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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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jessk88 wrote:
huh as if JC is one of a kind with stuff like that. these are quite usual things. I'm not sayint they are normal, but there's nothing extraordinary about it and I can't see what's the problem


Exactly. It's not extraordinary. It's ordinary and boring. They should call Jersey City, Bay-yawn, Hobok-Like or Staten Try-land. A big opportunity was missed on the waterfront and Newark Ave. is unimaginative. Well, they got the puke and the extra drunk drivers they were craving.


Edgy

Posted on: 5/11 18:29
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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jessk88 wrote:
huh as if JC is one of a kind with stuff like that. these are quite usual things. I'm not sayint they are normal, but there's nothing extraordinary about it and I can't see what's the problem


Exactly. It's not extraordinary. It's ordinary and boring. They should call Jersey City, Bay-yawn, Hobok-Like or Staten Try-land. A big opportunity was missed on the waterfront and Newark Ave. is unimaginative. Well, they got the puke and the extra drunk drivers they were craving.

Posted on: 5/11 18:27
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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MattJC79 wrote:
I love these cute articles about JC.

Here is what I experienced on Cinco de mayo living around Newark Ave.

I walked up through the pedestrian plaza around 9:30PM going to to Newark and Coles to check in on a cat. I was cat sitting. Already at that time there were drunks all over the pedestrian plaza.

On my way back to Mercer and Marin, where I live, I walked down Columbus hoping to avoid the drama on Newark Ave around 10:30pm. On Columbus, I ran into a woman, bursting out of her clothes, vomiting all over the sidewalk. Her boyfriend, or guy she was with, ran away from her and into traffic on Columbus and almost caused an accident. Great guy.

I get back to my apartment to find two guys in sombreros pissing on the side of my building. They could have gone into Krispy Kreme and urinated there into a proper toilet.

The neighborhood has become like a college town. I get that it was cinco de mayo and whatnot that night. But please... The drunks on Newark ave are spilling over into the surrounding areas. Now with Uber, these people are coming into town from all over the place and have no respect for the neighbors.

Things seem to be feeling more and more like Hoboken. I'm not trying to sound like a crotchey old F^&%, but I see way too much puke on the sidewalk these days when going to work!


This is what the newbie youngsters wanted. Well, they're not gonna be newbies and youngsters very much longer and they'll see the light when this sh*t affects their QoL. Congrats J.C. you've hit the big time. Ordinariness.

Posted on: 5/11 17:55
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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EasyGibson wrote:
1. Uber is fantastic. The amount of drunk drivers there are around here already is staggering. If you don't believe me, stay up until last call at 2:30. Sit on the street and watch the people leave at 3, then get into cars and weave their way up out of town. Pretty horrifying.

2. Eh, hey, so it goes.


You don't even have to wait until so late... I was coming home late last Saturday and, at around 2 AM, the amount of cars that were evidently being driven by impaired/drunk people was pretty shocking. It felt as if most cars were drifting into lanes as they made their ways on the road. Definitely staggering. I'm really surprised the JCPD is not out there every Saturday night cracking down on this craziness.

Posted on: 5/11 17:55
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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hero69 wrote:
WTH.. people who drink and drive should be arrested on the spot and have their licenses revoked.


Required PD interested in more than their OT, moonlighting, and sick day pay. There's tons of low hanging fruit for cops all over JC, it's shocking how little enforcement there is.

Posted on: 5/11 17:53
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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EasyGibson wrote:
1. Uber is fantastic. The amount of drunk drivers there are around here already is staggering. If you don't believe me, stay up until last call at 2:30. Sit on the street and watch the people leave at 3, then get into cars and weave their way up out of town. Pretty horrifying.

2. Eh, hey, so it goes.
WTH.. people who drink and drive should be arrested on the spot and have their licenses revoked.

Posted on: 5/11 17:36
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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MattJC79 wrote:
I love these cute articles about JC.

Here is what I experienced on Cinco de mayo living around Newark Ave.

