December 22

MEMORIES & MOMENTS OF 2015

After more than a year of planning, the artist known as Pork Chop unveiled his second “lady” mural in the Casino building in 2015. “Jelly Lady,” now holds court over tourists and locals next to the artist’s 2010 installation “Octo Lady.” The murals were part of a multi-piece waterfront art program sponsored by waterfront redeveloper Madison Marquette and curated by Jenn Hampton of Parlor Gallery. The art ultimately "went viral," becoming a grass-roots social media marketing initiative. Click here or the photo to read the story.

After more than a year of planning, the artist known as Pork Chop unveiled his second “lady” mural in the Casino building at the beginning of June. “Jelly Lady,” now holds court over tourists and locals next to the artist’s 2010 installation “Octo Lady.” The murals were part of a multi-piece waterfront art program sponsored by waterfront redeveloper Madison Marquette and curated by Jenn Hampton of Parlor Gallery. Photos of the art ultimately became an international social media marketing sensation for the city. Click here for the story.

Another year filled with extraordinary local moments like a record-breaking summer season, over–the-top fantastic fireworks display, the new and first-class Taka restaurant opening and even a mermaid parade. For the eighth year, The Coaster spotlights your neighbors’ favorite memories and moments…

> The best memory to share was giving birth to a beautiful boy on September 27.  Amy Quinn, Asbury Park councilwoman

> Enjoying a day at the beach in October is the best memory that will get me through a cold winter.  Warm weather, warm sand, hot sun and no crowds – just enjoying the place where we are so lucky to live.  Carol Scollay

> Some of our fondest memories are the times we took friends to the roof deck on the new Biergarden. One afternoon, we went there for a few beers and ran into our friends who were celebrating a birthday.  Well, the beers were poured and stories were shared on a perfect Spring afternoon.  It doesn’t get better than that.  Our afternoons and evenings were equally enchanting.  Great music, friendly staff, beautiful views – a perfect addition to the Asbury scene and a great way to make New York City friends jealous!  Mike Nesspor and David Blackwell

The "new" Taka restaurant opened on Cookman Avenue and was quickly hailed as a design anchor of downtown Asbury Park. Photo courtesy workshop/apd

In April, the “new” Taka restaurant opened on Cookman Avenue and was quickly hailed as a 21st Century design anchor of downtown Asbury Park. Read the design backstory here. Rendering courtesy workshop/apd

> What amazes us is how Asbury Park continues to get better. Living here for 30 years, we’ve witnessed the evolution of the city’s growth to encompass plans for extraordinary contemporary hotels – developing the beach front, restoration of its landmarks, the vibrancy and creativity of  the next generation of artists, musicians, quality restaurants and embracing the city’s diversity and supporting change for a stronger foundation for its future success.  And 2015 will always be the year the new Sunset Avenue Bridge linking Asbury to Wanamassa was built (see photo and story below left).  Linda and Bob Beauchamp

> The realization of Ocean Grove being a bit of paradise filled with great friends. David Bates

> The year 2015 afforded me an opportunity to help our Asbury Park Historical Society complete a long campaign to secure The Stephen Crane House a place on the National Register of Historic Places. It also saw the publication of a labor-of-love book on the “legendary locals” of our fair city — an expression of my continued fascination with this place and its people; the many great friends I’ve made here… and the fact that the project remains incomplete, never as accurate as intended, and crying out for continued opportunities to tell this city’s stories.  Tom Chesek, author, “Legendary Locals

"Belle Mer" the area's costliest home was listed for $40 million.

“Belle Mer” the area’s costliest home was listed in September for $40 million.  Take a look inside here.

> Hard to pick just one Asbury Park moment – from a big surprise; Bob Egan leading the packed Moonstruck lounge in “Happy Birthday” and Lou Ruvolo following with his tortured but so appreciated rendition of “Diana” to the familiar welcoming hugs of Howard and Malcolm and so many others. And what about my first trip to the Oyster Bar and the “nearly 30”-man who wouldn’t let this “lady of a certain age” pay her tab? But one settled very deep in my heart for so many reasons. This Facebook message came from a fellow scribe: Rasheed Purvis on January 22, “Whether you realize it or not it was your efforts which led whether directly or indirectly to my newsletter, an online news site, as well as (cable access) Asbury TV.” Just when you may start to feel Asbury has grown too big, too filled with strange faces, moments like these sweep in like a warm March wind.  Maureen Nevin

> A painful time made easier with the love and support of dear friends. At 11:49 am last New Year’s Eve my Father passed away and within an hour I had a kitchen full of friends giving me love, care, hugs and support during this devastating time.  The care continued with Janine of Sea Grass bringing over plates of food later that day as people stopped in to express their sympathies.  I am reminded daily of the wonderful, kind and supportive community of friends-that-have-become-family that we have here in Asbury Park.  We send best wishes of health, happiness, joy and success to my Asbury Park family and community during the holidays and throughout 2016.  Sonja and Tom O’Brien

Allenhurst's annual ocean dye continued to thrill locals in 2015.

