Asbury Park

Historical Windows of Asbury, Shawangunks and Ocean Grove

house near visitor center Sam's Point Shawangunks
This old white house of wood was next to the visitor center on our hike in the Shawangunk Mountains. It looks like it might have once been a farmhouse. One hundred years ago this area was known for its berry pickers – hard to believe berry picking was once someone’s job. But I suppose in other parts of the world it still is.

Asbury Park, Paramount Theatre
If you visit Asbury Park, a prominent building is the Paramount Theatre. It is right on the beach, and a promenade boardwalk leads you from the theater to the old casino building. Lots of shops and restaurants have newly opened along the boardwalk. The theater (you can read its history here) was built back in 1927. Two years ago I posted Asbury Park: Pictorial History in Brief).

Ocean Grove, New Jersey
Finally, here’s a beach house with historical windows in Ocean Grove, New Jersey (I’m guessing that the original windows were replaced – these looks simpler than how I imagine windows once used to be). Ocean Grove is next to Asbury Park. It has a rather different history. It started out as a Methodist town – here is some history. My husband remembers when you were not allowed to ride your car in Ocean Grove on a Sunday. He would ride his bike to work at his job, and when he got to Ocean Grove he would get off his bike and walk it.

I’m linking to I Wish I Were a Photographer on Toby’s blog. As she says, I wish Israel were no longer at war – I read via Facebook of my cousins and my friends too often needing to go to their shelters to protect themselves from the missiles. Last week, a four-year-old boy was killed.

Want to participate? See Whimsical Windows and Delirious Doors.
whimsical windows delirious doors

Sons of Israel in Asbury Park

Congregation Sons of Israel in Asbury Park
Congregation Sons of Israel in Asbury Park, now a church

Congregation Sons of Israel in Asbury Park, an Orthodox Jewish congregation, was founded in 1904. The congregation has since moved away from Asbury Park, but for several decades it was housed in this building in Asbury Park. A few weeks ago we rented a four wheel cycle (pedal car) from Brielle Cyclery on the Asbury Park boardwalk and cycled past the building, which now belongs to a church (First French Speaking Baptist Church).

Asbury Park Sons of Israel
The building now has two large crosses in the front: one has to look carefully to see signs that it was built as a synagogue. Details to notice are the stained glass windows.

windows of Congregation Sons of Israel
What do you see in those windows? I see a Torah, menorah, ner tamid, a book, a dove, and possibly someone praying in a prayer shawl on the right.

5709 Sons of Israel
Also, if you look carefully at the carvings in the front you will see the Hebrew date of 5709 and the corresponding Gregorian date of 1949, the year the building was built for Congregation Sons of Israel.

For more information on the history of Jewish Asbury Park, see Asbury Park: Pictorial History in Brief.

Asbury Park: Pictorial History in Brief

Asbury Park beach on July 4th, 2012
Asbury Park beach on July 4th, 2012

Asbury Park, New Jersey got its name from 19th century New York brush manufacturer James A. Bradley, who named it after Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the U.S. Asbury Park is famous for its boardwalk and for music concerts. The city has nurtured the talents of actors such as Cesar Romero, Danny DeVito and Jack Nicholson and musicians Lenny Welch, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.

casino, Asbury Park
The 1920’s saw a lot of development in Asbury Park, including this casino. Unfortunately, unlike other buildings that were redeveloped in the past decade, the casino still seems to be just a frame of a building now.

The decline of the prominence of Asbury Park began in the Depression, and competition from shopping and amusements in other parts of New Jersey continued its decline. When my husband first took me on a tour of Asbury Park in the early 1990’s, it looked quite decrepit. In the past decade, however, buildings such as the Paramount Theater below were redeveloped. I posted another shot of the Asbury Park theatre in 2010, with a bit of its history. You can visit some cool shops like this one inside the convention hall and beside the boardwalk.
Asbury Park Paramount Theatre

Asbury Park Berkeley Carteret Hotel with Tillie on Wonder Bar
Pictured above is the Berkeley Carteret hotel, with the famous Tillie face in the foreground on the Wonder Bar. The hotel has a bit of personal history for me: when I was pregnant with my first child in the 1990’s, my brother-in-law knew the caterer who was working at the hotel during Passover. So he invited us to come and enjoy the bountiful buffet at the hotel. Unfortunately, I had morning sickness and could only eat the cucumber salad.

Asbury Park beach chess set
One of the amusements near the Asbury Park beach is this gigantic chess set.

Asbury Park Jewish history is one of the synagogue Sons of Israel: in 1904 the Orthodox Jewish community in Asbury Park incorporated as the Sons of Israel. My husband’s family belonged to this synagogue; sadly, it needed to sell the synagogue building and move out of Asbury Park in the 1980’s.

Interview with Iola Caplan: Iola Caplan is a friend of mine who now lives in Highland Park, New Jersey. In this interview, she talks about living in Asbury Park in the 1950’s and 60’s, including living through riots in 1967. She relates that the Hillel School also got its start in Asbury Park.

Red Beach Chair at Asbury Park Beach

Asbury Park beach red chair
This red beach chair photo may make it appear that there is hardly anyone at the Asbury Park Beach on July 4th, but in truth it was quite crowded on the beach. I hope to write a pictorial, historical post on Asbury Park in an upcoming post.

