By Daniel Wolff
"Wonderfully evocative…a grand, unhappy tale of racism and genuine property, political hardball and beach pleasure-seeking."―A.O. Scott, New York occasions booklet Review
When Bruce Springsteen referred to as his first album Greetings from Asbury Park, he brought a iteration of fanatics to a fallen seashore inn city that got here to symbolize working-class American existence. beginning with the town's founding as a spiritual promised land, tune journalist and poet Daniel Wolff plots a path via Asbury Park's one hundred thirty years of entwined social and musical historical past, in a narrative that captures all of the attract and heartbreak of the yankee dream.
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Additional resources for 4th of July, Asbury Park. A History of the Promised Land
Perfect seclusion' may have its uses, but . " Ocean Grove tried. " But the town gates couldn't always be locked. The holy city's police chief ended up issuing numerous warnings to no less than President Grant, who kept racing his horses up and down the Grove's main street. No, the only real way to protect Ocean Grove from The Branch was to secure the undeveloped land in between. One day that August, Bradley decided to take a look. Starting from his lot, he and one of the reverends crossed Wesley Lake and immediately hit a thicket of briars.
FOURTH OF JULY, 1885 BY 1885, THE dream was a reality. Parts of it, anyway. " A nearly continuous stretch of resorts had sprung up along the thirty miles of Monmouth County's coast. People mobbed the place, packing the beaches, the summer population of the area estimated at two hundred thousand. Bradley had been a key promoter and developer. And yet . . and yet . . " Since the day Bradley had bushwhacked north from Wesley Lake, his acres of briar and sand had grown into a resort worth $2 million.
Nearby, the Epicycloidal Wheel was actually four huge wheels that carried sixteen people at a time in eight dangling gondolas. At least this honky-tonk aspect closed down at night. But then there were the menials. Granted, someone had to do the laundry, work in the shops, sweep the beaches, and generally maintain the infrastructure of the booming city. But some of these laborers, instead of leaving when the season was over, became permanent residents. Not in Asbury Park proper, but in a second city that had grown up in the shadow of Bradley's promised land.