Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grab Yourself Some Dark Sunglasses

Here's a plan to revitalize Asbury Park Beach; some call it South Beach north.

Once among the top seaside resorts on the East Coast, Asbury Park is keeping abreast of vacationers' changing tastes by considering letting women go topless on on an eight-block stretch of the city beach.

On the road back from decades of decay, the city that was once one of the top beach resorts on the East Coast thinks this might work.

But unlike other secluded nude beaches in the Garden State, this one could be right in your face, with the boardwalk offering a prime view that some parents might not want junior to see.

The city council is considering a request from Reggie Flimlin, an Asbury Park woman who owns a yoga studio, to allow women to decide for themselves whether they want to wear bikini tops on the beach.

She says it's already happening on less populated beaches in the city's north end.
"A lot of women are just organically deciding they want to sunbathe without their top," she said. "That's great, that's fine, and I have no problem with it."

The 48-year-old city resident has lived and sunbathed topless in Europe and Miami, where such conduct is paid little mind.
"Being at the beach without a top is a choice I make," said Flimlin, 48. She said Asbury Park, with its thriving gay and lesbian community and its wildly diverse ethnic and racial population, has long been progressive.

"Asbury has always prided itself as having an open mind and being accepting and welcoming to a lot of different cultures and lifestyle choices," she said. "If not in Asbury Park, where else in New Jersey would a woman have the right to choose whether or not she has to wear a bathing suit top?"

Right now, that would be Gunnison Beach on Sandy Hook, part of the federal Gateway National Recreational Area, where total nude bathing is permitted in a secluded and private area. But there's no topless beach anywhere along its coastline.

Higbee Beach, a Cape May County beach that once permitted nude bathing now no longer does due to problems with sexual activity in the dunes and parking lot.

Asbury Park officials have called for a fully fleshed-out proposal during the July 7 City Council meeting to help determine whether the city’s northern stretch of surf would become New Jersey’s first “top optional” beach.

Attention men... make a concerted effort to be gentlemen once the topless beach gets the OK.
Let’s try not to act like juveniles. If the proposal is passed, then grab yourself some dark sunglasses and try to behave.

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