After getting the cold shoulder from Hoboken, MTV reality stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWOWW" Farley have been welcomed with open arms by another New Jersey town.
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy has granted a permit to the production company planning to film a spin-off of "Jersey Shore," the MTV party-based show that launched Snooki and JWOWW to super stardom. The series will be primarily shot next month in the Grove Street Path neighborhood.
When asked whether he's looking forward to meeting Snooki and JWOWW, Mayor Healy joked, "If they want to buy me a drink..."
"I don’t know if they will go to the places I go," he added. "But I will treat them with respect and be welcoming just like I do for anyone in this city."
Healy is no stranger to the Jersey Shore party scene. In 2006, while in office, he was arrested after a clash with police outside a Bradley Beach bar. He was eventually convicted on charges of obstructing justice and resisting arrest in the incident.
Healy said the cast and crew agreed to follow strict guidelines while they're in Jersey City. They cannot be a nuisance to neighbors. If they prompt any police response by on-duty officers, they must reimburse the city. They must hire and pay off-duty officers to escort them any time they're in public. If the show poses any public safety threats, the permit to film could be revoked, Healy said.
Healy seemed unconcerned with the notion that the series could bring with it a stereotype that Jersey City is a party town.
"You’re allowed to have fun in Jersey City," he said. "People film here often. This was treated no differently."
He called the show a "toned done version of the original" since it only features Snooki and JWOWW and not the other "Jersey Shore" housemates.
"Any time we can show the many assets our city has, such as proximity to New York, affordable mass transit, historic and cultural sites, international dining and world class hotels, we will take that opportunity to market our city," he said. "We believe this is another opportunity to further promote our city."
Recently, Hoboken put the kibosh on 459 Productions' plan to use the riverfront party spot as the backdrop for the show. Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer cited "public safety and quality of life concerns" as her reason for denying the permit.
"We want it to be a dynamic place to have fun, but we don’t want people coming and destroying the city," Zimmer told Metro about her concerns that the show could attract raucous crowds to Hoboken.