Sunday, November 25, 2018

Late night open thread

So here we are at last Jersey City, the final late night open thread. In some odd way Johnny hoped it would somehow bring each day in Jersey City to a close with a hope for something better tomorrow. He wished this for Ypsilanti at the old Ypsi City Desk and he'll wish it at the new Oscoda City Desk.

You've all proven to be such admirable Hobbits to live amongst and Johnny is happy to have shared ten years of his life with all of you if only through this website. He wishes each and every one of you who read this today, perhaps in a month or even years from now the very best. You don't have to make Jersey City yours friends, it already belongs to you. Take ownership of it and never settle for the stewards of your city giving back half-measures or slapdash work.

If you're ever up north on the Lake Huron side of Michigan, give Johnny a shout, he might just buy your dinner.

Until then...

The Red Bulls kick off their conference final tie with Atlanta today

The one New Jersey/New York team Johnny really pulled for starts the conference final tie (Americans and Canadians call them a 'home and home' series) with the Atlanta Braves, er Hawks, um, no, Falcons? It can't be the Thrashers, they're gone. Anyway, the Red Bulls play at Atlanta United at 5:30pm. It would be so Red Bulls to get this far again and lose but something tells Johnny they can win the Eastern Conference. If the Red Bulls play an in your face style against Atlanta and force them into giveaways and less possession, like they did previously this season, maybe the South Ward will still be chanting, “You can’t beat us,” in the return match at Red Bull Arena on Thursday.

NYCFC fans can go put on their Red Bull hats now.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Late night open thread

Johnny's last Saturday Night Scoreboard Show in Jersey City on the last big Saturday of the season. Funny how that works out.

Ohio State 62
Michigan 39
This just in, Ohio State just scored again

Syracuse 42
Boston College 21
A great season by the Orange. 9-3 should draw interest from a top bowl game

Alabama 52
Auburn 21
Your turn in the cage, Georgia

Eastern Michigan 28
Kent State 20
The Hurons are going bowling for the second time in three years. All hail Chris Creighton

Northwestern 24
Illinois 16
The little purple engine that could

Minnesota 37
Wisconsin 15
Remember at the beginning of the year when Wisconsin was in the top 5

North Carolina State 34
North Carolina 28 OT
Overtime in the last regular season game really starts to cut into NCAA hoops watching for these fanbases

Florida 41
Florida State 14
No soup bowl for the Seminoles, their first losing season since 1982

Michigan State 14
Rutgers 10
Rutgers took a 10-7 lead with 4:00 to play but Rutgers gonna Rutgers

The Jersey City Desk Game of the Week®
Tulane 29
Navy 28
Tulane wanted one thing, bowl eligibility. So when they scored late to pull within 1, they got power up and went for 2. Charles Jones caught the trickeration and for the first time since 2013 the Green Wave are going bowling. For his catch and conversion, Charles Jones may loot and pillage New Orleans for the next 24 hours

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Remember Jersey City, we're shopping small today

It's a Small Business Saturday Jersey City so let's get out there and support our friends and neighbors who have invested in our town to make their mark and make Jersey City a better place. Try and remember these stores are there the other 364 days of the year as well. Don't just make today a one-time event.

Support Jersey City with your dollars!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Late night open thread

Q) How come elephants lie on their backs in fields?
A) So they can trip birds

Time for Jersey City, After Dark


Well, here we are Jersey City and the surround, the last Music Series. As sad as that is, that's NOT what the Friday night Music Series has been about. Nothing maudlin tonight, hell no. Just great music, it's what we do here. It's what we'll be doing in Oscoda, just a click away or you can drive 600-some miles each week and watch Johnny put it together. Your call.

Let's step off one more time proper with one of the most underrated songs in the history of songs, 'Rat Trap' by The Boomtown Rats. Edgy guitar, the perfect anti-hero, the nasty sax, and Bob Geldof telling the tale. It's all in here. Like a turducken of music, only good.

Let's do this thing...


Johnny's ode to all his New Jersey friends. Bruce or Jon seemed so cliche and we've played them both plenty. 'Blood and Roses' all up in your ears and sounding like Friday night should.

