Monday, May 28, 2001

Five-Finger Discount

I just wrote a review of Five-Finger Discount, a book I recently finished. It's the memoirs of a young woman who grew up in Jersey City. I gave it a fair rating.

If I were to ever write a memoir, Jersey City would have a prominent place in it, because I grew up there from 1971 to 1986 (when I left to go to college). My mother had planned for me and my brothers to live in Jersey City all our lives, because it had everything: church, schools, lots of decent work, and so close to New York City. Alas, when I left for college, I never really came back. Jersey City shaped my sensibilities though. I loved growing up there.

I knew the sounds of sirens wailing in the wee hours. I know what it's like to walk to the corner deli, or catch the PATH to New York City. Jersey City had everything a growing boy needed: great schools, big parks, lots of playmates, and a diversity that I simply took for granted. Whenever I go back with my wife, I marvel at how much has changed. Downtown, near my high school, is a transformed community. But my folks still call Jersey City home, and that makes every trip to Jersey worthwhile.

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