Allenhurst’s 72nd Annual ocean dye on Labor Day weekend continued to thrill locals. Click here for the story.

> Although not a high point, a memory that will be with me forever took place in April. My dog Happy and I have spent 14 years walking and enjoying the beach in Asbury Park, Loch Arbour, and Allenhurst. Happy, a rescue from Puerto Rico, made many many friends at the beach. He was diagnosed with cancer and I’d made the decision that the most humane thing I could do for my best pal was put him down. On the afternoon of April 7, we took one last walk on the beach before we headed to the vet.  Happy’s spirit is with me daily.  I can’t go to the beach without thinking of him.  Not the best memory but surely the most lasting one.  Dr. Bill Rosenblatt

> I have so many great moments this year but recently I did the Red Cross Toy Drive to collect toys to be delivered to families that lost everything.  When I walked into the Toy Drive, a mother and daughter came up to me and said, “Oh my god, you saved us years ago at a fire during Christmas at our house in Long Branch. We lost so much and you were there to give us shelter, food, clothes and toys.” The best part is that the daughter is now a Youth Volunteer all because of that night and how the Red Cross helped her family. The following day, I found out their Grandmother is roommates with my aunt in an area nursing home. It was a very touching and rewarding moment for the year, for me.  Antonia Silver

> When the Supreme Court of the United States came down on the side of marriage equality.  It was something I’d been advocating more than 20 years for. In the 90’s it felt like a pipe dream. I never really expected to see it happen in my lifetime. But the momentum around it started changing rapidly in recent years, and then one day, there it was. The highest court in the land declared “my people” equal, in a substantive and symbolically powerful decision. Such a shift toward normalizing who I am was something impossible to imagine when I was a kid.  Jeffrey Seeds, best-selling author, “Frank Lee

The country's first oceanfront food truck stand opened in Asbury Park this year. Pictured is John Yarusi, aka "Johnny Pork Roll."

The country’s first oceanfront food truck park opened on July 4th in Asbury Park. Pictured is John Yarusi, aka “Johnny Pork Roll.” Click here for the story.

> The “Jaco,” after party called “Funk That Bass” for Robert Trujillo’s (Metallica) feature film about the inaugural Asbury Park Music in Film Festival was the highlight of the year for me.  Having Robert, vocalist Corey Glover and keyboard legend Bernie Worrell in a band lead by local ripper Marc Ribler was unreal.  Along with local bass icon T.M. Stevens, Jaco Pastorious’ son Felix, Nicole Atkins and a cast of many other world class musicians, with the help of my man Tony Pallagrossi, the night ripped the roof off of the sucker until the early morning. It was not just a highlight for the year, but for my 20-plus year career. Truly a night for the ages at The Stone Pony. Tim Donnelly, creative producer

> Visiting Asbury Park in August and seeing all the wonderful improvements, including the new ScanPro at the library. I geeked-out looking through back issues of magazines, taking pix of old Asbury Park business advertisements, posting them on Facebook and seeing the response.  Helen-Chantal Pike, author, “Asbury Park’s Glory Days

2015 will always be the year construction began on the new Sunset Avenue Bridge. Pictured is the proposed wall and streetlights. Courtesy Monmouth County.

January 2015 construction began on the new Sunset Avenue Bridge. Pictured is the proposed wall and streetlights. Click here for the story and here to see what Google Maps did when the bridge first closed. Rendering courtesy Monmouth County.

> Favorite moment was with Eileen, a Kur client, that found us after beating cancer.  She had a cathartic moment during her massage with Dave because she says she finally found someone to treat her the way her body needed to be treated to heal and stay healthy. It’s why we opened Kur at the beginning of the year – to help people feel and live better. I’m also glad to be part of the vibrant downtown business community.  Troy Teeboom, Kur Wellness Studio

> Seeing Asbury Park begin to shift towards a progressive drug policy was a great memory for me. It was wonderful to work with advocates to accelerate the Narcan (heroin overdose antidote) program in our city and Monmouth County which saves lives.  It was great to see Asbury Park introduce New Jersey’s first resolution calling for marijuana legalization and the response to our first-ever statewide event, “New Jersey Celebrates Recovery” was inspiring. Not to mention that in the blink of an eye, my daughter (who became an Asbury Park Resident at 7 years old), turned 12.  All very exciting.  Randy Thompson, Help Not Handcuffs

> Record-breaking Christmas-time temperatures (65+ degrees some days) with people walking around in shorts shopping for gifts, grabbing a bonus beach day and enjoying the boardwalk on Christmas Eve; even eating al fresco.  A great gift and surprise for my out-of-town family.  Steven Canady

Thank you always for your readership and support.  Wishing you a healthy, peace and love-filled 2016.  Click here for your holiday card from TheBPlot.

Richard@TheBPlot.com

AREA'S ONLY AWARD-WINNING WEEKLY.

AREA’S ONLY AWARD-WINNING WEEKLY.

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