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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:14 AM
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JERSEY CITY | Journal Square & beyond

Finally, we get some damn snow! Let's go out and explore.



Where should we go, Lady Liberty? Journal Square, you say? Sounds good.



Newark native Larry Young (featuring fellow Newarker Woody Shaw on trumpet) will be our guide.
Video Link


Located up the hill from "Downtown" Jersey City, Journal Square is JC's older, "original" downtown, and a major shopping and transportation hub. The surrounding residential are comprised of gritty, point-of-entry immigrant communities. As the home of Ellis Island, Jersey City has fittingly been an affordable home for generations of immigrants looking to make it in the vast New Jersey/New York market.

Journal Square is a glorious urban mess. Gritty, busy, at times ghastly and at times gorgeous. It has been a poor area for a long time, but it's phenomenally diverse, and urban as hell.





Like Times Square, Journal Square takes it's name from the headquarters of the local paper. The Jersey Journal was first published in 1867.









Looking down the curiously named Sip Avenue towards the mighty Pulaski Skyway, a many-miles-long land bridge connecting Jersey City with neighboring Newark.






Homes on Tonnele Ave




Pavonia Ave


A dense block of Van Wagenen Ave in the Marion neighborhood.






















This stretch of Newark Ave is known as India Square. Jersey City is over 11% Indian-American. They are a large presence in more working class districts such as this, and also the expensive, white collar waterfront areas such as Newport.












St. Paul's Ave




Jersey City's generating plant






The skylines of Downtown Jersey City and Lower Manhattan blending together.




The Five Points, where Newark, Summit, and Hoboken Aves come together. This is near a heavily Filipino area.




A little touch of South London in New Jersey


The Labor Bank Building was Jersey City's first skyscraper, built in 1928. Today it is the city's 23rd tallest building.



Journal Square was home to the legendary Tube Bar. Owner Louis "Red" Deutch gained fame due to his furious, profane reactions to frequent prank calls. The recordings of these calls were an inspiration for Bart Simpson's similar tormenting of Moe Szyslak (who is based on Deutch).

I'm looking for a Mr. Jass, first name Hugh.

A quiet residential block of Van Reipen Ave.






Mistakes were made.






The downtown Jersey City skyline, with bits of Manhattan here and there


PATH trains


Sip Ave






Summit Ave




Academy St.


A quaint relic of decades past. If you want to walk around with a ghetto blaster on your shoulder, look elsewhere.




Bergen Square


Bergen Ave at the awesomely named Vroom Street






Gettin' out of church




McGinley Square, which is south of Journal Square.




South of McGinley Square, things start getting rougher.


Behold: The monstrous Jersey City Medical Center. Built with WPA funds in 1936, is was a huge extravagance: marble floors, terrazzo walls, and grand chandeliers. Way too big, even at it's peak. The hospital suffered as the surrounding neighborhood deteriorated. It was closed in 1988 and fell into severe disrepair.


Montgomery Ave


Orchard/Monticello


For years, the JCMC was New Jersey's version of Detroit's Michigan Central Station (except much larger and virtually unknown and uncelebrated).




When I first visited in 2000, all of the windows were smashed out, and a deeply creepy vibe emanated from the bombed-out towers.




Two of the towers facing Montgomery were renovated and turned into luxury housing in 2008.


I am thrilled that the buildings are being saved, but remain skeptical as to the current viability of the project. The surroundings remains an awfully dicey area to command luxury prices. The PATH station is a good walk from here. The development, now known as the Beacon, has shuttle vans to the downtown PATH stations that I see every day.


Clifton Pl.










Immediately to the south of the old JCMC begins the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, a very rough place. We're turning around here.






Storms Ave.


Howard Pl. I love how the JCMC looms over the surrounding low-rise neighborhoods.




Britton St.


J. F. Kennedy Blvd.


















A tremendous old apartment building at Kennedy and Sip


Sip Ave, back in the center of Journal Square






The Loew's Jersey Theatre, opened in 1929 (I managed not to get a good picture of the whole thing.)
After attending a Bing Crosby performance here, a young Frank Sinatra decided which profession he wanted to pursue.


Saint George, keeping Journal Square dragon-free since 1929.