Turn it up loud enough you can drown out all the car horns ;)


Johnny, a spiritual on the last night even if reimagined in such a hip way? Oh you know it, sinner. It's the music that Johnny loves. This is incredible. Plus it's one more chance to fit Patty Griffin into a Music Series and stick a finger in the eye of the person who said via email twice Johnny played her music too much.

Like that could happen.

One.Last.Song. Jersey City, you'll have to click all the way in Oscoda to get the next one in a few weeks. Radio Free Iosco (County) we'll call it. "Move Up' taking us out one last time.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Late night open thread

Go on, you can have one more piece of pie before bed. Of course it needs Cool Whip. Stupid question.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Today Johnny is giving thanks for the great people of Jersey City

When Johnny's wife passed in early February, he truly thought he was alone here. He'd worked from home so he didn't get the same types of relationships one builds up in a office setting; dinners, movies, team building trips to Yankee Stadium, and through these outings and events and programs one makes friends. Johnny only really had acquaintances in his building as he worked early and odd hours. His best friend really was his dog walker all this time as he'd see him every day at least and chat.

He really felt isolated.

Nobody is EVER going to use any kind of, "Oh, New Jersey, pffft" insult around him and not be called on it. "Oh Jersey people..." Nope, as Bill Clinton used to say, 'That dog don't hunt." Never again will that derisive dismissal go unchallenged. Jersey City has shown Johnny some of the most wonderful people he'll ever meet and will truly miss.

Johnny's an Atheist, don't worry, just setting up this story of kindness. The first thing one does after getting up off the couch is deal with the funeral home situation however agonizing. Johnny called McLaughlin Funeral Home in Journal Square. He is SO GLAD HE DID. They've been incredible and they helped take care of so much. If you are ever in the same situation as Johnny, you can trust them. Just 4 days after his wife passed Johnny did not feel up to a PATH ride from Grove St. to the JSQ and he called a cab. The ride was quiet and uneventful which was the plan. As the cab pulled up outside McLaughlin's and stopped, the driver, in a thick accent, asked Johnny if he was going to the funeral home. Johnny said yes. He asked if it were someone close and Johnny choked up a little replied 'My wife."

The driver asked Johnny to hold on for a moment. He fumbled in his jacket for a second or two and pulled out a prayer card and asked if he could say a prayer for her with him. It was the first and one of the kindest gestures in a tidal wave of coming kindness. You better believe Johnny listened to all this good and kind stranger had to say from the card. Simply amazing.

Johnny's neighbors took his dog for walks, they'd just show up to do it. Dinner was left outside his door like it was some kind of wonderful coordinated effort for over a week. Johnny's college friend Mary who lives in Dallas wanted to make sure he ate something, anything, and ordered a burger and mac and cheese poppers from Left Bank Burger. When it got delivered there was a note from Mary relayed on the receipt but also a note from someone who worked at Left Bank Burger, "We're here if you need us."

Johnny has gotten more supportive and uplifting DM's on Twitter from Jersey City people than you can count. He's just listed a few moments here where people were kind, there have been many more.

New Jersey/Jersey City isn't Angry Governors, Snooki's and housewives. It's not. That's TV. The people of Jersey City are wonderful and compassionate and kind and whom Johnny was lucky enough to spend 10 years with.

Today he's giving thanks for you Jersey City.

Here's the traditional Thanksgiving Massacree, with the four-part harmony

Late night open thread

Guess which song Johnny's gonna post in the morning, on Thanksgiving Day? Guess. Go on, guess.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Late night open thread

“But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when she felt it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them.”
-- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Windy Poplars

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Monday, November 19, 2018

Valar Morghulis tonight Journal Square

Valar morghulis, you know, the translation for either "All Men Must Die" or "Better Get To the White Castle" will be tested tonight as the man himself, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin will appear at the Landmark Loew's Theater at 7:30 discussing his new book (No, not the next in the series) “Fire & Blood,” which is a history of the Targaryen family and empire.

