So I’ve been a little homesick recently (living across the world will, on occasion, do that to you), and I went through some of my photos from home. I am, through-and-through, born and bred, a Jersey girl (and for all the beef it gets, it is kind of awesome–Springsteen, Bon Jovi, amazing beaches, porkroll!). Summers were spent flying down the streets on our beach-cruiser bikes and walking laps on the boardwalk or through downtown. You’d work on the Boardwalk or in a local seafood restaurant and when you got out you’d probably end up hanging out at the Ocean Bay Diner until 5 AM with your friends. I didn’t really have a curfew in high school, just as long as I called to say where I was. I come from a small town, and thankfully crime was practically non-existent.
And I come from the time a few years back when the underground music scene was gaining popularity and a lot of the now pop-rock bands started out just as a few kids playing in someone’s basement or garage.
When I came back from Japan after my year long exchange in high school, I started working in this little town known as Ocean Grove. It’s really a bizarre place, started in 1869 as a Methodist meeting camp, it remains the longest acting camp-meeting site in the United States. It’s a dry town, and back in the day they used to lock the big iron gates so no one could get in–or get out–until the Sabbath was over. It’s only a square mile total in size, and the town charter was essentially written incorrectly and in 1921 it was ruled unconstitutional. Basically everyone was fired from their jobs and Ocean Grove got absorbed into the larger surrounding township. To make things weirder, there are residents who stay in some of the houses who are really….quirky, to say the least. I encountered quite a few of these “townies” when I worked there.
The town itself really is quite lovely, though, full of Victorian beach cottages and some outright gigantic mansions–you definitely get the vibe of that old turn-of-the-century Jersey Shore glamour.
And a few from Seaside when it’s at its best–in the middle of winter when the Benny’s and the Jersey Shore hooligans are nowhere in sight:
You can take the girl out of Jersey but you can’t take Jersey out of the girl. Nothing quite like waking up at 5 AM to bike to the beach to watch the sunrise and then grabbing porkroll and cheese on a crispy, toasted bagel at the nearest diner. And as long as you remember not to slurp your soup or detain a homing pigeon, it’s really a great place to be from.
What place do you call home?