Paul Goldfinger photo. Pearl Harbor Day 2011. OG Pier pre-Sandy.  Click to enlarge.


Each year on Pearl Harbor Day in Ocean Grove, there is a ceremony at the pier, and a small boat, tossing around in the waves, drops a wreath into the ocean. It is very moving. December 7, 2011.    Paul Goldfinger photo.

Neptune Police Chief Robert Adams piloted his small boat for these ceremonies. He loved this photograph and he had it hanging in his Neptune office.


By Israeli singer LLANIT.    The title means Next Year.



Japanese planes attack. This from a documentary on Pearl Harbor.  It happened on December 7, 1941 –in the bleak midwinter.   Paul Goldfinger still image. 11/22.  Click to enlarge


YO YO MA.  From the Ken Burns doc. The War.     “Blue as the Turquoise Night of Newyshabur.”



Paul Goldfinger. Great Auditorium. December 2014.




Full moon in December.

Paul Goldfinger. Capturing the light.   Ocean  Grove.  12/5/22.






Paul Goldfinger photo.   Ocean Grove.  12/5/22.    5:25 pm.  Click to enlarge.


December 5, 2022:  I was on the OG side of the New Jersey Avenue bridge; test driving my camera in the dusky light with a full moon.

I saw her coming from A. Park.  She had been shopping and she was happy.  As she reached the OG side I snapped a photo.  I wanted her in my picture, but she thought she was ruining the photo, and she exclaimed:


She:   Oh, I’m so sorry.


Me:  Don’t be, I wanted you in my photo.


She:  No  pictures!


But she was still smiling as she rode by.  And she didn’t know that her image was in my camera.


I have her happy about Christmas to come.


People often don’t like to be photographed unless they can pose.  But that is just what I don’t want.   I want people to be revealed as their natural selves.

And the fact is that most of my subjects never know for sure  that their picture  was “taken.”   And that is OK.

In the 19th century the  photographer would stick his head under a black cloth, using a camera that weighed perhaps 50 pounds,  and with a shutter speed that could be several minutes or  much more.  Matthew Brady, the famed  Civil War photog could never get action shots so he mostly took pictures of dead soldiers.

Compare that war photographer with Robert Capa the Pulitzer winning photojournalist who went in on D Day with the first wave, splashing in the water, under fire,  as he took a couple of rolls using a small hand held Leica camera.

And now there are more photographs taken than ever before.


ETTA JONES: Jazz for a Christmas Present.



Firemen’s Park,  Ocean Grove. Paul Goldfinger photo. Dec. 2022.


By Paul Goldfinger,   Editor Blogfinger.net

For many, this creche simply means Christmas.  People tend to like it whether they are “religious” or not.

The creche tells  the central story of Christmas, so some will view it as holy.

Others will view it as religious art, as seen in paintings and sculptures, often  in museums and churches.

But should  it be displayed in Firemen’s Park?  They don’t even have one in Auditorium Square Park.

Anyone who wants a creche on their own property may have one on their own front yard, and I assume that is true in Ocean Grove where all front yards are owned by the CMA, and it is true on church properties.

Some complain that religious scenes like this or other religious displays such as menorahs do not belong in public spaces, ie separation of church and state. A creche would not be found in public schools, for example, although when I was in high school we had a live nativity on stage in the auditorium , nor would a creche be on that beautiful lawn in front of Asbury Park High School or in front of Neptune High School .

The separation of church and state would require that no religious displays be placed on public property, and Firemen’s Park, although owned by the CMA, functions as a public space where religious art should not be shown because it suggests a religious preference.  And the park is on the town’s ROSI list where those spaces that receive Green Acres tax advantages and Neptune tax relief must pay attention to such limitations.

But in Ocean Grove, to complicate the topic regarding avoiding religious preferences, only Christian themes are shown publicly.  Some will say that the nativity in the park is OK because this town was founded as a Christian community and is historically accurate.

This is not the first time I have heard that sentiment about Christian displays being historic in the Grove, but it is not exactly true. This park, for example, began its life honoring a person, and it had a fountain in the middle. We don’t know when the creche first appeared, but change is part of OG history and will be inevitable.

But in Ocean Township their Municipal Building ‘s front yard  on Monmouth Road has a creche and a menorah, the latter also having a religious basis representing a miracle.   Both would generally  be considered inappropriate, but individual towns could decide otherwise, however  they would have to allow other displays like the Hari Krishnas dancing on their lawn, or a group of shofar blowers playing a chorus of  religious blasts  together as occurred a number of years ago in front of the Youth Temple in OG, or letting 7th Day Adventists set up at the Mother Ship and hand out their literature.

I asked one resident who is not Christian how he felt about the creche.  He said that it didn’t bother him, but he would prefer it weren’t there.  Another said that religious symbols should not be present in public spaces because they might make visitors feel uncomfortable.  We live in a culture where no one should be uncomfortable, and any complaints must be corrected.

Another person said that this scene is less offensive because it remains  for only about two months, while the beach cross is present all year long and thus might be more objectionable..

We live across from the park, and many people do stop at the creche.  We don’t know what they are thinking.

We met a man tonight in the park who said that this scene is a part of Christmas in the Grove, and it didn’t disturb  him.  He is renting here now and has stayed in the Grove on many occasions in the past. He said that those who chose to live  here knew what to expect, so they should have no complaint.  Some say ‘”If you don’t like it, then leave!”     We heard that in the Blogfinger comments section a few times.

