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City of Jersey City
—  City  —


Nickname(s): "Chilltown"[1]
"Wall Street West"[2]
Motto: “Let Jersey Prosper”
Location of Jersey City within Hudson County. Inset: Location of Hudson County highlighted within the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Jersey City, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°42′41″N 74°03′53″W / 40.71139°N 74.06472°W / 40.71139; -74.06472Coordinates: 40°42′41″N 74°03′53″W / 40.71139°N 74.06472°W / 40.71139; -74.06472
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Hudson
 - Type Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)
 - Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy
 - Business Administrator Brian P. O'Reilly[3]
 - Total 21.1 sq mi (54.7 km2)
 - Land 14.9 sq mi (38.6 km2)
 - Water 6.2 sq mi (16.1 km2)
Elevation [4] 20 ft (9 m)
Population (2007)[5]
 - Total 242,389
 Density 16,045.5/sq mi (6,195.2/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07300, et al.
Area code(s) 201, 551
FIPS code 34-36000[6][7]
GNIS feature ID 0885264[8]

Jersey City is the seat of Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. As of the United States 2000 Census, the population of Jersey City was 240,055, making it New Jersey's second-largest city after Newark. As of the Census Bureau's 2007 estimate, the population had grown to 242,389.[5][9]

Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City lies between of the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay across from Lower Manhattan and the Hackensack River and Newark Bay. A commercial and industrial center, it is a port of entry and a manufacturing center. With 11 miles (17.7 km) of waterfront and significant rail connections, Jersey City is an important transportation terminus and distribution center. Service industries have play a prominent role in the redevelopment of its waterfront and the creation of one of the nation's largest office-space real estate markets.



Image of Jersey City taken by NASA. (The red line demarcates the municipal boundaries of Jersey City.)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.7 km2 (21.1 mi2). 38.6 km2 (14.9 mi2) of it is land and 16.1 km2 (6.2 mi2) of it is water. It has the smallest land area of the 100 largest cities in America. The total area is 29.37% water. Jersey City is bordered to the east by the Hudson River, to the north by Secaucus, North Bergen, Union City and Hoboken, to the west by Kearny and Newark, and to the south by Bayonne.

Given its proximity to Manhattan, Jersey City and Hudson County are sometimes referred to as New York City's sixth borough.[10]

Climate data for Jersey City, New Jersey
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
Average high °F (°C) 36
Average low °F (°C) 23
Record low °F (°C) -4
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.7
Source:[citation needed]


Lenape and New Netherland

The land comprising what is now Jersey City was wilderness inhabited by the Lenape, a collection of tribes (later called Delaware Indian). In 1609, Henry Hudson, seeking an alternate route to East Asia, anchored his small vessel Halve Maen (English: Half Moon) at Sandy Hook, Harsimus Cove and Weehawken Cove, and elsewhere along what was later named the North River. After spending nine days surveying the area and meeting its inhabitants, he sailed as far north as Albany. After he returned to the Netherlands, the Dutch organized the United New Netherlands Company. The Company was to manage this new territory and in June 1623, The New Netherlands became a Dutch province, with headquarters in New Amsterdam. Michael Reyniersz Pauw, Lord of Achttienhoven, a burgermeester of Amsterdam and a director of the West India Company, received a land grant as patroon on the condition that he would establish a settlement of not fewer than fifty persons within four years. He chose the west bank of the Hudson River and purchased the land from the Lenape. This grant is dated November 22, 1630 and is the earliest known conveyance for what are now Hoboken and Jersey City. Pauw, however was an absentee landlord who neglected to populate the area and was obliged to sell his holdings back to the Company in 1633.[11] That year, a house was built at Communipaw for Jan Evertsen Bout, superintendent of the colony, which had been named Pavonia (the Latinized form of Pauw's name, which means peacock).[12] Shortly after, another house was built at Harsimus Cove (near the present-day corner of Fourth Street and Marín Boulevard) and became the home of Cornelius Van Vorst, who had succeeded Bout as superintendent, and whose family would become influential in the development of the city. Relations with the Lenape deteriorated, in part because of the colonialist's mismanagement and misunderstanding of the indigenous people, and led to series of raids and reprisals and the virtual destruction of the settlement on the west bank. During Kieft's War, approximately eighty Lenapes were killed by the Dutch in a massacre at Pavonia on the night of February 25, 1643.[13]

Scattered communities of farmsteads characterized the Dutch settlements at Pavonia: Communipaw, Harsimus, Paulus Hook, Hoebuck, Awiehaken, and other lands "behind Kil van Kull". The first village (located inside a palisaded garrison) established on what is now Bergen Square in 1660, and is considered to be the oldest town in what would become the state of New Jersey.[14]

Early America

Among the oldest surviving houses in Jersey City is the stone Van Wagenen House of 1742. During the American Revolutionary War the area was in the hands of the British who controlled New York. Paulus Hook was attacked by Major Light Horse Harry Lee on August 19, 1779. After the war Alexander Hamilton and other prominent New Yorkers and New Jerseyeans attempted to develop the area that would become historic downtown Jersey City and laid out the city squares and streets that still characterize the neighborhood, giving them names also seen in Lower Manhattan or after war heroes (Grove, Varick, Mercer, Wayne, Monmouth, and Montgomery among them). During the 19th century, Jersey City played an integral role in the Underground Railroad. Four routes through New Jersey converged in the city.[15]

Incorporation and merger

The City of Jersey was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 28, 1820, from portions of North Bergen Township, while the area was still a part of Bergen County. The city was reincorporated on January 23, 1829, and again on February 22, 1838, at which time it became completely independent of North Bergen and was given its present name. On February 22, 1840, it became part of the newly-created Hudson County.[16]

Soon after the Civil War, the idea of uniting all of the towns of Hudson County east of the Hackensack River into one municipality. A bill was approved by the State legislature on April 2, 1869, a special held October 5, 1869. An element of the bill provide that only contiguous towns could be consolidated. While a majority of the voters approved the merger, only Jersey City, Hudson City and Bergen City could be consolidated, which they did on March 17, 1870. Three years later the present outline of Jersey City was completed when Greenville agreed to merge into the Greater Jersey City.[16][16][17]

Turn of the century

Jersey City at the end of the 19th century.

Jersey City was a dock and manufacturing town for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Much like New York City, Jersey City has always been a landing pad for new immigrants to the United States. In its heyday before World War II, German, Irish, and Italian immigrants found work at Colgate, Chloro, or Dixon Ticonderoga. However, the largest employers at the time were the railroads, whose national networks dead-ended on the Hudson River. The most significant railroad for Jersey City was the Pennsylvania Railroad Company whose eastern terminus was in the Downtown area until 1911, when the company built the first tunnel under the river to Penn Station, New York. Before that time, Pennsylvania rail passengers transferred in Jersey City to ferries headed to Manhattan or to trolleys that fanned out through Hudson County and beyond. The Black Tom explosion occurred on July 30, 1916 as an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the materials from being used by the Allies in World War I.[18]

Frank Hague

From 1917 to 1947, Jersey City was governed by Mayor Frank Hague. Originally elected as a reform candidate, the Jersey City History Web Site says his name is "synonymous with the early twentieth century urban American blend of political favoritism and social welfare known as bossism." Hague ran the city with an iron fist while, at the same time, molding governors, United States senators, and judges to his whims. Boss Hague was known to be loud and vulgar, but dressed in a stylish manner earning him the nickname "King Hanky-Panky".[19] In his later years in office, Hague would often dismiss his enemies as "reds" or "commies". Hague lived like a millionaire, despite having an annual salary that never exceeded $8,500.[20] He was able to maintain a fourteen-room duplex apartment in Jersey City, a suite at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, and a palatial summer home in Deal, New Jersey, and he traveled to Europe yearly in the royal suites of the best liners.[20]

After Hague's retirement from politics, a series of mayors including John V. Kenny, Thomas J. Whelan, and Thomas F.X. Smith attempted to take control of Hague's organization, usually under the mantle of political reform. None was able to duplicate the level of power held by Hague.[21]

Professional sports

The Jersey City Giants of the International League played in Roosevelt Stadium from 1937 to 1950. On April 18, 1946 Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line when he became the first African-American to play organized baseball outside of the Negro Leagues since 1916. Robinson appeared for the visiting Montreal Royals, going 4-for-5 with a home run.

