Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography.
For this week's challenge, I had a few ideas in mind. There is a rusting abandoned car along one of the trails of the Autumn Hill Reserve in Princeton. I wanted to take a hike out and see what sort of images I could create with that. However, it rained a lot over the weekend, and the ground was quite wet. The last time Bhavna and I hiked out in the Preserve after a rain we found the trail unpleasant. I didn't fancy slipping and sliding in mud or being up to my ankle in muddy water but I grabbed my tripod and camera and started down the trail. About twenty minutes later I had to turn back. The water on the trail began to seep into my boot. I got a split in the path and realised I could not remember which directly led to the rusted truck. I turned around and walked back to my car.
I was starting to feel a bit down. My weekend photography projects were working out the way I had planned. The weather was putting a damper on things. I was feeling dispirited.
On Sunday we decided to drive down to Asbury Park. I've wanted Bhavna and the kids to see this old New Jersey shore town I had discovered for myself several years prior. The sky was 100% overcast, with no chance of sun and the weather report suggested a high probability of rain. But, I wanted to get out of the house, and I hoped that walking the boardwalk would provide some opportunity for photography.
Located in Monmouth County, Asbury Park is one of New Jersey's old shore towns. The town was developed in 1871 C.E. as a residential resort. The Asbury Park Boardwalk, an orchestra pavilion, public changing rooms and a pier at the southern end of that boardwalk attracted a lot of tourists and subsequent development including some grand hotels.
In its heydey as many as 600,000 people visited Asbury Park each summer, riding the New York and Long Branch Railroad from New York City and Philadelphia. The Paramount Theatre and Convention Hall complex, the Casino Arena and Carousel House were built in the 1920s. The photos in this post are from the inside and outside of the convention hall.
We had planned on playing some miniature golf but my wife complained it was too cold. The boardwalk is normally quiet on a Sunday with only a few people. But earlier in the day, the borough hosted a gay pride parade. The boardwalk and restaurants were packed with people. We walked around, and I gave my family a history lesson -- as much as I knew -- on each of the buildings we passed.
Later we walked downtown and had pretzels (kids), bratwurst and beer at the Asbury Biergarten und Festhalle. We sat outside on the roof patio but soon it was too cold. We walked around exploring the downtown before heading home.
Today I met up on the Asbury Park Boardwalk with a group of photogs from the Google+ Photographers Group. Some were work friends, and the rest were strangers. The walk was organised by Scott Wyden Kivowitz - who until today I've only "known" online, and Daryl Meek. My friend and I drove down together. We got lost and ended up in Rumson, but we enjoyed the scenic route - lined with expensive shore homes - to Asbury Avenue.
The windy air was crisp but cool. We caught up with the larger group about a quarter of the way down the boardwalk.
I saw this older woman sitting with her aide as we walked along. I was reluctant at first, but my desire to get the shot overcame my anxiety. I walked over, introduced myself and asked her permission to take her photograph. She had an exciting story to tell. She was born in Jersey City but moved to Asbury Park with her family when she was two years old. She's now 94 years old. She's been to this very boardwalk almost her entire life. Imagine the stories she could tell about what the boardwalk was like long ago and how much it has changed. I regret I forgot her name.
The Wonder Bar is a local nightclub with a storied musical history, associated with such famous local legends as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Clarence Clemmons, Lance Larson and many others.
My friend Chris, Prasanna and I had a great time chatting out our photography wish list. We added a fourth person, [John Carig](John Craig), to our smaller group. We talked about our families - we all have kids are varying age groups - before heading into the mall for a bite.
The iPhone Camera+ (with a Clarity filter applied) can produce some very good images. The key is good light. We had a cloudy early morning sky, but the sun shone through.
The Casino once contained an Ice Skating Rink, hosted Roller Derby and Flea Markets and was used as the setting for the movie "City by the Sea" starring Robert DeNiro.
Before we left, we stopped at Sully's for a hot latte. They have an extensive menu, and many items are named after local landmarks. I liked the "The Boss" sandwich description, but our hostess let me know that he eats primarily vegetarian these days.