Asbury Park, New Jersey

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Asbury Park, New Jersey
City of Asbury Park
Paramount Theatre at Asbury Park Convention Hall at nightfall.
Nickname: 
Dark City[1][2][3]
Map of Asbury Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey, along the Atlantic Ocean (also see: full-state map). Interactive map of Asbury Park, New Jersey
Map of Asbury Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey, along the Atlantic Ocean (also see: full-state map).
Interactive map of Asbury Park, New Jersey
Asbury Park is located in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Asbury Park
Asbury Park
Location in Monmouth County
Asbury Park is located in New Jersey
Asbury Park
Asbury Park
Location in New Jersey
Asbury Park is located in the United States
Asbury Park
Asbury Park
Location in the United States
Asbury Park is located in North America
Asbury Park
Asbury Park
Asbury Park (North America)
Coordinates: 40°13′22″N 74°00′37″W / 40.222884°N 74.010232°W / 40.222884; -74.010232Coordinates: 40°13′22″N 74°00′37″W / 40.222884°N 74.010232°W / 40.222884; -74.010232[4][5]
Country United States
State New Jersey
CountyMonmouth
IncorporatedMarch 26, 1874 (as borough)
ReincorporatedFebruary 28, 1893 (as city)
Named forFrancis Asbury
Government
 • TypeFaulkner Act (council–manager)
 • BodyCity Council
 • MayorJohn B. Moor (term ends December 31, 2022)[6][7][8]
 • ManagerDonna Vieiro [9]
 • Municipal clerkLisa Esposito [10]
Area
 • Total1.61 sq mi (4.17 km2)
 • Land1.43 sq mi (3.70 km2)
 • Water0.18 sq mi (0.47 km2)  11.18%
 • Rank439th of 565 in state
36th of 53 in county[4]
Elevation16 ft (5 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total15,188
 • Rank158th of 566 in state (2010)
14th of 53 in county (2010)[14]
 • Density10,620.98/sq mi (4,101.44/km2)
  • Rank24th of 566 in state (2010)
1st of 53 in county (2010)[14]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07712–07713[15][16]
Area codes732[17]
FIPS code3402501960[4][18][19]
GNIS feature ID0885141[4][20]
Websitewww.cityofasburypark.com

Asbury Park (/æzbɛr/) is a beachfront city located on the Jersey Shore in Monmouth County in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It is part of the New York metropolitan area.[21][22]

As of the 2020 U.S. census, the city's population was 15,188[23] a decrease from 16,116 in 2010,[24][25][26] reflecting a decline of 814 (−4.8%) from the 16,930 counted in the 2000 census, which had in turn increased by 131 (+0.8%) from the 16,799 counted in the 1990 census.[27]

In 2022, Asbury Park's beach was named one of the best in the world by Money and one of the best in the country by Travel + Leisure.[28][29][30]

Asbury Park was originally incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 26, 1874, from portions of Ocean Township. The borough was reincorporated on February 28, 1893. Asbury Park was incorporated as a city, its current type of government, as of March 25, 1897.[31]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

Asbury Park beach, early twentieth century
Ross-Fenton Farm, c. 1900
Asbury Park, New Jersey Depot Station in 1903
Asbury Park South (1920) by Jazz Age artist Florine Stettheimer depicts a summer crowd, including a sign for Enrico Caruso live. The artist is under a green parasol and her friends also appear. Artist Marcel Duchamp (in pink) is with actress Fania Marinoff. Carl Van Vechten stands upper left (black suit), Avery Hopwood (white suit) talks with a woman in yellow, and the Swiss painter Paul Thévanaz (red) bends over a camera.[32]

A seaside community, Asbury Park is located on New Jersey's central coast. Developed in 1871 as a residential resort by New York brush manufacturer James A. Bradley, the city was named for Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States.[33][34][35] The founding of Ocean Grove in 1869, a Methodist camp meeting to the south, encouraged the development of Asbury Park and led to its being a "dry town."

Bradley was active in the development of much of the city's infrastructure, and despite his preference for gas light, he allowed the Atlantic Coast Electric Company (precursor to today's Jersey Central Power & Light Co.) to offer electric service.[36] Along the waterfront, Bradley installed the Asbury Park Boardwalk, an orchestra pavilion, public changing rooms, and a pier at the south end of that boardwalk. Such success attracted other businessmen. In 1888, Ernest Schnitzler built the Palace Merry-Go-Round on the southwest corner of Lake Avenue and Kingsley Street, the cornerstone of what would become the Palace Amusements complex; other attractions followed.[37] During these early decades in Asbury Park, a number of grand hotels were built, including the Plaza Hotel.[38]

Uriah White, an Asbury Park pioneer, installed the first artesian well water system.[39] As many as 600,000 people a year vacationed in Asbury Park during the summer season in the early years, riding the New York and Long Branch Railroad from New York City and Philadelphia to enjoy the mile-and-a-quarter stretch of oceanfront Asbury Park.[39] By 1912, The New York Times estimated that the summer population could reach 200,000.[40]

The country by the sea destination experienced several key periods of popularity. The first notable era was the 1890s, marked by a housing growth, examples of which can still be found today in a full range of Victorian architecture. Coinciding with the nationwide trend in retail shopping, Asbury Park's downtown flourished during this period and well into the 20th century.

1920s and modern development[edit]

Asbury Park boardwalk, c. 1935
The casino's boarded walkway that links Asbury Park to Ocean Grove.
Vacant streets were a common sight in the 1980s and 1990s.

1920s[edit]

The 1920s saw a dramatic change in the boardwalk with the construction of the Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall complex, the Casino Arena and Carousel House, and two handsome red-brick pavilions. Beaux Arts architect Warren Whitney of New York was the designer. He had also been hired to design the imposing Berkeley-Carteret Hotel positioned diagonally across from the theater and hall. At the same time, Asbury Park launched a first-class education and athletic program with the construction of a state-of-the-art high school overlooking Deal Lake.

1930s[edit]

On September 8, 1934, the wreck of the ocean liner SS Morro Castle, which caught fire and burned, beached itself near the city just yards away from the Asbury Park Convention Hall; the city capitalized on the event, turning the wreck into a tourist attraction.[41]

In 1935, the newly founded Securities and Exchange Commission called Asbury Park's Mayor Clarence F. Hetrick to testify about $6 million in "beach improvement bonds" that had gone into default. At the same time, the SEC also inquired about rental rates on the beach front and why the mayor reduced the lease of a bathhouse from $85,000 to $40,000, among many other discrepancies that could have offset debt.[42] The interests of Asbury Park's bond investors led Senator Frank Durand (Monmouth County) to add a last-minute "Beach Commission" amendment to a municipal debt bill in the New Jersey legislature. When the bill became law, it ceded control of the Asbury Park beach to Governor Harold Hoffman and a governor's commission.[43][44] The city of Asbury Park sued to restore control of the beach to the municipal council, but the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals (until 1947, the state's highest court) upheld the validity of the law in 1937.[45] When Durand pressed New Jersey's legislature to extend the state's control of Asbury Park's beach in 1938, the lower house staged a walk out and the Senate soon adjourned, a disruption that also prevented a vote for funding New Jersey's participation in the 1939 New York World's Fair.[46][47] In December 1938, the court returned control of the beach to the municipal council under the proviso that a bond repayment agreement was created; Asbury Park was the only beach in New Jersey affected by the Beach Commission law.[48]

1940s[edit]

In 1943, the New York Yankees held their spring training in Asbury Park instead of Florida.[49] This was because rail transport had to be conserved during the war, and Major League Baseball's Spring Training was limited to an area east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River.[50]

With the opening of the Garden State Parkway in 1947, Asbury Park saw the travel market change as fewer vacationers took trains to the seashore. While the Asbury Park exit on the Parkway opened in 1956 and provided a means for drivers to reach Asbury Park more easily, additional exits further south allowed drivers access to new alternative vacation destinations, particularly on Long Beach Island.[51]: 71–72 

