(JERSEY CITY, NJ) In the 1970’s I remember a time when Jersey City was a great place for me. I remember all the action, the stores, the shoppers, the girls, seeing friends, hanging out, playing music, chess, telling jokes – it was off the hook!
My brother Ernie and I loved to see my dad and looked forward to spending our summers with him. We had a secret advantage – DAIRY QUEEN!
Jackson Avenue (now Martin Luther King Drive) was a Hot Spot for commerce back then. Everybody went on the ‘Ave’ and you could get anything, and see anybody. I remember my brother and I couldn’t wait to get to our father’s house on Wade Street, where we would spend the summers. Our first stop was to get fresh, and then go post up near the DQ.
All the girls back then would walk up and down Jackson Avenue, and the DQ was where they would walk as a destination to get some ice cream. Me and my brother Ernie were waiting.
If you you had a couple of bucks, you were guaranteed to be able to treat a pretty girl to an ice cream cone (if you wanted to).
Nowadays, the DQ is gone (sadly), and there is a Fried Chicken business there that also sells pizza. The new owner, I don’t think realizes the history of the place, and how important a role that place one played in the grand scheme of things.
Greenville is not as bad as people think. While crime is present, this is not surprising for an area with youth under 25 without a high school education nearing 30%. If you didn’t choose to go to school, you had to learn a trade. Sadly, the older guys who used to teach us trades, are gone now. Only a few remain, my father being one of them. I’ve never seen a man who owns nearly every tool you can think of, who knows exactly how to use it, AND wants to teach anyone who has the patience and commitment to learn.
My brother and I (being teenagers then) loved to work with my dad during the day, make a few bucks, then get cleaned up, and hang out to go meet girls. We were dressed sharp back then. You had to be, to get noticed.
I got tired of hearing all the brow beating, and people putting down Jersey City, so I decided to use my skills at data mining so see what’s really going on. Jersey City is still filled with opportunity. And the girls are still there, far outnumbering males, just as they did way back then. But don’t take my word for it.
If you’ve got a few minutes, you can check out the statistical data on the composition of the Greenville neighborhood on City Data HERE. ENJOY!
Some say Jackson Avenue will never be the way it was. My father thinks that this time around, it will be Ocean Ave, instead. We’ll see. But with a one bedroom apartment easily available for $700-900 and being within 30 minutes commute of NYC, it’s sure got me thinking about Jersey City, it’s future, my future, and how I can play a part in this while I still have a chance. Dad always was light years ahead of his time.