One of the great things about driving Jersey, one of the things we love, are the endless angles and stories that come from exploring a single event, person or town.  The idea that, in exploring one tale we are invited into many, is one of the original inspirations of our work.  It’s likely not just a Jersey thing, more of a human thing, but where ever we go, someone is suggesting someone else, some thing else for us to check out.  That’s why Asbury Park, Two Sides was so meaningful and so much fun to make.

We were invited to a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Monmouth County, an organization we favor for the great work they do.  The event was being held at the Asbury Lanes, a place, an atmosphere that had always interested us for its genuine, unapologetic coolness and its dedication to never changing, essentially...waveringly unique.  And the show was burlesque, a time machine sex farce full of  dirty old jokes, seductive dancing and undressing slowly to music. 

Dancing girls at the bowling alley for a good cause?  How could you pass that up?  We couldn’t, we went, and we realized that the reason we were there was just one of the stories worth telling.

Driving Jersey: Asbury Park, Two Sides details the story of the Asbury Lanes.  The venue is well known in the area for its vintage bowling experience, art shows, outrageous productions and live punk and rock music programs. As the Lanes enters its 52nd year in business, the establishment is under threat to be taken over via eminent domain.  In the meantime, two brothers, Jersey guys, who grew up splitting time between Glen Rock and the Jersey Shore, have taken over the place with the intention of keeping things the way they are, enhancing things to how they could be, and staying open as long as possible. 

On the other side of town, we visited the Boys & Girls Club in Asbury, got to meet the staff and kids, and got a clearer picture of the importance and need for the organization in the area.  Like other resort towns, there is a tremendous disparity of wealth, opportunity and lifestyle between the east and the west.  Despite the resurgence of the famed beach town, it is a revitalization that, at least until now, has only favored the “beach” part of the town.  “A lot of people think of Asbury Park and they think of the developed areas, the beachfront, the Eastside of Asbury Park,” Lanes co-owner, Chris Fahey said, “but you go over to the Westside and it’s still a rough neighborhood and still needs a lot of work.”

Driving Jersey: Asbury Park, Two Sides is the first part of a two part film.  The second film, Driving Jersey: Angie Pontani, follows the burlesque performer back to Chambersburg, the Trenton neighborhood of her youth. 

Music for Driving Jersey: Asbury Park, Two Sides was performed by The Following, Jon Francis, The Brian Newman Band and New Life Crisis.