1950s and beyond[edit]

In the decades that followed the war, surrounding farm communities gave way to tracts of suburban houses, encouraging the city's middle-class blacks as well as whites to move into newer houses with spacious yards.[51]: 190 

With the above-mentioned change in the travel market, prompted by the opening of the Garden State Parkway in 1947 and the opening of Monmouth Mall 10 miles (16 km) away in Eatontown in 1960, Asbury Park's downtown became less of an attraction to shoppers. Office parks built outside the city resulted in the relocation of accountants, dentists, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals. Moreover, the opening of Great Adventure (on July 1, 1974), a combination theme park and drive-through safari located on a lake in Jackson Township—and close to a New Jersey Turnpike exit—proved to be stiff competition for a mile-long stretch of aging boardwalk amusements.[52]

Riots that broke out in the city on July 4, 1970, resulted in the destruction of aging buildings along Springwood Avenue, one of three main east–west corridors into Asbury Park and the central shopping and entertainment district for those living in the city's southwest quadrant.[53] Many of those city blocks have yet to be redeveloped into the 21st century.[citation needed]

Although it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places,[54] Palace Amusements was closed in 1988 and was demolished in 2004 despite attempts to save it.[55] The complex had featured the famous face of Tillie, a symbol of the Jersey Shore.[55]

In 1990, the carousel at the Casino Pier was sold to Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where it continues to operate.[56]

21st century[edit]

Former Howard Johnson's renovated and reopened in summer 2007 as Salt Water Beach Cafe on the boardwalk in Asbury Park
Asbury Park Boardwalk in August 2013. Repairs to the boardwalk were completed in May 2014.[57]

From 2002 onward, the rest of Asbury Park has been in the midst of a cultural, political, and economic revival, including a burgeoning industry of local and national artists.[citation needed] Its dilapidated downtown district is undergoing revitalization while most of the nearly empty blocks that overlook the beach and boardwalk are slated for massive reconstruction. In 2005, the Casino's walkway reopened, as did many of the boardwalk pavilions.[58] In 2007, the eastern portion of the Casino building was demolished. There are plans to rebuild this portion to look much like the original; however, the interior will be dramatically different and may include a public market (as opposed to previously being an arena and skating rink). By 2020, the Casino building still remained unrestored and had no permanent use, although it had been used to host temporary art installations.[59][60][61]

There has also been more of a resurgence of the downtown as well as the boardwalk, with the grand reopening of the historic Steinbach department store building, as well as the rehabilitation of Convention Hall and the Fifth Avenue Pavilion (previously home to one of the last remaining Howard Johnson's restaurants). The historic Berkeley-Carteret Hotel, which is to be restored to four-star resort status, was acquired in 2007; the first residents moving into the newly constructed condominiums known as North Beach, the rehabilitation of Ocean Avenue, and the opening of national businesses on Asbury Avenue.

After Hurricane Sandy, Asbury Park was one of the few communities on the Jersey Shore to reopen successfully for the 2013 summer season. Most of the boardwalk had not been badly damaged by the massive hurricane. On Memorial Day Weekend 2013, Governor Chris Christie and President Barack Obama participated in an official ceremony before a crowd of 4,000, marking the reopening of Asbury Park and other parts of the Jersey Shore. The "Stronger Than The Storm" motto was emphasized at this ceremony.[57][62]

Geography[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 1.61 square miles (4.17 km2), including 1.43 square miles (3.70 km2) of land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) of water (11.18%).[4][5]

Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include North Asbury and Whitesville (located along the city's border with Neptune Township).[63]

The city borders the Monmouth County communities of Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Neptune Township, and Ocean Township.[64][65][66]

Deal Lake covers 158 acres (64 ha) and is overseen by the Deal Lake Commission, which was established in 1974. Seven municipalities border the lake, accounting for 27 miles (43 km) of shoreline, also including Allenhurst, Deal, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Neptune Township and Ocean Township.[67]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
19004,148
191011,150168.8%
192013,40020.2%
193014,98111.8%
194014,617−2.4%
195017,09416.9%
196017,3661.6%
197016,533−4.8%
198017,0152.9%
199016,799−1.3%
200016,9300.8%
201016,116−4.8%
202015,188−5.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[68]
Population sources: 1900–1920[69]
1900–1910[70] 1900–1930[71]
1930–1990[72] 2000[73][74] 2010[75] 2020[76]

2020 census[edit]

Asbury Park city, New Jersey – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[75] Pop 2020[76] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 3,511 5,284 21.79% 34.79%
Black or African American alone (NH) 7,955 5,059 49.36% 33.31%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 40 14 0.25% 0.09%
Asian alone (NH) 72 162 0.45% 1.07%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 13 4 0.08% 0.03%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 57 79 0.35% 0.52%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 353 507 2.19% 3.34%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 4,115 4,079 25.53% 26.86%
Total 16,116 15,188 100.00% 100.00%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

2010 census[edit]

The 2010 United States census counted 16,116 people, 6,725 households, and 3,174 families in the city. The population density was 11,319.5 per square mile (4,370.5/km2). There were 8,076 housing units at an average density of 5,672.4 per square mile (2,190.1/km2). The racial makeup was 36.45% (5,875) White, 51.35% (8,275) Black or African American, 0.49% (79) Native American, 0.48% (77) Asian, 0.12% (20) Pacific Islander, 7.64% (1,232) from other races, and 3.46% (558) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25.53% (4,115) of the population.[24]

Of the 6,725 households, 24.1% had children under the age of 18; 18.2% were married couples living together; 23.1% had a female householder with no husband present and 52.8% were non-families. Of all households, 42.1% were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.33.[24]

23.8% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 24.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.0 years. For every 100 females, the population had 95.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 95.9 males.[24]

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $33,527 (with a margin of error of +/− $2,802) and the median family income was $27,907 (+/− $5,012). Males had a median income of $34,735 (+/− $3,323) versus $33,988 (+/− $4,355) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $20,368 (+/− $1,878). About 31.1% of families and 29.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 44.9% of those under age 18 and 26.0% of those age 65 or over.[77]

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 U.S. census,[18] there were 16,930 people, 6,754 households, and 3,586 families residing in the city. The population density was 14,290.0 per square mile (5,629.4/km2) making it Monmouth County's most densely populated municipality. There were 7,744 housing units at an average density of 5,416.7 per square mile (2,090.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 15.77% White, 67.11% Black, 0.32% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 6.49% from other races, and 5.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18.58% of the population.[73][74]

There were 6,754 households, out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 20.2% were married couples living together, 26.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.9% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.36.[73][74]

In the city, the population was spread out, with 30.1% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.2 males.[73][74]

The median income for a household in the city was $23,081, and the median income for a family was $26,370. Males had a median income of $27,081 versus $24,666 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,516. About 29.3% of families and 40.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.5% of those under age 18 and 37.1% of those age 65 or over.[73][74]

Economy[edit]

Urban Enterprise Zone[edit]

Portions of the city are part of a joint Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) with Long Branch, one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program.[78] In addition to other benefits to encourage employment and investment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the 6+58% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants.[79] Established in September 1994, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in September 2025.[80]

Hotels[edit]

Berkeley Hotel, 2007

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 the former Hotel Tides were 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.

Currently open hotels include the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel (formerly the Berkeley-Carteret Oceanfront Hotel), The Empress Hotel, the St. Laurent Social Club (formerly known as Hotel Tides), Asbury Park Inn, Oceanic Inn, Mikell's Big House Bed & Breakfast as well as The Asbury Hotel[81] and The Asbury Ocean Club Hotel,[82] both developed by iStar, the master developer for the Asbury Park Waterfront.

