Archive for the ‘Photography: The Other Side of Asbury’ Category

Fish chicken. Asbury Park. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Fish & Chicken. The other side of Asbury Park. By Paul Goldfinger  2015


ANAT COHEN. “Ima”   from her album Luminosa

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Asbury Tower. By Paul Goldfinger © 2014

Asbury Tower. By Paul Goldfinger © 2014

BETTE MIDLER    (from the album Bette Midler sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook.)   



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January, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger

Paul Goldfinger photo.  2014.


CONAL FOWKES.   From the soundtrack of “Midnight in Paris.”  By Woody Allen.

“Do do that voodoo that you do so well.”    By Cole Porter


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George Tice.*     Belmont Hotel, Asbury Park. 1974. This is a selenium-toned silver gelatin print.


By Paul Goldfinger ©. The Belmont burned down about 7 years ago.

By Paul Goldfinger.  Blogfinger.net.  Rear view.  Photo taken before the Belmont was destroyed by fire. 2006..

Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.   Re-posted from 2016 and 2018.    The editor’s note below still rings true in 2020 and has been updated.

There were two historic (over 100 years old) hotels in A.Park which were adjacent to each other on Asbury Avenue—-The Belmont and the Atlantic.   The Belmont had 50 rooms, but it was vacant in 2006.   The entire block was scheduled for demolition, but it burned down during a 5 alarm fire in 2006, along with the Atlantic, in December of that year.  The balloon construction made for a deluge with quick destruction up and down the buildings.

An AP historian said, in an APP article, that the buildings were considered historically significant to Asbury Park and Monmouth County.
“This site is one of the small remaining number of turn-of-the-century hotels that once flourished,” he said.

“The local historical society wanted to save the Atlantic and Belmont Hotels and have them refurbished to be used for residential purposes, but the society’s efforts were thwarted some years ago by the City Council and re-developers,” he said.

“And, now that the fire has destroyed the hotels, there is nothing left to do but start from the ground up.  They could have been adapted to modern uses, but now they are gone,” said the historian.

Residents said they were upset to see history disappear so quickly. “I hate to see it go,” Robert Razminas, 48, an Asbury Park resident for 25 years, said as the buildings burned. “These old places are Asbury Park history. They should be restored and kept up.”

George Tice* is one of America’s most famous photographers.  He is especially known for his work in his native New Jersey.  His specialty is documenting historic old buildings and neighborhoods, as in his photographs of Paterson, an old immigrant-based blue collar city.

The Tice photograph above of the Belmont is from an on-line gallery web site   (Paddle8).  In 1974 he photographed two Victorian houses in Ocean Grove.

Tice has published about 20 photographic books including one about the Amish in Pennsylvania and another in Ireland and England called Stone Walls, Grey Skies.

A platinum print from that book resides in Ocean Grove. Contact us if you want to view it. One of his most important books is Paterson.

Here is a link to a BF piece in 2013 which shows some of his images:

Tibet in Jersey: The Newark Museum Scores With Exhibits on Tibet and George Tice–Jersey Photographer


PHILLIP SMITH ( of Ocean Grove and the NY Philharmonic) on trumpet along with JOSEPH TURIN on piano play Gershwin’s “Someone to Watch Over Me”  Note: I spotted Phil—Phil Smith and the NY Philharmonic–on TV for the Live From Lincoln Center New Years Eve show on PBS.  The camera caught him having a string of rests and gazing ahead as Yo Yo Ma played a tango. He has since retired from the Phil, but he still spends summers in the Grove and plays in the Great Auditorium.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  This article rings true as we think about historic preservation in Ocean Grove. These two Asburian hotels could have been re-purposed into residences while maintaining their  historic “bones.” 

As noted before by Blogfinger, Asbury has an advantage for preservation because of the available land for parking, but that didn’t save these two structures—they were destined to be replaced by condominiums.

Evidently the idea of remodeling them into residences was not considered because AP has turned over that entire oceanfront area to trash-and -build-new developers without any worry about history.  They  don’t seem to care about AP’s history and they don’t mind turning much of their reclaimed property into condominiums. I recall when the beautiful old Metropolitan Hotel, a nostalgic place, which I visited before it’s death spiral, with much history, was allowed to rot and then be demolished.

However there is a huge difference between the two towns:  Ocean Grove is on the National and State Historic Registers, so we have an obligation to try and save historic buildings and not mow them down like dead ducks. But turning old hotels into condo’s here is contrary to our Master Plan which has a vision that is totally different than Asbury’s, and we really shouldn’t allow more space-clogging condo conversions of old hotels to occur, especially in defiance of RSIS parking standards.

Our old hotels need to be dealt with in ways that meet the special needs of our town, with the interests of the people and the history placed ahead of the developers and the politicians who want more money from the Cash-Cow-By-The-Sea.

Current related issues in 2018 directs our attention to the Aurora Hotel and the Warrington.*   We have posted articles about both, and both face an uncertain future in Ocean Grove;  and the best we can  hope for in both cases would be single family Victorian designer homes.

Phil Smith’s solo above  (“Someone to Watch over Me”) reminds us to protect our town’s historic treasures.

—Paul Goldfinger, Editor.

*The Warrington was destroyed in a fire on March 3, 2017. Its burned-out foundation is hanging around awaiting the results of some legal action related to the fire and its damages to the nearby neighborhood.

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Asbury Park. #2 October 4, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Zombie Walk. #2. Asbury Park.   October 4, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.


MINNIE DRIVER from her album Everything I’ve Got in my Pocket.

“Ruby Adeline”



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Deal Lake. Taken from the Elberon side looking toward A. Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. July12, 2016 ©

Deal Lake. Taken from the Loch Arbour side looking west.   Paul Goldfinger photo. July 12, 2016 ©  Click for maximum glitter.


DEXTER GORDON.   Recorded July 7, 1970 in New York City   “The Christmas Song.”


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Asbury Park, Ridge Avenue. Dec. 27, 2013. By Paul Goldfinger ©  click to enlarge.  “The Other Side of Asbury” will be an ongoing photographic project.


SAMMY DAVIS, JR.    Live—From his album MR. BOJANGLES.  “The Birth of the Blues.”

Asbury Park isn’t exactly “the southland,” but the blues have been performed all over the world.


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Fire station is at 800 Main Street, at Asbury Avenue in A.Park. Paul Goldfinger photo. 4/14/18.  This station will be converted into another use, and the firemen will move to another location.  Click to enlarge.



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Asbury Park. Ocean front living for seniors. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Asbury Park. Ocean front living for seniors. By Paul Goldfinger ©   On the beach.


MATT MONRO     From the movie “The Sand Pebbles.” with Steve McQueen.


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Asbury Park, January 17, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

Trinity Church.  Asbury Park, January 17, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to further illuminate.


LOUDON WAINRIGHT III   (From HBO’s Boardwalk Empire)  “Carrickfergus”



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Casino, OG side. 2009. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Casino, OG side. 2009. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.


DANNY ELFMAN.   From the soundtrack of Silver Linings Playbook:  “Walking Home”

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Asbury Park. June 19, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ∂

Asbury Park. June 19, 2016. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©  Click to enlarge.


MONICA ZETTERLUND  (Swedish jazz singer)  and THE BILL EVANS TRIO.   This is from an album called Waltz for Debby which was recorded in 1964 to great critical acclaim.

“Once Upon a Summertime” is a French song written by Michel Legrand.  Johnny Mercer wrote the English lyrics as heard in this album.


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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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