Roosevelt Stadium was briefly home to the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League for seven home games in both 1956 and 1957.

In 2009, Jersey City hosted The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club. It is part of the PGA Tours' Fed Ex Cup Playoff Tournament.

Decline and renaissance

The Powerhouse Arts District is one neighborhood undergoing redevelopment.
Jersey City as seen from Liberty State Park.

The city developed a reputation for corruption, even after Hague left office. By the 1970s, it was caught up in a wave of urban decline that saw many of its wealthy residents fleeing to the suburbs, and led to an influx of working class scarred by rising crime, civil unrest, political corruption, and economic hardship. From 1950 to 1980, Jersey City lost 75,000 residents, and from 1975 to 1982, it lost 5,000 jobs, or 9% of its workforce.[22] The city experienced a surge of violent crime during this period. New immigrants sought refuge in Jersey City because of low housing costs, despite decay, abandonment, or neglect in its neighborhoods.[citation needed]

Beginning in the 1980s, development of the waterfront in an area previously occupied by rail yards and factories helped to stir the beginnings of a renaissance for Jersey City. The rapid construction of numerous high-rise buildings increased the population and led to the development of the Exchange Place financial district, also known as 'Wall Street West', one of the largest banking centers in the United States. Large financial institutions such as UBS, Goldman Sachs, Chase Bank, Citibank and Merrill Lynch occupy prominent buildings on the Jersey City waterfront, some of which are among the tallest buildings in New Jersey. Amid this building boom, a light-rail network brought articulated streetcars to downtown Jersey City.[citation needed]

The West Side of Jersey City has also benefited from a large group of Filipino immigrants who, even when they can barely afford it, send their children to private Catholic schools like St. Aloysius or St. Dominic, but the biggest of them all is the William L. Dickinson High School on Bergen Hill. There's also Saint Peter's, NJCU and the Hudson Community College that has its own culinary arts building in the Journal Square area.

Wide-scale gentrification of the downtown neighborhood coincided with the growth of Jersey City as an arts center, particularly the visual arts. Beginning in the late 1970s, many artists moved the short distance across the river from Manhattan in search of affordable studio space. One structure of note, the massive Civil War-era building located at 111 First Street, became a haven for hundreds of artists in the area and was considered by many as the heart of the Jersey City arts community. Nonetheless, the building was demolished in 2005 to make way for future development, including a high-rise building designed by world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas. The art scene has continued to grow with a proliferation of galleries and other organizations such as Rock Soup Studios, 58 Gallery, Arthouse Productions, Lex Leonard Gallery,[23], and LITM, among others. The recent addition of the Jersey City Museum, a venue for contemporary art, has also raised the profiles of local artists.[citation needed]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1840 3,072
1850 6,856 123.2%
1860 29,226 326.3%
1870 82,546 182.4%
1880 120,722 46.2%
1890 163,003 35.0%
1900 206,433 26.6%
1910 267,779 29.7%
1920 298,103 11.3%
1930 316,715 6.2%
1940 301,173 −4.9%
1950 299,017 −0.7%
1960 276,101 −7.7%
1970 260,350 −5.7%
1980 223,532 −14.1%
1990 228,537 2.2%
2000 240,055 5.0%
Est. 2007 242,389 [5] 1.0%
historical data sources:[24][25][26]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 240,055 people, 88,632 households, and 55,660 families residing in the city. The United States Census Bureau has estimated the 2004 population at 239,079. The population density was 6195.2/km2 (16,045.6/mi2). There were 93,648 housing units at an average density of 2,423.4/km2 (6,278.3/mi2). The racial makeup of the city was 34.01% White, 28.32% African American, 0.45% Native American, 16.20% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 15.11% from other races, and 5.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.31% of the population. Largest ancestries include: Italian (6.6%), Irish (5.6%), Polish (3.0%), Arab (2.8%), and German (2.7%).[27]

The city is genuinely diverse, with relatively large representations from many ethnicities. However, relations between ethnic groups have not always amicable, as evidenced by incidents such as the infamous Dotbusters gang attacks of 1987 against residents of South Asian descent,[28] and, more recently, the March 2007 defacing of a local sports field with Nazi slogans and racial slurs.[citation needed]

Of all households, 31.1% have children under the age of 18 living there, 36.4% were married couples living together, 20.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.37.

The age distribution is spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income of its households is $37,862, and the median income of its families is $41,639. Males had a median income of $35,119 versus $30,494 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,410. About 16.4% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 17.5% of those age 65 or over.


Local government

Jersey City is currently governed under the Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council) form of municipal government by a mayor and a nine-member city council. The city council consists of six members elected from wards and three elected at large, all elected to four-year terms on a concurrent basis in non-partisan elections.[29]

The current Mayor of Jersey City is Jerramiah Healy, who won the Jersey City mayoral special election, 2004. The current Business Administrator of Jersey City is Brian O'Reilly.

Members of the City Council are:[30]

  • Peter Brennan, Council President pro tempore
  • Willie Flood, Councilwoman-at-Large
  • Mariano Vega, Jr., Councilman-at-Large
  • Michael Sottolano, Ward A - Greenville, Councilman
  • David Donnelly, Ward B - Westside, Councilman
  • Nidia Lopez, Ward C - Journal Square, Councilman
  • William Gaughan, Ward D - Heights, Councilman
  • Steven Fulop, Ward E - Downtown, Councilman
  • Viola Richardson, Ward F - Bergen, Councilwoman

Peter Brennan is the temporary council president following Mariano Vega's resignation from that post on October 6, 2009. (Vega is under indictment for federal corruption charges.) The council may reorganize and elect a new president.[31]

Jersey City Municipal Court gets a fairly heavy load of criminal cases along with some traffic violations. Mayor Healy is a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition,[32] a bi-partisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets." The Coalition is co-chaired by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Federal, state and county representation

Jersey City is in the Ninth, Tenth and Thirteenth Congressional Districts, and is part of New Jersey's 31st, 32nd and 33rd Legislative Districts.[33]

Emergency services


Exchange Place.
Paulus Hook.
Journal Square.

Jersey City (and most of Hudson County) is located on the penisula known a Bergen Neck, with a waterfront on the east at the Hudson River and New York Bay and on the west at the Hackensack River and Newark Bay. Its north-south axis corresponds with the ridge of Bergen Hill, the emergence of the Hudson Palisades.[34] The city is the site of some of the earliest European settlements in North America, which grew into each other rather expanding from central point. This growth and the topograghy greatly influenced the development of the sections of the city and the neighborhoods within them.[21]

Downtown Jersey City

Downtown Jersey City is the area from the Hudson River westward to the Newark Bay Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 78) and the New Jersey Palisades; it is also bounded by Hoboken to the north and Liberty State Park to the south.

Newport and Exchange Place are redeveloped waterfront areas consisting mostly of residential towers, hotels and office buildings. Newport is a planned mixed-use community, built on the old Erie Lackawanna Railway yards, made up of residential rental towers, condominiums, office buildings, a marina, schools, restaurants, hotels, Newport Centre Mall, a waterfront walkway, transportation facilities, and on-site parking for more than 15,000 vehicles. Newport had a hand in the renaissance of Jersey City although, before ground was broken, much of the downtown area had already begun a steady climb (much like Hoboken). Some critics have derided the Newport development for its isolation because it is cut off from the rest of the city by the Newport Centre Mall and other big box retail.[35]

Exchange Place, the first part of Jersey City to redevelop, was built on the grounds of the old Jersey City Penn Station, ferry and shipping terminals. It is now a bustling business and financial district.

To the west lie three brownstone neighborhoods with protected historic districts — Hamilton Park, Van Vorst Park, and Harsimus Cove — separated from the waterfront by a legacy of older infrastructure, big-box development, and old warehouses still awaiting re-use.

Paulus Hook is another neighborhood with a historic designated zone. It borders Exchange Place and Liberty State Park on the waterfront, and blends older brownstone-lined streets with newer luxury developments. The Essex Street stop on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail cuts through the southern portion of the neighborhood. The area has become increasingly active with development to the east and the construction of the light rail; many of its streets are lined with shops, and restaurants with outdoor seating.

