It was only 9:20 a.m., but the temperature was already up to 83 degrees on a sticky recent day.
Paul Jimenez was shooting baskets on the court at the Holmes A. Adams Recreation Complex in Neptune City, but he did not plan on staying long in the heat.
“I usually do it in the morning before the sun hits,” said Jimenez, 37, of Asbury Park. “I probably have another half-hour or so and, then, I’m out of here.”
Jimenez is winding down summer by looking forward to the coolness of fall. Others are hoping to extend summer — say, September, arguably the best month weather-wise and crowd-wise at the Jersey Shore.
September is “local summer in Belmar,” said Nick Fasano, 30, a resident of that borough.
“Best time in Belmar,” Fasano said. “Beaches are free, bars aren’t crowded.”
And out-of-towners are gone, Fasano said.
Susan Lamberton of Hackettstown is a summer visitor to Ocean Grove and has a condominium in Florida.
“We’re done with winters,” said Lamberton, 66.
No matter how one winds down the summer — pining for summer or the cooler weather of fall, or the in-between of September — the calendar does not lie. Labor Day, the traditional end of the summer season at the Shore, is almost here, on Sept. 7.
Joshua Serrano, 19, and Robert Johnson, 18, both of Philadelphia were squeezing in their visit to the ocean this year — at Bradley Beach, where Serrano has regularly visited for a dozen years.
“Just coming down here, enjoy the beach, catch some rays,” Serrano said. “I’m more a fall person, but I do enjoy the summer.”
“Just relaxing before I head to Penn State,” said Johnson, whose classes at the university would start in a few days. “I like the summer.”
Over the summer, Fasano has gone out on a friend’s board, surfed, golfed and hit the bars.
“The only thing that’s going to change is not taking off the shirt, dressing a little warmer,” Fasano said.
In Avon, Mo Hinman said she is “just enjoying what’s left of the summer” and waiting for a “peaceful, quiet community, again.”
“I’m a May/September person, the two best months for me,” Hinman said.
Lamberton was in between regular stays in Ocean Grove, where she is looking to buy a home.
“I plan on going home to Hackettstown, then return to Ocean Grove,” said Lamberton, saying she would probably stay in the Grove until Labor Day. “By the way, I love Asbury Park, all the restaurants.”
And Ocean Grove, “it’s kind of lazy, fun,” Lamberton said. “I love the family vibe, here.”
In September, she probably will stay for awhile at Montauk on Long Island.
“When it comes to (liking) summer, not too much,” Jimenez said.
“The only thing I like about winter is the snow,” Johnson said.” I don’t like the cold. If I can’t get the snow, I don’t want the cold.”