Aug 13, 2019

My Visit to Riverside Gardens Park

By Julia Mortimer

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“My Visit to” is a new column that will take you on a local journey with a local resident. Experience their day without ever having to leave your couch… though you might want to get up and get out after reading!

The epitome of a summer day in Red Bank. It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon when my sister and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous weather, so Boondocks was the obvious dinner choice.

Sitting on the deck area and looking out on the water, we chowed down on tasty crab cakes and sipped Corona. We finished up at Boondocks and wanted to grab a little dessert, so we walked to Cupcake Magician to get our favorite flavors (cookies and cream, and chocolate raspberry truffle). Ten out of 10! Finally, we began our trek over to Riverside Park for Jazz in the Park with cupcakes and a blanket in hand.

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We arrived at the park around 6:45 pm, and a lot of people had already set up camp to enjoy the music to come. We set out our blanket and got comfortable when Winard Harper, Jeli Posse and the remainder of the sextet introduce themselves and begin to serenade the audience. I looked around at all of the different people that came together on a Thursday night to take a few hours to just listen and flood their minds with the wonderful melodies of the music.

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Older couples held hands and bobbed their heads to the beat as families with young girls carelessly swayed and danced. A group of 20-something-year-old girls laughed and drank wine. An array of folks soaked in the view of the Navesink while releasing stresses and absorbing the sweet sound of jazz.

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As dusk began to fall, a light breeze from off the water enveloped the park. The crowd grew relaxed – what a perfect way to end a long day at work. The coworker who aggravated you that day and the relenting problems in your life take a back seat when the sky is painted in light pinks and oranges while the saxophone and drums speak to one another. Nights like these are so important, nights when I remember how great of an area I live in. To have the ability to leave work, enjoy the scenic park and the events that Red Bank puts on makes me feel grateful to live here in Monmouth County.

Jazz in the Park is every Thursday; the last one is Aug. 22, so go while you still can! On Tuesday nights, Movies in the Park are shown for you movie junkies out there, and Wednesday nights is Fitness in the Park, just what you’ll need after gorging on ice cream and watching a movie from the night before. End your summer on a high note by attending the Riverside Park events before the grass covered in snow!

Have a “My Visit to” column idea? Send us your suggestions, experiences and photos at for a chance to have your trip featured in The Journal!

Read about Julia’s visit to Hartshorne Woods Park.
Read about Julia’s visit to Bayshore Waterfront Park.