Thursday, July 31, 2014

Late night open thread

It never gets old. Ever. And it never will.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

With just over an hour to go until the deadline, no Yankees or Mets moves -- UPDATED!

The Yankees, still very much in the American League playoff picture have made no deals today while the Red Sox it would seem are cleaning house. After the Sox dealt Lester to Oakland maybe the Yanks brass thinks it might just be too perilous to part with assets with the A's, Angels and Tigers all looking so good.

We'll know in an hour.

4:48pm -- The Yankees made two deadline deals. And whom did they make one of them with? None other than the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees acquired Stephen Drew for Kelly Johnson and cash considerations.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Late night open thread

Did you know then, the original title for Ghostbusters was Ghost Smashers. It's a fact!

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Jersey City Desk Free Day!

Get out there and play if you haven't had a chance to yet today. Leave work early, Johnny will write you a note.

See you back here tonight.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Late night open thread

Here hippie hippie. Heeeere hippie hippie...













*Bait pile here*

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Jersey City, how's the parking where you live

We're gonna guess and say it's tight and tough to park in Jersey City. Streets get rundown, construction companies take-up spots all over our neighborhoods and if you even just leave your car for a second to run in and do something it's gonna be ticketed or towed, are we right? Johnny thinks we'd all agree that Jersey City has some pretty fast moving tow trucks that'll swoop in and take your car if it's even there illegally for a few seconds.

Unless of course you can just take a city owned vehicle, in this case a Jersey City Fire Department riding with a Deputy Chief sticker, park illegally for 15 minutes and go grab yourself some lunch. That's right, turn on your red and blue "an emergency is happening" flashers, then put on your yellow flashers and go grab a sammich, who cares, as long as the Deputy Chief's truck gets what it needs.

Think long and hard about this video Jersey City next time you get hassled about parking.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Late night open thread

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color. Often at night there is lightning, but it quivers all alone. There is no thunder, no relieving rain. These are strange and breathless days, the dog days, when people are led to do things they are sure to be sorry for after.”
 -- Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Jersey City, Newark and Paterson are creating a 'strategic partnership' over public safety

In Paterson that's just the way things go...

We were leading with that whether it fit or not. Johnny's been holding that one in for a story involving Jersey City and Paterson since he got here. Whewwwwwwwwwww *exhale*

Jersey City, Newark and the aforementioned Paterson, New Jersey's three largest cites, are joining forces on public safety in what they are calling a "strategic partnership" and it will be unfurled this afternoon here in Jersey City at 1 p.m. event at the Hub Shopping Center on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Mayors Steve Fulop, Newark's Ras Baraka and Paterson's Joey Torres will discuss:

"...shared services in tracking criminals that may travel from city to city, gang intelligence, police manpower, expansion of employment, prisoner re-entry programs, bank foreclosures and shared practices."

Three high-profile cases, one in each city it would seem have helped get this collaboration off the ground.

We wish them luck and hope this cooperation can lead to some positive policing everyone is happy with except actual criminals.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Late night open thread

Out of town company and all.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday, July 25, 2014

Late night open thread

Guess the movie and win the game.

TIme for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with SUZANNE VEGA!

What a great way to kick things off, really any song by Suzanne Vega but yes, indeed this one. 'Songs in Red and Gray' is the title track from her 2001 album and it's all you'd expect from her and more. Intelligent songwriting and spot on arrangements and oh that voice...

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with THE SMITHEREENS!

New Jersey representing on a beautiful summer night. 'A Girl Like You' from The Smithereens. Please turn the dial to louder.

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with PAUL SIMON!

Johnny painstakingly used to put in really cool pictures of an artist or a band and make that image the iTunes default artwork. Desktop quality pictures rolling through of say U2 playing live or an old silly publicity photo. Maybe a picture or two from National Lampoon's Vacation for 'Holiday Road' by Lindsey Buckingham. You get the idea.

When this song came on a few minutes ago it had an accompanying image of Reese Witherspoon. Whoa. Imagine that. What do you suppose that means? It's crazy. Ah well, here's Paul Simon with '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover' putting a wrap on another Music Series.

We want to send our condolences to the families of Lolibeth Ortega and Lord Balatbat

We have their son, Lheandrew, in our best wishes this morning as well. Both Lolibeth Ortega and Lord Balatbat were killed yesterday in Virginia by a freak storm and tornado that tore through their campground. All three hailed from Jersey City and we wanted to let their families and friends know we were thinking of them and especially send the get well wishes to 14 year-old Lheandrew.

Hug your kids and family members every time they go out the door. Never be afraid to tell somebody you love them. Sadly there is no guarantee of them coming home as this awful story reminds us.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Late night open thread

It's kinda like hitting the lottery in reverse.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Down to the river at once!

Johnny just saw that Jersey City Jazz series has Carolyn Light gracing J. Owen Grundy Pier this afternoon starting at 12 bells and running until 2pm. It's a gorgeous day, there's a delightful breeze and it just feels like jazz by the river today.

Did you know then (most likely you did if Johnny is just seeing this on the Twitter) this jazz series goes on all the way through August. There's a poster and everything, right there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Late night open thread

Tonight a Jersey City Desk original animated gif. We give you the new tall building going up over the Grove St. PATH station in the thunderstorm.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Brooklyn's surrender to Jersey City yesterday does raise one big question

The Brooklyn Bridge and the new World Trade Center have both now been accessed by base jumpers, teenagers and now pranksters with what sounds to be white spray paint over the USA flags on the Brooklyn Bridge. These are two of we'd guess the top four or five targets that would appeal to real evildoers. In both cases an alert NYPD officer or PA officer could have stopped each attempt at accessing the structures. Billions are spent on homeland security in the tri-state whether it be NYC proper or shipping or flights out of the three major airports. If security or police personnel aren't doing their jobs right then all the money in the world won't keep anyone safe.

Some over-the-top goofballs are trying to claim the white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge is some kind of terrorist act. Kindly remove head from ass. It's a prank. The powers that be are quite lucky all these events have been pranks or just for fun. They're getting a free lesson in how not to protect landmarks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Late night open thread

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Instead of wasting your lunchtime break outside, try reading this

Besides it's hot outside. Better off reading inside.

