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Jersey City and America: Will We Ever Value Culture?

This past Sunday, I drove around Jersey City¬†with the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy to survey homes, businesses, and assorted properties redeveloped in an aesthetically- and historically-minded fashion over the past year. Jersey City’s bounty of interesting, beautiful buildings astounded me. These treasures exist well beyond the sanctioned historic districts and the increasing affluent downtown. Well…

Delightfully Frozen in the Past: Ocean Grove, New Jersey

During our recent vacation—too short, as always—my wife and I stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, right next door to the rowdy and famous Asbury Park. While Asbury Park tempts one with rock ‘n’ roll music, cheap drinks, and the hope of fast women, Ocean Grove offers quiet nights,…

Thoughts on Asbury Park: a Few Days at the Jersey Shore

Wanting to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and utter unpleasantness of flying, my wife and I have planned our weekend trips and vacations around train travel over the past several years. A proponent of the contemporary cult of travel (and any airline executive) would blanch at this practice. The whole wide world awaits you. Why limit…

Great Public Spaces: a Few Ideas, Part II

The last several posts have addressed the pressing need for quality public spaces in the rapidly developing and transforming Jersey City. In the past decade, a group of volunteers have rescued a historic nineteenth-century cemetery from abandonment and neglect. This group hopes that the cemetery can be a splendid place for the people of Jersey…

Great Public Spaces: a Few Ideas, Part I

My previous post lamented the dearth of great, eye-opening public spaces throughout Jersey City and the nearly complete absence of any attention to this need in the redevelopment and building boom of the city throughout the last thirty years. However, genuine and realistic opportunities exist to ameliorate the lack of civic mindedness and inadequate planning…

Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy 15th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony

On Thursday night—yes, this Thursday May 28, 2015 from 6:00 to 9:00—the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy is hosting its annual preservation awards ceremony at the splendid and magical Loew’s Jersey Theatre. The JCLC will be handing out awards to homeowners, developers, and architects who have renovated or preserved historic property throughout Jersey City and to…

Preservation Month

May is Preservation Month! Celebrate the month by visiting a church, a historic home, a park, a museum, or a cultural institution. Enjoy a space that makes your town or city beautiful, interesting, and worth caring about. Everywhere and everyone in this storied country should have one special place. Find yours. The National Trust for…