Archive for the ‘Photography: Superstorm Sandy series’ Category

By Paul Goldfinger © 2012

Ocean Grove, NJ.   Fletcher Lake, by Paul Goldfinger ©   Posted on November 1, 2012. Click all photos to enlarge.

Ocean Grove , the morning after Sandy hit on the evening of Oct. 29. 2012. By Bob Bowné; special to Blogfinger ©

Volunteers arrive at the OG boards to help. Oct. 30, 2012. Blogfinger.net photo.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The huge storm of October 29, 2012, has been such an iconic event for the Jersey Shore that photographs of  Superstorm Sandy in Ocean Grove/Neptune  and its aftermath will become a genre of its own, as occurred with Bob Bowné’s now famous image of the surf  thundering into shore, demolishing the OG Fishing Pier.    (here is a BF link regarding Bob’s photo:   Bob Bowné iconic Sandy photo Oct. 29, 2012. )

You can use our search box  (top right) to see some of our Sandy photographs of OG which have been published on Blogfinger.

Sandy was a turning point for our town—a momentous event which continues to influence how Ocean Grove has been evolving recently. This town has become more popular as city-folk and North Jersey people have heard about us.  Now, they seek protection from the virus, and the town continues to change dramatically with many second-homers replacing year-round residents.

The storm showed us our physical vulnerability. Luckily, we were not hit nearly as hard as other places at the Shore.

Sandy  revealed the potential of OG to come together as a community and it showed how much this town means to people all over the world.  As some of you may recall, the day after Sandy hit, Blogfinger received 25,000 hits. Ocean Grove is a very special place.

Volunteers from all over, including New England, arrived and went to work. The Camp Meeting set up facilities for them, and in the Community Room they offered Wi-Fi access and information about assistance for victims.

Ordinary citizens drove into town and found ways to help at the beach front.

Neptune Township failed to help at the Ocean Avenue-boardwalk-beach.  They did not show over a technicality, ie that they have no jurisdiction over those privately owned locations.

Unfortunately, the Camp Meeting Association, which welcomed the help, financial and physical from the residential community in town has now become more self centered and oblivious to those who actually live here.  Evidently they learned nothing of the potential “community ” of Ocean Grove which could have evolved out of Sandy. Their idea of “community” is those outsiders who are religious tourists.

Other towns along the Jersey Shore have also been changing since Sandy, but this town, with its definition as a historic residential community should have grabbed that momentum and run with it.  But no, as we see with the North End situation, we are still failing to define ourselves as a special small town community with everyone caring about the town’s future.  Factions continue to divide the Grove.

STUART MATTHEWMAN.  From the original movie soundtrack of the film  Twin Falls, Idaho–“Amapola”

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012, the day after Sandy hit. By Paul Goldfinger. ©

Ocean Grove.  Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 8:00 am,  the day after Sandy hit. By Paul Goldfinger. ©  From the Memories of Sandy series.

KIRI TE KANAWA.  Album Kiri Sings Kern.

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This sleek Deal home had minimal damage after Sandy. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

This sleek Deal home had minimal damage after Sandy. Paul Goldfinger photo ©. Click to enlarge.


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Near the Great Auditorium on Oct. 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Near the Great Auditorium on Oct. 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge.  Blogfinger.net


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The Windamer.  Ocean Avenue in Ocean Grove. July, 2015. Blogfinger.net photograph. ©

The Windamer. Ocean Avenue in Ocean Grove.  It used to be red.    July, 2015. Blogfinger.net photograph. ©  Click to enlarge.

On October 29, 2012, Bob Bowné, photographer, was at the Windamer during Sandy.  It was from a high balcony on the left where he shot the iconic image which has been seen around the world.  Here is a link:

Bowné photo of Sandy Nov. 2013 link on Blogfinger

JAMES TAYLOR and YO-YO MA:    From the album Songs of Joy and Peace.

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Urns and benches at theNorth End waiting for a new boardwalk. November 4, 2012 post Sandy.  By Paul Goldfinger ©

Urns and benches at the North End waiting for a new boardwalk. November 4, 2012 post Sandy. By Paul Goldfinger ©


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Nov. 3, 2012.  Ocean Grove beach.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge

OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW  (A tribute to John Denver)

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October 30, 2012, 7:45 am. Rear of Great Auditorium.  Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

October 30, 2012, 7:45 am. Rear of Great Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo ©.

GA roof on the morning of  Tuesday, October 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Great Auditorium  roof on the morning of Tuesday, October 30, 2012, one day after Sandy hit. The photo does not show the front side damage.  This portion of the roof is on the north side.     Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

BF roof story Nov. 5, 2012

BF roof story Jan 14, 2014

The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association is ready to complete work on the Great Auditorium roof, but they have had daunting problems deciding about which material to use.  Their plan had been to obtain zinc coated stainless steel material, but manufacturing challenges have prevented that.  JP Gradone, COO of the OGCMA, sent us the comment below in response to a Blogfinger inquiry yesterday.

“Our insurance company has recently agreed to pay for the installation of a temporary EPDM rubber roof on the damaged area while we continue to work closely with the insurance company to find a permanent solution to resolvethe situation with the roofing material.  The temporary roof was completed this week  and gives the Great Auditorium an excellent short-term solution while we carefully determine the best material for the permanent roof.”

EPDM rubber roofing on the south side.  Blogfinger photos

EPDM rubber roofing on the south side. Blogfinger photos

EPDM rubber roofing on the north side.

EPDM rubber roofing on the north side.


