View Full Version : Greetings from Asbury Park

05-19-2004, 06:53 PM
My dad's aunt and uncle lived here (I think). There was a wonderful place to get ice cream, I always remember. And my great-uncle did a lot of salt-water fishing off one of the piers there. He had great fun doing that.

P.S. The emoticons here are so spiffy, compared to... :wink:

Stephanie Plum
05-19-2004, 10:34 PM
P.S. The emoticons here are so spiffy, compared to... :wink:
You could do an img tag and bring in your own?

03-08-2006, 05:23 PM
Tomorrow I go to Asbury Park for the Summit on the Shore conference. This is my first time to Asbury Park and I hope that I will see a lot of redevelopment progress. Has anyone been there and what are their memories and thoughts on it?

03-08-2006, 09:29 PM
Was there last March the Beach area did not look so good. The downtown area was nice but their were no people around.

03-08-2006, 09:50 PM
Was there last March the Beach area did not look so good. The downtown area was nice but their were no people around.
Well March is a bit off season - even for places like Seaside Heights. :) There supposedly has been some work done to the beaches this past year, so Ill see how it is I guess. I really don't have much to compare it to since I haven't been there before all the redevelopment started.

03-09-2006, 08:15 PM
Well I went to Asbury Park today. First of all it was freezing - about 10+ degrees colder than the inland temp, but then I usually assume that having grown up on the shore.

It was sort of depressing seeing those old buildings in that condition. the development also gave me hope for the future though. On the ride out of town i was thinking about what Asbury Park seemed like and the best I could come up with was comparing it to a house being renovated.

You get out of the car, the yard overgrown with weeds and a "just sold sign" sticking up from the overgrowth. You slowly make your way up the crumbling steps, grabbing hold of the loose railing to keep your balance. The paint peeling off the siding of this magnificent old Victorian home, shudders tilted out of place. You walk inside and you hear the sound of hammers and saws and the odor of paint and dust fill your nose. The foyer is still dusty and grimy, the old wall paper peeling and stained, you make your way through the various rooms. Several are being worked on and you can see the work crews hard at work restoring the beautiful woodwork and adding new modern conveniences to the kitchen and bathroom. Many of the rooms are still in disrepair with water stains, molding missing, mildew smells, but you stand there imagining the grandeur and magnificence that the house once enjoyed and the bright future it now holds. Soon the foyer will be worked on, the outside will be all complete, the railing firmly secured. After everything is done, you can sit and relax in the beautiful new garden by the pool, invite visitors over and proudly state - "welcome to my home". This to me is the future of Asbury Park.

07-21-2006, 08:11 PM
NJN is having "Greetings from Asbury Park" which is a documentary that goes over the history of the city to it's present day and revitalization. It's on at 8:30 tonight - July 21st. Not sure when it's on next. I'm going to watch it and if anyone else does - let me know what you think of it.

07-28-2006, 12:20 AM
I had been looking forward to seeing this NJN special. I love seeing TV shows about New Jersey shore towns and similar stuff like that. I missed it on the 21st, but luckily I was able to catch the rebroadcast on the 26th.

I'll just say it was OK, not great.

They went into nice detail about how the area came about in the late 1800s. About how the town became divided. About the music history in the early to mid-1900s. They only touched on Bruce Springsteen's history with the town, which disappointed me. Not because I'm a big Bruce fan -- I'm not -- but because I would've liked to hear a little more about it. But I understand that the town's history is mucher bigger than Bruce and they did a decent job covering it.

I wished it was longer (it was only a half-hour). And I wished they showed more filmed footage of the area, instead of all the current video footage of various scholars reminiscing from their offices or wherever.

I'd give it 3 stars (out of 5). And that's because just the fact that they made the special was worth 2 stars alone.