I walked up through the pedestrian plaza around 9:30PM going to to Newark and Coles to check in on a cat. I was cat sitting. Already at that time there were drunks all over the pedestrian plaza.

On my way back to Mercer and Marin, where I live, I walked down Columbus hoping to avoid the drama on Newark Ave around 10:30pm. On Columbus, I ran into a woman, bursting out of her clothes, vomiting all over the sidewalk. Her boyfriend, or guy she was with, ran away from her and into traffic on Columbus and almost caused an accident. Great guy.

I get back to my apartment to find two guys in sombreros pissing on the side of my building. They could have gone into Krispy Kreme and urinated there into a proper toilet.

The neighborhood has become like a college town. I get that it was cinco de mayo and whatnot that night. But please... The drunks on Newark ave are spilling over into the surrounding areas. Now with Uber, these people are coming into town from all over the place and have no respect for the neighbors.

Things seem to be feeling more and more like Hoboken. I'm not trying to sound like a crotchey old F^&%, but I see way too much puke on the sidewalk these days when going to work!


This is what the newbie youngsters wanted. Well, they're not gonna be newbies and youngsters very much longer and they'll see the light when this sh*t affects their QoL. Congrats J.C. you've hit the big time. Ordinariness.


Dude, this is the natural cycle of an urban area. It's happened many times before and will happen again. Just accept it.

Posted on: 5/11 16:23
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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1. Uber is fantastic. The amount of drunk drivers there are around here already is staggering. If you don't believe me, stay up until last call at 2:30. Sit on the street and watch the people leave at 3, then get into cars and weave their way up out of town. Pretty horrifying.

2. Eh, hey, so it goes.

Posted on: 5/11 12:48
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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hero69 wrote:
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MattJC79 wrote:
I love these cute articles about JC.

Here is what I experienced on Cinco de mayo living around Newark Ave.

I walked up through the pedestrian plaza around 9:30PM going to to Newark and Coles to check in on a cat. I was cat sitting. Already at that time there were drunks all over the pedestrian plaza.

On my way back to Mercer and Marin, where I live, I walked down Columbus hoping to avoid the drama on Newark Ave around 10:30pm. On Columbus, I ran into a woman, bursting out of her clothes, vomiting all over the sidewalk. Her boyfriend, or guy she was with, ran away from her and into traffic on Columbus and almost caused an accident. Great guy.

I get back to my apartment to find two guys in sombreros pissing on the side of my building. They could have gone into Krispy Kreme and urinated there into a proper toilet.

The neighborhood has become like a college town. I get that it was cinco de mayo and whatnot that night. But please... The drunks on Newark ave are spilling over into the surrounding areas. Now with Uber, these people are coming into town from all over the place and have no respect for the neighbors.

Things seem to be feeling more and more like Hoboken. I'm not trying to sound like a crotchey old F^&%, but I see way too much puke on the sidewalk these days when going to work!
well, people are gonna be drnking and then some people are gonna be vomiting....try spending a weekend in london and then you'll see how much worse it could be. lol


Sadly, you are all too correct. London has a very serious problem of a binge drinking culture, and it is something the city has been trying to address for over 20 years. Regardless, a shared malaise is no solace. I don't see a whole lot of vomit on our sidewalks, but the occasional occurrence is annoying enough.

As for Uber enabling people to come here to JC, well... that's an actual net positive. In addition to the added business, I would much rather people come to JC in an Uber, generate business, and then leave intoxicated in an Uber, as opposed to driving themselves and becoming a menace to the population at large. As it is, our streets are filled with aggressive drivers. We don't need more drunk drivers on our roads.

Posted on: 5/11 12:38
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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MattJC79 wrote:
I love these cute articles about JC.

Here is what I experienced on Cinco de mayo living around Newark Ave.

I walked up through the pedestrian plaza around 9:30PM going to to Newark and Coles to check in on a cat. I was cat sitting. Already at that time there were drunks all over the pedestrian plaza.

