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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#91
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
...What the HPNA ballot said on the subject of spokes was clear:

Would you like the pathways in the park returned to their original historic layout of a circle-and-spoke design, in which all park entrance pathways extend to the center of the park? If this change occurs, other features of the park may need to be repositioned slightly to accommodate the layout change.
A. Yes - 189 votes; 72%
B. No - 70 votes; 18%
...

brewster - So let me get this straight… when it’s convenient for you to quote the HPNA ballot and survey to make your case that’s OK, but when I try to champion a solution that’s closest (with compromises) to the intent of the HPNA survey, I’m just asking for an area for a dog-run that’s too big!?!

From the HPNA survey:

..."The option of a dog run roughly the size of two tennis courts received the largest percent of the vote (44 percent) and the second largest vote was for a dog run roughly the size of three tennis courts (31 percent). In order for a dog run to be utilized (and thus effective in its intent), it “must be big enough to insure it will be used by all dog owners...”

By your own stats, square footage of a tennis court: 7,439 sq. ft

Two tennis courts make 14,878 square feet, using your numbers, right?!...

As a compromise to keep the dog-run within one segment and a concession to other HP interests, the 10,122 sq. ft. I propose (the full NNW segment with the tweak of ditching the game tables) seems fair to me even though it’s only 68% of the “2-tennis-court” area specified in the survey.

Posted on: 2007/5/23 1:44
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#92
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Googling for urban dog run sizes for comparisons is rough going, but I found this page that cites the Washington Sq park run as being 4800 sq ft, only slightly bigger than D's large dog run, in a park nearly twice the size of HP and in area with much higher density. They have large/small runs there, but it's unclear whether the size refers to both or not. I assume not. I cite this to debate the description of 4391 sq ft for D’s large run as "too small"....


JC ain’t Manhattan – comparing JC to the boroughs is a better apple-to-apple comparison. In my “tweak”, I propose a 10,122 sq. ft. (using your stats – but with buffers it’ll be even smaller) that’s to be partitioned with a divider fence into small-dog:large-dog areas. I honestly don’t know the answer (this isn’t a rhetorical question), but while you’re Googling: is the 10,122 sq. ft. I propose bigger than anything in Brooklyn, Bronx, or Queens?...

Posted on: 2007/5/22 23:35
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#93
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Quote:

EggFlyLice wrote:

Dog-owner here checking in, and one who uses the VVP dog run, several of the NYC dog-runs, and takes my dog leashed into many a park, including the dust bowl that currently is Hamilton Park.

While i don't think option D is necessarily the best use of space, i don't oppose the design option, and in light of the way the options are being presented, i will be voting for option D.

i'm willing to chime in that our dog is an english bulldog - not known for their sprinting or need to go on long jogs. that said, i think dog owners who choose to live in densely populated urban areas should take responsibility for their choices, and if their breed isn't having its needs met, then they should examine their lifestyle and figure out how to solve the problem, without looking to the city or the community to do it for them. nobody is entitled to a luxury item such as the dog run that is tailored to suit their individual breed's needs.

i also think it's silly for one dog owner to purport to speak for all dog owners. i don't remember electing anybody as the dog-owner spokesperson, and i don't speak for anybody's opinion but my own (and my dog's, but his english is not so good).

I thought the whole point of a community voting was to recognize that what serves each person's interests "best" shouldn't necessarily control, but rather what serves the interests of the community should. If having two separate dog runs makes it possible to have one large playground, making it safer for parents and teachers to watch children of different ages playing, i'm willing to recognize that mine and other dogs' needs can take a back seat to that.

i don't have kids, i do have dogs, i do have perspective, and though some dog-owners like to think of their dogs as children, they're not.


Nice to see you too,... NON! Glad to see you're not holding any grudges.

BTW... Great beard!!!

Quote:

SamS wrote:
I suspect that ultimately an additional dog run will have to be built someplace out side of Hamilton Park to accomodate the growing number of dogs that may coming in to the neighborhood with all the new development.


