Tag Archives: Sea Bright

P House: Retro Snow-Covered RFH Paradise

 

Peninsula House in Sea Bright in the 1970s. Photo/George Day
Peninsula House in Sea Bright in the 1970s.
Photo/George Day

This Retro Pic of the (George) Day is a reprise. Sometimes you just can’t get enough of this kind of view and the memories it stirs … 

If you’re winter daydreaming of snow-capped visions of warm paradise memories, your thoughts may drift to the iconic Peninsula House. It’s as if it was still there. Sometimes, if you close your eyes, like any good memory, you can see it. It all comes back — blankets you in a Tsunami of heart smiles.

The bitter chill of the blustery winter air is on the wane. So, our Retro Pic of the (George) Day is about the thaw that a soul full of cozy reminiscing brings. It hones in on a snow-capped view of the long gone but hardly forgotten favorite historic beach club turned bar/restaurant by the sea at night.

It was the Peninsula House, or P House for short, and it was the Rumson-Fair Haven area go-to hangout — especially for RFH grads.

It was huge and magnificent. The old historic hotel in Sea Bright used old hotel rooms as cabanas. Its wrap-around porch with rocking chairs was an outdoor lounging area seemingly perfectly tailored to locals catching up. There was a backgammon room, a formal dining room. Outside, bands played in a tent near the pool, the beach only a dance step away. It was always bustling, brimming with good vibes.

Tim McLoone played there frequently; and, everyone who took Giff’s RFH ballroom dance class tested their light (and heavy) feet (or whatever you could call those moves) on the dance floor to his music.

What are your memories of Peninsula House? And what was your favorite Tim McLoone rendition to dance to?

Many thanks, again, to the fabulous RFH grad, George Day, for the photo!

 

Focus: Sandy, Five Years Ago

It was the year that Halloween wasn’t. It was 2012 and Superstorm Sandy had pummeled the Jersey Shore. It decimated Sea Bright and destroyed low lying parts of Rumson. Fair Haven was a bit war torn and powerless.

Beach cabanas landed like Dorothy’s house to the Witch of the East on West Park lawns. Boats were hoisted by surging water onto dock tops and back yards. Gunning Island, in the Shrewsbury River, was loaded with the moored belongings of Sea Bright and Rumson people. Trees were downed. Transformers exploded.

Sea Bright residents were homeless. The beach was in the road. Sea Bright Rising began with some good-hearted burger flipping by Woody’s owner Chris Wood and chef Onofrio Moscato. The U.S. Army National Guard was parked in the Sea Bright municipal lot. There was no electricity.

There was a curfew. At nightfall, people scurried back into their homes, if there was anything left to go home to, like moles burrowing into cold, still night. Things were awfully dark. And Halloween was cancelled. There was no treat in Sandy’s trickery, just in the kindness of those who were good neighbors.

Take a look back … (and click to enlarge).

— Elaine Van Develde

Photos/Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Birth of a Sea Bright Seawall, Replenished Beach

Jetty rocks are piled. Sand is raked and plowed into a vertical dune-like stretch down the beach. Trucks are digging, pulling and plowing sand. The relatively new boardwalk that earmarked a piece of a beginning after Superstorm Sandy’s wrath is demolished. The Where Angels Play playground has been dismantled. It’s what Sea Bright Public Beach and north and south of it look like on any given day lately. Sea Bright beach rebirth has begun.

Continue reading Focus: Birth of a Sea Bright Seawall, Replenished Beach

Focus: A Locals’ Summer for the Birds

It’s that time of the year when the beaches are pretty barren. It’s locals’ summer. Perfect time for serenity and little waterfront trek.

That’s how it was recently on Sea Bright Public Beach — a stroll in solitude accompanied only by the birds, the sea, freshly combed sand and solace.

Walk along and take in the view. It’s not just for the birds, really. (And don’t forget to click to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Authorities Seek Help in Identifying Woman Found Dead in Sea Bright

From the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office … 

New Jersey State police have released a sketch of the African American female whose body was recovered in Sea Bright recently.

Continue reading Authorities Seek Help in Identifying Woman Found Dead in Sea Bright

Retro Keepin’ it Cool with RFH Teens

A summer day at Great Adventure with RFHers of the late 1970s/early '80s. Photo/Marc Edelman
A summer day at Great Adventure with RFHers of the late 1970s/early ’80s.
Photo/Marc Edelman

The scorching summer heat lately has made taking a flying leap into a fountain, or any body of water, a goal to which many aspire — and attain as the need to cool down beckons.

In fact, summer days, for RFHers, weren’t always all about beach clubbing it and keeping cool, fun times local.

Continue reading Retro Keepin’ it Cool with RFH Teens

Scene Around: Donovan’s Opening Day Icon Sighting

Photo/Grace Cangemi Ryan

What would a Donovan’s Reef reopening be without a spotting of its unofficial, or official, mascot — the iconic guy about town everyone knows as Dizzy Dave?

Well, lots of area folks were there for Sunday’s (delayed from Saturday) grand reopening. And, while it was pretty packed and running into Dave was tantamount to playing a giant game of Where’s Waldo, one devout Donovan’s fan, Gerry Ryan, found him and struck the classic pose.

Ryan’s wife, former Red Bank Councilwoman Grace Cangemi Ryan, grabbed the photo op and shared it with Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect.

Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl told us he was there as well, but, no roving photographers seemed to capture him, either. He said he did not see Dizzy. “It’s surprising that I didn’t,” Ekdahl said on Memorial Day. “He’s pretty hard to miss!”

The new place got a thumbs up from the mayor. The Ryans and all other locals and fans we spoke with gave the new Donovan’s rave reviews.

Now, where’s Dizzy Dave?

 

Retro Donovan’s Devastation, Memories

It was like a scene out of The Wizard of Oz, with a wicked witch of a storm dropping a house on the spirits of Rumson-Fair Haven area locals. It was the scene of what many might call the Superstorm Sandy crime that devastated the Sea Bright peninsula and wiped out a decades-long iconic spot — Donovan’s Reef.

When the coast was literally clear of the storm’s wrath, locals flocked to the site to see what Sandy had spit out and left behind. They cried, reminisced, meditated on the jetty and gathered tiny scraps of memories made at the longtime RFHers’ hang-out.

The Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to Donovan’s in the aftermath of Sandy.

Laying on the ground were decades worth of remnants from a hut by the sea where many milestone memories were made. On the cusp  of the iconic spot’s reopening, people wonder if the new and expanded hut by the sea will be a place to DO it again? Time will tell. Locals are poised for the fresh start. But, they always seem to look back on the good ol Donovan’s days.

What is your favorite Donovan’s memory from years gone by?

— Elaine Van Develde

— Photos/Elaine Van Develde