Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I forget that I live on the east coast–that I am chilling on a beach without sunsets (only sunrises) like the above picture. Sometimes I forget that I am a bazillion miles away from everyone I know–I feel like friends and family are right next door. Then I remember that they’re not. They’re a lot further. Its not a bad thing, just further.

I am watching Greta starring Hilary Duff (IknowIknow…but I seriously have watched ALL of netflix). Its super funny because its set in Ocean Grove which is a really religious NJ beach town; more like beach village since these minute towns are only separated by tinsey rivers. They have these permanent tents for the religous people who come every summer. Tents with doors, porches, and flower boxes–oh! and no alcohol!!!! The whole town is dry. Towns can be dry in NJ.

Next door to Ocean Grove is Asbury park–where The Boss is from and where we stay with Ws boss. They have a beach house there that W’s boss’s NYrocker wife bought for dirt cheap when Asbury Park was a shithole.

Asbury park is super interesting. Not only is The Boss from there but it went through a lot of construction, then dilapidation. So there are amazingly huge grand 1920-40s structures that are either renovated or in various stages of deterioration. There is also modern construction stopped in various stages. The mix is pretty amazing to walk around: 40s empty halls, The Boss hangouts, half finished iron frames of 2009 parking garages.

In the movie Greta, I mentioned above. Asbury Park is seen as bad, ghetto, full of fights and crime. Banned. Its not. Its not the best town in NJ but its a lot safer to walk around then my neighborhood in Philly–and the boardwalk is CHichi! We have lived long enough on the eastcoast to visit a fare share of boardwalks and Asbury Park’s is one of the chichiest. Supposedly the gay community kept it alive. It doesn’t have the major saturation of crap arcades and hot dog stands. Instead, it has fancy hats and furniture, glass blowing classes, and trendy tiny-child water parks. Its pretty nice. I love it there.

Its also super funny because the bar where she works is also technically in Asbury Park. I know this because A) there is no alcohol in Ocean Grove and B) we go to that particular bar every time we are in Asbury Park–at least 2-3 times. They have the most amazing bar. Its poured resisn covering all kinds of shells and sparkles. Pretty awesome. The only bar that’s better might be the one near our house in Philly at Murph’s–thin layer of resin over a hundreds of lined-up pennies.

Sorry to post about a crappy Hilary Duff movie but it did start me thinking about the things I do here that no one knows about 3k away. I know we will move back someday but there will be things I truly will miss that are not on the westcoast.  Asbury Park, and other NJ boardwalks, will be one of them.


One thought on “east….

  1. Susan says:

    And, you will have this whole manuscript of blog posts to read through like a scrapebook or publish like not “Eat, Pray, Love” cause it doesn’t have all the staring at belly button selfism in it…

    David Brooks had an op-ed piece in yesterdays Oregonian about how people without organized religion can’t have a system of “moral conduct,” can’t … here I’ll quote: “That’s because people are not gods. No matter how special some individual may think they are, they don’t have the ability to understand the world on their own, establish rules of good conduct on their own, impose the highest standards of conduct on their own or avoid the temptations of laziness on their own.” This coming in celebration of Christ Kebab. And, clearly David Brooks has never read Wm James of V.S. Naipaul or much other literature. On this “Easter” morning, I couldn’t be prouder of my unfortunately irreligious kids and their self imposed “laziness” and inability to find and master a set of personal values to “establish good conduct” on their own much less damn everyone else. This might be a rant about intolerance, the great bane of religion when more than two people get together and form an Us against Them.

    So, happy Spring, my far away child that can’t be closer than my heart. Come back some day. Love, Mom

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