The One Last Long Weekend of Summer


coaster-news-200-newBy JOSEPH SAPIA

Ellen Brahney likes hitting the Avon beach between the Pavilion and the Bradley Beach boundary in the morning.

Brahney, who lives in the Shark River Hills section of Neptune, was doing just that the other day. After all, it is still the summer season at the Shore “because,” as she put it, “it’s not Labor Day” yet.

But, with Labor Day being late this year on Sept. 7, some kids are back in school and the crowds have diminished.

Recalling what she noticed when she left the beach the other day, Brahney said, “There were not 10 people on the whole stretch. It looked like the middle of September.”

This summer of beautiful weather and a late Labor Day, along with an early Memorial Day of May 25, may be endless, but commitments, such as going to school and vacations ending, abound.

“It felt like last weekend” — the weekend of Aug. 29 and 30 — “was Labor Day,” Brahney said. “It felt like the end of summer.”

“Last week, it was definitely more crowded,” said Lynn DeSalvo, 48, who was going jogging with her husband, Justin, 44, near their Avon summer home before the morning got too hot.

Lynn DeSalvo, who lives in Englewood in the off-season, said “college kids are going back early” to school and it appears vacationing families have left the Shore.

But Lynn DeSalvo wondered what the Labor Day Weekend will be like here. David Carroll, 57, of Neptune City, expects a rush of visitors because, for example, the Labor Day Weekend is a three-day weekend.

For now, as the calendar changed from August to September, things have quieted, according to Carroll.

“I walk the boardwalk everyday, try to,” Carroll said. “I walk Asbury Tower to Bradley Beach. Nobody’s on the beaches, the boardwalk is pretty empty, too.

“Teachers are back working, kids are back (in school), vacations are winding down,” Carroll said.

“It’s just quieter, which is much better,” said Louisa Angioletti, 48, who divides her time between Mantoloking and New York City. “This is great, you’re enjoying the rest of the summer without the crowd.”

For Katey Peters, 17, who lives in Wall and is a badge-checker at the Avon beach, it seems a normal summer. But she does not start the school year at Wall High School, where she will be a senior, until the day after Labor Day.

“It’s a longer summer, it’s nice,” Peters said. “I like the beach, Avon or Sea Girt.”

But Peters, too, has noticed, “The crowds left earlier this year, schools are starting before Labor Day.”

September, arguably the most beautiful month at the Shore, at least for locals, is here.

“It’s beautiful down here,” Brahney said.

“People want to draw the summer out as long as they can,” Lynn DeSalvo said. “We love September.”

“I get the beaches back,” Carroll said.

And, as Angioletti said of September, “It’s beautiful, it’s quiet, the temperature’s just great. It’s awesome.”

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