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CONTRIBUTORS & STAFF

STEVE GOLD is the staff photographer at NEW and the Jersey City Independent. His photographs have also appeared in the Jersey Journal, New York Daily News, and other newspapers and magazines. popzero.com Chuck Kerr is the art director at NEW, where he moonlights from his day job as art director for the alternative newsweekly the San Antonio Current. His work has earned him a 1st Place AAN award for Cover Design in 2007, as well as recognition from the Society of Publication Design and magazine design blog Coverjunkie. chuckkerr.com 2

WeAreNew.com JerseyCityIndependent.com Twitter.com/JCIndependent Facebook.com/JerseyCityIndependent

SPOTLIGHT

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READING, 'RITING & ROCK Tad Hendrickson has a report on Little

Jersey City is a city of neighborhoods.

Kids Rock, a nonprofit helping to fill the

In the first of an ongoing series, we put

gaps in Jersey City's music education

the spotlight on two of them: Hilltop and

curriculum.

The Island.

22 10 FROM WATERBUGS TO AT HOME WITH THE CHEF TANG SOo DO Chef Gregg Freda spends most of his

How does a freewheeling arts enclave

time crafting Italian cuisine at the

"grow up" while managing to stay true to

Journal Square institution Casa Dante,

its bohemian roots? Jennifer Weiss looks

but he wasn't too busy to whip up a

at the past, present and future of 143

home-cooked meal for Laryssa Wirstiuk.

Columbus.

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PLACE

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BOR H ON THE COVER/ NEWS BY THE NUMBERS

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MANY SPECIAL THANKS TO The loyal support of all businesses and organizations that encourage and sustain NEW. Advertising support makes NEW possible. Please show your thanks by supporting our advertisers.

to advertise checht@jerseycityindependent.com

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MAP DESIGNER Jaden Rogers/FinePointDesigns.net

CONTACT US general info@jerseycityindependent.com

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COVER IMAGE Matthew Ward

ABOUT NEW NEW is published four times a year by the Jersey City Independent. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent.

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COPY EDITOR Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg

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STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Steve Gold

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ART DIRECTOR Chuck Kerr

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CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Jennifer Weiss

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JENNIFER WEISS is the contributing editor at NEW and the Jersey City Independent. She is a freelance journalist, writing and producing video stories for the Wall Street Journal and others, and working on two documentary films. jenniferweiss.com

SALES MANAGER Catherine Hecht

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TAD HENDRICKSON is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who has covered music of all genres, literature, the arts, food and real estate for publications ranging from the Financial Times to Elle to The Village Voice. He currently writes the Jersey City Dad blog for the Jersey City Independent. jerseycitydad.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR/CO-PUBLISHER Shane Smith

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Melanie McLean is most often found peeking out from behind a camera lens. Since embarking as a full-time photographer three years ago, her work has taken her around South America, through Europe, and up and down the East Coast of the U.S. She is currently at the beach in Delaware for the summer, blogging at hostourcoast.com.

EDITOR/CO-PUBLISHER Jon Whiten

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JOSH DEHONNEY regularly shoots for lifestyle magazines Yellow Rat Bastard and Urban Latino. In addition to photography, Josh is passionate about independent hip-hop, microbrews and his newborn son and future first assistant, Jalen. joshdehonney.com

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LARYSSA WIRSTIUK is a writer who teaches creative writing at Rutgers University. Born and raised in North Jersey, Laryssa moved to Jersey City because she was curious about the city where her mother was raised. commansentence.com

CONTENTs

28 JERSEY CITY MAP 30 LIVING GUIDE 46 MARKETPLACE


& PRESENT

MOVIES IN THE PARK(S) AT RIVERVIEW-FISK PARK:

AT WASHINGTON PARK:

(at Palisade Ave & Griffith St)

(between Paterson Plank Rd & 2nd St)

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Wizard of Oz

Friday August 5

Ratatouille

Friday August 19

Friday August 12

Dance With Me Friday August 26

Time: Sunset – About 8 PM

FREE MOVIE & POPCORN!

Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Movies subject to change without notice. Rain Date: Wednesday following the rainout For more info & a list of sponsors: riverviewneighborhood.org or wpanj.org

Have Neck/ Back Problems?

