Asbury Park in New Jersey

Friday, 8 May 2020 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, New York City

Asbury Park Boardwalk © Sk5893/cc-by-sa-3.0

Asbury Park Boardwalk © Sk5893/cc-by-sa-3.0

Asbury Park is a city in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States, located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area with a population of about 15,500. It was ranked the sixth-best beach in New Jersey in the 2008 Top 10 Beaches Contest sponsored by the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium.

At one time, there were many hotels along the beachfront. Many were demolished after years of sitting vacant, although the Sixth Avenue House Bed & Breakfast Hotel (formerly Berea Manor) was recently restored after being abandoned in the 1970s—it is no longer operational and was sold as a single family home. Hotels like the Berkeley and Oceanic Inn have operated concurrently for decades, while the Empress Hotel and Hotel Tides were recently restored and reopened. The Asbury Hotel, located on 5th Avenue, was the first hotel to be “built” in Asbury Park in 50+ years. It stands where the old Salvation Army building once stood, which has sat vacant for over a decade. The building itself was not torn down, but the entire inside was gutted and redone. Glass paneling was added to the front and all the original outside brickwork was kept. While located a block and a half from the beach, a great view of the ocean is still offered by the upper floors and rooftop.

Asbury Park Beach © Fred170/cc-by-sa-4.0 Asbury_Park_Boardwalk-Alexisrael-cc-by-sa-3.0 Asbury Park Boardwalk © Sk5893/cc-by-sa-3.0 Asbury Park Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre © DCwom Asbury Park Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre © LittleGun/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ocean Boulevard © Acroterion/cc-by-sa-3.0 Steinbach Building © Acroterion/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Stone Pony © LittleGun/cc-by-sa-3.0 Asbury_Park-Winsor_Building-Apc106-cc-by-sa-3.0
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Asbury Park Convention Hall & Paramount Theatre © LittleGun/cc-by-sa-3.0
Since the 1950s at least, Asbury Park has had a growing gay community. After the property values plummeted, gays from New York City purchased and restored Victorian homes, leading to a rejuvenation of parts of the city. In 1999, dance music pioneer Shep Pettibone opened Paradise Nightclub, a gay discotheque near the ocean. He has since also opened the Empress Hotel, the state’s only gay-oriented hotel. Another notable establishment is Georgie’s (formerly the Fifth Avenue Tavern). Every summer the Jersey Gay Pride parade draws thousands of LGBT people to the city.

The Asbury Park music scene gained prominence in the 1960s with bands such as the Jaywalkers and many others, who combined rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul and doo-wop to create what became known as the Sound of Asbury Park (S.O.A.P.). On December 9, 2006, founding members of S.O.A.P. reunited for the “Creators of S.O.A.P.: Live, Raw, and Unplugged” concert at The Stone Pony and to witness the dedication of a S.O.A.P. plaque on the boardwalk outside of Convention Hall. The original plaque included the names Johnny Shaw, Billy Ryan, Bruce Springsteen, Garry Tallent, Steve Van Zandt, Mickey Holiday, “Stormin'” Norman Seldin, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, Fast Eddie “Doc Holiday” Wohanka, Billy “Cherry Bomb” Lucia, Clarence Clemons, Nicky Addeo, Donnie Lowell, Jim “Jack Valentine” Cattanach, Ken “Popeye” Pentifallo, Jay Pilling, John “Cos” Consoli, Gary “A” Arntz, Larry “The Great” Gadsby, Steve “Mole” Wells, Ray Dahrouge, Johnny “A” Arntz, David Sancious, Margaret Potter, Tom Potter, Sonny Kenn, Tom Wuorio, Rick DeSarno, Southside Johnny Lyon, Leon Trent, Buzzy Lubinsky, Danny Federici, Bill Chinnock, Patsy Siciliano, and Sam Siciliano. An additional plaque was added on August 29, 2008 honoring John Luraschi, Carl “Tinker” West, George Theiss, Vinnie Roslin, Mike Totaro, Lenny Welch, Steve Lusardi, and Johnny Petillo. Musicians and bands with strong ties to Asbury Park, many of whom frequently played clubs there on their way to fame, include Fury of Five, The Gaslight Anthem, Clarence Clemons, the E Street Band, Jon Bon Jovi and Bon Jovi, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, Patti Smith, Arthur Pryor, Count Basie, The Clash, U.S. Chaos, Johnny Thunders, The Ramones, The Exploited, Charged GBH, Marty Munsch, Gary U.S. Bonds, along with many more. In 1973 Bruce Springsteen released his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. On his follow-up album, The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, one of the songs is entitled “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)“. Several books chronicle the early years of Springsteen’s career in Asbury Park. Daniel Wolff’s 4 July Asbury Park examines the social, political and cultural history of the city with a special emphasis on the part that music played in the city’s development, culminating in Springsteen. Beyond the Palace by Gary Wien is a comprehensive look at the local music scene that Springsteen emerged from, and includes many photographs of musicians and clubs. Against the backdrop of the fading resort, Alex Austin’s novel The Red Album of Asbury Park tracks a young rock musician pursuing his dream in the late 60s/early 70s, with Springsteen as a potent but as yet unknown rival. A B & W multi-camera recording of Blondie in 1979, just prior to the release of their fourth album, Eat to the Beat, was taped at the Asbury Park Convention Hall on July 7, a home-state crowd for Jersey girl Debbie Harry, who was raised in Hawthorne. The New Jersey Music Hall of Fame was founded in Asbury Park in 2005. There are plans to build a museum somewhere in the city as part of the redevelopment.

Read more on City of Asbury Park, VisitNJ.org – Asbury Park, Wikivoyage Asbury Park and Wikipedia Asbury Park (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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