Friday, March 15, 2013

Long Fallow, Now Gone

When I saw the lot of fresh rubble, all I thought was, darn I wish I saw the implosion, the destruction or perhaps in this case, the de-construction.

This store has been shuttered a long time, has to be more than five years. American hardware, a retro-Native American marquee. When it snowed, the sidewalk in front went unshoveled, causing a pedestrian hazard. All the retailers who were on this block have left, citing as a major reason this large, closed structure, an anchor of retail death. Most recently I’ve blogged about Made with Love leaving.
I remember when this hardware store was opened. I only went in a couple of times. There were no aisles; I think they mainly did wholesale but I could be wrong. The front was a counter, you asked for what you needed (I needed refrigerator light bulbs) and they went in the back, brought out what they had and you decided. I also remember the price sort of being made up on the spot; just give me two dollars sort of thing. It was pretty old school. But it was also dingy and dusty and a little unfriendly (totally the opposite to Downtown Hardware around the corner on Newark).
So, now we get to live with the rubble removal and the construction and whatever new building will be here. Jersey Avenue between Newark and ole Railroad Avenue has a nice hole in its Eastern middle. Meeting our new gap. I love the rubble, the debris a sign of what used to be, as temporary as the actual emptiness but even if only remnants are left that emptiness is not so acute.


So, I might have griped about the extraordinary amount of time this building was allowed to stay fallow, but I will still miss this painted boards of the store marquee, so mid-20th century and in a way, gives Jersey City its charm, things that linger long after their welcome.

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