CONTENTS | LR

A Special Report
If You Should Wake Up
and Find Yourself in Jersey City

A Lament, a Paean, a Couch by the River

For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction: that's Newton. Every moment of exasperation is counterbalanced by a measure of second-thoughts: that's Jersey City. Subtract the moment from the measure and the margin is liveable.

It's not New York, or Hoboken.
It's not New York, or Hoboken.

It's ugly and barren.
It's desolately beautiful some nights, like a frontier town under the stars.

The politics make me ill.
The politics keep me from falling asleep.

There's litter in the parks, indeed almost everywhere, and graffiti which has achieved landmark status.
There's Lincoln Park pedestrian traffic around Edgewood Pond at six in the morning.

Twitchy drivers on all roads into and out of town.
The opportunity to fly down Kennedy Boulevard in the Heights late at night as if in a plane, or in a dream.

Corduroy roads.
Interesting detours.

Thoughtless public remarks constantly posted, for all to read.
Thoughtless remarks that are printed, thence judged.

A train to New York City.
A train to New York City.

The ferry to New York is expensive.
There's a ferry to New York.

Most of Liberty State Park is off limits to the public.
There's always the walkway.

Why are you here? Were you born here? Did you take the train to Newark one day, get off at the wrong stop, and later suddenly realize you've been in Jersey City for years?

Some people leap for Manhattan and slide off into the boroughs. Some fall in Jersey City, but would stiffen at the suggestion. Some just come for the view. Some love it here. Some members of the present administration might even live here. Finally, there's always simple inertia.

There's very little you can find in Jersey City that you can't find elsewhere in either smaller, more palatable doses or larger, grander construction. It has its quirks, like any city. If you look, you'll find them, and if you don't, someday you'll move, never having really lived here.

Jersey City is not a joke. It's a thousand jokes, and if you live here you've paid for every one. It's also a thousand almost invisible points of pleasantness (and repose) scattered in a many directions, and God bless, them, as you find them, everyone.