St Aedan's Church
Hackensack River in winter, as seen from the Society Hill neighborhood

Journal Square

Once the commercial heart of Jersey City, Journal Square is in the process of rehabilitation, in part because of the efforts of the Journal Square Restoration Corporation (JSRC) and the Jersey City Economic Development Corporation (JCEDC). Here, Kennedy Boulevard and Bergen Avenue, main thoroughfares in the city, are at their widest, lined on both sides by brick houses and medium-density apartment complexes. The Stanley Theater, currently a Jehovah's Witness meeting hall, and Loew's Jersey Theater on Kennedy Boulevard are among the city's most noted landmarks, and are two of the best preserved movie palaces in the Tri-State area. Directly across Kennedy Boulevard from the Loews is the Journal Square Transportation Center (JSTC), which houses the Journal Square PATH station and the city's largest bus terminal. Saint Peter's College is located about 10 blocks south of Journal Square in the McGinley Square section of Jersey City. To the north of the square on Newark Avenue lies India Square, home to over 100 Indian businesses, and one of the largest Indian neighborhoods in New Jersey. To the south of the square near Five Corners lies the Hudson County Courthouse, St Joseph's Church, Dickinson High School, and the island area.

West Side

Jersey City's West Side is very diverse and includes the neighborhoods of the Marion Section, Lincoln Park/West Bergen, the Hackensack Waterfront, Society Hill, and New Jersey City University. Many ethnic grocery shops (Filipino, Indian, West Indian) line West Side Avenue, which runs from Broadway to Danforth Avenue. U.S. Route 1/9 Truck bisects Lincoln Park. West of New Jersey Route 440 is the Hackensack Riverfront including Hudson Mall, Jersey City Incinerator Authority, and Droyer's Point, former site of the old Roosevelt Stadium where Jackie Robinson broke the Baseball color line before his Major League Baseball debut.


Greenville lies between the Bayonne city line to the south and the Hudson Bergen Light Rail lines to the north. It is primarily residential with a principal commercial corridor at Danforth Avenue. The Greenville Yards (a former Conrail rail yard now being used as a distribution center), Port Jersey, Port Liberté (high-end gated residential community) and Caven Point on the Upper New York Bay are separated from the older neighborhoods by the New Jersey Turnpike Newark Bay Extension. Greenville has some of the most depressed areas in the city, but is slowly being revitalized, particularly along the light rail line. The crime rate is higher here than in any other part of Jersey City and many streets are lined with abandoned homes, but municipal aid over the past few years has helped in rebuilding many of them and in bringing life back to many of Greenville's neglected streets. With the gentrification of the downtown area, many of the city's working-class tenants have moved into this area.

The Heights

Jersey City Heights (aka "The Heights") is a neighborhood atop the New Jersey Palisades overlooking Hoboken and the Hudson River to its east and the New Jersey Meadowlands to the west. It consists mostly of two- and three-family houses, and remains traditionally middle-class. The primary commercial strip is Central Avenue. Six blocks to the east, and parallel to it, are Palisade and Ogden Avenues, both of which offer views of the Manhattan skyline from Riverside Park. The light rail station at Congress and Ninth Streets connects this area of the Heights to the Hoboken PATH train and New Jersey Transit trains. Many stately Victorian and Edwardian homes contribute to the attractiveness of the Heights, particularly along Summit Avenue and Sherman Place as well as areas to the east of Central Avenue. Pershing Field is a park near the center of this district, offering green space, a running track, several trap houses, basketball and tennis courts, a semi-Olympic size swimming pool and an ice skating rink. Adjacent to Pershing Field Park is an abandoned reservoir which constitutes one of the largest patches of green space in the city. The future of the reservoir has been hotly contested as business interests, city government, and environmentalist groups have each proposed a different use for the land though it has announced that the city has decided to move forward with plans to develop the reservoir into a nature preserve open to the public.


Bergen-Lafayette, formerly Bergen City, New Jersey, lies between Greenville to the south and McGinley Square to the north. It also borders Liberty State Park and Downtown to the east and the West Side. Communipaw Avenue and Bergen Avenue are main thoroughfares. The former Jersey City Medical Center complex, a cluster of Art Deco buildings on a rise in the center of the city, are being converted into residential complexes called The Beacon.[36]


In the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks many people were evacuated by ferry to Jersey City
Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

Of all Jersey City commuters, 8.17% walk to work, and 46.62% take public transit. This is the second highest percentage of public transit riders of any city with a population of 100,000+ in the United States, behind only New York City and ahead of Washington, D.C. A significant portion of Jersey City households do not own an automobile.[citation needed]


  • Hudson-Bergen Light Rail: Twenty three stations in Bayonne, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen, Union City, and Weehawken. Three branches: Hoboken-22nd Street, Hoboken-Tonnelle Avenue, and West Side Avenue-Tonnelle Avenue.


  • The BillyBey Ferry Company operates ferries between Newport, Paulus Hook, Liberty Harbor, Port Liberté and the World Financial Center and Pier 11 lower Manhattan and 39th Street in midtown Manhattan, where free transfer is available to a variety of "loop" buses.
  • Hornblower Cruises provides service between Liberty State Park and Ellis and Liberty Island
  • Liberty Water Taxi operates ferries between Dock M. of Liberty State Park and the World Financial Center during the summer months.[37]


The Journal Square Transportation Center, Exchange Place, and Hoboken Terminal (just over the city line's northeast corner) are major origination/destination points for buses. Service is available to numerous points within Jersey City, Hudson County, and some suburban areas as well as to Newark on the 1, 2, 6, 22, 43, 64, 67, 68, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 123, 125, 305, 319 and 981 lines. Also serving Jersey City are various private lines operated by the Bergen Avenue and Montgomery & Westside IBOAs, and by Red & Tan in Hudson County.[38]

Entrance to the Holland Tunnel which carries high amounts of vehicular traffic from New Jersey to Lower Manhattan.




A part of the East Coast Greenway, a planned unbroken bike route from Maine to the Florida Keys, will travel through the city. Both the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway and Hackensack RiverWalk are bicycle friendly. [39]


Colleges and universities

The Yanitelli Center on the campus of Saint Peter's College.

Jersey City is home to the New Jersey City University (NJCU) and Saint Peter's College, both of which are located in the city's West Side district. It is also home to Hudson County Community College, which is located in Journal Square. The University of Phoenix has a small location at Newport, and Rutgers University offers MBA classes at Harborside Center.

Public schools

The Jersey City Public Schools serve students 3 years and older from Pre-K 3 through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 Abbott Districts statewide.[40]

Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School was the top-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 316 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2006 cover story on the state's Top Public High Schools[41] and was selected as 15th best high school in the United States in Newsweek magazine's national 2005 survey.[42] In contrast, William L. Dickinson High School, located near Jersey City's downtown area, is the oldest high school in the city. It is also one of the largest schools in Hudson County, in terms of student population. Opened in 1906 as the Jersey City High School, it is one of the oldest sites in Jersey City. It is a four-story Beaux-Arts structure located on a hilltop facing the Hudson River. Other public high schools in Jersey City are James J. Ferris High School, Lincoln High School, and Henry Snyder High School. The Hudson County Schools of Technology (which also has campuses in North Bergen and Secaucus) has a campus in Jersey City.

Among Jersey City's elementary and middle schools is Academy I Middle School, which is part of the Academic Enrichment Program for Gifted Students. Another school is Alexander D. Sullivan P.S. #30, an ESL magnet school in the Greenville district, which services nearly 800 Pre-k through 5th grade students.[43]

Jersey City also has a number of charter schools which are run under a special charter granted by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. There are six charter schools that serve elementary and middle school students. Jersey City Community Charter School, Jersey City Golden Door Charter School, Learning Community Charter School, Liberty Academy Charter School and Soaring Heights Charter School all accept students in grades K-8 while Schomburg Charter School accepts grades K-5. The two charter schools for high school students are CREATE Charter High School and University Academy Charter High School.[44]

Private schools

Private high schools in Jersey City include:

Catholic grade schools include the Resurrection School a Peaceable School,[46] St. Aloysius School[47] and Sacred Heart School.[48] Catholic schools serve every area of the city and a number of other charter and private schools are also available. Genesis Educational Center[49] is a private Christian school located in downtown Jersey City for ages newborn through 8th grade.