Isn’t that yet another reason to get the size, ratio, and shape of the dog-run (all the usability factors) as good as we can now?...

As a dog-owner, I’m telling you today that the all the factors in Concept D leave you with a small-dog run that’s too big and large-dog run that’s too small and poorly shaped to accommodate the current patterns of off-leash activity.

I know what I witness - I’m in HP at least ½ hour a day, probably 330 days a year – rain, sun or snow. I have greyhounds, so I HAVE to keep mine leashed at all times unless in a safe, fenced area. So,… don’t “shoot the messenger” in what I’m about to tell you…

If a big goal of this is voluntary compliance with the leash laws, with Concept D, you’re gonna get the minimum compliance based on the usage patterns I witness on a daily basis

Call me myopic (I’m sure some of you will), but why endorse such an ill-fitting proposal for dog-owners today when you could do better??... Is a more advantageous position of the kiddie spray pool that much more important?...

Posted on: 2007/5/22 17:08
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#94
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
I thought I made clear I was compiling pros/cons of the plans as presented, and clearly attributed that opinion as not originating with myself.

Why don't you make a clearly written addition to the "cons" column instead of attacking me?


I believe the term “aggressive barking” is yours, not Parkman’s.

Quote:

Parkman wrote:
… I have also observed from our run that small and large dogs on opposite sides of the division fence promote barking from both sides….


“Aggressive” is pretty inflammatory, and carries a whole lot of baggage, don’t you think?...

If that opinion isn’t yours, would you be willing to remove it from your “pros list” if Parkman retracts his statement that the divider fence promotes barking.

Parkman, are you standing by that statement “as is”?..

Posted on: 2007/5/22 15:05
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#95
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Quote:

super_furry wrote:
...What we know is that YOU don't prefer Concept D. Other dog owners seem to be open to Concept D....

Will any dog owners out there please chime in??...

As a dog-owner, if you think Concept D serves dog owners the best, please make your opinion known.

Posted on: 2007/5/22 14:46
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#96
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Hey brewster… too much to debate and I’m at work, so let’s work on you pro/con list one item at a time. First,:

Quote:

brewster wrote:

Pros...

1 - The dog runs are physically separated, which Parkman say reduces aggressive barking through the fence of a divided run….

This assertion is basically what I pick up from the south end of my dogs every day.

I’ll defer the Parkman might know a thing or two about construction on a dog-run, but there’s no way I’m going to validate his expertise on canine behavior over mine or any other dog owner. I don’t think Parkman’s intention was to hold himself up as the “Dog Whisperer of VVP”.

If the divider has sooo much to do with barking, walk by the VVP run when there are no dogs in the small run and many dogs in the large run (a condition which happens quite frequently). If the divider is the cause of “aggressive barking”, the run should be quite, right?... NOT SO.

Why do dogs bark in a dog-run?...

In my view, breed characteristics, individual dog personality and dog-run shape influence why a dog barks far more than any divider fence. Beagles and other scent-houds tend to bay, toy and miniature varieties (most of the occupants of any small-dog area, BTW) tend to be… well,… “vocal”.

Many dogs simply bark as a way to interact with each other or because they’re happy. One of my dog barks when she wants attention or when she wants to poop. brewster’s use of the term “aggressive barking” just shows he doesn’t have a clue on this.

brewster… I urge you to step away from the computer and the AutoCAD; take a walk to the VVP run and observe with an open mind first-hand. Otherwise, let’s take pro #1 off your list.

Posted on: 2007/5/22 13:54
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#97
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Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:
….Please explain why you think that only "anti-dog/dog neutral posters ...gravitate to "brewster D"..." as I am neither anti-dog or dog neutral. Also please let us know whether you have big or small dogs and do you see the need for separate dog runs for both sizes.

First, I think I’ve got a record on JCList documenting my position on the need for separate large and small dog-runs. (see here). That’s been consistent in VVP, HP and hasn’t changed.

