I was born and raised on the Jersey Shore, and after reading that Op-Ed piece I knew Asbury Park would be the perfect reflection of how I feel the economy is today. This was once the hottest spot on the shore and since the economy has turned for the worst, this town is crippled with poverty.
There was a two-story building covered, like everything in Asbury, in Art Deco stylizations. The structure was entirely boarded up. There wasn’t even much graffiti. No point, since no one would see the tags.
Next door was the Casino, a huge empty space where husbands gambled while their wives waited for them back in hotel rooms. Panes of glass were missing. Four sea-horses once guarded the roof. Three remained.
This building used to attract large crowds and once had a carousel inside. Tourists stopped coming, and just like most businesses by the beach, this one had to be boarded up.
A booth that once sold hot dogs is now labeled The Crack Shack. It is surrounded by abandoned apartment complexes and is a symbol to the struggle Asbury faces. People are struggling to make money to survive, and for some, drugs are the only answer.
At the end of the boardwalk is the Paramount Theater. Years ago, many popular bands had shows here. Sadly, it’s locked up and hasn’t been put to use in years due to lack of business.
New Jersey was the place you went to have fun in the old days. This building is famous and was once an amusement park. Thankfully, this is one monument in Asbury that they have not tarnished and it serves as a reminder to the locals this place was a hot spot before the economy began to crumble.
This is just one of many not hiring signs around the Jersey Shore. Getting a job at the shore these days is like pulling teeth. This place relied on tourism and if no one has any money to spend, there is no tourism and no jobs.
The governor has announced he is going to make education cuts and many teachers are losing their jobs, my mother being one of them. If we see a decrease in education, then history will repeat itself and crime rates will surely increase.
This is one of many unemployment lines near my town compared to the same line seen during the Great Depression. Based on the economic circumstances, I feel we’re heading in the same direction.