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Messages - stephen

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Here's the latest version of the ordinance. Contrary to Chico's claims on Twitter (, the ordinance does allow for tree removal so long as you get approval.

"... no existing street tree shall be removed to create a driveway without prior approval by the Jersey City Division of Parks & Forestry."

News / Re: Jersey City parking agency set to be dissolved
« on: 11-13-2014, 10:07am »
64 people to manage your private property for $14 a year? :drama:

Department of Planning's memo to the Planning Board. I agree with every point.

Restaurants & Bars / Re: The Merchant
« on: 10-27-2014, 12:54pm »
I know the owner -- or one of the owners -- is moving back to Australia. That might be the reason.

Maxwell’s’ New Owners : Co-Opting History (While Simultaneously Shitting All Over It)

Hoboken, NJ’s Maxwell’s was eulogized in this space last year (“The Place That Ran Contrary To (Almost) Every Negative Rock Club Stereotype : A Fond Farewell To Maxwell’s”) thusly : “even before CBGB’s booking turned into an orgy of indifference, Maxwell’s took a curatorial approach to the old & new in a manner that respected the intelligence of the audience & performers alike. In stark contrast to barns like City Gardens or The Ritz, Maxwell’s felt like a place that was owned & staffed by persons who thought the players and paying customers were friends and peers. As opposed to, y’know, targets & tools in the all-important struggle to sell more beer.” Of course, times change, neighborhoods get pricey, and a new generation of monied types have their own ideas of what does or doesn’t constitute quality entertainment. Enter the co-owner of the new Maxwell’s, Peter Carr, whom the Hudson Reporter’s Carlo Davis credits with turning what used to be a tremendous performance space for 30 decades + of pioneering bands of local and international import into a home for “trivia, stand-up comedy and fantasy football.” For better or (mostly) worse, Carr’s decided to reintroduce live music to the mix (a random assortment of “American Idol” runner ups, cover bands and would-be Blues Hammers), though he hilariously claims, “we’re trying to get back to some of the roots of Maxwell’s”. I wonder what he thinks those roots are?

In the old days when Maxwell’s was at its height,” said Carr, “it was primarily punk rock and grunge, and that was kind of back in the day when the artists could afford to live in Hoboken. Some of that’s changed and the demographics are a lot different than they used to be so we’re trying to cater to the demographics that we see in the town.”

“It’s not an old broken down stage with PA systems and your feet sticking to the floor because the floor hasn’t been washed in two weeks,” said Carr. “The old place was a dive.”

In seeking a new upscale concept, Carr holds little nostalgia for the Maxwell’s that was. “The place has been completely redone,” said Carr. “It’s nice, it’s clean, it’s open, the food’s good, so it’s a whole different type of atmosphere than the old Maxwell’s, where you would have the people…come in and have a hamburger and drink and spill stuff all over the floor and go into the back room and jump up and down and get their ears blasted out. This is a lot higher quality.”

Alright, this (dopey) entrepreneur is more than entitled to try and make a buck however he sees fit, but any characterization of the old Maxwell’s as either a) a punk/grunge HQ or b) biohazard-central is pretty off, especially the “dive” comments. By the standards of real dives, Maxwell’s was one of the cleaner, best maintained, more hospitable live music venues in the entire country. It’s mostly the booking that made it special, but the room itself was great (the P.A., especially). Was it a “punk” club, you ask?.Only the hardest of the hardcore. I nearly sprained my ankle trying to stage dive at a Richard Thompson show ( because the entire audience was sitting quietly on the floor and I kept tripping on people).

The irony is that Carr is dissing a place that by most rock’n'roll standards (at least those for clubs too small to have VIP viewing decks) was pretty upscale (yet very welcoming to all who played or attended). It’s very likely there’s been enough turnover in Hoboken that there’s few persons remaining who’d be offended at Carr trashing a local institution that generated so much goodwill (and curiously, a brand name he still wants to milk). But it’s not great P.R., and the Hudson Reporter’s willingness to let Carr’s claims run unchallenged isn’t great journalism, either.

Cinnamon Snail is an interesting case.  It's possible that they deserve a special status as they offer food for people with restricted diets.  But, I'd also argue that once someone opens a brick and mortar offering a full range of vegan fare, they should move on.

