I was curious about the padlocked wooden box with the words "Maison Nicolas".
I was drawn to the pastel colour of the bicycle and the colour of the tyre. I feel that they reflect the colour of the sand and the sky. I was curious about the padlocked wooden box with Maison Nicolas printed on the side.
Is Maison Nicolas a real place? Is it a house of fashion or something else? If it exists, where is it located? What’s in the box?
A Google search using the keywords "Maison Nicolas" and "Asbury Park" led me to the website of Lush Wines - Beers & Liquors which is located in downtown Asbury Park on the corner of Bond Street and Cookman Avenue. The webpage featured a white wine, Chardonnay Vin De Pays DOC Consensus, from a winery in Bordeaux called Maison Nicolas. I was puzzled at first, and then it hit me. The lettering on the bottle of Chardonnay Vin De Pays DOC Consensus matched the lettering on the box. A quick look at my photograph of the bicycle and my intuition was confirmed. The box on the back of the bike is about the right size for a bottle of wine.
So now I have new questions. Are the bicycle and box and art installation? Are they part of an advertising campaign by the winery, Maison Nicolas? Or are they the personal property of a resident who loves wines?
The image was made during my [Saturday afternoon trip to Asbury Park with Bhavna]. There was a distracting sign to the left and an unattractive boardwalk bench on the right. I went for the square crop to remove these and entered the frame to focus on the bicycle. I had read that the rule of thirds can be ignored for square photographs and that entering the subject makes the picture feel more balanced. I don’t remember where I read this.
As I pushed the shutter, a man and his dog suddenly entered the frame from the left. I quickly dispatched both in Adobe Photoshop using the lasso tool and content-aware fill.
It was not a great day for the beach. It was all cloudy skies and cold winds in Belmar. The trip had been planned in advance and I had already taken the day off work. I was in a negative mood about the situation but Bhavna convinced me it was worth it just to take a break from work. I reluctantly acquiesced, packed my new Fujifilm X-T2 body, Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens and two spare batteries, and we drove to Belmar.
It rained the whole drive but the rain stopped as we approached the town. We easily found parking on 5th Avenue near Ocean Avenue on the northern end of Belmar and started walking along the Belmar Boardwalk.
Belmar is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The borough is nicely laid out in a grid of streets flowing East to West and North to South with Main Street on the western side. The beach and a long boardwalk flow along Ocean Avenue bordered by Avon by the Sea to the North and Spring Lake to the South.
The wind was cool and breezy. I choose to shoot the Fuji X-T2 with the ACROS™ Film Simulation. I’m not sure why I choose ACROS but it fit my mood and the weather. After a few minutes of walking, I started to loosen up and my disappointment about the day dwindled.
I was walking along looking through the camera viewfinder trying to compose a scene and I almost tripped over some racked bicycles. There were a lot of them. I don’t know for sure, but I imagine that local residents most likely rode these bicycles to the beach. The first one in view here has a carriage for a child and the bicycle itself has a low bar which often indicated it was designed for skirt/dress/kilt wearers who don’t want to show off their __knickers_ while riding a bicycle.
You can’t see it in the monochrome but the bicycle above is mostly rust and weathered paint. I don’t think it has been used in quite a long time. Interestingly there was a new chain around the bicycle. The owner must be afraid that there is a demand for rusty old bicycles.
We continued walking north. The beach was mostly empty but I could imagine on a warm weekend it would be packed with beachgoers.
Before we crossed into Avon-on-the-Sea was pass the gated entryway to the Belmar Fishing Club which has a private pier. The clubhouse has was built by the Ocean Pier Company.
During the summer of 1929, the Club's counsel was successful in having certain restrictions in the original deed modified so as to permit the Belmar Fishing Club to erect a new and larger clubhouse to meet the demands of its growing membership. Therefore, on June 14, 1929, the Belmar Fishing Club Holding Co., was incorporated for the purpose of holding the property for the benefit of the members of the Belmar Fishing Club and to finance and build a new clubhouse.
Shaan and Bhavna commented that it seemed silly to pay for exclusive access to a pier when the same fish could be caught by standing along the rocky sides of the inlet.
We crossed the drawbridge that connects Belmar to Avon-by-The-Sea and continued on the Avon Boardwalk toward the Avon Pavilion.
The only other Little Free Library I have ever seen was in Asbury Park, which was only a few miles from Avon-on-the-Sea.
We crossed the draw-bridge into Avon-on-the-Sea toward Avon Pavilion.
It was near lunchtime and we discussed options while walking back toward the car. We decided on FINS Tropicali Cuisines in Bradly Beach.
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.