“From the Bridge”

Jersey City in a Bygone Era, from Seawater One

Depending on your point of view, Jersey City was the rose, or possibly the thorn, of the Garden State. It is so far back that my memories are rather vague, but they were my first memories, and this is where I have to start. We lived at 77 Nelson Avenue, behind my parents’ German-style delicatessen, in three Spartan rooms counting the kitchen. Supermarkets were not yet prevalent and the neighborhood general store, grocery store or delicatessen was where most folks shopped for food. It was during the pre-World War II years, when very few people owned cars and the general public did not have the modern means of travel, which we now take for granted. Every item people needed came from a different store, so to go shopping was a daily task of which people were not even consciously mindful. Even if they had a car, they would have to deal with constant breakdowns, poor and frequently unpaved roads, and tire problems. Garage rentals were crowded behind and between buildings. Parking on the street was limited and most people respected the concept that the parking space in front of a dwelling was for the resident who lived there. It was much easier to use the available mass transportation or endure long walks.

  Journal Square, Jersey City, NJ

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