Archive for October 21, 2008

i’m in a new (jersey) state of mind

October 21, 2008 Leave a comment

If you’re saying, “Hey! That’s not New Jersey!” then yup, you’re right. I had a quick one-day business trip to a financial customer located in Jersey City, New Jersey, which happens to be right across the Hudson River from Manhattan NY.

I didn’t bother getting a rental car and just walked along the riverfront from the hotel to the customer office. It looked to me like there’s been a lot of urban renewal in the area recently, with a bunch of new-looking high-rise apartments, condos, hotels, and business towers, but still with some old, abandoned, empty shell brick buildings. Most of the abandoned buildings are just grungy, but a few like the one below are strangely beautiful. This one happens to be located right next door to the ultra-modern (but pretty generic-looking) Jersey City Trump Tower. It’d be cool if when this property gets developed they found a way to restore the old brick building instead of tearing it down.

This was the first time I’d ever been in the metropolitan New York area (though I’ve been to the outer suburbs a time or two). So I was very happy to have a few hours left at the end of the business day to hop the subway under the Hudson to Manhattan.

It didn’t take me long to understand why so many people love living in the big city. It sounds like a cliche, but I gotta tell you the sense of energy and activity was everywhere. But it can feel small and approachable at the same time, with some cool little shop around every corner. For example, I grabbed a late lunch at this great place called Pax Wholesome Foods, where you can get built-to-order salads, entrees, and desserts, all with very detailed nutrition information prominently displayed. I got a salad and fruit cup, and took them across the street to eat and relax in Bryant Park, next to the New York Public Library.

Here’s a little something for the Alley-Blog! New York edition :-)

After a while wandering around mid-town, I took the subway downtown to the Wall Street financial district, where Ground Zero now really just looks like a giant construction site.

From there I made my way against the flow of end-of-workday expensively-suited businesspeople to a lovely waterfront park with a view of the sun setting across the Hudson onto the Jersey City skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

Finally, I joined the flow of homebound pedestrians back to the subway, then under the Hudson to Jersey City and a lovely view of the colors of the fading sunset reflecting from the Manhattan skyscrapers.