Dreamed I was in a very strange industrial city with Jeana and a little girl who was somehow related to me. Some paternal relative or another had just had a baby, and they wanted to show me a photo except the photo display technology, while ostensibly an iPhone camera, had evolved into something deeply weird, and they couldn’t get it to show the picture, which was somehow my fault.
She doesn’t like us, Jeana told the little girl. (True enough in the non-dream life.)
Then I ran into Bill Hare who told me Jim Breece was vacationing in the city. We met up with Jim who was eating a strange carnivore meal that consisted completely of oversized turkey legs. More stage business with the weird camera, which had a filter consisting of an enormous oversized yellow crystal through which I was trying to snap pictures of Jim eating his meal.
You know, Jim always had an enormous crush on you, Bill told me.
I was somewhat dumbfounded by this info.
And then I woke up.
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I had a fabulous time at the Jersey Shore, just fabulous.
Forty-eight hours filled with all the things I like best. Namely: Lying out in the sun, reading, interesting cuisines, murals, economic geography, wild life, moon rises, ice cream, bourbon, reality TV, and Art Photos™. My friend Flavia spent a significant chunk of her childhood here, so I caught that fascinating dual perspective of The Way Things Were Then vs. The Way Things Are Now.
The Atlantic Ocean has a very different sense to it than the Pacific. It’s a different color, for one thing. A much darker, more somber blue:
The first night, we had fabulous Ethiopian food:
And then we went to the World’s Best Ice Cream Place and scored five pints of the world’s best ice cream:
Next morning, we set forth on a tour of the Asbury Park boardwalk.
Now, I only knew Asbury Park from Bruce Springsteen, and I am not—rare among Americans of my vintage, I know, I know—a big Bruce Springsteen fan.
But I fell utterly in love with the Asbury Park boardwalk:
The old convention center cum Grand Arcade is still partially in use. It has this amazing faience exterior embellished with all sorts of architectural whimsies, now in disrepair:
The inside with its rows of oversized windows has something a Gare de Lyons feel. (Photo above.)
On the other side of the Asbury Park boardwalk is the old casino, a cavernous space that’s currently being used for some really interesting art installations, including Great Paintings reimagined as modern scenes:
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On the far end of the casino, a lone musician played his sax:
From Asbury Park, we tromped into Ocean Grove, a village that started out as a Methodist Bible camp, and—get this!—still has hundreds of little tent cottages, clustered around an enormous, gloomy Methodist meeting hall known as the Great Auditorium:
Deeply fascinating to me because Pacific Grove, the little town right next to Monterey where I lived for 12 years, also started out as a Methodist Bible camp, though in Pacific Grove, the tent dwellings eventually evolved into tiny jewel-box Victorians.
Until 40 years ago, it was illegal to drive a car in Ocean Grove on Sundays! That's how Methodist the town is.
I could go on writing about the fabulousness of the Jersey Shore for days, but if I did, I wouldn’t get any work done, and my cat would starve.
Two other things worth noting:
Just after the sun set, I said to Flavia, “Oh, look! There’s a cat in the dunes!”
But it wasn’t a cat, it was a fox! Three foxes, in fact—they’re crepescular animals. Must have been juveniles, probably littermates, because they were clearly playing with each other. Adult foxes are solitary animals. We watched, entranced, for 15 minutes or so:
Then, after it was dark, we went down to the beach and watched the Harvest Moon rise out of the ocean. I have never seen a full moon rise out of the ocean before! The photo doesn’t capture the complete optical illusion, unfortunately. The bright planet to the right and above the moon line is Jupiter:
Anyway, the Jersey Shore. I am a fan! Crossposted from Dreamwidth.