Tickets are $40 but you DO get a signed copy of the book. Johnny went to see Mr. Martin discuss his History of Westeros book, the one with all the pictures. He's very very engaging and does take questions from the audience at the end so if you have some gripes with Game of Thrones adaptations, if that is how Hodor dies in the books actually holding the door, or whatever is on your mind, tonight is your chance to ask. When Johnny saw him a couple years back at the 92nd Street Y, Martin did explain some of the differences between his vision and the show's reality. In his vision, THIS is what the Iron Throne looks like. 7:30, see you there Jersey City!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Late night open thread

The Saturday Night Scoreboard Show, you know it, you love it, it's 5 minutes of your life you'll never get back.

Oklahoma State 45
West Virginia 41
Know what this is? It's the God of Burning Couches in Morgantown. He will rage tonight

Ohio State 52
Maryland 51
Maryland's QB decided instead of throwing a winning two-point conversion to a wide open receiver to get power up and win the game he'd take out his frustrations on a security guard who had his back turned 30 feet in the other direction

Notre Dame 36
Syracuse 3
Wonder how many people this speed bump shook off the Orange bandwagon

USC 27
There is no other game in America with better, more appealing aesthetics than both USC and UCLA playing in their dark jerseys

Utah 30
Colorado 7
Even the fans were bored
Lehigh 34
Lafayette 3
College football's oldest rivalry renewed. Lehigh finished 3-8 but Johnny will bet it doesn't feel like it tonight on South Mountain

Wisconsin 47
Purdue 44
The "I Can't Believe Northwestern Is Playing In the Big Ten Championship Game" game

Maine 27
Elon 26
Maine's Earnest Edwards returned not one but TWO kickoffs for touchdowns in the Black Bears win

Furman 35
Mercer 30
Johnny told you last week he packed his Furman shirt away already. No impact

The Jersey City Desk Game of the Week®
Holy Cross 32
Georgetown 31
Macklin Kortebein wasn't happy blocking just one punt in the 26 point comeback for Holy Cross, so he decided to block two. When Miles Alexander ran it in from two yards out with 42 seconds left, Hoya fans probably had to be told because they'd already changed the channel to Georgetown basketball. For his efforts Macklin Kortebein may loot and pillage Washington D.C. for the next 24 hours.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday, November 16, 2018

Late night open thread

State trivia night. Retailer JC Penney started in which state? Answer here.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark


Johnny's gonna bet if you asked 1000 serious Blondie fans what their favorite song by them was 'Union City Blue' would be at or near the top. Everything works in this song. The grind of the guitar, and Debbie Harry simply sings the shit out of this song. One of her best.

Three more songs after tonight so Johnny's fitting in songs that he truly loves or mean a lot.


Is there anybody who doesn't love this song, 'Band on the Run'? Johnny thanks his first best friend in life, Roger, for teaching him about reading liner notes being important and listening to FM radio was a must. This was one of the albums Roger would put on often. For those long-time readers of the Ypsi and Jersey City Desks, no this was not an 8-track in his Buick Regal.

Great stuff...
Still a top-tier album cover too.


Few, if any, artists have had such an impact on Johnny with their songs, lyrics and public words than Joe Strummer. Johnny can always find a song with meaning, depth, thought or in this case just some sweet-ass instrumental rock and roll. If you're looking for this song, Johnny thinks the only place you can find it in on the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack, which Joe Strummer produced.

'War Cry' getting you out of here and on with your Friday night party plans.

Late night open thread

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Johnny's Jersey City Stories Volume 2: Hello Mayor Healy, nice to meet you

When Johnny and Mrs. Johnny were looking at places in Jersey City, once they decided NYC and FuHo were out, and figured they would rent for the first year or so, see where they were spending most of their time in JC and where might just be a good place to buy. The first home for them was at 75 Liberty, Brunswick Towers, the old Tonnelle Circle as it was, backed right up to the place off 139 and Kennedy Blvd. One couldn't go more than a minute without car horns. Johnny tried many mornings. He'd slide open the glass sliding door a crack when he got up for work around 4am (That is not a typo, 4am for 9 years) and rarely if ever, even at that hour did it go longer than a minute without some aggrieved driver honking.