Time to head home.
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Last edited by Thundertubs; Jan 23, 2012 at 3:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 3:10 AM
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hmm...the real deal.

that med center is indeed quite the monolith in that neighborhood. Be scary as all hell with windahs smashed and debris hanging out. I bet it even made a certain noise when the wind blew between and around the buildings just right.

Thanks for the tour!
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 4:24 AM
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Interesting to see. Thanks for posting!
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 4:50 AM
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I had no idea that complex of buildings was abandoned. THAT'S a crime.

This is one of your better tours.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 5:21 AM
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Great pictures. I got lost in Jersey City a few years ago and drove through Journal Square on my way to the Turnpike. It was February and right around 5 PM, so the sun was down and the last rays of sunlight were disappearing, with the neon lights and streetlamps coming on. It looked like an impressive little commercial area, and one that I was looking forward to exploring at some point.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 5:54 AM
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Nicely done, I like seeing JC on here. Maybe I should take the path-train and walk JC one day.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 1:08 PM
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Jersey City's urban character blows most cities out of the water. I would love to see some NJ Transit shots!
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:02 PM
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Smile

Very nice pictures and interesting area.

Thanks for the pictures, Thundertubs!

I like to see snow on the ground finally. And I like the views of lower Manhattan from Jersey City. Some buildings look really old, but I like the contrasts.

Congratulations and greetings from Madrid, Spain!
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColDayMan View Post
I had no idea that complex of buildings was abandoned. THAT'S a crime.
It was converted to condos a few years ago. The conversion stalled when the recession hit, and the remaining buildings are being converted to rentals.

It was originially a hospital complex.

And, yeah, this is a great thread of a little-known area.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 2:20 PM
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I love those old Art Deco towers. I'm glad they weren't torn down.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 10:08 PM
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Loved this thread! Journal square is a extremely underrated area which I believe will be at the forefront of gentrification in the next few years due to the historic downtown becoming too expensive.

Some of the medical center (which Crawford already mentioned) were turned into lofts/condos a few years back
http://www.thebeaconjc.com/?p=gallery#/gallery/views/
Also the neighborhood that the beacon is in (McGinley Square) is supposedly going to get a face lift sometime in the near future
http://www.jerseycityindependent.com...rhaul-of-area/

Great choice of music too!

Last edited by ifeeldope9779; Jan 23, 2012 at 10:45 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 10:17 PM
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I very much enjoyed this thread. I, too, like the medical center buildings. I'd wanted to take a train over to Jersey City the last time I was in NYC and didn't have the chance. Great photos, thanks!
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Nice thread. The snow looks good.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:15 AM
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That's some intense urban fabric right there. Looks like I will be in JC the next time I go to NYC. How big of an area did you cover on foot?
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:24 AM
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This is my kinda thread! I just can't get enough of the overcast and raw city urban-ness!!! Nice Set....
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 2:20 PM
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That's a nice hunk of urbanity. It looks like it could still be the 1980s there.
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2012, 4:14 PM
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funny you mention that flar. between this and ifeeldope's trenton tour, i was thinking to myself how direct a blast into the 80s these are after being removed from the east coast for over two years now.

tubs, this is a stellar set, man. (vroom ave? fuck outta here.) it's hard to believe the JCMC is being turned into condos. i walked around there in like 2003 and it was sketchville, but massive and borderline beautiful. great great stuff. good song too.
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Old Posted Jan 25, 2012, 5:39 PM
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quite excellent....
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Old Posted Jan 28, 2012, 12:27 AM
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Thanks folks! I could definitely go out and do a few more threads of the same area. It's the kind of place where every block is worth walking down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColDayMan View Post
I had no idea that complex of buildings was abandoned. THAT'S a crime.
I've posted these before in another thread, but a few people showed interest, so here is the JCMC all bombed-out in August of 2000:



The awesome walkways between these three towers have been removed.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingofthehill View Post
That's some intense urban fabric right there. Looks like I will be in JC the next time I go to NYC. How big of an area did you cover on foot?
I walked maybe 5-6 miles in a circle, with a lot of zig-zagging. Maybe over a 1-2 sq mile area. If you do visit JC I think you'd appreciate the food, from the cheap ethnic eats around Journal Square to the fancier stuff downtown.
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Old Posted Jan 23, 2013, 5:08 AM
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How did I miss this? Awesome.
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