On my way back to Mercer and Marin, where I live, I walked down Columbus hoping to avoid the drama on Newark Ave around 10:30pm. On Columbus, I ran into a woman, bursting out of her clothes, vomiting all over the sidewalk. Her boyfriend, or guy she was with, ran away from her and into traffic on Columbus and almost caused an accident. Great guy.

I get back to my apartment to find two guys in sombreros pissing on the side of my building. They could have gone into Krispy Kreme and urinated there into a proper toilet.

The neighborhood has become like a college town. I get that it was cinco de mayo and whatnot that night. But please... The drunks on Newark ave are spilling over into the surrounding areas. Now with Uber, these people are coming into town from all over the place and have no respect for the neighbors.

Things seem to be feeling more and more like Hoboken. I'm not trying to sound like a crotchey old F^&%, but I see way too much puke on the sidewalk these days when going to work!


This is what the newbie youngsters wanted. Well, they're not gonna be newbies and youngsters very much longer and they'll see the light when this sh*t affects their QoL. Congrats J.C. you've hit the big time. Ordinariness.

Posted on: 5/11 11:04
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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MattJC79 wrote:
I love these cute articles about JC.

Here is what I experienced on Cinco de mayo living around Newark Ave.

I walked up through the pedestrian plaza around 9:30PM going to to Newark and Coles to check in on a cat. I was cat sitting. Already at that time there were drunks all over the pedestrian plaza.

On my way back to Mercer and Marin, where I live, I walked down Columbus hoping to avoid the drama on Newark Ave around 10:30pm. On Columbus, I ran into a woman, bursting out of her clothes, vomiting all over the sidewalk. Her boyfriend, or guy she was with, ran away from her and into traffic on Columbus and almost caused an accident. Great guy.

I get back to my apartment to find two guys in sombreros pissing on the side of my building. They could have gone into Krispy Kreme and urinated there into a proper toilet.

The neighborhood has become like a college town. I get that it was cinco de mayo and whatnot that night. But please... The drunks on Newark ave are spilling over into the surrounding areas. Now with Uber, these people are coming into town from all over the place and have no respect for the neighbors.

Things seem to be feeling more and more like Hoboken. I'm not trying to sound like a crotchey old F^&%, but I see way too much puke on the sidewalk these days when going to work!
well, people are gonna be drnking and then some people are gonna be vomiting....try spending a weekend in london and then you'll see how much worse it could be. lol

Posted on: 5/11 7:49
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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I love these cute articles about JC.

Here is what I experienced on Cinco de mayo living around Newark Ave.

I walked up through the pedestrian plaza around 9:30PM going to to Newark and Coles to check in on a cat. I was cat sitting. Already at that time there were drunks all over the pedestrian plaza.

On my way back to Mercer and Marin, where I live, I walked down Columbus hoping to avoid the drama on Newark Ave around 10:30pm. On Columbus, I ran into a woman, bursting out of her clothes, vomiting all over the sidewalk. Her boyfriend, or guy she was with, ran away from her and into traffic on Columbus and almost caused an accident. Great guy.

I get back to my apartment to find two guys in sombreros pissing on the side of my building. They could have gone into Krispy Kreme and urinated there into a proper toilet.

The neighborhood has become like a college town. I get that it was cinco de mayo and whatnot that night. But please... The drunks on Newark ave are spilling over into the surrounding areas. Now with Uber, these people are coming into town from all over the place and have no respect for the neighbors.

Things seem to be feeling more and more like Hoboken. I'm not trying to sound like a crotchey old F^&%, but I see way too much puke on the sidewalk these days when going to work!

Posted on: 5/11 1:22
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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TAQsmp wrote:
They're laws actually. Not rules.


Last I heard laws were a type of rule. Congratulations, you win the Pedant Award!


I think you mean the Pedant Medal. Last I heard, medals are a type of award!

Posted on: 5/7 20:55
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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TAQsmp wrote:
They're laws actually. Not rules.


