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Asbury Park Excursion
An easy day trip from New York City

To Bruce Springsteen's gritty hometown
On the Jersey shore

This day trip from New York City to Asbury Park, New Jersey, is certainly not for everyone.

You'll be visiting a very rundown seaside city.

It's specifically for Bruce "Born in the USA" Springsteen fans, who want to experience the Jersey shore city that so influenced Springsteen's music.

But, don't think that you're going to wander around Asbury Park looking at the home where Bruce grew up, where he went to school, etc. This oceanside slum has improved in recent years, but it's still not completely safe.

Instead, you'll enjoy the fine Asbury Park beach, explore its old boardwalk area, and visit the central business district.

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The train ride to Asbury Park

To get to Asbury Park, buy an inexpensive day return train ticket on New Jersey Transit from New York Penn Station to Asbury Park Station. Check schedules and fares online.

You'll then ride past an interesting visage of American urban, industrial, and suburban life.

As you leave the Hudson River area, the route becomes more and more affluent with impressive homes and grounds until suddenly—as suddenly as crossing a short bridge—you enter Asbury Park, a strangely located example of Atlantic coast rust belt decay.

How this city—so finely situated on a fine stretch of Jersey shoreline—declined to its present deteriorated condition, we do not know.


Asbury Park

From the Jersey Transit train station in Asbury Park, take a taxi (for around $5 - 6.00 with tip) to the old Berkeley Carteret Hotel, 1401 Kingsley Avenue, on the beach. The hotel like the town itself has seen better days.

Travelling from the train station to the hotel gives you the flavour of Asbury park and Bruce Springsteen's music.

Happily, you'll notice new construction here and there, as well as renovation going on.

The depressed real estate prices in Asbury Park have attracted many new residents, who commute to NYC. Prices have gone up, but still remain much lower than in suburbs with better reputations.

The area around the Berkeley Carteret—so much torn down for urban renewal that never came—looks in part like Beirut after the war. Beirut, however, has been largely rebuilt.

Just behind the hotel, you find the old boardwalk and a surprisingly clean Atlantic Ocean beach.

Even on weekends, this area is not crowded, but in the summer there may be lifeguards.

Do not linger here at night. And, do bring your own food, as the neighbourhood options are very limited.

Your return trip to New York is the outbound trip in reverse.

 


 
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