I was living in the Lafayette section of Jersey City at the time, just in from Communipaw Avenue on Van Horne, next to the Jackson Funeral Home, the largest black funeral home in the city and up the block from the Monumental Baptist Church. It was only a couple of weeks before Hurricane Sandy roared though at the end of October 2012, though no one knew she was coming at the time. I was at a meeting of the Morris Canal Community Development Corporation, chaired by June Jones, Executive Director.
One of agenda items involved adding a skate park to the Berry Lane Park that was closing in on a start date. I spoke in favor of it – indeed, I’d brought the idea to June a couple weeks before as it had been something I’d been pursuing for awhile – as did Musaddiq Ahmad and others. Musaddiq came up to me after the meeting and told me that if I wanted to see some interesting graffiti – which may have come up in the meeting as well, I don’t know, but somehow he knew of my interest – I should come down to a place on Pacific, just a couple of blocks away. Amazing graffiti all over the walls inside and in the alley out back as well.
As I recall what he said registered well enough, but it didn’t quite compute. Why not? Because I’d been photographing Jersey City graffiti for several years now and, while I certainly didn’t think I had it all, what Musaddiq was describing was a major cache of fresh graff right under my nose and I didn’t even some much as suspect it. But that’s how the world is sometimes. You just don’t know what’s right around the corner.