Museums and libraries

see also: Exhibitions in Hudson County

Liberty State Park is home to Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal, the Interpretive Center, and Liberty Science Center, an interactive science and learning center. The center, which first opened in 1993 as New Jersey's first major state science museum, has science exhibits, the world's largest IMAX Dome theater, numerous educational resources, and the original Hoberman sphere.[50] From the park ferries travel to both Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum and Liberty Island, site of The Statue of Liberty.[51]

The Jersey City Free Public Library has five regional branches, some of which have permanent colllections and host exhibitions. At the Main Library, the New Jersey Room contains historical archives and photos. The Miller Branch is home to the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum. The Five Corners Branch specializes in works related to music and the fine arts, and is a gallery space.[52]

The Jersey City Museum shows contemporary work and sponsors community-oriented projects.

Some stations of the Hudson Bergen Light Rail, notably the Martin Luther King Drive station,[53] have educational public art exhibitions.


Jersey City has several shopping districts, some of which are traditional main streets for their respective neighborhoods, such as Central, Danforth, and West Side avenues. Journal Square is a major commercial district. Newport Mall is a regional shopping area.[54] Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).[55]


Jersey City is located within the New York media market, most of it daily papers available for sale or delivery. The daily newspaper The Jersey Journal, located at its namesake Journal Square, covers Hudson County, its morning daily, Hudson Dispatch now defunct.[56] The Jersey City Reporter is part of the Hudson Reporter group of local weeklies. The Jersey City Independent is a web-only news outlet that covers politics and culture in the city. The River View Observer is another weekly published in the city and distributed thoroughout the county. Another county wide weekly, El Especialito, also serves the city.[57]The New York Daily News maintains extensive publishing and distribution facilities at Liberty Industrial Park.[58]

WFMU 91.1FM (WXHD 90.1FM in the Hudson Valley), the longest running freeform radio station in the US, moved to Jersey City in 1998.[59] Z-100 WHTZ 100.3 The top-rated New York City radio station broadcasts from the 101 Hudson Street.

Sister cities

Jersey City has some sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:


The Flamingo Diner, downtown.

Ellis Island is inside Jersey City's borders, and is managed jointly by the states of New Jersey and New York, though it is owned by the federal government. In 1983, the State of New York went to the Supreme Court to sue the State of New Jersey over the ownership of the island, but in 1998, New York lost; New York retains title only to the original 3-acre (12,000 m2) portion of the Island, while New Jersey owns the 24 acres (97,000 m2) that were added as landfill.[60][61] The Statue of Liberty is 2,000 feet (610 m) from Liberty State Park on Liberty Island which also lies completely within Jersey City borders, and is under the jurisdiction of New York City. In 1987 Representative Frank J. Guarini, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Gerald McCann, who was Mayor of Jersey City, sued New York City, contending that New Jersey had ownership over the Liberty Island because they are on New Jersey side of the Hudson River. The federally owned islands are over two miles (3 km) from New York City.[62]


Panorama of Jersey City from the World Trade Center harbor in Lower Manhattan.
Panorama of Jersey City and Lower Manhattan from a Liberty State Park park&ride.
Jersey City Panorama from Manhattan Downtown.

See also


  1. ^ Kaulessar, Ricardo (April 15, 2005). "Why do people call Jersey City ‘Chilltown’?". Jersey City Reporter. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Jersey City: "Wall Street West"". BusinessWeek. October 29, 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ Department of Business Administration, City of Jersey City. Accessed April 24, 2008.
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Jersey City, Geographic Names Information System. Accessed January 4, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Census data for Jersey City city, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 6, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  8. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ Holusha, John. "Commercial Property / The Jersey Riverfront; On the Hudson's West Bank, Optimistic Developers", The New York Times, October 11, 1998. Accessed May 25, 2007. 'That simply is out of the question in midtown, he said, adding that some formerly fringe areas in Midtown South that had previously been available were filled up as well. Given that the buildings on the New Jersey waterfront are new and equipped with the latest technology and just a few stops on the PATH trains from Manhattan, they become an attractive alternative. "It's the sixth borough", he said.
  11. ^ Jersey City Past and Present: Pavonia, New Jersey City University. Accessed May 10, 2006.
  12. ^ A Virtual Tour of New Netherland, New Netherland Institute. Accessed May 10, 2006.
  13. ^ Ellis, Edward Robb (1966). The Epic of New York City. Old Town Books. pp. 38. 
  14. ^ Jersey City's Oldest House, Jersey City History. Accessed September 11, 2007.
  15. ^ "Jersey City's Underground Railroad history," Jersey City Magazine, Spring & Summer 2005.
  16. ^ a b c "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 146-147.
  17. ^ "Municipal Incorporations of the State of New Jersey (according to Counties)" prepared by the Division of Local Government, Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); December 1, 1958, p. 78 - Extinct List.
  18. ^ [1]
  19. ^ Alexander, Jack (1940-10-26), "King Hanky-Panky of Jersey City", The Saturday Evening Post: 122 
  20. ^ a b "Hague's End". TIME. 1949-05-23. 
  21. ^ a b Grundy, J. Owen (1975). The History of Jersey City (1609 - 1976). Jersey City: Walter E. Knight. 
  22. ^ A City Whose Time Has Come Again, The New York Times, April 30, 2000.
  23. ^ :Leonard Gallery
  24. ^ "New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990". Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  25. ^ Campbell Gibson (June 1998). "Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in The United States: 1790 TO 1990". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  26. ^ Wm. C. Hunt, Chief Statistician for Population. "Fourteenth Census of The United States: 1920; Population: New Jersey; Number of inhabitants, by counties and minor civil divisions" (ZIP). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  27. ^ Jersey City, New Jersey, Accessed January 24, 2008.
  28. ^ Marriott, Michel. "In Jersey City, Indians Protest Violence", The New York Times, October 12, 1987. Accessed October 6, 2008. "But in recent weeks, Indians here say, the violence has taken on a new and uglier cast. One Jersey City Indian was beaten to death in Hoboken. Another remains in a coma after being discovered beaten unconscious on a busy street corner here earlier this month. And in a crudely handwritten letter, partially printed in The Jersey Journal, someone wrote, We will go to any extreme to get Indians to move out of Jersey City. The note was signed The Dotbusters."
  29. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 139.
  30. ^ Municipal Council Information, City of Jersey City. Accessed August 3, 2006.
  31. ^ "Under corruption cloud, Jersey City Councilman Mariano Vega steps down as president -- 'temporarily'". The Jersey Journal. October 6, 2009. Retrieved October6, 2009. 
  32. ^ "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members". 
  33. ^ 2008 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 59. Accessed September 30, 2009.
  34. ^ Hudson County New Jersey Street Map. Hagstrom Map Company, Inc. 2008. ISBN 0-8809-7763-9. 
  35. ^ Goldberger, Paul (Aungust 2, 2004), "Shanghai on the Hudson", New Yorker, 
  36. ^ Model of urban future: Jersey City?, USA Today, April 15, 2007.
  37. ^ Jersey City Public Transportation Information
  38. ^ Hudson County Bus/rail Connections, New Jersey Transit. Accessed July 3, 2007.
  39. ^ Easy Riders JC
  40. ^ Abbott Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 31, 2008.
  41. ^ Top Public High Schools in New Jersey, New Jersey Monthly, September 2006
  42. ^ Top 1000 High Schools in The United States, Newsweek August 5, 2005.
  43. ^ Alexander D. Sullivan School at Jersey City Board of Education
  44. ^ "Approved Charter Schools". New Jersey Department of Education. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  45. ^ Super 25: Lincoln (N.Y.) climbs three spots with state title -
  46. ^ Resurrection School a Peaceable School
  47. ^ St. Aloysius School
  48. ^ Sacred Heart School
  49. ^ Genesis Educational Center
  50. ^ LSP
  51. ^ LSP Ferry Service
  52. ^ JC Free Public Library
  53. ^ MLK Station
  54. ^ JC Shopping Districts
  55. ^ Geographic & Urban Redevelopment Tax Credit Programs: Urban Enterprise Zone Employee Tax Credit, State of New Jersey. Accessed July 28, 2008.
  56. ^ NY Times
  57. ^ El Especial
  58. ^ City data Jersey City Economy
  59. ^ WFMU website
  60. ^ States fight over New York landmark, BBC News, January 12, 1998.
  61. ^ Greenhouse, Linda. "THE ELLIS ISLAND VERDICT: THE RULING; High Court Gives New Jersey Most of Ellis Island", The New York Times, May 27, 1998. Accessed July 28, 2008.
  62. ^ "New Jerseyans' Claim To Liberty Island Rejected". Associated Press (The New York Times). October 6, 1987. Retrieved 2008-07-27. "The Supreme Court today refused to strip the Statue of Liberty of its status as a New Yorker. The Court, without comment, turned away a move by a two New Jerseyans to claim jurisdiction over the landmark for their state." 
  63. ^ Stoltzfus, Duane (June 6, 1991). "Statue Erected as Memorial to Victims of Katyn Massacre". The Record. 
  64. ^ Lyons, Richard (July 9, 1989). "Jersey City Landmark; Now It's Time to Move the Colgate Clock". The New York Times. Retrieved January 30, 2010. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Jersey City is New Jersey's second-largest city. Situated in the northeastern section of the state, Jersey City sits across the Hudson from its older and bigger cousin, New York City.