Last I heard laws were a type of rule. Congratulations, you win the Pedant Award!

Posted on: 5/7 19:22
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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TAQsmp wrote:
They're laws actually. Not rules.


TAQsmp, If I recall correctly, you're with a brick and mortar restaurant that ALSO has a (legal) food truck. But if I also recall correctly, you were one of the 20 or so restaurants that lobbied along with Two Boots to have those laws enacted in the first place to eliminate your competition to the detriment of anyone living in JC and to increase your own profits. Am I wrong?

Posted on: 5/7 18:45
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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They're laws actually. Not rules.

Posted on: 5/7 18:08
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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Write our pols.

Posted on: 5/7 18:02
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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Just remember that Two Boots was largely responsible for banning the food trucks, something that served a lot of people very well, including fun events like Groove on Grove.


Anyone know what would it take to put these ridiculous food truck rules to a referendum vote?

Posted on: 5/7 16:06
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Re: New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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And the great irony of this story is that the crappy pizza place on the Newark Pedestrian Mall, Two Boots Pizza, is actually a chain store but yet is featured with a photo in this piece. See their locations: http://twoboots.com/locations/
And a few posts away at the moment there's a thread about a second CVS Pharmacy being denied a permit. Just because they were two blocks from being outside the restricted district, and despite the need for such a store in that location.

Just remember that Two Boots was largely responsible for banning the food trucks, something that served a lot of people very well, including fun events like Groove on Grove.

Posted on: 5/7 14:29
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New York Times -- The Death and Life of Jersey City (5/5/17)
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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/05/nyr ... -life-of-jersey-city.html

The Death and Life of Jersey City

The downtown boom, visible in the new night-life scene along Newark Avenue, poses a threat to the urban pioneers from the city’s grittier days.

New York Times
By NATHANIEL ADAMS
MAY 5, 2017

Between Jersey City’s downtown and waterfront districts sits a single-story windowless pillbox of a bar with a sign outside that says “Golden Cicada.”

Inside you’ll find pizza parlor chairs, flypaper chandeliers and fluorescent lights, some of them pulsating.

On a recent night, a middle-aged man with a Stetson hat and salt-and-pepper goatee entered the Cicada with his right arm in a sling.

“What happened?” someone asked.

“I got into a fight.”

“With who?”

“Jack Daniel’s.”

The man with the compromised arm was Peter Kingsley, a self-described “gentleman actor” and part of the Goon Platoon, a group of Cicada regulars who were spending the night at their customary corner of the bar, ribbing one another over Tsingtao beers and whiskey while “PBS NewsHour” played on the bar’s TV.

Terry Tan, the owner of the Cicada, moved along the bar to serve two nervous first-time customers, 20-somethings who had come to participate in a well-known ritual at this place: downing a $5 shot of the bar’s infamous baijiu, a fiery Chinese liquor made of sorghum. The wincing men were awarded two Golden Cicada necklaces of red and black painted brass by Mr. Tan.

The Cicada, around since the 1980s, has managed to stay in business throughout downtown’s development renaissance, which seems to have reached a new level. In early 2017, the readers of the New York real estate blog Curbed voted Jersey City “neighborhood of the year.” (Manhattan’s financial district came in second place.) And downtown Jersey City’s boom is nowhere more visible than in the growing night-life and culinary scene along Newark Avenue, which has posed something of a threat to local dives and old-school ethnic restaurants.

“I always find myself highlighting the growth of the restaurant and bar scene,” said Jeremy Kaplan, chief operating officer of the Kushner Real Estate Group, one of the major players in the development boom here. (President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a nephew of one of the founders of KRE Group.) “I’m screaming it from the rooftops.” The Kushner Group owns four large residential buildings with 1,800 rental units and has two more buildings under construction.