A great report today from The Village Voice about a tip the FBI got in 1950 that Russia had secretly placed an atomic bomb in a consulate in New York City:

In the summer of 1950, an FBI informant whose name we still don't know arrived in Brazil. While he was there, the informant received the following tip, which he relayed to the agency. As the file puts it: "[T]he Soviets have placed an atom bomb in a consulate, the identity of which he did not learn, in New York City to be detonated at such time as the Soviets consider expedient."

Was any of it true? Were the Soviets looking to place a bomb or drop off bomb parts in the middle of the night? What DID the FBI find out? Well friends you'll just have to read that part over lunch.

Toll Brothers does a lot of business in Jersey City

Now, we're not saying they do it well; their workers are slobs and care nothing about the neighborhoods they work in but what we just read about in New York City which Toll are actively defending, well it's just beyond the pale.

Toll Brothers has built projects where they add a few low-income or let's call them "affordable units" to a new building so they can gobble up your tax money they don't need in abatement form (Somebody needs to tell companies like Toll that the world won't end if they stopped building their shitty buildings). Then they $egregate the building. They have and are now openly defending putting in separate entrances for poor people vs. rich people. They don't really want the poor people at all but the poor people are what gets Toll the abatements. They wouldn't piss on the poors if they were on fire but they'll USE them to gain advantage. THAT is Toll Brothers.

What does Toll Brothers think about the criticism over their (and others) $egregation? Here we'll let David Von Spreckelsen, senior spokesmodel for Toll Brothers tell you how they see the poors who will use the "poor doors":

“So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”

What an utter and complete piece of shit that David Von Spreckelsen is eh ladies and jellyspoons? What an attitude. But, again, THAT is Toll Brothers through and through. They are a classless company that we as a city should look long and hard at if we want to keep letting them do business here with their antiquated ideals. For now don't buy or rent from Toll Brothers properties. There are plenty of other choices around town that leave you feeling like a human being at the end of a day, not someone on a rope line hoping you can get into where you live because the riches are hanging out.

Has there ever been a better metaphor for what Toll Brothers really does to a neighborhood?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Late night open thread

It's gonna be 88º rock and roll over degrees tomorrow, who wants to go to the beach and have some fun?
















Time for Jersey City, After Dark

NYCFC is set to make some huge announcements soon

Now, Johnny's Spanish isn't all that great but he can hack his way through (same with French from all those years listening to Red Wings and Canadiens games on a French radio station -- guess you could say Johnny hacks away at three languages) and it means FC Barcelona would like to have Xavi Hernandez say his goodbyes (and nobody has ever earned more time to say goodbye than Xavi at Barca) and move to, as reported here months ago, to NYCFC where he will join former teammate David Villa and most likely Frank Lampost--er Lampard. These announcements should be coming along in a week's time if not sooner.

Your home for NYCFC news, right here, from time-to-time.

This really is the best blog in this price range isn't it?

Jersey City, we need to talk...

Today our Mayor Steve Fulop wrote an editorial to the Jersey Journal where he espoused a very scary ideology, one we as city residents need to reign back in.

Fulop, and we do not want to misquote him, said "With hindsight, if I could do it over, I would have shared with media the reprehensible action but asked journalists not to report the name of the killer."

Um, the reprehensible action is ALL our business Mayor. Remember us? Yeah we live here too. Ask journalists NOT to report his name? In what world of American press freedoms does THAT happen? In what concentric circle of hell does that take place? This mayor really has a messed up idea of what he's able to do under our constitution. He consistently quotes the Marines as if Jersey City should be run like an offshoot of the Marines:

"As we said in the Marine Corps, we can’t leave anyone behind, and in this case we are missing some people at some level."

No, the city government cannot run like, or be modeled after the Marines. In the same way every four years some candidate with puffed up credentials says they will run Washington D.C. like a business and bring America back, it's not a business. Sorry, American government cannot be run like a business. It's not set up to run like a business. The idea of government is not to make a profit and provide returns to shareholders. No more than a city or large scale government operation can't be a business it also cannot be run like a branch of the armed services. It just doesn't work that way.

As for the comments that he'd tell the media not to give a killer his or her 'due" Johnny thinks that 99% of the people here know the killer is getting no "due" at all but shame upon he and his family. Try having a little faith on our city mayor, it's one thing you have done an awful job of. We don't need nanny-mayor, we're big people. Deal with it.

On a side note your little dig in your editorial towards demoted Police Chief Cowan (to damaged morale in the police department,) was petty. You've said this time and again. Not the kind of thing that belongs in a "let's go forward as a city" letter.

We simply do not want or cannot have Steve Fulop thinking he can decide (or have any part in) which names get released. It's not his job, it will never BE his job. We have an independent press for a reason and we're quite shocked our current mayor doesn't seem to recognize it.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Late night open thread

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

A real good read on a Sunday afternoon from The Hudson Reporter

A wonderful examination of the tensions here in Jersey City with the ongoing violence and uneasy life along Ocean Avenue. Al Sullivan does a great job capturing the pulse of a city.

Late night open thread

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another amazing See Spot Rescued event at K9dergarten from 12-3 today

You better get to K9dergarten, we see already this morning "Mickey Mantle" has been adopted and looked really happy to be heading to his forever home. Amazing pups who'll give you nothing but love. K9dergarten is located at 173 Newark Ave.

See you there!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Late night open thread

Nobody had an RBI in the 1968 MLB All Star game. It's a fact!

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with ELO!

Jersey City can use a break about now and so we're gonna go four songs deep into the Music Series and tonight, it's another edition of AM Gold. Those songs you used to hear in the car or on your small radio you kept with you everywhere during summer. AM radio, giving birth to 8-Tracks and cassettes since 1973.

WJCD kicking it off with the stax of wax and the platters that matter and ELO with Mr. Blue Sky


Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with THE EMOTIONS!

Just listen to those harmonies and brassy riffs and a great big soulful sound, all AM Gold trademarks. You can almost hear the annoying DJ talking over the first few seconds until the singing starts.

The Emotions with 'Best of My Love'

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with PABLO CRUISE!

Yes, the only way that Pablo Cruise was coming within 500 yards of the Music Series was on AM Gold night. There is no Dan in Steely Dan. There is no Pink in Pink Floyd. There is no Pablo in Pablo Cruise. Now you can die happy.

