From record beach attendance and a record-breaking Zombie Walk, to Asbury Park elections and Convention Hall reopening, the area had some amazing memories and moments this year.  Here, as is tradition in The Coaster, locals share their thoughts.

Spending a dreary days March and November, laughing and running with friends in Kilts in Manasquan and Asbury Park.  It was a day of silliness and realizing how fabulous we all look in kilts and thinking we should wear them everyday.  Janice Molloy

Sitting with “ascetics” at a temple at Bhaktapur in Katmandu and having a bindi (red dot) placed on my forehead in November.  Malcolm Navias   [more below]



The best part of the year was when my brother and his young sons visited us from Jerusalem, Israel.  John and I took our nephews and our dog, Lucky, to the beach thinking that we would just have a walk. And then the boys, fully dressed in casual clothes, raced right into the surf and waves – behind Lucky. They had never seen the Atlantic Ocean, or for that matter any ocean; the warm and crystal clear water was irresistible. We savored every moment of their amazing experience, and the kids’ new-found love of Asbury Park.  Danny Weiss and John Grant

This year, I have been privileged to meet some long-time residents of Asbury Park, very special people. I’ve listened to their stories and learned some history of Asbury Park from the people who lived it. My eyes and my heart have been opened. I love the people of Asbury Park and I love this city.  Linda Phillips

There are just so many small memorable moments that, combined, make living in our community an immensely fascinating and rewarding experience; fireworks, bon-fires, the beach, restaurants, our local shops, nightclubs, music, the boardwalk, boating, theatre, friends and neighbors, art galleries, movies, beautiful homes, bike paths, delicious desserts, zombies, parades, festivals, and the list could go on. We’re very fortunate to reside in city so vibrant and exciting that it provides us with the opportunities to create lasting memories.  Eileen Chapman

Two wonderful things happened in 2014.  A fabulous woman, Amy Quinn, was re-elected to the Asbury Park city council.  Second, the Asbury Park Black Box Monthly Reading Series, with Alexis Kozak as literary director, gave me the opportunity to share my stories about life in Poland during the Nazi occupation.  I waited 65 years to tell those stories and it was a surreal experience; a life moment.  Sophie Virgilio

Bob and I are thankful for the continued evolution and amazing growth in downtown Asbury Park. Something for everyone – restaurants, arts, live theatre and music.  The city is a destination of experiences with positive energy and spirit.  Another great moment for us was being spared from no major flooding‎ from Deal Lake!  Linda Beauchamp.

This year’s city wide yard sale in September raised a few thousand dollars for two deserving animal rescue groups, Rescue Ridge and Wag On Inn.  It warmed my heart to have over 35 Asbury Park residents come together to host yard sales around the city and then donate a portion of their proceeds saving helpless animals.  Connie Breech, The Coaster and Tom Gilmour were a big help in this event and we got to meet a lot of people from surrounding towns as they came by to shop and donate pet carriers, beds, leashes, etc.  Being able to turn over the funds and the donated pet items directly to the tireless women who run each of these rescues and see their joy was incredible.  Thank you great people of Asbury Park for making this happen!  Sonja O’Brien

My memories this year are the wonderful breakfasts I enjoy every Saturday morning at Pop’s Garage.  I sit with my friends and my family by the sea.  It’s our weekly family time and nothing is better.  Marilyn Schlossbach

My friend, Randy Mitra, and I entered the NYU Entrepreneur Challenge. It’s like The Amazing Race and Shark Tank combined – and on steroids!  We are one of eight teams remaining to win the $75,000 prize for our founding of HealthIQ.us.  We created a smarter way to discover and schedule medical and non-medical home health care services. Two more challenges remain and we are very excited.  Matt Philbin

It was such fun kicking off the summer at the Asbury Blues & Brews Festival with live performances by the region’s talented jazz and blues musicians. The festival was produced by volunteers and many musicians from the non-profit Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation. Proceeds funded jazz and blues music education, scholarship and outreach programs.  Jennifer Smiga

Watching visitors and residents in Asbury Park consult our newly installed map-signs downtown and at the waterfront.  Seeing folks plot their course on the map; discussing places they know or have heard of, then watching them move through the city with our guide in-hand was like a commercial with the message “Asbury Park is here, a true travel destination once more and a LOVEable community to live in.” Jackie Pappas

Reflecting on 2014, stirs up a ton of emotion. I can see faces of women arriving at the door of Mary’s Place, suitcase in hand with anxious expressions on their faces. Their departure is much different; gratitude, an embrace like you would give a friend and never saying “good-bye” but instead “see you again soon!” I remember the moment when we realized at Mary’s Place that our mission had outgrown our comfortable home on Broadway.  I will not forget the feeling when we realized that not everyone in our community embraced our passion for our mission, some said “no” because they didn’t “know” what we are about. I will never forget the “sea” of support that flooded in during that time to provide us with the strength to keep fighting for a larger home. Personally, I have a great memory of my children surprising me after a Township meeting late one night by my car. They had written a note simply stating “We love you!” Children have a great way of bringing you back to what is important. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for those who are with us on our journey. You fill my life with abundance!  Michele Gannon

What I love about this past year of living in northern Vermont are the new friends I’ve made up here who know Asbury Park – never far from my heart. Helen-Chantal Pike

Walking into art galleries in Belmar and Red Bank and seeing a piece I created hanging up.  Better still, five pieces hanging up.  Real nice and great fun.  No place I would rather be!  David Bates

Finally, this writer’s most proud moment of the year – probably for the decade – was my mom sharing powerful stories of her early life in Poland during the Nazi occupation.  And I was so grateful to every one of my friends who came to hear her stories at the Black Box Reading.  On the lighter side, the dyeing of the ocean water green in Allenhurst was, again, the best way to say “farewell” to the summer.  The Zombie Walk never disappoints.  And because my dog Truman has bone cancer, I was grateful for every walk we shared and hope to be saying “he’s still walking” at the end of 2015.

Read memories and moments from years past and see how our area has evolved:

Wishing you the healthiest and happiest of new years!