Demolished:

Media[edit]

Local media includes:

  • The Asbury Park Press
  • TAPinto Asbury Park began publishing local coverage in 2022.[85]
  • The Coaster, an award-winning weekly newspaper which has covered local news in Asbury Park since it was founded in 1983.
  • The Asbury Park Sun
  • TriCity News, a weekly news and art publication for the three seaside cities of Asbury Park, Long Branch and Red Bank.[86]
  • Asbury Park Vibes magazine is a publication dedicated to live music performance, photography and new releases in Asbury and the surrounding area.[87]

Arts and culture[edit]

The Stone Pony in Asbury Park
Asbury Park beach

Music[edit]

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.[88]

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, and others.

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's music. 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.[89]

A black-and-white 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.[90]

New Jersey Music Hall of Fame[edit]

The New Jersey Music Hall of Fame was founded in Asbury Park in 2005. There have been plans to build a music museum somewhere in the city as part of the redevelopment.[91]

Black music and Springwood Avenue[edit]

The West Side of Asbury Park has traditionally been home to Black music, including jazz, soul, gospel, doo wop, and R&B. African American artists such as the Jersey Shore's own Count Basie as well as Duke Ellington, Lenny Welch, the Broadways, Josephine Baker, Claude Hopkins, Bobby Thomas, Rex Stewart, Manzie Johnson, Sidney Bechet, Clarence Clemons and others "either played or were inspired by the [Black]-centered Springwood Avenue club circuit on the West Side of Asbury Park" in the early to mid-century period at places like the Smile-A-While and Gypsy George's.[92][93]

During a visit to the West Side in 1928, Fats Waller wrote "Honeysuckle Rose" with Andy Razaf at 119 Atkins Avenue in a home that still stands.[94]

Billie Holiday, Tina Turner, Little Richard and the Four Tops all played at Cuba's on the West Side in the mid-century period.[95] The former home of the Turf Club, once a well-known mid-century jazz and R&B joint across from what is now Springwood Park, was recently decorated with jazz-themed mural art by a team of local artists to mark its heritage.[96][97][98][99] At the present-day site of Springwood Park in 1918, Black entrepreneur Reese DuPree turned Lafayette Hall (later the Roseland Hall auditorium) into a popular nightclub.[100] The location was also used for civil rights activities; Marcus Garvey and W. E. B. Du Bois both spoke at Roseland Hall.[100] The Asbury Park Music Foundation, working with Lakehouse Music Academy and the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County, founded the Hip Hop Institute to teach music and life skills education relevant to young hip hop enthusiasts.

The Asbury Park Museum hosts an exhibit on the history of music on the West Side, spanning the decades from 1880 to 1980.[101]

The Asbury Park African-American Music Project, or AP-AMP, created a virtual West Side museum dedicated to the history of Black music in the city.[102][103][104]

Live music and arts venues[edit]

Asbury Park is considered a destination for musicians, particularly a subgenre of rock and roll known as the Jersey Shore sound, which is infused with R&B. It is home to venues including:

  • The Stone Pony, founded in 1974, a starting point for many performers.
  • Across town, on Fourth Avenue, is Asbury Lanes, a recently reopened functioning bowling alley and bar with live performances ranging from musical acts (formerly with a heavy focus on punk music), neo-Burlesque, hot rod, and art shows. The reopened venue's latest focused has been mostly on indie rock and pop.
  • The Saint, on Main Street (formerly the Clover Club), which brings original, live music to the Jersey Shore.
  • Convention Hall holds larger events.
  • The Paramount Theatre is adjacent to Convention Hall.
  • The Wonder Bar.
  • The Asbury Park Brewery on Sewell Avenue hosts small shows with a capacity of 150 and a brewery inside the venue.[105]
  • The Empress Hotel is an LGBT resort owned by music producer Shep Pettibone that features Paradise Nightclub.
  • The Baronet, a vintage movie theater which dates back to Buster Keaton's era, was near Asbury Lanes, but its roof recently caved in and the building was demolished. The Asbury Hotel pays homage to this once great theater with its 5th floor rooftop movie theater called "The Baronet". The Asbury Hotel also has an 8th floor rooftop bar, paying homage to the former building inhabitants and calling it "Salvation."
  • The Kingsley Theater at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel. The newly formed Asbury Park Theater Company (APTCo) presented Green Day’s American Idiot, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, as the company's debut production at this theater in 2022.[106]

In a town that was once nearly abandoned, there are now a large number of restaurants, bars, coffee houses, two breweries, a coffee roastery, and live music venues situated in Asbury Park's boardwalk and downtown districts.

Festivals and events[edit]

Paradise nightclub
  • The Turf Club. "Tuesday at the Turf” is a summer music series held by the Asbury Park African-American Music Project (AP-AMP) at the Turf Club site across from Springwood Park, which is the last extant structure that once contained one of Springwood's many mid-century live Black music spots. The AP-AMP hopes to transform the space into a community venue for music and culture.[96]
  • The Asbury Park Music + Film Festival (APMFF). This event is held annually in the spring.[107]
  • Asbury Park Music Foundation is a non-profit organization that offers live music throughout the year including the free summer concert series Music Mondays in Springwood Park, AP Live and the Asbury Park Concert Band on the boardwalk. Ticketed events including Sundays on St. John's, A Very Asbury Holiday Show! at the Paramount Theater, Sunday Sessions are held throughout the year to benefit the music foundation's mission to provide music education programs, scholarships, instruments to the underserved youth in the community as well as supporting established and emerging local musicians with opportunities to perform.[108]
  • The Asbury Park Surf Music Festival, held on the boardwalk in August, celebrates surf music .[109]
  • The Asbury Music Awards. Formerly known as the Golden T-Bird Awards, these were established in 1993 by Scott Stamper and Pete Mantas to recognize and support significant contributions and achievements of local and regional participants in the music industry. The name of the awards was changed to the Asbury Music Awards in 1995. The award ceremony is held in November of each year, most recently at the Stone Pony.[110]
  • The Sea.Hear.Now Festival is a surfing and music festival that first appeared on the beach in Asbury Park in September 2018, as a celebration of live music, art, ocean sustainability, and surf culture. Digital pop culture magazine "The Pop Break" named Sea.Hear.Now the best new music festival of the year in 2018.[111][112]
  • Music Mondays at Springwood Park. These are weekly live music events held at Springwood Park in the summer months. Hosted by the Asbury Park Music Foundation.[113]
  • The Wave Gathering Music Festival. This festival was established in 2006. The festival is held during the summer. Businesses across Asbury Park offer food, drink, art, music, crafts, and their stages for performances. Stages are also set up in parks, on the boardwalk, and in other open spaces. The event takes place over several days.[114]
  • First Saturdays. Popular with numerous Asbury Park residents and visitors is the monthly First Saturday event. On the first Saturday of every month, Asbury Park's downtown art galleries, home design studios, restaurants, antique shops, and clothing boutiques remain open throughout the evening, serving hors d'oeuvres and offering entertainment, to showcase the city's residential and commercial resurgence.[115]
  • The Asbury Park Tattoo Convention, also known as the Visionary Tattoo Festival, is held every July.[116]
  • The Garden State Film Festival. In 2003, actor Robert Pastorelli founded the Garden State Film Festival, which draws over 30,000 visitors to Asbury Park each spring for a four-day event including screenings of 150 features, documentaries, shorts and videos, concerts, lectures and workshops for filmmakers. In 2012, a film industry exposition will be held for the first time in Convention Hall during the Festival.[117]
  • The Bamboozle Music Festival. This was first held in Asbury Park in 2003, 2004, and 2005.[118] The festival returned to its original location for the ten-year anniversary in 2012, headlined by My Chemical Romance, Foo Fighters, and Bon Jovi, drawing over 90,000 people to the city over the three-day span in which it was held.[119]
  • The Asbury Park Women's Convention is held each winter.
  • The Asbury Park Porch Fest is a free family-friendly music festival featuring a series performances on local porches, lawns, and parks. The fifth annual event was held in 2021.[120]