Here's Cote de Pablo with 'Love Will Find a Way'




















Er, wait, here's Pablo Cruise with some of that sweet, sweet AM Gold and 'Love Will Find a Way'

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with MARY WELLS!

Winding up our AM Gold special tonight on the Music Series is Mary Wells with a little Detroit soul and 'My Guy'

RIP Jersey City Detective Melvin Santiago


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Late night open thread

The Charleston RiverDogs are playing a home minor league baseball game against the Augusta GreenJackets Saturday night. But Johnny, whatever. Why should I give any shits.

Wait for it friend-o, wait for it.

The RiverDogs are encouraging fans to bring Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, One Direction et al CD's (if even those still exist) to the ballpark so they can recreate dun dun dunhhhhhh, Disco Demolition Night Part 2. It's fun for the whole family. What could possible go wrong at Disco Demolition Night? Steve Dahl and Gary Meier were like radio GODS to Johnny growing up. Yes, what could possibly go wrong on a well-intentioned night like that?

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Here are some road closures in Jersey City for the next couple days you'll want to take note of

With the wake for Patrolman Melvin Santiago today and his funeral services tomorrow there are a few major Jersey City streets that will be closed for both the wake and funeral. The Jersey Journal has the entire list you can access with one click by clicking here. Today the main traffic closures are on Pavonia Avenue from Kennedy Boulevard to Summit Avenue will be closed from noon to 10 p.m. today for the visitation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Late night open thread

Ghost train.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Here's something that's pretty darned cool if you ask us

The new night crew came upon this website linked by our friends at Gothamist. A day in the Life of an NYC Taxi, it's fantastic to watch and just think about the randomness of a driver's day. Just click here and you're on your way!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Late night open thread

Fear not Jersey City, the news never stops and now neither do we. We've added a night shift. They are already hard at work.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Here's a little friendly Johnny advice

Are you looking for a new or trusty used car or truck? Do not now, nor EVER go buy your car along Route 22. If you haven't heard a great portion of those dealerships, aka "stealerships" have been found to, among other things:

State consumer affairs officials said they logged numerous complaints against the dealerships, including failing to honor negotiated or advertised prices for vehicles and charging customers for supplemental warranties or other "after-sale" items without their consent.

Customers also alleged that the dealerships failed to refund deposits for canceled or aborted sales and advertised cars without providing vehicle identification numbers, preventing them from checking their history of damage and use, authorities said.

Those dealerships you'll want to avoid by name are:

Route 22 Toyota, Route 22 Honda, Route 22 Nissan and Route 22 Kia, all in Hillside; Hackettstown Honda; Hudson Honda in West New York; and Freehold Hyundai and Freehold Chrysler Jeep.

Of course the spokesmodel for the owners say they have done nothing wrong and are merely paying these made up fines of 1.8 MILLION dollars to avoid litigation. Mmmm hmmmmm. We tend not to agree with this statement since some these very same "stealership" owners paid close to a half million dollars in 1999 resulting from similar customer complaints.

Do your research. Do not ever just show up to a dealership and want to buy. Here is a fantastic article for those looking to buy a car on what kinds of shady tactics one can find in dealerships yet today from Edmunds, a leading automotive information and buying website. It's called "Confessions of a Car Salesman" and it's required reading before car shopping.

Late night open thread

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Monday, July 14, 2014

A special thank you to Newark PD and other local police departments

Mayor Fulop just Tweeted out that Newark and four other Hudson County police departments will assist in patrolling Jersey City so our police force may attend the funeral services for patrolman Melvin Santiago. We'd like to second his thank you. It is a very kind thing you do and know you'd expect no thanks at all.

Jersey City says thanks.

Jersey City we have a wall and street corner to go clean up

The Jersey Journal is reporting that a shrine or memorial has popped up to honor the murderer of Jersey City officer Melvin Santiago early Sunday at the Walgreens at Communipaw and Kennedy Blvd. The Journal reports this new memorial has shown itself "On Orient Avenue, just around the block from Lucky #3 Mini-Mart on Martin Luther King Drive." Disgraceful t-shirts signed in honor of this jagoff, candles, and other assorted items.

We now as a city MUST go clean that area. Bring bleach, brooms, tape cutters, trash bags and other cleaning utensils and implements of destruction and go to Orient Avenue to where this trash has been set up and remove it. Don't listen to those who want it up, they do not matter. Don't stand down if they tell you to stop cleaning. Call the police. The Jersey City PD will be on the scene in no time and will probably help take this eye-sore down.

Let us go and do our city a favor and rid ourselves of such filth.

If you see a Jersey City cop today, thank them

In taking his dire wolf out for a walk this morning Johnny knew where he was headed; to the Powerhouse Arts District with all that construction and all the police officers working traffic around job sites. Johnny made a point to walk up to every JCPD officer he could find to express deepest sympathies and to simply say "Thank You" to them. This isn't really about Johnny or what he did but he will tell you a few officers really really appreciated that thank you today. So if you find yourself out and about and see a JCPD officer today please tell them thank you. It's a simple act that goes a long way.

Late night open thread

Just that kind of a Sunday night around town. Sad, rainy, glum, humid, and awash with with lightning and thunder.















Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Sunday, July 13, 2014

World Cup Today -- Day 31

The last day. The finale. Finis. Somewhat bittersweet for Johnny as he has very much enjoyed talking World Cup with everyone. A lot of those posts brought this quaint little website some big numbers. We hope everyone has enjoyed the coverage.

The legend vs. the team that seems on it's way to becoming legendary. The Flea vs. Die Mannschaft. One vs. Many. Sure Germany scared the bejeesus out of anyone and everyone who might play them. They destroyed an entire nation's way of playing. A nation that holds five World Cup titles. They are imposing. They play smart. They play the entire field. They play set pieces extremely well. They dispatch their opponents with precision. They don't beat themselves.

But Messi.

