Billykirk Opens Retail Store in Manhattan

Many people don’t realize that one of the country’s finest leather goods & accessories brands is based right here in Jersey City. Known for their ultra durable and classic, yet stylish designs, Billykirk has been in Jersey City for 9 of their 15 years. And up until last month, Billykirk’s goods could only be found on their website (billykirk.com) or in boutique stores around the world. Now, you can find a brand new Billykirk storefront that brings their timeless culture to the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. In addition to their retail shop, they have a show room in the back for buyers to come in and see their upcoming products. Go check out Billykirk’s new shop at 16 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002 (open Monday thru Saturday 11-7pm and Sunday 12-6pm)

Chris and Kirk Bray (owners of Billykirk) Photo courtesy of Instagram @billykirkinc

Chris and Kirk Bray (owners of Billykirk) Photo courtesy of Instagram @billykirkinc

Jersey City’s Warehouse Cafe Expands to Brooklyn

Photo from Instagram @lackawannabklyn

Photo from Instagram @lackawannabklyn

One of our favorite coffee and meeting places in Jersey City, The Warehouse Cafe, just opened a new cafe inside a brand new boutique shop (Sincerely Tommy) in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. They call the coffee experience Lackawanna Coffee. We call the coffee shop an experience because it’s part of a new trend that we’re seeing in retail. With the convenience and competitive pricing of online sites like Amazon, retailers are searching for new ways to bring customers into their stores. Coffee shops, cafes and bars are a few things that retailers are now adding to their stores–to create a much fuller experience than just buying an item and leaving.

We invite all our Jersey City friends to go out and visit Julius, Ian and crew at Lackawanna Coffee in the Sincerely Tommy store. You can find them at 343 Tompkins Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11216 (open Monday thru Thursday 7am-5pm and Friday thru Sunday 7am-6pm). Visit them online at lackawannacoffee.com

Worst Train System in US, PATH Train Increases to $2.75

NoPax

I’m 100% completely and utterly confused about the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) train line and what it is that the organization does in their working hours. Did that 25 cent fare hike yesterday just give half of PATH employees a 3 week paid vacation? Two weeks ago, PATH trains from Journal Square to 33rd Street were shut down for two days, forcing riders to go to WTC or to take the ferry or bus. Today, the PATH train running to 33rd Street was once again suspended with “signal problems.” Reading through tweets from riders, it was apparent that PATH uses cops and dogs to fix their so called “signal problems.”

Just for fun, let’s just do a quick comparison of PATH to the NYC Subway system:

Total Length of Tracks
PATH – 13.8 miles
Subway – 232 miles

Number of Lines
PATH – 4
Subway – 34

Number of Daily Riders
PATH – 240,000
Subway – 5.5 million

Most would think that it’s much more complicated to run the NYC Subway system, than it is the PATH system. Well, they’re absolutely right. But when you put a bunch of incompetent people in charge of something, you get the experience that PATH provides its riders.

Here are some questions that the riders of PATH train have for the PATH organization:

1) Why do you not communicate the truth about reasons that the PATH train is down?

2) Why are you not giving frequent updates to issues via the intercom on the trains and Twitter updates? For every 10 mins that the PATH is suspended, there should be at least 3 updates via the intercom and Twitter. Silence and poor communication is one of the PATH’s greatest weaknesses.

3) What exactly is the PATH train increase of 25 cents for? Especially when the PATH has frequent suspensions.

4) Why does it cost almost 3X more to run the PATH than it does to run one of the world’s most complex train systems, the NYC Subway? (FACT)

I think it’s time that the people in power (yes, we’re talking about you Chris Christie, Steve Fulop and Dawn Zimmer) start thinking about giving their communities alternative routes to work before the people get fed up with the public transportation infrastructure and take their tax paying dollars and lives somewhere else–like to New York. Wonder if a walking bridge from Jersey City to Manhattan could be the answer?

Could a Walking Bridge to NYC Be Jersey City’s Golden Ticket?

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Jersey City is a hot spot to live right now. With prices booming in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Jersey City is this little town on the other side of the Hudson that has extremely close proximity to Manhattan, at about half the price as Williamsburg. Some say that Jersey City is on route to become the next Brooklyn too. Those who live here already believe it’s already the place to be.