The Jersey City skyline, as seen from the New York harbor. The tower at the center of the picture is the Goldman Sachs Tower, the tallest building in New Jersey.
The Jersey City skyline, as seen from the New York harbor. The tower at the center of the picture is the Goldman Sachs Tower, the tallest building in New Jersey.
  • Historic Downtown - This area, directly to the west of the waterfront, is characterized by rows of restored brownstones, new condominiums, and some retail (largely centered on Grove Street). This area includes the historic neighborhoods of Paulus Hook along the Morris Canal, and Hamilton Park, Harsimus Cove, and Van Vorst Park further inland.
  • Waterfront - Although considered to be part of Downtown Jersey City to most locals, this area is often categorized as a separate neighborhood because it is so different from the Historic Downtown area. Characterized by high-rise condos and office towers, it's also home to the planned community of Newport, which includes the popular Newport Mall.
  • Journal Square - Named after the Jersey Journal, whose headquarters are located here, this was once the commercial heart of the city. It's home to the Hudson County Community College, as well as the county's courthouse and administration buildings.
  • The Heights - Situated atop the Palisades, this primarily residential neighborhood is home to some of the county's most well-preserved Victorian mansions. This area has unparalleled views of the Manhattan skyline, owing to its location high above downtown Jersey City and Hoboken.
  • Liberty State Park - This district includes Liberty State Park itself, Cochrane Stadium/Caven Point Athletic Complex, and the exclusive Port Liberte development, which is home to luxury townhouses and condominiums as well as the Liberty National Golf Course.
  • Bergen/Lafayette - This neighborhood of brownstones and row houses is slowly feeling the effects of gentrification from the neighboring downtown area.
  • West Side - This ethnically diverse neighborhood is also home to Lincoln Park, Jersey City's own Central Park.
  • Greenville - This area in the southern end of Jersey City is considered the roughest part of the city, but it is slowly being redeveloped.
Brownstones in downtown Jersey City
Brownstones in downtown Jersey City
Jersey City is the second-largest city in New Jersey, trailing Newark in population, but far surpassing Trenton, the state capital. It is located on a peninsula that includes Hoboken to the north, the Hudson River and Manhattan to the east, Bayonne to the south, and the Hackensack River to the west.

Once a humming center of industry, Jersey City housed the booming factories of Colgate and Dixon-Ticonderoga. Once a railroad hub, the rail lines of the country's great railroads, including the famed Pennsylvania Railroad, criss-crossed the city, bringing new immigrants into the American hinterland. Today, Jersey City is neither of these things. Decades of government mismanagement and disappointments had a profound effect on this once booming town. A fear of urban areas caused significant "white flight" to the suburbs in the middle of the 20th century; once affluent areas became centers of poverty and crime. Jersey City was a mirror of what was happening in New York City itself, although perhaps to a more significant and depressing degree.

During the 1970s, immigrants began moving to Jersey City in droves, attracted by cheap real estate and a chance at experiencing the storied American dream. Today, these immigrants have helped to shape the city into a melting pot of the world's cultures and ethnicities. Nowhere in the state is there a city as diverse and as interesting as Jersey City in this respect.

Later, the growing popularity of New York City in the 1990s had a significant impact on Jersey City, too. Old railyards along the waterfront became the sites of gleaming new office towers and high-rise condominiums. Brownstones further inland were fixed up by people moving back into the city. Jersey City's renaissance quickly began.

The city has gone through significant transformations over the course of its lifetime. And it's not over yet. High-rises continue to sprout up along the waterfront like weeds, attracting Manhattanites priced out of the real estate market there, while offering quick commutes to jobs in Downtown Manhattan and Midtown. Office towers continue to fill up with new tenants, including the backoffice functions of many New York City-based companies, earning it the moniker "Wall Street West." (In fact, Jersey City has more Class "A" office space than downtown Pittsburgh or Atlanta.) New stores catering to Jersey City's new gentry continue to pop up almost weekly. It's a city in transition, and it's both exciting and frightening at the same time.

Get in

By air

Jersey City is about a 10-minute ride from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), which is a major hub for Continental Airlines, and is one of the three airports serving the New York metropolitan area. A taxi to Jersey City from EWR will set you back about $40. If you don't have a lot of bags, consider taking the train. Catch AirTrain from your terminal to the Newark Airport train station. Take a New York-bound New Jersey Transit train one stop to Newark Penn Station, then cross the platform to catch the PATH to Jersey City. The AirTrain/NJ Transit train is $7.75; PATH is $1.75. The ride takes about 45 minutes.

The two other airports in the region are LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), both in the borough of Queens in New York City. A cab from LGA or JFK to Jersey City will be about $100.

By car

Getting into Jersey City by car is not difficult, although finding parking once you are there may be. (Street parking is very difficult to find, and many streets -- particularly in downtown Jersey City -- require parking permits to park for longer than a couple of hours. If you park in a permit zone, your car may be booted by the Parking Authority, especially if you have out-of-state plates.)

Since Jersey City is located at the western end of the Holland Tunnel, your best bet is to take any highway that leads directly to it. On the New Jersey side, this includes Interstate 78 (the Hudson County Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike), US 1-9, and Interstate 280. On the New York side, take the West Side Highway or Canal Street.

Map of PATH system
Map of PATH system

The PATH [1] runs to Journal Square, Grove Street, Exchange Place, and Pavonia/Newport in Jersey City with connections to Newark, Lower Manhattan, Midtown Manhattan, and Hoboken. It costs $1.75 one-way. You can purchase a single-ride MetroCard from the vending machines near the turnstiles; they accept cash or credit/debit cards. Pay-Per-Ride MetroCards can be used on the PATH, however the Unlimited MetroCards (i.e., the 7-day and 30-day unlimited ride cards for the subway) cannot.

From the Pavonia/Newport PATH station, Lower Manhattan is about seven minutes away, Midtown Manhattan (33rd Street) is about 15 minutes away, and Newark Penn Station is about 25 minutes away. From Newark Penn Station, you can connect to regional New Jersey Transit and interstate Amtrak trains.

The Hudson-Bergen Light Rail [2], operated by NJ Transit [3], connects the Jersey City waterfront to Hoboken, Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen and Bayonne.

By bus

NJ Transit and other operators run buses to the Journal Square Transportation Center bus terminal. Greyhound buses stop at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan and the bus terminal at Newark Penn Station. From Port Authority, take NJ Transit Bus 125 which goes directly to Journal Square (the fare is $3.10; trip takes about 30 minutes).

By boat

NY Waterway [4] operates four ferry routes connecting Jersey City to Manhattan. The routes from Port Liberte and Liberty Harbor connect to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. The other two ferry routes leave from Exchange Place, and connect to World Financial Center and West 39th Street in Midtown. Check the NY Waterway website for schedules.

