Special Jersey City Edition
By Jon Whiten
Last week, I was in Washington, D.C., out to dinner with a friend and his co-worker. We were chit-chatting, talking weather, etc. You may recall there was a snowstorm. Indeed. Well, as they are wont to do, the DC-ites were complaining about not-all-that-Arctic temps and just generally being mezmerized by winter weather. At some point, I said something to the effect of: "You guys don't have it that bad. It's much worse in Jersey." To which the co-worker of said friend replied: "I think everything's much worse in Jersey, isn't it?"
Being New Jerseyans, we quite simply put up with a lot of shit -- snide comments, stupid jokes, etc. Now, these are notorious, and they are pervasive throughout the American culture. But nothing ever seems to be worse than the down-the-nose glances and "I'm-so-fucking-cultured-I-live-in-New-York" tones we get from those across the Hudson.
These little jabs filter into the press pretty often, and we've chosen to highlight them here at City Belt, rather than just swearing and muttering under our collective breath. Thus, a sub-column, a semi-regular feature, is born. Enjoy. (A tip of the hat to some folks at jclist.com for bringing these to my attention.)
We start this week with the New York Observer, who take the crown for lamest -- and laziest -- joke of the week, from their story, published Monday, about EMI (the record label) moving some of its office space to the Jersey City waterfront. (link not available anymore)
"To EMI, the move means much-needed cheaper rents. To New York City,
this means there's another scary smell coming from Jersey."
Bah-dum-bum! But seriously folks, I'll be here all week!
Of course, this is made all the more ironic by the fact that the Observer's own richer-than-Jesus boss, Jared Kushner, is thinking about sinking millions into a free weekly in the Garden State. Not that I could see much of a chance of Kushner's product succeeding in Jersey anyway, but if there was a shot, Kush-man, word to the wise -- cut the "scary smell" jokes. Gilded Upper East Side lifers like yourself might think all New Jerseyans just want to be New Yorkers, but we've got some fucking pride over here, FYI.
Moving on ...
To the New York Post, and their Feb. 22 article, "Jersey Pearl: Minutes from Manhattan, Emerging Jersey City is on the Right PATH."
Cliche use of public transit aside, this is harmlessly written -- a soon-to-be classic in the ever-evolving genre of Jersey City Real Estate Porn. If the assorted major players in JC development had some sort of consortium or association (and no, I'm not talking about City Hall), this is what their press releases would read like.
No, the real gem in this piece comes from a Jerseyan himself. Josh Levitt of Hoboken, who recently bought into Grove Pointe (the extra E is for savings!), and thinks he's made a great investment (just wait a few years, buddy), because, you know, the area is still "up-and-coming."
He summarizes the area thusly: "These areas aren't perfect yet. You still have the 99-cent store around the corner, you still have the tattoo parlor. But when you see the amount of investment going on here, the value and opportunity is there."
I'll just leave it at that.