As Jersey City continues to grow in size (thousands of new residential units hitting the market over the next few years), the current residents worry about the city’s infrastructure–mainly the PATH system. If you’re a commuter from Jersey City, going into Manhattan every day, you’re already watching multiple trains go by on the platform before there’s any sign of space for you to fit onto a PATH car. The same on your trip back to Jersey City. This is already an issue. What’s going to happen when a few thousand more people are trying to get on that same PATH train? Don’t think they’re driving in or taking an Uber. Sure, maybe some of them will take the ferry…but the biggest problem with the ferry is the expense. At $8 each way, an Uber ride isn’t looking too bad.

With the PATH system operating at near maximum capacity during commuter hours (240,000 people per work day) and the fact that it’s very unreliable (Journal Square to 33rd was shutdown entirely for 2 days last week), the future of increased JC to NYC travelers is not looking very good.

So, what can be done? There’s a potential solution that could be game changing, revolutionary and legen–wait for it–dary. Let’s quickly travel up the Hudson River about 80 miles to Poughkeepsie where you’ll find a bridge unlike any other in the world. It’s the world’s tallest (212 feet over the river) and longest (1.28 miles long) pedestrian walking bridge–connecting two sides of the Hudson River. The bridge’s original use was for railroad and this new design was absolutely brilliant.

Although, there’s no current foundation for a bridge, like Poughkeepsie had, this idea is far from far-fetched. With the way our country is moving towards a green, eco-friendly, Tesla-esque future, a walking bridge could be a solution to more than just a Jersey City commuter nightmare. Yes, a walking bridge would provide a Brooklyn Bridge-like experience from the Jersey side, but it would also symbolize a movement that is part of the biggest topic in America right now–climate change. Given the opportunity to walk, run or ride a bike to work every day from NJ, people would jump all over it. A motivating factor for people to walk or ride a bike to work? Absolutely!

Let’s just make a short list of all the benefits that could come out of a walking bridge connecting Jersey City to lower Manhattan:

1) Relieve commuter nightmare from the PATH and bus system
2) Symbolize an environmentally friendly movement
3) Potential revenue for Jersey City and NYC from a walking bridge toll (gotta pay for it somehow)
4) Would cut down on the driving traffic and automobile pollution
5) Would increase property values in Jersey City
6) If this happened under Steve Fulop’s mayorship, it would elevate Fulop’s status to kingship.

It’s time for Jersey City to start thinking about the commuting problem and take action. Even if a walking bridge were to get approved and funded, it would still be a multi-year project. A project that needs to happen now. We, the people of Jersey City, challenge you, Steven Fulop, to either make this a reality or come up with another solution to the commuter traffic nightmare that’s only just begun.

Candice Osborne’s Newsletter – 9/18/14

candice

Enjoy Fall!

From the starting gun at the Newport Liberty Half Marathon to a foodie’s dream come true as the Restaurant Overlay Zone continues to grow, this fall is definitely one of the best ever here in Jersey City. Read on for even more great news and events around downtown and beyond. 
 

Final Budget Adoption

We recently introduced amendments to the 2014 budget. At the next Council meeting the Council will have a public hearing on the amendments. After the public hearing, the Council will vote on final adoption and if adopted, the revised budget will result in a 2.1% tax decrease for residents. Residents wishing to comment on amendments during the public hearing should note that due to Rosh Hashanah the next council meeting will occur on Tuesday, September 23 at 6 p.m.
 

What do you think about the development on Van Vorst?

As a part of my pilot community feedback process, I am asking for the community to complete a survey on changes to a proposed 15-story mixed-use residential development on Van Vorst streets between Morris and Sussex streets. Portions of the development are governed under a “redevelopment plan.” Changes to the redevelopment plan needed to accommodate the proposal will come before the City Council for a final vote at the City Hall Council Chambers at 280 Grove St. onSept. 23. The developer has met with residents on nearby streets as well as multiple times with the neighborhood association. Please see my website for a summary of what is being proposed and for the survey

Newport Liberty Half Marathon returns Sunday

I am excited to have the honor of firing the starting gun for the thousands of runners participating in the Newport Liberty Half Marathon at 8:30 a.m. this coming Sunday, Sept. 21. Runners will set off from 100 Town Square Place along Washington Boulevard before looping around to run through Liberty State Park and return along the beautiful Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, ending the race back at Newport Town Square.  View the course map online. For more information on where proceeds will be donated, post-race celebration plans, or where to register and park day of the race, please contact the Barwick Group,201-665-4005 or email the group at newportruns@barwickgroup.com. I hope to see you there!
 

