November 26, 2012


The move from one office to another in Bayonne is not the end of the world, although the interior of the old office looks a little like a disaster zone, empty spaces left from the already vacated furniture.

But the change feels significant coming after a year of significant changes and a year in which I officially became “old.”

I didn’t feel old when I snuck into the 21st Street office to grab a paper that December 2003 knowing that a short time after Christmas the lives of the people working here and my life would change forever with the take over by the Hudson Reporter.

Founded in 1978, the BCN spent most of its life in this building, a legitimate community paper deeply immersed in the local political scene, but not too much influenced by any thing beyond the borders of Bayonne.

We went on after that, growing a little, and yet shrinking, too, as operations moved out from this place to the main office, or the warehouse. The concept of having part time senior citizens come in once a week to fold the newspaper for delivery evaporated with the more modern process our papers always had.

But since March, when the editorial moved north, I became more and more isolated, a man in a bubble and divorced from the others in a way that went beyond mere distance. At times, I didn’t even feel like I was part of that paper at all, despite my once a week (sometimes terribly painful) visit north to conduct production and attend meetings.

The sale of the building and the move to the new offices is something of a relief, changing the landscape so that I am no longer living in a space formerly occupied by living, breathing human beings. There were times in this old office over the last year that I felt utterly alone.

In some ways, the move is the final chapter in a longer saga, and with the move, we become totally different, a new institution, shedding the ashes of the past, a phoenix full of flame that allows us rebirth – and with it, rebirth for me as well, in a year when the calendar tells me I’ve officially old.


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