Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fuck You, Jersey City is Not Cool

So New York Magazine apparently decided to write about New Jersey and do a little feature about how Jersey City is the next cool place to live or, actually, it was the cool place to live a little while ago and it's about to get too cool for its own good. WELL! I've lived there for two years now and, you know what? Fuck you, New York Magazine. Jersey City is not cool.

Derp! The Statue of Liberty is technically on our property! Claim to fame! Gurrgh!!

According to the helpful timeline on the second page of this feature, I also lived in Tribeca back before it was cool and moved out shortly after the coolness began to settle in. It's unclear to me, quite frankly, from whence this information is culled. Do you go around asking twats with douchey haircuts if they like it there? Do you wander about the area trying to catch snippets of indie rock wafting from open apartment windows? Do you have a cool barometer that beeps in 2:3 tempo as it closes in on the location of a falafel vendor?

On top of which, this definition of coolness is rather nondescript, if you ask me. The best I can figure is that the period in which something is cool is the time just before its jive-like qualities get noticed by big companies who then start tearing down all the abandoned buildings to make room for condos to gyp hipsters out of a lot more money than living in the location is really worth. In other words, when you move into an area that's a bit ghetto just because the rent is cheap and find that, as a white person, you're a minority, sorry Francis, this place ain't cool. HOWEVER! Give it a couple more years and people will have begun to have heard of your little craphole of a neighborhood.

"I live in Jersey City," you say to someone.

"Oh, that's cool, I know someone who just moved to Jersey City," they will say.

COOL??? It's cool, is it? Well other people have heard something apparently pointing to this fact, so surely it must be true! Disregard that you actually live there and there are mice in your walls and constant construction everywhere and there's only like two bars you feel at all remotely welcome in and the superchill block you live on is almost entirely populated by Russians who make no effort to get to know you or vice versa. Jersey City is the BEES KNEES and don't you even begin to think otherwise!

I've seemingly been living in FUCKING COOL places nearly all my bloody life! First there was Tribeca, which my parents settled into well before the COOLBOMB made impact. Was it cool? Yeah, I guess. There was some guy who penned the lyrics to a famous rock song (hell if I know which one) living above us. We lived in a building that used to be a spice factory so the stairwell smelled like cumin or something all the time. Somebody broke into one of the apartments one time and the people living there pelted him with large books until he ran off. There was a bum wandering around who thought he was a car and one time my mom and I waited for him to stop leaking transmission fluid in front of the door to our apartment building before we went inside. I don't know how many of these factors contribute to the overall coolness of the area, but the only reason it felt mildly cool at all to me was probably because I was a child and children LIKE THINGS.

When I was eight, my family and I moved to the suburb of Montclair, NJ. Although it doesn't get it's own COOL TIMELINE, Montclair is another one of them coolzones!! How do I know? Because when I mention it to people they say, "Montclair? That's a cooool town!!" OH REALLY?! Then how come I hated everybody and everything and myself growing up there. Oh, yes! Because I was a teenager and that's how you are when you're a teenager and Montclair's coolness or the amazingness of our public schools (which also have a great reputation for some ungodly reason), I'm sad to say, didn't cancel out the suckiness that was growing up! HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?! I WAS ON THE CUSP OF FUNKY-FRESH SUBURBIA!! DURRG!!!

When I applied to Hofstra University in LONG ISLAND, people said to me "That's a good school!" THE FUCK YOU PULLING THAT FROM, TWATBURGER?? Perhaps your first clue should be that it's in LONG FUCKING ISLAND, the crappiest place on earth right after Cambodia, no wait, right before.

So, wait! How did I end up living in all these sweet places without enjoying myself?! Say, I think I know why! Because NOTHING IS COOL, do you understand me? I shall repeat. NOTHING IS COOL. As someone who's lived in places where the cool ratings were SEVERE to the point of TIPPING THE SCALES, I will tell you this, coolness is an ILLUSION.

There's nothing decidedly cool about Jersey City and what's odd is the article seems to acknowledge that this area is pretty friggin' barren. We don't have a ton of bars, we don't have a lot of clubs, we don't really have places for live music, we don't have many restaurants. You want something to do on the weekend, you're still most likely gonna take a trip into NYC. So apparently the JC is cool without having anything cool to do? Uh...huh.

The author of the article does make some statements that are more or less accurate. He says that a cool territory is staked out originally by artists and other types who want to live somewhere relatively cheap. Well, yes. I moved here to the Grove Street area of the JC because it was exceptionally close to the city, but far cheaper than living there. Hoboken and Newport are too expensive. Journal Square is dirt cheap, but it's also damned ugly and frightening. So, basically, I'm living here because it's cheap, but not so cheap that I might get murdered. I don't call my decision to live here "cool," so much as it is "reasonably sensible." Since when did "reasonably sensible" translate to "cool?" Well, in my book it kind of does. But not so much in New York Magazine, I suppose!

