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Posts Tagged ‘Party in the Grove’

Janet Page of Mt. Hermon Way gets ready to feed chocolate cake to her birthday party guests.

Janet Page of Mt. Hermon Way gets ready to feed chocolate cake to her OG birthday party guests.     PG photos

By Paul Goldfinger   (Re-post from 2013—-remember when.)

There was a time when Ocean Grove was a dreary place. I saw that myself around 1996 when I came to visit my son Michael who had rented an apartment here.  He said, “Dad, you and Mom should buy a place here. The prices are terrific.”  We looked around.  Across the street was a sort of boarding house.  Next door, we saw a glassed-in porch where people in wheelchairs were wheeled out if it were sunny.

“Are you kidding?” we asked.  I recall talking to someone in front of his house when a person walking across the street made reference to  “Ocean Grave.”

But, after some more visits over the next two years, we began to notice that changes were occurring, and we finally realized that this town had potential.  By 1998, despite the dreariness, it was a “sellers market.”  There were few places to see.       We found a three-family house that was pretty crappy, although it was near the ocean. To be exact, it was a small one family that had been divided into a legal three family.  We bought it and eagerly anticipated when we could get down for the weekends.

We began to witness some obvious demographic changes. I noticed that the cars were getting nicer around town and that a lot of remodeling was going on. But even better, we saw children, teenagers,  young families, bikinis, and signs of vibrant life all over the place. The New York Times was disappearing at the news-stand, and fathers pulling red wagons with kids were crowding the counter at the bakery on Sunday mornings.  There was poetry at Auditorium Park, Ray Charles at the GA, art shows on the boards, violin ensembles downtown, dancing in the streets, a  brilliant 4th of July parade, and massive flea markets by the ocean, among a wide variety of other signs of life.   We moved here year-round in 2001.

Meet the neighbors at an OG house party.

Meet the neighbors at an OG house party.

Since our arrival we have attended an array of mostly neighborhood parties which underlined the evolving spirit of the place. One time Eileen and I attended a party where I was the only male—not that it did me any good.  We’ve been to block parties and house parties. We witnessed the archetypal OG house party where thirty people can be crammed into two rooms—practically hanging from the chandeliers if they had any.  But nobody minds about that–in fact it’s quite charming.   And, to make matters more encouraging, things get better every year.

If you get to go to a good party in the Grove, please send us a photo.  We need you Bloogers, Grovers, Southenders, Northenders, Downtowners, Commenters and Kvetchers to send reports to Blogfinger@verizon.net.

Marge and Cousin Brucie

Margie and Cousin Brucie

Eddie Chesler-Holmes enjoys the festivities

Eddie Chesler-Holmes enjoys the festivities

SOUNDTRACK:  Madonna

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