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Bud Miller, West Point grad, celebrates at 6:10 pm when the big game ended. Paul Goldfinger photo. Robbinsville, NJ. 12/8/18 ©

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

This is a rare sighting:  a Blogfinger sports report.

We were out with friends from my high school class, among which was Bud Miller, who was the Rutherford High School quarterback when I was blowing my horn with the Marching Bulldogs.  During dinner I learned why Bud was checking his phone—-the Army-Navy saga was in progress. Navy had won 14 times in a row until Army won the last two;  and this could be the third in a row for the Cadets.

As the game progressed, Bud was gaining confidence.  The moment it ended, he leapt to his feet, almost sending his chicken cacciatore flying. He urgently pulled up his sweater, and underneath was…this:  Definitely not regulation suspenders.

He was so excited that we later had the following “true conversation:”

Bud:  I met my wife Joan when I was in college and she was still in high school.

Me. What a coincidence.   I met Eileen when she was still in high school.

Bud: I guess we were both grave robbers.  

Me: Uh..I won’t be telling Eileen about this…

Bud;  Oh, yes, we were robbing the cradle.

Me: (changing the subject)  Bud–Do you remember when the Rutherford freshman football team played the State Champ  JV squad from Montclair? (A game I actually was involved in—for one memorable play)

Bud: We got squashed. I’d like to know who arranged that match. 

Me:  Do you remember when we were the host band at the Clifton Band Festival  (Bud played trumpet; I sax). We marched up the field ready for a left flank when the beautiful, tall, blond, buxom, drum Majorette Karen  mistakenly pointed right with her long baton.

Bud: I do, and half the band went left and the other half right.

Me: I turned left; what did you do?

Bud: I turned left also and I collided with another bandsman turning right.

Bud also banged the bell of his horn on a goal post, denting it.   He’s the only quarterback in history to find playing in the band more dangerous than playing football.

So, after all these years, we were still discussing girls, sports, and music.

THE RHS MARCHING BAND played “Across the Field” as we marched across the field.

Here is the Ohio State marching band with their version of “Across the Field.”  (It’s their fight song:)

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Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC. Internet photo.

There isn’t much Hanukkah music out there that I am not familiar with, but Jean Bredin, Blogfinger staff, came up with this You Tube treat for the Festival of Lights by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC.  It is quite superb, and the hand clapping, although not unusual in pop music, is less common in choral pieces.

So here is the Hanukkah music that I never heard before, but it is a fine addition to a limited repertoire.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @blogfinger

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Girls in their Hannukah clothes.

Ocean Grove Hannukah last year at Paul’s house. (Actually the photo is from Jerusalem.)

By Paul Goldfinger, MD.  Editor @Blogfinger.net

KLEZMER MUSIC.    This music has its roots in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe.  But Klezmer music was scattered all over the world after the Holocaust.   It almost faded out of sight, but then it began to take root again in America as well as in Europe.

It used to be played almost exclusively at weddings, but in recent years it was embraced by young musicians who blended it into all sorts of styles such as rock, jazz and hip hop. The genre is branching out in many sorts of creative ways.

Here is the Amsterdam Klezmer Band in Hungary. This is what Klezmer is in the 21st century. It shows that you don’t have to be Jewish to love Klezmer.   “Di Zilberne Chassene”  (It’s about a wedding.)

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Asbury Park Main Street–the classiest street in town? Not so much! Blogfinger photo Dec 04, 2018. ©  Click to read the small sign in front.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

So you think we have parking problems in the Grove?  I am a literal person, so when a sign says “here” with two arrows, I look down and have trouble finding a parking space.   And if you dare to park there, you will be considered a “violater”  and you will be towed away along with your car.

That little sign misspells violator and is missing an apostrophe.    Perhaps the apostrophe will be inserted into your tail pipe if you do park there.

So if you must shop in the Country Farm Market, be careful never to park under that sign.

And as for Main Street  (rt. 71) in the pothole capital of the USA,  they have begun a project to make Main Street into the Champs-Elysées.  And when they are done, in 2024, they hope to make this their theme song:

ELLA AND THE COUNT:

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Dover, 1960; By Henry Boschen ©

Dover, 1960; Blackwell Street.  By Henry Boschen © Click to enlarge.   Re-posted by popular demand from 2015.

