SUMO table. They all look like this. These guys are waiters, so don’t mess with the wasabi.  All photos by Paul Goldfinger © November 27, 2018.

By Paul and Eileen Goldfinger, Editors  @Blogfinger.net

Do you like sushi like we like sushi?  We discovered a fabulous place. Our friends Jake and Vivian recommended it.  It is the Sumo Hibachi Steakhouse and Sushi Bar in Wall Twp, 10 minutes from Ocean Grove.  You must try it.

It is a lovely place with very fresh and delicious food. The owner Kimberly is gracious, and the service is wonderful.  Trip- Advisor gave them 5/5 stars; Blogfinger gives them 5/5 Fingers  (or Bloggies depending on which coast you are on;)  4 Square gave them 4/5

This sort of sushi and sashimi feast is amazing. We had it for dinner. It will feed, in our opinion, 6-8 people, and it comes in a variety of sizes. ©

We also had miso soup (great!), salad, squid, sweet potatoes, edamame, and red bean ice cream.  WOW.

SUMO. Blogfinger.net photos. ©

Sushi bar. Blogfinger photo ©

Take 35 south across the bridge and continue till you get to Allaire Road where Whole Foods is on the right.  Turn right onto Allaire Rd.  and then turn right into that mall.  Sumo is on the left, next to Whole Foods.

BILLIE HOLIDAY:  From the Woody movie Celebrity

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

The first time I saw a McDonald’s was in Washington, DC, 1963.   It was in a run-down part of town, and I was struck by the golden arches and by the sign that was counting burgers sold.   At that time it was in the thousands, and, a fascinating sight–the numbers kept going up.

Over the years I didn’t pay much attention.  In Rutherford we all went to the famous Rutt’s Hut in Clifton for their fabulous burgers with special relish and the deep fried hot dogs.  We would park our cars in the lot and sit on the hoods  while playing ’50’s music from car radios.

The next time I took notice of McDonald’s was when I spotted it on the Champs Elysee in Paris.  How disappointing was that!

Over the years we didn’t go there with the boys, and Eileen, to this day, has never eaten a burger in any of those fast food places.

Which brings me now to the McDonald’s in Ocean Township at the intersection of Rt 35 and West Park Avenue. I had been driving one of our sons to the Kessler Rehab. over there, twice per week, so I would kill an hour going for coffee and a burger at Mickey D’s.   The coffee is pretty good, but they insist on adding the milk and sugar, just like Dunkin Donuts.

But, after a few times, I began to take notice of my surroundings.  It is a bright, clean  and cheerful place, but most of the business seems to be at the drive-in window.  There are few customers inside.     The staff is composed of mostly young African-Americans and Hispanics, all in uniform and very efficient.   My orders would come out in one minute.

One teen-aged Hispanic woman took my order. She did fine with the language, but with the coffee order, I asked for “1 and  1/2 Splenda.”  She tripped up on the “half” part.  I couldn’t make her understand, so I changed it to “one Splenda.”

The customers seem to be a variety of types. One couple, senior citizens, are usually there when I show up.  He is white and she is Asian, and they always have a Big Mac and fries.

However, I became interested in the music which plays softly and continuously in the background.  That music never changes:   It is always Frank Sinatra doing his famous standards with big band/orchestra  arrangements.  And I wondered about that choice of music. It couldn’t possibly interest the kids behind the counter, and I had my doubts if the customers even noticed it.

Certainly there is the potential for a culture clash, but none is obvious, however the question lingers: who chooses the music there?

I asked the manager (African American male) and a worker  (white female) about the music.    Neither likes the music much, but they are “used to it.”  And as for who chooses the music?—They have no idea.  It just happens out of thin air.  Is it Frank’s ghost?

So are all McDonald’s alike?  Evidently not.  And I do like the music—very much.


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Live nativity procession. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. c. 2000. By Paul Goldfinger. Copyright

Live nativity procession. Ocean Grove, New Jersey. c. 2000. By Paul Goldfinger. Copyright

By Paul Goldfinger, MD, Editor @Blogfinger.net

When we first moved here in 1998, we became acquainted with the live nativity event.  I recall standing out in the cold waiting for the children and animals to appear.  There was a procession, and  this star bearer came by. She seemed like she had appeared out of the mists of the past.  For a moment I felt I had experienced time travel.

Preserving the past is usually expressed in this town by the architecture. But other things occur which add life to the history, like you see in the photo.  It’s important to continue those “live” traditions whenever possible.  The live nativity is now indoors, but it seemed more authentic when we were breathing vapor out our nostrils while waiting in the cold for the two-humped camel, the wise men, the sheep and some shepherds to arrive.

