Red Bank

Red Bank

Red Bank, borough (1990 pop. 10,636), Monmouth co., E N.J., on the Navesink estuary, in a fertile farm area; inc. 1908. Settled in the late 17th cent, it was an early shipping center and has become a summer and winter resort and residential suburb with some light industry and several arts-related venues. Landmarks include Old Christ Church (1769) and the Allen House (1667). Count Basie was born there.
The Borough of Red Bank is a Borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey incorporated in 1908. As of the United States 2000 Census, the borough had a population of 11,844.

Red Bank was originally formed as a Town on March 17, 1870, from portions of Shrewsbury Township. On February 14, 1879, Red Bank became Shrewsbury City, a portion of Shrewsbury Township, but this only lasted until May 15, 1879, when Red Bank regained its independence. On March 10, 1908, Red Bank was formed as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature and was set off from Shrewsbury Township.

Alongside Asbury Park and Long Branch the town is considered to be one of the three "artistic" communities of the Jersey Shore.

Geography

Red Bank is located at (40.347492, -74.067081).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.6 km²), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.6 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (17.13%) is water.

Red Bank is located on the southern bank of the Navesink River, in northern Monmouth County, New Jersey. It is about 24 miles due south of the tip of Manhattan and about 25 nautical miles (29 miles) to the tip of Manhattan if traveling by water along the Navesink River and through the Raritan Bay. Red Bank is bordered by Middletown Township and the Boroughs of Tinton Falls, Fair Haven, Shrewsbury, and Little Silver.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 11,844 people, 5,201 households, and 2,501 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,639.1 people per square mile (2,569.1/km²). There were 5,450 housing units at an average density of 3,055.0/sq mi (1,182.2/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 68.19% White, 20.05% African American, 0.35% Native American, 2.19% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 6.73% from other races, and 2.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 17.11% of the population.

There were 5,201 households out of which 18.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 42.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the borough the population was spread out with 17.5% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 35.2% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 18.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $47,282, and the median income for a family was $63,333. Males had a median income of $45,922 versus $34,231 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $26,265. About 6.3% of families and 12.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Local government

Red Bankis governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.

As of 2008, the mayor and council members are:

  • Mayor Pasquale Menna, Esq. (term ends December 31, 2010)
  • Council President Sharon Lee (2010)
  • Kathleen Horgan (2010)
  • Mary Grace Cangemi (serving unexpired term to 2008)
  • John Curley (2008)
  • Michael DuPont (2009)
  • Arthur Murphy III (2009)

Federal, state and county representation

The Borough of Red Bank is in the Sixth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 12th Legislative District.

Education

The Red Bank Borough Public Schools serve students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Red Bank Primary School (with 450 students in Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade) and Red Bank Middle School (with 310 students in fourth through eighth grades).

For grades nine through twelve, public school students attend Red Bank Regional High School, which also serves students from the boroughs of Little Silver, Red Bank, Shrewsbury, Union Beach and Interlaken.

Red Bank Charter School is a public school that accepts students and receives its funding from property taxes of the town, like a typical public school. It does not charge tuition and operates independently of the public school system, with a separate school board. Students are selected to enroll in the charter school based on an annual lottery, which is open to all Red Bank residents of school age.

Other schools in Red Bank include Red Bank Catholic High School, and St. James Elementary School which are Catholic schools affiliated with Saint James parish. Some students from Red Bank attend private and county sponsored schools in the area.

Transportation

New Jersey Transit train service on the North Jersey Coast Line connects the Red Bank train station to Penn Station in New York City and to other locations in New Jersey.

Red Bank is two miles (3 km) east of Interchange 109 of the Garden State Parkway.

