Downtown, where it seemed there was a dearth of music venues, FM filled an unmet need, with its unique mix of punk, rock and roll, funk and singer-songwriters. Certainly, the club had its ups and downs. Some nights it was so packed it was almost a fire hazard, other nights were so empty that shows got cancelled and the entire place closed early.
The streets were clean, there was one cop for every 300 people, and public transportation could get you anywhere you needed to go. “There was no sense of anybody being an outsider,” he said. “We considered the rest of the world, especially New Yorkers, to be creatures from a different galaxy.”
“The buzzard up there is the real estate developers,” Olsen explains. “And the skeletons, they died from neglect and the quality (of life). The cemetery is full of all the things we’ve lost, like the buses, the supermarket. We’re in a desert, and the flames are … the neighborhood is burning.”
Today, 155 years after its formation, the Lincoln Association of Jersey City (LAJC) is still active. (Indeed, it is one of the longest-serving associations nationwide.)
The same could be said of Novado Gallery’s local impact. Like other Jersey City gallerists, Novado (along with business partner Steve Pearlman) wanted to create a dedicated space for art shows as opposed to a café or hair salon that also happened to exhibit art. Business owners and real estate developers often persuade artists to hang works in their spaces for “exposure,” adding much-needed decor to their ventures for free, This bartering was exactly what Anne didn’t want to see. After all, “does a lawyer set up a booth for free advice just for exposure?” she asks.
“This marks an exciting new chapter for the Jersey City Free Public Library,” said Curt Harris, the library’s board president. “The case for Jeffrey’s candidacy [is] quite compelling because he is truly invested in social equity and diversity and inclusion issues in all areas rather than paying mere lip service.”