If something happens which would require the firemen to remove the creche, then while they are at it, they can remove the concentration camp spiked iron fence, sharp and dangerous needle brambles , and the chain- locked gate since such an image doesn’t fit with peace on earth symbols of Christmas.

Next month the OGHOA is planning a ” forum” to discuss the differences between the CMA and the  “non-religious  group”   in town.   But how will this “forum” begin and end?  The agenda, if they have one, will be troublesome to formulate. And the definition of “non-religious group” might be debated for an hour.

If the creche is any indication of the complexity of such controversies, then  it would be best if the Groaners abandon their troublesome and ill-conceived conference.   They will have no useful idea what to say, and why take a chance on an anti-religious backlash event in a town where religion is well tolerated and part of its history?




“What can I give him?Poor as I amIf I were a shepherdI would give a lambIf I were a wise manI would do my partBut what I can I give himGive him my heartGive him my heart”







Paul Goldfinger, MD.   This image appeared in a 1988  Pfizer Labs calendar  (contest winner) which was distributed world-wide. I was Miss August.   It was taken in Tlaquepaque, Mexico—near Guadalajara.




This town is in the State of Jalisco where mariachi music was invented in the 18th century.  I love mariachi music–it has vocal harmonies, accordions, harmonicas, trumpets, guitars and strings—it is happy music.  And you can dance to it, but you need a big sombrero to fit in.

If you visit Guadalajara and its surroundings, the mariachis follow you wherever you go.  This photo actually brought me some fan mail. But after winning this contest 5 or 6 times, I decided to specialize in black and white.

Th reason I was in Jalisco then was to be a visiting professor of cardiology at the Univ. of Guadalajara School of Medicine where there were many American students who were glad to see me.  Eileen and the boys accompanied me on the trip which we did three times. The staff took us out to dinner a few times, but it was not Mexican food as we know it in Asbury Park.   There is a heavy Spanish/European influence, and the cuisine was wonderful.




Great Auditorium: Live Nativity. Ocean Grove.   Paul Goldfinger portrait. December 2021.  Click to enlarge.





From Nancy and Jean on Cookman Avenue. Sent to us today.  (2012) by email.  It is an excellent bird portrait.

“Hi – sending you a picture of a Cooper Hawk that the wind blew into our backyard on Cookman Ave, in OG.”

Cooper’s Hawk by Nancy and Jean on Cookman Ave.  Ocean Grove, NJ  2012.



Mt. Hermon Way. iPhone13 pro with tele lens. Paul Goldfinger photo. 12/3/22. By Paul Goldfinger, Editor Blogfinger.net. Ocean Grove.


We feed the birds in our back yard , and there is a giant tree next door.  And we have a pond with goldfish swimming around.   So our fish and  little birds. (finches, sparrows, wrens, doves, wood peckers, and cardinals) attract a black and white cat with a pink collar (anyone know its name?) and a predator called a Cooper hawk.

These hawks  are found from southern Canada down to Mexico.  They stop in Boca Raton searching for the elusive gefilte fish and the wild caught pickled herring.

One time we were standing in our backyard when there seemed to be snow falling.  But it turned out to be the hawk up in tree enjoying lunch while spitting out the white feathers.

If we look out in our backyard and see no birds, we instinctively look up in the tree for the hawk.  And we look near the pond where the cat likes to sit and watch the action.

Yesterday the hawk was relaxing on our backyard fence.  I got a few frames with my iPhone, and then the hawk flew off.


JESSICA MOLASKEY.  The clarinet solo is by Ken Peplowski who often records with Jessica and the Pizzarellis — family purveyors of the Great American songbook.




Gulf Waters Bicycle Riders Club.  Lakes Park Farmers Market.  Ft. Myers.   March 6, 2015.    Click to see who’s who’s who . Photo by Paul Goldfinger.  ©


.By Paul Goldfinger from the Tropicana Forum.


They came into the rest area single file, or close to it, slowing down as they rode around me.  “Hey, you better get out of the way,” said a man sitting at a table nearby. He was promoting the Bible, but instead of saving a soul, he was trying to save me.  I realized then that I should stop daydreaming, so instead I starting shooting photos.

The Gulf Waters Bicycle Riders are a social group from a nearby mobile home community.  “Candominium” corrected one rider referring to the metal construction of their houses which are  not far from Tropicana Park which we wrote about recently.  They didn’t seem tired, because they apparently take their time as they ride about 10 miles to get to their destination—the  Farmers Market.

They saw me taking pictures, so they requested a group shot. They assembled in about 5 seconds. It shows how fast  a group of seniors can move when they are asked to pose for a picture.  One said, “Don’t put us in Playboy.”   Another called out, “We need to show more leg.”

I call this a “Coaster shot.”  That’s when  persons stand in a horizontal row and grin at the camera.

But I did them a favor and then discovered  this was my best shot, achieving a high rate of smiles due to some ribald remarks coming from both sides of the camera.

One of the group, Artie Johnson, stepped forward and asked me to be sure to send them a photo which he would share.  He said he was from Calverton, NY and he handed me a card that identified him as an Ambassador for the USA Pickleball Association.

I didn’t  know about that, but there was a merchant at the market who sold only pickles. I went up to him and made an offer, “Will you sell me half-sours for half price?”

He replied, “I’m not going to fall for that one.”

Sometimes my jokes fall flatter than a fluke in winter at the Belmar Marina.

I mailed Uncle Artie the photo and a link to this site.


Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.


BETS MALONE    from the Marvelous Wonderettes

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