Call Toll Free: (877) 854-8CSI (877) 854-8274

ON THE COVER A

lthough 28-year-old Matthew Ward has only lived in Jersey City for about a year, he quickly learned to become a booster for his adopted hometown. That pride, coupled with an interest in design and a professional background in urban planning, led Ward to create the Jersey City neighborhood map on this issue's cover. "I have always appreciated good maps and, more specifically, the neighborhood maps designed by Ork Posters," he says, pointing out that the company didn't have a Jersey City map. "As a fan, I felt Jersey City was deserving of a platform to showcase itself and its neighborhoods." Ward hopes the map will "build pride" within Jersey City and perhaps encourage newer residents to explore the whole city, while also putting the city on the map, literally, in the larger metro area. "Oftentimes when I tell someone I live in Jersey City, they either don't know where it is, or have never even heard of it," he says. "Even New Yorkers." Ward, who has already started making similar maps for Camden and Newark, scoured old maps, the city's master plan and other sources to determine where to draw the boundaries. As he did, he learned plenty of new facts about the city, like that Ellis Island is within the municipal boundaries. Ward says Ellis Island also is his favorite text design in the map. "You can read it across, or up and down, and it still works," he explains, adding that he thinks the Western Slope design mirrors its neighborhood's actual geography the most. Ward says he "attempted to make the word 'slope' appear like it was falling over," a reference to the steep grade of the hill – not the state of its buildings. For prints or tote bags featuring the design, visit Ward's website (wardensandroosters.blogspot.com) or email wardensandroosters@gmail.com. For info on NEW's cover contest, visit jcindy.com/covercontest.

NEWS BY THE NUMBERS 322

7.6

0.7

511

currently in circulation

turnout percentage for

a proposed light rail

new Monaco apartment

April's school board

extension over Route 440

building

Number of seconds it

Height of the Trump Plaza

Mobile vending licenses

175

Licenses currently allowed by law

26

Months the City Council has been working on changing the food-trucks

New Larger Location Corner of Jersey Avenue and Grand Street on the campus of Jersey City Medical Center

www.csispine.com

The citywide voter

elections

9.7

Length, in miles, of

110

The turnout in Ward E,

would take to travel the

the highest in the city

new segment

The turnout in Ward B,

Estimated cost, in

5.6

213.9

Height, in feet, of the

532

condo building

781

Height of the Goldman Sachs office building

law (as of June 2011)

the lowest in the city

millions, of the project

The council backed off its

With two challengers and

NJ Transit has approved the

With the addition of the

latest proposed changes in

one incumbent winning

plan, but it still has to be

Monaco, Jersey City is now

May after vendors said the

the April 21 elections, the

approved by other agencies

home to the tallest rental,

rules were overly restrictive. majority control of the board – and then someone has to has shifted.

pay for it.

condo and office buildings in New Jersey.


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2 5 AM E R I CAN C RA F T ta p s

ots of neighborhoods in Jersey City and elsewhere have utilitarian names, and Hilltop and the Island are certainly not exceptions. But even though the names serve a purpose, they are, in this case, still evocative. As its name suggests, the Hilltop sits at the top of the hill – the Palisade – between Downtown Jersey City and Journal Square. The neighborhood is bordered, roughly, by two highways – the Turnpike Extension to the east and Route 139 to the north – as well as the PATH tracks to the south and Summit and Central Avenues to the west. Meanwhile, the Island, which lies just south of the Hilltop, is one of Jersey City's most unique neighborhoods. It is not a literal island surrounded by water, but it is bordered by hard barriers on all sides – the Turnpike Extension to the east, the PATH tracks to the north and another railroad to the south and west. These two small neighborhoods are primarily residential (the Island is solely residential), though the Newark Avenue and Summit Avenue strips are lined with commerce, and there are small shops dispersed through other parts. Many of the local residents we spoke to pointed to the small-neighborhood feel as why they choose to live there.

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"I love that my kids can hang out in our front garden and meet septuagenarians who were born on this street, while others walk by and say hello in languages from all over the world," says Amy Schulman Uhlfelder, who found the Hilltop by accident when she and her husband got lost en route to another Jersey City neighborhood. "It was the best thing that ever happened to us." While a mistake brought her to the Hilltop, family history is what brought Terry Matthews. "I grew up here, on Chestnut Avenue, from 1965 to 1986. It was a great area with a definite neighborhood feel . . . blue-collar middle-class families living together," he explains. "But it got rough in the late '70s." Matthews went away to college and later moved back to a different part of Jersey City and, later, to Bayonne. And then he came back to the Hilltop, though he didn't intend to stay long. "When my parents retired, I bought the house from them and moved back with my wife and two sons. Quite honestly, I planned on flipping it because the market was flying high," Matthews says. "Then we saw all the wonderful new people who were moving into the Hilltop – artists and musicians, young families with children, people from all ethnic backgrounds and cultures. And then we decided to stay." 7

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Editor’s Note: The neighborhood map that graces the cover of this issue is not only a treat to look at, it also helped to rekindle an idea we had been kicking around for the past year or so: to highlight different Jersey City neighborhoods in the magazine. And so we're off – we will be putting a spotlight on a different neighborhood or group of neighborhoods in each issue of NEW. We hope this series will serve as a reminder that this is a big and interesting city. Enjoy.