Restricted diets?  Why must this be an issue of non-choice?  Seems to be the whole theme of this effort:  Restrict choice to what's offered from an establishment no matter if what you want is on offer. Your pizza is great, it stands-out beyond the hum-drum of market, but I don't always want pizza and, frankly, every Thursday I very much look forward to a juicy seitan sandwich.

Also, there is a 'brick & mortar' vegan cafe and it's called Subia's.  There's also that Tea joint in The Village.  I've patroned Subia's a lot.  But I also want Cinnamon Snail because it's, well, better.

So this is the issue with artificially limiting choice.  I sympathize with what you're going through, how the SID, an organization that you subsidize, can do this in good faith is beyond me.  I also think that fresh guacamole on the plaza is ridiculous, we have Orale just blocks away -- several types of guacamole, GREAT guacamole! 

If you ask me, I think SID is cannibalizing the membership to keep itself afloat after the governor canceled the funds and that is SHADY.  Has the SID outlasted its useful life downtown?  Maybe so, but nobody just walks off into the dark night, so here we are.

Oh the heels of jehu's point, my question is whether or not there the "grab and go" market is being adequately served.  And I do consider this different than take-out.  And I would consider pizza by the slice grab and go, which makes sense as to why Two Boots and Favia are quoted in the article. So the ultimate solution is for more restaurants at Grove/Newark to offer grab and go options.

edited for typo; I hope your heels heal quickly

I've been to two Stony Hill Farms locations, they seem pretty real to me.

I want to point out that in these recommendations ( we realized that getting too prescriptive about where stop signs should be and what specific solution should be sought may have unintended consequences. 

It's well known to residents that Erie and Jersey Streets are speeding corridors for motorists trying to improve their time to the Holland Tunnel. My concern in addressing any single intersection along these streets is that it won't appropriately factor in the aggregate issue. I urge planning to keep the macro issue in mind when addressing the micro issues we've highlighted above.

Can I get a stop sign on Brunswick and 5th?

I want one on 3rd and Jersey, intersection with Lucky Laundry and Key Food.  Amazes me that a stop sign wasn't considered on this corner to slow traffic racing down Jersey between Newark and the light on 6th.

Where were you when we we drafted this?

Wanted / Re: All your cardboard boxes.
« on: 09-16-2014, 07:00am »
Highly recommend you find out when your local liquor store puts theirs out on the curb.  Those boxes tend to be the right size and strength for moving.

Restaurants & Bars / Re: South House? On Newark Ave.
« on: 08-31-2014, 06:45pm »
An Austin-themed bar & restaurant would seem to suggest live music would be involved.

New article about how much casinos suck by David Frum.

A Good Way to Wreck a Local Economy: Build Casinos

Downtown / Re: Harsimus Cove Association Meeting
« on: 07-09-2014, 07:25am »
July's General Meeting will be held this Monday, July 14 at 7:30 PM at Grace Church Van Vorst (2nd & Erie, enter on 2nd).

The agenda:

Guest Speakers

- JCPD Captain Daniel Sollitti, East District Precinct
- County Freeholder Junior Maldonado

351 Marin Boulevard

The developer is seeking to build on this lot, near where the Silvermans are seeking to build. The plans now seek a building about 30 stories tall, though the height is set back into the building. This lot is within the borders of the Morgan-Grove-Marin redevelopment plan. The developer has been invited to our July meeting to discuss his plan. Part of this plan may include a permanent community giveback.

218 Bay Street

This developer is seeking additional height variance, citing the ecologically friendly aspects of the construction as a rationale to allow for the height.

Stop Sign at First and Erie

The saga continues. This past week, after a direct plea to Mayor Fulop, the Mayor asked DPW Director Mike Razzoli to get appropriate street paint painting done “as soon as possible”. There’s no word yet on how soon that will be, however.

Newark Avenue Mall

The pedestrian mall is on hold for the present.
At the most recent City Council meeting HCA President Eric Fleming and Board member Jeremy Jacobsen spoke in favor of the ordinance for a trial program to create a pedestrian mall on the easternmost end of Newark Avenue, citing that the main issues brought up by the constituents of the HCA were addressed in this version of the ordinance by banning amplified music and curtailing the hours that the chairs and tables would be out, to discourage noise.

