We took a day trip to one of our favorite shore destinations, Asbury Park. This was our first visit since Superstorm Sandy. It was great to see the beach full of sun bathers and colorful umbrellas. The boardwalk was bustling with people and the food stands all had lines. We walked past Madam Marie’s from the Bruce Springsteen song and it reminded me of his lyric “down the shore everything is alright”. There are certain places that are constants in our lives. At different times of my life I have visited different New Jersey shore towns, such as Belmar, Avon, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant and Wildwood. Each town has a unique quality and caters to different age groups and life styles.
Selfie on the Beach
The advertising campaign for the shore this year is “Stronger Than The Storm”. People from New Jersey, and especially the shore, are known for their resiliency in the face of adversity.
The Convention Center
Did you hear, the cops finally busted Madame Marie,
for tellin’ fortunes better than they do …
Bruce Springsteen, 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
If you grew up in New Jersey this song was a big part of your youth. As you walk around Asbury Park you can’t help but think of some of your favorite summer songs.
Last weekend we took a second visit to Asbury Park to see the Boardwalk and some other places that we missed on our first visit. Beach season was officially over but the boardwalk was still hopping with tourists, locals and street musicians. There were food stands in colorful shipping “containers” between the shops and restaurants. We had funnel cake and lemonade while listening to a trio dressed kind of like steampunk gypsies singing about vampires. We walked past a lot of the landmarks, like Madame Marie’s stand from Bruce’s song (yes, it really does exist), the Stone Pony, and The Convention Center. At the Wonder Bar they were having an outdoor Yappy Hour, where people brought their dogs. There were more Shepard Fairey murals beyond the main drag.
The Convention Center
The Convention Center is filled with little shops and bars
We could hear a musician playing guitar and singing a Door’s song here while walking on the beach
McLoone’s Asbury Grille, formerly a Howard Johnsons
Shepard Fairey murals
The Asbury Park Boardwalk is timeless, with architecture from several different eras standing side by side. Some of the buildings reminded me of Giorgio de Chirico’s isolated landscapes. Music is a big part of the Boardwalk and you can’t help but think of your favorite summer songs from when you were growing up.
Hipstamatic and Instagram – Taken at the Boardwalk in Wildwood
Last weekend I visited Asbury Park for the first time in many years. Before going to Dr. Sketchy’s in the Passions Building I had a chance to take some pictures around the beach and boardwalk area.
There was a mixture of the old and new Asbury Park. The Casino building had street art inside and around it.
Shepard Fairey mural of Paul Simonon of the Clash
Mural inside of Casino Building
Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel Building (Carousel is no longer in the building)
Detail of artwork over the door
View of Boardwalk
I really want to visit Asbury Park again to visit more of it’s landmarks that I missed, like the Convention Center and the Stone Pony. It really is a unique part of the New Jersey shore.
It’s the time of year when I start thinking about the beach and the New Jersey shore in particular. I was looking for photos to “Percolate” and some of the iPhone photos from Wildwood lend themselves to the process.
The Famous Wildwood Sign
Full Disclosure: I have not stayed at the StarLux Hotel yet, I have only admired it from afar. I’ve wanted to stay here since our first visit to Wildwood about 10 years ago. I try to get some pictures of it every time we go to Wildwood and this time I was lucky to get some night pictures. I love the retro architecture and the neon lights.
I would love to get up in the morning and look out at the ocean and the Wildwood Sign from the hotel. Will I get to stay at the StarLux next summer? I can just imagine the amazing photos I can take in and around the hotel. From pictures I’ve seen online there are lava lamps in the room – another great reason for me to go!