VCF EAST 2023 – PART 2

GOTO PART 1 (Introduction)
GOTO PART 3 (VCF East 2023 consignment)

A Walk Along Belmar Pier

You can skip this part if you are only interested about VCF East. However, there is a story here during an encounter along Belmar that relates to the InfoAge Science Center itself.

Since VCF was winding down by the time I got there on Friday, and also since the weather was still very good, I decided to check out the nearby beach while I was in the area. I grew up in Florida and have seen a lot of beaches along the gulf and Atlantic side. I’ve also spent many years in Texas and can fairly say that Florida beaches are by far much better (than Texas).

It was only a 10-15 minute drive straight East to the beach, just head opposite of where the sun is going down. I had hoped to be able to see the Manhattan skyline from this part of New Jersey – but I was never able to do so from here (I think to do so, I’d have to drive 40 minutes further north around Rantan Bay, and there just wasn’t enough daylight left to make the trip). So with the daylight that I did have left, I was very pleased to find an excellent boardwalk along the beach.

For perspective, here is an overview of the geography. The Statue of Liberty is on the small island just below the letter “N” in New York in the map below, which was roughly 30 miles from where I was in New Jersey.

And here are photos along the boardwalk: (click images below for larger view)

Walking north, past the small tower shown above, the walkway transitions into another boardwalk that is of a different age (i.e. older wooden walkway) but still very pleasant. I passed a building called the The Stone Pony, which is a famous music hall of the area that opened in 1974. It’s a good landmark to keep in mind and use to meet up with others in the future.

In the images below:

  • the lemonade stand reminds me of a funny song by a duck on YouTube.
  • The white topped boxes are umbrellas and such, available for rental in the summer time. I actually tried to open one – while there was no lock, there was a latch. I opened the latch, but then found these were all nailed shut. Probably a precaution in case of bad winters storms.
  • There was a very active “retro arcade”. I only glanced around for a moment since there wasn’t much daylight time left. The weather was already getting noticeably cooler by this time, so I had to keep moving on to explore further down the boardwalk.

(click images below for larger view)

Next along the walk, I came across this great building that is part of Asbury Park. Of course, it’s old and parts seem to be falling apart. But to me, it’s great because it’s not just a huge boring cube but was from a time when there was still adornments and actual architecture in a building – giving the structure character and style. There are interesting things like the little bronze ship at the top center.

However, I explored a bit more and found a huge plaque explaining a sad history of this area: The SS Morro Castle was the name of a passenger ship from Havana that had gotten wrecked and caught fire just off the coast and this very building. It is interesting since it reminds of a time before the Cuban Missile Crisis when travel was still possible to Havana, but also a reminder the real risk of ship travel back before all the precautions we take for granted today.

I later then found more details about this incident of the S.S. Morro Castle was described back at the InfoAge Science Center where VCF East was being held at.

(click images below for larger view)

This large building itself still hosted music concerts (Demi Lovato was one of the singers featured at this particular time). Past this building, the boardwalk continued. This next section had many art features along the wall. One of these walls had a huge series of numbers, and I couldn’t help it but to examine it for a few minutes trying to find a pattern (or if maybe it was Pi to many digits or something, but I never find a pattern – maybe someone else can?).

(click images below for larger view)

The boardwalk did end not much further from here, with a dog park and portion of the beach open to pets. I like dogs, but I’m leery of random dog attacks (which I’ve seen happen before in parks) and decided it was time to head back.

I ended the day trying a sushi restaurant. I’m not actually a big fan of sushi! But, my daughter enjoys it and so I’m trying to get better about trying some sushi now and then.

GOTO PART 1 (Introduction)
GOTO PART 3 (VCF East 2023 consignment)

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