'Dollar vans'

Intrepid wanderers might find the "dollar" vans a quick and cheap way to travel around town. These vans, which are operated largely by Hispanic immigrants to serve that community, arose in response to the lack of frequent and reliable bus service in the area. Although no longer a dollar (the fare is now $1.25), these small buses travel from Newport Mall up Newark Avenue, brush past Journal Square, and travel up Palisade Avenue towards the Heights (similar vans run up Kennedy Boulevard from Journal Square). These vans don't travel on a fixed schedule, but operate relatively frequently during the day (they come by every five minutes or so). To get on board, flag the driver down. To get off the bus, say "next stop" to the driver about a block or so before your desired stop. Pay the driver as you leave the bus.

The best way to navigate within Jersey City, as a tourist, is likely by PATH or light rail. Most of the major sections of town are serviced by these forms of transport. The bus system is arcane, and even locals have difficulty understanding where buses go or how often they run.

Unlike in Manhattan, taxis can be difficult to come by in Jersey City. You often have to call ahead to have one pick you up, although taxis are stationed at the Exchange Place, Grove Street and Journal Square PATH stations. Taxis in Jersey City can run either metered or unmetered (flat rate); the price is generally the same either way. If you are going unmetered, ask the price before getting into the taxi (or ask the dispatcher when you call ahead). Taxis are not cheap; a cab from Grove Street to Journal Square is about $10.

Zipcar is available in downtown Jersey City. Cars can be found at numerous locations within walking distance of both the Grove Street and Pavonia/Newport PATH stattions, as well as light rail stops between Newport and Liberty State Park. Zipcar locations can also be found in neighboring Hoboken. Generally, cars are readily available on weekdays. Availability is not as certain on weekends, although some cars should be available if one is flexible and only needs the car for a few hours.

H&M Powerhouse
H&M Powerhouse
City Hall Plaza
City Hall Plaza
  • Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse, Washington Boulevard. The Powerhouse is a Romanesque revival industrial masterpiece built between 1906 and 1908. The Powerhouse was designed by architect John Oakman, an alumnus of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The Powerhouse allowed the operation of the the first trans-Hudson subway, the direct predecessor of today's PATH. It ceased operation as a power generating station in 1929. After years of neglect, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001 after it was nominated by the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, an all volunteer not-for-profit organization. The city has designated the Powerhouse a developer, the Cordish company, which has renovated a similar power plant in Baltimore's Harbor.  edit
  • Jersey City City Hall, 280 Grove Street. Completed in 1896, this imposing granite and marble municipal structure was designed by Lewis Broome, who also designed the Trenton Statehouse. A bronze memorial monument by Philip Martiny stands in the small plaza in front of the City Hall entrance. The memorial bears the inscription: "Erected by the People of Hudson County to Commemorate the Valor of the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines of the Civil War." The statue is of the Goddess of Victory in a seated pose. Although she has lain aside her shield, her hand rests in readiness upon her sword, though she offers the olive branch of peace.  edit
  • Justice William Brennan Courthouse, 583 Newark Avenue, [5]. This stunning Beaux-Arts style building is a glimpse into the county's rich and storied history. Be sure to check out its stained glass dome and detailed murals. Guided tours are available on weekdays.  edit
  • Colgate Clock, 2 Hudson Street. Dating back to 1924, the Colgate clock is a reminder of the numerous industries which once dominated the city. Manhattan residents still glance across the Hudson to tell the time from this iconic clock.  edit
  • Liberty State Park, Morris Pesin Drive, +1 201 915-3440, [6]. Liberty State Park is as large as New York's Central Park but is far less developed. Nonetheless, it gets some 4 million visitors a year, drawn to the waterfront to see unsurpassed views of Manhattan, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Don't miss fireworks displays over the water in the Fourth of July! Most tourists see the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan, but if you're coming by car, it's easier to do so from the Park. Make your reservations on-line [7] ahead of time. Admission to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are technically free, but you need to buy a ferry ticket to make it to both sites. The ferry is first-come, first-served, but your advance reservation will guarantee you a particular window of time in which to visit the Statue. Tickets are sold in the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ) terminal. While you are waiting for the ferry to depart, be sure to admire its early 20th century ironwork and architecture. For immigrants heading west to places like Chicago and Pittsburgh after processing at Ellis Island, this is where their overland rail journeys began. (Note that it's difficult to walk to Liberty State Park; you can either walk down Jersey Avenue and across the foot-bridge into the park, or take the light-rail which stops outside the park and then take the shuttle bus which will take you in.)  edit
  • Liberty Science Center, in Liberty State Park, [8]. The Science Center is open, after a $109 million, 22-month expansion project. It features six major new exhibition areas and the nation's largest IMAX Dome theater.
  • Paulus Hook. Between Grand Street and the Morris Canal that Divides Downtown Jersey City from Liberty State Park is an area known as Paulus Hook. Today, Paulus Hook is a charming neighborhood of Brownstone Row Houses with an excellent view of New York city, serviced by a light rail. Originally a small peninsula surrounded by marsh, it connected the mainland by a causeway that was passable only at low tide, and was the main landing point before the revolutionary war for travelers going into Bergen County from New York City, it has since been backfilled and Paulus Hook is no longer a hook. Paulus Hook was the site of British fortifications during the revolution that caused serious problems for the local revolutionary government- it was used as a base for loyalist raids into Bergen County. Major Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee (father of the later confederate General Robert E. Lee) took the fortifications by a night assault carried out during low tide on August 19th, 1779.
  • Jersey City Museum, 350 Montgomery Street, [9].
  • Loew's Jersey Theatre, 54 Journal Square, [10]. One of the five Loew's "Wonder Palaces," the Loew's Jersey was one of New York City's flagship movie palaces. The interior of the theater is surprisingly intricate and detailed; one person remarked that standing in the lobby of the Loew's is like standing inside a Faberge egg. It is being lovingly restored by a local group, and often hosts live events and screens movie revivals.
  • Lincoln Park.
The Hudson River waterfront, overlooking Lower Manhattan
The Hudson River waterfront, overlooking Lower Manhattan
  • Walk along the Hudson River waterfront. Take in the breathtaking views of Manhattan and New York City. From most points along the waterfront, one can see (on a clear day) from the Verrazano Narrows Bridge all the way up the Hudson River to Midtown Manhattan. Just south of the Exchange Place PATH station is a waterfront pier which extends some 250 meters into the Hudson River. From the pier, one will often see locals fishing, tourists taking pictures of the Manhattan skyline, and even people playing chess at one of the tables on the pier. Until 2001, this pier was directly across from the World Trade Center. This is one of the most popular locations to photograph the Island of Manhattan.
  • Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island. Although most people visiting these sites take the ferries from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, you can also catch the Circle Line ferries bound for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from Liberty State Park. The landing is directly in front of the old Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal building.


Although Jersey City isn't known for its extensive shopping options, the City's new gentry have begun to bring with it classier and pricier shops. Nevertheless, some "old school" shops and bodegas (delis) continue to be mainstays, particularly for locals. Parts of Jersey City are in the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) program, which allows retailers to charge half the state's sales tax (currently 3.5 percent) rather than the full sales tax rate, and clothing is not taxed at all. Retailers often have stickers on their doors showing that they participate in the UEZ program.

La Nueva Isla
La Nueva Isla
  • La Nueva Isla Meat Market, 265 Grove Street. Say hello to the proprietor, Oscar. While you're there, you can pick up everything from the latest issue of the "Daily News" to a couple of home made empanadas. Oscar also makes good Cuban sandwiches for around $3.
  • Dash Interiors, 140 Bay Street, Suite 2 Groundfloor, [11]. Great selection of modern furniture and accessories.
  • Tia's Place, 277 Grove Street, [12]. Trendy clothing store, for the hipster set, catering mostly to women (although they do have a men's section).
  • Newport Mall, located between Washington and Marin boulevards, is the county's largest indoor mall. Located just south of the Holland Tunnel, it hosts a Macy's, JC Penney, Sears, AMC (formerly Cineplex Odeon) movie theater, and a variety of other chain stores. All of the mall's more than 150 stores are part of the Urban Enterprise Zone. It's not free to park in the mall's parking garage; it's $2 to park there for up to 2 hours. Watch out if you stay parked longer than 6 hours; the rate zooms up, presumably to capture commuters parking there to take the PATH train from the Pavonia/Newport station to Manhattan.


