Saturday’s all right for – getting lost


Sunday, November 03, 2013


Still hungry for rock music after being spoiled by a club in Cape May, we went in search of it back here in good old Hudson County.

But short of dipping our toes in Hoboken where parking is harder to find than gold nuggets on a place misnamed The Gold Coast, we followed a trail of rumored music in Bayonne and a mythical bar called The Venice – only a block from the office I work in five days a week.

Since traffic from my house in The Heights of Jersey City makes the most direct route to Bayonne impossible during the week, I figured on Saturday night we could get there with no problem.

I didn’t account for the fact that in reconstructing the circle that connects Route 7 with 1 & 9 (something that happened after the death of a family some years ago – the state always expends millions in a knee jerk reaction to accidents that are really reckless driving in disguise) I mistakenly thought the state would put up road signs that made it clear which of the multiple roads would direct us to Bayonne. They had multiple signs, including one that directed people to Route 1 & 9 south (but none to Route 440 at that point) and so we wound up on the Pulaski Skyway headed into the heart of Newark’s industrial area (or Kearny’s) and took Newark only because I knew some of the roads there and could eventually get back to where we started.

I had not been in that part of Newark since the 1980s, empty streets – even that portion of Raymond Boulevard – with this sense of foreboding that defied the concept that it was to become shortly the new Hoboken, another edge of the Gold Coast only real estate brokers and corrupt politicians could find nuggets in.

After one or two turns, I managed to steer back to Harrison, then Kearny and then back to the same former circle I had intended to get to when coming down from my house, passed a car fire, and then the usual blank faced Hudson Mall, until at last, after nearly an hour of going in circles the state could not reconfigure, came to The Venice, to be told that the band scheduled had come down sick.

We walked over to another nearby bar known for its music to find it empty. And then drove up to a place near my old office to find that empty, too, with a man out front giving us wrong directions to a fourth bar uptown that might have music, and when I found the bar on a street other than the one he said, this was empty, too.

During the drive home, I realized live music was a luxury these days with so many alternatives, and I thought about Hoboken and Maxwells (which closed earlier this year) and the few bars I knew that were fools gold in Hoboken, but still played music, and I calculated how it might be easier to take the questionable public transportation to those places than to follow misdirection by the state or bar flies.

But alas, I came to miss Cape May all the more for what it gave us for free – a gift of music we could not find so easily any closer. And I wondered, after all that driving, it might just be well worth the two and a half hour drive each way to Cape May since it required so few turns after you actually got onto the equally mis-named Garden State Parkway.

One small consolation in all this, was that we got to turn the clocks back and managed to lose less sleep than we might have otherwise.


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