Posts Tagged ‘Ocean Grove lifestyles’


Ocean Grove at the Spring fling. Pilgrim Pathway. 5/15/16. Blogfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove at the Spring Fling. Pilgrim Pathway. 5/15/16. Blogfinger photo

Of course, when the Jersey girls in their summer clothes make their debut on the OG Boardwalk, this will seem modest.  Blogfinger will be covering that story from the culture/lifestyles viewpoint.

BUDDY HOLLY and the CRICKETS from the soundtrack of American Graffiti.:

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July 4 parade on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Running the swan show is Proprietor Linda Occhipinti.. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©

July 4 parade on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. Running the swan show is proprietor Linda Occhipinti. Paul Goldfinger photo.  2017


From historian David H. Fox of the Historical Society of Ocean Grove:   7/2/23

“The use of Swan Boats on Wesley Lake has a surprisingly long history. The OGCMA authorized their use on 24 May 1889. They were presumably human powered as sail and steam boats were prohibited on the lake. I see there are a number of offerings in the current boats including swans, cranes, flamingoes, and even a dragon. Following the lead of Loch Ness, it seems every lake has to have some sort of monster.”



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Spring fling, May 14. Neptune township closed a large part of Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo. ©

Spring Fling, May 14, 2016.   Neptune township closed a large part of Main Avenue. Blogfinger photo.  (May 6, 2023 for this year’s “Spring Fling”)  Who needs it?


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger   2016.   Read the many comments; click below.


Saturday, May 14, 2016.       Today at 10:30 am I returned from the bank and found the town to be overrun with a large crowd of tourists who were here for a “Spring Fling” sponsored by the OG Chamber of Commercials. (CC).    Parking was very difficult.  Main Avenue was closed along the entire commercial district and down near the beach. Pilgrim Pathway was clogged shut, and a loud rock band was shaking the rafters.

Who exactly benefits from this  “Spring Fling?”   Of course the CC does, and so do the many vendors who have set up booths, almost all of them from out of town. The tourists love it, while the locals ignore it and groan.


Pilgrim Pathway for the Spring Fling. Is this Seaside Heights? Blogfinger photo. © Pilgrim Pathway closed for the “Spring Fling”. Should we be Seaside Heights or Rhinebeck?  Blogfinger photo.  May 2016.


This is not the only such happening. How about the Chamber’s  Spring Giant Flea Market which will involve nearly 300 vendors on June 4?

Then there is the British car fling, the vintage car fling, the giant fall flea fling market and the fall autumn fling festival—– all town clogging flinging events produced by the CC.

And don’t forget the large gatherings sponsored by the Camp Meeting Association, including their giant craft show in mid June.

How much of this sort of crowded tourist event is good for the town?  How much flinging is enough?  When does the Chamber, the CMA, and the Township start to think about nurturing this town, its history, its culture, and its residents? It seems like OG is merely a stage-set for those who want to commercialize it.

People say that the parking issues are only during July and August, but this town has congested events of this sort for  6 months of the year, hardly a trivial amount of time. We need relief for resident parking.

We are a lovely artistic and historic town, and it is wonderful to have events outdoors here, but how about small themed programs that improve the quality of life of those who actually live in Ocean Grove.

I’m thinking chamber music, art shows, collectors events, film festivals, historic reenactments, food truck nights, yard sales, farmers markets, plays in the parks, poetry readings, focused  literary festivals, etc.

Two summers ago (2014)  we had an Illumination Night for the townspeople. It was a beautiful small historic event with overtones of OG’s past.   It was held by Auditorium Park adjacent to the bookstore—sponsored by the CMA.

Lights were twinkling, kids were skateboarding and biking, a guitarist played, and the rest of us chatted and had refreshments. We need more of that, but without the religious component.


Illumination Night August 20, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Illumination Night near the Great Auditorium. August 20, 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo.


What exactly does the Chamber do for the Grove itself? When was the last time they spoke out regarding OG issues such as historic preservation, land use controversies, or parking?     How about elevating the cultural experiences here instead of just promoting commercialism?

Why should we who live here be thrilled with the Chamber’s  “flings?”   Do they care about the tranquility, spirit, quality of life and comfort of Ocean Grove’s citizens? Do they care about the future of this town?

They want our business, but what do they do in exchange besides show up. And as for the town, this is just another example of Neptune Township ignoring the  tax paying “townies” in favor of other interests.

So, if OG continues on a path where there are takers but few givers, then it will decline into something less. Too pessimistic?  If we want to be unique instead of similar to other shore towns, then committed citizens need to pay attention.


