My weekend started Friday night with First Friday gallery-hopping in a nearby town. Saturday, lunch at a friend's and then a trip down the shore. Diana Krall, my favorite jazz singer and pianist was performing at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, NJ, so that concert was our destination.
Ocean Grove is a visually charming, Victorian square mile full of houses like these. It was founded by the Methodists as a religious community by the Ocean Group Camp Meeting Society. You can read another version of the town's unique history here.
Religion is Ocean Grove's focus to this very day but they have non-sectarian events in their auditorium from time to time (hence, Diana Krall). Every summer, worshipers descend on this pristine beach town and set up tents to live in. It has been thus since the 19th century.
Asbury Park, home of Bruce Springsteen and the Stone Pony, is the next town. I remember, as I was growing up, that there was a locked gate across the boardwalk between Ocean Grove and Asbury, so unless you were a resident of Ocean Grove, you could not enter. In 1980, the courts outlawed that as a violation of church and state, so now you can walk the boardwalk from one town to the other.
In the left background is what remains of the Asbury Park Convention Center, above. It is apparently on the national register of historic places, but it doesn't look that way:-(. We passed these muscicians on the way into the shell of the old Casino. They were excellent and we stopped to give them a donation and chat. They're on tour.
This is the shell of the famous Casino (above) which is supposedly being restored. I don't see much evidence of it, do you??
Nonetheless, the boardwalk in Asbury is coming back. It's crowded and noisy and Madame Marie is apparently still in business telling fortunes. We didn't have time to stop because we had to go eat dinner before the concert.
Sunday, a spur of the moment invitation to meet friends at the movies. Another must-see picture:
The Intouchables. Simply marvelous. See it!!