Murals and public art[edit]

Noted muralists and other local artists have installed various murals along the Asbury Park boardwalk and the cityscape in recent years. The 2016 Wooden Walls Mural Project began in July of that year and reimagined the Sunset Pavilion building with around a dozen new murals.[121][122]

Other arts and entertainment[edit]

On October 5, 2013, the largest gathering of zombies was achieved by the 9,592 participants in New Jersey Zombie Walk at the Asbury Park Boardwalk, an event held in Asbury Park every October.[123]

LGBTQ+ community[edit]

Background[edit]

Sign outside Georgies

Asbury Park has been a "hub of gay life" for decades.[124] Since the 1950s at least, Asbury Park has had a growing LGBT community. After property values plummeted locally in Asbury Park, gays from New York City purchased and restored Victorian homes, leading to a rejuvenation of parts of the city.[125]

Garden State Equality, the LGBTQ+ rights organization, is headquartered on Main Street. In 2021, the LGBTQ+ community center QSpot relocated back to the west side of Asbury Park, having been established there in 2005.[126] The center opened the QSpot Café,[127] a queer-centered coffeehouse open on weekends only. Another notable establishment is Georgies (formerly the Fifth Avenue Tavern).

Every summer the Jersey Gay Pride parade, the state's largest, draws hundreds of thousands of people to this LGBT destination. Project R.E.A.L. is a community organization for young LGBTQ+ socializing in Asbury Park.

The LGBTQ-centered St. Laurent Social Club on Seventh Avenue first opened as the woman-owned St. Laurent Hotel in 1885.[128] It eventually became the iconic Jersey Shore LGBTQ mainstay Hotel Tides,[129] and reopened again as the St. Laurent in 2022 following a sale.[130][131][132]

Multiple restaurants in town are LGBTQ+-owned.[133]

Paradise and the gay dance club scene[edit]

Photo of a swimming pool on a sunny day, with many people in and around the water
The swimming pool at Paradise, August 2020

In 1999, Madonna producer Shep Pettibone opened Paradise, a gay discotheque near the ocean. He has since also opened the Empress Hotel, one of the state's only gay-oriented hotels. Asbury has a long history of welcoming gay men. Other well-known now-defunct gay clubs include Down the Street, so named because it was located down the street from other popular gay clubs, Odyssey and M&K.

Lesbian community[edit]

One subset of the LGBTQ+ community is the lesbian community of Asbury Park, a city with a tradition of lesbian bars stretching back to the 1930s.[134] In the late 1930s, 208 Bond Street was the location of a women's bar.[135] In 1965, former nun Margaret "Maggie the Cat" Hogan opened the groundbreaking lesbian club Chez Elle (French for "her house"), also known as the Chez-L Lounge, and eventually joined a lawsuit that defeated efforts to discriminate against gay patrons at New Jersey nightclubs.[136][137][138][139]

The Bond Street Bar was a lesbian joint in the 1970s, and the third floor of the M&K nightclub, a gay disco on Cookman Avenue, was for lesbians.[140][141] The 1980s lesbian resort, the Key West Hotel, was a large source of community for New Jersey women during that decade, as were lesbian venues like the Owl and the Pussycat, which relocated to the Key West.[142][143][144] A Key West Hotel reunion in 2016 drew 400 people.[124]

The Asbury Park Women's Convention is held annually, typically during March, with a focus on women-led workshops, musical performances, comedy sets, guest speakers, spoken word and other performing arts including poetry and artwork featured in a number of female-operated businesses in the Asbury area.[145][146]

The inaugural Asbury Park Dyke March was held in October 2020.[147]

Surfing and other sports[edit]

Every winter, when the surf grows colder and rougher than in the summer, the city is home to the Cold War, an annual cold water surfing battle.

In 1943, the New York Yankees held spring training in Asbury Park to comply with restrictions on rail travel during World War II.[148]

Asbury Park is the nominal home to Asbury Park F.C., described as "Asbury Park's most storied sports franchise and New Jersey's second-best football club." The project is a parody of a modern pro soccer team born out of a joke between social media professional and soccer tastemaker Shawn Francis and his friend Ian Perkins, guitarist with The Gaslight Anthem. Despite never playing games the club has an extensive merchandise line available online, including new and retro replica jerseys.[149]

Parks and recreation[edit]

Parks include:[150]

  • Springwood Park – a park[151] established in 2016 near the Asbury Park train station, adjacent to the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park, a historically African-American congregation founded in 1885.[152] It is across from Kula Urban Farm and Kula Cafe, an urban farm and small restaurant that grows produce for local restaurants.[153] Springwood Park is home to Music Mondays, weekly live-music outdoor events in the summer months that are hosted by the Asbury Park Music Foundation.[113] The park has been home to political and civil rights rallies.[154]
  • Wheeler Park
  • Extensive and lush floral plantings were present in Asbury Park's Bradley Park during the 1930s, as can be seen in archival footage.[155]

Government[edit]

Local government[edit]

The City of Asbury Park is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager form of government. The city is one of 71 municipalities (of the 564) statewide governed under this form.[156] The city was previously governed under the 1923 Municipal Manager Law form of municipal government until voters approved the Council-Manager form in 2013.[157] The government is comprised of a five-member City Council with a directly elected mayor and four council positions all elected at-large in non-partisan elections, to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis in elections held in even years as part of the November general election.[7][157]

The form of government was chosen based on the final report issued in August 2013 by a Charter Study Commission that had narrowed its options to the weak Mayor Council-Manager form or the strong Mayor Faulkner Act form, ultimately choosing to recommend the Council-Manager form as it would retain desired aspects of the 1923 Municipal Manager Law (non-partisan voting for an at-large council with a professional manager) while allowing a directly elected mayor, elections in November and grants voters the right to use initiative and referendum.[158] The four winning council candidates in the November 2014 general election drew straws, with two being chosen to serve full four-year terms and two serving for two years. Thereafter, two council seats will be up for election every two years.[159]

As of 2022, members of the Asbury Park City Council are Mayor John Moor (term of office ends December 31, 2022), Deputy Mayor Amy Quinn (2024), Eileen Chapman (2024), Barbara "Yvonne" Clayton (2024) and Jesse Kendle (2022).[6][7][160][161][162]

In May 2016, the City Council appointed Eileen Chapman to fill the vacant council seat expiring in December 2016 that had been held by Joe Woerner until he resigned from office.[163]

Myra Campbell, the last mayor under the old form of government, was the first African-American woman to be chosen as mayor when she took office in July 2013.[164]

Fire Department[edit]

Asbury Park Fire Department (APFD)
Operational area
StateNew Jersey
CityAsbury Park
Address800 Main Street
Agency overview
Established1887
Annual calls~7,647 (2018)
Employees~54
EMS levelBLS Transport
IAFFL384
Facilities and equipment
Stations1
Engines3 (including spare)
Trucks2 (including spare)
Rescues1
Ambulances3 (including spare)
Fireboats1
Website
http://www.cityofasburypark.com/APFD
The Asbury Park fire station

Beyond providing emergency services, the Asbury Park Fire Department works to prevent future fires and accidents. Department responsibilities range from fire code enforcement, arson investigations, and fire prevention activities to fire and life safety education programs for children, families, and seniors.

