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Where is Midtown? The mid-town area of Neptune includes the area bounded by Asbury Avenue to the North, Neptune Boulevard to the west, Corlies Avenue (Route 33) to the South, and Memorial Drive and the border with Asbury Park, to the East.

History Of Midtown The early part of the 1960’s in Midtown, like most cities, was “simple” where families were a unit living in a semi-segregated predominately blue collar community (starter houses and apartments). Fathers worked one and 1/2 jobs, mothers took care of the children with one car, possibly. Walking was normal and safe. Stores were accessible and predominantly on the main strip, the former Springwood Avenue, renamed West Lake Avenue or, “The Ave.,” for short.

The establishments on “The Ave.” consisted of restaurants, night clubs, churches, clothing, hardware, liquor, stores, pharmacies, produce trucks, fish markets, pool halls, barber shops, and shoe shine parlors. The famous “Elk’s Parade” always took place here. The renowned and now historic “Carver Hotel” was the only stopover for many famous African-American celebrities such as Lena Horne, Cab Calloway, Joe Louis and others.

With the onset of the Civil Right’s Movement lead by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and laws being passed for the first time, changes in this Country’s structure was felt by all. On April 4, 1968, Dr. King was assassinated. The after affects were tremendous and spread quickly coast to coast. Large and small urban towns went up in flames - homes and businesses burned to the ground carrying the dreams, hopes, and community pride down also.

Parts of Midtown Neptune and neighboring Asbury Park were not fortunate to escape this heart- breaking part of history. For the next 2 decades, the once thriving Midtown sat virtually deserted and demolished. People were scared and fled the community. Businesses burned-out never returned to begin again. As residents watched, years and years passed and a sense of apathy in this community seemed to set in.

Thirty years later the cycle of rebuilding and the excitement of the residents has now been resurrected. In 1997 a group of Midtown residents along with The Township Committee formed the Midtown Neighborhood Empowerment Council to join in partnership with The State of New Jersey to begin the process of Revitalization in Midtown Neptune. We’re Excited!

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