Fifteen years ago, Bruce Springsteen wrote a dirge about Asbury Park, his adopted musical hometown, called “My City of Ruins,” in which he lamented the fate of this forlorn seaside resort:
Young men on the corner
Like scattered leaves
The boarded up windows
The empty streets.
This summer, Mr. Springsteen took note of the city’s changing fortunes during a performance at Asbury’s Wonder Bar.
As he introduced another song, “Atlantic City,” he said, “But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.” He paused for a moment, before continuing, “Maybe Asbury Park is back?” — to cheers from the crowd.
It is a question that has puzzled beachgoers for decades, as most other towns on the Jersey Shore thrived.
Today, there are still plenty of pockets of abandonment and neglect, but after decades of false starts, Asbury is finally showing signs of a rejuvenation.