It was on a weekend that I first visited New Jersey - Jersey City to be precise. My husband had moved there and I was visiting him. My move was to be a few months later once he found a place for us.
He was staying at an apartment temporarily and had told me that he found it claustrophobic. Initially I did not believe him, basing it purely on my vast knowledge of the US which was all of a couple of years. And to top it, what I had seen was a small sleepy city in Arizona. But once I visited him I saw it for myself. It was not so much the size of the apartment as much as the proximity of the other building structures around it. We could easily have known the happenings in the next apartment had it not been for the curtains and closed shutters. I looked out from a window and saw the back of an apartment block. The residents on the ground level had covered the top portion of their once open backyard with a tin sheet. The residents above them was using this tin sheet to dry clothes, food stuffs, etc. though how they moved about on that seemingly flimsy sheet was a mystery to me. I was reminded of the scores of shanties you saw in Bombay which had all sorts of extensions and additions made to their precarious structures. It did give me a sense of satisfaction that US also had it's share of such structures.
Coming up...Walk down Newark Ave, Jersey City