WASSUP? Ocean Grove

The Blogfinger cows chowing down after finding the pizza shop closed on Thursday.  Blogfinger photo.  ©


-BREAKING NEWS:   From the OG rumor mill—The CMA COO Rev. John DiGiamberardino will be leaving his post at the OGCMA.  We have no further details at this time, but he has stirred some controversies during his short stay  (since April, 2016)  including threatening to sue the Township over permit parking and the cancelling of most secular concerts in the Great Auditorium. It’s especially sad because some of us have actually learned how to say and spell his name.

—-In case you doubt that the “Asbury Park effect” is already influencing the real estate market in Ocean Grove, consider this marketing item from a recent OG house listing on Zillow:   “….with easy access to the Asbury Park bridge for dining and entertainment.”

As we pointed out recently some buyers are definitely looking for lower priced real estate in the Grove, primarily because of the proximity to Asbury Park.

The ad failed to mention the parking problems in that part of OG related to the exponential growth and siren call of A. Park.

—This may be a first for OG: A new OG resident is remodeling a historic house in the Grove and has installed a special electric charging station for his fully electric vehicle.  He will be able to charge his car at curbside in front of his home.  The device converts the charge from AC to DC giving new meaning to the term AC/DC in Ocean Grove.

—Zillow says that the Aurora is “off the market”.  This 30 bedroom building at 6 Atlantic Avenue paid $34,000 in taxes in 2014.  The OG rumor mill says that it is on the April agenda for the Board of Adjustment.

—We have heard from Neptune Twp that the Aurora is not on the agenda for the Board of Adjustment this month.  Our source said that it would be in April.  Unconfirmed now.

Yard Sale Poster 2018

—The new  2018 Town-Wide Yard Sale tab has been installed at the top of this page. It will contain information and the sellers list. You can sign up for the May 12 sale by emailing us at Blogfinger@verizon.net.  Help us promote the sale.  Tell everyone to come. Refer them to Blogfinger.net and then click on the tab.

—Song of the Week:    Lawrence Welk  “Bubbles in the Wine.”    “Somebody turn off the bubble machine”

Bubbles in Ocean Grove:

Haley (left) and Mom Rachel Hedberg in OG’s Firemen’s Park. May 25, 2015, waiting for the Memorial Day parade to arrive on Main Avenue. Click to enlarge. Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Blogfinger.net

Valet parking??  At the Township Committee meeting on March 12, 2018, the Committee and the OGHOA brought up the possibility of valet parking to help alleviate parking congestion in the Grove.  This may be the dumbest parking suggestion ever, but we will hold off until we hear more details.  Remember that State Land Use Law will not allow moving cars  ( a private business) onto public streets.

–NJ license plate seen on the Garden State Parkway:   “Mr  If”     The car was driven by a woman—-evidently a tribute to gender ambiguity.

–The CMA has announced a major event for Bridgefest.  there will be a concert of Christian music on Saturday June 23rd. In the Great Auditorium.  It will be covered by 6 radio stations. This is the sort of event that will bring thousands of people into town.

–If you are looking to read the minutes of Township Committee meetings, the last set which was posted on their web site was January 22, 2018.

Stephen Goldfinger ©



Hunting for lunch.   Camelia River in Ft. Myers, Fla. Paul Goldfinger photograph.  Feb. 2018 ©  Click to enlarge


SARAH BRIGHTMAN  “O Mio Babbino Caro.”  By  Giacomo Puccini.


Ft. Myers, Fla. February, 2018. Paul Goldfinger © Click to enlarge

MANDY PATINKIN from his album Experiment

St. Patrick’s Day parade. Cookman Avenue, Asbury Park. March 11, 2018. Paul Goldfinger © Blogfinger.net.


SESAME STREET  with The Fugees.  “Just Happy to Be Me.”

Military band on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park. March 11, 2018. All photographs by Paul Goldfinger ©. Blogfinger.net.  Click on our images to enlarge them.  Then back arrow to see the rest.—PG


Paul Goldfinger, Blogfinger Editor.