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Henry Boschen (1922-2011) made this wonderful black and white image in 1960 on Blackwell Street in Dover, New Jersey, a blue collar town in Morris County which was founded in 1869.  In 1960, before the Rockaway Townsquare Mall was built in 1977, Dover was the place to go for shopping.  It was a diverse town, and many of the merchants were Jewish. A growing Hispanic population was beginning to change the personality of Dover.  Spanish restaurants and credit unions were opening. Most of the immigrants were from a particular town in Puerto Rico.

Henry’s image captures the warmth of Christmas in 1960 when shoppers would flock to visit downtown Dover where an old-fashioned  homespun style was found in the shops. You could buy a fine men’s suit at the Quality Shop and pick up fresh fish at Fred’s.  The Walk-Well shoe store was a family business, as were many of the stores downtown.

Dover Photo was one of the few Leica dealerships in New Jersey, so aficionados like me would go there to buy lenses, superb cameras and darkroom gear.  Murray and his sons would offer technical advice to visitors.  They displayed original photos and they offered trade-ins on equipment.  I was one of their best customers.

Dover General Hospital, known for its excellent nursing and physician care, was sixty years old that year and was within walking distance to downtown.  It was founded by a group of Dover women who wanted to improve healthcare  at the turn of the century.

My first medical office was on Blackwell Street. I chose Dover because they had no cardiologist and I wanted to work in the trenches instead of at some ivory tower. The National Community Bank downtown gave me a mortgage before I even saw my first patient.  The town doctors told the banker that I was a good risk.  My practice was busy from day one.

Henry Boschen, my patient and friend,  gave me this print, and it is a great treasure.

RICHARD BURTON

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The North End OG beach, where the Township nonsense is stored each winter. Paul Goldfinger photo. 2011. ©

By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

Amazingly, the minutes from the Neptune Committee meeting have been posted on-line very quickly—something quite unusual.  Why are they in such a hurry to do that?

At the meeting, the Township Comedy passed a bizarre resolution which we have been dissecting here as if it were a cadaver on an anatomy table at the Blogfinger Ocean Grove Off-shore  School of Medicine.

That meeting reminds me of the song “Blowing in the Wind” because there are so many loose ends floating around.

For example, in the minutes, the Township’s Revelopment Attorney is quoted  thusly, “Mr. Maraziti stated that what is being approved this evening is not a Redevelopment Agreement for an Interim Agreement for the purpose of negotiating a Redevelopment Agreement which will include the items Ms. Venezia mentioned.”

And, “Joyce Klein, 105 Mt. Hermon Way, stated that in section of the Interim Agreement that describes the scope, it stated that the proposal may change. She asked if any changes would have to be in accordance with the 2008 Redevelopment Plan. Mr. Maraziti stated that any proposal must be consistent with the Redevelopment Plan.”

“The Township will ensure that OGNED has the legal right to develop the property before a Redevelopment Agreement is signed.”

Editor’s note:  —-So, how does OGNED get a “legal right to develop the North End” before the provisions of a Redevelopment Agreement have been made public??

And the lawyer says, “Any proposal must be consistent with the Redevelopment Plan.”  The words “consistent with” are totally unacceptible here because they they leave enough wiggle room for an aircraft carrier to float through. And, in addition, he should have echoed Ms. Klein’s specific question by putting “2008” before his words “Redevelopment Plan.”  The twisting of words and imprecise langauge is documented here.  Anyone can read those minutes by clicking below.

http://www.neptunetownship.org/sites/default/files/documents/NOVEMBER%2026%202018%20Minutes.pdf

So, hello, we must be going. Please read these excerpts aloud  (or forward it) to any citizen of the Grove that you know.

DON AZPIAZU  and the Havana Casino Orchestra:   “African Lament”

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A gaggle of Princeton coeds at Nassau Gate. April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

A gaggle of Princeton coeds at Nassau Gate. April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger  (Re-post from 2015, but still relevant.)