However, several businesses and several people from outside the community came out to speak against the ordinance, citing that it could make it difficult for the infirm and disabled to get to their businesses and to nearby establishments. The main proponent of the ordinance, Councilperson Candice Osborne, was not in attendance as her son was graduating that day, so the council opted to table the ordinance.

The tabling was unnecessary. The ordinance has the ability to be adapted during the trial to address issues as they come up and worst case scenario, this is a trial of only a few months, so it will end completely even if changes aren’t made for whatever reason. Further, the current ordinance includes handicapped parking to accommodate those individuals. Further still, the city is required to meet with the community on two occasions during the trial period.

Osborne plans to get this back up for a vote as soon as possible. The HCA will formally vote on the ordinance at the next general meeting. So, please come out to vote on this at our next meeting. If our members vote in favor of the ordinance, we would strongly encourage you to come out and speak at the appropriate City Council so that our voice is heard on the subject.

In a document filed Thursday, the Port Authority agreed to construct an elevator at the southwest entrance to the station and a passenger vertical platform lift on the west side of the station. The additions are to be completed within three years.

I was surprised to see this only announced publicly now, I found out about it in a meeting with Bob Cotter regarding MGM over a year ago.  There must have been a delay due to a signal failure.  :rofl:

Journal Square / Re: Loew's Jersey Theatre
« on: 06-12-2014, 12:31pm »
I really hope ACE Theatrical Group gets this. Loews Kings Theatre is nearly identical to Loews Jersey and they are doing the restoration on that theater.

Downtown / Re: Harsimus Cove Association Meeting
« on: 06-09-2014, 07:21am »
Monday, June 9, 2014 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm
Grace Church Van Vorst
39 Erie Street @ 2nd Street
Enter through the red doors on 2nd Street


Our guest speaker is Gabriel Ristorucci from the Environmental Commission.  We will be discussing ideas and questions that came up in this discussion ( in our Facebook group pertaining to the preservation of mature sidewalk trees as well as hearing about Environmental Commission initiatives in general.


1. Newark Avenue pedestrian mall update
2. Stop (First & Erie) sign update
3. Ambulance contract – City is calling for a "do over" on bidding)
4. Villa Bourinquen – Tenant association now has a board!
5. Sidewalk replacement on Manila (between 1st & 2nd)

All are welcome, please invite your neighbors.

Restaurants & Bars / Re: New Beer Garden in Crystal Point
« on: 05-27-2014, 03:22pm »
I run by there all the time. It's hosted a scattering of industrial kitchen supplies for a very, very, very long time now.

The parking deck is already there. You can see it behind them in the ground breaking photo. And yeah, it looks stupid, but most of the double buildings have them as a way to have some sort of outdoor space and a pool. 77 Hudson/70 Greene, Gulls Cove, Grove Pointe, etc.

Ah yes, the deck is already there as phase 1.  Thanks for pointing that out.  Why must a pool be on top of a parking deck?  Furthermore, that's really no excuse for a dead zone at the sidewalk level. City life exists on the stoops on on the sidewalks. Architecture has a large role in the serendipity that makes cities interesting, worth living in, that's really my point.

And while I don't begrudge someone for wanting to pool, the existence of these "private parks" further separates these denziens from the city that surrounds them.

So two strikes against this shitty project.

Check out the rendering… look at all the dead zone created by the parking deck.  Horrible urban design.  Vertical suburbia.  Absolute shite.

Talk about WMP!  Kushner and Trump?  Insufferable on their own, now as a duo. :drama:

Journal Square / Re: Loew's Jersey Theatre
« on: 05-02-2014, 09:14am »
Egan's comments don't seem to recognize the facts in how the RFP specifically defines a minimum of specific event types and organizations -- beyond the 20 days for FoL alone.  Per Gothamist (

1) At least thirty (30) community/local performances/events (sponsored and/or
produced by local community groups or other City residents), which include but are
not limited to school/youth programs, programs for senior citizens, performances
from local artists, lectures or other academic programs, or cultural celebrations

2) At least twenty (20) musical performances by nationally recognized artists

3) At least ten (10) theatrical or other stage performances

4) At least ten (10) comedy performances

5) At least twenty (20) other performances/events (may include event types listed

6) Allowance for twenty (20) events to be sponsored and produced privately by the
Friends of the Loew’s Inc. community group

7) Allowance for private event booking only during times in which the facility is not
reserved for any of the types of events listed above

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