Growing up in Asbury Park in the 1970’s created memories which include summers on the beach, Sunday evenings on the boardwalk with the family, back to school shopping on Cookman Avenue, recess on the playground at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and serving as an Altar Boy during the crowded 12 o’clock Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. On a typical beach-day with a single one dollar bill in my hand, I walked the boardwalk toward the Convention Hall and made a stop along the way to a beach shop with penny candies on the counter. My strategically planned budget allowed for 10 cents to be spent on a small paper bag of Swedish fish and licorice from the individual glass canisters. The rest of my funds went to 5 cent pinball machines in Sandy’s Arcade. When the last ball beelined between the flippers, it was time to go under the boardwalk to find more loose change. I would usually score a couple of quarters under the 4th Avenue portion of the boardwalk, not too far from the boardwalk rides, which were part of the Sunday evening ritual with “la famiglia.”

The different generations of people, who share similar feelings of nostalgia are not only connected with this historic town, but also to each other. One of the featured films of the 11th Annual Jersey Shore Film Festival tells the story of Italian Americans who immigrated to Asbury Park and struggled to raise their families during a time of rising costs and safety concerns. Directed by Bridget Machete, Asburied in Time: A Greeting Through Asbury Park’s Unique History is a 90-minute documentary scheduled this Thursday during the Gala Opening Night at 8 p.m. at The Asbury. The film festival begins this Wednesday, August 1st and continues for 12 days featuring a wide selection of creative cinematic works, which are scheduled in a variety of locations including The Asbury, McLoone’s Supper Club, The Film Salon, House of Independence, America’s Cup, Axelrod Performing Arts Center, The Baronet and McGillicuddy’s Lakeside Taphouse. Click here for event details.  Whether you’re a filmmaker, actor, director, producer or crewmember looking to network within the industry, make this event your summer priority.

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