Don’t get all hung up that there’s nothing in Concepts A, B, or C that say “Small Dog Area.” The four proposals are done by a Landscaping Architect, not an organization that really knows what they’re talking about regarding design of a dog run. You can tell because there’s no mention of an air-lock entrance, an entrance for maintenance vehicle access, surface, drainage, or ADA ramps. It’s just a place-holder. If all that is “implied” in the renderings, it’s logical to assume a small dog/big dog divider is “implied” in Concepts A, B, C too. In my view, the only reason why Concept “D” has a “Big Dog Run” and “Small Dog Run” explicitly labeled is that it’s a handy justification for shoehorning two runs in any available space.

You’re right, BM. Perhaps, I’m a little to harsh asserting that "anti-dog/dog neutral posters ...gravitate to "brewster D". I don’t mean to offend, calling you “dog neutral”. Can I change that to “anti-dog/dog-neutral/people-who-haven’t-looked-at-this-as-thoroughly gravitate to Concept D?”

Why do hate I Concept D with/without the brewster tweak so much?... It’s the wrong size, the wrong shape, the wrong ratio and it’s poor bang-for-the-buck. I would have hoped that an HP dog-run would have taken what was good about the VVP design and improved it; this is a giant step backwards. It’s a missed opportunity for some sort of détente between dog-owners and other interests in the HP community putting dog-owners last-in-line.

To add insult to injury, Concept D (the least-preferred design for dog-owners) combined with this ballot that splits the vote of one-run advocates is a dream come true for the anti-dog faction. On this thread, we’ve made the HPNA aware of the ballot flaw before the vote. Why not change the ballot to a ranking-style?... I’m not talking about adding or deleting more concepts, just changing the ballot. Is it a matter of not enough time or a lack of willingness??..

Posted on: 2007/5/22 13:18
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#98
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Quote:

super_furry wrote:
The ballot form has been decided and absentee ballots will be going out soon....

Got that. But,… do you know whether the format is "VOTE-FOR-ONE" or whether the ballot lets voter gets to rank the 4 concepts? The distinction is important.

In a “VOTE-FOR-ONE” ballot, having 3 options with a large run and 1 option with the 2 blobby runs looks to be a magnanimous gesture to the dog-owner community on the surface. However, it’s a “Trojan Horse” if it’s net effect is to split the vote of those that wish one-run. Talk about the “good ole days” of JC electoral politics…

You solve this problem by having a ranking ballot, where you assign each concept a numerical value from 1 (Best) to 4 (Worst). In this case, the concept with the lowest total numerical “score” is the winner. This way the concept that’s least offensive to the majority of people floats to the top. It’s not as straightforward and simple as “VOTE-FOR-ONE”, but it’s probably the fairest approach given the complexity of the concepts.

Quote:

super_furry wrote:
...I'm stating the obvious, but the "D" option has some risk, since many people believe it will have to be tweaked to make it suitable (the north run) for large dogs....

Totally debatable, and there’s more to come from me on that.

Posted on: 2007/5/21 17:19
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
#99
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Quote:

super_furry wrote:
Reminder - now is the time to request an absentee ballot for the Hamilton Park Renovation vote, which will take place during the Festival on June 9 (June 10 rain date)

Absentee ballots are available but must be requested by Saturday, June 2nd.

Please e-mail hpnajc@gmail.com to request a ballot. You must include your name(s) and physical address in the request and an absentee ballot with return instructions will be delivered to your residence. Voting is open to all Jersey City residents aged 18 and over.

SF - has the ballot form already been decided?...

Is it a straight, up-or-down, vote for one or is it a ranking?...

Just asking because there seems to be a trend of the anti-dog/dog netural posters to gravitate to "brewster D" - the 2 blobby dog-runs. Having 3 other concepts with a full-run effectively "splits the full-run vote" in a "vote-for-one" ballot.

Posted on: 2007/5/21 15:41
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
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Quote:

brewster wrote:

...Would this make D more palatable?

No… I can’t speak for all dog-owners, but IMO, I still consider Concept D the worse design.