Asbury Park currently has a centrally located fire station (with a new one planned for the future), with one Engine Company, one Ladder Company, two Basic Life Support Ambulances, a fireboat, and a Duty Battalion Chief. The department's apparatus fleet includes 3 Engines (including spare), 2 Ladder Trucks (including spare), 1 Rescue Truck, and 2 Ambulances, in addition to other equipment. The Asbury Park Fire Department employs 56 people, of which, 54 are certified Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technicians.[165]

Federal, state, and county representation[edit]

Asbury Park is located in the 6th Congressional district[166] and is part of New Jersey's 11th state legislative district.[25][167][168]

For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch).[169][170] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027)[171] and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).[172][173]

For the 2022–2023 session, the 11th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Vin Gopal (D, Long Branch) and in the General Assembly by Kimberly Eulner (R, Shrewsbury) and Marilyn Piperno (R, Colts Neck Township).[174]

Monmouth County is governed by a Board of County Commissioners comprised of five members who are elected at-large to serve three year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects one of its members to serve as Director and another as Deputy Director.[175] As of 2022, Monmouth County's Commissioners are Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone (R, Neptune City, term as commissioner and as director ends December 31, 2022),[176] Commissioner Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley (R, Hazlet Township, term as commissioner ends December 31, 2024; term as deputy commissioner director ends 2022),[177] Lillian G. Burry (R, Colts Neck Township, 2023),[178] Nick DiRocco (R, Wall Township, 2022),[179] and Ross F. Licitra (R, Marlboro Township, 2023).[180][181][182] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon (R, 2025; Ocean Township),[183][184] Sheriff Shaun Golden (R, 2022; Howell Township)[185][186] and Surrogate Rosemarie D. Peters (R, 2026; Middletown Township).[187][188]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,404 registered voters in Asbury Park, of which 2,723 (36.8%) were registered as Democrats, 464 (6.3%) were registered as Republicans and 4,209 (56.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 8 voters registered as Libertarians or Greens.[189]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 89.1% of the vote (4,317 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 9.9% (480 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (49 votes), among the 4,896 ballots cast by the city's 8,486 registered voters (50 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.7%.[190][191] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 87.4% of the vote (4,693 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 9.7% (522 votes) and other candidates with 0.5% (28 votes), among the 5,372 ballots cast by the city's 8,429 registered voters, for a turnout of 63.7%.[192] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 81.9% of the vote (3,659 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 17.0% (759 votes) and other candidates with 0.3% (28 votes), among the 4,466 ballots cast by the city's 8,255 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 54.1.[193]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 67.5% of the vote (1,488 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 30.9% (682 votes), and other candidates with 1.6% (36 votes), among the 2,287 ballots cast by the city's 8,819 registered voters (81 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 25.9%.[194][195] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 75.1% of the vote (1,728 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 19.1% (440 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.3% (100 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (9 votes), among the 2,301 ballots cast by the city's 7,692 registered voters, yielding a 29.9% turnout.[196]

Historic district[edit]

Asbury Park Commercial Historic District
LocationRoughly bounded by 500, 600, 700 blocks of Cookman and Mattison Avenues and Bond Streets between Lake and Bangs Avenues
NRHP reference No.14000536[197]
NJRHP No.3992[198]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 30, 2014
Designated NJRHPJuly 10, 2014

The Asbury Park Commercial Historic District is a historic district located along Cookman and Mattison Avenues and Bond Streets between Lake and Bangs Avenues. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 30, 2014, for its significance in commerce and entertainment.[199]

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

The Asbury Park Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.[200] The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide that were established pursuant to the decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Abbott v. Burke[201] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[202][203]

Students from Allenhurst attend the district's schools as part of a sending/receiving relationship.[204] In July 2014, the New Jersey Department of Education approved a request by Interlaken under which it would end its sending relationship with the Asbury Park district and begin sending its students to the West Long Branch Public Schools through eighth grade and then onto Shore Regional High School.[205] Students from Deal had attended the district's high school as part of a sending/receiving relationship that was terminated and replaced with an agreement with Shore Regional.[206]

As of the 2020–21 school year, the district, comprised of four schools, had an enrollment of 1,771 students and 175.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.1:1.[207] Schools in the district (with 2020–21 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[208]) are Bradley Elementary School[209] with 301 students in grades PreK-5, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School[210] with 247 students in grades PreK-5, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Upper Elementary School[211] with 370 students in grades 6-8 and Asbury Park High School[212] with 682 students in grades 9-12.[213][214][215][216][217]

In March 2011, the state monitor overseeing the district's finances ordered that Barack Obama Elementary School be closed after the end of the 2010–2011 school year, citing a 35% decline in enrollment in the district during the prior 10 years. Students currently attending the school would be reallocated to the district's two other elementary schools, with those going into fifth grade assigned to attend middle school.[218] During the summer of 2012, the school board approved funding for development plans to house the Board of Education in the vacant Barack Obama Elementary School. The school board awarded $894,000 to an architect firm to handle the renovation design and subsequent project bids. The estimated cost of the renovation was $1.6 million.[219]

In 2006, Asbury Park's Board of Education was affected by the city's decision to redevelop waterfront property with eminent domain. In the case Asbury Park Board of Education v. City of Asbury Park and Asbury Partners, LLC, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division affirmed a ruling in favor of eminent domain of the Board of Education building on Lake Avenue.[220] The Board of Education moved to the third and fourth floors of 603 Mattison Avenue, the former Asbury Park Press building, where it paid $189,327 in rent per year.[219]

In February 2007, the offices of the Asbury Park Board of Education were raided by investigators from the State Attorney General's office, prompted by allegations of corruption and misuse of funds.[221]

Per-student expenditures in Asbury Park have generated statewide controversy for several years. In 2006, The New York Times reported that Asbury Park "spends more than $18,000 per student each year, the highest amount in the state."[222] In both 2010 and 2011, the Asbury Park K–12 school district had the highest per-student expenditure in the state.[223] As of the 2010 school reports, the high school has not met goals mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act and has been classified as "In Need of Improvement" for six years.[224]

Charter schools[edit]

The Hope Academy Charter School, founded in 2001, is an alternative public school choice that serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Admission is based on a lottery of submitted applications, with priority given to Asbury Park residents and siblings of existing students.[225]

Students from Asbury Park in ninth through twelfth grades may also attend Academy Charter High School, located in Lake Como, which also serves residents of Allenhurst, Avon-by-the-Sea, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Deal, Interlaken and Lake Como, and accepts students on a lottery basis.[226]

Crime[edit]

While 8 of the 17 murders in Monmouth County in 2006 took place in Asbury Park, and 7 of the county's 14 murders in 2007, by 2008 there was only one murder in Asbury Park and five in the whole county. The city's police had added 19 officers since 2003 and expanded its street crime unit. After a spike in gang violence, violent crime had decreased by almost 20% from 2006 to 2008.[227]

In the calendar year through August 26, 2013, Asbury Park has had 6 homicides; there have also been 17 people non-fatally injured in shooting incidents.[228]

In February 2014, "Operation Dead End" arrested gang members of the Crips and Bloods; one Asbury Park patrol officer was arrested for aiding gang members.[229]

On June 16, 2015, Asbury Park police officers arrested a Neptune Township off-duty police officer for the murder of his ex-wife on an Asbury Park street in broad daylight.[230]

