Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ask her -- she looks like she knows.

Sometimes, purely by chance, you get a glimpse into what, maybe, you should be doing with your life.

I visited the Asbury Park boardwalk today to see how things are going on the renovation of the pavilions and, of course, the Casino. Though the day was overcast, temperatures were in the mid 60's and there were plenty of people walking around. I got some cool shots of the Casino entrance in a large puddle on the walkway floor ... thanks to a photographer who directed my eyes downward by focusing his camera to the ground as I was striding through.

Walking out and onto the boardwalk, I was stopped by an older couple and a young woman who asked me if I knew anything about the building. New Hampshire natives, their range of knowledge of the city was defined by Bruce Springsteen and the Stone Pony.

Oh, boy, did they stop the right person. I gave them the Readers Digest version of the past, present and future of the Casino and the rest of the boardwalk. Fortunately the architect's rendering was posted right behind us so I could show them the half of the building that had been torn down, beyond repair. On their asking, I gave them a few nuggets of information on Ocean Grove's Methodist camp meeting, too. I also mentioned the shops and restaurants on Cookman Avenue -- nice little plug for my friends over there. (And why didn't I point them to my photos??? Grrr... )

We chatted amiably for a few minutes and closed the conversation exchanging thanks. They appreciated the time I gave them, but in my mind, they'd given me the favor of sharing my arcane New Jersey knowledge. It's not often that I have such a receptive audience. I had a goofy smile on my face halfway to Convention Hall.

Now, one would ask, why don't I do this for a living? For a minute I mapped out some potential ways to promote my touring skills, but then I got distracted. The bigger reasons of why not are fodder for about six months of therapy that I haven't focused on. Better to be unhappy at leisure, than work to be content.

Nonetheless, this know-it-all stuff has to come in handy eventually.

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