I see your point about the size but I think you’re wasting resources when you plan for 2 separate, “free-standing” dog-runs vs. 1 run with a divider for large/small dogs. If you assume a design similar to the VVP run and use the Concept D approach, you end up with 2 fence systems, pouring 2 separate concrete forms to hold the surface, 2 drainage systems, etc. I applaud your creativity for suggesting to move the tennis court 15 feet EAST; I’m no expert, but that has to be a more expensive proposition that just resurfacing it in it’s current location, no?..

I also think both dog-owners and the public that wants nothing to do with dogs would both be happier if legal, off-leash activity was confined to one segment. Unfortunately, Concept D puts off-leash dogs in 2 segments, both closer to the center of the park.

Quote:

brewster wrote:
...Keep in mind that this idea leaves the small dog run intact, greatly increasing the overall dog run area over the A,B & C, and the 2 separate runs seems to have a lot of support....

I’ve never suggested eliminating the small dog run. My suggestion was to eliminate the “Game Table” area from the same segment that the dog-run is in so that you could give the dog-run the same footprint of the playground area in Concept D. You’d have a divider (similar to VVP) separating the large and small dog sections, but you still have large dog / small dog areas within the single concrete form, perimeter fence, drainage system, etc.

The only positive I can see in Concept D is that it keeps the integrity of the hub and 8-spoke design. The other concepts allow one of the playgrounds to straddle segments.

Brewster – curious what you CAD program estimates for:
- what’s the square footage of a tennis court?...
- what’s the square footage of the dog-run in Concept A, B and C if you eliminate the “Game Table” area and use the whole segment?...

Posted on: 2007/5/17 18:09
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
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Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:
All of you here making last minute tweaking suggestions about this or that idea, dog runs, tennis courts, multi-use courts, etc, should have come to the meetings over the last year and made your ideas known!...

I was there and I certainly tried - I had my hand up, but I didn’t shout to get myself recognized. Trust me,… it’s hard to get a word in edgewise with some of the “usual suspects” at these things.
Quote:

BrightMoment wrote:

...The process of "idea gathering" is over...

With all due respect, BM… NOT! As far as I know, all these plans are just on paper and they’re going be tweaked all along the way to implementation for all kinds of reasons.

I’d encourage everyone who has an interest to Vote on June 9th for the option of your choice AND (assuming it’s a paper ballot) write in any/all suggestions you have on the ballot. Fill up those margins!... Not that anyone is under any obligation to read them, but it’s worth the shot.

Posted on: 2007/5/16 19:13
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
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Quote:

ianmac47 wrote:
Frankly the small dog park side of Van Vorst is underused, relative to the larger dog size.

Quote:

tern wrote:
...I worry that option D, the only option which incorporates making one of the tennis courts into a multi-use sport area, will be vote down by dog owners opposed to the split dog run design that option D also contains.


Agreed… Concept D makes the least sense from a dog-owners perspective: 2 dog runs of equal size (one for small dogs, one for large dogs) in different segments. I’m surprised that was even considered by the architects.

Posted on: 2007/5/16 18:11
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
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Interesting concepts… but here’s how I would suggest tweaking it regarding the dog run and “pet-free” area.

Why not move the “game table area” to another section of the park (maybe where the proposed “putting green” is)?... That way you could increase the dog-run closer to the 1/8 segment size – with landscaping for buffering you’ll never get the entire 1/8, so every square yard counts. Increasing the size of the run gets it closer to the “2 tennis-court-size” sweet-spot identified in the HP survey.

After that, divide the dog-run area with fencing into 75% for large dogs, 25% small dog. Even though that’s a different ratio than the 2/3 to 1/3 in VVP, the small dog area will still be much larger than its counterpart in VVP.

Take another entire 1/8 lawn segment and declare it “pet free”. My only suggestion for the lawn declared “pet-free” is that it shouldn’t be adjacent to the dog-run. Otherwise, I’m agnostic on which lawn is designated “pet-free”.

