Dotty the elephant in The Imagination Thief’s location, Asbury Park

 

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A small grey plastic elephant makes an incongruously benign and gentle intrusion into The Imagination Thief, on two occasions. The first, in mini-chapter 71, is an exact description of something that happened to me in Asbury Park. The occasion was mild, unique and wholly self-contained: it merely raised its trunk at me, requesting to be included in the tale without explanation. It would have been churlish to refuse it:

I head inland along the grassy further edge of Sunset Lake, turn right on Main Street, get a coffee from Frank’s Deli and wander into a bric-a-brac store named Zebra. A middle-aged black woman appears at the back and looks at me with kind, perceptive eyes. “See anything you like?”

“Yes,” I say, on a whim, holding up a small, grey, plastic elephant. “How much?”

“You can have that for free.”

“Really? Thank you! What’s your name?”

“Dotty.”

[…] “Thank you, Dotty,” I say, holding the elephant up beside my face. She inclines her head a fraction, then is gone.

I step out, head back towards the ocean and look at the elephant. “Hallo Dotty,” I whisper, give her a kiss and put her in my pocket.

Then in mini-chapter 120:

Chuckling, I feel some unidentified object in my left pocket, reach in and pull out a small grey plastic elephant, the one I named Dotty after the woman in the junk-store, her trunk raised high as if greeting me. Leaving her in my lap, I pull out from my bag the other souvenir I’ve brought back from this trip—Pippa’s envelope […].

I still have Dotty, the sole remaining plastic evidence to accompany the otherwise abstract memory of my presence in that town. She deserves a couple of online glamour-shots. Here she is…

Rohan Quine - The Imagination Thief - Dotty left

Rohan Quine - The Imagination Thief - Dotty right

 

 

 

 

 

And just to finish off Dotty’s story, the following little corners of the world are where she happened to find herself wandering around in my pocket at various times of day and night, as we scoped out possible locations together, jotting them down with precision on an online map print-out, so neither of us would be telling any geographical lies. Some of these places will have gone out of business by now, and there’s been quite a bit of development in the town, I believe, so a good few others will have been built over or just razed to the ground, leaving vacant lots…

(Click the map to enlarge it.)

Rohan Quine - The Imagination Thief - Asbury Park map

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accommodations/residences

1. Bungalows, NW corner of Kingsley Street & 1 Avenue
—seen on arrival; Pippa’s parents’ old home.

2. High-rise residence, Sewall Avenue between Emory Street & Bond Street
—containing Pippa’s apartment.

3. Flamingo Motel, 200 1 Avenue at SW corner of Kingsley Street
—seen on arrival.

4. A run-down residential hotel, NE corner of Sewall Avenue & Heck Street
—where Flames lives and Lucan’s gang sometimes hangs out.

[5. Oceanic Inn, 201 6 Avenue at NW corner of Kingsley Street
—not used.]

6. Berkeley Carteret Hotel, 1401 Ocean Avenue at NW corner of Sunset Avenue
—seen on arrival; where Angel sometimes goes at night.

Clubs and bars

7. Paradise (dance club), 101 Asbury Avenue at NW corner of Ocean Avenue
—seen on arrival; where Shigem and Kim work.

8. Zippers (bar/club), 915 Kingsley Street at SW corner of 2 Avenue
—seen on arrival.

9. Anybody’s (bar), 108 Saint James Place between Cookman Avenue & Lake Avenue
—observed by Jaymi from grass.

10. Club Atlantis (live music venue), 1213 Ocean Avenue at SW corner of 5 Avenue
—seen on arrival.

[11. Georgie’s Tavern, 810 5 Avenue between Main Street & Memorial Drive
—not used.]

[12. Bond Street Bar and Grill, Bond Street & Cookman Avenue
—not used.]

13. Seductions, 911 Kingsley Street between 1 Avenue & 2 Avenue
—seen on arrival; where Angel and Evelyn worked the street outside.

[14. Cameo Bar, 1213 Main Street at 4 Avenue
—not used.]

15. The Saint (live music venue), 601 Main Street at Monroe Avenue
—where Evelyn saw a band.

16. Fast Lane (live music venue), 207 4 Avenue between Kingsley Street & Bergh Street
—passed by Evelyn and Jaymi.

17. Stone Pony (live music venue), 913 Ocean Avenue at SW corner of 2 Avenue
—seen on arrival.

Food places

18. T.J.’s Pizza, 709 Main Street at Sewall Avenue
—which Angel passes in the rain.

19. A Caribbean restaurant, 1004 Main Street between 2 Avenue & 3 Avenue
—eaten at by Lucan’s gang.

[20. Lospetates (Spanish restaurant), 806 Main Street at Asbury Avenue
—not used.]

