Friday, April 25, 2014

Down the Shore Everything's Alright


I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall—
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

― Mary OliverA Thousand Mornings

''Going to the shore."
It's a Philly speak
for going to the Jersey beaches.
Down the Shore Everything's alright. 

Once we are at the shore,
typically at a beach house,
now we say,
"Let's go to the beach."
The Pier at Embury Ave.

Each beach town along the Jersey shore
has its own personality.
But God has reserved
a square mile at the shore too.
Ocean Grove, God's Square Mile at the Jersey Shore.
Thornley Chapel (Photo from a summer visit)
Pilgrim Way, Ocean Grove, NJ 

In 1869 a group of methodist ministers
wanted to find a place
where people could rest their nerves and minds
from the taxing rate of life-style changes
the Victorian era ushered in.
(If they only knew what the information age 
was about to bring.)
The Great Auditorium
Pilgrim Way, Ocean Grove, NJ 

They sought a place where
"religion and recreation could go hand in hand."
Rev, Ellwood H. Stokes, Founder  

An entire Victorian community,
The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
evolved on this premise
and was granted as a place set aside for
perpetual worship of Jesus Christ.
Imagine that?
Not quite The Jersey Shore 
you see on reality TV, huh?
One Victorian, Two Victorian 
Ocean Ave. 

Better yet, Ocean Grove has not plowed under
it's Victorian architecture
and replaced it with plastic housing
like most shore towns.
Instead, they have embraced it.
Ocean and Main Aves. 

When Philadelphians think Victorian + Beach =
 they believe the answer is Cape May.
I think they think incorrectly.
Victorian + Beach = Ocean Grove.
Family Lunch 
Nagle's on Main Street

Walking down the quiet tree-lined Main Street,
families stroll together and great you as you pass.
(That kinda catches random Philadelphians off guard!)
If we all had long dresses and parasols
it would be just like Victorian times.
Now, that's my kinda place.
I'll Have Another 
Soda Fountain at the Apothecary

But since the in-laws
have vacationed further south in Stone Harbor, NJ
for some outrageous amount of generations,
Ocean Grove will remain a day trip for me
anytime I need to rest my nerves and mind
from the taxing life-style changes of the day.
It's Cold Outside 
Nagle's on Main Street

Which is pretty often, I think.

Here's a summer post from Ocean Grove 
including tent city photos. 

The Party's Here! Where I am linking these days.

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MadSnapper said...

I LOVE THIS POST! every single word and photo of it.... those houses are so pretty and the beach sounds wonderful. this would be my beach of choice. no NJ shore that Bob called going to the shore from Perkasie was the Boardwalk.... i would much prefer this Ocean Grove.. to bad there are not more like this..... I read a book recently but can't remember which one and part of it was Ocean Grove...

Kmcblackburn said...

Oh you got me wanting to go the shore! Like NOW!

Sarah Huizenga said...

The perfect place to rest your nerves. Glorious Victorians! I love the old ford truck in the one photo. Information age would have killed them mentally back then.

Molly said...

We didn't see enough of the shore on our last trip to Philly I hope we get to change that at some point in the future


Mimi said...

What a pretty spot. Maybe one day I'll visit....*sigh*... Mimi xxx

Carola Bartz said...

I have a feeling that I would like this place as well. These Victorian buildings are so beautiful. I have no idea why anyone would tear them down.

Out on the prairie said...

What a great place to visit.

TangledBlueRose said...

Someday I would like to see these sites in person, but for now THANK YOU for sharing:)

Alicia said...

I felt myself unwinding just looking at these photos. I can see why you would want to get away, even if only for the day, to such a beautiful spot! Thanks so much for sharing!

Serendipityissweet said...

Wonderful pics! I would love to visit there some day. Thanks for sharing!!