Posted on: 2007/5/16 17:37
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Meeting on Flooding Issues - Steven Fulop
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Either one or both of us will be there!

We installed a check-valve about a 1 and ½ years ago. It’s made a BIG difference (we escaped this last round), but it’s still susceptible to clogs. We had a valve clog last summer and experienced the same “pre-valve” symptoms.

The other problem is that even if your check-valve is working during a surge and closed, rain water and building waste water (we own a multi-family) will still accumulate in the system until the surge is relieved. So even with a check-valve, you’re playing “beat the clock”, hoping the surge relives before the “house side” of the valve fills up.

Sewer surges have been more frequent and lasting longer. I’d conservatively estimate we see 10+ surges a year, often multiple surges during a single storm.

I’m no expert on the engineering or environmental mandates, but as a first-step, I’d like to see a study done by impartial professionals (definitely NOT the MUA) that lays out the costs, relative effectiveness, and environmental compliance of each proposed solution.

Posted on: 2007/4/25 12:04
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Post your Pimp Sightings Here
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Today, 11:20 am at the corner of Jersey and Columbus walking south.

Much like the photo a couple post above – a vision in yellow… bright yellow suit, bright yellow hat with yellow feather boa trim, yellow shoes, matching yellow frames for the sunglasses.

Huggy Bear meets Big Bird… very cool (or should I say “tight”)!

Posted on: 2007/4/14 21:54
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
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Again, thanks Steve!!...

Regarding the dog run, there’s one thing I don’t understand…

On the issue of the size of the run, the HPNA survey poll identified “two tennis courts” as the size preferred by most of the survey participants.

In keeping the hub-n-spoke design of HP, the park is divided into 1/8 segments/lawns. From these renderings, it looks like the dog-run will take up half of a segment – roughly the size of one tennis court,…maybe slightly bigger.

Since it’s physically impossible to fit the area taken by “two tennis courts” in any single 1/8 segment, wouldn’t it better represent the survey participants to make an entire 1/8 segment a dog run?...

By the same token, I’d also suggest that it makes the most sense to designate an entire 1/8 segment as a pet-free lawn without subdividing a single lawn into pet-free/pet-OK zones.

Posted on: 2007/3/21 12:38
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
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Quote:

...And then compare it to the map of trees as proposed by T&M on page 61 of their plan:

http://www.cityofjerseycity.com/arch/MasterPlan.pdf



Question... is this PDF on the Jersey City website the latest (most recent) plan??...

If not, does anyone know of a site/place where I can get the most up-to-date plan prior to the 3/22 meeting??...

TIA!

Posted on: 2007/3/6 13:37
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Re: Van Vorst Park---You're on notice!
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Quote:

Kindelan wrote:
My question is only referring to the aesthetics of the thing. Does it look too big? Does it seem to flow with the rest of the park? Does it seem like it belongs there?

As NON and others have mentioned, the d@mn thing is half done, NO LANDSCAPING, it’s the height of winter (everything is gray, brown and frozen), and we’re ready to pass an aesthetic judgment???..

Does it look likes it belongs there?...

It’s the shock-of-the-new. Think of something else you’re accustomed to seeing in VVP (that I’ve written about before) – the children’s sliding board area. It’s a fake plastic, “McDonaldland” tree house in what’s supposed to be a historic park. You just take it for granted. If the landscaping around the dog-run is done well, I’d wager the end product will look a lot more “integrated” than McDonaldland.

Quote:
romero wrote:
...Brides and their grooms will not have their pictures taken with that in the background...

We don’t know what the end landscaping will look like (parkman?). I threw out the idea of using lavender as a border. This is just an idea, so bear with me, this isn't a "definte", just a possibility. For the sake of argument, imagine that you plant a lavender border along the front (south-facing) fence broken up by the entrance. You’d basically have a diagonal line of purple blossoms 4 ft high running the length of a “spoke”. Sounds like an appealing wedding photo background to me.