Editor’s note  2022:  This topic is about the life of our town…what is it and what should it be?  Ocean Grove  needs to define itself because helter- skelter will be its ruin.

If you read the comments for this post from 2016 you can see that we were all over the map in trying to understand the Grove.  There needs to be a movement —-a community of residents .

That community is the single most important  group in town and they should organize to keep OG from being weighed down by too much too much too much: commercialism, tourist crowds, religious dominance, zoning abuses, Neptune neglect, cultural deficiencies, and mindless wheel spinning giant events.  Let’s balance the scale with more positives and less negatives.


And speaking of balancing the scale, in April 2023 we asked Neptune Township to help we-the-people publicize our Town-Wide Yard Sale.  They have formally refused—5/1/23.

This sort of advertising help is provided to others  by the Neptuners via an employee named A. Curtis. You may have found her in your inbox promoting the Chamber, Monmouth County, free trees, Senior Center events, garbage pickup,USA Sports, World Changers, NJ Internships ,Easter egg hunt, 5K run,  Neptune golfers event, May Spring Fling, and 8 other Chamber events, but she would not agree to help us with advertising our people’s Yard Sale.

These are the Chamber events promoted by Neptune Township through a special “partnership.”  Why won’t the Neptuners form a partnership with we-the-people? How is the money spread around?


And undoubtedly Ms. Curtis  won’t help promote another citizen sponsored event: Art on the Porch, coming on June 10. This promises to be the most amazing arts event in OG history, organized by OG residents, and the Township won’t help.

Attention Neptune United:  The Township tax payers could not get help from the Township for promoting our people’s yard sale. This is taxation without representation and is unfairness toward the citizens of Ocean Grove, refusing to help them while spending taxpayer money to publicize the Chamber.

And the CC consists not only of Grovers, but has some members from elsewhere.  They are the” Ocean Grove Area CC”   and they are a private group whereas we are citizens of Neptune Township, and our governance should favor our citizens over profiteering outsiders.

What the hey?


NEKO CASE  with the Nighthawks in Boardwalk Empire



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The Albatross. Ocean Pathway, Ocean Grove.   Blogfinger photo © 2017 re-post on the occasion of the 2021 sale.


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor   Blogfinger.net:


The article below was from 2017 on Blogfinger when a reader called the Albatross “..just another menace to society.”  But rest assured that the recent drug raid on Oct. 9, 2020, on Ocean Pathway was at another address, closer to the ocean—-a tribute to skepticism regarding preconceived notions and stereotypes.


Ocean Pathway drug bust Oct 9 2020



From Samuel Taylor’s  poem :    Ryme of the Ancient Mariner:

“With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross.

‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.”

But now, in Ocean Grove, Joe Grove has something similar to say about the Albatross, but he is referring to an old hotel on the Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, NJ.

“The Albatross has been functioning as vagrant housing. It seems the B and B’s of Ocean Grove have a 10 day stay limit for guests and to circumvent this limitation one simply has to change rooms. The Albatross is apparently applying a 90 day limitation and has basically converted into vagrant housing. The residents from the Whitfield and La Pierre are staying there under contract with a state agency.

“To have a B and B  on the Pathway between the Great Auditorium and the boardwalk pavilion operating under this charade is pretty amazing. The integrity of the surrounding area has negatively impacted other residents, and the vagrants in the Albatross have definitely left their mark with cigarette butts and other trash inconsiderately tossed on the streets.

“Hats off to the owner of the Albatross which has become just another menace to society…”

There had been talk that the owner of the Albatross would like to turn it into condominiums, but we don’t know for sure. It had some moments of fame on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

As portrayed on HBO–cast as an early 20th century hotel; which it is. Blogfinger photo of the TV showing Boardwalk Empire (HBO).

The Albatross appears in “Boardwalk Empire”

But why can’t these old hotels succeed as they did in the past?  The Manchester Inn seemed successful, but the owner wanted condos….and then it burned down.  Single family homes resulted.  But others deteriorated like the Whitfield which was demolished and will become single family homes.  One recently tried to become a drug rehab center.  And yet others have become condominiums with pseudo-Victorian facades and no parking, increased congestion, and no character.

But Neptune’s elected officials  should  owe their allegiance to the citizens of the “historic district” and not to developers.  The ideal should be a historic town that brings comfort and beauty to the residents and the visitors.  It should be a place with honesty, light and air.  It should attract art, music, children, flowers, teenagers, yard sales, dinner on the porches, bicyclists, film festivals, ice cream, theater, girls in summer clothes, good eateries, diversity, and more….not trash and scum in Wesley Lake, not politicians in the shadows,  and not cigarette butts on the ground.