In a game where analysts will bust out the old canard that the team that makes the fewest mistakes should win. Common thought being Germany doesn't make those mistakes. But which team is more likely to be the recipient of a shock and awe moment that comes out of nowhere and leaves a globe stunned and delirious? Oh that'd be Argentina. Messi can link up well enough with Kun Aguero or Gonzalo Higuain or (hopefully) Angel DiMaria if he can play, if just for a moment and BOOM, it's in the back of Germany's net. He needs but a few feet to unleash hell. Case and point the 2011 Champions League Final vs. Manchester United. Nobody knew what he was going to do until he did it:
So, are you someone who thinks the entire machine matters most or do you think sometimes a great players can overcome the great team? The organization or the star? David or Goliath? If you have been reading these posts you know that Barcelona fan Johnny is pulling for Messi to win a World Cup to shut up sportswriters who only see championships as greatness. Plus no German guys are on FC Barcelona.

Last prediction, who will win who will win...

2-1 Messi, a vote with the heart over the head.

Argentina vs Germany 3pm

The Jersey City Desk would like to pass our condolences to the family of JCPD officer Melvin Santiago -- UPDATED!

Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago was shot and killed early this morning at the Walgreens at the corner of Communipaw and Kennedy Blvd. According to the Jersey Journal:

At 4:09 a.m. Santiago and another officer responded to the Walgreens from Bergen and Lexington avenues and were the first officers to arrive at the scene. The gunman, who has not yet been identified, opened fire on the marked police car. 

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop summed it up for the entire community:

It is a tragic situation when any officer is killed in the line of duty,” Fulop said. “Melvin was an officer who represented everything one would want to see in a police officer. I know the entire city's thoughts and prayers are with the Santiago family during this difficult time and we mourn together."

The gunman who killed Officer Santiago was shot and killed by JCPD.

Our deepest sympathies to his family and his fellow officers this morning.

UPDATE 12:31pm -- The Jersey City Desk will not be releasing Patrolman Santiago's killer's name though it has just been released by authorities. The dead man deserves no ink, no press and should well be forgotten to time after doing this to OUR community.

Late night open thread

Erikson's Ice Cream, since the 1937 a Maynard Massachusetts institution. Their ice cream is stupid good. Johnny can vouch.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Saturday, July 12, 2014

World Cup Today -- Day 30

Ya know, it's a pretty nice day out there. It's better than tomorrow will be so if you are out and about and were to say, whoops, miss the third place match today between shell shocked Brazil and Schleprocks of the World Cup, Holland, no yellow card for you. Because Ron Vlaar who is a good enough defender and plays well for Aston Villa was picked to go first in the penalty kicks and got the Netherlands off on the wrong *ahem* foot so they won't get a chance to lose a fourth title game. Ron Vlaar would be about the fourth or fifth choice to take a penalty for Aston Villa, just sayin'.

Brazil. Yes, probably not how fans of la Seleção thought this would end. An ass kicking in front of the world in front of your own house for all time and the sheer horror of watching Argentinians pouring across the borders in #10 shirts setting up shop in Brazil's biggest cities. If Messi somehow pulls off a miracle tomorrow they had better close the bridges in Brazil.

Look, Johnny's at least gonna watch the pre-game if for no other reason to get the studio panel's opinion on how good Barcelona's front line will be when Messi, Neymar and Chompy Suarez line up together for the Blaugrana.

Johnny's pick? Hopefully a Joe Kenda Homicide Hunter marathon. If not we'll say 4-3 Netherlands because defense doesn't matter at all in this game. Germany and Uruguay played a wide open third place game four years ago. The NCAA used to have a third place game that preceded the National Championship basketball game at the Final Four back in the day.

They got rid of that.

Brazil vs Netherlands 4pm

Late night open thread

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with THE ROMANTICS!

A summer Friday night means Johnny had better damn well come up with a song that sounds great with the windows down in the car and great bopping around the house. Being from Detroit and having seen these guys live, Johnny's got that covered. The Romantics, another great Motor City area band that got their name by forming on Valentines Day in 1977.

Summer's here boys and girls, The Romantics with 'Rock You Up'

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with JIMI HENDRIX

The introduction on this song is so choice this song needs no introduction.

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with LIGHTHIN' HOPKINS!

Johnny would like to dedicate this one tonight to put the wraps on another Music Series to those who think downtown Jersey City and Liberty State Park are anyplace for a 95 story bullshit casino and a haughty F1 track. Doesn't make one a Debbie Downer so much as a Rodney Fuckin' Reality.

The legendary Lightnin' Hopkins with 'Gamblers Blues'

Time for some traffic problems on Marin Blvd.

Recently demoted Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan dropped a bombshell of a trump card in his dispute with Mayor Steve Fulop, alleging in a letter to the Jersey City clerk that Fulop ordered an illegal plan "to snarl traffic outside of the Holland Tunnel the same month he announced plans to sue the Port Authority for $400 million." Reportedly Fulop wanted to back up traffic through the Holland Tunnel into New York City.

Jersey Journal reporter Terrence T. McDonald says that Cowan refused that order saying it would create chaos which left Fulop "irate":

The chief says he objected because of the plan's "illegality" and that it was ultimately canceled. A few days later, Cowan alleges, Fulop told him to conduct traffic stops instead at Old Colony Road and Port Jersey Boulevard, near the Global Container Terminal owned by the Port Authority.

That plan was ultimately carried out which left Global Terminal dealing with hours of gridlock last November 19, which led them to charge that Fulop had done this intentionally as some kind of lashing out at the Port Authroity, something corroborated up by Cowan's letter.

A real bombshell of a report, if Cowan's letter is true. City spokesperson Jennifer Morrill did not deny outright that Fulop had a hand in either plan to back up traffic saying the city "have always acted in 100 percent accordance with the law to protect Jersey City residents."

Yeah, comforting...not. Sounds a lot like Chris Christie's excuses still. Living in the land of the non-denial denial.

There is more to this fluid story including a report of a confrontation between Cowan and Fulop at a New Jersey State League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City.

A bad week for Steve Fulop, this.

We know from time to time a few folks from Park Slope check in here

We'd like to thank you and hope you enjoy your stay. We'd also like to throw you a bone since you were so nice to drop on by.

A pregnant tarantula is running loose in your neighborhood....Good times!

