Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove lifestyles’ Category

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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Greenleaf Park is at the  corner of New York Avenue, Mt. Tabor Way and Mt. Carmel Way.   Paul Goldfinger photograph © 7/17/17. Ocean Grove, NJ.    Click to enlarge the magic.


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


In a prior Blogfinger post  I said this about the park above:

“Another park which has puzzled me is the one bounded by New York Avenue, Mt. Carmel Way and Mt. Tabor Way.  I like to walk through it on the way past the tents to arrive by the Beersheba Fountain, near the Great Auditorium. It’s a beautiful shady place, but what’s its name?  It turns out that it is “Greenleaf Park.”


I went there today  at 5:30 pm during a warm Monday twilight in July.  The light was dappled as it trickled through the leaves, moving with the breezes.

Monday early evening is quiet and peaceful. There  is little traffic and plenty of parking.  If you walk past the tents, as I did on the way through this park, I could hear Gordon Turk playing the Hope Jones organ.  The music carried from the Great Auditorium and was soft and sweet.

In the park I was attracted to a Victorian house with blue siding. The color was soft in that light, but there was no magic. A National Geographic photographer once told me that he would stay still in a beautiful location hoping that something would happen to add “magic” to the image. Usually that would be the arrival of a person.

Just then a woman came by with her dog. She was walking quickly, but there was something about her presence.  All I got was one exposure.

As she came by I said to her, “I just took your picture.”

She was pleased by that news.  She commented on how lovely the park was just then. It seems that she is a new Grover who came here to start a new life.

She said, “It’s magical here. I love this town. It saved me.”

I said, “You have to actually live here or spend some time to understand that there are moments like this that are alive and wonderful.”

I gave her a BF card hoping that one exposure would be good, and it was.

But, if our town is at its most magical when it is quiet and dreamy and inspirational and beautiful, then why in the world would we allow the Neptuners, the Chamber of Commerce, and the CMA  to encourage us to be overrun with tourists and crowds and cars and condominiums and commercialism?



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Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. May, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. May, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge



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We were out of town today, July 14, 2021, for this year’s fish and chips dinner sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary (one L)   We hope some of you got to enjoy this marvelous event replete with fun and fish oils.

For those who never saw it, this 2016 re-post will make you plan to go next year.  Note you can also see the 2019 post by searching the search box above.

Paul  and Eileen  at Blogfinger.net

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

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

Paul Goldfinger photo at fish and chips. Ocean Grove.

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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Moe Demby©  Heck Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ.  Blogfinger.net staff photo. July 2, 2017.





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