Lovely to look at, delightful to know, kinky perhaps.      Paul Goldfinger portrait. © 2014.



By Paul Goldfinger, Editor  @Blogfinger   (Reposted from September, 2011 on Blogfinger)  I like this post, so here it is again; the third time around since 2011.  Read the comments.

It was 1991, and we were visiting Paris with our son Michael, who had just turned 21. We had been there before and we liked the Left Bank the best, especially the area near the oldest church in town  (St. Germaine des Pres)  located on the Boulevard St. Germaine. You can walk that neighborhood and find bookstalls along the River Seine, Musee D’Orsay—home of the Impressionists, funky neighborhoods near the Sorbonne, antique shops, bistros where you can’t get a bad meal, small hotels with floor to ceiling windows and no elevators, and wonderful food markets.

Boats moored along the Seine. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Boats moored along the Seine. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Behind the old church, where the Blvd. St. Germaine meets Rue de Rennes, is a tiny park where you can relax, called the Rue de l’Abbaye—a respite from the bustle all around it.  But also at that intersection is the famous Café Les Deux Magots where Hemingway, Picasso and other artists and intellectuals used to hang out. It’s so much fun to sip an espresso there and people-watch.

Park adjacent to the church: St. Germaine des Pres. Paul Goldfinger photo ©. 1991.

One evening Michael and I took a walk.  At the corner, in front of the church and across from the café, we heard a street band playing. They were called “The Lost Wandering Blues and Jazz Band”, composed mostly of American musicians.  But we were most intriqued by their vocalist, a seventeen year old young woman from New York and California who sounded like Billie Holiday. She had been living in Paris since she moved there at age 16 with her mom.  Madeleine Peyroux is now a jazz star who performs around the world, but we think of her standing on the sidewalk with a floppy hat on, charming the crowd.

As you can imagine, I took a lot of photographs there. Below is the Cafe Deux Magots which dates back to 1875—just a few years younger than Ocean Grove.

And below that is Madeleine Peyroux singing in French. The song is “J’ai Deux Amours”  (I have two loves).  It is from her album “Careless Love.”    That’s a good song for an album with that name.

Cafe Deux Magots. Paris. 1991. By Paul Goldfinger

Presenting Madeleine Peyroux:



Reposted from Blogfinger in 2013.

Beth Rowley is an English singer who performed two songs on the soundtrack of “An Education”— a 2009 film from England about the coming of age of a 16 year old girl who is being pursued by a man in his 30’s. This song is called “A Sunday Kind of Love.”

Lyrics:  “I’m hoping to discover a certain kind of lover.”    And it better be “a love to last past Saturday night,”  because if it does, it’s better—it’s a “Sunday kind of love.”

“Sunday Kind of Love”  was written in 1946 and was made famous by Etta James.  One of the four composers was Louis Prima.   Since it’s Sunday today, it seems like a good idea to play it now. Rowley’s interpretation is much different than Etta’s, and the movie was very good.  Rent it.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

The Whitfield Hotel in 2015.  The front of the lot  is on Surf Avenue facing north  (60.5 feet wide).   The back is on Bath Avenue, facing south  (60.5 feet).  The side is 103 feet long on Beach Avenue facing the ocean. This property, #20 Surf Avenue in OG, is zoned for one lot  (Block 113, Lot 10.)

4 foundations on one lot, seen here from Surf Avenue,  are not permitted.   Photo by Stephen Goldfinger on 3/18/17. Blogfinger staff.©


This is a view taken from Beach Avenue showing the separation between foundations. . By Stephen Goldfinger 3/19/17 ©

This is the second installment of “The Case of the Notorious Whitfield Hotel.”

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger and Jack Bredin, Researcher @Blogfinger

Not only are there now 4 foundations on that one lot site, but those lots would have to be undersized.  30 x 60 is the minimum lot size requirement for Ocean Grove.   The size of the rectangular Whitfield site is 103 feet long, and four regulation lots would need a minimum of 120 feet along each side. But the Whitfield lots would have to fit into 103 feet, and they are, by definition, undersized.

Everyone we have spoken to, including Township officials, residents who live near the Whitfield, and concerned Grovers tell us that the Whitfield site will become 4 detached single family homes, and almost everyone seems delighted. But should they be?

The excavation has begun, and we now know that there are  four foundations.  And a source tell us  that the developer has been officially “approved” for placing 4 homes at that site. But who allowed work to begin without a 4 lot subdivision being blessed by the Neptune Township Planning Board?

