By Daniel Wolff

"Wonderfully evocative…a grand, unhappy tale of racism and genuine property, political hardball and seashore 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 new release of lovers to a fallen seashore lodge city that got here to symbolize working-class American lifestyles. beginning with the town's founding as a spiritual promised land, tune journalist and poet Daniel Wolff plots a direction via Asbury Park's a hundred thirty years of entwined social and musical heritage, in a narrative that captures the entire attract and heartbreak of the yank dream.

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Extra resources for 4th of July, Asbury Park. A History of the Promised Land

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In the winter, Asbury's businesses drew shoppers from all over Monmouth County. " Ten years later, Steinbachs was housed in a majestic brick building called The Ocean Palace. " In 1885, Henry Steinbach had electric lights installed, and he also put in a "package railway" with miniature tracks. The little trains would carry purchases and money to the back of the store and reemerge with wrapped parcels and change. But Asbury lived for the summer, and its main attraction wasn't man-made. " Under the watchful supervision of "bathing masters," the ladies in their flannel or woolen dresses waded into the surf, careful never to go in past their waists.

In the summer of 1870, it was still just Bradley and his man, Baker, and that first season of solitude seems to have created the strongest impression on Asbury Park's founding father. During those long days and nights when the two men were often the only people on the shore, an incident took place that, for whatever reasons, had particular importance to Bradley. It occurred some time after their arrival in June but before the August day when Bradley pushed through the briars and " discovered" Asbury Park.

Satan's amusements had existed in Long Branch for decades now. " The bishop had helped Long Branch establish one of the earliest Methodist gatherings in America. Still, sin not only took hold but prospered. Even in its early days, when there was no railroad service and Long Branch was its own outpost in the wilderness, the town was known for its uproarious hunting and fishing parties. There may have been only six buildings along the narrow wagon track they called Ocean Avenue, but it was still "Flirtation Way" with visitors promenading up and down in their vacation best.

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4th of July, Asbury Park. A History of the Promised Land by Daniel Wolff


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