Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photo Essay: Down By the Sea

I was called to Neptune, NJ today for an audition. What would normally seem like a hassle was a great chance to get out of the city - already dying to do so - and explore the Jersey Shore and some of its disappearing crumble.
While many cash-strapped New Yorkers have given up their summer timeshares on the Jersey Shore or in the Hamptons to crowd around Manhattan, I decided to get out and answer the call of the sea.
There's a striking similarity between a faded seaside resort town in the East and those in the West like the Salton Sea or the abandoned areas of Palm Springs. As with Route 66, the Jersey Shore was once dotted with whimsical restaurants in the shape of a circus tent or a windmill to both attract people to the area and feed them while they were there.
During our drive around Neptune City and Asbury Park today, we experienced some of that whimsy first-hand, and captured some of the abandonment which is being rebuilt and revitalized before our eyes, as Asbury Park hosts a relatively thriving community of beach-goers of all ages. It was a lot busier than we expected, and a lot newer.
Is it bad that I found that disappointing?
This is just a selection of decrepit delights that remain in and around Asbury Park. But for how long?
See also: Nicole Atkins' Guide to Neptune City and Asbury Park

Casino







Carousel

Elks Lodge





Metropolitan Motel



Circus Drive-In

The WindMill, Ocean Ave
Watching the sun set for the third night in a row since my return made my time back in the New York area more gratifying. Eating a cheese dog with sauteed onions and the best onion rings ever with Edith on the top of a windmill during the sunset = priceless.
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