Review with Three Dogs on the Boardwalk

three dogs on the Asbury Park boardwalk, summer 2011
Three dogs on the Asbury Park boardwalk, summer 2011

When winter feels like it’s dragging on, I share with you a photo of three dogs on the Asbury Park boardwalk, taken sometime last summer. My daughter was working on a cover for a Cinquain poetry booklet for her class, and she wanted a dog to represent friendship. We were going to use this shot, but instead we chose a vertical image of one of the dogs standing up against his master.

On My Blog

cardinal in my backyard Stratton Mountain, Vermont at sunset cardinal sitting in bird feeder box
oatmeal from steel cut oats basil up close plant cardinal in watercolor

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

  • Hannah wrote a post on garnishes in cooking, and it inspires me to consider a series of posts photographing beautiful bits of food: a bowl of parsley, a dish of grated carrots, a plate of purplish red beets. The photograph series hasn’t happened, yet, but if I write it here, maybe I will proceed.
  • There is a review on Jewaicious of a book called Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter: “The primary character, Itsik Malpesh was born in Kishinev during the the Russian pogroms, to a well off family. The events of his birth, as told to him by his mother, are what has shaped his life, and shaped his perception on love. This novel is Itsik’s story, although it reads like a memoir that could be based on an actual person. “
  • Batya has a preview for next week’s big event: Tu B’Shvat.
  • I wrote a post on how one might use Pinterest for a small business. I have ideas for this blog (meaning my Here in HP blog) regarding Pinterest: maybe Pinterest and the Parsha or the much more general Pinterest and fine art. I posted my cardinal watercolor on Pinterest, as this week’s parsha B’Shelach, we are taught to feed the birds.

Summer Stock: Fireworks on the 4th

Fireworks 2010 July 4th Asbury Park Beach
Fireworks 2010 July 4th Asbury Park Beach

Last year we watched the fireworks on Asbury Park beach. This year we plan to travel to Donaldson Park (a five minute drive from home) to watch the local fireworks show. My daughter and I have planned a picnic dinner – she and my son remember being hungry last year on the beach and watching others with their picnic feasts.

If you don’t live in the U.S.A., on what occasions do you get to see fireworks?

Watery Boy

beach boy
My middle son graduated from eighth grade last night and then left for camp. Today he is flying to camp, which started yesterday, as he didn’t want to miss graduation. I’m a little sad – I miss him! I know it’s a cliché, but they *do* grow up too fast.

This frolic-in-the-waves photo was taken last month at Asbury Park Beach.

For more watery photos, visit Watery Wednesday:
Watery Wednesday

Review with Mime

mime on boardwalk at Asbury Park
Mime performing on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, New Jersey

It was fun to watch this mime perform on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. He would start to move towards you and then suddenly stop and freeze. When I gave my daughter some money to put in his bucket, he motioned toward her, but she didn’t know why. You can see what happened next in the photo at the bottom.

On My Blog

The BIG GIGANTIC news today in our household is that the RPRY team of middle son (5 of them) won the Torah Bowl Championship. They previously won the New Jersey division, and today they beat New York schools SAR and HALB. Torah Bowl is sort of like Jeopardy – they get asked questions about certain parts of the Torah, and they have to answer quickly.

Elsewhere in the Blogosphere

mime with girl
Here’s my daughter and the mime – he had motioned toward her so she could get her picture taken with him. He did that to anyone who put money in his bucket.

I posted these mime photos as part of Straight Out Of the Camera -I have a bit of time online on Saturday night. On Sunday, I’ll be marching down 5th Avenue in New York City with my kids’ school.

Nature Notes: Asbury Gulls

gulls on rocks at Asbury Park Beach
There are many gulls sitting on these rocks at the Asbury Park beach. But you will see at the end of the post, the humans out number the gulls.

gull flies
One lone gull (is he a gull? See this list of sea birds) flies away from his friends. This one appears brown.

bird flies
A brown gull flies by the active waves. Crafty Green Poet writes: “the brown bird is probably a young gull, most species of gull have I think three years in brown plumage (slightly different each of the years) before they take on adult plumage” – thank you!

people on the rocks at Asbury Park
A few brave souls sit on the rocks at the beach. My kids both went dunking into the freezing May waters. I just put in my toe. My husband relaxed on the beach – too cold for him.

Asbury Park beach
This photo should give you an idea of how crowded it was on the beach. And economically, this is good news. Asbury Park was very depressed in the past thirty years. My husband grew up in this area, and he saw the decline. About one hundred years ago, it was quite a fashionable place. People may no longer walk in fancy dresses and suits, but the new restaurants and shops are upscale. I hope the gulls don’t mind.

Pictured in the crowded beach photo are the Asbury Park Theatre (see it in my Asbury post from last year) and the Berkeley Carteret Hotel.

Asbury Park Theatre

asbury park theater
Facade of the Asbury Park Theater, New Jersey Shore

The Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey was built in 1927: The entire complex was designed in a combination Italian-French style, with an emphasis on nautical themes in recognition of its oceanfront location. The interior of the theatre was dominated by gold, black, and purple, and featured a giant rosette on the ceiling.

Thursday Challenge theme is CREATIVITY (Art, Music, Writing, Photography, Architecture, Handicraft,…).

Next Week: FUN (Festival, Fair, Carnival, Party, Playground, Dancing, Laughing,…)