Jersey Shore .
Follow Lifeforcemag on Twitter
The Jersey Shore by Amy Toensing My relationship with the Jersey Shore began in 2000 when National Geographic magazine assigned me to do a 7 day shoot on the beach community of Ocean Grove. It didn't take long for me to recognize that this 127 mile long shoreline was a distinct place, shaped by generations of devoted shore-goers. I wanted to see more. Eventually, I proposed a full feature story to NGM and was able to return for several weeks over the course of a summer. Since I had grown up spending time along the New England shoreline, my biggest challenge was recognizing that a "beautiful coast" wasn't only about solitude and natural landscapes. The Jersey Shore has it's own peculiar beauty. It's flamboyant, dynamic, vibrant and packed with humanity. Old friends and summer residents of the small beach community of Ocean Grove meet in the afternoon to ride the waves in the Atlantic Ocean. A woman walks her dog along the shore drive in Ocean Grove. The town is known as "God's Square Mile." Kids roam free and safe in the town of Ocean Grove. This town was settled as a Methodist retreat at the turn of the century and has remained a religious sanctuary and increasingly popular summer vacation destination. Joey's Surf Club and Bar in Ortley Beach is a popular destination for twenty-somethings looking to show off their tanned, toned bodies. A typical housing development on the beach where loyal shore goers reserve annual space for their summer vacations. A contestant in an umbrella decorating contest stands by his artwork on the beach in Asbury Park. The event was intended to promote the town as a gay destination. Brothers Grim circus sideshow performer Danielle De Meux lures in a crowd by blowing a ball of fire into the air on the Seaside Heights boardwalk. Visitors from New York City take a break from casino gambling and slot machines on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. A woman takes in the sun outside her beach rental home on Long Beach Island. Casino Pier in Seaside Heights where visitors come to soak in the sun, ride the Ferris wheel, eat saltwater taffy and stroll the boardwalk on hot summer nights. Friends enjoy the music of a guitar won at a game stand on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. Temptations Night Club in Seaside Heights. Boys feed crackers to seagulls hovering in an off shore breeze on Long Beach Island. The Enigma and Katzen, a husband and wife circus sideshow performance team, finish breakfast in their apartment in Seaside Heights. The tattooed couple travel the country performing at various side shows and sometimes on television and in films. James Foster works as barker and ticket collector for the Brothers Grim Circus Sideshow on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. The sideshow runs all summer on the boardwalk and boasts to have the "World's Greatest Collection of Human Oddities, Strange People, Novel Entertainers." Members of the Ortley Beach lifeguard team during training for an upcoming lifeguard competition. The clothing optional area of Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook. Many of its visitors have been enjoying the sun and socializing naked there since the nude tradition began in the 1970s. Back to current issue