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(Ogden Ave between Griffith & Bowers)

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*rain date: Sept. 18

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SATURDAY SEPT 17 10 AM to 5 PM

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25th annual park fest & flea market

neighborhood spotlight

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VENDORS WANTED!

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LIVING HISTORY

8

GRAB A BITE

HISTORIC JERSEY CITY & HARSIMUS CEMETERY

BRENNAN COURTHOUSE

At the bottom-most part of the Hilltop on Newark Avenue sits the Historic Jersey City & Harsimus Cemetery. It opened in 1829, making it the first private cemetery company in New Jersey. "Up until that time cemeteries were in churchyards," says Eileen Markenstein, president of the cemetery's volunteer board of trustees. "It's also one of the first three garden landscape style cemeteries, with trees, ivy and rolling hills. This began a whole revolution of what cemeteries would become. This was the very first park in Jersey City, people would come here and picnic and spend the day." In recent decades, the cemetery had fallen into disrepair; Markenstein says it was "a meadow of weeds." But that began to change when she and other volunteers got together a few years ago to improve the conditions; they eventually reopened the cemetery in July 2008. Since then, it has become a key, if unusual, player in the city's thriving arts and culture scene, hosting fundraising concerts, plays, candlelit tours and art exhibitions. As the group of volunteers has spruced up the sprawling six-acre grounds, it has also made some fascinating discoveries – like an entire underground section. "We didn't know it was there; it was covered by the forest. We started cutting down these giant weeds – literally with machetes," Markenstein says. "We discovered these stairs and this doorway, and there is a labyrinth of underground crypts and tunnels. It is just remarkable. I've been inside to explore, and one of our goals is to open that up for tourism." Her husband, Aart, says the structures under the cemetery are even older than the cemetery itself. "Back in the War of 1812, there was a fort where Dickinson High School stands now, and we found an ammunition bunker for the fort on the grounds here," he says. "This whole area is filled with tunnels and underground tombs, and we think that at one time, the tunnels connected the fort with the Underground Railroad that smuggled slaves to safety during the Civil War."

The William J. Brennan Courthouse, which sits watchfully over Newark and Pavonia Avenues, is living on borrowed time. Designed by Jersey City resident Hugh Roberts and costing $3.3 million to build in 1910, the grand classical Beaux-Arts structure served as the seat of Hudson County’s judicial system for more than 50 years. In 1966, after several years of abandonment, the building was set for demolition; a wrecking ball hung in the balance. But thanks to preservationist Theodore Conrad and a group of citizen activists, the destruction of the building never occurred. Just a few years later, in 1970, the National Register of Historic Places added the courthouse to its registry. An award winning restoration followed in the mid1970s, and the courthouse reopened in 1985. Today, the courthouse is once again home to legal proceedings, as well as offices. It also hosts art exhibitions in the Rotunda Gallery, and live music events at the Brennan Coffee House. The courthouse's rich exterior is matched by the elegance of its interior. A series of murals – executed by prominent painters of the day, such as Francis D. Millet, Edwin H. Blashfield and Charles Yardley Turner – line the corridors and courtrooms of the building. Each mural depicts key events in Hudson County, including the arrival of the English colonists and Robert Fulton's voyage on the Hudson River. "[The courthouse] is more than a monument to justice and an example of outstanding beauty," Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy president John Hallanan says. "It is a monument to the importance of civic activism and a testament to what a small group of people – if sufficiently motivated – can accomplish."