Yep, a pregnant red rump tarantula. You'll be able to tell it's a big honking tarantula in Park Slope because it has a red coloring near it's giant spider ass and not because its a giant killer spider loose in Park Slope where there haven't been any before. Gothamist has more but the "lost pet" flyers they have on display say the spider is "mostly harmless" so yeah, fun!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Late night open thread

"I went down to this club called 'The Bitter End' and it was a small little club with the dirtiest restroom I've ever seen. They had a giant germ that would open the door for you."
-- Franklin Ajaye on the famed NYC nightclub

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Rarely has an idea gone sideways this quickly

Any and all goodwill the year-into-his-job mayor had enjoyed is seemingly melting away this morning. The citizens, they do not want a casino here it has become rather apparent. You can see that by clicking here or here.

One of the best comments yet? @wicked9mouse  16m
@StevenFulop Do not ruin Liberty State Park & another highrise on waterfront - if you want to be mayor of Atlantic City - go by all means

LOL

Johnny can't name names but he has confirmed this morning that a high ranking Jersey City official was gobsmacked by this announcement. They were not told nor consulted, which makes us wonder how secretive this deal was trying to become.

For those of you wondering about the impact of a giant casino or casinos, we'll suggest reading articles here, here and here to help keep you informed on this very important topic.

It only took Johnny a couple hours to say "I told you so..."

Funny the timing of Mayor Fulop's latest Tweet, after Johnny had been doing a good job rallying the troops on this website and on Twitter himself (and the numbers were good, lots of eyes on this topic now) against the idiotic idea of putting a 95 story casino on the river and a NASCAR sized 100,000+ seat race track in or next to Liberty State Park we hear this from Hizzoner:

@StevenFulop: Gambling/ #casinos in North Jersey.  Thoughts? #JerseyCity has big potential here

You can ALREADY gamble in Jersey City, Mayor. Just pull out your smartphone or iPad and there you go. Gambling abounds in Jersey City and North Jersey. You know this. Let's get down to brass tacks since you're obviously listening. A 100K seat race track? There? Have you ever been to a NASCAR event? Johnny is from the midwest, he's been to MIS in Brooklyn Michigan on race day. Where are you going to put all those people in campers? Liberty State Park? Oh that'll look good when they leave. Have you been to a race? The traffic, already choked around here would become Woodstock. NASCAR fans are not staying at a 95 story casino. They might make the casino some money but they bring their own food and drink and have camp parties and bonfires.

Show us the grand success of a new casino in Atlantic City. Show us the grand success where the whole community benefits from really any casino in AC. Governor Pylon dumps millions upon millions of our tax money into those casinos. What did the state get? More unemployment.

The downtown grid is full, Johnny Healy Appleseed Tax Abatement Guy saw to that. You said so yourself.

So, to sum up:
1) Impacting Liberty State Park is an obscene and selfish idea
2) The downtown grid is full
3) One can already gamble in North Jersey

Like Johnny said earlier, we'd better all band together anyway we can because it sure sounds like somebody wants a big shiny thing at any cost to show state voters in 2017.

Jersey City, we must ALL fight this new riverside casino and track

We here at the Jersey City Desk cannot believe Mayor Steve Fulop, for one minute, would support this obscene idea to let a New England-area development group right down by the Goldman Sachs Building put up a garish 95 story casino, with an adjoining 107,500-seat motor sports stadium that could devastate Liberty State Park and make a very bad driving situation much much worse.

First off, the Mayor seems to have drunk the "This project will create a kabillion jobs!" Kool-Aid which of course is never true. Fulop sounds like the only reason to oppose this heinous plan would be the track: "I still need more information regarding the racetrack to be confident it will not harm Liberty State Park. This development would create 25,000 jobs and over $5 billion of investment."

So as you can see which side the mayor is already on, former investment banker that he is.

Johnny's not the only one who loves Jersey City that is sounding the alarms: 

"It would seem that inevitable traffic jams would severely negatively impact the public access to Liberty State Park as well as tourist access to the ferries that go to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty," FOLSP President Sam Pesin said. "We ask that Mayor Fulop demand comprehensive traffic and environmental impact studies alongside public hearings on this project."

This plan MUST be stopped Jersey City, by ANY means necessary. Look, the mayor has already checked out. He's already hiring staff for the very purpose of running for governor. When Fulop does run for governor he'd love to point to a big shiny thing. Trying to develop underdeveloped portions of his city won't tickle voters at the polls. Swimming the Hudson River won't make him Governor. No, instead Fulop would love to show them a giant shiny building with great video and pictures of smiling people around it, and of the track not causing traffic issues etc.

Also Jersey City, from what we know of the Jersey City Planning Commission is that regardless of which safeguards are put in place, despite what the developers are told, they will just go back to the Jersey City Planning Commission and whine and snivel and the JCPC will hold them close and say "It's OK, do what you want, we have been giving no shits about the people who pay us now for decades."

It's up to US Jersey City, this project must be stopped right f-ing now. Thanks to the current governor you can just gamble your money away on an iPad from the comfort of your own home. To those of you elsewhere in New Jersey that might want a big casino across from NYC, when you come to Jersey City and pay taxes you can have a say. Until then just shut your talk holes.

Peter Stuyvesant does not approve.

Late night open thread

Johnny got some new underwear today. Well, it was new to him...

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

World Cup Today -- Day 28

Many "experts" predicted a riot or riots in Brazil when they either won the tournament or lost it. Those experts were wrong. You can call it what you like, a mauling, a crushing, a disemboweling but it's Johnny's thought the very nature of the defeat kept people from acting out. When you know you've lost at the 40' mark of the match theres not a lot of energy left to do stupid things. There was no end of the game bad call that set people off, there was never any boiling over moment. Brazil fans went home sad but did nothing to move the embarrassment from the pitch to the streets. Johnny's not sure how the post-mortem will go for Brazil after their third place game Saturday but it's gonna be a doozy.

Speaking of Saturday, Brazil is going to need someone to play as is Germany on Sunday. So who will their play dates be? Let's take a look.

