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Petra Solar Lights Up Jersey City

Jersey City is on the rise!  First, we had the BigBelly solar trash compactors dotting our streets to help clean up the trash and gutters.  Then, we had the wacky, and ongoing, Janky Pole episodes.  Now we have newly discovered solar panels installed, so far, on some non-Janky Pole utility poles all across our fair city.

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Jersey City Janky Pole

Jersey City, New Jersey was founded in 1630.  It’s an old and ancient East Coast metropolis. Jersey City is also, because of its geological terrain, a city that teeters in the past with no clear way into a stabilized future.  Allow me to explain.  Unlike most modern cities that bury their power lines and cable television lines and other communication cables, Jersey City still hangs all their municipal cabling from telephone poles hoisted along the streets.

The reason for this is simple: Jersey City is built on bedrock.  In order to put the cables in the ground, you’d have to dig up massive boulders.  You don’t dig precise trenches in Jersey City.  You excavate pits.  That Jersey City bedrock is both good and bad.  It’s good because Jersey City is the definition of “rock solid” — the city core is incredibly sturdy — and it’s bad because your city looks like it’s stuck in the 1950’s with all sorts of wires and cables angling above your head every day.  Another problem with telephone poles in your city is that they are made out of wood and they warp while in use and they need to be replaced.  You can’t “bury it, and forget it” like you can with cables.

I’ve lived in Jersey City for over a decade and the first thing that struck me about the city all those years ago was the plethora of what I call — “Janky Poles” — telephone poles that look like they’re about to tip over and break from overuse.  A few days ago, I took a half-hour walk on the streets of Jersey City to memorialize some of the sillier Janky Poles in my neighborhood and here are the best-of-the-worst for your perusal.

The first Janky Pole is the second pole in the distance.  Every time I happen upon that particular  Janky Pole, I always cross the street because I fear if someone sneezes too close to that chunk of wood, the whole thing will come toppling down.

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Jersey City Covers Its BigBelly Graffiti

On August 15, 2011, I wrote — Is Graffiti Art or Degenerative Hatred? — because I was concerned with the defacing of some brand new BigBelly solar trash cans in Jersey City:

A week ago, in our Panopticonic blog, I wrote an article — BigBelly Solar Recycling in Jersey City — and less than a week later, those divine BigBelly landmarks in our urban core have become geographic eyesores as red graffiti pocks the new surface of the metal bins.

Here’s how one BigBelly was defaced by some noxious red graffiti:

Here’s what that same Big Belly looked like a mere two days after I wrote my article:

Continue reading → Jersey City Covers Its BigBelly Graffiti

Is Graffiti Art or Degenerative Hatred?

A week ago, in our Panopticonic blog, I wrote an article — BigBelly Solar Recycling in Jersey City — and less than a week later, those divine BigBelly landmarks in our urban core have become geographic eyesores as red graffiti pocks the new surface of the metal bins.  Here’s how one BigBelly looked after its aesthetic destruction at the hands of some Jersey City Heights hooligan:

Here’s how that same BigBelly looked less than a week ago:

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BigBelly Solar Recycling in Jersey City

I was out for one of my morning walks last week with Janna, and I spied one of these crazy looking garbage cans.  The thing looks and sort of acts like a blue Post Office mailbox standing sentry on a corner, but this trash bin was something different.  Why did the new trash bin say “Big Bully” on the side?

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The Great Jersey City Whiteout: 23 Inches of Whoopass!

The weekend snowstorm that tackled us into Monday opened 23 inches of Whoopass here in Jersey City, and many pockets of humanity in and around the Tri-State area are still trying to dig out of the drifts.  We lost power several times Sunday and Monday and lots of neighborhood trees were tipped into felling by the heavy, wet, snow.  Streets are still unplowed.  Sidewalks are still impassable.  It’s a winter whiteout of neighborhood morality and city leadership.

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A Stumbling Patch in Jersey City

On my daily walk along the streets of Jersey City, I see happiness, I hear laughter — and sometimes — I am a witness to death.  This week, the weather here has been exceptionally punishingly hot, and when I stepped out into 99 degrees of a steaming, urban, core, I wanted to get my walk over quickly and efficiently.

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