The last time we tried to bring up a controversial subject about women on Blogfinger, ie objectification of women in our society, the response from women in the BF audience was underwhelming. But maybe that topic was too abstract or just not relevant.  The latter was my opinion.

Last week I was listening to Dennis Prager, a radio talk show host who likes to discuss cultural issues.  He said that he met a bright young woman in her twenties doing security work in Israel.

He asked her if she were married, and she said, “No.” She gave the same reply when asked if she had a boyfriend.

Then he asked her, “Would you like to have a boyfriend?”

And she replied, “No, I would like to have a husband.”

I thought that was a fascinating reply and so did Prager. He and his audience had a lengthy discussion on the subject; once a week he has a “male/female hour” on his show.

Prager thought that few woman in America in that same demographic would reply the way the Israeli did because our college age women seem to want to “play the field” and delay commitment while they pursue careers.

Prager was critical of the American approach saying that it was flawed in terms of what’s best for society and what’s best for women, and especially because, according to him, the best time for a woman to find a husband is when she is in college.

A few days ago, the NY Times mentioned an article by Maureen Dowd where she interviewed many women working in Hollywood. One of the quotes interested me regarding our topic today. It is a quote by Amy Heckerling, a writer and director for the movies.

She said, “I can’t stand most of the movies marketed to women. They are all about finding guys and weddings, weddings, weddings. I don’t care about weddings.”

Then, I told a friend about Prager’s remarks , and he was incensed saying that Prager was being condescending and was clinging to old fashioned ways of viewing American women.

I thought that Prager was correct as far as college being a good time to “find a husband,” but, notwithstanding that observation, contemporary American women have different priorities and life-schedules than one or two generations ago.

So what do you think?

 

BILLIE HOLIDAY

 

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By Jack Bredin, Reporter/researcher @Blogfinger.net

The Coaster reported that the Township Redevelopment Attorney Joseph J. Maraziti said, “It’s important for the community to understand the project.”

We agree, but what is the truth about that “project?”

Most of us who have been concerned about the Ocean Grove North End Redeveloopment Plan (NERP) over the past ten years are familiar with the 24 page plan adopted March 24, 2008 permitting 165 hotel and condo units on Block 1.

This does not include the White Whale building. There is more to come with that other half of the project, east of the Boardwalk.

The fact is, the 2008 NERP Plan, with a maximum of 165 units on Block 1 is the only approved plan and it remains in effect.

The “new” 2018 plan is a “concept plan” for half the units.  But, “The parties (OGNED and the Township) further agree that the parties are not bound by the description of the project (from the attached Exhibit A):

(ii) The number and types of residential units..

(vi) design of the hotel and the number of rooms

(xi) parking, including the dimensions and implementation of a subterranean parking structure.

When Mayor Williams was asked at the Nov. 26 meeting “What plan is the Committee approving?”   He said, “The 2018 OGNED Plan.”

But the lawyer said, in the Coaster, “This is not a redevelopment agreement but part of negotiations towards a redevelopment agreement..”  He also said, “Nothing is even resolved at this time.”

At Blogfinger we think it is also important for the Mayor and Township Committee to also understand just what project they voted on. After all, there is an 80 unit difference in the two plans.

KEVIN SPACEY:  From the soundtrack of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

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By Paul Goldfinger,  Editor @Blogfinger

This is a wonderful movie.  Green Book just opened.  It is about a sophisticated black concert pianist who hires a blue collar Italian Bronx bouncer to drive him on a concert tour through the deep south.   They are an odd couple, but as you might expect, they share happy, funny, and worrisome moments in the film and eventually bond in friendship.

Viggo Mortensen plays Tony, the warm hearted overweight tough guy, while Mahershala Ali plays Dr. Don Shirley, the elegant and polished musician.  The film is about their two month road trip together, and, as you can predict, they run into racism.  Reviewers acknowledge that audiences love this film but they are critical  (that’s their job) of the predictable events along the way.

In one scene in Alabama, Dr. Shirley  is to play a Christmas party in a fancy country club, but they won’t let him in to have dinner with the whites in his party.  Shirley refuses the gig, and he and Tony wind up in a smoky black bar where there is close dancing, laughter, live music, and fun. Sure enough, Don gets to play piano with the house band, and he does just fine with the boogie-woogie music, even though he is one black man who has never eaten fried chicken.