Major streets

  • Monmouth Street is a noted commercial and residential street in Red Bank. It is the home to numerous trendy stores, the Count Basie Theatre, and in the 1980s, it was home to Big Man's West, Clarence Clemons' nightclub.
  • Broad Street is one of the central streets in the bohemian community. The street can be seen in the film Chasing Amy. Broad Street has also become famous for its lavish Christmas decorations, which appear on the street during the Holiday Season. They are lit on Black Friday, during which the street is closed to traffic for a free concert by Holiday Express, after which the lights are all lit. The event is always well-attended, with 2006's performance featuring the largest turnout, with people lining the streets all the way from in front of Red Bank Catholic High School to the beginning of Monmouth Street. Up to 7,000 people attend the shows annually.

History

Originally part of "Shrewsbury Towne", Red Bank was named in 1736, "when Thomas Morford sold Joseph French 'a lot of over three acres (12,000 m²) on the west side of the highway that goes to the red bank.' Borough of Red Bank, History, supra. Red Bank was settled in the 17th century, but was not populous until approximately 1809. By 1844, Red Bank had become a commercial center, focused on textiles, fur, tanning, and manufacturing goods for sale in Manhattan. With the dredging of the Navesink River, about 1845, Red Bank became a port from which steamboats transported commuters to Manhattan. Red Bank grew in size as a result of this and the laying of rails in the town by the Raritan and Delaware Bay Railroad, about 1860.

During the 20th century, Red Bank was a strong cultural, economic, and political center in Monmouth County, New Jersey, until it was hindered by the economic recession that began in 1987. During this time, Red Bank's economy, based largely on retail commerce, was in decline, due to a real estate scandal, leading local pundits and urban planners to refer to the town as "Dead Bank." Beginning in approximately 1991, under the New Jersey Development and Redevelopment Law, the town authorized the creation of an organization to manage redevelopment in what was designated a Special Improvement District. This organization is known as the Red Bank RiverCenter RiverCenter retains authority over the management and redevelopment of an agreed-upon "downtown business district."

The downtown district includes Broad Street from the post office to Marine Park and from Maple Avenue to one block east of Broad Street. The district that was originally proposed was much larger. It originally included the commercial areas west of Maple Avenue, including the antique buildings, The Galleria, and Shrewsbury Avenue. However, some property owners in this area were opposed to the idea because they did not want to pay the assessment. Plans for the larger district advanced but opposition became more rigorous. Therefore the proposed district was amended to exclude those who were opposed, and the district that was adopted stops at Maple Avenue.

Tourism

Red Bank is a noted social and commercial destination, filled with boutiques, designer clothing and home stores, parks, and restaurants. Many events such as the Kaboom fireworks on July, 3rd occur throughout the summer.

Theatres

The Count Basie Theatre hosts nationally-known performers, including David Sedaris, James Brown, Bill Cosby, Bob Newhart, Foreigner, Andy Williams, Brian Setzer, B.B. King, and others. The Count Basie Theatre is also home to Phoenix Productions, a non-profit community theatre who puts on large scale musicals four times a year. The Two River Theater Company opened a large performance space on April 30, 2005, called the Two River Theater. Bruce Springsteen filmed his VH-1 Storytellers special at the Two River Theatre. The Marion Huber Theater, also operated by the Two River Theater Company, is also in Red Bank. There have been several annual festivals held in Red Bank. See, e.g., Red Bank International Film Festival

Events

There is an annual fireworks display (called " KaBoom! Fireworks on the Navesink") held on July 3 that is popular with those residing in the Metropolitan New York Area. Each summer, Red Bank hosts the Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival in partnership with the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Society. "First Night", a New Year's Eve arts and entertainment festival, is a Red Bank event designed to provide an alternative to alcohol-related events.

Boating, sculling, sailing, and fishing are popular outdoor activities in Red Bank; in the winter, ice boats sail on the frozen Navesink. The Monmouth Boat Club, Marine Park, and the slips of the Molly Pitcher Inn provide access to the Navesink and, from there, the Atlantic Ocean.

Popular culture

Filmmaker Kevin Smith lived in Red Bank while working as an up-and-coming director. His films Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back partly took place in the town, primarily on Broad Street.

