Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Meeting the Neighbors: PADNA JC vs Transmission Lounge

Settling into a new neighborhood can be a challenge, especially if you don't know anyone in town. This is exactly what happened to me when I moved to Jersey City in August 2015. 

Since moving in, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled for events, social gatherings and networking opportunities. In November, I came across a poster in the main lobby of my apartment building. It was a neighborhood meeting hosted by the Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood AssociationPADNA JC.

PADNA gave residents the skinny of what was taking place in the neighborhood and what buildings were going up and coming down in Jersey City's real estate market. 

Turns out some residents have a love hate relationship with Shuster Management, because the owner is building condos and apartments that may take away parking throughout the Powerhouse Arts District. 

I currently reside in one of the Shuster properties and since I don't own a car, parking is not a huge issue for me.

But what is a huge issue for me as a "new" Jersey City resident - limited nightlife. There's hardly anywhere to go and chill to have a cocktail, listen to live music and meet new people. 

Shortly after moving in I found Transmission Lounge, which is a stone throw away from my door step. It has resident DJs, fashion shows, and most recently, an open mic night. 

Unfortunately, PADNA doesn't like Transmission and they let the owner know it.

During a meeting in November, PADNA complained the bass coming from the lounge was too heavy. Transmission's owner got up and explained that he's doing the best that he can to improve the problem. Unfortunately, the explanation fell on deaf ears. 

Over the next couple of months I learned PADNA wants to shut down Transmission. They claim the music is too loud and they don't like the type of patrons the establishment attracts to the neighborhood. 

What type of patrons are they talking about exactly? People from New York City, Elizabeth, Newark and Paterson, N.J. 

I recently learned a Jersey City Police Department official told PADNA that violence will plague the neighborhood because "Hip-Hop nights [at Transmission] will attract drug dealers from Paterson and Newark." 

As a Black American living in the Powerhouse Arts District, PADNA and JCPD's comments comes across as racists. As a matter of fact their statements are racists.

If Jersey City is considered to be one of the most diverse cities in the nation, why are city officials and neighborhood associations trying to keep Blacks and Hispanics - the typical demographics of the Hip Hop community - out? 
There's so much more to this story but I'll share more as the agenda unfolds.

In my humble opinion, the way the association is handling Transmission is not right. 

See the following posts from PADNA's Facebook group.

Now I actually took the opportunity to respond to the initial post. (Note, how petty the previous comment is.)

Ok, so the person who started this mayhem did reply to me directly. However, notice how he did not respond to my initial inquiry asking if anyone went to Transmission to get to know the owners and find out exactly what's going on. If they did they would learn that they can't control how the customers act once they leave the establishment. I wonder if PADNA even took into account O'Hare's patrons who also parties until the early morning hours?

There was only one post that really gave some sort of solution. Thumbs up to Kevin Pollack.

The Powerhouse Art District needs a little nightlife and Transmission is trying to give Jersey City residents and visitors a place to lounge. I sure hope PADNA will be able to ease up on new businesses coming into the area and be willing to co-exist. 

If you're a Jersey City native or a "new" Jersey City resident who has been affected by the noise in your area, I would like to hear from you for an interview. I want to know if you have a logical solution to help an entertainment venue stay in business in the PAD?

Are you a resident who would like to have more of a nightlife in JC? 

Do you think Jersey City really earns the right to be on the list as one of the most diverse cities in the United States?

Send your views to TheJCResident@gmail.com.

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