Let history note that the first book sold at Tachair Bookshoppe was a Kings James Bible to Mayor Jerremiah Healy. The bookstore held its eagerly anticipated grand opening and the Mayor came by to enact the ribbon cutting ritual. After he cut the ribbon and spoke to the crowd, Healy pointed out that Tachair is a Gallic word meaning “gathering place,” and talked about the store opening as an example of the ongoing revitalization of what used to be called the Old Italian Village neighborhood of Downtown J.C.
Councilman Steve Fullop – the Mayor’s rival for the 2013 race and whose office is right across the street from the store – was billed as featured guest speaker but he was a no-show (at least for the opening ceremonies). Maybe it was not personal animosity between these two politicians that caused an incomplete Jersey City municipal government welcome for a new merchant but the more historic controversies still surrounding the linguistic decisions made by the scholars responsible for the King James and the lack of credit they gave to William Tyndale
A bookstore! Let our inner lives be enriched even as the recession depletes our personal resources. It takes a village to save the printed word (printed on paper at least, not in cyberspace). The anticipation for this store has been genuine, people want paper books at a good price – much of the inventory is used – and as far as I could tell, the books displayed are in near-new condition. People want to go a bookstore, and maybe as much, they want a bookstore that reflects the community. Bookstore as a community space is an endangered species and the small but lively grand opening seemed a celebration that downtown Jersey City was reversing the tide, drawing a line and declaring No Further. It felt good, not a bar, nothing trendy, just a local bookstore where we can go and answer the constant question, what to read next.
In keeping with the Celtic/Gallic theme (The Tachair Bookshoppe proprietors tend to use both terms with interchangeability), a duo of guitar and fiddle, although the guitarist doubled on flute, ran through some Irish instrumental ditties, and later a Scottish dancer showed some authentic moves.
A coffee tasting was held, the store supplied a spread of deserts and salads as well as soda and water. People signed the guest book. There were a lot of kids – the store features a large children’s section and special area for parking strollers, they were playing with tops, scraping crayons on coloring books on the back table, clapping along with the vibrantly played Celtic melodies.
Inviting, comfortable and cozy is the best way to describe the space. The store combines used and new inventory, and doubles as a tranquil, bookish café. As the Mayor and other officials departed, they were replaced by customers looking at titles and a line formed at the cash register and the actual business began. Titles were browsed! Transactions were made, books were bought and sold, and community was affirmed.
260 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, New Jersey