Eileen and I loved this movie.  The cinematography is beautiful as they travel through snow storms, driving rain and then visit scenic areas including a field where blacks are working picking cotton.  The local southern color and people are as foreign to Tony as they are to Don.

The music is of great interest since it is difficult to pigeonhole .  The formally trained pianist is primarily a jazz player, but he builds his compositions on a classical sensibility.  I enjoyed his playing very much.

I wanted to make my review out of still photos taken off the screen. The result is a bit blurry, but I like it, and I will try it again.

The Green Book title refers to the special book which tells visitors travelling through the South where black people may stay, eat, etc. The National Board of Review named Green Book “best picture,” and this film will be in the running at the Academy Awards.   Go see it–most of you will like it.   And here are some of my photos–true screen shots:

Tony watches his “boss” perform in a smoky black bar in Birmingham.

Tony and Don become friends despite inevitable friction at times.

Don Shirley off the concert stage and into the hearts of down-home folks in a place where he learns quickly to feel comfortable.

Tony makes it home in time for Christmas eve in the Bronx. Does Don join him there?

Christmas eve in the Bronx.

This music is from the fine soundtrack:

BOBBY PAGE AND THE RIFF-RAFFS:  “I Love my Baby.”

DON SHIRLEY    “The Lonesome Road.”

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The Township Comedy needs to shine some light on the current Resolution so OG citizens can see the gobbledygook.   Paul Goldfinger photo.  OG beach. September, 2018. ©

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

When Jack and I  first read the new North End Resolution which was passed on Nov. 26, 2018, we looked at each other and asked, “What is this?”  It wasn’t clear what the main point of the Resolution was.  It included an itemized list of over 30 important elements of the plan, none of which were explained in detail.

It not only wasn’t clear as to what the Resolution was all about or why it was necessary, but it was impossible to figure out if the Resolution was attempting to actually pass the “new” 2018 North End Redevelopment Plan.

Here is the official title of the Resolution #18 -395 as obtained from the Neptune Comedy agenda:

Authorize the execution of a conditional designation and interim cost agreement with OG North End Development (OGNED) including provisions for a deposit of project funds to defray costs incurred by the Township of Neptune in connection with the negotiation of a Redevelopment Agreement, pursuant to the local redevelopment and housing law, N.J.S.A. 40A:12A-1, ET Seq.”

Got it?

We thought the language was gobbledygook, and below is a link to Part I of our discussion of the Resolution.

Gobbledygook Part I regarding the North End resolution 11/26/18

The Township Redevelopment Attorney for the “Proposal” did speak to the  public at the Comedy meeting, and some of his quotes are mentioned  (below)  in a Coaster front-page article dated Nov. 29, 2018

Isn’t it interesting that none of our elected officials tried to explain the Resolution to the public–instead the Neptune Comedy brought their hired gun out of the shadows and asked him to explain the Resolution to the citizens.

Below are some Qoaster quotes from the Township Redevelopment Attorney Joseph Maraziti of Short Hills.   He said:

It’s important for the community to understand the project.”

“…this is not  a redevelopment agreement but part of negotiations towards a redevelopment agreement with Ocean Grove North End Development LLC.”

“There will be many topics at many levels discussed and resolved (in the agreement.) Nothing is even resolved at this time.”

The Coaster reporter said, “Redevelopment of the long-neglected North End of Ocean Grove took a step forward this week when Neptune officials approved an official agreement that is expected to eventually result in a comprehensive redevelopment plan.”

Mayor Nicholas Williams of Neptune Township. What will his legacy be? By Paul Goldfinger ©

And finally, Mayor Nicholas Williams cleared it up by saying, “This is just the first step and that’s where we are tonight.”

So, Mr. Mayor, you say that ” ‘this’ is just the first step,” and now that we all know what the meaning of “this” is,  we can  be reassured that we now understand the Resolution.

Last June we posted this Mayor’s photo with the lead-in:  “Portrait of a leader who represents the electorate or just one of the boys?  What will Nicholas Williams legacy be?”

What do you think?

SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS:

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