As I said, the cool period, if I'm understanding correctly, comes about when people start taking notice of the area, case in point, when an article in New York Magazine shows up. Basically as soon as people who know nothing of your neighborhood are huge fans of your neighborhood, well, you fucking rock. But, wait! What happens when all these people, seeking not so much cheap cost of living, but rather the next "scene," decide to take it one step further by moving in next door?! Things cost too much! Buildings get torn down and replaced by fancy-schmancy condos! Suddenly, everything sucks! Now, this I do agree with!

When I first moved here a friend told me he'd never been. "Well," I responded, "it's not exactly a place you need to visit before you die." I still hold to this statement! I would never consider anything about Jersey City particularly cool or interesting. There are some decent things about it, but if I didn't live here, I can't imagine ever going out of my way to check it out. HOWEVER! Although it is NOT COOL, it can easily get worse.

I've seen Williamsburg recently and you know what?! It's basically a shithole populated with annoying skinny white kids. They have stupid emo hair and thick-rimmed glasses. They're loud and basically epitomize what I would refer to as "tools". Let's face it. When judging whether a place is "cool" or not we're basically saying, "Can a skinny, white, middle class kid move here and find it both cheap and safe?" Because, look! As soon as the cool secret gets out, that's what the place gets flooded with! And lemme tell you somethin'!! I might not have any major interaction with my Russian neighbors, but I prefer to be left alone rather than be surrounded by annoying fucking white kids. I'm already here and I hate myself. Why would I want a bunch of carbon copies around?

Here's hoping the hipsters read to the end of this guy's article because, if he does one thing right, it's stating that Jersey City is "already over." Apparently, places already are getting bought out and rent already is getting too high and I agree! More important than the fact that indie white kids annoy the shit out of me, is that, like I said, I lived here basically for the rent. My landlord, unfortunately, is already taking notice of the fact that this is getting to be a "hotspot" of sorts. When I first moved in I was supposed to be paying six-hundred a month, but he shortly thereafter jacked it up to six-fifty. Now, two years later, he's hoisting it up to an even seven-hundred!

GOD DAMMIT! STOP MOVING IN HERE! IT'S NOT COOL! IT'S JUST CONVENIENT!!! You motherfuckers make my rent too high where the hell else am I gonna go that's this cheap, this non-threatening, and this close to NYC?! COMMUNIPAW?!? Hey, there's your next coolzone, assholes! Start settling all up and down Communipaw! Yeah, let's see that go down! I don't see a problem! It's cheap! What's not cool about Communipaw, eh?!? I know there's a Checkers! OOH, CHECKERS!!


I WILL MAKE MYSELF ONCE AGAIN CLEAR. COOLNESS, SHE IS AN ILLUSION. There's nothing cool here, it's just REASONABLY SENSIBLE. Just think about how incredibly incongruent the notion is that a place is cool if people outside of it think it is, but once those same people move in it becomes shitty. UH-WHAT?

Even if, as I suppose the article is claiming, a bunch of new, keen little establishments open up around here, the fact of the matter is that, in any location, the place is responsible for very little of what makes it cool. Ok, yeah, so I guess Chernobyl and a handful (ONLY A HANDFUL!) of other areas blow because of the actual piece of land they occupy, but, by and large, it's the people that make a place. AND, NEWS BOOB-REVEAL, FRIENDS! PEOPLE SUCK.

I don't care where the hell you go, the world is dominated by nimrodiots. It's not like I'm out all the goddamned time hangin' with my hip friends thinking, "We sure are cool! I hope a bunch of squares don't move in here!" More often it's more like, "There's nothing to do and I don't like anybody, but at least we aren't swamped with MORE people I don't like and my rent isn't fucking high!"

So, read my text: GO AWAY. If you're moving here to find some kind of new, hip environment, you'll soon find that it's EXACTLY THE SAME AS EVERYWHERE ELSE (and, seriously, do you even want to live in the same neighborhood as a bitter dickhead like me?). I don't even think Jersey City is "over." In my mind, it never even "began." And as someone on the cusp of coolosity, you'd better listen to me.

Oh, and nice job mentioning Marco + Pepe as a "cute" place to eat, New York Magazine man. Too bad it's expensive as fuck for shitty little portions and run by a douchebag who owns a car that looks like it could only fit one manchild and a midget folded in half. I happen to know for a fact that it's always sucked. My sister worked at the crappy establishment years ago, way before it was COOL.