21. Hop Shing (Chinese take-out), 711 Main Street between Sewall Avenue & Asbury Avenue
—where Jaymi first sees Pippa.

22. Diamond (Chinese take-out), 1013 Main Street between 2 Avenue & 3 Avenue
—visited by Kim and Shigem.

[23. Burger King, NW corner of Main Street & Sunset Avenue
—not used.]

24. Pizza Plus, 900 Main Street at 1 Avenue
—visited by Kim and Shigem.

25. Howard Johnson, 1213 Boardwalk at 5 Avenue
—where Pippa hears a radio playing to no one.

26. Frank’s Deli, 1406 Main Street at Sunset Avenue
—where Evelyn remembers going in her teens.

[27. Michael’s cafe, 228 Main Street between Cookman Avenue & Mattison Avenue
—not used.]

28. Talking Bird Café, Cookman Avenue between Saint James Place & Kingsley Street
—seen on arrival.

Miscellaneous

29. Zebra (bric-a-brac store), Main Street between Sunset Avenue & 6 Avenue
—visited by Jaymi who is given Dotty the elephant.

30. Empress Hotel (shut down), SW corner of 1 Avenue & Ocean Avenue
—seen on arrival.

31. Palace Amusements (featuring painted face of Tillie), SW corner of Cookman Avenue & Kingsley Street
—seen on arrival; where Angel reflects on moving to NYC.

32. Convention Hall, Ocean Avenue between 5 Avenue & Sunset Avenue
—by which Shigem plays on the sand as a child.

33. Carousel (shut down), SE corner of Lake Avenue & Ocean Avenue
—whose Medusa faces watch Kim.

34. Casino (ruined), SE corner of Lake Avenue & Ocean Avenue
—where Pippa could gamble if she wanted to.

35. The twelve-story “Carcass Building”, between 3 Avenue & 4 Avenue and between Ocean Avenue & Kingsley Street
—seen on arrival; seen by Pippa; mentioned by Kim; setting for the climax.

36. Grass, four triangles by Cookman Avenue
—lain on by Jaymi.

37. Geese, Atlantic Square Park, Kingsley Street between 5 Avenue & Sunset Avenue
—seen on arrival.

38. Metropolitan Hotel (shut down), NE corner of Heck Street & Asbury Avenue
—throughout novel, stayed in by Jaymi and Alaia, and location for secret recording studio.

39. Albion Hotel (shut down), 2 Avenue between Ocean Avenue & Kingsley Street
—seen on arrival.

40. Bridge across Wesley Lake, from S end of Heck Street
—seen by Kim on his walk.

41. Low pine trees, Lake Avenue between Summerfield Avenue & Monroe Avenue
—passed by Kim.

42. A xxx cinema, Cookman Avenue between Saint James Place & Kingsley Street
—seen on arrival.

43. Ruined miniature-golf course, NE corner of Ocean Avenue & 2 Avenue
—seen on arrival; picnicked on by Pippa and Jaymi.

44. Broken-down shuttered L-shaped building, SE corner of Kingsley Street & 3 Avenue
—seen on arrival.

45. Shuttered L-shaped building, SW corner of Kingsley Street & 4 Avenue
—kissed next to by Shigem and Kim.

46. Madame Marie’s psychic cabin, SE corner of Ocean Avenue & 4 Avenue
—seen on arrival (and closed due to unforeseen circumstances).

47. Bowling alley, 4 Avenue between Kingsley Street & Bergh Street
—commented on by Evelyn and Jaymi.

48. Baronet Theatre (dark), 4 Avenue between Kingsley Street & Bergh Street
—passed by Evelyn and Jaymi.

49. A broken-down hotel, NE corner of 3 Avenue & Bergh Street
—where Evelyn and Jaymi see Flames.

 

Palace Amusements (now demolished), one of the Asbury Park locations in The Imagination Thief, listed above as location 31.

 

The structure called the “Carcass Building” in The Imagination Thief, one of the novel’s Asbury Park locations, alias C-8 (now demolished), listed above as location 35.

 

Dotty sees Frank’s Deli again for the first time in years.

 

Video: “The Imagination Thief’s location, Asbury Park”

Click here to read a transcription of this video.

(This video is also on Vimeo at http://vimeo.com/rohanquine/the-imagination-thief-the-imagination-thiefs-location.)

 

Rohan Quine - The Imagination Thief - ebook cover

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