Smith's production company, View Askew Productions, occupies a building on Broad Street in Red Bank. In addition, Smith opened a comic shop/novelty store, "Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash," located at 35 Broad Street, directly across the street from Jack's Music Shoppe, which was a location in Chasing Amy. A scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, was filmed in the store, but for the film, the sign was temporarily removed and replaced with a sign that read "Brodie's Secret Stash", due to the fact that the character Brodie owned the store in the movie. That sign now hangs inside the store on display, along with other View Askew paraphernalia, including the "Buddy Christ". Regular actors from his film series work and/or make appearances in the store, as many of his fans travel from all across the country to frequent it and buy film-related merchandise.

Smith and View Askew host the annual Vulgarthon film marathon in various theaters around Red Bank.

Most of Smith's View Askewniverse movies also make reference to nearby Leonardo as well as Asbury Park, another community which is famous for being artistic in nature.

Smith's 1999 film Dogma had scenes set in Red Bank that were filmed in other locations.

Kevin Smith has been known to appear, alongside other actors, inside his comic store. On announced dates, crowds of fans have been known to line the streets of Red Bank for blocks, hoping to meet Smith.

Long Branch, another nearby town, is also known for its artistic vibe, and the three cities are collectively referred to as the "New Jersey Tricity." There is a local publication aiming at the artistic scene called Tricity News, as well as several other local music publications including the popular Upstage magazine, which is published out of Asbury Park.

The popular Adult Swim cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force shown on the Cartoon Network makes reference to an address at "612 Wharf Avenue" in the episode "MC P. Pants". The address is an actual one, located in Red Bank. This stands to reason since the show is set in an unnamed locale on the New Jersey shore.

An early skit on the classic PBS children's series The Electric Company featured a game show whose winner would be "whisked to beautiful Red Bank, New Jersey" as a prize (illustrated with a still photograph).

The George Sheehan Classic began in 1981 as the Asbury Park 10K Classic and quickly became one of the major road running events on the national calendar. The race moved to Red Bank in 1994 and was renamed to honor the memory of Dr. George A. Sheehan, the prominent author, philosopher and area physician. “The Doc” has been called the “father of the running boom” in the United States. The Classic was named one of the Top 100 Road Races by Runner's World magazine, and the Best Memorial Race in New Jersey by The New York Times. Nearly 2,500 athletes participated in the 2006 Sheehan Classic.

Red Bank is home to Riverview Hospital, incorporated in 1928, began in a renovated boarding house on Union Street, with 29 beds, one operating room, a delivery suite, and facilities for six newborns. Today, Riverview is a 446-bed acute care hospital serving the northern region of Monmouth County.

Several tunes composed and/or made famous by Red Bank resident Count Basie name-check the town in their title, including Red Bank Boogie and The Kid from Red Bank.

In the essay Memoirs of a Drudge (The New Yorker, October 3rd, 1942), Humorist James Thurber recalls being sent to Red Bank by his newspaper's city editor on a tip that "Violets (are) growing in the snow over in Red Bank". Putting in a telephone call to that town's Chief of Police in advance, Thurber is told by a desk sergeant, "Ain't no violence over here", and nothing more.

Business

Red Bank is increasingly becoming a very high end shopping mecca, to the dismay of many local residents. Broad Street is lined with luxury boutiques and department stores including the infamous "Garmany" of Red Bank Department Store. Designers are coming to Red Bank, including Tiffany & Co., who opened a boutique on Broad Street next to Garmany in November 2007.

Nightlife

Whereas the town is not as well known for its nightlife as Asbury Park or Long Branch, Red Bank does house a variety of popular nightspots.

Community

Riverview Medical Center is a 476-bed acute care community hospital serving Red Bank since 1928.

During the 1990s, news media figure Geraldo Rivera was involved in developing a newspaper for the Red Bank area, The Two River Times. This newspaper and various others serve the Red Bank area.

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Red bank include:

This is alluded to in the Neal Hefti tune, "The Kid from Red Bank".

References

External links

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