Eight blocks south of Deal Lake, we find Wesley Lake. It stripes Asbury Park's southern border and runs from the boardwalk to Main Street, about half the length of town. A sort of walled lagoon, it's rather narrow for a lake. In fact, a strong golfer could probably drive a ball across it. Not long ago, U-Peddle boats dotted the blue surface of the water. The lake featured motorboat rides and a giant motorized swan that a whole family could ride around in. On the other side of Wesley Lake is the lovely village of Ocean Grove. It is a Victorian community with a continuing Methodist tradition.
Image 1.2.1. Wesley Lake, looking west. This photo was taken in the '30s, but the same scene in the '50s and '60s looked not much different (except for all the little boats and the giant swan).
I will not deal at this point with the marvels that populated the banks of Wesley Lake. (We are establishing the overall structure of things to "measure our embrace.") I will say, however, that the Wesley Lake area is the Center of the World for me. Why this is so will become wonderfully apparent later.
First, we have to look at the third lake and then work our way back to here from the north side of town. We must see everything in context. Much of the magic of Wesley Lake is dependent on what is not present - whether what is not present be in Asbury Park or thousands of miles away.
You'll see what I mean.
Now on to the next page and Sunset Lake!