My sister, her husband and their children are visiting, so we decided to take a little drive to Asbury Park and stroll on the Asbury Park Boardwalk.
We used to go to the Palace Amusement Park as kids, so we thought we'd take a little trip down memory lane.
If you aren't familiar with Asbury Park, I'll give you the scoop.
Bruce & his friends have had some fundraisers to help support Asbury Park and help to gentrify the area and it is working. Developers came in and invested & they have some great community activists that really care. They have a large gay community that has really turned the town around. They bought up vacant stores and old buildings and have made them into chic, happening restaurants, antique stores and decorator shops. New luxury residences are going up and the once sad looking buildings are being restored back to their original beauty.
It was AMAZING!
Our first stop was The Beach Bar at the Convention Center. Totally chic, with a view of the beach and they didn't care that we had 5 rowdy kids with us. Perfect. After a margarita and some delicious chips with guacamole we proceeded to work our way down the boards.
We went to Candyteria...the Dylan's Candy Bar of Jersey.
Then we hopped over to Hot Sand Glass Blowing Studio to watch the glass blowers and check out the gorgeous ornaments and bowls. They even offer classes! I almost cried I was so excited. (Yeah, I know...pretty sad)
Finally, we went to Bodega Shoppe, the most BEAUTIFUL little shop ever. Everything in the store was absolutely delightful. They got a write up in Elle Magazine which called Bodega "a boutique that oozes with as much charm and taste as anything west of the Hudson really has a right to." (Ouch, quite a slam to NJ!)
My sister ended up buying some beautiful little items for her home. (Alas, I had no idea the treasures I would discover and left my wallet in the car!) I will return to Bodega Shoppe, WITHOUT the children once school is back in session.
Why am I writing about this? It's because I worked in New York City for years and lived right off South Street in Philadelphia in my early twenties. I THRIVED on the city. I loved hanging out in the West Village, hanging out in the local bars and cafes, shopping in unique little shops.
Now I live in suburbia, and while I love my town, I crave creativity and diversity. It's nice to know that when I need my cool fix, it's less than a 20 minute drive away.
Don't you love when you discover a treasure right in your own backyard?