The place was nice, indoor pool, cool neighbors and the people Johnny and Mrs. Johnny were renting from, one was the former Parenting column writer in the Jersey Journal, Melinda Vickerman-Lalaoui. Wonderful woman. She and her husband Alex mentioned that the all powerful Jersey City mayor, Jerramiah Healy would be holding a fundraiser for his 2009 re-election right there in building and asked if we'd like to go. The fundraiser in fact was right down the hall from the mayor's opponent in the 2009 race, Lou Manzo. Johnny had gotten to know Mr. Manzo just on a "Hi how are you" head nod basis but even after only being in Jersey City for five months he had a good idea why this fundraiser was being held where it was. Mea culpa, Johnny nor Mrs. Johnny gave money to Healy's campaign that night. Johnny thinks in fact after a night with Healy and all his cronies and what they talked about and how they spoke he realized the Jersey City Desk at the time wasn't nearly ready enough to talk on city issues very deeply The fundraiser changed all that.

As Johnny shook Mayor Healy's hand the mayor gave him a quizzical look and asked if he'd met Johnny before. He was almost certain he had. Perhaps Healy though Johnny might be some kind of Manzo plant. He wasn't, Johnny and the mayor further talked that Johnny had just moved from Detroit (to which Healy and Bill Gaughan both rolled their eyes, ("Oh Detroit") and perhaps after all the Kwame Kilpatrick malfeasance that had just gone on in Detroit had the Jersey boys feeling a little smug. Of course this was mere days before the big Hudson County law enforcement net snared the Mayors of Hoboken and elsewhere, a few of Healy's top appointments as well (so be careful what you shit on Jerry, it might be days away from biting you in the ass) in the Solomon Dwek real estate scam. Johnny did actually get to talk with Mayor Healy about riverfront development and Johnny told the mayor quite directly he needed recession-proof hotels on the riverfront. More than were there at the time, ie, one. The hotels downtown Detroit Johnny explained weren't going bankrupt, the city was. The hotels downtown near the new casinos had to move money to go to the toilet. Hotels along the river or near the river in JC would be bulletproof. Someone took a notepad out and scribbled some ideas on this. Johnny would never claim to be the reason two more hotels got built by the water in the time he was here after he spoke to the mayor about it, that would be some serious ego shit right there. BUT he will say when Healy heard the Detroit hotels on the river were some of the biggest contributors to city coffers, he looked interested. Again, deep into the discussion Healy swore he's met Johnny before. Bill Gaughan offered to get Johnny a cocktail. It was a nice discussion with a guy Johnny would later go on to realize was pretty much in it for his pals.

Johnny also had two lovely discussions with both then-candidate for Ward C Nidia Lopez-Boehringer who was a very very nice woman and great to talk to and the actual highlight of the evening for Johnny was talking with Healy's wife Maureen out on a balcony of the place holding the fundraiser. She was just wonderful. She told Johnny about great places to shop, things to see and do, a little history of the city, just a true ambassador. For someone new to the city this was such great information. Johnny will never ever forget her kindness.

Johnny still thinks fondly about this night, he does. Even after all the nonsense that happened with Healy in office he's glad he had this chance to talk with a mayor of a big city who was willing to talk turkey and discuss real issues and not just give it the old "No comment" or "I've released a statement on that" or worse, "You're new here, you wouldn't understand."

It was an edumactional night for the noob in town.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Late night open thread

Johnny the Browns fan was pretty happy when Cleveland selected Nick Chubb in the second round of the draft. He's very fast.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Happy Veterans Day!

While Johnny didn't grow up in a typical military family, his dad was a Korean War veteran and so, Johnny has a great great amount of respect for our Vets. 

So here's to the men and women who make up our Veterans!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Late night open thread

The Saturday Night Scoreboard Show, all the scores that matter in a smattering of the time it takes for ESPN to get to your team.

