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Archive for the ‘Photography in Asbury Park’ Category

Fire station is at 800 Main Street, at Asbury Avenue in A.Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. 4/14/18.

 

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND

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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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This Zombie was photographed 2 years ago in A.Park, but now we bring her back to the Grove. Paul goldfinger portrait. ©

This Zombie was photographed several  years ago in A.Park, but now we bring her back to the Grove for a command performance.  Arrrggh.   Paul Goldfinger portrait. ©

 

MARSHALL BROTHERS with a doo-wop performance for Halloween:

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Winter doldrums...can we laugh them off? By Bob Bowné January 7, 2016. © Special to Blogfinger.

Winter doldrums…can we laugh them off?  Asbury Park Carousel building.  By Bob Bowné January 7, 2016. © Special to Blogfinger. Click to enlarge.

FATS WALLER   “Winter Weather.”

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St. John’s Island. Sunset Lake.  Asbury Park.  There is a white shore bird on the island which is hard to see. It is an immature great blue heron. Paul Goldfinger ©

 

BOB DYLAN    “Once Upon a Time.”  From his album Triplicate.

 

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Boardwalk Casino, Asbury Park, as seen from the Ocean Grove side, c. 2011. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

Boardwalk Casino, Asbury Park, as seen from the Ocean Grove side, c. 2011. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

The name Casino conjures up life in 1950’s Havana.  This song is from the Casino Life album featuring  Don Azplazo and the Havana Casino Orchestra with “Amor Sincero”  (true love)

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Asbury Park dog beach. Late afternoon.  By Paul Goldfinger. July, 2015. ©   Click to enlarge

ENGLEBERT HUMPERDINCK:

 

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Lovely to look at, delightful to know, kinky perhaps.      Paul Goldfinger portrait. © 2014.

 

MAX RAABE AND CHRISTOPH ISRAEL

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A warm greeting at Bonney Read. By Paul Goldfinger. September, 2016. Asbury Park, NJ. Blogfinger.net ©

A warm greeting at Bonney Read, 525 Cookman Ave.  By Paul Goldfinger. September, 2016. Asbury Park, NJ. Blogfinger.net ©

 

by Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Eileen and I were prowling around Cookman Avenue today.   It seems as if every time we go there,  we make new discoveries.  Bonney Read is a sea-food restaurant with “classic chowder house” cooking.

I was snapping a few photos through the open doors when a waiter popped up and invited us to get a few shots inside.  It seemed like a friendly and inviting establishment, and we love seafood, so Blogfinger will return for a restaurant review. You can check the menu on-line.

Mussels, clams, lobsters and much more at Bonney Read. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Mussels, clams, lobsters and much more at Bonney Read. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

The two wait staff guys below were desperate to pose for a picture.  They were hams in a sea food eatery.  I do have another shot without the junior high shenanigans, but after a second review by Eileen, we decided that this pose was probably just right.

 

This is why we prefer candid shots. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Frick and Frack, or is it Abbott and Costello?   This is why we prefer candid shots. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

FROM THE DISNEY FILM “RATATOUILLE,”

 

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A. Park beach fun. August, 2016

A. Park beach fun. August, 2016. Click to enlarge.

 

MOUND CITY BLUE BLOWERS:   “Thanks a Million.”

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