Quote:
Jangie wrote:
… Aesthetically speaking, I find that having the dogs and their fecal matter separated from the rest of the park outweigh any (none, in my opinion) negative aesthetic impact it has on the park…

I think we’re in agreement in principle, but (I know I’m a “broken record” on this point) the primary purpose of the dog-run is OFF-LEASH activity. Dogs can still legally poop on the lawns that aren’t designated as pet-free (and dog owners are legally obligated to pick up after them). As a dog owner, I take mine into a dog run after they’ve eliminated; can’t vouch for what others do.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 19:38
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Re: Jersey City needs to be more aggressive to woo Merrill Lynch's 48 story/2.3mil sq ft of office s
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Quote:

Ross_Ewage wrote:
...Doesn't he work for ML?...

No... I thought Steve was at Citi now.

Posted on: 2007/2/1 13:03
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Re: Got Too Much Money Or Wine? Guarantee Wine Storage in Jersey City, a division of Moishe's Storag
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Quote:
Justiceiro wrote:
Storage space for my thousands of dollars worth of wine- now there is a problem I wish I had.

Trust me on this - you don't.

It's a lot more work than you think at the "amateur" level - by that I mean not "in the business" or stupid "Trump $" - you do it for your own enjoyment.

Moishe's/Guarantee is not such a bad deal - I've been using them since 2002. Besides, it's a local business that couldn't be in a more unobtrusive location for what basically is a very secure meat-locker.

Posted on: 2006/12/27 3:47
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Re: Whole Foods sought for Downtown
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Along with the thread drift to wine stores…

Again, if you have a car and don’t mind a short ride, Wine Library (www.winelibrary.com) in Springfield, not far from the Short Hills mall, generally has an excellent selection and some of the best prices in the area. The owner is very ambitious about taking on Zachy’s for depth, but is looking to keep prices low to turn around inventory quick. They’ve recently expanded the store and added a gourmet section (D’Artagnan stuff, cheese, etc.). Well worth the car ride.

BTW – I’m not affiliated with them or ITB –just a customer since ’95.

Posted on: 2006/10/19 14:22
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Embankment- Update Thread
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I was just looking at the doctored photos of what the Embankment could look like and it finally “clicked” where I’ve seen something like this before. DUH!...

Has anyone ever been to Lucca in the Tuscan region of Italy? Surrounding the city is a high medieval wall whose original purpose was defensive. Today, the top of the wall is a municipal park – elevated and tree-lined. If you’re at the bottom, the wall is nothing great to look at, just old rocks and mortar – but at the top, it’s absolutely magical.

I’m at work now and we have content filtering enabled, so I can’t browse for photos to illustrate what I’m talking about.

Two points that dawned on me from this:
1.) the concept of an elevated municipal park isn’t all that new at all.
2.) Something sort of ugly at the bottom can be made into a real jewel at the top.

I’ve always thought the Embankment Park was a good idea, but with Lucca as an example, it hit me that this thing has TONS of potential.

Posted on: 2006/10/6 12:29
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Re: Ode to Parkman
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Ode… nah! Not my style – now, if it’s a “Friar’s Roast” , I’m there.

Here’s my parkman’s "greatest hit":

Quote:
parkman wrote:
…When I lived in Manhattan, I planted my front yard and had so many plants stolen that I even put chains on the replacements and planted poison ivy, hoping to at least make the thief very uncomfortable. I finally set up a video camera that caught a homeless man stealing the plants and selling them on the corner…


Surveillance cameras!! Deliberately planting poison ivy!!...

You’re on-the-edge and one crazy @ss cracker,… but that level of commitment is what we dig about you!

I know we’re going to continue to disagree on all kinds of things, but I appreciate the dedication.

All the best,
another crazy @ss cracker

Posted on: 2006/10/5 3:10
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Re: ummm.. did I see horses?
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Quote:
AlanSommerman wrote:
I also am smelling skunks this morning - anyone around 5th and Jersey get a wiff?