Asbury Park's crime statistics
Year Crime Index Total Violent crime Non-violent
Crime
Crime rate
Per 1000
Violent crime
Rate per 1000
Non-violent crime
Rate per 1000
Murder Rape Robbery Aggravated
Assault
Ref
1994 1740 386 1354 103.6 23.0 80.6 2 20 175 189 [231]
1995 1461 290 1171 93.6 18.6 75.0 2 11 147 130 [231]
1996 1590 305 1285 101.9 19.5 82.3 2 23 139 141 [232]
1997 1525 357 1168 89.1 20.8 68.2 1 11 190 155 [232]
1998 1240 251 989 72.4 14.7 57.8 0 16 116 119 [233]
1999 1183 302 881 69.4 17.7 51.7 3 16 139 144 [233]
2000 1224 337 887 72.3 19.9 52.4 1 13 161 162 [234]
2001 1431 398 1033 84.5 23.5 61.0 5 14 184 195 [234]
2002 1260 347 913 74.4 20.5 53.9 3 9 172 163 [235]
2003 1293 378 915 77.0 22.5 54.5 2 7 183 186 [235]
2004 1429 360 1069 85.6 21.6 64.0 3 5 196 156 [236]
2005 1313 346 967 78.1 20.6 57.5 3 10 148 185 [237]
2006 1305 387 918 78.5 23.3 55.2 8 7 194 178 [237]
2007 1070 351 719 64.7 21.2 43.5 6 11 184 150 [238]
2008 1265 319 946 76.3 19.2 57.1 1 6 153 159 [238]
2009 1370 353 1017 82.8 21.3 61.5 2 6 178 167 [239]
2010 1491 344 1147 92.5 21.3 71.2 3 13 188 140 [239]
2011 1540 260 1280 95.6 16.1 79.4 4 11 114 131 [240]
2012 1252 247 1005 78.9 15.6 63.3 3 10 84 150 [241]
2013 1106 264 842 69.7 16.6 53.1 6 9 126 123 [242]

As of 2013, the Asbury Park Police Department has 88 police employees: 74 men, 10 women, and 4 civilian.[242]

Public health[edit]

Nearby hospitals include Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center.

From before 1990 to 2015, there were 904 reported cases of HIV/AIDS in Asbury Park. Additionally, there were 418 AIDS-related deaths and 73 deaths of people who had HIV (without AIDS diagnosis.) In 2014, there were nine new cases and 2015, eight.[243] To help people living with AIDS and their caregivers, a not-for-profit foundation called The Center provides assistance with meals, housing, and transportation.[244]

In 2012, Asbury Park reported 6 cases of syphilis, 59 cases of gonorrhea, and 139 cases of chlamydia.[245]

Transportation[edit]

Route 71, the main highway through Asbury Park
Asbury Park Station, which is served by NJ Transit's North Jersey Coast Line

Roads and highways[edit]

As of May 2010, the city had a total of 36.20 miles (58.26 km) of roadways, of which 33.78 miles (54.36 km) were maintained by the municipality, 0.92 miles (1.48 km) by Monmouth County and 1.50 miles (2.41 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[246]

The main access road is Route 71 which runs north–south.[247] Other roads that are accessible in neighboring communities include Route 18, Route 33, Route 35 and Route 66. The Garden State Parkway is at least 15 minutes away via either Routes 33 or 66.[248]

Public transportation[edit]

NJ Transit offers rail service from the Asbury Park station.[249] on the North Jersey Coast Line, offering service to Newark Penn Station, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal.[250]

NJ Transit bus routes include the 317 to and from Philadelphia, and local service on the 830, 832, 836 and 837 routes.[251] The "Shore Points" route of Academy Bus Lines provides service between Asbury Park and New York City on a limited schedule.[252]

Bike[edit]

In August 2017, a multi-station bike share program opened in cooperation with Zagster. With six stations in the city, the program is the first of its kind on the Jersey Shore.[253][254][255]

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen climate classification system, Asbury Park has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Cfa climates are characterized by all months having an average temperature > 32.0 °F (0.0 °C), at least four months with an average temperature ≥ 50.0 °F (10.0 °C), at least one month with an average temperature ≥ 71.6 °F (22.0 °C) and no significant precipitation difference between seasons. Although most summer days are slightly humid with a cooling afternoon sea breeze in Asbury Park, episodes of heat and high humidity can occur with heat index values > 103 °F (39 °C). Since 1981, the highest air temperature was 100.3 °F (37.9 °C) on August 9, 2001, and the highest daily average mean dew point was 77.4 °F (25.2 °C) on August 13, 2016. July is the peak in thunderstorm activity and the average wettest month is August. Since 1981, the wettest calendar day was 5.58 inches (142 mm) on August 27, 2011. During the winter months, the average annual extreme minimum air temperature is 3.6 °F (−15.8 °C).[256] Since 1981, the coldest air temperature was −5.7 °F (−20.9 °C) on January 22, 1984. Episodes of extreme cold and wind can occur with wind chill values < −6 °F (−21 °C). The average seasonal (Nov–Apr) snowfall total is between 18 inches (46 cm) and 24 inches (61 cm), and the average snowiest month is February which corresponds with the annual peak in nor'easter activity.

Climate data for Asbury Park, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1981–2019
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71.4
(21.9)
78.8
(26.0)
82.1
(27.8)
88.5
(31.4)
94.9
(34.9)
96.8
(36.0)
99.9
(37.7)
100.3
(37.9)
97.5
(36.4)
93.9
(34.4)
80.4
(26.9)
75.0
(23.9)
100.3
(37.9)
Average high °F (°C) 40.0
(4.4)
42.6
(5.9)
49.1
(9.5)
58.8
(14.9)
68.2
(20.1)
77.4
(25.2)
82.8
(28.2)
81.6
(27.6)
75.5
(24.2)
65.1
(18.4)
55.2
(12.9)
45.2
(7.3)
61.9
(16.6)
Daily mean °F (°C) 32.4
(0.2)
34.7
(1.5)
40.9
(4.9)
50.4
(10.2)
59.9
(15.5)
69.4
(20.8)
74.9
(23.8)
73.8
(23.2)
67.3
(19.6)
56.4
(13.6)
47.3
(8.5)
37.7
(3.2)
53.8
(12.1)
Average low °F (°C) 24.8
(−4.0)
26.8
(−2.9)
32.7
(0.4)
41.9
(5.5)
51.5
(10.8)
61.3
(16.3)
67.1
(19.5)
66.1
(18.9)
59.2
(15.1)
47.6
(8.7)
39.3
(4.1)
30.1
(−1.1)
45.8
(7.7)
Record low °F (°C) −5.7
(−20.9)
1.0
(−17.2)
6.0
(−14.4)
18.3
(−7.6)
35.4
(1.9)
44.8
(7.1)
48.7
(9.3)
45.6
(7.6)
39.3
(4.1)
26.5
(−3.1)
15.0
(−9.4)
−0.3
(−17.9)
−5.7
(−20.9)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.62
(92)
3.07
(78)
3.93
(100)
4.15
(105)
3.81
(97)
3.60
(91)
4.69
(119)
4.72
(120)
3.62
(92)
3.94
(100)
3.85
(98)
4.02
(102)
47.02
(1,194)
Average relative humidity (%) 64.9 61.7 60.5 61.6 65.7 70.3 69.9 71.2 71.6 69.4 67.3 65.0 66.6
Average dew point °F (°C) 21.9
(−5.6)
22.9
(−5.1)
28.3
(−2.1)
37.7
(3.2)
48.4
(9.1)
59.3
(15.2)
64.4
(18.0)
63.9
(17.7)
57.8
(14.3)
46.5
(8.1)
37.0
(2.8)
27.0
(−2.8)
43.0
(6.1)
Source: PRISM[257]


Climate data for Sandy Hook, NJ Ocean Water Temperature (17 N Asbury Park)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Daily mean °F (°C) 37
(3)
36
(2)
40
(4)
46
(8)
55
(13)
62
(17)
69
(21)
72
(22)
68
(20)
59
(15)
51
(11)
43
(6)
53
(12)
Source: NOAA[258]

Ecology[edit]

According to the A. W. Kuchler U.S. potential natural vegetation types, Asbury Park would have a dominant vegetation type of Appalachian Oak (104) with a dominant vegetation form of Eastern Hardwood Forest (25).[259] The plant hardiness zone is 7a with an average annual extreme minimum air temperature of 3.6 °F (−15.8 °C).[256] The average date of first spring leaf-out is March 24[260] and fall color typically peaks in early-November.

