I spent both days on the beach, this weekend. Even though the weather was a little cooler and the beach a tad more crowded than I’d prefer, it’s always wonderful to leave the city and spend some time in the sand and surf.
My new goal in life is to buy a beach house within train or easy driving distance to NYC. I don’t have anything fancy in mind. Just an airy place where I can go to escape NYC on the weekends.
Last week, I stumbled upon a very interesting community that mostly fits that description.
Ocean Grove is a NJ beach town about an hour away from NYC. It has Victorian architecture, a boardwalk, a small downtown area—and “Tent City.”
It’s exactly what it sounds like: a community of people who reside in canvas tents during the summer.
Tent City evolved from a campground, where people stayed while attending religious meetings, in the 1800s. At one time, there were as many as 600 tents.
Today, 114 remain, with some modern touches, like wooden back rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.
The tents don’t offer much privacy—they’re close together and residents can hear what’s going on in the ones around them. There’s no BBQing allowed, and Ocean Grove is a dry town. And, true to its origins, Tent City is still a religious community.
I can certainly see the appeal. I would happily move into a beachy tent for the summer…though preferably in a non-denominational tent community that allowed BBQing and booze!