Reignite Regenerate Renew says the sign, metal, bent, broken off its post and laying on the ground. In the distance another sign, Danger Construction Site. Brush, some of it shoulder high, surrounds a portion of the decaying brick. Some of the large, cathedral like windows has been covered with plywood, painted yellow, mimicking the rendering on the sign still standing, bright and blue, klieg lights, Art Festival on the marquee. We can dream and if we’re going to dream why not dream big – Preserving Jersey City’s Past for Future Generations promises a quote on this sign. Certainly not for the present, construction hasn’t occurred on this site since the sign was put up.
The irony of the scene amuses. Sure, someday why not, only a couple blocks away the Trump Plaza stands, ostentatious and uninspiring named after a particularly unappealing celebrity; may not be the past but something is preserved for future generations. Factories and warehouses, good paying blue collar unionized jobs that are what used to be here now there are signs in empty lots promising retail stores and art festivals, holes in the exterior where bricks have fallen out. Fallow smokestacks, fewer and fewer who remember the actual work that used to be here. Developers dreams and their dreams are now our official and apparently only hope. There’s a fence, a sign, a rendering.., the only thing missing from this construction site is the construction.