One of my favorite Asbury Park memories this year was sliding down the historic 30 foot long, brass fire pole at the firehouse.  So much history around that pole and a very exclusive club of heroes has slid down it – I was honored and exhilarated to have done that in 2009.

Another amazing Asbury Park moment for me was going to my first Springsteen concert at Convention Hall.  As someone said to me afterwards, I have been “baptized into the religion of Bruce Springsteen.”

In celebration of the New Year, community members generously shared their favorite times of 2009…


Mayor Ed Johnson:

“My favorite memory would have to be my dad changing my name plate from councilman to mayor during the reorganization and inauguration meeting on July 1.”

Sonja O’Brien, Asbury Park resident:

“In September, during the Town Wide Yard Sale for the animal shelter Rescue Ridge we had tons of shoppers from surrounding towns and it was wonderful to hear them realize how wonderful the houses are and how great the residents are in Asbury Park.  Seeing them excited about our great town was an unexpected byproduct of a worthwhile fundraiser.”

Marj Conn, Ocean Grove writer and performer:

“Every amazing program that Frank D’Alessandro provides at the Stephen Crane House – an important asset to the community – as well as generously letting other people present their programs is a wonderful memory of mine.”

Pasqualina Delucia, Madison Marquette:

“I remember standing on the beach watching everyone around the bonfire…young, old, single, couples, families…that great Asbury mix.  There were children running around all bundled up, laughing and I remember thinking at that moment that we were creating new memories – that this is their Mr. Peanut, this is their Carousel brass ring.  This is one of those moments that they will look back on fondly years from now.  I get choked up even thinking about it.”

State Senator Sean Kean:

“Over the summer, it was exciting to see the beaches in Asbury Park packed with visitors and the boardwalk shops bustling with business.  The increase in tourism revenue surpassed $500,000 this year, up from less than $50,000 six years ago.  Asbury Park has definitely reclaimed its name as the destination of the Jersey Shore.”