YEP!!... we've been sleeping with the bedroom window open and that tell-TAIL odor came wafting in this morning, so it was pretty intense around Jersey & 3rd. I took the dogs for their 5:20 walk and it seemed strongest between 4th and 3rd.

I noticed skunk-smell for the 1st time yesterday morning; it was most pronounced at Jersey between 4th and 5th then.

Feral cats, possum, now skunk...

Posted on: 2006/9/28 11:56
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Re: ummm.. did I see horses?
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Just can't stay away


About a year ago, I was outside Madame Claude's chatting with Alice (owner). Across Newark Ave, near the school, we witnessed a white horse-drawn carriage carrying a couple on that side street by the school.

Surreal... but kind of cool. I have no idea how regular this occurance is.

Posted on: 2006/9/26 15:32
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


OK… my disclaimer is that I’m not affiliated with any of the 2 HP factions and that I’m admittedly, unapologetically, single-minded, and myopic about the dog-run issue (PRO!!).

Got a chance to put a face to some of the JCList regulars, BM and Minnie. I know you 2 don’t see eye-to-eye, but the dialogue is useful. Well done…

Keep in mind, this is just my “interpretation” and that I was going through a calorie crash as the meeting went on.

IMHO, the plan isn’t bad, but the presenting company came prepared with the selling point that this is just a “concept” and meant to be changed. I liked the formal garden, fountain, restoration of the “spoke” walkways, etc.

They made a big effort in the beginning explaining that the old trees would not be cut down, but some of the newer, smaller, ornamentals (plums, cherries, etc.) that didn’t really fit, might be chopped. Minnie pressed them on that.

The only question I could think of is the few older trees that are on the raised beds surrounding the gazebo. The landscape architect made a point that the raised beds would be leveled, but I don’t know (so don’t jump to conclusions) whether that means that one or two old trees may be sacrificed that currently exist on raised beds or whether they can be saved.

I had my hand up for the last 10 minutes of the meeting, but wasn’t called on and finally left when I was crashing and had to eat dinner.

What I was going to add was:

- one woman made a great point about drainage. Given the history of the downtown sewage system and the development in the St. Francis area, let me echo the best suggestion Skadave ever made – if any drainage (dog run or otherwise) feeds into the city sewer system, put an industrial-strength check-valve on it. With the added volume of residential units in the St. Francis area, the sewer situation is only going to get worse.
- The dog run (in the NNW quadrant) was too close to the proposed kiddie spray pool for me. I don’t think that the parents in the area want to be anywhere close to a dog run. I agree with others that spoke- putting it in the SW quadrant makes more sense.
- The landscape architect was vague about the dog-run surface… almost suggesting wood chips. BIG MISTAKE – the wood will retain odor making your worse preconceptions about dog runs being “stinky” ring true!! Some blend of decomposed granite and zeolite (natural detoxifier, sort of like a charcoal filter) seems to be the way to go.
- I wasn’t sure if the drawing provided to us was in scale. I mention this because I thought the survey concluded that the majority surveyed cited that the dog-run should be the size of 2 tennis courts. From the drawing, it looked slightly bigger than one court.
- Why is the shape of the dog-run rectangular, looking like a basketball court inserted into a triangle that’s 1/8 (the proposed dog-run is much smaller than 1/8th) of the park? Whatever square footage the community agrees on, wouldn’t it make sense to align to the triangular dimensions?
- Other dog-run specifics are still up in the air: separate area for small-dogs/puppies, size of, fence, etc. Since the plan is labeled “concept”, I don’t know if they’re ready for that level of detail.

