They still own their OG home, but they rented it out.

The couple  came to the meeting with the slim hope that the ZBA would do the right thing for one of OG’s historic treasures, but they were disappointed by the indicators at the hearing.  Their plan now is to sell their OG home.

We know others who also have moved or are thinking about leaving for a variety of similar reasons. One of those reasons is the inconsistency of the HPC.  And then there are the wrong-headed, impotent Home Groaners.  The Chamber just makes things worse with their self-interested giant mega events.

As for zoning, “The primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible. But in practice, zoning also is used to prevent new development from interfering with existing uses and/or to preserve the ‘character’ of a community.  (Wikipedia.)”     In other words, zoning is supposed to offer protection and to level the land-use playing field for everyone.

The NY State Office of General Counsel says,  “Courts have regularly found a legitimate purpose in zoning regulations which are aimed at achieving a homogeneous, traditional single-family neighborhood. ”

But in the town of Ocean Grove, special interests get to defy land use laws in order to provide special deals for developers, politicians, the CMA, and others. An example is the designation of the North End as an area in need of redevelopment, abolishing desirable single family housing zoning.

Residents experience growing frustration and find themselves at the bottom of the priority list.

Ocean Grove, after peaking and looking like it had a bright future as a marvelous place to live year-round, has shown unmistakable signs of losing ground in the quest to evolve into a fair-minded residential historic district with unique character, culture and community.

 

GERRY MULLIGAN.  “Here’s That Rainy Day.”

 

 

 

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Founders’ Park. April 24, 2018. Paul Goldfinger ©. Click to enlarge.

ART GARFUNKEL:

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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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Ocean Pathway, OG. Paul Goldfinger photo ©   c. Summer, 2015.  click to enlarge.

 

CHIFFONS:

 

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A. Park as seen from Ocean Grove across Wesley Lake. Paul Goldfinger photograph © c. 2014

A. Park as seen from Ocean Grove across Wesley Lake. Paul Goldfinger photograph © c. 2014.  click to enlarge

 

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@ Blogfinger.net   Photos and text.  Re-posted from July, 2016, but relevant in 2018 regarding the contrasts between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove.

In case you haven’t noticed, according to last Sunday’s NY Times,  Asbury Park, at least the part by the ocean, is a huge success attracting hot-shots from all over the mid-Atlantic to this “beach destination.”  It seems that the turning point is the new 110 room Asbury Hotel, a brilliantly conceived venue which the chief designer, Anda Andrei, calls “luxury with modesty.”

According to the Times, the “City  by the Sea” has officially risen from the ashes and has become a place where “everyone and everything” is happening.  Below are some of the observations reported  by the Times in their featured article in the “Next Stop” series on Sunday, July 10, 2016, written by Eric Lipton, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist:

“IStar is the NYC based real estate company that owns all 35 acres of beachfront land.  Madison Marquette is the company in charge of leasing retail space at the beachfront.   These companies plan to invest over $1 billion in AP over the next 10 years.”

Regarding the demographics of those who populate the scene in AP, it is described as an “eclectic mix of professionals, families, young bar hoppers, and a large gay population—-all of them across income levels.”

The author of the article said, “Now the rebirth of Asbury Park is no longer in question.  The only question that does remain is how much of Asbury’s character will be retained as it becomes a summertime mecca again.”

The executive in charge of iStar told the Times that “his company is determined not to turn Asbury Park into Disneyland.”

You can already get a feel for that when you check out the eating establishments on the boards—no pizza slices and French fries for them.

“The music scene is still the element that holds Asbury Park together with at least eight venues featuring live music.”

Paul Goldfinger photograph ©

Paul Goldfinger photograph ©

Downtown more than two dozen restaurants and bars comprise an eclectic collection of fine shops, galleries, and bakeries.   The Festhall and Biergarten across the lake from OG is filled with “over 700 patrons on busy weekend nights.”

Clearly this Times article was aimed at a crowd that would respond to the “Brooklyn by the beach” nickname, but when Eric Lipton wondered about retaining the original AP “character,” it wasn’t clear what image he had in mind.

The article failed to consider that AP is a city that consists of more than just a destination for glitterati.  There are people who live there who are ordinary folks—not hipsters, and they bring a beautiful down-home, multi-racial sensibility to the City which has deeper roots than fancy restaurants and cool destinations.   There is a tapestry in Asbury Park, not just designer clothes.

Asbury Park Boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Asbury Park Boardwalk. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Also there is no recognition in the article of the state of affairs in some parts of town west of the tracks, the poverty, the unemployment, the poor condition of Main Street,  and the pervasive crime problems, primarily surrounding the considerable drug scene over there.

Farmer's market in the Caorusel building. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Farmer’s market in the Carousel building. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  click to see the fun.

And as we all know who live in this area, Asbury Park is not isolated—it has neighbors. Regarding the “eclectic mix” that visits A. Park, the author says that the mix is “in striking contrast to the more stuffy (and staid) nearby beach towns, like Spring Lake.”

Uh, excuse me, but if you are going to contrast Asbury to a nearby town, there is an actual striking contrast with next door Ocean Grove, just south of A. Park—-a much more interesting place than “staid” Spring Lake.

There is a small reference to OG in a side bar which, like most inattentive media, gets it wrong about us—painting us as some shriveled-up museum-like religious town.  He says, “Ocean Grove is a dry town built around religious summer camps—God’s Square Mile is its slogan—-so no bars with music there. But it is a museum of Victorian architecture.”

Ocean Grove as seen from Asbury Park. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove as seen from Asbury Park. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Eric Lipton  mentions our ” more than a dozen bed and breakfast options,” but who would want to visit our embalmed town?  The dynamic interaction between these two beach towns which is developing, goes unrecognized by the media.  Ocean Grove may not be where the cool crowd goes, but our history, diversity, beauty, quietude, and family lifestyles provide quite an impressive and favorable comparison to the sparkling high life going on across Wesley Lake.

So, what will Ocean Grove become by comparison as AP morphs into a very special place with its own character, fame, and attraction?  Will we evolve into a historical prototype of small town America with a famous Victorian architecture, a religious flavor, a unique character, a classy culture, and a wonderful personality of its own that will complement what is happening to the north?

Or will we be left in the dustbin of history as a place with stifling crowding, insoluble  parking concerns, a has-been Victorian success story,  condos all over town, a pseudo-Asbury  at the North End, and a town devoid of community—– known for gizmos and Abba on the Pathway but no art, culture, or values of its own?  All that will be left to focus on will be the Camp Meeting Association with its specific mission and lifestyle—worthy as part of the community, but less impressive all by itself.

CELIA CRUZ:  (Live)   Turn on the music and then look at the gallery below.

An Asbury Park gallery—-the other side of A. Park,  by Paul Goldfinger @Blogfinger.net.   Click on one and follow the arrows.  Use the small X upper left to return to Blogfinger proper  (or improper as the case may be.)

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Shoreline dancers. 2015 July 4 parade in Ocean Grove, NJ Paul Goldfinger photo. Blogfinger.net©  Click to Seymour.

There were women volunteers at our hospital, and we called them “pink ladies” because of their smocks. But this variety of pink ladies are having a great time dancing  in the Ocean Grove Independence Day Parade.

Next month Main Avenue will be invaded by another month-long pinkification campaign promoting “wellness” for women.  But these Main Avenue dancers are a  home-grown reminder for girls and women to stay healthy.   Watch for them this July 4.

SAMUEL WRIGHT  “Kiss the Girl.”  A Disney song:

 

And,  while we are discussing kissing, here is JESSICA MOLASKEY with “A Kiss to Build a Dream On:”

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