PGA 2017 President’s Cup, all living Presidents to come to Jersey City

In three years, Jersey City will be host to the world’s best golfers at the Liberty National golf course when they compete in the PGA 2017 President’s Cup. But that is not all. Following a time honored tradition all the living Presidents are expected to attend the tournament that will be held from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 in 2017. Thanks to Mayor Steve Fulop, whose tireless efforts helped to persuade the PGA that Jersey City would be an ideal location for event, the tournament will be bring “tourism and investment as well as exposure on the global level.”

As I told NJ.com, this is great news for our city, because it furthers a positive image of our city, the place we all love, but that the world hasn’t gotten to hear about given our past scandals. When we host the Super Bowl teams, the 4th of July Celebration, and the PGA tournaments; we tell a different story about Jersey City. That story – that positive brand image – puts Jersey City on the map in front of decision makers as a viable place where you can move, locate your business or visit.
 

Sponsorship Plaques Coming Soon to Van Vorst Park

Business owners and individuals who want to contribute to the continued beautification of Van Vorst Park will soon be able to have a plaque in their name placed in the park. In a new initiative to raise money to meet the expenses of park maintenance, The Van Vorst Park Association and Marc Wesson of the Friends of Van Vorst Park, which helps the city develop and maintain the park, will be putting up the sponsorship plaques. We will be making further announcements in the coming months. Call Marc Wesson at(201) 433-6553 or e-mail him at  marcwesson7@gmail.com for additional information. 
 

New restaurants open in Jersey City’s Restaurant Row

Restaurant Row near Grove Street PATH Plaza is growing and thriving with numerous new eateries opening up to make Downtown Jersey City an even better destination for foodies out to get a great meal and enjoy a drink.

Coming soon to the Restaurant Overlay Zone are Porta, 135 Newark Ave in October, South House in November, and Monty’s Public House at 130 Newark Ave. in April 2015.  Hard Grove Café relocated from the corner of Grove and Columbus Boulevard to 143 Newark Ave. this summer. Also in the pipeline: The owners of JC Made plan to open the Broa Café at 297 Grove St. in the near future as will the owners of Satis, who will open Raval at 136 Newark Ave.  Koro Koro Rice Ball Café will also open at 538 Jersey Ave. andTalde will open just outside the zone at 8 Erie St. No dates yet. In addition, the owners of Hudson Terrace and Turtle Club of Hoboken are planning to open a new restaurant at 149 Newark Ave. Owners of Madame Claude Café 2 and the owners of Maxwell’s in Hoboken plan to open two new restaurants at White Eagle Hall, at 337 Newark Ave.

That’s not all, we have seen several successful food and beverage establishments already open since Oct. 2012, including, Downtown Yogurt at 126 Newark Ave., Roman Nose at  125 Newark Ave., The Bistro at Grove Square, 116 Newark Ave., Orale at 341 Grove St., Choc O Pain at 530 Jersey Ave. and Juicewell at 528 Jersey Ave.

Opening recently just outside the Restaurant Zone along Newark Avenue over the same time frame are Tea NJ at 262 Newark Ave., Union Republic at 340 Newark Ave., Left Bank, at  194 Newark Ave., Gia’s Gelato, at 281 Newark Ave. and Golden Grille, at 270 Newark Ave. 

Enjoy!
 

Jersey City searches for Chief Technology Officer

The City of Jersey City is looking for a Chief Technology Officer with extensive management experience to oversee Information Technology throughout the City. The successful candidate will build and lead a team of up to 30 staff members that will support Mayor Fulop’s vision of making Jersey City the best mid-sized city in the nation. The City of Jersey City is an “Equal Employment Opportunity” Employer. To apply please fill out the application form available online. The application deadline is Sept 30, 2014.