One of the great things about Jersey City is the diversity of its restaurant options. From wonderfully affordable Indian and Cuban restaurants to uber-trendy hotspots to elegant dining options offering stunning views of Manhattan with dinner, Jersey City has a little something for everyone.

  • Pizza Alla Gargiulo, 101 Greene Street, [13]. Family owned Italian pizzeria restaurant delivers thin crust brick oven pizza near Exchange Place.
  • El Sason de Las Americas, 305 Grove Street. Don't bother trying to speak English here; for the most part, everyone here speaks Spanish only. The folks who man the linoleum counter at this, the best of the Grove Street area dives, respond best to pointing. The only word you really need to know anyway is pernil, Spanish for pork. Try the Cuban sandwich. Super cheap and super good.
  • Isabella's Cafe, 227 Seventh Street.
  • The Great Khan, Newport Mall Food Court. You might find a food court restaurant recommendation odd, but this Mongolian-style barbecue place is one of the best deals in town! For $6, you get to fill a bowl with an assortment of meats (chicken, beef, pork and lamb), veggies and sauces, and then watch as it's grilled in front of you and served with noodles. It's very healthy (not greasy) and quite satisfying!
  • Rasoi, 810 Newark Avenue, [14]. Easily the best Indian restaurant in Jersey City. Their lunch buffet is fantastic. Service is spotty, but the food is worth it.
  • Dosa Hut, 777 Newark Avenue. Although Little India abounds with South Indian restaurants serving dosas (a kind of crepe, made from rice and yellow split peas, usually rolled around a filling of potatoes and cashews), the Dosa Hut probably has the widest selection possible, with 30 dosas to choose from. Sorry meat-lovers, Dosa Hut (as with many South Indian restaurants) is strictly vegetarian.
  • Fiesta Grill, 655 Newark Avenue and Little Quiapo, 530 Newark Avenue. Very cheap Filipino "turo-turo" (literally, point-point - as in, you point to the food you want to order) restaurants. Fiesta Grill has a large dining room, while Little Quiapo is tucked away in the back of a shopping center. In front of the same shopping center is Philippine Bread House, a decades-old baking landmark for Filipino pastries such as ensaymada, halaya, and pan de sal. The cafe inside the bread house also serves Filipino cuisine, although it is not nearly as good as the dishes served at Fiesta Grill or Little Quiapo.
  • White Mana, 480 Tonnelle Avenue (US 1-9). By far the best grease pit burger joint. It has been in its current location since the 1940s, and served up prize-winning hamburgers at the 1939 New York World's Fair.
  • Charrito's, 319 Central Ave. Traditional Mexican food for those who do not like Taqueria's "rules", this is typical Mexican food that most people are used to. This is an extension of the Union City Charritos which has been around since the 1980's. The food is excellent, the portions are good, the service is efficient, and it comes at a reasonable price.
  • Taqueria, 236 Grove Street. A basic taqueria with simple yet satisfying Mexican fare. Note, this is not your typical "Tex-Mex" restaurant. The menu includes "rules such as "no oversized burritos," "no guacamole," and, emphatically, "no fajitas." However, with tacos ranging from $2.00 to $3.00, one can easily have a good meal that won't bust the budget. Other basic and inexpensive Mexican fare is available.
  • Hard Grove Cafe, 319 Grove Street at Columbus Drive, [15]. Near and dear to the hearts of long-time residents because of its long tenure at this location (years ago it was just about the only non-dodgy place to get a meal downtown). It is a Cuban-American diner with unique decor (including plastic palm trees), acceptable food, great drinks, and decent (but sometimes lacking) service. Previously owned by Dominic Santana, a local promoter who was known for his attempts to flaunt the city's restrictive cabaret laws and also known for owning the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. It has since gone under new ownership, who have made the decor a bit more colorful and added some fancier menu items while keeping the old favorites. Also has a good selection of Cuban rum mixed drinks.
  • Wild Fusion, 313 Grove Street. This semi-Malaysian place serves a variety of Southeast Asian dishes including coconut based curry, Sushi, Singapore Noodles, or a variety of other Asian fusion dishes. Prices are very reasonable, even more so when you take into consideration that it is BYOB. Try the crispy beef. Outside seating is available during the warmer months.
  • Honshu Lounge, 31 Montgomery Street (2nd Floor), [16].
  • Hamilton Park Ale House, 708 Jersey Avenue.
  • Simple Cafe, 174 Coles Street.
  • Iron Monkey, 97 Greene Street, [17].
  • Rita and Joe's Italian Restaurant, 142 Broadway. Don't let this restaurant's location by the side of a busy highway put you off. This place has some of the best home-cooked Italian food this side of Jersey. Be sure to check out their lunch buffet deal - all-you-can-eat for only $8.
  • Madame Claude Cafe, 364 Fourth Street, [18]. A tiny French bistro in an unlikely location at the edge of downtown, this restaurant is a tiny piece of Paris in gritty Jersey City.
  • Cafe La Rustique, 611 Jersey Ave. Great thin crust pizza, among the best in town (try the mozzarella!), as well as quality salads and pasta.
  • Marco & Pepe, 289 Grove Street, [19]. The quality of the food here is consistently among the highest in the city, as are the prices - both of which are more reflective of Manhattan than Jersey City, which is part of its continuing appeal. Little seating is available inside, so on the weekend it's likely a good idea to get reservations, as the place is always busy. During the summer, sidewalk seating is available so that you may look upon passersby with disdain as you consume conspicuously. Although prices can be high, entrees can be ordered in half-portions at a reasonable price.
  • The Merchant, 279 Grove St., [20]. A lovely bar and grill housed in a former businessmen's association and private bank building. The vault now serves as a cooler. Sandwiches are $10, and entrees range from $16-$24; lunch prices are somewhat lower. The menu looks pretentious, but the staff is friendly and the place is quite welcoming. Sidewalk seating is available, weather permitting.
  • Light Horse Tavern, 199 Washington Street, [21]. Bring a fat wallet, because the entrees here range from $19-34. Still, if you really want to drop some cash, this is one of the best places in Jersey City to do it. The wine selection is good, and the food is outstanding. Ambiance is very classy, with historical tidbits adorning the walls. The restaurant is named after "Light Horse Harry" Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, and local humiliator of the Redcoats at the famous "Battle of Paulus Hook" (famous in Paulus Hook, at least).
  • 4 fifty 5 Lounge, 455 Washington Boulevard, [22].
  • Vu, 2 Exchange Place, [23].
  • South City Grill, 70 Pavonia Avenue, [24].
  • Bar Majestic, 275 Grove Street, [25]. Cozy, European-inspired wine bar in a restored theater entrance. Great date spot. They also have a wine store at the back of the bar, so you can pick up a bottle to take home with you.
  • LITM, 140 Newark Avenue, [26]. A trendy bar/lounge, LITM (which stands for Love is the Message) is a popular watering hole which wouldn't be out of place in Chelsea or TriBeCa. The bar has an assortment of specialty drinks, including martinis, and often showcases a variety of art by local artists.
  • Lucky 7, 322 Second Street. Very popular local watering hole. New York Magazine wrote of this place: "Some nights they have a D.J.; some nights it’s big hair and Bon Jovi."
  • P.J. Ryan's, 172 First Street, [27]. Decent pub, with a reasonable selection of food (your typical pub fare, mostly). They occasionally have live music; it's not always good, though.
  • Zeppelin Hall Biergarten and Restaurant, 88 Liberty View Drive, +1 201 721-8888, [28]. Located in the new Liberty Harbor development, Zeppelin Hall is a huge biergarten with seating for up to 800 people. One of Jersey City's most popular hang-out spots, with 144 taps and $10 liters of beer. Family-friendly.  edit


Many budget-minded New York City tourists decide to stay in moderately-priced Jersey City hotels because of its proximity to Manhattan. Hotels along or near the waterfront are quite safe and very well-appointed. Avoid the strip of motels along US 1-9 (Tonnelle Avenue) north of Journal Square. The area is industrial, unsafe, and is a haven for prostitution and other illicit activities.

