Ode To Little Eden

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_No SwimmingAP2_122415_DSCF0290

Sandy the fireworks are hailing over Little Eden tonight
Forcing a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July…

~ 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

While it hasn’t really been winter-like here in the great state of New Jersey, even though it’s late December already, we’re still pretty far from the 4th of July.

That said, I’ve still had the chance to make a couple of recent runs down to Little Eden, aka Asbury Park, lately.

The little seaside town is such a contradiction. When I first started going there back in the late 2000’s, it was a boarded up mess. Boardwalk looked like hell, no body on the beach, the main Cookman Avenue street was rife with the shells of stores. I think the Stone Pony was still closed at that point, too.

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Now, though, Asbury Park is back. On the weekends, no matter the season, it’s hard to find a parking spot. The boardwalk shops are open year-round, Convention Hall has a number of shops and “pop-up” shops open every weekend. There’s food, indie movies and art galleries on Cookman. This past weekend, Convention Hall was the site of the Punk Rock Flea Market.

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Unfortunately, there’s still areas of neglect and crime off the main drag. Seems like every time I turn on the local news, there’s another shooting in town. No matter how pretty those sky colors are, no matter how peaceful the crashing of the waves appear to be, there’s still unrest out there.

Despite the darkness, there town continues to improve. The art scene is big-time there now, with wonderful murals all over the city. I just discovered this one on a recent trip. I guess I can now tell people I live at the very top edge of East Jersey (never heard that before!)

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Just yesterday, I scored what will probably be my last tear sheet for 2015 – Two shots in the Asbury Park Press‘ write up about the upcoming 2016 Sons of Ireland Polar Bear Plunge. I liked how they looked on screen, but was thrilled to see how large they ran the main pic on the front page of their @Play print section in the print edition. See my pics in print  never gets old.

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I’ll be down in AP again on Friday morning, shooting the 2016 Polar Bear Plunge for the SOI. Hard to believe this will be my seventh plunge. I remember shooting that first one.

And yes, I’ll be in the water – again –  to get some cool shots, too. Hopefully some Little Eden magic will help with that.

“We are the boys from Little Eden
We are the heart of Saturday night…”

~ Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts, The Gaslight Anthem

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2015

 

 

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