The Little Italy of Jersey City

As you walked west down 6th Street during Aug 13-17, you entered into a mixture of “now” and delicious “then.” During this time of the year, Holy Rosary Church of Jersey City throws one of the best parties in town — La Festa Italiana.

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Don’t plan on eating before venturing through La Festa. There’s food for everyone with a boardwalk-like food setup and food trucks. Dance to the live music and bring your kids for the fun & games at the west end of the street festival.  Here’s a quick list on how to do it right:

1) Get there before 8pm
2) Get in line to get the famous rice ball (it sells out by 9pm each night)
3) Grab an Italian sausage sandwich
4) Get a bag of powdered sugar drenched zeppoles
5) Eat, relax, listen to the music and take in the history of this 110 year old event

Add La Festa to your calendar for next year. You won’t want to miss it!

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zeppoles

Local start-up Twigo is Rising to the Challenge

Rising Tide Capital, a local Jersey City nonprofit with a mission to support entrepreneurs and build sustainable neighborhoods, is hosting The Start Something Challenge. This Challenge is for entrepreneurs to post a video about their start-up and get the most views for a chance to win $10,000 towards their new venture.

Hoboken residents (and recent Jersey City residents), Janine Berger & Fred Gillet have entered this competition with a new product targeting pets and their owners. As pet owners themselves, they know that their pet is part of their family. Their pet’s safety is always top of the list. If their pet were to get lost, the pet’s ID tag could be what saves them from sadness. “ID’s dramatically increase the security of your pet family member,” expresses dog owner and Twigo co-founder Fred Gillet. “Pet owners must be mindful of their pet’s ID tags and other forms of identification at all times to ensure they are set up for a safe and happy life!”

The problem with these ID tags is that they can be quite noisy and clanky. It can sometimes be as bad as that person who nervously jingles their keys or coins in their pocket. In comes Janine & Fred with their new pet ID tag called Twigo. Twigo is a patented, safe rubber dog tag that can easily be personalized at home for your pet. No need to order engraved tags from those big box stores. Just get a Twigo (or two) and you’re on your way to protecting your pet in a quiet and stylish way.

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Launched in November 2013, Twigo is still early in its start-up journey. The prize money could help them continue to perfect the product, add new designs (currently, they have 4 styles that come in 3 colors each–see here), and increase sales. They’re currently in over 40 boutique pet shops across the country and plan to continue selling through the mom & pop shops. “The $10,000 prize could be a game changer for Twigo,” says Berger. “We just need our friends and neighbors to help us out…and all they have to do is watch our 30 second video!”

To help vote for Janine, Fred and Twigo, just watch the video below. Each view counts as a vote! Voting ends July 14, 2014.

A Super Bowl-Goer’s Real Guide To Downtown Jersey City (And Beyond)

A Super Bowl-Goer’s Real Guide To Downtown Jersey City (And Beyond) By Jeremy Jacobsen & Cheryl Lin

Welcome to JC Sign Edit 1-25-14 Super Bowl XLVIII will feature a Groundhog’s Day clash between the Broncos and the Seahawks in the open-aired icebox that Metlife Stadium is sure to be come February 2nd. However, some people may not realize that if Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were to unearth the small furry rodent at halftime to predict whether winter will drag on for six more weeks, its shadow would fall in New Jersey, not New York. To repeat, the Super Bowl this year is located in New Jersey! Not only is the game itself being played in East Rutherford, the players for both teams will be staying in New Jersey too – in Jersey City, NJ to be exact.   In addition to being the state’s second largest municipality, Jersey City is the place we (the authors) are proud to call home.   So, for those who might be following the teams into town and looking to do some exploring, here is a basic sketch of what our area of the city (Downtown) has to offer its guests. One caveat though: this article is only a starting point.   There truly is not enough space on this post to feature, or even mention, all the places worth visiting in Downtown, let alone the rest of the city.

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City of Food

Both the New York Post and the Daily News have touted Jersey City as the hottest new foodie destination, a rival to Brooklyn in both food quality and proximity to Manhattan.    Given Jersey City’s history as the home of many different immigrant communities, our section of the city alone boasts over twenty different cuisines within a one-mile radius of the Grove Street PATH.  These include all-American comfort food, Mexican food, French cuisine, and to Indo-Pakistani buffets, just to name a few.