The Netherlands managed to get by against Costa Rica, barely. They were stymied in their attack and Costa Rica had no troubles going forward and creating some offense. One could say the masterstroke of that game didn't happen in the run of play but only when the Dutch coach put in a new goalie for the penalty kicks. It worked and here are the Netherlands looking for so much redemption, having lost three title games in their history. Everyone is available for the Dutch, Van Persie, Robben, and Sneijder form an imposing front. But for the game against Costa Rica they have had no issues scoring. They will however go up against a better back 4 (or 3 depending on how Argentina aligns) than they have thus far. Poor Javier Mascherano, he plays out of position in the back four for Barcelona and does well but gets grief, and he does the same thing for Argentina. He will have to play a mammoth game today. The Dutch defenders were no doubt not all that sad to see Argentinian playmaker Angel DiMaria go out with a thigh injury in their last game. DiMaria had stepped forward to make Lionel Messi even more dangerous. While La Celestina gets Manchester City top scorer Sergio Aguero back today, ask any Argentina fan and they'd want DiMaria on the field today.

So what is the X-factor in all this Johnny? You know. You know him, you love him, and soccer fans cannot live without him. His name is Lionel Messi and there are moments he does things nobody else can, or even think of doing. As a Barcelona fan Johnny has watched Messi time and time again simply will his team to a victory with one or two moments of sheer magic. There was the time in a Champions League semi-final, Real Madrid players surrounded Messi near midfield and he simply did this:

As Dutch fans today know all too well, Messi can be Messi and any given time on any given field. When the tournament started Johnny said he wanted the USA to win if at all possible. It's not. He then said he wanted an Argentina vs. Brazil final if at all possible. It's not. He then wanted Lionel Messi to win a World Cup because there should never ever be any doubt to his greatness and there are those petty sportswriters who say if a guy didn't win at the highest level he's not that good. Let's just shut their big self-important mouths now. Johnny predicts 2-1 Argentina with Messi leading the way. 

Argentina vs Netherlands 4pm

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Late night open thread

No apparent reason night.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark


World Cup Today -- Day 27

The hour grows late in World Cup 2014, here we are at the semi-finals already. Today we have quite a treat as two of the all-time powers in soccer, Germany and Brazil, clash for amazingly, only the second time ever in the WC, only meeting in the 2002 Final won by Brazil. Many "experts" are saying that this shapes up to be the real World Cup Final as the winner should go on and beat either the Netherlands or Argentina. Johnny's not on board with that but it is a matchup of giants.

Germany looking stronger every match with their stalling, take the air out of the ball, kick around the park when we get a lead has been devastating. This is not the wide-open offense we saw in the first two games of group stage. They have become tight on the back end and sure int he middle. With Khedira and Schweinsteiger dropping back in front of the back four Germany has been lights out on defense. Not only are Khedira and Schweinsteiger helping make the defense in essence a back 5 or 6 they are linking well with Ozil and Lahm further up to keep Germany's attacks running. Germany it can be said is peaking at the right time.

Brazil on the other hand is not. Thiago Silva, their best midfielder, one of the best in the world must sit out because of a petulant foul he made by running into the Columbian goalie who was simply going to attempt a given goal kick. But Silva had to run into the goalie for a reason known only to him and now he sits out. This selfish act might not have been so devastating if Neymar hadn't been clattered into and had a vertebrae broken. That's truly too bad as you want to see the world's best in the world's biggest matches. So, now Brazil must deal with Germany, a daunting task for any side, without their top scorer and playmaker. Imagine the Giants going into an NFC Championship Game without Eli Manning and say Victor Cruz. You can win the game but it's certainly less likely. Brazil is going to have to tighten things up to win this game.

Johnny's prediction? He'll say 2-1 Germany but if they get a lead the air is coming out of the ball. This game could well go 0-0 to extra time and that'd be kind of sad.

Brazil vs Germany 4pm

All NJ Transit train service has been suspended

Making your Tuesday commute the best it can be....in this price range.

It's true, all NJ Transit train service has been suspended because of a power issue facing Amtrak:

NJ Transit trains on both the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast lines are not running due to an Amtrak power supply problem.

Trains on the Midtown Direct line are suspended but are being diverted to Hoboken, NJ Transit said on its website.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Late night open thread

Wake the kids and tell the neighbors, it's Cinematic Titanic night! Tonight's episode, War of the Insects!
















Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Again, Johnny doesn't often focus on events outside our area...

...but in this case he read something that HAD to be repeated. In some strange way this DOES indeed deal with what we write here because it deals with what everyone accesses online. Did you know your own government then is committing heinous crimes that fly directly in the face of our Constitution? Here is the last paragraph of an editorial on the latest NSA snoopery-gone rogue-gone public. We hope you'll take the time to read the whole thing.

Yes, this matters, your personal info has now gone from the NSA to reporters, yes reporters who can make your whole life public depending on the level of NSA invasiveness into your life:

The NSA collects and stores the full content of extremely sensitive photographs, emails, chat transcripts, and other documents belong to Americans, itself a violation of the Constitution—but even if you disagree that it's illegal, there's no disputing the fact that the NSA has been proven incapable of safeguarding that data. There is not the chance the data could leak at sometime in the future. It has already been taken and given to reporters. The necessary reform is clear. Unable to safeguard this sensitive data, the NSA shouldn't be allowed to collect and store it.

So maybe a couple years ago you pulled up hotteens.com, or maybe you Googled all about a fringe political group or maybe you even checked out profiles on a dating site. Do you want a reporter for FOX News or the New York Times asking about what you do in private in your own home? Are you amazed they can sell/steal/share your personal info like that? Do something. If it's NSA workers' heads on pikes outside the NSA offices do let Johnny know as he'd like to help. If it's contacting your legislator OR encrypting your email on a stronger level that you do now, know you're doing freedom a favor.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Late night open thread

"I'm glad it's finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is."
 -- Unknown

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

A Sunday walk around Cool City

Walks can wind up in breakfast if you're not careful. Park and Sixth was on the way and so breakfast it was and some shots of their awesome interior decorating:




Then it was all about what looked good Jersey City. From the JCFD doing some summer cleaning to American flags fifteen feet away blowing in different directions, you never know what you'll see until you walk out your front door.


















