Like Us On Facebook
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.
- Anthony Olszewski on Applied Trigonometry
- Anthony Olszewski on Applied Trigonometry
- Anthony Olszewski on Lucky Sheehan and Ambiance
- Anthony Olszewski on Union Terminal Cold Storage lobsters catch Pudge
- Union Terminal Cold Storage lobsters catch Pudge | Second Thief, Best Thief - Jersey City Short Stories by Anthony Olszewski on Barney’s
- “Our Computers Don’t Make Mistakes.”
- Rape, Murder and Kidnapping
- Applied Trigonometry
- Martin Casella: Don’t you know who I am?
- An attempt to murder all five heads of the New York Families
- The crew at Hudson Refrigeration warehouse thought of theft…
- The father of “Crazy” Joe Gallo was in the…
- Aniello Dellacroce was a financial wizard
- The case of the meandering nightstick
- The Malcontent
Author Archives: Anthony Olszewski
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
The party lasted a long time at Tommy’s North Bergen cliffside retreat. Here and there, there were — as is to be expected for a dealer in rare powders — low points. A La Cosa Nostra associate showing up one … Continue reading
Back in the late ’70s, the Candlelight Lounge — on the corner of Congress and Summit — was a jumping joint.
Back in the late ’70s, the Candlelight Lounge — on the corner of Congress and Summit — was a jumping joint. Peter the Bulgarian — then most recently formerly partners with Tommy (a North Bergen cliffside dealer in rare powders) … Continue reading
Back in the late ’80s, I sold bird seed and supplies out of a storefront on Congress Street a couple of blocks up from Palisade Avenue in the Jersey City Heights. During the day, I did the paperwork and prepared … Continue reading
Lunch hour for the night crew at White Rose Frozen Foods (just outside of the Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel) was midnight to 1:10AM. Some guys’d run across the street to the diner or Arby’s, others would bring something … Continue reading
Pudge was a relatively rare bird — an overweight junkie. He lived up in the Heights near Barney’s candy store. When I first met Pudge he was doing deliveries to office buildings for a Journal Square restaurant, until typewriters began … Continue reading
One particularly unusual day at the Tunnel Bar was the Saturday afternoon that a bodybuilder (male) walked in wearing a pink dress. He proceeded to skip around the place. He announced in an exaggerated voice that he was struck by … Continue reading
The wife of a truck driver at White Rose Frozen food — where Don Nagle, karate expert and Jersey City Police officer had a part-time job — drank in my father’s tavern on Henderson St. and in the bar down … Continue reading
Whenever a wino new to the neighborhood bounced in to buy a bottle of Thunderbird, before bagging, I’d carefully cradle the flask in my hand while scrutinizing the label. I’d then say, “My, December 12th . . . That was … Continue reading
After the publication of an unauthorized biography of Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop appeared on a television talk show as an apologist. He explained that even though what was printed might be “facts,” the truth was so stretched that it was … Continue reading
Once someone makes the existential choice of substance abuse, next is the practical matter of financing this new lifestyle. Since in Jersey City PG (Pre-Gentrification) rock stars and heiresses were few and far between, adventurous locals had to rely on … Continue reading