Archive for the ‘Photography: Ocean Grove portraits’ Category

Ocean Grove teammates at the Lifeguard Tournament at the OG Beach in 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo.  Boys in their summer clothes.  This 2014 post is among the most requested from the Blogfinger  archive.



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Ronald Naldi, tenor, poses in front of his Ocean Grove tent, a short walk to the Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo, Blogfinger.net. ©

Ronald Naldi, tenor, in front of his Ocean Grove tent, a short walk to the Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo, Blogfinger.net. ©



Q:  Where in the world can you meet a world famous opera singer, wearing a lavender sport jacket, emerging from his tent home, about to leave for his recital—one block away?

A. Ocean Grove, New Jersey, USA.    Only in America.

I was on my way by bike to Ronald Naldi’s Sunday afternoon recital, when I spotted the man himself, getting his wardrobe organized on his porch, having just emerged from his tent, i.e. his summer home in Ocean Grove.

I made a U turn and stopped in front of his abode.   Ron, a lyric tenor, artist-in-residence each summer in the Grove, was almost ready. For those of you who don’t know of him, he is a major star with the Metropolitan Opera in NYC.

I reminded him of who I was, but he was well aware of our Ocean Grove blog.   Actually I knew that from a prior telephone interview, but I wasn’t sure he would recognize me. He cheerfully and enthusiastically agreed when I asked to photograph him in front of his tent. His concert would start in about 15 minutes, so we didn’t chat much, but he did give me the Blogfinger quote of the year:

He said, “I love Blogfinger.…it is the best blog in the world.”

Holy mackerel!   “Thank you,”  I blurted out, “I promise a good review for your concert.”   Goodness—-what a lame thing to say.

He laughed. I jumped on my bike pedaling off towards the Youth Temple—visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head.

The next time I saw him was when he strode on stage  for what Shelley Brown of OG calls “The best concert of the year in Ocean Grove.”

Needless to say, the recital was superb.

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger


RONALD NALDI from his album of Neapolitan Songs.  “Rondine al Nido”

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Little Eddie and Dad--Cousin' Brucie. Mt. Hermon Way at Delaware. Paul Goldfinger photo © Little Eddie and Dad–Cousin’ Brucie. Mt. Hermon Way at Delaware. Paul Goldfinger photo ©   2014.





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Live Nativity in the Great Auditorium December, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo © Live Nativity in the Great Auditorium December, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


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Pegi Costantino, President of the OG Woman’s Club by Paul Goldfinger © at the Club’s vast living room. June, 2019.


STEPHEN DeROSA    From HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.


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Photo by Jean Bredin at the Giant Flea Market in Ocean Grove. Gridlock in town.   The show went on despite a cloudy, rainy day. Sept. 8, 2018.  © Blogfinger.net



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Spring is soon. Ocean Grove , NJ. Stephen is a Grover .  April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


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Donna Fox, Jersey Girl,  2015 at Nagle’s.  Portrait by Paul Goldfinger. “Down the shore everything’s all right.” *


Donna Fox author

–*Song  performed by Bruce Springsteen from Tom Wait’s composition “Jersey Girl.” It plays if you click on the link above.

KELLI O’HARA   from the 2015  Broadway cast album  of  The King and I.

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Portrait of Tom. He’s about to make his first cast at the OG shore. 4:30 pm, Sunday, November 5, 2017.  We changed the clocks today—darker sooner. Click to see the face of a happy man.   Paul Goldfinger photo ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor@Blogfinger.

Late afternoon on a cloudy day at the Ocean Grove South Beach.  There were kids with dads, and guys playing with their dogs in the sand, but overall, the beach was sparsely populated.  Several surf fishermen were out. One was sitting at the edge of the surf talking on his cell phone while watching his line. Can you be in the zone while talking on your cell?  The vibe at the beach was very mellow as the clouds began to darken, and the waves were a bit rambunctious.

Tom Wik lives on Heck Avenue almost close enough to cast from his porch. But he was not keeping his distance as he readied his gear. To fishermen, it is the being there that’s most important.  Catching a fish is secondary.