07-28-2006, 12:28 AM
I agree with your accessment A-Line. I thought I had posted a follow up to my initial post - but I see I didn't now. I wished it had more of the overall history of Asbury Park and where the city is heading. It was an arts special - so it makes sense I suppose that they mostly concentrate on the musical history of the city. It is very interesting, but at the same time very sad about how great a tourist resort Asbury Park once was. I really hope that Asbury Park and restore itself to it's "glory days"- hopefully without continuing to destroy all it's history. So Much grand historical buildings have been destroyed in it's restoration.

07-28-2006, 01:21 AM
It is very interesting, but at the same time very sad about how great a tourist resort Asbury Park once was. I really hope that Asbury Park and restore itself to it's "glory days"- hopefully without continuing to destroy all it's history. So Much grand historical buildings have been destroyed in it's restoration.

I'm with you. I'd love to see it become something again. And at the same time keep its history.

I don't even know, do people still go to the beach there for the day? Do they have lifeguards? Is the atmosphere OK enough to have a good time? (See, this is what the special did not cover.) I contemplate going to the beach there on a Sunday sometimes. But I never do.

07-28-2006, 01:28 AM
I don't even know, do people still go to the beach there for the day? Do they have lifeguards? Is the atmosphere OK enough to have a good time? (See, this is what the special did not cover.) I contemplate going to the beach there on a Sunday sometimes. But I never do.
people do go to the beach there and they just finished the rebuilding of the boardwalk last year. It's still a sad sight - but there is a lot of construction going on. Just don't expect a Pt Pleasant, Seaside, Wildwood type of atmosphere. I haven't been there during "on season" so I can't speak for the summer atmosphere - but when I was there in April it was really sad, but looking up for the future.

07-29-2006, 08:16 PM
I was down there in May for the kickoff of the latest Bruce Springsteen tour at Convention Hall. It has come along way in the last year but still has a ways to go to get back to how i remember it when my Grandmother took me there as a kid. It has alot of history. If you get a chance pick up the book Asbury Parks Glory Years The Story of An American Resort from Rutgers Press Its a great book. Back to convenion Hall when I was there in May I saw something that I did not think existed any more "Phone Booths" talk about a bit of Nostlaga. We should see how many people we can fit inside one of them.

07-08-2007, 01:12 PM
Well after many years - make that decades - of neglect, Asbury park is finally coming back. This article was in the Star Ledger this past week...

Shore’s rising tide of hope
Amid signs of new life, Asbury Park heralds its long-awaited rebirth

Dozens of construction workers buzzing around the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park recently enticed Alan and Wendy Mayser to take a peek inside the landmark.

Watching the crews hammer and drill, the Bergen County couple strolling the boardwalk that breezy day couldn’t believe their eyes: The decaying theater, like the rest of the decrepit oceanfront, was coming back to life.

After decades of neglect and a disastrous redevelopment effort in the 1980s that left the beachfront further scarred, progress this summer on a massive redevelopment plan has started to attract believers.

The city still has to overcome a sluggish real estate market and fears about street crime, but rising buildings have started to raise hopes.

‘‘It’s exciting to see what they’re doing with the place,’’ said Alan Mayser, 71, who with his wife summered in Asbury Park 35 years ago but left after the place rocked back on its heels. ‘‘Every week when we come down, there’s something different.’’

New residents have moved into two large condominium and townhouse projects on either end of the redevelopmentzone — which spans the mile-long waterfront. Construction of a third complex, known as the Esperanza at Asbury Park, in the center of the zone, is under way.

In all, the developments will bring 1,131 townhouses and condominiums to the oceanfront with roughly an equal number of new units slated for nearby sites.

Throngs of people walk the boardwalk on weekends this year, and vendors have also started to notice that weeknights are no longer as dead as they once were.

‘‘I think it’s coming back,’’ said Kathy Mongiello, whose effort three years ago to open a chocolate shop tanked but who is now running a thriving sandwich shop. ‘‘I always felt that it would come back. I just went with my gut.’’