  • Holland Motor Lodge, Holland Tunnel Plaza East, +1 201 963-6200, [29]. This non-descript motel, located directly in front of the Holland Tunnel, is a popular option for budget-minded travellers. It's clean, safe, reasonably priced, and only a short walk from the Pavonia/Newport PATH station.  edit
  • Ramada Limited Jersey City, 65 Tonnelle Avenue, Jersey City, NJ - 07306, (866) 523-3959, [30].  edit
  • Candlewood Suites, 21 Second Street, +1 201 659-2500, [31].  edit
  • Courtyard Jersey City Newport, 540 Washington Boulevard, +1 201 626-6600 (fax: +1 201 626-6601), [32]. Newly renovated, by the Newport Centre Mall and one block from the waterfront.  edit
  • Doubletree Club Suites Jersey City, 455 Washington Boulevard, +1 201 499-2400, [33]. Popular with business travelers, this all-suite hotel is near the Pavonia/Newport PATH and Newport Mall.  edit
  • Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson, 2 Exchange Place, +1 201 469-1234, [34]. Situated directly on the Hudson River, this hotel has fabulous views of Manhattan. And it's practically right beside the Exchange Place PATH station, making trips into Manhattan a breeze. The Hyatt is easily Jersey City's nicest hotel.  edit
  • New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, [35].
  • Saint Peter's College, 2641 Kennedy Boulevard, [36].
  • Hudson County Community College, 70 Sip Avenue, [37].


Jersey City is served by two area codes - 201 and the overlay area code, 551. This means that 10-digit dialing is required. When dialing locally (within the 201 and 551 area codes), do not dial +1 before the number. For calls to other area codes, you must dial +1 before the number you're calling. Even though New York City is just across the Hudson, it's considered to be a long-distance call. Of course, with the advent of cellphones, long-distance calling is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

As in Manhattan, internet cafes are fairly uncommon in Jersey City as Wi-Fi is becoming more readily available. Notably, Janam Indian Tea on Grove Street and the Daily Grind Coffee Lounge on Morris Street offer free Wi-Fi connections.

Stay safe

Although most areas in Jersey City are generally safe during the day, exercise caution when walking alone at night. Streets are virtually deserted after midnight, making those walking alone easy targets. If possible, walk in large groups, or take a taxi. If you must walk alone, stick to well-lit, major streets and don't flash your wallet, cellphone or iPod.

Try to avoid the southern section of the city, bordering Bayonne, particularly the neighborhood of Greenville. In particular, Martin Luther King Drive and Ocean Avenue should be avoided. Muggings are not entirely uncommon in this primarily low-income area, and drug and gang violence are rampant.

Property crimes are becoming increasingly common across all of Jersey City. Do not leave any valuables in your car.

  • Manhattan - Some of the world's finest dining, entertainment, shopping, and nightlife are only a ten-minute train ride away. Leave your car at one of the numerous parking lots and garages around Grove Street or Journal Square PATH stations and take in all that America's greatest city has to offer.
  • Newark - Despite its reputation for high crime and race riots, Newark is undergoing a renaissance of its own. Be sure to check out a show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), one of the best concert halls in the country. After that, hit up the vibrant Ironbound neighborhood for some amazing Brazilian food.
  • Hoboken - Reputedly, Hoboken has the most bars per square mile of any city in the United States. And it's only a PATH ride away.
  • The Gateway, or North Jersey, is surprisingly diverse.
  • Jersey Shore-a day trip to some of the finest beaches on the East Coast
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JERSEY CITY, a city and the county-seat of Hudson county, New Jersey, U.S.A., on a peninsula between the Hudson and Hackensack rivers at the N. and between New York and Newark bays at the S., opposite lower Manhattan Island. Pop. (1890), 163,003; (1900), 206,433, of whom 58,424 were foreign-born (19,314 Irish, 17,375 German, 4642 English, 3832 Italian, 1694 Russian, 1690 Scottish, 1643 Russian Poles, 1445 Austrian) and 3704 were negroes; (1910 census) 267,779. It is the eastern terminus of the Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley, the West Shore, the Central of New Jersey, the Baltimore & Ohio, the Northern of New Jersey (operated by the Erie), the Erie, the New York, Susquehanna & Western, and the New Jersey & New York (controlled by the Erie) railways, the first three using the Pennsylvania station; and of the little-used Morris canal. Jersey City is served by several inter-urban electric railways and by the tunnels of the Hudson & Manhattan railroad company to Dey St. and to 33rd St. and 6th Ave., New York City, and it also has docks of several lines of Transatlantic and coast steamers. The city occupies a land area of 14.3 sq. m. and has a water-front of about 12 m. Bergen Hill, a southerly extension of the Palisades, extends longitudinally through it from north to south. At the north end this hill rises on the east side precipitously to a height of nearly zoo ft.; on the west and south sides the slope is gradual. On the crest of the hill is the fine Hudson County Boulevard, about 19 m. long and 100 ft. wide, extending through the city and county from north to south and passing through West Side Park, a splendid county park containing lakes and a 70-acre playground. The water-front, especially on the east side, is given up to manufacturing and shipping establishments. In the hill section are the better residences, most of which are wooden and detached.

The principal buildings are the city hall and the court house. There are nine small city parks with an aggregate area of 39.1 acres. The city has a public library containing (1907) 107,600 volumes and an historical museum. At the corner of Bergen Ave. and Forrest St. is the People's Palace, given in 1904 by Joseph Milbank to the First Congregational church and containing a library and readingroom, a gymnasium, bowling alleys, a billiard-room, a rifle-range, a roof-garden, and an auditorium and theatre; kindergarten classes are held and an employment bureau is maintained. Among the educational institutions are the German American school, Hasbrouck institute, St Aloysius academy (Roman Catholic) and St Peter's college (Roman Catholic); and there are good public schools. Grain is shipped to and from Jersey City in large quantities, and in general the city is an important shipping port; being included, however, in the port of New York, no separate statistics are available. There are large slaughtering establishments, and factories for the refining of sugar and for the manufacture of tobacco goods, soap and perfumery, lead pencils, iron and steel, railway cars, chemicals, rubber goods, silk goods, dressed lumber, and malt liquors. The value of the city's manufactured products increased from $37,376,322 in 1890 to $77,225,116 in 1900, or 106.6%; in 1905 the factory product alone was valued at $75,740,934, an increase of only 3.9% over the factory product in 1900, this small rate of increase being due very largely to a decline in the value of the products of the sugar and molasses refining industry. The value of the wholesale slaughtering and meat-packing product decreased from $18,551,783 in 1880 and $11,356,511 in 1890 to $6,243,217 in 190o - of this 85,708,763 represented wholesale slaughtering alone; in 1905 the wholesale slaughtering product was valued at $7,568,739.

In 1908 the assessed valuation of the city was $267,039,754. The city is governed by a board of aldermen and a mayor (elected biennially), who appoints most of the officials, the street and water board being the principal exception.

Jersey City when first incorporated was a small sandy peninsula (an island at high tide) known as Paulus Hook, directly opposite the lower end of Manhattan Island. It had been a part of the Dutch patroonship of Pavonia granted to Michael Pauw in 1630. In 1633 the first buildings were erected, and for more than a century the Hook was occupied by a small agricultural and trading community. In 1764 a new post route between New York and Philadelphia passed through what is now the city, and direct ferry communication began with New York. Early in the War of Independence Paulus Hook was fortified by the Americans, but soon after the battle of Long Island they abandoned it, and on the 23rd of September 1776 it was occupied by the British. On the morning of the 19th of August 1779 the British garrison was surprised by Major Henry Lee ("Light Horse Harry"), who with about 50o men took 159 prisoners and lost only 2 killed and 3 wounded, one of the most brilliant exploits during the War of Independence. In 1804 Paulus Hook, containing 117 acres and having about 15 inhabitants, passed into the possession of three enterprising New York lawyers, who laid it out as a town and formed an association for its government, which was incorporated as the "associates of the Jersey company." In 1820 the town was incorporated as the City of Jersey, but it remained a part of the township of Bergen until 1838, when it was reincorporated as a distinct municipality. In 1851 the township of Van Vorst, founded in 1804 between Paulus Hook and Hoboken, was annexed. In 1870 there were two annexations: to the south, the town of Bergen, the county-seat, which was founded in 1660; to the north-west, Hudson City, which had been separated from the township of North Bergen in 1852 and incorporated as a city in 1855. The town of Greenville, to the south, was annexed in 1873.

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