We asked around  and learned, mostly from people in the know, that  Bernard Haney, the long-standing Tax Assessor in Neptune Township, who also wears a second hat, that of Land Use Administrator, was responsible for that decision.

Bernard Haney, Neptune Twp.Tax Assessor and Land Use Administrator. Blogfinger photo  c.2015. Neptune Twp Municipal Bldg. ©

Here is how the procedure should work. First the developer orders a survey map of the property. The survey map shows the exact size of the lot, and the map is used to prepare a site plan/subdivision.

This is a plan which shows where the buildings will be “sited” on the subdivided property pursuant to the zoning and the subdivision ordinance. The site plan is part of an application for development and is to be filed with the Township Building Department.

The site plan is then prepared and signed by a licensed professional who in this case would clearly show on the cover page that the applicant wants to subdivide the property into 4 undersized (nonconforming) lots.

However, the problem is that there is no type of variance or procedure that would permit a conforming lot to be subdivided into any nonconforming lots.

The application should have been referred to the Planning Board for a public hearing, but that referral was never made.   We checked with the Planning Board secretary who verified that she was not instructed to schedule a hearing on the Planning Board agenda.

Approved subdivisions are recorded on the tax map under the supervision of the Township Engineer. As such, the Township Engineer should have been asked to review the plan and prepare a written report for the Planning Board. The Neptune Engineer said she received no such request.

We learned that after the subdivision approval,  the  approved plan was sent to the Building Department to issue permits for the 4 single family houses, or, at least, for the foundation work which is now in progress.

It appears that the current 2014 tax map, which clearly shows one existing lot at the Whitfield site, not four, was ignored. That lot would ordinarily require a subdivision if more than one single family house is proposed.

We were told that Mr. Haney decided that after the demolition, the current empty lot would automatically revert to an 1879 tax map which showed 4 lots and to declare that the 2017 post demolition lot was already subdivided into 4 lots.

This maneuver by the Township appears to be a technique to allow 4 single family houses to be built on a lot where only 3 can be permitted.

Even if this method of circumventing the usual approach to subdivisions turns out to be acceptable, the application  still should have been referred  to the Planning Board.

Do you suppose that this is a well traveled highway in Ocean Grove?  Have we now lost that loving feeling in our town, or did it disappear a long time ago?


November one, 2013. It's always different. By Paul Goldfinger ©

November one, 2013. Ocean Grove, NJ.  By Paul Goldfinger ©. Click to enlarge.

DANIEL O’DONNELL    “Welcome to My World.”   From the Jim Reeves Songbook.

Chuck Berry died today.  He was born in St. Louis in 1926. Chuck Berry was a rock and roll pioneer.  This is reposted from Blogfinger in April, 2012.—-Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger





Ft. Myers, Fla. Bunche Beach.  Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

EMMA STONE AND RYAN GOSLING,  from the movie  La La Land: (original music won two Academy Awards:)    “A Lovely Night.”

In October we reported that houses would be built on that property next to the Arts Center.  Internet photo.

From OGJaimie:

“Just thought you’d be interested that dump next to the old high school, which used to contain lumps of soil and sand is now a construction lot for the Gannons and whatever other construction job is occurring in the immediate area, which currently involves something that involves digging up the street.

“Every day the number of vehicles, equipment, containers seems to increase. Pretty certain this is not an approved use.

“A worker/supervisor doing work on the roads (I assume on public utilities) told me that Herb Herbst, of the Jersey Shore Arts Center, said they could use the lot, but Herb no longer owns the land; the Gannon’s own it.”

Editor’s Note:  OGJaimie is a resident over there and he has a history of commenting about this subject.  Blogfinger has no information at this time about the current status of that property.

Here is a link to our October, 2016 post about that property.  There is a discussion there which deals with lot sizes and subdivisions, a topic that we are currently involved with regarding the Whitfield property on Surf Avenue.

Arts Center adjacent lot


BILLIE HOLIDAY: “Can’t Get Started.”

Florida bobcat

Bobcat  (Lynx rufus) by guest photographer Ernest Bergman, FOB (Friend of Blogfinger)

Ernest was strolling along a boardwalk that winds through a nature preserve in Florida when he came upon this bobcat. There are two predatory cats that live in Florida.  The bobcat survives in all sorts of environments. It is twice the size of a domestic housecat and is a meat eater–hunting by night.  (squirrels, rabbits, birds and raccoons.)

The other Florida cat is the Florida Panther which is more elusive.


OG Portraits: Stephen

Spring is soon. Ocean Grove , NJ. Stephen is a Grover .  April, 2015. Paul Goldfinger photo ©


%d bloggers like this: