Drooling on the Pillow

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Servicing the Skee-Ball Community 

Save Your Tokens. It'll be Back Posted by Hello

I read a lot of historical fiction and have been enjoying Robert Harris' novel Pompeii. Here's one of my favorite lines so far, uttered to the hero on the afternoon of August 23, 79: "Here's a piece of advice for you, my friend: there's no safer investment than property in Pompeii." Of course, at the moment it was spoken it was perfectly true. About 24 hours later, conventional wisdom would be significantly revised.

The opposite is true, as well. Conventional wisdom prophesying doom is equally liable to be made foolish by events. Every few years you read about a group of investors hooking up with significant public funds with the aim of reviving Asbury Park. It's a sad, sad place, reminiscent of Beirut, circa 1985. The recent "gayification" of Asbury is just the latest round. I have a pair of gay friends who almost closed on property in Asbury a year ago. It was a gorgeous house and in pretty good shape. A real Jersey Shore gem. But the area surrounding it was forbidding. Unless you're a crack dealer. At the last moment they (wisely, I think) decided there weren't enough gay people with money and a gambler's instinct to make the town turn the corner. They moved to Budapest and opened a yoga studio. Doing very well.

But, you know, I bet that one day one of these initiatives is going to take off and some people are going to make monster money. The Shore needs a keystone and Atlantic City isn't it. AC is a thing apart. I don't know what the tipping point would be. If I knew enough to even speculate I would not, at this point in my life, be doing what I'm doing. I would be typing at my titanium keyboard and The Goddess would be fetching my Sam Adams and you would be peeling my grapes. Give me a moment.

Ah, better now.

So the smart guys say Asbury is dead and will stay dead. I say its coming back. This puts me outside the 'reality-based community'.

But then, I think Arab democracy is an idea whose time is fast approaching.
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