I love New Jersey, and being home. Asbury Park holds a special place in my heart. I have fond memories of attending Monmouth Symphony Orchestra concerts at Convention Hall with hs friends, riding around in my 1989 Chrysler New Yorker, and even vague memories of the carousel as an extremely young child. It used to be a a charming lost in time boardwalk must see, and then it got more and more crime-ridden and frankly, unpleasant to visit. There was always nightlife – the Stone Pony, some great bars, but when I was younger, it just wasn’t a great area. Over the past 15 years, I’ve seen so much change. There are hot restaurants and the boardwalk and landmarks are being restored! While I haven’t lived in NJ for well over a decade, it makes me smile every time I come to visit and see sights from my childhood being preserved!
There are so many exceptional sights to see in Asbury. It’s like stepping back in time. This is all that remains of the original Casino.
Part of me wanted to come shoot our wedding photos here as well, but since we already had two stops (Spring Lake Beach and Spring Lake park), and it was 95 degrees and our bridal party was starving (and guzzling champagne in the trolley), we decided to skip Asbury and head straight to the Waterview Pavilion in Belmar where we were right on time for cocktail hour. Small regrets. It’s an incredible place to shoot.
The Carousel House. They sold the carousel before I was 10 years old, but I have a faint memory of being there with my dad. I am so glad that they kept this incredible beaux arts structure. It’s just stunning, and I hope they restore it to full glory soon!
Wall art everywhere! So exciting to see murals and street art all over the Jersey Shore.
The historic Stone Pony. So many concerts here, and my favorite memory is being there with most of my family while my cousin David performed.
THE BOARDWALK CONCESSIONS
Glorious, glorious seas of colorful concession stands. In my last post, I mentioned how all of these little boardwalk stands were closed when we arrived because it was so early, which was the perfect time to shoot in front of these delightful color stops.
This green and white striped dress had the exact feeling I wanted to evoke. It’s that 1950’s at the Shore vibe that I love so much. I am normally not at all a maxi dress person, but I loved this so much, and somehow it fit in length. (almost). Even in flats, it just made it without being too long (which is why i normally do not wear maxi dresses). I added a yellow belt to add a little color break in between the stripes, neutral jewelry, and my black and white striped bow from Camilyn Beth! The Cult Gaia acrylic bag was the icing on the cake.
I own the larger CG ark bag, but have long been obsessed with their acrylic purses. Unfortunately the $300+ price tag was a difficult one to swallow. I got the very last one of these multi colored acrylic bags ON SALE at the MOMA in NYC. (It figures that Cult Gaia, a structural fashion genius would have their purses sold at the Museum of Modern Art. Such a brilliant pairing).
Before we left, the stands had opened, which hooray! meant I got myself some fried oreos and life was amazing.
We stopped for coffee and a bite at the High Voltage Cafe. They put avocado on a pork roll, egg, and cheese. I wasn’t sure if I was intrigued or blasphemed, so I ordered it. DELICIOUS. I’m adding avocado to my PREC’s from now on!
THE PARAMOUNT THEATER
This historic gem is connected to Convention Hall by an incredible arcade that I posted about yesterday.
More incredible street art
This iconic concert venue stood forever. So many incredibly famous bands and musicians have played this venue, including (of course Bruce), the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Pink Floyd, and even Led Zeppelin. One of my hshigh school teachers conducted the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra, so we used to go see them in concert there.
Me in high school (I want to say this was after an MSO concert with my friend Jill).
I think it’s cute that they’ve added the iconic Greetings from Asbury Park (The name of one of Bruce Springsteen’s most famous albums).
WONDER BAR AND TILLIE
This isn’t the original Tillie. The “skooter cars” and Tillie were part of the Palace Amusements that are now torn down. Fortunately, homages like the Wonder Bar have incorporated the iconic imagery into their facade, leaving the hint of the old in the contemporary setting.
Being home in New Jersey always makes me nostalgic. No matter where I live, I will always consider the Jersey Shore home. It’s hard coming back and feeling like a stranger with all the new businesses and restaurants, but I am proud to have grown up in such a wonderful place.
Necklace: Loren Hope (Similar)
Disclaimer: To illustrate the former Asbury Park scenes that I currently do not have photos of (or if I do they are printed images somewhere in storage), I have used images from https://www.side-o-lamb.com/. Each image links to that page. Please visit the page as it is an incredible resource for Asbury Park imagery.