Weekend Shot: Aftermath

St. Clair at Ocean Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ

For the last few months, on Mondays, I’d post a particular image that I shot over the weekend, something that caught my eye and I was able to make a photograph of.

Today, though, I wanted to share some of the devestation that Hurricane Sandy brought to the New Jersey coastline. I know many people of seen the tons of images already, and I know you’re probably getting tire of it.

Frankly, in comparison to whay you may have already seen, these images don’t look so bad.

In fact, you could look at some of these and think “Ok, it’s a beach with some sand dunes. What’s the big deal?”

The big deal, I guess, is what many of us have in our heads – the New Jersey boardwalk tradition. In some NJ beach towns, the boardwalk is vital transit line to the local ecomony – they are lined with shops and grub stands, they employ many, many people. So many towns lost this.

Then are towns, like toney Spring Lake, where the boardwalk isn’t like that. Instead, it’s the place where people run, walk, bike, enjoy the setting sun. No shops, really, except for maybe the main pavaillion where you can get some suntan lotion and a bite to eat. But even still, this boardwalk has memories just the same. I know one guy who proposed to his wife on the boardwalk in Spring Lake. And many of the benches bear little bronze plaques, honoring a long-time lover of the ocean who has now passed.

Now the boards (as my pop likes to call them) are all thrashed up and have to be rebuilt. Sure, it’ll get back to where it was, but it’ll take a lot of bucks and a lot of time.

Spring Lake, New Jersey

Sunday, Chase and I climbed in the truck to head East to the beach to have a look for ourselves. He and I don’t get out alone to often, so this was a nice Daddy Day with my oldest son. The wind was whippng and it was a chilly 47 degrees, but he was ready for it.

After a short stop in Spring Lake, we headed north on Route 71 to go check out our favorite town, Asbury Park. As I drove into town up Cookman Avenue, it didn’t to bad. But as soon as I got closer to Ocean Ave and the old Palace Amusements, I could see a lot of the destruction start to develop.

The Palace Amusements, Asbury Park, NJ

In the Springsteen song For You he writes “`Cause I’ve broken all your windows and I’ve rammed through all your doors..”

Well, substitute Sandy for I’ve and it’s a fair assessment of many of the places on the boardwalk – windows broken, doors down.

The sad thing is that the AP Boardwalk is on the rebound now after years of being neglected and left to rot. It’s finally shining again with shops and eateries and people and a cool spray park for the kids, as well as a little monkey-barred playground on the sand for the kids.

Those moneybars are a mangled mess right now. Most of the entire boardwalk is shut down, actually.

Asbury Park Boardwalk

Local businesses just a block or so off the beach weren’t exempt either.

From what I understand, though, the grand Convention Hall on the Asbury Park Boardwalk will be open again for business this Saturday, when they do a big Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. The shops inside Covention Hall will be open, and hopefully, it will be buzzing. Maybe I’ll try to take the kids down again.

There’s another line in For You that rings true right now… And your strength is devastating in the face of all these odds…

Yes, New Jersey, especially the coastline, is facing some tall odds right now. But the strength is here…and we’ll come back.

I had thought about offering up one of my photo books, or prints, for sale, and then donating that money to Hurricane Sandy Relief here in New Jersey. But, to be honest, the towns don’t need money just yet. They are getting a lot of it from various sources. They need bodies right now to help clean up the mess. And they need time to get it all done and to make it all right again.

However, if you would like to make a donation to help out The Great State of New Jersey, please to to Occupy Sandy Recovery and do so there. Sure, I’d love to sell some prints or whatnot and give that money to Sandy Relief, but this is just a better, more straightforward way.

One last shot….something I wouldn’t have thought about but I guess that’s why I’m not in beach town crisis prevention. Where did all the lifeguard chairs from the Asbury Park beach go? Well…they got stacked up a couple of miles inland, in the empty lot next to the Hess gas station. No damage done, from what I can tell.

© Mark V. Krajnak 2012 | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved


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