The New Year started right.
My neighborhood association invited me to read from Left Bank of the Hudson at its monthly open-mic and author series, Backroom Broadsides, on January 2, 2018. The event took place in the atmospheric parlour of the Fox & Crow, a favorite local pub and a popular spot for live music and performances.
The evening began with guests reading their own poems or reciting lines from their favorite poets. Talented and creative people filled the room.
Then, my turn arrived. Backroom Broadsides marked my first reading in my own neighborhood. Needless to say, I was excited to hear the audience’s thoughts.
An inspired and challenging discussion followed my reading. Neighborhood stalwarts, community activists, artists, writers, and generally engaged and articulate people packed the room. The bohemians, intelligentsia, and policy wonks of Jersey City Heights.
Longtime residents and newcomers voiced concerns about gentrification, development, and the future of Jersey City. How to keep our neighborhood unique, interesting, and inviting as it experiences growth and change? This seemed to be the prevailing concern.
Afterward, I chatted with members of the audience and sold a few copies of my book. I felt grateful for the invitation to Backroom Broadsides and to contribute to the dialogue in my neighborhood.
A great night and a perfect beginning to 2018.