Tom chose to wait till the end of the day to go surf fishing.  The temperature was about 60 degrees, and given the misty moment, it seemed like Tom picked the perfect time.  Being alone out there might set your mind to wonder why things are as they are.

ART GARFUNKEL:  “I Wonder Why”

“I wonder why it is the sea’s so calm tonight,
The sands are ghostly white
Beneath the moon.
It seems strange to me to stand in endless space,
And know that in this place
I’m held within its timeless sway.”


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All photos from today’s Ocean Grove Yard Sales. This is at Asbury Avenue—Vicki’s house; always a winner for yard sales, and a beautiful location besides. All photos by Paul Goldfinger. Blogfinger.net © Click to enlarge all photos.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

For the third year in a row, the weather posed a threat to the Town-Wide Yard Sale. Last week we postponed the May 13th setting because of horrible rain.  Today, May 20, we expected sunshine, but when we woke up we heard wind gusts, and then, looking out the window, we saw clouds.   It was chilly at 60 degrees, and there were a few little showers late in the morning, causing sellers to open up, cover up, and then start again, often  moving to the porch briefly.  One out-of-towner was cold, so he bought a hoodie from us.

A little rain moved the action onto porches, but only for a few minutes. Blogfinger photo Mt. Hermon Way. ©

We estimate that the Grove had about 60 yard sale sites.  We signed up 49, and there were a number of others that joined in without signing up–I met 3 of those without having to look very hard.   Asbury Park also had a town sale today but they were expecting only 25, and that is over an area larger than the Grove.   Our yard sale manager Vincent  Cannavo said that the density of yard sales in our small town makes for a perfect location for an annual town-wide sale.   Last year we outnumbered Bradley Beach.  There is no data as to how many of our sellers failed to open up because of the weather, but I don’t think there were more than a few.

It’s impossible to know the number of attendees at our yard sales,  Yard sailors told me that they had a fairly successful day  with a steady stream of shoppers despite the lack of sunshine.

As usual, the best thing about the TWYS  is the social component.  We met Grovers whom we never met before and we saw others whom we see only occasionally,  as well as visitors some of whom are regulars in town and who love the yard sales.  They come, often stay over,  eat out, and patronize our merchants.

Eileen and I met a multi-lingual visitor (4 languages) who bought bowls from us and did a fine impression of a Parisian waiter.  A women from Staten Island gave me a lecture as to why rubbing lemongrass oil over your liver was better than Lipitor for cholesterol.   Exchanging stories and observations about our town is always fun, especially with strangers who give us some “out-of-the bubble” points of view.

A couple of out-of towners won the fashion award on Mt. Hermon Way.  He bought a record “Stand  By Me” but she already was.    Blogfinger photo. 5/20/17.

Many Grovers and visitors stopped by our place to talk about Blogfinger, and, without exception, they were supportive. Some commenters came out of the closet to help me match the face with the pseudonym. Aggravated Curmudgeon’s wife told me  that Curmudgeon is actually a nice guy and isn’t always aggravated. He was home selling stuff.

Conversations are always part of the action and are very entertaining and informative. 5/20/17.   Paul Goldfinger photo on Delaware Avenue.

We met visitors  from the outer reaches of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati,  and New York—Staten Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan.  Some of the Grovers we spoke to are new residents  in town including Lucy and Reena (both of whom had sales today.)

This crew on Delaware Avenue put their sale on hold for a pizza break in their side yard.  They are candidates for our OG lifestyles award. Blogfinger photo. © 5/20/17.

Several early visitors at our sale were looking for vinyl, but what interested me was that one was a young man.  It turns out young music lovers are taking a keen interest in collecting and playing vinyl.  An antique dealer from a neighboring town told me that sales of “old’ antiques were down because young couples aren’t interested, but there is enhanced interest in vintage stuff such as from the forties and the fifties.

So thanks to all of you Grovers who participated.   It actually can be fairly stressful and difficult to prepare for a yard sale, and when it’s over, you’re still not done working.  But despite that, it is fun.


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