The first parade occurred when groups of  revelers in green parked on the Ocean Grove north side and then marched across the New Jersey Avenue bridge to see the 5th Annual St. Patrick’s  Day parade in A. Park.  This Sunday was a bright and sunny day–perfect for a happy parade.  A large crowd assembled along Ocean Avenue and on Cookman.  In A. Park this is a charity event, privately financed and run.

St. Paddy’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of the Irish experience in America, although technically it is about St. Patrick. Today’s event was very well done, and they had mummers bands, fire trucks, Days kazoo ensemble (from Ocean Grove,) rock bands, children’s groups, bag pipers, and all sorts of Asbury Park organizations marching.

The theme of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations generally seems a bit unclear to me. We never had one where I grew up, and in New York City I saw drunken revelry in the streets.  But the parade in New York City, where there is a huge Irish population, is supposed to be a spectacular tribute to the Irish.

Today, there was out-in-the-open drinking at the bars along Cookman Avenue, but no one that I saw got out of hand.  It felt more like New Orleans than Dublin.

Ironically,  in Dublin, the focus is not on drinking. It is mainly a religious event, and the first St. Patrick Day parade was in America, not Ireland. I understand they don’t eat corn beef and cabbage over there as part of the holiday.

Many children were present today, and they were having a great time.  I suppose you can say that in A. Park, it’s party time with a green hue and an Irish accent, devoted to celebrating  the City of Asbury Park.

In Ocean Grove, our Independence Day parade has a strong identifiable theme,and,  like this one, with a strong sense of community pride.  Our last parade was really weak in the music department.  This one today was not.

I was impressed by the Neptune High School marching band which was in full array with fine uniforms and all bases covered.   They were quite the sight. They weren’t playing when they went by my location, so I can’t comment about their music.   But I can only hope that they show up in Ocean Grove on July 4 with the same excellent complement of musicians and pride.

There will be after-parade events, and because of the fine weather, many of the thousands of visitors will probably stay awhile. Maybe some will put down their drinks and wander over to Ocean Grove for a quite different experience, and “viva la difference.”


Enjoying refreshments on Cookman Avenue during the parade. Blogfinger.net


These kids were dancing on the sideline. Blogfinger.net


This mummers group had a Mexican flavor. Blogfinger.net ©


A 2018 Irish lassie. Blogfinger.net ©


Mummers from outer space. Blogfinger.net ©


BAND OF HER MAJESTY’S ROYAL MARINES  play “A Bridge Too Far.”  But the bridge in Ocean Grove isn’t far enough.



Rutherford High School gym. 1959. Photo by Jason Studios–found in the back of my yearbook. © Click to make sure we all were behaving ourselves.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

School dances were held in the gym.  The place was festooned with crepe paper streamers.  The slow dances were more like steamers. Cheek to cheek was the way. There was a live band playing Chuck Berry, Paul Anka, Buddy Holly and so many more. Music of that era was the soundtrack to our lives. Jackets and ties were essential for the dances.

Our school only had about 600 students, so we all were spread out over a variety of activities. I had best friends—three of them were the first team, but there were others orbiting and intersecting. Jeff (dark jacket, seen above with Priscilla, the corsage girl) was very smart. He introduced me to Hemingway. His mom was the town librarian.

Another friend was Tom (with the glasses.)  He once got annoyed at me for referring to him as  a “nonagenarian.” We were all in the band, and we all played sports.

Jeff had a motor scooter, and he would ride, with me on the back, through the Lincoln Tunnel to get to Greenwich Village to hear folk music and jazz.

I am the guy in the background looking up at the ceiling.  I don’t know why I was seemingly distracted at that candid and sensuous moment.  Maybe I was trying to focus on something other than that dark haired pretty girl who was so close. Note the “ducks ass—-DA” on the fellow with the light colored suit.

THE PENGUINS with a song featured on the soundtrack of Back to the Future.



Asbury Park Press photo of the Bradley Beach Lobster Festival. Probably 2017.

By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

Blogfinger has repeatedly said that the mega -events which occur in Ocean Grove, such as the ones on the Pathway where thousands of outsiders cause gridlock in the interest of buying  flea market and craft stuff, are damaging to the lifestyles of those who live in our town.    These happenings are frequent and are sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the CMA, enabled by Township approvals to shut down streets and allow overwhelming numbers of cars in without considering the parking issues. Such huge tourist attractions  cause considerable inconveniences and distress to those residents who live in the Grove. During peak season, they can ruin the joy of living here.