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The pedestrian mall on Newark Avenue, with new restaurants and clubs. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
The boom, however, doesn’t really include the Golden Cicada Tavern and other longtime, old-school holdouts from Jersey City’s grittier days, like the Italian-American Barge Inn (scene of a bold F.B.I. raid two years ago) and the African-American-owned bottle-and-billiards joint Indio’s Place. This spring, the Latin Lounge Sports Bar, which sometimes featured live salsa music, closed.

There are also the bars that heralded the early signs of gentrification in the ’90s: the art bar LITM, the brunch spot Beechwood Cafe and Lucky 7 Tavern, downtown’s graffiti-covered punk rock dive. Popular and acclaimed recent arrivals include a cocktail bar (Dullboy), a tiki bar (Cellar 335), a whiskey bar (the Archer), an elegant Southern-style restaurant (Mathews) and a sausage-and-beer hall (Würstbar), as well as a handful of Brooklyn and East Village transplants like the celebrity chef Dale Talde’s Talde Jersey City, the Williamsburg video game bar Barcade and a Two Boots pizzeria.

This vibrant scene is at the heart of Jersey City’s revival. But it has also made way for large and rowdy nightclub-like spots along Newark Avenue near the PATH train station. These bars, often owned by companies with multiple properties, may well price out the indie upstarts and Brooklyn exiles.

“In my opinion, Jersey City downtown is only two to three years away from becoming Hoboken,” said Danny Harrison, a Jersey City resident and vice president for real estate at B&D Holdings, “which will significantly increase the real estate value but will take away from the flair and uniqueness of Jersey City.”

The enduring flair and uniqueness of Jersey City is in no small part the result of Mr. Tan’s perseverance.

A small man with a wide grin and a monkish buzz cut, he is an autodidact and former engineer and the reason educational PBS is on the TV. He provides Scrabble and discussions on Thomas Paine for a slew of regulars ranging from English expat investment bankers to restaurant deliverymen ending their shifts. In order to keep his place of business running just the way he likes, Mr. Tan has engaged in legal battles and adapted to significant cultural shifts, watching the demographics of his own bar change from blue-collar, born-and-bred Jersey types and street toughs to young bankers, local artists and college students who initially arrived from somewhere else.

“This used to be a working-class bar,” said Mr. Tan, 72. “We had one guy in here who worked for City Hall. He couldn’t read! Spoke English fine but couldn’t read.”

When Mr. Tan bought the Golden Cicada Tavern in 1986, Jersey City had been a blasted landscape for years, the result of the collapse of the local railroad industry in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Watching the news on PBS at the Golden Cicada Tavern. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
At the time, Hoboken was starting its revival, though the spread of New York wealth and development across the Hudson was slow, said Max Herman, director of the urban studies program at New Jersey City University. “In the 1980s, Hoboken had fallen so low that people were setting buildings on fire for the insurance money,” he said. In the ’90s, professional New Yorkers saw opportunity in the inexpensive brownstones that remained in Hoboken, as well as its compact, neighborhood-like footprint. An established working-class Irish and Italian community in Hoboken offered “an already-existing infrastructure of bars and taverns,” Mr. Herman said.

By contrast, Jersey City was sprawling, covering an area almost the size of Manhattan. With its abandoned buildings, long-neglected waterfront and larger minority communities, it was seen as a rougher place and more risky for investment. What passed for night life in many neighborhoods took place in “social clubs” in peoples’ basements and backyards, where the membership rules skirted the licensing laws. According to Dr. Herman, artists slowly occupied the old buildings; cafes, bars and restaurants followed.

Mattias and Alice Gustafsson moved to the area in 1990 and opened their first restaurant, Madame Claude, in 2002. It sat alone on a corner far from public transportation, its charming yellow walls covered with framed photographs of French film stars of the ’50s and ’60s.

“There was nothing there,” Mr. Gustafsson said, “except the drug dealers around the corner. The streets were empty at 8 o’clock. On the first night we opened, we had our windows broken. But then we even created a friendship with the drug dealers. We learned their names. We earned their respect.”

The restaurant soon became a go-to date spot, serving moules-frites, crèpes and other classic French comfort food.

