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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Where Have All the Nice Places Gone?

Several posts ago, I discussed the dearth of decent, new public spaces in Jersey City. This problem with new development and construction exists well beyond Jersey City (Alex Marshall analyzes this distressful pattern in a recent article in Governing magazine). My past discussion centered upon public spaces: parks, libraries, and government buildings. The architecture and aura of private spaces fail to stand as alternative sources of hope.

In October, my wife and I enjoyed our second annual autumn trip to the Jersey Shore. Yes, most folks prefer the beach in summer. We do not like the heat, the sun, or the crowds. This preference is just one of many reasons that might explain our pairing. While staying at our favorite bed and breakfast in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, we patronized Nagle’s Apothecary Cafe.

nagles-card
(Courtesy of Bridge and Tunnel Club)

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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.

ocean-grove-bridge
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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