Enough to Make You Seasick

To the average, untutored, non-Garden State eye, Asbury Park, N.J., looks like it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy.  Not exactly.  Oh, Sandy paid a visit there, but there wasn’t much for her to do that hadn’t already been done by 40 years’ worth of criminal activity and vandalism.

Gov. Christie’s “boyfriend” (Obama) is back and they visited the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach (they might have visited Asbury Park’s boardwalk, only it was destroyed through vandalism and neglect years ago).  Obama also spoke at the convention center in Asbury Park, although no one really holds conventions there anymore, either.  Asbury Park, in short, is the most dangerous stretch of beach north of Miami.

Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV (which is now available on Optimum Channel 157, northern New Jerseyans!) showed stills and videos of Christie and Obama romping on the beach together, just like any other couple out for a stroll on the beach, arm in arm.  They shared either a corn dog or an ice cream cone on the Point Pleasant boardwalk, eating merrily away at it as they gazed into one another’s eyes, tongues discreetly touching and then pulling away.  You have to see it to believe it.

Yuck!!  It’s enough to make you seaside sick.

Has Gov. Christie, in his apparent ambitions either for a second run at the governorship or at the presidency in 2016 no sense of dignity, no sense of shame?  Those of you who are not from New Jersey need to understand the significance of the town Obama selected to speak in – Asbury Park.

Asbury Park was established as a residential resort town in 1871 New York brush manufacturer James A. Bradley.  The city was named for Francis Asbury, the first American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States.  Asbury Park was the answer to New York City’s Coney Island, almost exactly due north of Asbury Park.

Bradley was active in the development of much of the city’s infrastructure, and despite his preference for gas light, he allowed the Atlantic Coast Electric Company to offer electric service. Along the waterfront Bradley installed a boardwalk, an orchestra pavilion, public changing rooms and a pier at the south end of the boardwalk.  Such success attracted other businessmen. In 1888, Ernest Schnitzler built the Palace Merry-Go-Round on the southwest corner of Lake Avenue and Kingsley Street, the cornerstone of what would become the Palace Amusements complex; other attraction followed.  During these early decades in Asbury Park, a number of grand hotels were built, including the Plaza Hotel.

More than 600,000 people a year vacationed in Asbury Park during the summer season in the early years, riding the New York and Long Branch Railroad from New York and from Philadelphia to enjoy the mile-and-a-quarter stretch of oceanfront Asbury Park.

The country by the sea destination experienced several key periods of popularity. The first notable era was the 1890s, marked by a housing growth, examples of which can still be found today in a full range of Victorian architecture. Coinciding with the nationwide trend in retail shopping, Asbury Park’s downtown flourished during this period and well into the 20th century.

The 1920s saw a dramatic change in the boardwalk with the construction of the Paramount Theater and Convention Hall complex, the Casino Arena and Carousel House, and two handsome red-brick pavilions. Beaux Arts architect Warren Whitney of New York was the designer. He had also been hired to design the imposing Berkeley-Carteret Hotel positioned diagonally across from the theater and hall. At the same time, Asbury Park launched a first-class education and athletic program with the construction of a state-of-the-art high school overlooking Deal Lake.

On Sept. 8, 1934, the wreck of the cruise ship SS Morro Castle, which caught on fire and burned, beached itself near the city just yards away from the Asbury Park Convention Hall; the city capitalized on the event, turning the wreck into a tourist attraction.

In 1935, the newly-founded Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) called Asbury Park’s Mayor Clarence F. Hetrick to testify about $6,000,000 in “beach improvement bonds” that had gone into default. At the same time, the SEC also inquired about rental rates on the beach front and why the mayor reduced the lease of a bathhouse from $85,000 to $40,000, among many other discrepancies that could have offset debt.  The interests of Asbury Park’s bond investors led State Sen. Frank Durand (Monmouth County) to add a last-minute “Beach Commission” amendment to a municipal debt bill in the New Jersey legislature.

When the bill became law, it ceded control of the Asbury Park beach to Gov. Harold Hoffman and a governor’s commission. The city of Asbury Park sued to restore control of the beach to the municipal council, but the state’s Supreme Court upheld the validity of the law in 1937.

When Durand pressed New Jersey’s legislature to extend the state’s control of Asbury Park’s beach in 1938, the lower house staged a walk out and the Senate soon adjourned. The disruption notably prevented a vote for funding New Jersey’s participation in the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. In December 1938, the court returned control of the beach to the municipal council provided that a bond repayment agreement was created; Asbury Park was the only beach in New Jersey affected by the Beach Commission law.

In the decades that followed the war, surrounding farm communities gave way to tracts of suburban houses, encouraging the city’s middle-class blacks as well as whites to move into newer houses with spacious yards. With the opening of the Garden State Parkway, Asbury Park saw the travel market change as fewer vacationers took trains to the seashore. After the Monmouth Mall opened 10 miles away in Eatontown in 1960, Asbury Park’s downtown became less of an attraction to shoppers.  Office parks built outside the city resulted in the relocation of lawyers, accountants, doctors, dentists, and other professionals. The opening of Six Flags Great Aventura, a combination theme park and drive-through safari located on a lake in Jackson Township – and close to a New Jersey Turnpike exit — proved to be stiff competition for a mile-long stretch of aging boardwalk amusements and buildings along Springwood Avenue, one of three main east-west corridors into Asbury Park and the central shopping and entertainment district for those living in the city’s southwest quadrant.  Many of those city blocks have yet to be redeveloped into the 21st century.  The vacant streets of Asbury Park were a common sight in the 1980s and 1990s.  We were travelling to Seaside Heights one summer day when we were teens and my mother gave us a glimpse of “why we didn’t go to Asbury Park.”  We watched as hoodlums vandalized the abandoned convention hall.

