Updated: Apr 30, 2021
The drive along Ocean Avenue in Deal is stunning. Sleek modern mansions and manicured lawns line the wide boulevard. But that vista is nothing compared to a walk on the Deal beaches.
The enormity of the mansions is breathtaking. Unlike any other northern Jersey Shore community to its north or south, Deal's beachfront is lined with private homes not separated from the ocean by sea walls, promenades or boardwalks. That's almost two miles of mansions broken up only by the low slung Deal Casino Beach Club which is a private beach club and Conover Pavilion, the Borough's public beach facility. The photos tell the story.
Influx of new residents
Deal was once known for its summer theater and Broadway connections. That ended when a beachfront arts and theater complex closed more than 60 years ago. In the past 20 years, Deal has attracted a large Syrian-American community that has spurred the growth and development of the housing market. Many of the community are Orthodox Sephardic Jews, and they can be seen
walking Saturday mornings to one of seven synagogues in the Borough. That's seven synagogues in a town with a permanent population of 750 people, which is estimated to be 80% Syrian Jews.
The town's main shopping along Norwood Avenue/Route 71 is small and removed from the beach. Residents and visitors tend to head to Asbury Park and particularly Long Branch which has grocery stores and restaurants that are kosher.
Rock walls, jetties and surfers
Along the Deal beach walk, man has tried mightily to keep the ocean at bay. Huge rock piles and giant cement walls prop up homes particularly at the southern end toward Allenhurst. The efforts
to tamper breaking waves extends into the water with a series of jetties. The byproduct of the jetties is more dependable waves. Surfers love that. Even on a recent cold spring day, Deal had many more surfers than any nearby beach. During the summer season, lifeguards will point surfers (and fishermen) to designated beach areas away from the swimmers.
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