A Film Festival In Jersey City? … I Can’t Think of a Better Place! by Craig Goletz
I moved to Jersey City in 2009 after living my entire life in Central NJ. My interest in the city began in 2003 when I starting working in NYC again after 17 years away from the financial district. Driving up Grand St to Marin Blvd and taking the ferry from Liberty Harbor, I marveled at the transformation of the city from what I would see from the bus in the early 80′s. The Paulus Hook section was intriguing as I watched the luxury condos rising along the waterfront. I imagined what it would be like to live so close to lower Manhattan while being part of the urban renaissance. I encouraged my wife to make to trip to Jersey City on weekends to explore the “urban renewal” and we were both pleasantly surprised by what we found, and Paulus Hook the “hidden gem” of Jersey City turned out to be so much more than what I could see as the ferry gently cruised up Liberty Harbor!
Jersey City means even more to me then just a place to catch the ferry. It’s where my family roots began. My mother was born and raised in Jersey City, leavng in 1956 after she married my dad. But my ancestry is so much deeper. My connection to this city goes back to to the 1860′s when my great grandparents were born in this great city. They lived downtown on Second Street and Sixteenth Street. My grandparents eventually moved to Greenville where my mom, her sister and brother all grew up. I can walk the streets in so many sections of the city and see places that are part of my family history, St. Mary’s Church where my grandparents got married in 1924, St Paul the Apostle Church where my parents got married, my grandfathers house on Sixteenth St!!
For me moving to Jersey City is like “coming home” even though it took me 50 years to actually live here. I love the urban experience, but Paulus Hook still provides the quiet neighborhood feel that we had in suburbia. The renaissance of the city has been phenonimal and I’m happy to be part of the change.
Bringing a film festival to Jersey City is a perfect way to showcase what the city has to offer while celebrating our history. Jersey City has had a long and significant history in the movie and entertainment industry with many of the entertainment greats having played in venues in the city including Frank Sinatra, and Bing Crosby.
I’m glad I met the Sorvino’s by chance at Casa Dante while dining there with my wife. It’s been an incredible twist of fate to meet such wonderful people and to have the opportunity to help them make their dream of a film festival in Jersey City a reality.
A Film Festival In Jersey City? There’s no better place to celebrate this great city, and to capitalize on the glorious history this city has had in film and entertainment.
Let’s spread the word! October in Jersey City will be the place to be!!