Late night open thread

On August 17, 1957 Alice Roth was one of 7,929 Phillies fans who were at old Connie Mack Stadium for a game against the New York Giants. Phils manager Mayo Smith (who would go on to manage the Detroit Tigers to the 1968 World Series title) penciled in Richie Ashburn into the leadoff spot and had him playing centerfield. At some point, Richie Ashburn fouled off a pitch that struck Ms. Roth right in the nose, breaking it. Anyone who has been to a sporting event and seen a fan get nicked by a foul ball or loose puck knows the game goes on while repairs are made to the fan. Now you know Johnny well enough to know he'd never post something and leave it at fan gets hit by foul ball. That's too easy. During that same at bat Ashburn fouled off yet another pitch.

Mmmmm hmmmmmm, Alice Roth got it again as she was being stretchered out of Connie Mack Stadium. Ashburn's second foul ball broke a bone in Roth's leg. The lesson here? If you ever get a time machine and feel you need to go back and see the Phillies and Giants game 8/17/57, stay the hell away from Alice Roth.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Saturday, July 5, 2014

World Cup Today -- Day 24

After yesterday's 0-2 record in predictions Johnny's back for more! First off though, since this might be the only post of today, what a morning in Jersey City! There may have been some really nice mornings on July 5th in the history of this place but none better than this morning with the cool temps, the steady cooling breeze and a sun giving just enough warmth but not too much. Lovely.

Johnny loves Lionel Messi. He's a Barcelona fan and Messi is admiral of that ship. His game is just plain fun to watch. Barry Sanders with a soccer ball. Johnny would very much like to see Messi win a World Cup title in his era. That's why today's game against Belgium and their incredibly talented midfield led by one of the Weasley boys from the Harry Potter books is such a danger to Argentinian hopes. Johnny fears the defensive prowess of Belgium may deny a lot of link-ups between Argentina's midfield and their front line strikers. This game could be a slog for Messi & Company. Hazard and Mertens can plug things up in Argentina's odd formation and then Belgium has the advantage of bringing in two playmakers as needed in Miralles and or Lukaku, the very guys that did the USA in. If Argentina can make the link up to Messi he may well start yellowing the Belgian backline as they are all big centerbacks, and lack speed. As badly as Johnny wants Messi to win he sees a Belgian win today.

The later match has a David vs. Goliath look to it with the Netherlands, three times runners-up in the World Cup vs. Los Ticos (The Minnows) of Costa Rica and last member of CONCACAF still playing. The Netherlands likes playing offense and Costa Rica sure likes playing offense so this could well be an attractive game. No doubt Arjen Robben will dive and get another penalty call for his team because nobody seems to have the nards to card him. In the end class normally wills out in these last few games and every indicator is that the Dutch are onto the semi-final but that's why they play the game on the field (but pick Holland).

Argentina vs Belgium noon
Costa Rica vs Netherlands 4pm

Late night open thread

Many thanks for tonights pic sent from "jcjen90" who said she took this using a 1930's style filter. Johnny loves the black and whites! As always feel free to send in your pics from around town. If we use them you always get credited and Johnny owes you a beer.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with DON HENLEY!

Tonight, after Jersey City's fireworks show utterly beat the pants off the Macy's show, which DID have to move the launch boats because of rip currents in the East River causing many to sit all day expecting to see a show that was suddenly not in sight. Know what doesn't move? Jersey City's Liberty State Park and Statue of Liberty. That backdrop is always gonna look great and no riptides either.

Steve Fulop 1
Bill DeBlasio 0

So, tonight the Music Series looks at America, all the good and all the dirty little secrets and dirty little lies. Which song do YOU think bet sums up America dear readers? Here's Johnny's choice as cynical as it may seem. Kicking things off tonight with 'Dirty Laundry' is Don Henley, American by way of Gilmer Texas.

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with STEVIE WONDER!

And just what would a tribute to America be without a tribute to our musical style we call jazz? So we'll let a kid from Michigan on Motown Records bring home that American music experience. Stevie Wonder with 'Sir Duke from the hyperselling album Songs in the Key of Life, from 1976.

Friday night MULTIMEDIA EXTRAVAGANZA with JOHNNY CASH!

Wrapping up our Music Series love letter to America what better way than to name as many places in these here United States with Johnny Cash and 'I've Been Everywhere' which was originally cut by country legend Hank Snow.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Twitter must hate freedom

Because when you can't post a simple animated gif, a gif you made on the fly because you love America (in a hurricane no less) even while walking the dire wolf, well then somebody hates freedom. Pixel after precious freedom pixel.

You cannot get more patriotic than this

Every year Johnny likes to share his all-time fave-O-rite 4th moment, the Ford F-150 Neighborhood Fireworks MOBILE Launch Commander 5000. Invite Jimmeh to your next neighborhood brush fire:

World Cup Today -- Day 23

Thunderdome continues today as two teams enter the arena yet one team leaves with title aspirations intact. Today two of the pre-tournament favorites will have their mettle tested but top competition.

The early game brings Germany vs. France. The irresistible force meeting the immovable object. France has been a goal scoring machine through Karim Benzema. Paul Pogba has been right along side to help the French attack. So far nobody has kept them below two goals in a game. How will France handle the very forward attacking style of Germany and Mezut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger? How will the French defense handle the cutting German strikers, something they haven't had to deal a lot with this tournament because they have always been in the ascendency in attack. Johnny thinks if France were to get the first goal today it would see them through though they might indeed need two, something that has been no problem thus far. Johnny likes France in the upset.

The 4pm game is fitting because it's a firecracker on the 4th of July. Columbia, maybe the best and most consistent team thus far vs. pre-tourney favorite Brazil. South American style in a place where Brazil hasn't lost a home competitive match since 1975. Brazil, for Johnny's money has been whistling past the graveyard with their play. Today he thinks the Columbian Reaper comes to collect. Johnny's pick? Columbia 2 Brazil 0.

France vs Germany noon
Columbia vs Brazil 4pm

Happy Independence Day!

All anti-fireworks laws have been suspended for 24 hours, but you might wanna keep the grills close to the garage or under an awning, this Hurricane spinning up the coast could give us some rain bands early on.

Happy Independence Day to all those who love America!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Late night open thread

How much do you know about candy Jersey City? Here's a one-question quiz and the answer can be found in comments.