Although it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, Palace Amusements was closed and was demolished in 2004 despite attempts to save it. The complex had featured the famous face of “Tillie” (a cartoon face of the owner of Steeplechase Park in Coney Island), a symbol of the Jersey Shore.  In 1990, the famous carousel at the Casino Pier was sold to Family Kingdom Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where it continues to operate.

Obama didn’t select Asbury Park for hurricane damage; he selected it for yet another urban renewal project.  The fact that there are no longer any attractions in Asbury Park tells the long tale of man-made devastation.  Suburbanites with young children, not wanting to make the nearly four-hour trek to the Wildwoods at the far southern end of New Jersey, chose Seaside Heights as the trip-to-the-beach location.

Those who could afford to do so rented cottages on fashionable Long Beach Island, or LBI, as the hoi polloi of New Jersey like to call it.  More resorts popped along the shore, varying according to tastes, the most famous of which was Atlantic City.  When Atlantic went the way of Asbury Park, it was redeveloped as high-class casino resort.  Brigantine, Stone Harbor, Ocean Grove and the like are all residential/seasonal locales.  The next stop for vacationers looking for amusement are the Wildwoods (North Wildwood, Wildwood, and Wildwood Crest) with its kitschy, 1950’s style motels giving way to condos owned by investors in Philadelphia.

The people of America should not be fooled by our popular governor’s romantic romp in the sand with Obama.  They should be disgusted by this performance.  Obama stated it would take a long time to restore the shore.  It took a long time for Asbury Park to reach that state of decline and had a lot of help from the very residents looking for a hand-out.

Meanwhile, the Jersey Shore’s real money-maker, Seaside Heights, languishes while Obama and Christie walk practically hand-in-hand eating corndogs and planning to throw money away on rebuilding a sandcastle town that was never seriously impacted by Hurricane Sandy as its sister town, Seaside Heights was.  You can hear the ka-ching as the burly Christie slams the hammer down and rings the bell at the top for his boyfriend, Obama.  In exchange, Obama will deliver the Asbury Park vote.

But perhaps they shouldn’t be too hasty.  According to Direct Risk Management Director Dr. Simon Atkins, there is 81 percent probability that a rare North Atlantic tsunami will strike the North American coast somewhere north of Virginia and south of eastern Canadian Maritime Provinces.  The warning began on May 20th and will expire on June 5th.

The best-case scenario predicts an average of 2 to 4 feet above normal water level for northern U.S.  East Coast (non-specified for other regions outside of Primary Zone); potential damage in the tens of millions.

The median-case scenario forecasts an average of 10 feet above normal water level into US East Coast; potential damage of more than $100 billion.

The worst-case scenario predicts an average of 40 feet above normal water level into US East Coast; potential damage of more than $2 trillion and a potential U.S. (and other regional) economic collapse.

The Leading Indicators according to Atkins, for an upgrade a 62 percent probability on May 22 to an 81 percent probably today include:

  • 7.4 Richter Scale earthquake south of Fiji near Tonga on 5/23/13; then 8.2 Richter Scale earthquake in Eastern Russia (5/24/13)
  •  Magnetic alignment down the northern half of the U.S. East Coast, with heavy precipitation from NY State to the Canadian Maritimes, in actuality an ‘attracting’ energy
  • Large market losses, especially the Nikkei Index (Japan) — shows where main electromagnetic energy is “pulsing” from, especially with 8.2 earthquake following to the north (in the theory that all energy is connected)
  • Lunar eclipse / full moon (which puts additional pressure on oceans)
  • Other unusual chaotic events (Washington State bridge collapse likely due to tectonic plate movement, and not engineering; two incidents of passenger aircraft engine fires due to pulses of solar electromagnetic energy).

 This is the first time Advanced Forecasting Corporation has ever issued a Tsunami Watch.

Is it a hoax?  Probably.  Just like the boardwalk baseball toss is a hoax.  Obama got taken in by it and Christie had to come to his rescue to win the teddy bear.  There is a tsunami coming (especially if Christie does a cannonball in a local motel pool), but it’s a voter tsunami.  Like Atkins’ prediction, it’s hard to say when it will hit.  The arc might have to be extended outward a decade or so.  But like Asbury Park, the wipe-out won’t come from the sea, but from inland.

After it’s all over, and Christie is either re-elected governor or elected President, Obama and Christie might honeymoon in Atlantic City.  Hit the casinos, play a little blackjack.  Christie can show Obama “The Quarter” at the Trop (that’s the Tropicana for those of you who’ve never been to A.C.), dine at Cuba Libre, and take photos of themselves in front of the statue of Lenin.

 

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Published in: on May 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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