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Second Thief, Best Thief – An Old Jersey City Saying
The Jersey City Waterfront once was covered with warehouses and piers. Adjacent to these were miles of railroad yards dotted with innumerable sheds and small buildings for use as storage and as workshops for mechanics, machinists, and welders.
During the depression, children from impoverished families would climb onto the roofs of the outlying structures, both to hide and to gain a view of the surrounding area. From up there, they'd watch for workers stealing from the docks, the trains, or the warehouses. The initial crooks would sneak off into the weeds to hide the swag with the idea of retrieving it at the end of the shift. Seeing opportunity made available, the kids would wait a bit for the situation to cool. Then, they'd climb down, grab the goods, and make a getaway through the vacant lots.
Practitioners coined the saying "second thief, best thief" to describe this method of survival.
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Author Archives: Anthony Olszewski
This was inside, over the cash register. Share and Enjoy:Anthony Olszewskiaolsz@bellatlantic.net
One of the regulars at the Tunnel Bar, Hal, was something of an expert on the NJ correctional system. He had an amusing story of his graduation from a youthful offender to an inmate. Transported from Hudson County early in … Continue reading
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The Tunnel Bar sometimes found itself suddenly paradigm shift from front row center to an up on the stage performance participant in law enforcement dramas.
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Back in the ’80s, two gung-ho cops started snagging junkies as they rode back to NJ through the Holland Tunnel after Lower East Side re-up jaunts.
Back in the ’80s, two gung-ho cops started snagging junkies as they rode back to NJ through the Holland Tunnel after Lower East Side re-up jaunts. It’s not like it was hard to spot the returning shoppers: five people stuffed … Continue reading
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I guess it was back in ’77. I bounced into the Candlelight Lounge on the corner of Congress and Summit one morning. As I was walking in, I noticed that empty space had replaced what previously had been a window. … Continue reading
Back in the ’80s when I was running the Tunnel Bar (just outside of the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City), one of our regulars was a young guy named Sammy who lived in the projects. God only knows how, considering … Continue reading
Back in the late-70s, the crew at Hudson Refrigeration warehouse (on Henderson Street, down by the exit of the Holland Tunnel) thought of theft as like a divinely derived job benefit. Mostly, this was the sneaking out of the gate … Continue reading