With all the traffic that builds up around our home. We’ve done a pretty good job in finding alternative routes, short and long cuts and series of detours that help us avoid the traffic nightmares that often accompany living so close to major bridges and tunnels. Depending on the time of day and of course, the season. You’re likely to witness some breathtaking sunsets and sunspaces. For me personally, it’s enough to pull over to the side of the road and reach for the camera in order to capture some of its natural beauty.Of course, my wife thinks I’m crazy. Luckily, I’ve been doing it long enough that she’s come to be expect it.
Prior to moving to the Journal Square area of Jersey City. I had little to no knowledge of the area with the glaring exception of beautiful views of the former American Can Company we would often view from Rt. 9 and or The Pulaski Bridge. As we passed the yet to be renovated towers. We’d often comment, better yet drool about the possibilities of someday moving in to an old run down factory or industrial complex. Little did we know at the time that those run down, abandoned beauties would be reborn as loft condos.
Upon starting our four year process of searching for a home. We saw a number of properties in and around Jersey City before deciding against moving to the area. Then, all of the sudden, thanks to the wisdom and hindsight of our trusted realtor. We gave the area one last shot. On the day we came to see the very first unit the market offered us. We were both convinced that this was the place we wanted to be. This was the kind of home we always imagined but never thought we would find. And while it took some months and the loss of two units we had our hearts set on. We sealed the deal on one we both loved and still feel very happy to be in.
While the neighborhood took time getting used to. Exploring the surrounding areas has been an amazing adventure. In areas I once tip toed around for fear of trespassing or being interrogated. I know walk boldly. The neighborhood has evolved and changed for the better.The area has become quite colorful and artful with new murals being created in some of the most unexpected places and access to anywhere else I’d like to go is literally at our fingertips.
Aside from all those pretty good reasons to be positive. My neighbors and the residents here are pretty damn nice. See friends, families and pets in riding the elevators or roaming the halls daily only reassures me moved to the right place.
As the weather warms I plan to extend my walks, exploring more corners of the area and stop being so weary about those helicopters that seem to appear any time I get to close to a bridge or railroad. Wish me luck.
Everyone seems to have their own form of meditation. Something to help find the calm and focus needed to cleanse their mind of the clutter, stress and anxiety they deal with on a day to day basis. Personally, I have explored many channels in recent years. Many of which work very well .
One of mantras I’ve adopted over the last year or so is my nightly walk. One of the things that helped us fall in love with our current home is it’s industrial surroundings. With all the bridges, train yards and factories nearby. One could not ask for more character and personality. Watching the sun set over such a beautiful landscape brings me a sense of peace I can’t quite describe and hope to never take for granted. If I was able to dole out advice to anyone. I would recommend that whenever possible. Find those private moments where you can enjoy being alone. Breathe deep and be in the moment for as long as you can.
As I began to plan my route back home last night I ran into more than several dead ends and locked fences. Feeling a bit worn and self aware that I wasn’t exactly walking through territory that saw much heavy foot traffic. The rocky, uneven and muddy ground below me had already began to take it’s tole on my new pair of Nike’s and a slight sense of paranoia had start to set in. Weary of being sighted by any construction foreman’s or pulled over by the authorities. My pace quickened as my eyes widened searching for an opening in one of the fences. As the night grew dark and my path became more like an obstacle course. I kept my eyes close to the ground. That’s when I found buried treasure just below the muddy terrain. Without wasted breath I leaned forward, scooped up a couple and headed towards home. The experience quickly reminded me of my elementary school days when my friends and me would explore the train yards of Sunnyside Queens looking for buried treasure. While I may not be hoping any fences or climbing up on roofs these days. The explorer in me is still alive and well.
Living in Hoboken for a good ten years. My lazy, nothing ever happens before coffee, ass managed to capture just a handful of sunrises. That said, the sun coming up over Manhattan is a sight worth capturing again, again and again. Since moving to Jersey City however, I’ve come to appreciate sunsets in new and endlessly creative ways. In my first weeks and months here. I would climb up on the construction side of RT. 139, 9 and the Pulaski Bridge to watch the sun set over the nearby Kearny factories. It was, in a sense, the start of my daily meditation ritual. My moment to breathe and release the days stress and anxiety. After a long winter with very little sun to rise or set. During those dark days, I promised myself not to take for granted the little things that make life worth living. So tonight I took a long walk west on Newark Ave. towards the setting sun. Despite the endless string of automobiles noisily passing from both directions. I felt a sense of peace and solitude. Along the way I found some new angles and vantage points to capture the sunrise. And while it’s hard to avoid taking the same picture over and over. I’ve got plenty of time to try new things. Keep chasin’.
We were headed to our new bagel hideout when we made the turn just before the designated u-turn that would have put us on track for breakfast. As we rounded the long path that took us past the industrial park and back on to our preferred route. I realized we had hit an unexpected jackpot. That slight misstep allowed us access to some key views of the Pulaski Skyway and the bridge that is currently being worked on. So with camera in hand I hit the car seats eject button and composed a few shots. Within minutes I was back in the car and we were back on track for some fresh bagels and coffee. While there was a time when getting lost might lead me to self doubt and criticism. I’ve learned that it often leads to treasure and unexpected fun. It makes me proud knowing I have absolutely no sense of direction.