I’ve had a thing about seeing the Jersey Shore – for me, it’s one of those Exotic America elements. Just kind of a cultural thing you won’t find anywhere else. When we first got back and were spending time in NJ, we kept saying we go and we would go, and each weekend we found something else that was more pressing at the time. And then we didn’t go at all – so I never got to see all of these elements that were already the stuff of legends then. When we go, it will be a new shore, though if I know New Jersey like I think I do, it will still have those distinctly defining elements.
I read about photographer Christina Zona’s project to document the Jersey Shore of her youth on polaroid film on facebook, and she’s now making these photographs available as prints with proceeds being devoted to charity. If you have any wistful wishes for summers that were simpler, sunshine that makes you squint, or long days that go on and on without much on the agenda, I think these prints will speak to you. They don’t cost much, they’re for a great cause and they represent nostalgic photography at its best. I’m already thinking a set of 10-12 of them will look amazing in white frames hung in a grid…You can check out her full set of work here – and be on the lookout for this one – she’s already working on big projects and I know there will be more to come!
A Note From Christine:
The wake of Hurricane Sandy has left complete devastation in my home state of New Jersey. Though I haven’t lived there in years, it is still near and dear to my heart. It pains me to see the photos of crumbled homes, destroyed boardwalks and decimated neighborhoods.
The Jersey Shore is a very special place to me. My summers as a kid were spent with my grandparents and cousins at the boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant. I would eat orange vanilla swirl ice-cream until my brain froze and I played boardwalk games until my fingers cramped. As a teenager my friends and I would cruise down to Seaside Heights were we would get into all sorts of crazy shenanigans. In my older years I would spend time with my parents in Atlantic City playing penny slots and enjoying strolls along the water. Not to mention those awesome buffets. I could go on and on telling tales of my Jersey Shore adventures, but let me get to my point.
A couple of years ago I started a photography project about the Jersey Shore. I did it to restore the innocence of it to the masses. I wanted people to view it as I did as a kid. Each time I went home I would set out to a different beach: Seaside, Pt. Pleasant, Belmar, Asbury Park and Atlantic City. I thought this project would go on for years. So much so that I bought an entire case of expired polaroid film to dedicate to this project. I had a list of boardwalks I needed to visit and things I forgot to photograph at the boardwalks I already went to. Little did I know that the shore would be taken from me. My memories and my youth washed away by Sandy. The photos that I took have now become my most prized possession.
It is important to me that I help the people and the places that have shaped me into who I am today. That’s why I am putting prints of my polaroid series up for sale. 100% of the profits will go towards two charities to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Every print sale generates $3-4 profit. All other product sales generate $4-5 profit. The most inexpensive print is $5 and $3 of it goes to charity.
The money will be split between Waves for Water and the ASPCA (NJ). Waves for Water has a lot of experience with disaster relief on every level and though they normally focus on clean water, this time they will be assisting with many needs – first response survival supplies, rubble removal, and rebuilding, etc. They’ll be targeting surf-based coastal communities in Jersey and NY. ASPCA is helping families reunite with lost pets and is caring for any abandoned pets in need. Don’t forget, pets are family too.
I am asking two things from you today. The first is to purchase a print. Let’s preserve of the memories of a shore that once was while helping build a new one for future generations to enjoy. Second, please help me spread the word; re-post this status, send some tweets, email your friends. The more prints we sell, the more we have to donate to those in need. With your help I know I can reach my 5K goal.
Thank you for your support and love.