Living for a Sea Bright on the Rise
Sea Bright has made great strides since Hurricane Sandy, but there's still a lot of work ahead for residents
The digital sign still flashes a message that a curfew on side streets from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. still exists.
The same sign has been flashing the same message for those heading over the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge into Sea Bright for months now. Roughly 40 percent of the residents of the small peninsula town nearly flattened by Hurricane Sandy are back in their homes, Mayor Dina Long has said. Most are not yet.
There are signs of progress and there's a lot of hope. Some homes have been raised and/or revamped. Much debris is gone. Others are basically the same as they were right after the storm.
Those who are living there say it's like a ghost town at night. Businesses are opening back up little by little and some beach club owners have said they'll be opeartional by Memorial Day. There's a lot of hope and pride pulsing through Sea Bright.
Some of the boarded up businesses have spruced the plywood up with color — spring colors — a sign of seeds being sown for a rebirth.
Many businesses are springing back. Open so far are: Dunkin' Donuts, Ama Ristorante, Woody's Ocean Grille, Harry's Lobster House, Giglio's Bait and Tackle, Bain's Hardware and Northshore. The building that formerly housed Sea Bright Pharmacy and Northshore was demolished last week. Blur Revision Media Design caught it on video and posted it on their Facebook page. Click here to take a look.
Those that are expected to return in April are: Yumi, DIVE!, Super Golden Chinese, Sea Bright Pizza and Gracie and the Dudes.
Residents are slowly trickling back. A woman who lived with her husband in his family's century-old two-story bungalow told Patch a couple of weeks after the storm that her home had been deemed uninhabitable.
At the time she had put out a couple of containers of Halloween candy on the porch. And she swept ... neatly around the debris. She told us the small Halloween tokens were her way of staying hopeful and, in effect, "putting lipstick on a pig."
She wasn't around when we visited her neighborhood again last week. But there was a new door on the house. Patch will take a look back at the first visit with her in the next few days in a video clip filmed that day.
In the meantime, take a look at the above photos for a glimpse into the progress and what's down the road ahead for Sea Bright residents.