The last day of the Hiatus Bleats: rejoice. So what have we today?
I've been going through as many "urban renewal" videos on YouTube as I can take without rolling my eyes all the way back into my skull so much they get stuck there, and they get accustomed to the darkness and I start seeing things I forgot. This one's about Jersey City, which is proud to be tearing stuff down and building new stuff for the future. Like this:
It starts with a banker interviewing a city official, and of course you pause it right away to google him and find out when, not if, he went to jail for corruption. Quite soon after, it seems: "In 1971, during his second term, Whelan was indicted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey as a member of the "Hudson County Eight," and was convicted in federal court of conspiracy and extortion in a multimillion-dollar political kickback scheme connected to city and county contracts."
Okay. Well, the video spends a lot of time showing all the new factories and old factories and the wonderful things they make.
IT'S NAZI GRANDMA!
AND SHE'S MAKING PASTA
They still make it. Just not in Jersey City. The video shows us the wares of Dixon, which we all remember from school. They made the best pencils!
They also made PRANG, which meant fun in school. They had a great logo; looks European.
They moved to Florida.
Well, let's go downtown and see how things are looking.
The building in the background helped me orient myself and find the current appearance:
The lights can still be seen, and there are circles on the ground where the planters used to be.
Another shot of the busy downtown with its distinctive mid-century signage:
It is distinctly lesser today.
But. If you look around the street, you see some wild ornamental forms. I mean, this is rare.
It's that strange not-quite-Frank-Lloyd-Wright Mayan / skin disease look:
From the previous decade, an old Beaux-Art (sorta) thing:
If you're wondering whether we've gotten far afield from the original documentary, yes. Yes we have. Let's listen to the theme song and some incidental music.
How about that: industrials + Main Street + Listen. It's all falling apart! Or coming together, gathering up because the boss is coming back on Monday.
See you then, and thank you for your patience.