Here is link about the  gridlock that occurred one weekend in 2017:

Madhouse in Ocean Grove 2017

Well, we are not the only ones with such concerns.

On the front page of the Coaster, March 8, 2018, there is a piece about a Bradley Beach citizen who is suing the Borough Council.  Ostensibly, the reason for the suit is because a vote at the Council was tainted by an alleged conflict of interest involving the local Chamber of Commerce.

But what were they voting on?  It was to approve the dates for the annual Lobster Festival. This event, from June 23 to June 25,  attracts over 70,000 people and has about 250 vendors stretched over the 2 mile boardwalk in BB.  It is sponsored by their  Chamber of Commerce.

It seems that there are some Bradley residents who want that mega-gridlock event to be moved from prime-time to a weekend after Labor Day when the town might be better  able to host such congestion.

You may recall that the Mayor of Belmar shut down his town when the influx of their lobster festival celebrants threatened to overwhelm the Borough.

There are times in Ocean Grove when such events produce a total in-effect shut down of our town, with desperate crazed drivers circling endlessly looking for parking as if they were refugees in South Sudan waiting for a shipment of K-rations to drop from the sky.

Here at Blogfinger, we have no interest in the Bradley  “conflict of interest” suit, but we did sense that there is a subtext to the suit, which the Coaster failed to unearth.

We  contacted  T.J. Coan,  a former Councilman, resident  and a businessman on Main Street, in BB,  who is bringing the suit. It turns out that this is really mostly about shutting down the Lobster Festival for June and moving it to after Labor Day for the sake of the residents of Bradley Beach.  Secondarily it is about governance in that Borough.

TJ said that the June weekend is an “insane” time for bringing thousands of tourists into Bradley; it is the first weekend of the “season” when the kids are off from school and where the town should belong to the residents.  “Even without a festival, it is a madhouse.”

This is a quality of life issue.  TJ agrees with us that these gridlock events do nothing to benefit the residents of our towns,  and, in fact, make things worse for those who live in the two communities . He says,  “It’s bad for Bradley Beach,”  and that generalization speaks volumes to citizens of any shore town to organize and fight the pressures to turn their towns into Seaside Heights or the San Gennaro Festival.

Without challenges to the pressures by promoters and commercial interests, a town will change, especially the demographics.  We know people who are already selling in Ocean Grove in response to dissatisfaction with the way the town culture  is deteriorating.

It is a question of who should get priority when multiple factions, such as the Chambers of Commerce, realtors, and tourism advocates fail to consider the best interests of the towns where they do business.  People are attracted to our towns because of their unique and old fashioned styles, but then certain parties  want to change things. Residents need to fight such destructive tendencies if they want to preserve the character of their community .

TJ likened it to Manhattan when huge events such St. Patrick’s Day and the Puerto Rican Day cause even jaded New Yorkers to leave their city and escape somewhere else.  As for the Lobster Fest he says that “Bradley Beach becomes a mess due to tourists, trucks and garbage all over the place.”

TJ and some like-minded Bradley advocates are willing to put up money to try to influence the future of their town.

But, Ocean Grove, a tiny shore town, has more gridlock events than Bradley Beach does, and so far, our citizens don’t seem to care.   Apathy allows the barbarians at the gates to come right in and threaten our lovely historic boroughs.


Trade winds

Tropicana Park. Ft. Myers, Fla. January, 2018. Paul Goldfinger photo © Click to enlarge.



“Music was everywhere
Flowers were in her hair
Under an awning of silvery boughs we traded vows
The night that I sailed away”

“I was away over the weekend in Cumberland, Maryland.
I think that this guy may have been dreaming of the Jersey Shore.”

“Dream On.”  By Bob Bowné. June, 2017. Cumberland, Md.


ROBERT AND JOHNNY with “Dream Girl” (“I’m in lu-lu-luv   … dut dut da dut”)  Music from the film Pleasantville.