One of the most disappointing things Richie and I noticed when driving through Jersey City was the amount of roadside garbage. At one point we were stopped at an intersection and I looked outside to see a section of barbed wire on the side walk along with a bottle with what looked like urine in it. I've been to other parts of New Jersey where this was not a problem, but this was just nasty.
Despite America's reputation for Wild West lawlessness and vigilante justice, Americans pass an extraordinary number of laws to control every behavior imaginable.
In this case, boom boxes (large radio/cassette/CD players) are banned in public.
Jersey City has undergone a commercial rebirth (and also what we call gentrification which means upper income people moving back into the city)and the city fathers don't want to see it run down again.
Boom boxes are associated with drugs, violence, petty crime etc.
Jersey City's north side and commercial districts are very safe. Most of the neighborhoods are attractive and maintained. Civic pride and city services are evident everywhere.
This photo is a pedestrian walkway over some railroad tracks in an area bordering on highways etc. I liked it for its Bladerunner/Orwellian 1984ish style.
During my 8 hours of walking around Jersey City, I never felt any concern about crime. There are low income areas with drug and crime problems in the southern half of the city; but these are well away from areas of interest to tourists.
The whole southside of jersey city is a huge slum it houses some of the most notorios projects in new jersey and the one of the worst school systems in the country the second most crime infested city in new jersey so stay clear of ber lafayette and greenville wich exist on the whole southern tip af the city and the most notorios street in the city martin luther king drive
So you ignored the signs and fed the pigeons... tsk tsk tsk.....However, there is a way to spend your time out of jail until the date of your assigned appearance in court to face a judge.
While you were being "processed" following your arrest, a judge determined your bond. Bond is a cash payment made to the court to guarantee your appearance while you are out "on bond".
Usually, the judge will assign a "ten percent option" meaning you only need to put down 10% of the bond amount. People call it "your bail money". In Jersey City, you can pay right there in the police station. They'll enter it in a log book, give you a receipt and send the cash to the court. (At least, that is what they are supposed to do. In nearby Newark, the police issue receipts but forget to forward the cash. (Hey! This is New Jersey)
If you don't have the scratch, a bondsman like the one in the picture will put up the required amount- but even if the court later finds you are innocent- you will forfeit the 10% to the bondsman. That's how he makes his money.
But what's a hundred dollars or so compared to keeping company in the general prisoner population of an American municipal or county jail cell? Cheap. On the other hand, some of us would consider it all part of a unique tourist experience.
By the way, here in the US, if you are a black male, your chance of serving a sentence in jail is 1 in 3. If your white, it's one in 27. And, if it's a capital crime, you will lose your right to vote for life. That's right. Serve your time and you still have no right to vote. So much for Dr. Martin Luther King's voting crusade.
Pigeons have their fans and they may deserve a place in the sun like the rest of us BUT NOT IN JERSEY CITY!