This is the third profile in a series for the #dayinthelifejc JCI Instagram take over, brought to you by Honey and Moon Photography and the Jersey City Independent.
Meet Abib Ascencio a Jersey City native, that captures a raw and unique view of Jersey City life via her blog Jersey City Made Me. Abib will be posting images of her #dayinthelifejc from March 21 through March 27. Be sure to follow her via the JCI Instagram feed (@jcindependent) next week. Enjoy!
I’m a street smart girl, raised in one of the baddest yet diverse cities. Jersey City and Greenville have made me who I am today. I wanted to showcase the place I call home and that is why I started my blog, Jersey City Made Me. As a life time local I capture all elements of daily Jersey City life via my photographs. I started this project in 2015 using a disposable camera, since then I have upgraded to a point and shoot camera. I go to a local photo shop in Jersey City to develop my film. I ask for the images to be scanned and transferred to a CD, which allows me to upload them to my computer and showcase them on my blog for my followers. I love the grainy feel real photo images hold and the fact that you are not able to see the images as soon as they are shot. I’m not interested in taking photos with a digital camera because the aesthetic of Jersey City Made Me is based on nostalgia. What better way to go about creating that feeling than to use an old school method of capturing a moment… a piece of history. My ultimate goal and the entire purpose of Jersey City Made Me is to shine a light on those areas in Jersey City that are often left in the dark.
In your opinion, what is the most amazing thing about Jersey City?
Jersey City is amazing in its entirety. There is so much to love and appreciate and as one who originated in JC I have learned to love the everyday culture you get to experience when walking down any street. Jersey City has its own personality and style and that is what makes it amazing.
Can you give us a run down on your basic #dayinthelifejc?
I am a full time student at NJCU and I major in media arts with a focus on sound and video production. When I am out and about in Jersey City I focus on street style, 35mm film photography. My location will always be roaming the streets of Greenville trying to capture the every day life of Jersey City residents. I choose Greenville because that is the part of Jersey City where I was raised, to me it is home and I can relate to the photos I capture there, wholeheartedly.
What would you like to see happen in Jersey City in the next five years?
I have noticed there is a true separation between the Greenville area of Jersey City and the downtown and Heights areas. I would like to see Jersey City working together as a whole. When you enter Greenville the difference is extremely apparent especially when you compare it to the rest of the city. It needs help. Changes won’t happen overnight but in another five years it may get progressively better.
What’s your Jersey City “hidden” gem?
I am a fan of cheap, Hispanic food. Karina’s (201 Ocean Ave.) is my pick for a “hidden” gem. You can never go wrong with a plate of Dominican food in the hood.
Where are you favorite places to go or things to do in Jersey City?
I love to take photos during the warm weather. I love going into the park and taking photos of families doing summer time activities, children roaming the streets. I truly enjoy it because it reminds me of my childhood and the way my family would gather during the warm weather. My favorite place during the summer would be Liberty State Park, the way the grass and sun felt when I was 5 hasn’t changed now that I am 23.
Do you have a favorite “Jersey City” story or memory?
My favorite Jersey City memory has to be when I first started Jersey City Made Me. Although the idea started the Summer of 2014, it didn’t kick off till the Summer of 2015. I started the project using Rite Aid Disposable Cameras, people made fun of me for this. The reason I started JC Made Me with disposables was because they were half off at Rite Aid and because they captured a childhood nostalgia. Due to the obvious separation in community and the influx of gentrification, I took my new found hobby into the hood and snapped away. A Jersey City friend of mine Brittany Graziosi, who runs Antisocial JC on Instagram (@antisocialjc), bought me a domain. Ever since then I have been taking 35mm photos of my hood.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Abib!
Want to be considered for the #dayinthelifejc JCI Instrgram Takeover? Have questions? Contact: Catherine Hecht at checht(at)jerseycityindependent.com or Tracey Luz and Eric Brown at info(at)honeyandmoonphotography.com.
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