American & Gourmet Fare

Thirty Acres – One of the most publicized restaurants in Jersey City, its co-owner and executive chef, Kevin Pemoulie, from the famed Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, brings his expertise across the river.  The restaurant has been so successful that his wife and co-owner, Alex Pemoulie, was recently named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 in Food & Wine.  Thirty Acres is best known for its fresh and innovative menu, which changes weekly, and features locally sourced ingredients and seafood, at reasonable New Jersey prices. Left Bank Burger Bar – One of the newest establishments to join the city’s food scene, this Jersey City-centric restaurant is a throwback to a 1950s burger joint, with a modern twist.  Its menu includes burgers with creative fixings, (such as the “Bankrupt” featuring government cheese, and the “14B,” which is topped with fried mac and cheese and bacon), as well as milkshakes (alcohol optional), and a selection of craft beers. The Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory – Many New Jerseyans argue over whether the Brownstone is truly a “diner” because it is not open twenty-four hours a day.  Nonetheless, the portions are huge and the menu offers multiple pages of every kind of pancake imaginable.  Tip:  for the fastest service and minimal wait time, get there before 9 AM; the place gets packed as the morning progresses.  Park & Sixth Restaurant & Bar (and Park & Sixth Gastropub) – Although no longer located at the restaurant’s eponymous intersection in Hoboken, Park & Sixth brings comfort food to a new level.  The décor is kitschy, with a nod to classic billboards, and reminiscent of a college dorm.  We recommend the mac and cheese and the Brussels sprout hash.  The recently opened Gastropub has a similar vibe but a more “grown up” feel.

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Around the World in Jersey City

Taqueria Downtown – Taqueria’s menu features the restaurant’s “Diez Mandamientos” or Ten Commandments, which are representative of the restaurant’s no-nonsense service but great, authentic Mexican food.  As you sit down to enjoy your tacos, you will be treated by the restaurant’s décor and music selections, both of which alternate between traditional Mexican and 1980’s L.A. glam. Union Republic – Another newcomer to the Jersey City food scene, Union Republic is best described as a café-grocer-ramen joint.  We recommend the ramen noodles, which unlike the college dorm-room staple, are bathed in a rich broth, topped with locally sourced ingredients, such as a soft-cooked egg, pork belly, or veggies.  Not into ramen? The menu also features sandwiches during its lunch service and entrees, such as roast chicken and seared steak for dinner. Grand Sichuan – The fact that most of the patrons are Chinese speaks to this restaurant’s authenticity.  The menu features traditional Sichuan dishes, such as Chong Qing spicy chicken as well as Chinese-American options.  The pork soup dumplings and beef noodle soup are two of our personal favorites. “Little India” – Just one PATH stop away at Journal Square is Jersey City’s Indian neighborhood, home to several of the state’s (and possibly the country’s) best Indian restaurants and markets.  Located on Newark Avenue between JFK Boulevard and Tonnelle Ave, this colorful, bustling strip is a great place to visit if you love Indian food, or if you do not eat meat (in fact, some of the restaurants are exclusively vegetarian.) 

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So Many Restaurants, So Little Space

Since we could go on and on about all of the tasty eateries in Jersey City, here’s a listing of just a few more of the many noteworthy establishments:

For dessert:

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Grab a Drink & Chill

Jersey City’s longstanding nickname is “Chilltown.”   For the most part this is an accurate moniker, meaning that if you are looking for velvet ropes, booming bass and $15 mixed drinks, you are probably best served crossing the Hudson River. That said, there is plenty of night-life for those who prefer a different type of scene.   If you like talking and laughing with friends (new and old) over great drinks, with solid food options, in a variety of locations whether they be eclectic/trendy spaces or comfortable townie dives, downtown JC is a great place to be.

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Looking for places unique to the area? Here are a couple of Jersey City staples for starters:

Barcade – Picture a 1980’s arcade, complete with fully functional vintage video games for a quarter and alternative music playing.  Now couple that with an outstanding rotation of craft beers and a hip crowd of 20 and 30-somethings, who are equally likely to have come from Brooklyn, Manhattan, or right around the corner. Lucky 7’s – Dive bar by day, local scene by night, this artsy-grungy punk rock bar features an eclectic jukebox, perhaps the best in Jersey City.  Like to play darts while drinking PBR, shots or a good stiff mixed drink at a very reasonable price?  This place is probably for you.  Depending on the night, there may be a live D.J. or a band.

