Kwanzaa Celebration 12.14.19
The Kwanzaa event takes place at the Senior Center on Springwood Avenue, and it all happens by the hands of one woman: Su Chapman-Newsome. She works for the City of Asbury Park in Social Services & Community Relations, as well as Program Development. Her first assignment 15 years ago was to create this celebratory event. It’s now 16 years in the making.
This year I decided to do something different and speak with some of the attendees. The person who greeted me at the door with a smiling face was my first choice. Her name is Krystian Newsome. She graduated last June from Neptune High School at the age of 16. Now she attends Rider University, majoring in psychology with a minor in business. She feels Kwanzaa represents, “Unity – everyone coming together.”
As I was walking back from a photo opp in the front of the room, I passed a young gentleman and decided he would be my second interview. His name is Shannon Thomas. He currently lives in Easton, PA and works for a trucking company. He is from Asbury Park and Neptune and comes to Asbury Park every year to attend this celebration. When asked what Kwanzaa means to him he replied, “It’s a time of unity, growth, development, and family.”
What I didn’t know when I chose to interview them is they are both Su Chapman’s children. There is no doubt they are proud of their mom, by attending the event and helping out. Clearly, she is proud of them as well.
Thank you Su Chapman, for all you do!
Ruthanne’s Christmas Party (a locals celebration)
New Years Eve…Welcome 2020!
Staying at the Asbury Hotel was a great way to bring in the new year. Check-in was easy. They don’t give you a time, they ask you when you’d like to arrive. If they can’t guarantee your room will be ready they’ll hold your bags until it is, encouraging you to “just come and have fun.”
After checking in we hung out in the lobby for a bit. It was still early and kind of quiet with just a few guests taking in the ambiance.
The room had a minimalist feel; casual, clean, and comfortable. The bathroom was huge, definitely handicap accessible. Along with the usual iron and ironing board was an umbrella hanging in the closet. It was a nice touch. I’m glad we didn’t need to use it.
The staff was very accommodating and friendly. They let people know it was a special evening by their festive attire. Overall it was an enjoyable experience. I’m looking forward to going back, or perhaps trying another SALT Hotel.
One of the best things about staying at The Asbury is the hotel’s location, it’s in the heart of the music district. Only a block away from the Paramount Theatre, Tim McLoone’s Supper Club , Wonder Bar, the Asbury Lanes, (with an inside connection that’s under utilized) and just a few blocks from the Stone Pony. You can walk to everything. The Asbury also hosted their own New Years Eve Party, which was a ticketed event. Not to mention all the other venues that have music on a regular basis: Berkeley Hotel, Anchors Bend, which hosts Jams on the Sand in the summer, Langosta Lounge, Cubacan, where you can Salsa dance the night away, and Watermark.
The Wonder Bar
Ringing in the New Year at the Wonder Bar was a lot of fun. The Eddie Testa Band put on great show, as usual, with a special guest performance by Jarod Clemons. They kept the crowd going on high energy until well past midnight.
Look for some new things coming to ASBURYinsider in near future. Wishing you all a year filled with lots of good things to celebrate.
2020: Make it great!