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Asbury Park include:

In popular culture[edit]

Palace Amusements and the Tillie mural have featured in numerous works of popular culture. Additional works reference Asbury Park, specifically.

For example, in the song "At Long Last Love" (1938), originally written by Cole Porter for the musical You Never Know (1938), Frank Sinatra sings "Is it Granada I see, or only Asbury Park?"[306]

Bruce Springsteen named his first album "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J." in 1973 and described his early life there. The artist has also dedicated many songs to Asbury Park such as "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" and "My City of Ruins" on his 2002 album, "The Rising".[307]

The group mewithoutYou references Asbury Park several times on their album Ten Stories (2012). The song "Bear's Vision of St. Agnes" mentions "that tattered rag shop back in Asbury Park", and the song "Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" mentions the pier and sand dunes.[citation needed]

Asbury Park was used for the location filming of the crime drama City by the Sea (2002), starring Robert De Niro, James Franco and Frances McDormand, which was nominally set in Long Beach, New York, where no filming actually took place, according to a disclaimer that was included as part of the closing credits. The film features scenes set on a shabby, dilapidated boardwalk and in a ruined/abandoned casino/arcade building. Residents of both places objected to the way their cities were depicted.[308] Asbury Park appears at the start of the 1999 film Dogma.

The 2006 horror film Dark Ride is set in Asbury Park.[309]

The Season 2 finale of The Sopranos, "Funhouse", originally aired in April 2000, includes several discrete dream sequences dreamed by Tony that take place on the Asbury Park Boardwalk, including Madame Marie's as well as Tony and Pauly playing cards at a table in the empty hall of the Convention Center. The episode's title alludes to the Palace, which is also shown.[310]