SOUNDTRACK:  As a teenage musician I often took part in Christmas celebrations and concerts. We went caroling in the cold, and people tossed dollar bills out the windows of the garden apartments where we lived.

In school, Christmas music was a big deal, and I always have associated this holiday with beautiful music , both classical and popular.  But this photograph seems to require something especially heart-felt and different from the usual carols, so here, although it is not actually a Christmas selection, it does seem to go with the photo.  It’s Puccini.—Paul Goldfinger

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David Bates in Ocean Grove. Retired New York actor. By Paul Goldfinger©


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net.

We knew David Bates of Ocean Grove.  He was often seen riding his bike around town, and he also had a residence in Greenwich Village. He did not have a car.

One time he pedaled by our house and he stopped to chat.  It was the summer of 2012.  I took his picture and posted it on Blogfinger. Recently he biked by my house again, waving as he went.

In recent days I noticed quite a few “hits”on that 2012 post, especially yesterday and today, totaling over 100 visits.   A Google search revealed nothing, but a comment today indicates that he has passed.

We do not do obits on Blogfinger, but re-posting a portrait falls under the “by popular demand” category.

THE FANTASTICKS  ran for years at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, New York City.   Here is “Try to Remember” by Jerry Orbach.


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DICK HYMAN     From the Woody movie:  Everyone Says I Love You.


Submitted by Eileen Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.

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Piazza della Signoria by Eric Lindbloom. This image introduces the book of this collection from Florence, Italy 1994.


By Paul Goldfinger, photography editor @Blogfinger.net

In 1994, American photographer Eric Lindbloom published his book, Angels at the Arno, containing  images in Florence from 1979-1987.

The preface says, “This is a city not so much of paintings and trattorie as of mysterious, hidden sculptures, emerging from the ancient architecture like stone made flesh. As Linda Pastan writes in her preface, Lindbloom’s Florence is “transformed from a city of blaring car horns and leather vendors, impressive piazzas and forbidding facades to a quiet place of small streets and courtyards, of homespun angels whose wings throw light and shadow over everything, even at high noon.”

I saw this collection in 1994 when an exhibit at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in SoHo featured this body of work. As a photographer I was impressed by the soft richness of his images, especially since they all were obtained with a Diana camera, a plastic toy.

Cameras such as this have imperfections due to light leaks and a plastic lens, but in the right hands, they can create remarkable photographs.   There is a cult following for this genre.

I purchased a signed copy of this book at the exhibit as well as one of his prints, all of which were beautifully crafted in the dark room.

Lindbloom, born in 1934,  has continued to exhibit his black and white landscapes, with his most recent gallery show this past summer at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.  He is one of the founders of the Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY.



Published 1994.


From the soundtrack of the Godfather III.

“Va, Pensiero.”   Nabucco by Verdi.


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Christmas Eve, 2017 in Ocean Grove, NJ. Paul Coldfinger @Blogfinger.



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Jack Bredin reviews his Wesley Lake notes. Blogfinger is determined to get  State  officials involved in the matter of WL pollution.   Blogfinger photograph. 11/9/18 ©


By Paul Goldfinger, MD,  Editor @Blogfinger.net

When Jack Bredin and I attended the last meeting of the State Site Improvement Advisory Board, Jack was allowed to make a statement regarding a variety of concerns about the pollution of Wesley Lake.   Here is a link about that visit:

Blogfinger visits Trenton about Wesley Lake 10/18/18

On November 8, 2018, we received a letter from Mr. John R. Lago of the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division of Codes and Standards.  He is representing Mr. Joseph E. Doyle, Chairman of the SIAB who was interested in responding in a meaningful way to Jack’s statement last month where help was requested in doing something about Wesley Lake pollution.

Mr. Lago said that “Mr. Bredin accurately described the Wesley Lake problem.”   He noted that two Ocean Grove residents had attended the meeting and he verified that the lake “historically functions as a runoff basin for roads”  and that the lake is on the Green Acres ROSI list (Recreational Open Space Inventory.)

Mr. Lago personally contacted the Monmouth County engineering and planning departments and he discovered that neither department has cleanup of the lake on a “to do” list.

He also reached out to the Neptune Township engineer and planner, Ms. Leanne Hoffman, who pointed to the Wesley Lake Commission as an entity that was designated to “improve conditions” in the lake.  She has received a copy of today’s letter, so there is no way for her to avoid this spotlight.

Mr. Lago then formally contacted  a DEP administrator with the Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control, Mr. James  Murphy, Engineer, Stormwater Management Unit, Division of Water Quality regarding state programs  “that might be helpful.” Mr. Lago wondered if the DEP might get involved.

We have a copy of Mr. Murphy’s letter of response in which he  “suggested several initiatives.”