Eastern Michigan 27
Akron 7
Johnny's alma mater is bowl eligible for the second time in three years under miracle worker Chris Creighton. It was over 30 years since EMU had last played in a bowl game before Creighton arrived in Ypsilanti. This calls for the Go Green song, while not the fight song, it should have been (note the creative lyrical spelling)
Michigan 42
Rutgers 7
Staying in Washtenaw County, Michigan made quick work of RU today in Piscataway. Johnny knows it looks so fucking bleak for RU football right now. It used to look this way at Northwestern in the 70's and most of the 80's but it CAN change. If EMU is going to bowl games now...

Oklahoma 48
Oklahoma State 47
Shootout at the OK Corral for real. Our PlayStation Game of the Week

Alabama 24
Mississippi State 0
This is our shocked face

Colgate 48
Lehigh 6
Lehigh's QB Brad Mayes was a cool 8 for 31 but also had zero interceptions so Johnny's going to guess he wasn't throwing very close to anybody most of the day

Furman 49
VMI 13
Johnny's Furman shirt is now put away and ready for the move. It did not help Furman today

Indiana State 28
Illinois State 23
The Indiana state line moves ten feet into Illinois until the next time Illinois State wins this game then it moves 10 feet into Indiana as is tradition.

South Dakota 17
Western Illinois 12
Yeah, as hard as he tries Johnny can't squeeze a state line joke out of this one

Arizona State 31
At 2-8 UCLA is really going to need to rally to have a chance at the Rose Bowl

The Jersey City Desk Game of the Week®
Northwestern 14
Iowa 10
No, no last second get power up heroics, just a gutty season from a gutty team who will now play in their first Big Ten title game. This team is truly a lesson for Rutgers about being underfunded sports-wise and talent-wise yet still finding a way. Northwestern University may now loot and pillage Iowa City Iowa (not the Children's Hospital) for the next 24 hours

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Late night open thread

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday, November 9, 2018


Johnny's not leaving without some Stones and here on a tribute to some great rock and roll nothing would sound better than 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' which Johnny would argue is one of the best collaborations between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor. Bobby Keyes on sax is is just, is just, Johnny's out of superlatives to use on his sax in this song.

So Stickeh! Groove with Johnny people...


Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you're going to have a down and dirty rock and roll night something inside you should remind you to invite Diamond Dave and Van Halen.

The volume dial, you can do better. No, a little more. One more. There you go. 'Hot for Teacher' up next.

There's Waldo. Johnny wins again.


Real rockers seems to be theme of the night so probably after this one you'll be looking to fight someone, steal a car, and get into another fight. 'Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)' is so brilliant and such a hard, earnest song. It doesn't try to be fancy, it tries to be the best Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) ever and boy does it succeed.

Such a unique song and yet an anthem.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Late night open thread

The Saturday Night Scoreboard Show, the hour grows late in conference play and we're there to share in shattered dreams.

Ohio State 36
Nebraska 31
The Buckeyes look broken, almost as if a top flight defense could---uh oh...

Michigan State 24
Maryland 3
Speaking of such a defense, and in East Lansing no less next Saturday, that could render the Michigan/Ohio State game meaningless

Michigan 385
Penn State 7
Penn State, because someone has to serve as the buffer between the real contenders in the B1G East like MSU, OSU and Michigan, nestled in-between the Indianas, Marylands and Rutgers of the world

Georgia 34
Kentucky 17
Georgia will pay for this one come basketball season. Make book on that

Purdue 38
Iowa 36
The Big Ten West representative in the conference title game may well be Northern Illinois

Syracuse 41
Wake Forest 24
The 'Cuse is for real at 7-2, first time since 2001. Wake Forest, not so much. Not enough Wake, too much Forest

Furman 16
Chattanooga 10
Furman stayed hot while Johnny stayed comfortable in his Furman t-shirt today

Eastern Michigan 17
Central Michigan 7
That is one ugly bus ride back to Mt. Boring for the losers

West Virginia 42
Texas 41
Will Grier hit Gary Jennings Jr. from 33 yards out with just seconds to play to get the Mountaineers close, and West Virginia, instead of playing for the tie, they got power up and went for the WIN baby. Normally this would be the Game of the Week except...

