We have fallen in love with a magic little town on the coast of New Jersey. Chris and I drove through Ocean Grove one day and were charmed by the tiny square mile of preserved Victorian homes perched close to the shore. The houses were impossibly detailed and cared for and the town was beautiful, quiet and slow-paced. The beach in Ocean Grove was voted one of the world’s 15 best by Fodor’s Travel. A quick stroll on the boardwalk or over two footbridges brought us to newly revitalized Asbury Park. We joked that we would have to retire there when our kids were grown.
When I learned about the town’s twice annual Giant Flea Market I marked my calendar. The drive from Brooklyn took me less than 1 1/2 hours and the first time I went to the flea I was hooked. Wandering around town felt like a dream and each time I visited I liked it even more. When I returned to the flea this past May I called Chris to tell him I was going to talk to a realtor. In the whirlwind that followed we ended up looking at 10 houses. Our plan was to find a house that we could rent when we weren’t using it. The house we fell for was built in the 1880s and was owned by one family for more than 70 years. After talking to many incredibly friendly residents we decided Ocean Grove would be the perfect spot to spend time with our girls while they are still young.
The house at 6 1/2 Heck Avenue is calm bright and airy. It stands fifth in from the beach and has beautiful ocean views. Many of the home’s original antiques are in use throughout the house. The town of Ocean Grove was founded by a group of religious leaders as an ocean side retreat in the 1860s. Our home feels like stepping back into Ocean Grove’s early days when families would escape to the shore away from busy lives. The home is simple compared to some of its brightly painted neighbors and we love that it retains its original details and quiet beach cottage feel. Visit our Instagram feed @oceangrovehouse for more photos.
We are honored to be able to care for the home at 6 1/2 Heck Avenue and excited to share it for 2016 rentals. For rental inquiries and questions please contact Alfredo Fresnedo at (732)-763-2961, firstname.lastname@example.org. We still feel like we discovered a secret hideout every time we visit our home in Ocean Grove. So many memories have been made in the short time we have owned the house. We are so happy to share our home with visitors and hope 6 1/2 Heck will be a place for memories of your own.
Chris has been begging me to knit him a sweater for years now. I am sure I will get to his sweater one of these days, but there are so many sweet knitting patterns for children to get through while our kids are still small…This is one of my favorites: The Lyalya Hoodie ABC Pattern. The pattern comes with directions for ages six months-adult. I knitted this one up in Brooklyn General Store’s cashmere. I splurge on this amazing yarn once in a while and it is the softest, most beautiful yarn I have ever knit. (Even the letter-pressesd label is gorgeous). I made Ada a couple of hats made from the yarn and they still look beautiful after years of use. Lyalya’s pattern knits up quickly and it is fun to watch the ribs build as you go. The result is a snuggly hat that does not require tying on to a wiggly three-year-old. The cashmere is so soft that scratchy-hat whining is completely avoided.
I finished Andrea Elliott’s chronicle of the life of a homeless child in Brooklyn one morning in bed, snuggled next to two of my sleeping children. I had begun reading the night before, on my phone while feeding the baby. I quietly shuttled Ada out the door to school and then snuck back under the covers and prayed for the two little ones to stay asleep so that I could finish. Many of you have likely read the piece by now. It ran in the New York Times last week. The piece is so beautifully written. Dasani’s story is haunting, and both so far and so close to our own life here in Brooklyn. It broke my heart and has followed me around since I finished the story. I often wonder how to talk to my children about how lucky we are, and what our good fortune means in a city where the rich and poor live pressed up against one another. We struggle with how to teach charity and compassion to our girls, without condescension. Little Essentials is an organization that directly reaches families with homeless children in Brooklyn. They have been overwhelmed with donations since the article was published, but they still need donations of money and time. We are planning to work with them in the upcoming year.