The weather was pleasant. A streak of unseasonably warm temperatures still continuing and you would only know it’s actually the beginning of October by two things happening…
The first: leaves falling.
The second: the zombie walk in Asbury Park.
Leaves have been falling off of trees for as long I can remember. Zombies have been walking around Asbury Park since 2008. Officially. The 70’s don’t count. The Asbury Park Zombie Walk draws thousands, including the nerds from the Guinness Book of World Records, who tally up the visiting undead to see if any records have been broken. Yes. Because there are records like World’s Largest Zombie Walk or more specifically the Largest Gathering of Zombies. And with the growing popularity of zombies and/or walking, you can best be sure that the record holder doesn’t hold the title long. But regardless…
The title is back in New Jersey.
Boom. State pride. Take that Minnesota (the most recent record holder.)
Blood-splattered clothes. Exposed scars. Feet dragging, arms raised. Freaky ass contact lenses. Iron man.
It takes all kinds and some kinds just effin’ like dressing up.
The Zombie Walk started at the beach and made it’s way into town, before hanging a left onto Cookman Avenue and headed back to the beach.
The people you work with might only be talking about Breaking Bad around the water cooler. But not here. Not in Asbury. Viva la Walking Dead y’all!
And speaking of zombies, nothing says zombie walk like a cover band playing Taylor Swift songs.
At least the spirit of good music wasn’t far away.
After the walk were the after parties and nearly every bar on Cookman and down on the Boardwalk was having one. Zombies spilled out onto the streets and waited in long lines for wrist bands. Because it’s a little known fact- zombies like beer. Some zombies get down with PBR, while some zombies like their craft beers. All zombies like shots, though. Zombies like to party. It’s why a vampire walk would never work. Vampires are lazy bastards and only frequent wine bars.
Zombies don’t do wine bars.
Zombies also enjoy pulled pork sandwiches and playoff baseball.
Well, this zombie does.
As the night wore on, bars were split down the middle- zombies, non-zombies. But there were enough of each not to feel weird regardless of how you were dressed. Earlier in the night, if you weren’t all zombie’d up, you stuck out. Looking around the Brick Wall, I was torn. Because yes, people dressed like zombies milling around a bar looked a little strange. But did it look any stranger than those not dressed like zombies chilling in that same bar?
By the time we reached the Asbury Park Boardwalk, things had died down.
Remnants of zombie fun remained, but the thousands who had been there earlier had moved on. These things happen. A few had moved on the bar on the pier by Convention Hall.
Lots of zombie brides. Though not too many zombie grooms. Perhaps the brides died of loneliness.
Zombie clowns. Lots of them.
Things were spreading out in Asbury. A few zombies remained on the Boardwalk, but you never know, they could always look like that. Not just on the nights of zombie walks. It should be pointed out- Asbury Park is kind of a weird place.
The Stone Pony sat just off the Boardwalk, welcoming in zombies and non-zombies with open arms. Not too sure, but it might have been ladies night…
Zombies love a good group text.
“Hey, where you at?”
“Hobbling after a few people.”
“Oh, no way! I’m totes starved.”
“LOL. When are you not starved?”
“I know, right.”
“Where u at?”
“Headed to Bradley Beach. Come find us.”
Great music that night at the Pony. The band playing when we walked was Left Alone and had a Social Distortion thing going on. Great energy and there drummer looked to be having more fun than some of the people there.
The band rocked and the TV’s by the back bar had the Red Sox/Rays’ game on. After Koji Uehara got Will Meyers to ground out, I clapped. Big win for the weird beards! A heavy set, older woman at the bar clapped as well and we instinctively looked at each other. I gave her a thumbs up. She pointed to the Red Sox tattoo on her forearm. I love sports.
Left Alone finished their set. I emailed myself their name. Then I approached their drummer.
You’re a great drummer.
Loved watching you play.
“I loved watching you watch me play.”
Ok, so that was a little weird. But it was fine. It was a more original way of saying thanks. Plus he’s a punk rocker. Punk rockers don’t say thanks, they say thanks via sarcasm. I get it. Voodoo Glow Skulls were next and a mosh pit started. They were heavier than Left Alone; more punk, but still harnessing the same So Cal sound.
A few more beers and it was time to call it a night.
Zombies have to face Sundays like the rest of us- with begrudging defiance.
See you next year, Zombie Walk.