“Everything was word of mouth, and people started venturing out,” Mr. Gustafsson said. “They had a hard time finding us — the streets were all dark — then they saw our string of little fairy lights around the awning.”

Opening a restaurant or bar in New Jersey, rather than in New York, comes with its own challenges. Nowhere is this more evident than in New Jersey’s byzantine liquor laws, helpfully explained in an 85-page document on the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control website. These rules are the reason the honest strip-club owner must choose between hard liquor and full nudity.

Most important, the laws govern the sale and distribution of liquor licenses, which are pegged to the size of a municipality and must be purchased outright rather than leased, as they can be in New York.

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interior of Madame Claude Bis during dinner. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
The original Madame Claude had no liquor license but allowed customers to bring their own wine, the only economical course for such a small establishment.

“B.Y.O.B. was good for us as long as the rent was O.K.,” Mr. Gustafsson said. “But Jersey City has a lot more corporate than family restaurants because they have deeper pockets.”

Mr. Harrison, the real estate investor, agrees, pointing out that rising rents, combined with such a big start-up outlay for a license, can be crippling.

“The boom is unreal; the price per square foot has tripled,” said Mr. Harrison, who said he has lost over 20 real estate bids in this intensely competitive market. He explained that investors are buying buildings at high prices with low returns, which means that they are increasing rents significantly. This, in turn, is pushing out small-business owners.

The current boom has occurred under the watch of Jersey City’s dynamic young mayor, Steven Fulop, 40, who has encouraged large-scale development while simultaneously championing small businesses. According to the mayor, there are 10,000 new residential units under construction and another 17,000 approved. At the same time, he says, 650 new small businesses have opened within the past three years, many of them bars and restaurants.

The Gustafssons saw the change coming. When they were given an opportunity to open a larger space nearby, they leapt at the chance, closing down the first restaurant and finally purchasing a liquor license for $150,000. They opened Madame Claude Bis, a basement bar with high ceilings, brick walls, a round-the-corner speakeasy entrance, Gypsy jazz and a full menu of French wines.

The Golden Cicada’s genesis, on the other hand, was something of an accident. Driving past a for-sale sign, Mr. Tan called and bought the nearly burned-out building. Discovering that the purchase came with a liquor license, he found himself a bartender and kept at it.

“Having a liquor license in New Jersey is like owning an asset,” said Shen Pan, an owner and manager of the new Pet Shop, Jersey City’s first exclusively vegetarian bar and restaurant, the realized ambition of 10 local investor-friends who have all lived downtown for at least a decade.

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The crowd at South House on Newark Avenue. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
“We bought a license for $130,000 two years before finding a space,” Mr. Pan said. “We were confident downtown was going to explode. We wanted to do this before we got priced out.”

“The only way you can fight gentrification,” he added, “is by owning a piece of it, unfortunately.”

Downtown’s boom is most obvious on Newark Avenue.

Even as a City Council member, Mayor Fulop saw enormous untapped potential for the stretch of Newark Avenue surrounding the busy Grove Street PATH station. For years, city law affecting this particular strip had slowed the development of what seemed to many as a potential restaurant row. The regulations, adding to the existing demands of state laws, required that any bar or restaurant on the strip had to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. and that liquor licenses were nontransferable. As a result, Newark Avenue at night was a scene of shuttered discount stores and grim bodegas.

The mayor led the city to pass legislation to lift regulations, and change came swiftly, bringing no fewer than seven new restaurants to the strip within three years. A stretch of the street was turned into a pedestrian mall, with planters, bicycle racks and picnic tables.

At daytime in nice weather, the plaza is filled with families playing, couples strolling, al fresco diners and buskers. The block plays host to numerous street fairs throughout the year.

One Kushner property, Grove Pointe, towers above the Grove Street PATH station. “Part of being successful in development is being sensitive to local concerns,” Mr. Kaplan said.

