Listen: Greetings from Asbury Park Playlist

Bruce Springsteen in Asbury Park, New Jersey, 1979. Photo by Joel Bernstein.

Bruce Springsteen in Asbury Park, New Jersey, 1979. Photo by Joel Bernstein.

We’ve officially entered summer season, and what better way to start it off than taking a little trip to the seashore?

Last Friday, my boyfriend and I took a quick one night trip to Asbury Park. It was the beginning of Memorial Day Weekend, which is a huge weekend for the Jersey Shore. It’s the weekend where all the regulars come back, all the restaurants and bars and shops are back in full swing—and there’s truly an excitement in the air.

I had never been to Asbury Park, but growing up, my family friends and I would go down to another part of the Jersey Shore and stay at a friend’s beach house. It was by far my favorite weekend of the year. I loved being so close to the ocean and walking down the boardwalk at night. And as a kid, I became obsessed with what it might be like to be a summer regular there. I fantasized about working and being on the beach all day, having summer romances and going on dates on the boardwalk. It was like I was looking at what my life could be through the lens of a 1950’s movie.

Jersey Shore is romantic in that way—it’s old school. There’s a grit to it—maybe it’s the wonky wood boards on the boardwalk or the flickering neon signs, or the nostalgic smell of funnel cakes and zeppoles, or the clashing sounds of different music genres blasting out onto the boardwalk from all the different bars and restaurants—usually some motown mixed with punk rock.

I hadn’t been to the Shore in a couple of years, so I was excited to return for even just one night. I walked on the boardwalk, I saw all the people reuniting for the first time since last summer. I smelled the sweet powdered sugar and heard the clash of motown and punk rock.  

Some places never change and I’m glad the Jersey Shore is one of those places.

Here are some Jersey Shore inspired sounds for June
(of course, ending with a Bruce Springsteen song):

- Kerrianne Thomas