To continue the tour, here are few more spots with outstanding beer selections:

Zeppelin Hall* – This is a real-deal beer garden, complete with long wooden picnic tables with benches, an extensive selection of quality (and strong) beer, German or otherwise,  and sometimes a live polka band.  It’s a very well-known destination throughout northern New Jersey and a fantastic place to bring a large group. HopsScotch – The name says it all.  This gastro-pub rightly prides itself on a large menu of high-quality craft beers and an unmatched selection of scotch.   It’s not exactly a sports bar, but it does have some of those trappings too, including plenty of TV’s, a dartboard, and good Buffalo wings. Iron Monkey – This pub is a favorite happy hour stop for the business crowd in the financial district (Exchange Place).  Its tap boasts plenty of micro-brews,  coupled with some great imports.    In the summer, it also showcases one of the best, if not the best, roof-decks in Jersey City.

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If wine or mixed drinks are more your style:

LITM –Expect excellent mixed drinks in a semi-minimalist space, a complete dining experience, and eye-catching original art from a rotating selection of local artists.   This cocktail bar is right on the main strip of Newark Avenue, less than a block from Grove Street PATH, and its happy hour includes $4 mini-martinis. Porto – This bar/eatery has a good selection of wines, and a comfortable lounge vibe.   The space is open and there are a variety of places to sit ranging from restaurant-style tables for Portuguese dining, to funky eclectic sofa-type seating, to a trendy looking marble bar.

Let’s throw in a standard pub or two for good measure:

White Star &White Star II – Located at opposite ends of downtown, you can visit either of its two locations for a comfy vibe, great pub food, and a nice mix of beers, mostly micro-brews with some standard domestic choices.   Both locations have several TV’s and friendly staff willing to put on a game at your request. 9th & Coles – This cozy neighborhood bar with friendly owners offers solid comfort food and does a very good job with service.   We highly recommend trying their creative specialty cocktails.

And, of course, we need a few places with big screen TV’s to watch the game:

VB3 – Located in Newport, this is actually a celebrity chef’s restaurant, but we included it in this category because of the large number of enormous TV’s in the dining room, all of which were tuned to the Broncos-Patriots game If you are looking for cost-effective solutions for your elavil purchase, you should check our offers – buy elavil just for 0.51 USD! last week.  The staff (decked out in team jerseys) served us a top-notch mix of Italian and American fare.   There was a good wine selection too. Brightside Tavern – This American pub serves domestic beer and some micro-brews.   The bar is ringed by TV’s including a couple of big screens.   It also draws a surprisingly diverse set of fans during football season.  You are nearly as likely to be sitting next to a Packers, Eagles, Panthers, or even a Bucs fan as you are to a Jets or Giants fan.   It’s usually a pretty fun time. * Zeppelin Hall (listed above) also has large screen TV’s and plenty of room.

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Other Things to Do While You Are Here

Check out the Waterfront:

Liberty State Park & Super Bowl Kickoff Party– Liberty State Park will play host to the Super Bowl Kickoff Spectacular on Monday, January 27 which will feature the Macy’s fireworks display, and performances by the Goo Goo Dolls, The Fray and Daughtry.   While you’re there, take a stroll through New Jersey’s largest urban park and jumping-off point for visitors to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island.   You’ll be treated to spectacular views of not only those two points of interest, but also the lower Manhattan skyline. Star Spotting –  Jersey City welcomed the Seahawks and Broncos to Downtown on Sunday, January 26th , and the city will serve as home-base for both NFL teams for the entire week leading up to the Super Bowl.    Players will likely be in and out doing press conferences and events.   If you in the vicinity of either the Westin or the Hyatt, there’s a chance you might spot them coming and going. Hudson Riverfront Walkway – Running through multiple towns on the Hudson River’s west bank, this walkway meanders through Jersey City’s “gold coast” and runs past both the Newport and Exchange Place PATH stations.   At Exchange Place, you can see a 9-11 memorial made of steel girders taken from the original World Trade Center.  The views of the Manhattan skyline are phenomenal here too.   Bring your camera.

