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Greetings From Asbury Park

- Callie

With being a teenager comes being able to drive, and with a car comes freedom (parents permitting). So this summer, instead of being confined to my 8 street town down the shore, my friends and I were able to take some wild day trips to Asbury Park, NJ. For those who aren’t aware, Asbury Park is where Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band got their start way back when.

The main attraction is the boardwalk. In contrast to my mother’s warnings and paranoia, the Asbury Park boardwalk is safer (AND CLASSIER) than your average Jersey Shore boardwalk. It’s not your typical boardwalk because there aren’t any rides. (Okay, they have this ride for a quarter…)

But they do have a bunch of places to eat, shop, and look around, mini-golf, a playground, a mini water-park, a psychic, and a FREE life-sized chess board. To my friends’ dismay, my cousin and I spent an hour and a half playing each other. Whoops.

Then, of course, there is the beach. Beach passes are $5, which is actually cheaper than most other NJ beaches. If you wait until 5 o’clock on weekdays and 6 on weekends, you can get on for free. My friends and I spend the afternoon on the boardwalk and in town, and got on the beach for free at 5 o’clock. I recommend it.

Which brings me to the town of Asbury Park. It’s best to stay on the streets closest to the boardwalk. My friend Emily and I spent the afternoon on the main street, Cookman Ave, while we waited for some other friends to meet us by train. (The NJ Transit has a stop in Asbury Park right at the top of Cookman Ave, so it’s an easy way to get there for the car-less). We spent hours in antique shops, clothes stores, record shops, etc.

We even stopped in a dog store because I thought the name was clever – Asbury Bark. Because we didn’t buy anything, we once again had fun for free, other than spending $2 on the old-fashion photobooth in the basement of Antique Emporium. When everyone else arrived, we went to the beach (as previously mentioned) and then went to dinner at Asbury Pie on Cookman Ave. It was a pretty good deal – 2 slices of pizza and a soda for $5. Plus it was good pizza.

And to finish off our wild day trip, we went to a show that nigt at The Stone Pony, an all ages admitted music venue right across the street from the boardwalk enterance. The Stone Pony is where Springsteen used to play his guitar before he became famous.

A day trip to Asbury Park is a cheap, safe, and parent-free trip for teenagers living almost anywhere in New Jersey. Unless you’re doing anything extra wild (i.e. Stone Pony), the only things you’d have to pay for are food and gas/or train fare. It’s an easy way for a group of friends to have a lot of fun without spending too much. There’s only a few weeks left of Summer ’10, so go while you still can : )




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