After New Jersey governor Chris Christie nixed a planned transit tunnel to Manhattan, an intriguing idea sprang up in its place: Why not extend the 7 train across state lines to Secaucus? The notion earned applause from urban planners and transit advocates. We also endorse the idea, but we’d go even further. Why not simply annex New Jersey?
Not all of it, of course. Not those wooded regions where Oprah browses megamansions, nor that midriff section where orange people pump their fists. No, we’ll annex just Hudson County (and a bit of Bergen)—you know, that appendage next to lower Manhattan—and rechristen it as a sixth borough.
We’ve snatched some spoils already. The Nets will soon be moving to Brooklyn. Not one but two “New York” football teams play at New Meadowlands Stadium, so they won’t even need to change their letterhead. (Jersey can keep the Devils, though. We’ve already got two hockey teams we don’t care about.)
Newark Airport currently functions as New York’s second major air hub (busier than La Guardia), and Teterboro is the port of choice for Manhattan’s private planes. The PATH shuttles 250,000 Jerseyites into town every weekday—roughly the population of Corpus Christi, Texas. So it’s a small step to absorb Hoboken, Weehawken, and Jersey City, which are already bedroom communities for financial types, Broadway actors, and Williamsburg refuseniks, respectively.
Heck, we’ll even take Newark, as a goodwill gesture. The city, while besieged with afflictions (a 14 percent reduction in the police force being the most recent), is well positioned, with its PATH link, to undergo a Brooklyn-like renaissance.
What could we offer New Jersey in return? How about tickets to Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark? Or let’s put it this way: New Jersey’s state deficit is $11 billion. Mayor Bloomberg’s net worth is $18 billion. We’re sure we can work out a deal.
And if that cantankerous Governor Christie resists, we’ll simply continue our stealth takeover, employing our crafty Russian oligarchs and sneaky subway tentacles. At 8 million people and counting, New York City should be looking to expand its borders. Think of it: The 7 line can be our wagon train in New York’s version of Manifest Destiny. Go West, young man! And conquer Secaucus!