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Enjoy Jersey City’s burgeoning independent art scene:

Mana Contemporary – This gallery is a combination of art management, storage, and creative space converted from a 1920’s factory in the Marion section of Jersey City.   Currently showing:   Photorealism : Revisited, an exhibit featuring art from the Louis K. Meisel Galleries and Eileen S. Kaminskiy Foundation Collections.   Artists include Charles Bell, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack, Tom Blackwell, Ron Kleemann and Robert Bechtle.  Full List of Upcoming Events. Art House Productions – This artists’ collective features a diverse and independent group of poets, fine artists, musicians and other creative individuals.   Art House organizes and sponsors various performing and visual arts events throughout Jersey City.  On Thursday, January 30th, Art House presents music acts Drum and a Tantrum and Diygfy at Two Boots Pizzeria on 133 Newark Ave (near the Grove Street PATH.)

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Visit some cool places to shop:

Iris Records – This is an old school used record store with a large and diverse selection of vinyl, in addition to used CDs, and other music-related collectables.   Tip:  Only open limited hours — Thursday-Sunday. Another Man’s Treasure – Visit this vintage store featuring men’s and women’s clothes, jewelry, accessories, and classic vinyl. E. Tittlemouse – Stop by this self-described thrift boutique with a selection of men’s and women’s clothing, artwork, and antique home goods.

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Getting Around

(Tips and notes on transportation)

Jersey City is Walkable & Drivable

As long as you have a rudimentary understanding of how to read a map or use a GPS or smart phone, Downtown Jersey City is easy to navigate on foot or by car.   In the event that you are one of those rare people that could get lost inside a plastic bag, most residents and/or proprietors of the numerous small businesses in the Downtown district are able and willing to point visitors in the right direction when asked. If you are driving, you’ll be pleased to note that Jersey City has less traffic than its neighbors (Hoboken and New York) and it’s easier to find parking here too.   Plus, there is a full compliment of public transit options available.

There are Trains

Three (3) of the NY/NJ  PATH train stops are located in downtown (Exchange Place, Newport, and Grove Street.)  These are underground and sheltered.  There is also one in Journal Square. Seven (7) stops on New Jersey’s Hudson-Bergen light rail are also in downtown (Jersey Ave, Marin Blvd, Essex Street, Exchange Place, Harborside Financial Center, Harsimus Cove and Newport).   The light rail runs to other parts of the city as well, such as Jersey City Heights, Bergen LaFayette, etc. Both trains cost just over two dollars ($2) for a one-way trip, give or take some change, and run quite frequently (PATH is 24-hours.)   Tip : If you opt for the light rail, please be aware that tickets need to be validated with a timestamp before you ride.   (The ticket machines at each light rail stop have a mechanism to do this.)   This is not the case with PATH trains, which have a turnstile system instead.

Plenty of Taxis

It’s also pretty easy to get a cab.   There is a cab queue located directly in the center of Downtown (right near Grove Street PATH) and it will likely be under $10 to get just about anywhere we’ve mentioned.   (Be sure to ask price up front and/or have them run meter, same as you would if visiting New York.)  There is another cab queue locate in front of the Journal Square PATH train. As with any major city, there are also on-call cab companies that will pick you up.

Buses Exist Too

Buses run through various stops downtown, to other parts of Jersey City and beyond.  There are both the standard long NJ Transit buses and the short boxy white jitney buses available.

Useful Links

NJ Transit Light Rail Map PATH – Super Bowl Schedule Map of Downtown Jersey City

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jeremy Jacobsen is the Director of Membership for Jersey City Ties, a young professionals’ community service & social networking organization and Vice President of Membership for Harsimus Cove Association, a local neighborhood association. By day, he negotiates contracts for the pharmaceutical industry. Follow @JCTies on Twitter and Like them on Facebook
Cheryl Lin writes a food blog, Food Judicata. Professionally, she assists immigrants with a variety of immigration issues, including and deferred actions for childhood arrivals and removal proceedings. She is fluent or conversational in three languages (English, Spanish and Taiwanese.) Like Food Juicata on Facebook and Follow on Pinterest
Both are attorneys who live in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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