In addition, there was mention of “an inspection by our regional enforcement people.”

Jack and I plan to contact a number of the people/agencies which were formally mentioned to us.  We have no idea whether Ms. Hoffman plans to do anything useful, but at least she knows that the Trenton gaze is now on Wesley Lake.   Certainly Neptune Township should follow-up on all these recommendations.

For those that we contact, we will include links to every Blogfinger article in our archives about Wesley Lake.  There are a number of issues that worry us.

It is encouraging to note that there are some State-level officials who care about citizen concerns and who would like to help us restore our lake to its historic functions of clean water, recreation and preservation.

WYNTON MARSALIS   “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”    From Finians Rainbow:

“How are things in Glocca Morra?
Is that little brook still leaping there?
Does it still run down to Donny cove?
Through Killybegs, Kilkerry and Kildare?
How are things in Glocca Morra?
Is that willow tree still weeping there?”


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WWI memorial in Belmar, New Jersey. Nov. 2013, Paul Goldfinger photo ©

WWI memorial in Belmar, New Jersey. Nov. 2013, Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Korean War vets march in Middletown parade. Nov. 10, 2013. Asbury Park Press photo. Nov. 11.

Korean War vets march in Middletown parade. Nov. 10, 2013. Asbury Park Press photo. Nov. 11.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

In WWI, the US mobilized over 4 million people.  We had 323,000 casualties. Now is the 100th anniversary of the conclusion to that war.

In WWII we mobilized 16 million and had over 1 million casualties.   Of course we lost people in many other conflicts as well.  Below is a link that shows all the numbers.


Bayonne, NJ 1945. upper left clockwise: Al Demby, Marty Litinger, Ben Demby, Duke (Samuel) Demby.

Goldfinger family album.  Bayonne, NJ, 1945. Upper left clockwise: Al Demby, Marty Litinger, Duke (Samuel) Demby, Ben Demby.  Not shown is Bernard Harkavy, Eileen’s Dad who served in Europe.

Marty was in the Coast Guard and traveled with the convoys going to Britain and Russia via the North Atlantic.  Ben was in the Army and won a Bronze Star for valor.  Duke was in the submarine service, while Al was a Sea Bee. They were children of immigrants who were always grateful for what America offered our family.

These four uncles served in WWII.  They were my mom’s  4 brothers, and they all came back to the family home on the Boulevard in Bayonne. We were so lucky.   As a young boy, I was proud of them—-my heroes.  

They resumed their lives and had families.  One was an electrician, one ran an ice cream business, one was  a postal worker and one opened a hat store.  They’re all gone now. 

My cousin Harold Demby was an infantryman in Vietnam, and he did see combat. He is a retired draftsman.  Harold will join us for Thanksgiving this year.  And my cousin Ernie Bergman was an officer in Vietnam.  He’s a retired Middlesex County prosecutor  (“Ernie the Attorney”) now playing a lot of golf in Florida.

I served in the US Navy Medical Corps for 2 years during Vietnam, but I stayed in Portsmouth, Virginia as a cardiologist in a 1,400 bed  Navy hospital. Although I have a sword (mandatory and ceremonial) from that time,  which is in my bedroom in Ocean Grove in case a Barbary pirate shows up, I never saw combat.  We took care of the returning prisoners of war.  I am a proud member of Jersey Shore Post 125, Jewish War Veterans.

It was an honor to follow my uncles’  and cousin’s leads and take part in the heroic traditions of our military and to represent our family in thanking this great nation.


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Someone ran out of peddling room at the North End of A. Park, so they locked the bike and maybe they are flying a kite or body surfing on the beach.. Asbury Park Boards. Paul Goldfinger photograph  © 2015.  Blogfinger.net.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

There are citizens in Asbury Park who have formed a group to protest plans for their north end.  The details don’t interest us much, but it involves implementing a plan from 2004, that the protest group feels is wrong for their city.  It relates to a private beach being developed there, boardwalk design, and concerns about access for everyone, not just a privileged minority.

But what strikes us at Blogfinger is that when worrisome plans for their north end beachfront surfaced now, activists have sprung into action with meetings, petitions and protests. As a result a meeting was held tonight, and the City Council will review the situation.  . And one of the requests by the people is for “transparency,” and their developer, iStar, will be having a public presentation open for review and discussion.  In addition, the Asbury Park Press and Channel 12 picked up on the story today.

Unlike the relationship of the Neptune Committee to the citizens of Ocean Grove, the Asbury Mayor and Council are supportive of the people’s concerns.

But Ocean Grove is much different, with creeping inertia on the part of the public,  and it will get whatever the big-shots want at our North End.





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