The Jersey City Desk Game of the Week®
Massachusetts 62
Liberty 59 3OT
Bedlam in Hadley Massachusetts no doubt as this could have also been The PlayStation Game of the Week as well. Aw, what the hell, let's make it so! Get these numbers, UMass QB Ross Comis, 29/44 540 YDS 4TD's 1 INT. Minuteman receiver Andy Isabella had 9 REC for 303 yards and 2 TD's. Amazing stuff. For their efforts the ENTIRE UMass offense gets to loot and pillage Hadley Mass for the next 24 hours.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Johnny's Jersey City Stories Volume 1: They Did What Now?

Johnny's going to be using his remaining time in Jersey City to spin some yarns, tell some tales out of school and favor you with things he's heard on his way out the door to Oscoda.

Today's Jersey City Story is back when, in fall 2008 Johnny and Mrs. Johnny were getting ready to move east. Mrs. Johnny had been moving up the ranks at the old Borders Books & Music and around 2007 she was named Director of Borders' digital strategy. She could pretty plainly and clearly see that above her position, NOBODY at Borders had any good idea about what a digital strategy was, or how one was going to be implemented. Mrs. Johnny could clearly see the Titanic heading for the iceberg in Ann Arbor. So, when Amazon's digital audio book company, Audible headhunted her, it as an easy choice to leave. Within a year Borders was gone.

Enough backstory, now it was time to find a place out east to live. Since we hadn't yet made our "fortune" as it were, NYC was out of the price range. The search was on and Johnny had read all kinds of awful and bad things about Newark, back then when it was known as the 'home of carjacking' Johnny wasn't going to choose Newark, right or wrong. He certainly wasn't going to live in a town Bugs Bunny made fun of so Hoboken was out. So, Johnny started reading up on Jersey City.

The very first thing Johnny laid eyes on about the town he was going to call home? A Star-Ledger article on Ward C Councilman Steven Lipski, peeing on concert-goers in Washington D.C.. Yep, the first thing he saw was an article by Carly Rothman on the whole disgraceful sordid affair. That's quite a first thing to see. But the article went on: The Mayor there does what now? The mayor gets drunk and nekkid and fights police? Wow.

What the fuck is in the water in this Jersey City?

But the article still had more. In trying to play off the urination, one Willie Flood didn't sound like she wanted to deal with it at all saying she'd need more information. OK, so the police report and arrest documents weren't enough. OK, this is how it is in Jersey City.

It was there, and then at that moment Johnny first saw the name Councilman Steve Fulop. Fulop, interviewed for the article said actions like those of Healy and Lipski were embarrassing would lead investors to "question the leadership" of Jersey City.

"It is very humiliating," he said.

Wow, Johnny thought, this Steve Fulop seems like an honest guy who would always stand up for taxpayers and the good people of this new town.


So, here you go, Johnny's first impressions of learning about his new home-to-be.

Late night open thread

I know he calls himself "Tennessee" but he's a goddamned penguin who isn't even from this country. He's constantly breaking laws for which he's never truly held to account and talks badly about Baldy Eagle.

My name is Chumley, and I approve this message.

Time for Jersey City, After Dark

Friday, November 2, 2018


Counting tonight only four Music Series' left here at the old Jersey City Desk. After that you'll have to click on an entirely different link and we all know how difficult that can be. Starting tonight until the end, just some of Johnny's fave-o-rite music starting with Queen and 'Somebody to Love'

Somebody should really do a movie about this band, it would be a big hit.


We don't know why someone chose to put up a picture of Cleveland in the background of this song (Someone will show up and bitch about that one day but Johnny will be long gone) as we miss the connection to 'Babylon' which is just a treasure of a song. It wouldn't be on the Music Series this month if it weren't.


Johnny would ride the bus more if pretty women would kiss him on it. Like the song says, fuck the haters looking on, she's kissing me.

Now make with the smooches woman, my stop is coming up.

'Kiss Me on the Bus' taking us out tonight.