Brewer cemetery. Farmingdale, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo © 2014.

Brewer cemetery. Farmingdale, NJ. Paul Goldfinger photo © 2014.  Re-posted from 2015.

By Paul Goldfinger, Photography Editor @Blogfinger

Photographers are sometimes drawn to cemeteries because they can be dramatic and lovely. But I rarely see a cemetery in an art gallery—I guess they don’t sell well. In my case, I almost never photograph in a cemetery because it’s depressing.

About the only time I get interested is if there is historical context, such as with this 18th century cemetery in Farmingdale. There is something mysterious and brooding about this place. I actually enjoyed walking around there and trying to read the nearly obliterated inscriptions.

I have visited cemeteries in Boston and New Brunswick which go back to the Revolutionary War, and they are absolutely fascinating if not beautiful. Another gorgeous place is the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah where Johnny Mercer resides. You can take a ghost tour in Savannah. I have photos. (Remember the book/movie Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil—-set in Savannah)

But this place in Farmingdale, with its lonely setting, sitting forlornly by the side of a country road, seems wonderfully haunting.

You know, the Albatross Hotel on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove served as a setting for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. This Farmingdale cemetery would be great for HBO’s True Blood.

You can almost see the vampires coming out of the ground during the night to fly into Ocean Grove and seek some juicy jugular veins.

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT   from his album Want One


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Lovely old house along Bridlemere Avenue. It is likely to be worth a mere million Interlaken bucks. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013

Lovely old house along Bridlemere Avenue. It is likely to be worth a mere million Interlaken bucks. Blogfinger photo Nov. 2013.  Click to enlarge.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

This is the third time we have posted something about Interlaken, New Jersey, a .4 square mile borough near Asbury Park and just about 10 minutes from Ocean Grove.

I like to drive through that town. It is picturesque and feels like the English countryside. It has a quiet elegance, and there is water on two sides  (north and south)—branches of Deal Lake.

Interlaken is north of Asbury Park

Interlaken is north of Asbury Park.

Its history is fascinating.  It was bought from the Lenni Lenape Indians and became a farm. A well-traveled doctor (probably a plastic surgeon)  purchased over 300 acres of the farm and proceeded to turn it into a town in the late 1800’s.

At first it was part of Ocean Township  (like Ocean Grove), but in 1922 it seceded and became an independent borough.  Curiously, Ocean Grove became a borough in 1925, but it lost its designation because of the”blue laws”—talk about the blues in the night.  Ouch!

Interlaken means “between lakes” and is named after a town in Switzerland which is between two lakes. For that matter, Ocean Grove is between two lakes, but somehow the ocean trumped the lakes in naming OG.

The street names are fascinating, because the avenues are named after English lakes, while the cross streets are named after—-you’ll never guess—islands in the Hebrides (in the Irish Sea.)  So if you drive through that town, you will see street signs that say, “Buttermere, Bridlemere, Bendermere, Grassmere and Windermere.”  I guess “mere” means  “lake.”

But if you think that the homes there are merely Victorians or Colonials, guess again. They tend to be beautiful grand manor houses like they have by the lakes in Switzerland or, perhaps like some along the Irish Sea.

Another cottage for two along Bridelmere Avenue

Another cottage for two along Bridlemere Avenue. Blogfinger photo. click left

The town in 2010 had 820 people according to the census. It is more white than Ocean Grove having 0% African Americans. But it does have .49% Native Americans which means half of a Lenni Lenape—so it’s a guy named Lenni who lives on Buttermere.  Actually it seems that there are 4 Native Americans in Interlaken, so those 4 should demand a casino in that town.

Below are links to our two prior posts about Interlaken, which amounts to a total of one Blogfinger post for every 270 Interlakers.  I wonder if they have a town musical instrument called the “Interlakenspiel” which you play with a mallet while standing between those two arms of Deal Lakenmere while the Interlakers engage in beer drinking and merrymaking.

Here is the Jagersburger March from an album called:  “German Beer Drinking and Merrymaking Songs” by the Munich Meistersingers

Blogfinger Interlaken link one

Blogfinger Interlaken link two

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Founders Park. Ocean Grove. This is an authentic Civil War canon , and it’s aimed at Asbury Park. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

You can get a smile out of Ted Bell when you point out the direction of our canon. The young lady, an intern from the Historical Society of OG,  helps warm up a cold day and a cold canon.

Founders Park, the best park in Ocean Grove, is next to the Wesley Retention/Detention Basin and is just west of the corpse of the Warrington Hotel, and then a little more east we come to the site of the North End Redevelopment Plan which will be located next to the Boardwalk and a short distance away from where the dirty storm water will flow into the Basin and then into the Ocean.   We wrote about the history of this Union canon; just do a search at the top of this page.


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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:


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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.


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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.


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?




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