In a 1955 episode of The Honeymooners ("Better Living Though TV"), Alice Kramden ridicules husband Ralph Kramden's seemingly never-ending parade of failed get-rich-quick schemes, including his investment in "the uranium field in Asbury Park".[311]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spahr, Rob. "New brewery ready to be trendsetter in Asbury Park", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 7, 2016, updated January 17, 2019. Accessed October 22, 2021. "One of the 'fun' aspects of Dark City's initial brews is that the brewery - which takes its name from Asbury Park's nickname - has already incorporated other city businesses into its own products and is planning to partner with others who want to do the same."
  2. ^ Annual ArtsCAP Event Features Author Hisani Dubose, Atlantic Highlands Herald, June 16, 2010. "...Celebrate ArtsCAP's accomplishments in promoting the arts in Asbury Park and ... help plan further blossoming of art and culture in Dark City."
  3. ^ Castellani, Christopher. "Brew Jersey: Dark City Brewing Company", Best of NJ, November 22, 2016. Accessed October 22, 2021. "After a dissatisfying job in digital marketing, Sharpe decided to be a brewer full-time and Dark City was born. Named after Asbury Park's unofficial nickname when blackouts in the 1960s would cause the town to go dark, his aim was to merge Belgian-inspired beer with an American twist."
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  7. ^ a b c Spoto, MaryAnn. "Asbury Park gets new mayor, council after voters approve new government", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 1, 2015. Accessed April 20, 2015.
  8. ^ 2022 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed March 1, 2022.
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  28. ^ Ryan, Matt. "New Jersey Beach Named the Second Best in the Entire World", WJLK, April 25, 2022. Accessed June 13, 2022. "Congratulations to the legendary Asbury Park named the second-best beach in the world!"
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  42. ^ Staff. "Asbury Park Debt Linked To Politics; Costly Temporary Financing Tied to Boardwalk and Rental 'Iniquities.' Mayor Hetrick On Stand He Tells SEC of $6,000,000, Mostly in Default -- High Interest Rate Defended.", The New York Times, October 26, 1935. Accessed September 17, 2013.
  43. ^ Staff. "Asbury Park To Sue For Beach Control; Writ to Be Applied For Today to Prevent Commission Taking Jurisdiction.", The New York Times, June 22, 1936. Accessed September 17, 2013.
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  62. ^ Flumenbaum, Martha. "Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.: Seven Months of Hurricane Sandy Heroes", Huffington Post, May 28, 2013. Accessed June 15, 2014. "Standing on the beach in Asbury Park with 'Born To Run' and 'Who Says You Can't Go Home?' playing in the background, the smell of the ocean and cheesesteaks in the air, surrounded by miniature golf, salt water taffy, and a few feet away from The Stone Pony (where Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi got their starts) I watched Governor Chris Christie introduce President Barack Obama to a crowd of about 4,000 today."
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  84. ^ DiIonno, Mark. "Grim end for a grand hotel", The Star-Ledger, November 2, 2007. Accessed June 15, 2014. "The Metropolitan is part of Asbury Park history, too.... A few weeks from now, it will be a vacant lot. How the Metropolitan went from a first-class seaside resort to a broken down wreck slated demolition is a story of Asbury Park, and a reminder that time never stops claiming victims."
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  91. ^ Wise, Brian. "From Croon to Doom Metal", The New York Times, June 5, 2005. Accessed January 29, 2012. "Even so, plans for a New Jersey Music Hall of Fame center on Asbury Park, where Mr. Springsteen got his start by playing in the scrubby clubs there."
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  94. ^ Honeysuckle Rose House, Asbury Park Historical Society. Accessed October 22, 2021. "The two-story house at 119 Atkins Avenue, Asbury Park played an important role in the careers of two iconic American songwriters. It was there, in December 1928, that Fats Waller and Andy Razaf wrote the song 'Honeysuckle Rose.'"
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  115. ^ Majeski, John. "First Saturday returns Event focuses on city shops and restaurants", Asbury Park Press, May 5, 2005. Accessed May 20, 2012. "First Saturday Night Asbury Park will return this month to the city's downtown, with businesses staying open late and shoppers finding special sales, giveaways, live music, trolley rides and refreshments."
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  118. ^ McCall, Tris. "Bamboozle Festival adds 60 more acts to its lineup", The Star-Ledger, January 18, 2012. Accessed January 29, 2012. "The Bamboozle began in Asbury Park a decade ago and moved to the Giants Stadium parking lot after growing too large for the shore town to accommodate. This will be the first Bamboozle on the Jersey Shore since 2006, and festival organizers intend to supplement Asbury Park's venues with stages on the boardwalk and the beach."
  119. ^ McCall, Tris. "Bamboozle 2012: Bon Jovi brings the hits to the beach", The Star-Ledger, May 21, 2012. Accessed July 18, 2012. "The 10th annual Bamboozle festival — and the first to be presented in its original hometown of Asbury Park since 2005 — had come to its grand, restless finale, and the most famous band ever booked by its organizers was about to play the massive main stage on the north end of the boardwalk. And unlike the other artists who drew enormous crowds to the boardwalk and beach this weekend, Bon Jovi does not compete for attention."
  120. ^ Home Page, Asbury Park Porchfest. Accessed October 22, 2021.
  121. ^ Olivier, Bobby. "33 incredible murals show Asbury Park as you've never seen it before (PHOTOS)", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, October 17, 2016, updated January 16, 2019. Accessed March 17, 2020.
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  123. ^ Largest gathering of zombies, Guinness World Records. Accessed June 15, 2014. "The largest gathering of zombies numbered 9,592 participants organized by the New Jersey Zombie Walk (USA) in Asbury Park, NJ, USA, on 5 October 2013."
  124. ^ a b Tully, Tracey. "Liquor Laws Once Targeted Gay Bars. Now, One State Is Apologizing.; New Jersey's attorney general apologized for decades-old state policies that shuttered bars for allowing gay patrons to congregate.", The New York Times, June 29, 2021. Accessed October 22, 2021. "And in 1956 in Asbury Park, which was then, as it is today, a hub of gay life on the Jersey Shore, a bar was cited for serving men who 'rocked and swayed their posteriors in a maidenly fashion.'"
  125. ^ Kuhr, Fred. "There goes the gayborhood: the urban renewal of Asbury Park, N.J., renews the debate: can gay men and lesbians single-handedly transform bad neighborhoods?", The Advocate, July 6, 2004. Accessed June 2, 2011.
  126. ^ Biese, Alex. "'Like coming home': QSpot LGBT Community Center moving to Asbury Park", Asbury Park Press, June 7, 2021. Accessed October 22, 2021. "QSpot LGBT Community Center, previously housed in the Jersey Shore Arts Center in the Ocean Grove section of Neptune, will relocate to 1601 Asbury Ave., Asbury Park, this summer. Founded in Asbury Park in 2005, QSpot will host a Grand HOPEning celebration at its new home Saturday, July 31."
  127. ^ "QSpot Café · 1601 Asbury Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712". QSpot Café · 1601 Asbury Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712.
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  133. ^ NJ.com, Lauren Musni | NJ Advance Media for (June 15, 2022). "15 LGBTQ-owned N.J. restaurants, bars, and businesses you need to check out". nj.
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  139. ^ "A 'Monumental' Campaign to Preserve & Protect (noting that Chez-L "was part of a landmark court case in the 1960s....")" (PDF). Asbury Park Historical Society. Fall 2017.
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  147. ^ Biese, Alex. "Asbury Park Dyke March happening Sunday: 'We're still here. We’ve survived.'", Asbury Park Press October 9, 2020. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Sunday is the 32nd annual National Coming Out Day, an occasion which will be marked in the city by the inaugural Asbury Park Dyke March."
  148. ^ Robinson, Joshua. "Six Weeks of Spring Training in...New Jersey?", The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2011. Accessed June 15, 2014. "For players wearing Yankee pinstripes from 1943 to 1945, 'heading south for spring training,' meant spending six frigid weeks in New Jersey.... The Yankees, frustrated and unprepared, left Asbury Park for good on April 8, 1943—and they were not sorry to get away."
  149. ^ Schaerlaeckens, Leander. "This Soccer Club Has Everything You'd Want Except ...", The New York Times, June 14, 2017. Accessed June 15, 2017. "In most every way, Asbury Park F.C. is like any professional soccer club in the world. It has slick jerseys manufactured by a major sporting goods brand, with a shirt sponsor and a recognizable logo in the club's black-and-white color scheme.... But in one significant way, Asbury Park Football Club is different from every other soccer team: It doesn't actually play soccer."
  150. ^ Recreation, City of Asbury Park. Accessed December 18, 2020.
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  276. ^ Jordan, Chris via Asbury Park Press. "'Boom' Carter: 'Born to Run' but out of the Rock Hall", USA Today, April 8, 2014. Accessed January 23, 2018. "Ernest 'Boom' Carter was there — on drums — during the protracted recording sessions, over six months in 1974 at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, N.Y. Carter, along with bassist Garry Tallent, provided the hemi-powered underpinning to Born to Run, and Carter's deftly played skip beats and drum shuffles are the accents of a masterpiece.... Carter, an Asbury Park native, joined the E Streeters after the departure of Vini 'Mad Dog' Lopez in early '74."
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  300. ^ McAlpine, Ken. Off-Season: Discovering America on Winter's Shore, p. 227. Random House, 2010. ISBN 9780307539038. Accessed June 15, 2014. "Bruce Springsteen lived in Asbury Park. He used what he inhaled there — the boardwalk, Madam Marie's, every beach town's drifters and dreamers — to touch his first tentaive fingers to the pulse of life at the Jersey Shore and, Given man's common desires, beyond."
  301. ^ Ja'Sir Taylor, Pro-Football-Reference.com. Accessed May 3, 2022. "Born: January 8, 1999 (Age: 23-115d) in Asbury Park, NJ"
  302. ^ Mullen, Shannon. "All About Lenny Welch; Future is still bright for '60s hitmaker from Asbury Park", Asbury Park Press, November 13, 2015. Accessed June 24, 2019. "A decade before Bruce Springsteen released his debut album, "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.," Lenny Welch was that city's pop-music hero, particularly within Asbury Park's black community. 'He was the one who put the map,' says Carl Williams, 64, of Lakewood, who attended Asbury Park High School a year behind Welch in the late '50s and remembers how the city stood still during the singer's first appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand."
  303. ^ Lucia, Peter. ""Asbury Park Life Stimulus For Author"". Archived from the original on June 14, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link), Asbury Park Press, October 2, 1995. Accessed April 9, 2008.
  304. ^ Cotter, Kelly-Jane. "The Year in Entertainment", Asbury Park Press, December 27, 2009. Accessed February 2, 2011. "Radio personality Wendy Williams who grew up in Asbury Park and Ocean Township became a TV star this year with her syndicated talk show."
  305. ^ Nye, Peter Joffre. "Newark, N.J., Started a National Cycling Tradition" Archived July 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, United States Bicycling Hall of Fame. Accessed July 21, 2008.
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  307. ^ Staff. "Bruce Springsteen Dedicates Song to Jersey Storm Victims at Penn State Gig; Rocker sings 'My City of Ruins' for Asbury Park, praises first responders", Rolling Stone, November 2, 2012. Accessed January 23, 2018. "Bruce Springsteen dedicated a wrenching version of 'My City of Ruins' to Asbury Park, New Jersey, during a performance last night in Pennsylvania as part of a tribute that included praise for Gov. Chris Christie and thanks to police and firefighters for the way they have responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy."
  308. ^ Saslow, Linda. "Gritty City by the Sea", The New York Times, September 15, 2002. Accessed August 27, 2015. "'IF Robert De Niro doesn't mind that everyone calls him Al Pacino,' Louis Navarro figures, 'Asbury Park shouldn't care that it's portrayed as Long Beach.' That pretty much sums up what Asbury Park residents are feeling these days, at least those who have seen the movie City by the Sea, the latest slap to be endured by a city that is slap-happy over more than a decade of decay and disrespect."
  309. ^ O'Sullivan, Eleanor. "Singer's Latest Has A Shore Feel", Asbury Park Press, November 12, 2006. Accessed March 15, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Craig Singer's new horror feature film, Dark Ride, opening nationwide Friday, begins with a shot of the beloved Asbury Park icon Tillie. 'We did exteriors in Asbury Park, and our scene-setter is in Asbury Park,' said Singer of Fair Haven. 'You could say that Tillie was my mojo, the mood-setter for me.'"
  310. ^ Adams, Erik; Dyess-Nugent, Phil; Eichel, Molly; and McGee, Ryan. "A favorite Sopranos episode visits the 'Funhouse' in Tony's head", The A.V. Club, January 15, 2014. Accessed August 8, 2016. "There are boardwalks all over the Jersey coast, so why pick Asbury Park? For those familiar with the shore town its landmarks are featured prominently. The most obvious aspects are the shots of Tony in front of the stately Convention Hall and the surrealistic pan featuring two of the city's most iconic murals: amusement park fun face 'Tillie' and Madam Marie's sign. Asbury Park was a city in steady decline when Tony Soprano landed there."
  311. ^ Barron, James. "'Honeymooners' Isn't Over For Its Fans", The New York Times, August 26, 1983. Accessed August 27, 2015. "Most of the action took place in the Kramden kitchen, and the story line often centered on Kramden's spectacular get-rich-quick schemes, which always turned out to be spectacular flops—wallpaper that glowed in the dark, uranium-mine speculation in Asbury Park, N.J., a 'handy housewife helper' gadget and no-cal pizza."

Further reading[edit]

  • Ammon, Francesca Russello, "Postindustrialization and the City of Consumption: Attempted Revitalization in Asbury Park, New Jersey", Journal of Urban History, 41 (March 2015), 158–174.

External links[edit]

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