Which candy do Americans eat more than any other?
A) M&M's
B) Candy Corn
C) Kit Kat
D) Snickers
E) Reese's

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Rutgers has been shamed into getting a new Scarlet Knight mascot

Just three days into their Big Ten experience, Rutgers is having to change how their mascot looks. Here he is in all his current, well, awfulness:


That may well play in the Big East or whatever no-count conference Rutgers spent last year in but in the Big Ten where one of the most beloved college mascots of all-time resides, which already looks the role of Ser Gregor Clegane, you must step up your effort from John Kerry with a JEEP grill on his head:


So Rutgers has indeed announced "A New Knight" to be unveiled on August 8. A Sparty-like body with Chris Christie's head? Will the New Knight have a Snooki Knight sidekick? Guess we'll just have to wait. 

Oh, and to any Rutgers fans that Johnny will no doubt be offending as a long-time MSU fan, you wanted into the conference, take your hazing like a knight.

Late night open thread

For 50 points name the movie this animation comes from in comments.


Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's a sizzling hot July News Roundup!

*First off, it could well feel like º100 today with humidity in some spots in the Garden State. A Heat Advisory has been posted. July has arrived. Please check on those without air conditioning and make sure to check on vulnerable pets!

*New York Giants legend and all-around teevee good guy Michael Strahan was attacked by a homeless man who wanted to kill him.

*The Jersey Journal's Terrence T. McDonald points out just how many Steve Fulop cronies walk the halls of 280 Grove St. Wasn't this exactly what Fulop used to rail on Healy about?

*If you are still feeling the impacts of Superstorm Sandy the Jersey Journal wants to hear from you.

*New Bayonne Mayor James Davis did a pretty douchey thing by inviting all former living Bayonne mayors to his swearing in except for the guy who he just beat, Mark Smith. Talk about thin-skinned.

*Jersey City may itself be divided up in half when it comes to the new ambulance contracts.

*More on Jersey City's NYC topping fireworks display at Liberty State park in front of Jersey City's own Statue of Liberty for Friday.

*Duane Reade's parent company Walgreen's is looking like they are bailing on their US citizenship and want to dump $4 billion of THEIR tax burden on taxpayers by moving their HQ to Switzerland (on paper only). Probably time to rethink shopping there.

World Cup Today -- Day 21

Well, the USA has bowed out. It might have hurt more if as a nation we felt the USA was a better team than Belgium which clearly wasn't the case. The USA had chances to WIN this match and win it late to boot but alas, we wait until 2018 in Russia for our next chance. Heroic effort by Tim Howard yesterday. Legendary effort.

So, the USA went out by the same score at the same point giving up a goal in early extra added time like they did to Ghana in 2010. Make no mistake this is a MUCH better team four years on with a MUCH better head coach. Every kid after yesterday who wants to play soccer will pretend to be the wall known as Tim Howard, diving right and left and jumping to put balls over the crossbar. What the USA needs is midfielders. You kids grow up to be ball control midfielders. That's what the USA needs most. They need the Zusi's and Beckerman's and guys coming up behind them to pass and control play.  The defense was pretty good, better than Johnny had planned for. They had a much better link up on offense and scored 5 goals in 4 games, respectable. AND they competed against MUCH tougher competition this world cup than last, and looked pretty good in doing so.

Big positives going forward, if you're a soccer fan you'll see the growth over the next four years. If you just follow the Wold Cup you should be already excited by the USA's chances in Russia.

No games today, not until Friday.

Late night open thread

Simplify. Vanilla ice cream, New Jersey cherries, and a warm summer night.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

If you are making plans to fly out on the 4th of July or going to the beach you need to hear this

Tropical Strom Andrew, the first named tropical storm of 2014 is expected to impact New Jersey and the Jersey Shore on Friday, July 4th with heavy rain, heavy winds and heavy surf. The storm is located off the shore of Florida currently and is slowly making it's way north.

Saturday's weather forecast is 84º and sunny.

World Cup Today -- Day 20

So we arrive at the BIG moment. The USA will take the field against the "Red Devils" of Belgium at 4pm today. As more than one analyst has said though, has this World Cup come one year too late for Belgium?

First off though we have the Argentina vs. Switzerland match at noon. Both France and Germany got by yesterday but not by much, especially in Germany's case. Could Switzerland, who upset champs-to-be Spain in their first 2010 World Cup game. The Swiss know the routine, they know how to lock teams down. It is one of their stronger aspects to their game. Can Argentina score without have to wait for Messi to save them? Will someone other than Messi score for the Argentines? If the South Americans get a goal from Higuain or DiMaria or anyone else to take the pressure off of Messi they sand a good chance. If they get a lead and force Switzerland to open up a bit they should be fine. If Switzerland should score first, look out. Johnny sees this as a 2-1 Argentine victory. 

Which brings us to the biggest US soccer game probably not in 1950. Belgium, tactically excellent, and even more devastating on set pieces, ire free kicks and corner kicks. However the Belgians were playing at a much higher level at this time last year, in fact beating team USA 2-0. If the USA can keep Belgium off the scoreboard on set pieces their chances improve markedly. Jozy Altidore who stretched his hamstring 20 minutes in the USA's first game against Ghana has been declared "available" today. Johnny doesn't see Altidore starting but he could come on with his great speed and size and power late in the match when Belgian legs are tired and go all out for 15-20 minutes and maybe make a difference. The USA will most likely have to attack from the wide spaces as Belgium may pack it in tightly on defense with the many injuries their central defense have. Manchester City's Vincent Kompany has a groin pull, Anthony Vanden Borre with a broken fibula and an abductor strain for Laurent Ciman. Americans may also thank whatever god you pray to that the best ball header on earth, Christian Benteke who plays for Aston Villa, is not playing for Belgium today either. The USA will want more possession in this match to slow down the Red Devils attack so players like Graham Zusi and or Justin Bedoya must be sharp in service in the middle of the park. Cheap giveaways and poor possession will send wave after wave of Belgians forward. Slow and steady wins the race today. So, again, if the Belgians don't score on set pieces good things can happen. The USA cannot keep a clean sheet to save their lives (ie get a shutout) so we're going to say moxie and conditioning win the day. Nobody better at that than the USA. Belgium wins their games late. Today the USA will turn that trick back on them. 2-1 USA with a goal by Michael Bradley late in extra time.

Argentina vs Switzerland noon
USA vs Belgium 4pm