Stephen Wolf | Down the Shore

Stephen Wolf

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Down the Shore


Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Shore gallery

Two neighboring towns on the New Jersey shore ("down the shore" in Jersey jargon), Asbury Park and Ocean Grove are remarkably different both in heritage and circumstance.

Asbury Park, once a bustling jazz-age beach resort, now has a sparsely-inhabited, crumbling Art Deco boardwalk. By contrast, Ocean Grove started as a 19th-century Methodist religious retreat, which function it still serves.

By the 1990s when these pictures were made, both towns had seen better days. Ocean Grove suffered when Reagan-era economic policy cut funding to several halfway houses, effectively dumping mentally- and physically-challenged residents on the street. Asbury Park started its long decline in the Great Depression. Each town preserves its unique character while coexisting with its almost polar opposite municipality across the concrete tidal lake that divides them.