I had to make a choice of location for the final battle scenes in THE CLAIMED. As I thought about it, it occurred to me I needed a place that spoke to the past that the Light and Shadow Hunters had to embrace, but also had to speak to the future that was possible for them. I also needed a place that was in the public eye, but could be made “private” with the use of Hunter power. Add to that the fact that it had to be somewhere that would be a logical place for one of the characters – Samantha aka Sammie – to be as she would be pivotal in that scene.
As all those needs came together, I realized there was only one place where that very important scene could be located – the Casino in Asbury Park.
There is no doubt in mind that the Casino is a link to the past glory that was Asbury Park, much like the past of the Hunters. But the Casino also stands poised at the edge of the future for Asbury Park. A future that can be seen in the wonderfully renovated Paramount Theater, the Convention Center (where the early roller derby scenes in and THE CLAIMED take place), and the boardwalk that is once again brimming with life!
The Casino is a very public place for sure. It’s the gateway between Ocean Grove and Asbury Park and people pass through the shell on a daily basis. Surely Sammie would on her way to her shop on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Here’s a picture of what it looked like in its heydey!
Here’s another photo of the Casino from afar. The Casino was built in 1929 and designed by the same architects that designed Grand Central Terminal.
In this shot you can see more of the buildings. In the past, those to the left as well as the middle section hosted a series of amusement park games and a carousel. At one time there was another piece to the building that jutted out to the right on stilts onto the beach. This section had a skating rink inside. Sadly that part of the building suffered major damage and was torn down in 2006, but the rest of the Casino remains, now used for a variety of things like flea markets and a theater company.
The Casino was therefore the perfect place for my Hunters to have a final battle and also be the kickoff to the next book in the series, THE SHATTERED, but I won’t spill about that right now.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into Asbury Park and the Casino. It’s one of my favorite sites along the boardwalk. As I mentioned before, there used to be a carousel in one section of the building and here’s a video clip shot on October 28, 1990, the last day the carousel was open for business. Thanks to cflynn1979 for this clip.
If you can’t see the clip of the carousel below, you can click here!
You can also read more about the Casino by clicking here.