The Kushner Group, he added, has “created an environment in our view that has enhanced the quality of life.” He recalled a recent early evening out at the pizza restaurant Porta, on Newark Avenue. “It was a great mix of people out for happy hour and families, too,” he said.

But by 11 p.m. on a Friday or Saturday, the tables at Porta are moved away, the kitchen stops serving its full menu, and black-clad doormen with metal detectors begin checking the IDs of the keyed-up partyers lined up outside. Porta and South House, a Southern restaurant also on the de facto restaurant row, are transformed into nightclubs, with thumping music and intoxicated, loud crowds.

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The rooftop bar at Porta. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
Closer to the PATH station, there is a confused jumble of bars all housed in one establishment and known for cheap beer, multiple television screens and sugary cocktails. The largest of these bars is the Bistro, which has earned the local nickname “the Bro-stro.”

Gentrification has arrived at such a full tilt here that the occasional brawl is more often between the privileged than the poor.

“We went there the other night,” said Mr. Gustafsson, who owns Madame Claude Bis. “All the bars were playing dance music. It’s fine. Leave it over there.”

The mayor’s office is well aware of residents’ concerns and has deployed a more visible police presence on the strip at peak hours, while also focusing on family-friendly gestures like increased public programming in the outdoor area and requiring every bar on the block to operate a working kitchen.

“It’s a work in progress,” Mayor Fulop said.

Madame Claude Bis and Pet Shop remain safely off the beaten path of Newark Avenue’s main drag, but not quite as safely off or unbeaten as the Golden Cicada.

“All you see is huge high-rises all around him,” Mr. Pan said of Mr. Tan. “And the Cicada just sitting in that little spot. That summarizes what he’s been through.”

Mr. Tan himself is a chronicle of shrugging opportunity. An ethnic Chinese living in Malaysia during politically restive times in 1969, he walked into the local American library one day and, thumbing through a directory of American colleges, saw the name Antioch, applied to the engineering school, and was accepted. Even the name Terry was a mere suggestion that stuck.

“Somebody just mentioned ‘Call yourself Terry,’” he said. “O.K., I’m Terry.”

The name Golden Cicada was the translation of the Chinese name of his first wife, she in turn named after a character in the epic Chinese novel “Journey to the West.”

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Singing at the bar during karaoke night at the Golden Cicada Tavern. Credit Bryan Anselm for The New York Times
In 2005, the city government brought an eminent domain suit against Mr. Tan, seeking to acquire his property in a zone of development that is now booming. Mr. Tan fought back.

“In New Jersey nobody wins eminent domain,” he said. “When the government wants it, they take it.”

During the litigation, Mr. Tan’s wife died of cancer.

“That was the catalyst,” he said. “When your dog is in the corner, you fight for your life.”

When Mr. Tan learned that the city’s intention in seizing his property was to allow the Catholic school next door to expand its football field, he challenged it on First Amendment grounds, putting up a banner outside the bar reading “Thou Shalt Not Steal.”

With the help of the Rutgers University Law Clinic and the A.C.L.U. of New Jersey, Mr. Tan defended himself in court and won.

As the neighborhood changes fast, the Cicada clings on stubbornly, and Mr. Tan spends his spare time on pet projects, chiefly building an electric car engine that he claims will “disrupt Tesla” after he installs it into the rusty chassis of an old Volkswagen Beetle he keeps in the lot out back. He swears he’ll drive it to Atlantic City and back on one charge.

“Terry’s been there as an institution forever,” Mayor Fulop said. “I think his bar traffic has escalated along with the development because he’s got this unique character and feeling of authenticity.”

Minutes after the 20-somethings took their inaugural baijiu shots, a local amateur soccer team filed into the bar after a game. The team it beat was drinking sulkily elsewhere while these athletes, proud members of their self-named Golden Cicada Soccer Club, celebrated victory with shots of baijiu and bottles of Tsingtao.

Posted on: 5/5 9:34

Edited by GrovePath on 2017/5/5 9:51:05
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