Tonight's destination was to lovely Red Bank, New Jersey. I haven't been in such a long time, and it was great to get back there and re-live it a bit. Red Bank is that sort of place that has a perfect little downtown, bars, eateries, not to mention some truly awesome waterfront housing on the Navesink.
Years ago, I used to go to art lessons there on Monmouth Ave. It was a tiny little studio and we always parked around back where there was a hidden entrance to the studio (as opposed to the gallery out front). I remember always going to eat at Zebu afterwards, and go look at music and songbooks in Jack's Music Shoppe on Broad St. The one-way streets occasionally mess with you, but it's all good.
A friend of mine's dad lives in The Bluffs there, a luxurious condominium complex (seriously, the entire drive to the whole complex is pavers...) that is literally right on the water. They have 2 of their own private boat docks and a pool and GREAT views!! On July 3rd Red Bank used to always put on a huge fireworks show run by the same guys who do NYC on the 4th. It was always a huge event and tons, literally TONS of people come to see it. Live entertainment, food, boatloads of people. Though I was lucky enough to hang out on the private docks and boats to watch the show for a few years. This year, there were no fireworks -- too many incidents and things that made it just too difficult to control. I'm sure it's an absolute textbook security nightmare... So I understand why, but it is still a major bummer.
Red Bank at night is different depending on where you're going. The bars can be loud and there can be a bit livelier night life, but you can escape to other places for some quiet. Riverside Gardens Park is one of my favourites. Overlooking the water, the sidewalk winds its way down to a big deck-like patio thing that hangs out over the shore. There are benches along the way down and a nice amount of grass and landscaping. Yes please!! Tonight the wind was blowing quite steadily offshore and so combined with the nice breeze it made for an excellent night! I hope I can go back again soon!