Not that there are no potential downsides or controversies related to the burgeoning redevelopment.

Some residents have complained the city is courting the wealthy to the detriment of the poor, who will have nowhere to live. They worry that small businesses and longtime residents will be forced from their property through eminent domain.

‘‘I worry because how are we going to support all this development?’’ said Kerry Butch, a resident who has been outspoken on homelessness and eminent domain.‘‘ There’s an extremely wealthy clientele it’s attracted . . . but we need more affordable housing.

‘‘The good thing is you see stuff happening on the waterfront,’’ she added. ‘‘People are going to the waterfront. But they could have been a little kinder to the folks who are here.’’

No one is bemoaning the loss of sad reminders of the city’s fall. This spring, the rusted-out section of the old Casino amusement center at the south end was demolished.

‘‘People are impressed. They’re starting to believe,’’ said Dean Geibel, managing partner of Metro Homes, which is building the Esperanza. ‘‘It’s the first time, really, that people feel it’s real.’’

Geibel said he was able to sell two of the larger units in the Esperanza two weeks ago for more than $2 million each. He’s got 43 of the 224 units sold.

The Esperanza is being constructed between Third and Fourth avenues, on the site of the rusted steel skeleton of a condominium building from Asbury Park’s first attempt at redevelopment two decades ago. That structure, imploded last spring, was a symbol of what made observers skeptical about this redevelopment effort.

‘‘That symbolized everything that went wrong with development,’’ Geibel said.

‘‘This,’’ he said of the Esperanza, ‘‘makes people truly see the swing, the change, that occurred here.

Geibel concedes he worries about the occasional shooting or gang-related violence in one of Monmouth County’s most troubled pockets, even though most incidents occur well west of the redevelopment zone. He said he has been working with new Police Chief Mark Kinmon to get more officers hired and implement programs — some of which he will fund — to combat crime.

In 2005, the city had three murders, but that figure doubled the following year.

Since last summer, master developer Asbury Partners teamed with national retail developer Madison Marquette to handle retail and entertainment projects on the oceanfront. Madison Marquette was responsible for getting the Paramount Theatre refurbished in three months and reopened last Friday.

Gary Mottola, managing director and head of investments for Madison Marquette, said visitors this summer will find a more attractive boardwalk, complete with more high-end businesses, such as a glass-blowing shop.

‘‘It’s a lot of work to do in a short time, but we thought it was very important to have a different experience this summer,’’ he said.

To the north, residents are already moving into new condominiums in the Barcelona, the first of three buildings that will make up a complex dubbed North Beach. When the condos went on the market in 2005, all 48 units in the Barcelona sold in 10 days.

To the south, the first three families are moving into Wesley Grove, a condominium complex along Wesley Lake that will eventually swell to 750 units, said John Sims, president of the firm marketing the units for builder Westminster Communities. He said another 46 closings are scheduled within the next three months.

Sims acknowledged the slump in the real estate market is slowing sales, as did Deputy Mayor James Bruno. Still, Bruno said, he believes the resurgence is for real this time.

‘‘It’s not like it was 35 years ago; I don’t think we’re ever going to be like that,’’ he said. ‘‘But we’re trying to make it something close to that. I’m excited.’’

Maryann Spoto may be reached at mspoto@starledger.com.

Concerning the controversy. I think it's a lot of misunderstanding about economics. First Asbury Park needs to reestablish their tax base. Without that, the city can not get over the decaying past. In order to do that they need to develop their key tourist attraction, the beach area and boardwalk. They need to bring the wealthy in to pay the taxes and they need to bring in the tourists and attractions that generate income for the city. Without this, there would be no hope for the city. People don't like trickle down economics, but you need to bring in businesses to provide jobs and in order to do that, you need to attract people back. The first key goal of Asbury park has to be to develop the thriving tourism industry again in this long neglected city.

03-18-2011, 04:19 PM
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