Monday, October 17, 2011

Jersey Shore

Ocean Grove
New Jersey
New Jersey isn’t all traffic on 287 and the New Jersey Turnpike.

There’s also the Jersey shore.  I’d heard about it, never seen it.  Thanks to one of my former co-workers, that gap in my experience has been corrected.
Old Victorian houses, ocean views, boardwalk, cute shops, good coffee – what more can you ask?

I was told the area had gone downhill sometime in the 60’s; the houses split into low-rent apartments, crime rising.  But it’s hard to keep a good beachfront community down.  Ocean front real estate is valuable; barring a major hurricane out there rearranging the coastline, the supply is more-or-less fixed.  So it’s not surprising that the community turned itself back around in the late 70’s.  
One of the great features about the main boulevard is the way the houses are laid out down the street.  You don’t notice unless you look, but the houses are slightly staggered.  The ones near the water are set back slightly further than the ones on the far end of the block, thus ensuring everyone a good view of the beach.  
Given the value of the real estate, it’s not surprising that the houses are built smack-dab up next to one another.  With the overhangs on the upper stories, some of the houses were less than three feet apart.  I was trying to picture how you get the darn things painted – narrow scaffolding, or hanging seats suspended over the roofline was my best guess.  The arrangement is also a real fire hazard.  One of the houses caught fire in a storm last year, and took seven of its neighbors with it.  Yeouch.

I am once again grateful for good friends.  I wouldn’t ever have found the shore without someone to guide me there; and now I’ve seen it, I’d have hated to miss it!

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