June 26, 2009

The tents are back in town.


Anyone who's familiar with (the many oddities of) Ocean Grove, NJ, knows there is a thriving community of tent dwellers. One hundred and fourteen tents, to be exact. I wrote about them last August (click
here for that post).

At the start of the spring they begin popping up around town. A tent is considered ready when its residents put their front doors on. These two were the first ones I saw that were "done" this year, doors firmly on hinges. The one with the blue doors was the official "first tent up" in 2008:



But when I got in a little closer to read the note taped on the front door, looks like they were beat to the punch this year:


Oh, snap! Tent smack talkin'.

Towards the end of May, most of the tents were up but the residents (and doors) not yet in place. I wandered into a few of them and spotted some "grandma graffiti" in this one...



By flag day, this whole row was dressed and ready to go:


It's pretty much been raining ever since, so the seasonal residents don't seem to be in too much a rush to move into their canvas summer homes this year.

The tents are always a topic of conversation, and tend to mystify first-time visitors. When the cable guy came last week, he asked what they were. The conversation went something like this:

Cable Guy: Um, what are those?

M: Tents.

CB: What are they for?

M: People live in them in the summer.

CB: ::: Blink. Blink. Blink, blink, blink. :::

People also inevitably ask me if I've been in one of the tents. Is the sky blue? (Actually, it's not. EVER. So maybe that's a bad analogy right now on the East Coast.) They're quite fabulous inside. Here's one I went in last year:


And you can take a look inside, too.
The Ocean Grove Historical Society's annual house tour is on Friday, July 17. You'll tour two tents as part of the deal. And you may even leave wishing you were a tent person (don't get your hopes up -- the leases extend year over year with little turnover. Word has it the waiting list is 10 to 12 years.).

I guess you could say that I'm hooked on tents. Head over to Hooked on Houses to see what everyone else is hooked on.

22 comments:

Cristin said...

I am from the West coast and have never heard of this before. Thanks for educating me on this fun tradition.

xo,
c

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Love those tents, and I got such a kick out of that tent smack talkin'. Ha. Can't believe it's been a year since you first introduced them to us. That year went fast, didn't it?

Hope you have a fabulous weekend, Laura! :-)

desiree said...

I Love these! Would to spend a summer living in one. It's like the perfect place for the lazy days of summer.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This just fascinates me. What about the bathrooms for the tents, Laura? Do they have a communal bath for them? Also, air conditioning. I know it gets hot in the north during the summer, but do these have air conditioning of some kind??? Gotta know.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Allidink said...

I don't understand why anyone would ever want to pay to live in a tent...Like Cristin, I am from the West coast and have never seen anything like that! I am so confused LOL. Anyone could just bust in! It would scare me LOL. These are so crazy! I like the way that one is decorated though, very beachy chic and cute. I bet everyone does them that way to one up each other, as evidence of the tent smack LOL! That's so funny!

All the best,
Allison

Terry said...

We avoid camping at all times. And beach camping in the deep south summer is beyond my comprehension. But this is way better than camping. I love that it's a tradition with a long waiting list.

This is what I read blogs for, thanks so much.

Maya said...

They are truly so unique..., and seeing them now again they remind me of the beach huts that I just recently wrote about.., both just represent casual shore side living..., and BTW I've launched a little second blog adventure (which this links to), perhaps you'd like to join/follow me there?! So long...

Keetha Broyles said...

OK now, that is just awesome!!!! I had never heard of it before either. Where does one go to GET one?

Liz@Violet Posy said...

They are so cool, and a little bit like beach huts we have here in the summer - only cooler! I've never heard of them before, I'm off to read your post from last year.

Thanks for showing us them :) xx

Purple Flowers said...

A very interesting and creative concept!

Sue said...

We too are fascianted with these tents....they look like tents from the outside but not from the inside...the picture you have looks like beadboard is up on the walls...and I remember you saying they have bathrooms and all....Where do they go the rest of the year and what exacly is the scoop on these things....the Boss is curious....

Recycled Rita said...

This is really cool!! We had tent living here in California in the early 1900's but it stopped in the late 20's I always wished I could've experienced it, now I know I can...in 12 years or so.l...

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Great post! Week after next, we have vacation again, and then I will be free to show you around the gardens and all the other good stuff.
♥, Susan

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It must be summer if the tents are being put together there in Ocean Grove, Laura! It's funny how it's a competition who is first....wow!

I loved the "Grandma Graffiti" ..LOL

Thank goodness some sun shined today ..I'm so behind on Vitamin D

Renovation Therapy said...

I would love to own one of those tents to set up my own little summer commune. Hmmm. Anyone know a similar manufacturer?

Laura @ Shoot-Scoop said...

These tents absolutely rock. I wonder...does one rent the tent or purchase the tent?

Weef! said...

Do tell me you've gotten yourself on the waitlist! You totally should, just because it is so darn cool!! Will you be going on the tent tour on the 17th? If so, you should totally post more pictures!! What a fun tradition!

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

Wow! These are great!!!

stacilynfeldman said...

my favorite! i do miss those lil' tents.

Linda Lou said...

Cool idea, but every year they have to redecorate the tents....I think I would rather stay in a cottage, but we do weird things here in San Diego too. i guess its just the jersey shore tradition!!

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

I love these tents! I mean I really love these tents. I came on here to let you know I "borrowed" some of your pics and put several links to your blog in today's post. Funny, because I see Maya has already been here and I "borrowed" from her also.

I like to give back when I borrow, so if you get the chance to drop in be sure to read my post from yesterday also, I think you'll see something you'll want to borrow from me! Hint: A poster from 1898.

Laurie said...

Wow, I'd never heard of the tent city! It is super fun to learn about it, and see your great photos!