I don't have a clue on why, but Red Bank always relaxes me. Ever since watching Chasing Amy for the first time in 2005, I've always seen Red Bank as a quiet, yet quaint environment. Once coming here more frequent when I started going to Brookdale, Red Bank truly is my go-to unwind destination.
Red Bank is such an artsy area; so much so that you can call it a very hip spot. It truly is a summer season destination, as it has that small city vibe where more upscale, upper middle class families and individuals tend to hang out and enjoy the outdoor atmosphere, while shopping and eating on porch decks in the beautiful weather. There are a plethora of hip clothing stores and trendy bars round out Broad Street, which is the main road within Red Bank that everything leads to and from that particular stretch of road. On that street, in particular, is something that subsequently played a major role in my life: Jack’s Music Shoppe.
In Chasing Amy, the most touching scene in the movie is when Holden and Banky are sitting on the stoop of Jack’s Music Shoppe, discussing life matters, just after Banky witnessed post-coitus between Holden and Alyssa on the cushions of Holden and Banky’s couch. You just witness two friends discussing real heartfelt emotions with one another on the steps about the future, and for me, that was incredibly emotional and one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in movie format. To me, the music store, which was in that scene, stands to be a piece of folklore that I genuinely hold with affection.
Whenever I go to Red Bank, I make it a point to go to Jack’s, mainly to scope out the store and check out any new tunes or LPs from independent acts, due to Jack’s mom-and-pop feel. But every time I go, I make sure I look outside of the building, just to envision that scene in my mind. Am I sick in the mind? Maybe a little, but that’s what that particular scene did to me. Also, I get to look across the street and see Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, the comic book store owned by Kevin Smith.
I secretly think deep down, Kevin Smith is the ultimate rags-to-riches story and probably the main reason why I go to Red Bank. To me, Kevin is the true embodiment of New Jersey. Unlike what mainstream media considers Jersey to be (fake tans, Italian, trashy lifestyles, party animals), Kevin shows what New Jersey truly represents: no-nonsense, edgy, innovative visionaries with an incredible amount of care and passion. Some consider him a slacker, others a stoner; I call him outside the norm.
Going to Red Bank gives me that feeling that I can make it within life and knowing that if a simple man with a passion for entertainment can make it, so can I. So when I go to Red Bank and get a coffee from Starbucks, a CD from Jack’s Music Shoppe, a comic from Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, a slice of organic pizza from Pizza Fusion and view the waterfront at Riverside Gardens Park, I feel free. I feel relaxed. I feel extremely confident.