My editorial (please… this is only my opinion only after a LONG night):

- there’s a real disconnect over having two tennis courts. Some people insist that both courts are used full-time, whether for tennis, cricket, volleyball, etc. From my observation (since 2001), that’s not the case. On average, over the course of the year, IMO, it’s a low-volume use area. Given what I just said, don’t look tomorrow and expect it to be empty. Much like a gym, where volume spikes after New Year’s Resolution, the tennis courts will be more active while (and just after) the U.S Open or Wimbledon. IMO, one court is more than enough.
- (remember… my editorial, but flame away) As a dog owner who wants to be fair to other members of the community, it’s fine to have “pet-free” areas. However, I don’t think it right to necessarily propose pet-free areas any bigger than a dog-run. It’s my understanding that statutes on the “books” say that in any public park, pet-free areas can’t comprise more than 50% of the park. I think that law makes a lot of sense. Unless you intention was to allow dogs in the kid’s playground, garden, tennis courts, basketball courts, etc. you have to factor these areas in when you draw those line. I don’t think those who spoke at the meeting who were suggesting ¼ or more of the area be declared “pet-free” were counting these other areas.
- The other issue on pet-free areas, I’ve stated before. Don’t declare a “pet-free” area until you open the dog run. It’s not fair, it’s not enforceable.
- Dog-owners have to become more mobilized, organized. I know we have the numbers. If you were to put an imaginary “turnstile” to count the number of downtown residents using a dog-run, I bet dog run usage would beat any tennis court (probably both courts), basketball court, probably all of them combined. However, we underrepresented at meeting like this. The non-dog-owning people out there think dog-runs are for dogs. WRONG! Dog runs are for dog owners.

Already I can see that I’m being too long-winded… more (I’m sure whether I like it or not) tomorrow.

Posted on: 2006/8/31 3:55
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Getting back to the meeting…

For the uninitiated newbies, when the location and time is posted as “St. Francis @ 7 PM”, is there an exact address (intersection, room #, etc.)??

I’ve never been to one of these things…

Posted on: 2006/8/27 21:10
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Hamilton Park Renovation - Meeting Dates
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away


Quote:
Minnie wrote:

The top three items on the HPNA's own balloting efforts were:

1) Solve the dog issue/dog run/pet free areas
...


On the dog / dog run issue...

If there’s any lesson learned from VVP “virtual” dog run, is that you shouldn’t declare a “pet free” lawn and put up a sign until a dog run is complete and open for business. Any other alternative is practically unenforceable and unfair to conscientious dog owners.

There’s already quite a bit of pressure between dog-owners and other occasional users of the parks. Another “pet-free” area without a real, viable, recognition of the needs/wishes of the dog-owner community will just make things uglier.

Posted on: 2006/8/21 12:49
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Positive things I like about JC
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Just can't stay away


In no particular order and please pardon the spelling…

1. Torrico’s Coconut Pineapple Ice Cream – SMOKES the Haagen Dazs version

2. Owning a car, but having an insurance DISCOUNT because we don’t use it to drive to work.

3. “Creative”, neighborhood gardening – from windowboxes on brownstones to patches of corn.

4. The brasciole and gravy at 2nd Street Bakery

5. “Possum-hunting” with the dogs during the last walk of the night at the embankment

6. Jersey City Pesto – made fresh with basil from our garden (chromium be damned!).

7. Ethnic takeout and neighborhoods – from a 15 minute walk from the intersection of Jersey & Newark the options include Vietnamese, Polish, Italian, Cuban, Pakistani, Syrian (Ibby’s), Chinese, Mexican. And then when you add the other JC areas… I always think of the Joe Strummer song “Bhindi Bhagee” as the unofficial theme: “Welcome stranger, to the humble neighborhood…”

8. Moule Frite in mustard-wine sauce and crepes with nutella @ Madame Claudes.

9. Pizza @ La Rustique and the unscripted “Honeymooners” routines from Charlie and Phil.

10. My dark, “old-school”, 40-year-resident, Russian neighbors who scared the hell out of us at first with their tales of how bad everything is - but couldn’t be better people.

Posted on: 2006/7/12 12:15
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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Re: Ideas for Jersey City T-shirts
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Just can't stay away


As a variation...

"Where the streets are paved with chicken bones...JERSEY CITY"

Posted on: 2006/6/18 14:38
"Dogs are our link to paradise." - Milan Kundera
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