Asbury Park Beach, New Jersey
My husband, Jason, and I visit the shore often, especially Asbury Park Beach in New Jersey. Even our first date (August 1, 2008) was down the shore, although at Seaside Heights. And because of this, I have always believed our love connects and runs just as deep.
Since I was young, I’ve had a love affair with the ocean. Running barefoot through the waves as they gracefully kiss the shoreline. Feeling the ocean breeze caress my skin, tasting the salt on my lips. Waking early to watch the sun rise above, painting its warm yellow glow over a sea of blue. Spending nights gazing into the sky as the colors dance among the clouds while night fell and the moon rose. Nothing in my life has brought me more peace or has calmed the storm that exists within me. The ocean has been the one place I could run to when I needed to run.
Jason though, fell in love with the ocean because of me. Watching the wind blow through my hair and gracing me with a sense of calm. Admiring how the sun would hit my smile and fill me with pure happiness. And as his love grew, he realized he loved the smell of the ocean and the vastness it represented. Over time, Jason fell in love with the ocean just as I had.
But what’s so wonderful about Asbury isn’t just the ocean. It’s the music, the art, the history. The boardwalk and surrounding buildings are covered in artists’ unique creations. The old remains of the casino now filled with photography and the carousel, although usually closed off, still has it’s lights on. On warm summer nights, music from The Stone Pony fills the streets and The Wonder Bar awakes with sounds of the night. And although I do fear gentrification, I hope the changes allow the community to grow with its locals in mind.
Because I love this place dearly for all that is and all that it can become.