One year ago we wrote about the Woody Allen movie “Stardust Memories.”  Here is a link to that article because it shows the Great Auditorium decked out as the Stardust Hotel for that 1980 film which Allen considers one of his best.


And for this article about the GA roof, here is a version of “Stardust,” a song by Hoagy Carmichael,  that was performed by Louis Armstrong in the movie.

But now, in 2015, we present a contemporary jazz version of “Stardust,” an instrumental, by Warren Vaché on trumpet  (a Jersey boy,)  Derek Watkins, and the Brian Lemon Quartet.




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Shark River Hills.  November 1, 2012.  Comitteeman Randy Bishop comforts a resident after scavengers try buy her furniture drying outside.   By Paul Goldfinger

Shark River Hills. November 1, 2012—two days after Sandy hit.   Committeeman Randy Bishop comforts a tearful resident after scavengers try to buy her furniture drying outside. By Paul Goldfinger  @Blogfinger.net ©

MAUDE MAGGART  sings Irving Berlin:

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next day oct 30 am

Ocean Grove.  The next day.  Oct. 30, 2012. Paul Goldfinger photo


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

After consulting with a well known dune scientist and other experts,  an “engineered design” was developed for rebuilding OG’s dunes, and that project will begin next week. The main purpose of the dunes will be to protect the OG beachfront and the town itself from future storms.

This announcement was made by J.P. Gradone, the COO of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, and we also interviewed Bill Bailey, the CMA Director of Operations, who has been the point man for all the post-Sandy work that we have been witnessing during the last two years.

Stewart Farrell, our dune consultant, is a  scientist who is the Director of the Richard Stockton Coastal Research Center. He has been studying the Jersey Shore for nearly 30 years. Farrell walked our beach to assess elevations and sand loss immediately after Sandy hit.  Then, he returned in March, 2013, to hit the beach again with Bill Bailey and to begin discussions of dune planning.  Two weeks ago  he returned to help finalize the plans for rebuilding the dunes here in the Grove.

After Sandy devastated the Shore, Farrell said that the beaches which had received prior replenishment from the Army Corps of Engineers and which had the highest and widest dunes had the least amount of damage.

In Ocean Grove, the places where there were no bulkheads and where openings in the dunes let in the storm flood (“the funnel effect,”) there was the most boardwalk destruction. Our dunes had been developing for 25 years, and they offered a good measure of protection for the town during Sandy, “getting us through some high tides. ”

Except for the beach and board damage, however, Ocean Grove didn’t do too badly from Sandy compared to the damage elsewhere such as in Mantoloking and Harvey Cedars. Besides the dunes, we were additionally protected by bulkheads, where they existed north and south, and also because Ocean Grove is among a relatively small number of Shore towns ( including Long Branch, Asbury Park and Cape May) that are on the mainland, as opposed to barrier islands which are much more vulnerable.

Our dune project will begin next week with excavation.   A 25 foot wide space will be created north to south between the boardwalk and the back of the dunes. This will allow vehicles to get through.

The new dune will be made from existing and excavated sand  and it will be 32 feet wide (east to west.). The height will be four feet, in contrast to giant dunes, over 20 feet in some locations, which are being constructed in more vulnerable places at the Shore.

Our dune is designed to be a continuum of about 1,000 feet, with “cuts” that zigzag through to allow access to the beach. Eventually there will be “walk-overs” that allow access “over the top” of the dunes. If a big storm is expected, those “cuts” can be filled in.

Snow fences will be installed on the east and west sides of the dune. The latter will prevent sand from blowing onto the boardwalk and Ocean Avenue; an extra benefit will be to keep people off. The former will be important in “catching sand” to make the dunes denser and bigger over time.

Since dune grass does best if planted in November, the CMA will wait until next year to plant the grass, and Mr. Farrell has laid out suggestions as to how to do that in terms of spacing. Over time, the root systems of the dune grass will help “fortify” the dune.

Note that the beach replenishment made the beach bigger. It is now 12 feet above sea level, so adding that to the 4 foot engineered dunes yields a dune height of 16 feet, just slightly higher than the 15.5 foot elevated boardwalk.

In summary, Ocean Grove will be protected by a “series of engineered systems” starting with the beach replenishment, then the dunes, then the reinforced bulkhead which is a complex structure tied into the east side of the boardwalk,  coupled with the relocation of the middle boardwalk west, about 30 feet.  And finally there are the  strong construction methods that were used in building the boardwalk itself.

Bill Bailey says, “As promised, we built it right.”


In May, the existing metal bulkhead was tied into new wood construction which later was bolted to the new boardwalk. Blogfinger photo

In May, the existing metal bulkhead was tied into new wood construction which later was bolted to the new boardwalk. Blogfinger photo

For those in government and for scientists such as Stewart Farrell, they know that the Jersey shore will be increasingly vulnerable in the future due to rising ocean levels and continued erosion of sand from the beaches, coupled with more severe storms.      The Army Corps has been back to the Jersey shore many times during the last 60 years or so, and hopefully the government will stay involved in the future.

A private contractor will do the work, and it should be noted that the dune construction is being financed entirely by the OGCMA.

For Ocean Grove, we have reason to be optimistic as to how well we will do when the next big storm hits. Bill Bailey is quick to credit the “experts” who collaborated in the design of this fortress construction and he also loves to tell how a Boy Scout, Bobby Easton, working on an Eagle project about 20 years ago, and assisted by his friend Dave Shotwell, Jr., came up with the notion that sand dunes in the Grove could help protect the town. Well, it turns out that the idea was successful; it just took a couple of decades to prove the point.

Note: Excellent related article from the New Yorker magazine:  link to “The Beach Builders.”


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