Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why Jersey City Sucks

Dear Jersey City, 

I've been with you since the Clinton Administration -- longer than I've been married to Snookums' dad, even. And I tried to stay faithful. I even bought property here, in a decidedly NOT gentrified neighborhood. 

When New Yorkers put you down, I always defended you. And what did I get in return for my loyalty? Nothing but lies, misdeeds, caddish behavior 
. . . Well, I've had it. They're right. You SUCK. And here's why: 

The other day, I was trying to catch a bus at Journal Square. The first rule of Journal Square is,  no one knows anything. And yet there are so many, many questions! Such as, "Why is EVERY SINGLE ESCALATOR being repaired during rush hour, when you guys just replaced all the escalators only a few months ago?" Or, "Why the hell can't I find a goddamn trash can ANYWHERE in the station?" Or, "Why did you get rid of the one and only mailbox? Was it because you wanted to FORCE me to have to carry my mail to Manhattan before I can send it?"

But on the day in question, I didn't ask those things, because I know better. Rather, I approached a man in a tie and shirtsleeves, who was standing at the bus station with a clipboard in his hand, and simply asked, "Do you know what time the Society Hill bus is coming?" 

"I DON'T KNOW! I DON'T KNOW!" he shrieked, as if he were one of Saddam Hussein's minions being asked, post-invasion, if he'd ever heard of a little something called the Baath Party.  

"Oh, I'm sorry," I said, taken aback. "I thought you worked for the bus company." 

"I DO work for the bus company!" he shrieked. 

"And you don't know when the Society Hill bus is coming?" 


I gestured toward the clipboard in his hand. "Would you maybe let me take a look at that?" 

"NO!" he shouted, snatching it away. 

At this point, another passenger came up to us. "The bus comes every 10 minutes or so,"  she said. 

Thanks, lady! Asked and answered! You'd think a guy who works for the BUS COMPANY would be able to provide that information, wouldn't you? 

Oh, I forgot -- he works for a bus company in JERSEY CITY. 

We've got bus dispatchers who refuse to tell you the bus schedules! We've got city councilmen who pee on the crowds at Grateful Dead tribute concerts! And don't even get me started on our cabdrivers, who tell you where THEY'RE going, rather than the other way around. 

No wonder we're the laughing stock of the nation. 


Jen said...

I think you're right - it's definitely time to walk. Even I can see that this relationship is going nowhere!

Joseph LeMay said...

how about that councilwoman who gave her son cush jobs he didn't deserve? he got free parking downtown where he parked his mercedes. I saw it on the 10 PM news this year.

Joan Novark said...

That sort of stuff is a problem too, but corruption is so common here that nepotism is barely worth mentioning. But peeing on the crowd at a concert, or being photographed sitting drunk and naked on your own porch in the middle of the night (as JC Mayor Jerramiah Healy was during the campaign, and he was elected anyway) -- now, that's worthy of mention.

Joan Novark said...


Thank you so much for posting -- and for officially being the first commenter I don't know personally to comment on my blog!


Not Drowning Mother said...

That clipboard makes me think he was a bus-spotter using a Bus Company uniform as a cover for his sad, sad hobby.

If only you had known the secret bus-spotter's handshake, then he might have imparted his extensive knowledge of bus routes and bus timetables in your are.

Anonymous said...

what i wanna know is, are the schools in Jerzee City as awesome as i imagine? i heard people move there especially for that. am i mistaken?

Joan Novark said...

For the most part, the schools here are terrible, with one notable exception: McNair Academic High School, a magnet school, is ranked #1 or #2 in the state by New Jersey Monthly.