It was sort of a strange weekend for me because it was the first one in weeks, maybe even months that did not revolve around the beach.

It was not because of the calendar but rather the weather and a combination of other factors because by no means do I believe my “beach season” has come to an end.  Plus I’m sticking by my pledge to wear shorts to work at least through the end of this month.

I will admit that I found myself watching more football than I expected, especially yesterday when the NFL Red Zone was on for a good portion of the day.  It is still strange to watch games in empty stadiums which based on the opening Sunday might be a good thing for the Jets and Eagles who both turned in miserable performances.

Former Lakewood BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown was among a group of 34 people who spent their Sunday morning paddle boarding around the Statue of Liberty for the fifth straight year as a way to honor those who died on 9/11.  The group is made up of mostly of Manasquan and Brielle residents and while several lost close friends in the terrorist attack everyone knew someone who perished.

Paddle boarding around the Statue of Liberty to honor 9/11 victims (Geoff Brown)

Geoff told me the idea came from Tom Weatherall who is the CEO of Make A Wish of New Jersey.  They began their journey at Liberty State Park and once they got in front of the statue paused for a moment of silence.  As part of next year’s 20th anniversary of 9/11 the paddle boarding group hopes to be 200 strong.

Toms River has for many years tried to do things that would bring life to the downtown area at night and they may have finally hit it, and hit it big.  My daughter and I enjoyed dinner on Friday night at Aqua Blu and on our way home decided to stop in for a drink at the Garden State Distillery.

They and Battle River Brewing have become the main drawing cards on Fridays and Saturdays when a section of Washington Street closes from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.  There are also several food options and nobody does it better than Capone’s. Credit them as the driving force because through it all Jimmy and his family have been the anchor of that area.

By the way if you like vodka I highly recommend the “Orange Crush” at the Garden State Distillery which this weekend released its new Bricktucky Bourbon to rave reviews, especially those from Brick!


Paddle boarding around the Statue of Liberty to honor 9/11 victims (Geoff Brown)