Too bad for the owners, but the dying old hotels should revert to single family homes.  Why did the Township bother to write a master plan?

And what will happen to Ocean Grove in the future—maybe it will become like Ocean Grove, Australia, which now bears no resemblance to Osborne’s dream.  It’s a surfers’ town now. Maybe that’s OK.  Some wouldn’t care if our Grove were to drift away to become something else.


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Witches assemble on Heck Avenue for Halloween. 10/31/15. © Paul Goldfinger photograph

Witches assemble on Heck Avenue for Halloween. Under the levity is what?  10/31/15. © Paul Goldfinger photograph.


YO YO MA: ” Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The eternal vow”   by Tan Dun



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We were out of town today, July 14, 2021, for this year’s fish and chips dinner sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary (one L)   We hope some of you got to enjoy this marvelous event replete with fun and fish oils.

For those who never saw it, this 2016 re-post will make you plan to go next year.  Note you can also see the 2019 post by searching the search box above.

Paul  and Eileen  at Blogfinger.net

By 6:30 pm there was a long line waiting to get in at the Auditorium Pavilion on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove. © Click to enlarge the photos

By 6:30 pm there was a long line waiting to get in at the Auditorium Pavilion on Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove. © Click to enlarge the photos. Blogfinger.net

The assembly line was well oiled. This was the tartar sauce station. All photos by Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger.net

The assembly line was well oiled. This was the tartar sauce station. All photos by Paul Goldfinger of Blogfinger.net

Paul Goldfinger photo at fish and chips. Ocean Grove.

You needed to be a red head to work here. It all smelled so good. Nothing like fried fish and chips right out of the fryer. ©

You needed to be a red head to work here. It all smelled so good. Nothing like fried fish and chips right out of the oil. ©  The cooks were professionals from Kearny, NJ, fish and chip mecca.

This is the sort of community event that breathes life into a town like OG.

FRED MOLLIN AND THE BLUE SEA BAND  from the movie Ratatouille 

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Moe Demby©  Heck Avenue in Ocean Grove, NJ.  Blogfinger.net staff photo. July 2, 2017.





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Ocean Pathway. 2014. Paul Goldfinger photo ©

Ocean Grove . May.   Paul Goldfinger photo ©  Click to enlarge.


DAVID JOHANSEN    From the movie The Aviator 


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OG near the Greatest Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo. © 2014

OG near the Greatest Auditorium. Paul Goldfinger photo. © 2014


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Ocean Grove beach. Paul Goldfinger photo. ©


Kenny VANCE:

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Main Avenue, Ocean Grove. July 4, 2013. Paul Goldfinger photo.



SEAN HAYES:  from the Broadway hit  Promises, Promises.


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Ocean Grove threesome. Auditorium Square Park. September, 2014. By Paul Goldfinger ©

Ocean Grove threesome. Auditorium Square Park. September, 2015. By Paul Goldfinger ©  Click to enlarge.

ADAM LEVINE   from the film Begin Again

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Paul Goldfinger ©. c 2015. Asbury Park seen from Founders Park in Ocean Grove.

Scene:  Friday night, Labor Day weekend, 2017, on our porch in OG.  It’s 10 pm and it is dark out. There is an orange streetlight at our corner, and the moon is 3/4 full. But looking west on Mt. Hermon Way  (North End) it’s quite dark.

My son Stephen has been walking his dog Poojah in Firemen’s Park when he stops  to converse with a young woman who can’t find her car.

She’s been visiting a friend on Lake Avenue in A. Park.

She crosses the bridge to the Grove and finds Stephen.  He invites her onto our porch while they discuss her situation.  He calls me down.

Stephen said, “Dad, I don’t know the geography around here; can you help?”

She is in her twenties and she is alone. She is petite and pretty and she is calm and confident. She is lucid and oriented, but she doesn’t share her name.

She:  “I can’t find my car  (smiling.)  I parked it over here on a street named White-something.”

Me:  (thinking, she must mean Whitefield, one block away).   I can tell her where to go, but we are worried about her in the dark.   “Can I drive you around to find your car?”

She: “No thanks, just tell me where to walk.  You know, I crossed the bridge from here  into Asbury  because here the  parking  is free.”

Me:  (thinking–I’m glad she is comfortable enough in our town to trust us.)

“Just go down a block to find Whitefield  Avenue”

She: “Thanks so much, guys.”

She begins to walk into the darkness.

We watch her disappear.

MEL CARTER      “I Worry About You.”

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