Greetings from Asbury Park

Asbury Park, New Jersey, a small, yet storied city alongside the Atlantic Ocean is one of my favorite places. People flock to it for the music, the food, and, of course, the beach. Over the past decade, my wife and I have built a tradition of visiting Asbury Park for an off-season vacation every spring or autumn.

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Moonlight and Sand

After rarely venturing beyond a one-mile radius of our home since March, my wife and I decided to spend a few days in Ocean Grove, New Jersey earlier this month. Our longing for a change of scene outweighed our fear of mass transit. Since my wife was working on a big project, I left a day before her.

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Delightfully Frozen in the Past: Ocean Grove, New Jersey

During our recent vacation—too short, as always—my wife and I stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, right next door to the rowdy and famous Asbury Park. While Asbury Park tempts one with rock ‘n’ roll music, cheap drinks, and the hope of fast women, Ocean Grove offers quiet nights, family-friendly restaurants, and a proper (read: Methodist) atmosphere.

After disembarking from the train, we walked through downtown Asbury Park to the footbridge traversing Wesley Lake, the man-made body of water separating Asbury Park from Ocean Grove. The difference between the two localities could not be more visible and palpable.

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A vintage postcard of the Ocean Grove side of Wesley Lake. The bridge in the background connects the village with Asbury Park. Stately, Victorian homes rest on the Ocean Grove side of the water. Automobiles besmirch the landscape of Asbury Park (Courtesy of Digital Commonwealth).

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Thoughts on Asbury Park: a Few Days at the Jersey Shore

Wanting to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and utter unpleasantness of flying, my wife and I have planned our weekend trips and vacations around train travel over the past several years. A proponent of the contemporary cult of travel (and any airline executive) would blanch at this practice. The whole wide world awaits you. Why limit yourself to your tiny corner of the globe? Fortunately, we live in the New York metropolitan region with its extensive local and regional rail networks and an enviable abundance and variety of sites and geography.

For well over a century, weary urbanites have visited the Jersey Shore for relaxation, refreshment, and entertainment. Embracing this tradition, my wife and I rode the rail to Asbury Park, New Jersey, a storied town experiencing resurgence and reinvestment.

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Looking toward the Asbury Park boardwalk in the morning (Photograph by author).

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