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Thread: NJ->Shore->Asbury Park *lots of pics

  1. #1
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    NJ->Shore->Asbury Park *lots of pics

    I took these pictures 5 years and 3 months ago in and around Asbury Park, NJ. I took them with a 35mm and just had the film scanned to CD-ROM for your enjoyment. I posting them now because I’ll inevitably wind up there this summer taking more pictures. I can’t believe how much Asbury has changed for the better since I took these pictures and hopefully you won’t either.

    A little context first -




    Main St. (shown in the map below as “Monmouth County 15”) is actually the Main St. in 7 separate but contiguous towns. The area from Asbury Ave. south to Wesley Lake is the downtown. The area from Sunset Ave. (and Sunset Lake) north to Deal Lake is North Asbury. The area west of the railroad tracks was always a ghetto. At first it was Italian with a small black population along the southern blocks but as the Italians moved out to the suburbs along Rt. 35 in the 50’s and 60’s black families from the South filled the void.


    Downtown – practically mothballed. Again, this was 5 years ago. All of these buildings have somce been converted to lofts.












    In between downtown and North Asbury, a few blocks off of the boardwalk are a handful of hotels struggling against the weather.


    A little ironic, I think.


    This one met the wrecking ball 3 years ago.


    This was put up half-assed by a Connecticut developer who tied up a dozen oceanfront blocks in his bankruptcy cases. The only reason he started building anything here was to hold off his creditors. He used the rest of the waterfront as leverage. It had to be torn down because it wasn’t properly footed


    Palace Amusements (Bruce Springsteen’s “Tunnel of Love”) you might notice that the clown on the left has no head. The giant neon head that was atop Tillie was the source of much local controversy and has since been carefully preserved and will reappear as part of Asbury’s waterfront redevelopment.


    The southern part of the old Carousel house and just behind it the old powerplant.


    Looking north up Ocean Ave. from the roof of what used to be a HoJo but is now a Senior Community Center. The squat building in the middle left is the Stone Pony


    Looking north on the Boardwalk


    The Carousel again. For awhile there used to be a skate park in there that was supposedly run by the local biker gang.


    The rest of the Casino behind the Carousel.

    More Casino. When it was built the ocean was much further away. Now the waves run right underneath it. As you can see it’s seen more than its fair share of hurricanes and nor’easters.


    This is the Victorian (and Methodist) idea of a Casino, mind you, that meant something more like “house of entertainment” rather than “a place to gamble”.


    Looking north across Sunset Lake. This part of Asbury Park has always been mostly white and residential.


    Looking east on the lake towards Convention Hall.


    Looking west.


    For Sale signs abound. People cashing in on recently rehabbed houses.


    The invasion of the Manhattan gay scene had already begun in earnest. Of course, Asbury has always had a sizeable gay community, most of them just lived on the other side of Wesley Lake in Ocean Grove. The Manhattan couples were buying up the Victorians for summer homes while the Ocean Grove crowd has been mostly people local to Monmouth Co.


    a bleak Main St. The real Main St. here is Cookman Ave. that runs through downtown. “Main St.” is also known as State Highway 71.


    More Main St.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  2. #2
    I'm not sure whether I think Asbury would have been a better candidate for gambling than Atlantic City. It looks like it has a bigger glut of old hotels that could have served a purpose were it to have recieved the casinos, whereas Atlantic City was more expressly a big "shore town" with lots of small-scale development flanking the coast. I'd be interested to see what would have happened to the two cities were their fates to be reversed.

    My grandmother had her honeymoon in Atlantic City, and at the time it was the furthest from home she'd ever been. It was a true tropical resort for her. I don't think the Jersey Shore can ever go back to the days when the train rides from Philly or New York were the trips you made once a decade, now that kids are birthed with $89rt flights to Orlando in their mouths. If Asbury Park is reconfigured as a summer home haven for Manhattan's gay community, will it include tacky, useless boardwalk shops selling key chains and necklaces like Seaside Heights and Wildwood?

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    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
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    Is the city always that deserted? Only one photo shows signs of life! Not a real lively looking place.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

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    Cyburbian ICT/316's avatar
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    I'm sorry but the city is a shell of it's past. I seen the movie," City be the Sea". Good movie, took place in Long Beach, Ny. Filmed in Ashury Park, NJ. It is very sad. It will never have it's glory back. WILL IT? Is there hope?


    ___________________

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    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    I'm not sure whether I think Asbury would have been a better candidate for gambling than Atlantic City. It looks like it has a bigger glut of old hotels that could have served a purpose were it to have recieved the casinos, whereas Atlantic City was more expressly a big "shore town" with lots of small-scale development flanking the coast. I'd be interested to see what would have happened to the two cities were their fates to be reversed.
    Atlantic City had all the old hotels and great architecture of Asbury Park on a much larger scale. Most of it was destroyed to make way for the Casinos. Asbury Park was too small, geographically, and too residential for Casino style development. I don't think it was ever really an option. Now AC is a decent mix of the New York, Philly, and tourists from farther afield, I think if the casinos were in AP it would be much more of a New York afair - which i know would keep the Philly people away.

    My grandmother had her honeymoon in Atlantic City, and at the time it was the furthest from home she'd ever been. It was a true tropical resort for her. I don't think the Jersey Shore can ever go back to the days when the train rides from Philly or New York were the trips you made once a decade, now that kids are birthed with $89rt flights to Orlando in their mouths. If Asbury Park is reconfigured as a summer home haven for Manhattan's gay community, will it include tacky, useless boardwalk shops selling key chains and necklaces like Seaside Heights and Wildwood?
    Monmouth County doesn't have anything like Seaside or Wildwood or even Point Pleasant. It never really did. Asbury was the closest thing to it. The construction of the Garden State Parkway was the beginning of the end and the race riots were the final nail in the coffin. Monmouth Co. has a year round population of just over 600,000. There really isn't any room for large tracts of summer-rentals. There are scattered hotels and B&B's and that's about it. The people that come to the beaches there are primarily families that live within an hours drive.

    The dead beachfront area is going to be redeveloped with bigger condo towers. Some of them are already under construction. It's going to look a lot more like Myrtle Beach or Florida than anywhere else in New Jersey.

    Anyway - the boardwalks in Monmouth Co. look like this . . .









    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq
    Is the city always that deserted? Only one photo shows signs of life! Not a real lively looking place.
    It was March when i took these and it was raining on and off (east coast rain, in buckets - not the northwest mist) so that had a little bit to do with it but for the most part, yes, it does always look like that, at least in the winter time. The Boardwalk does get a fair amount of traffic in the warmer months, especially on the weekends and when they have shows(concerts) at the Convention Center or the Stone Pony. A lot of it is people just walking the boards from Allenhurst down to Ocean Grove and vice-versa but there are beach regulars here who come for the peace and quiet and the cheap and abundant parking.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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