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Friday, August 05, 2005

JC THE MYSTERIOUS METROPOLIS

Earlier this week, the sleep-deprived Sluggo wrote about the NY Sun's article The Mysterious Metropolis Across the Hudson on the JC skyline. I don't subscribe to the Sun, so I didn't read the entire piece, but I presume the Architecture columnist, James Gardner, wrote of either Newport and/or Exchange Place [aka Wall Street West] financial area in downtown when he wrote:
One thing that is missing from this equation, however,
is humans. On a recent visit around lunch hour, I saw
none of the frantic hordes of hungry office workers
clamoring for a hot dog or a slice of pizza. There were
some people about, but not many, and they did not seem
in any particular hurry.
which prompted Sluggo to write:
The contrast between the vibrant, diverse, raucus, but mostly harmonious life on the streets of Chill Town and the sterility of the commercially and residentially successful developments along Washington Boulevard is pretty dramatic. But then, this area may be on this side of the river, but it's really a part of the World Financial Center, isn't it?

The question is, will the two Jersey Cities ever integrate? Will the real Jersey City ever acquire a more than marginal retail presence and will the Golden Mile or Platinum Kilometer or whatever they call it ever start to hum on the street level?
What's more interesting perhaps is Sluggo's comment:
... JC has existed for a long time and for much of that time the city thrived right down to the water line. Today the life of the city goes to Washington Blvd. and then stops dead. I'm not trying to make an argument against the development; once the abatements expire they will contribute greatly to the wealth of the city. Just wondering if the Hudson River will ever be a feature of the city as a whole again.
I don't know if I would agree that the thriving city stops at Washington Blvd., though I would agree that an invisible line exists somewhere in that vicinity, as do other invisible lines throughout the city. Will the different Jersey Cities ever integrate? As development continues and rents and property values soar, more and more people will be pushed uptown and west of the Hudson.

2 Comments:

  • Thanks for the link, Dojo.

    You're right. I didn't mean to give the impression that I thought everything east of Washington is totally vibeless, only that it is alien to the rest of the city. I lived for 10 years downtown, but I'm the Heights now and I've only been to restaurants and peoples homes in the river section maybe half a dozen times. And it's all quite new and you should give a neighborhood at least as much time as it takes the trees to get big. Whatever it turns into, it will be different, always, from the rest of the city. I'm just hoping it develops in away so that each Jersey City will be able to participate in a day to day way in the life of the other.

    By Blogger Sluggo, at Fri Aug 05, 12:36:00 PM EDT  

  • I'd agree. I would also say that the many neighborhoods of JC would rather stay separate. I worked for LeFrak a while back (who developed much of Newport) and they seemed to feel that they were a quieter NYC, rather than part of downtown or the heights. And frankly, I moved from JSQ to Grove because of its neighborhood feel. So maybe it's for the best. Frankly, I'm still glad we haven't ended up as post-frat-and-sorority as Hoboken.

    By Blogger mike., at Fri Aug 05, 01:30:00 PM EDT  

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