Despite the diminutive size of the commercial strips in these neighborhoods, there are plenty of dining gems. "I'm walking distance to  food places  like the Philippine Bread House, which literally brings in people from all over the state," Tanya Marione-Stanton says of the legendary Filipino specialty bakery at 530 Newark Avenue. She also sings the praises of the "quick little grocery stores" for having "the most ethnically diverse" food selection in the city. Another can't-miss dining experience, at Larry & Joe's Pizzeria, can be found literally across the street from the Bread House, at 533 Newark Avenue. The down-home pizzeria is popular with Dickinson High School students, folks serving jury duty at the courthouse, and plenty of people in the neighborhood. The bagel spot at 520 Summit Avenue, as the Hilltop approaches Journal Square proper, also comes highly recommended. "Bagel Johnny's on the corner is our favorite place for great food, neighborhood news and a fun time," Schulman Uhlfelder says. "He makes the best bagels and turkey in the world and takes such good care of everyone who walks in, especially the children." And while the new breed of gourmet food trucks that are prevalent Downtown aren't to be found in the Hilltop, that doesn't mean the street-food scene is dead. There's the truck that sits at Washburn and Palisade Avenues that's hugely popular with Dickinson students, and the hot dog vendor on the corner of Pavonia and Central Avenues, who stands out as one of the local culinary bright spots to Bethe Schwartz. "On a cold, rainy day, ask him to throw a sausage on the tiny grill," she says. "Yum!"

WANT TO STAY? The Island and Hilltop neighborhoods, though small, are mostly residential and offer a wide variety of housing options. Along Magnolia Avenue and on several of the Island's quiet streets, there are elegant brownstones and townhomes of the single-family and two-family variety mixed in with the occasional larger buildings. Prices in the neighborhood vary greatly from dwelling to dwelling, but there are definitely some deals to be had, whether you're looking for a fixer-upper or a move-in-ready place. CURRENTLY FOR SALE • A 639 square foot onebedroom condo at 445 Pavonia Avenue: $159,900 • A three-bedroom fourbathroom townhome at 16 Elizabeth Street: $430,000

CURRENTLY FOR RENT • A three-bedroom townhome on Waldo Avenue: $3,000 • A studio on Magnolia Avenue near Summit Avenue: $925 • A three-bedroom apartment on Baldwin Avenue: $1500

– Written by Jon Whiten, with contributions by Brendan Carroll, Jim Testa and Tabitha Vidaurri

IN THEIR OWN WORDS "The convenience, diversity and value found in the neighborhood is what brought me here. Not to mention the awesome views!" — Joe Bednarczyk

"I chose to live in the Hilltop neighborhood because it is serene and economically diverse. I wanted a yard and a family friendly community. What I was not expecting was the rich spectrum of neighbors from immigrants to life-timers that stretch across the globe." — Althea Bernheim

"I honestly feel that the Island section of the Hilltop is the best kept secret in Jersey City. The neighborhood has changed drastically over the years and has managed to keep its mystique. Many of the old folks have moved on, and the newer people are keeping the neighborhood alive." — Rich Boggiano

"The Hilltop looks over Downtown Jersey City and is on eye level with the New York skyline. What more can you ask for?" — Terry Matthews 9


GREGG FREDA of CASA DANTE

at home with the chef WRITTEN BY: Laryssa Wirstiuk PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Josh DeHonney

10

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n Chef Gregg Freda’s house, guests will always find ice cream – preferably vanilla with chocolate chips – but never a cup of coffee. "I have not made coffee in 20 years," he says. Instead, he spends almost $60 per week on Dunkin' Donuts brew. Every morning, Freda drinks an extra large coffee, light with three sugars. "Dunkin' Donuts is my favorite thing in the whole world," he says. "They have the coffee ready for me when I come in the morning, and I give them five dollars so I don't have to wait behind dozens of people who can’t decide what they want." Freda is the Executive Chef at The Casa Dante – the article is added by regular customers at the legendary Italian restaurant on Newark Avenue in Jersey City's Journal Square. Says Freda: "It's an entity unto itself." Casa Dante was founded in 1971, and Freda was hired when new owners Dom and Toni Marino took over the restaurant six years ago, just a few days before New Year's Eve. Before that, Freda spent 15 years at his sincedeceased uncle's restaurant: Panico's in New Brunswick. But Freda's history in Jersey City goes beyond his tenure at Casa Dante. When he was 18 years old, he 11


"I used to make grilled cheese on top of an iron in college. When I first saw an electric range I said, 'What is this?'"

Freda uses Appetito Sausage, which is manufactured right here in Hudson County.

12 12

used to run ice cream carts from the garage of a Chevrolet dealership on Communipaw Avenue. Freda lives with his wife, his 13-year-old daughter, and his 13-year-old husky, Nikita, in a townhome in Bridgewater. He grew up in Verona, but decided to relocate his family to Somerset County to take advantage of what he believes are better school systems. "It's still rural, but the town has built up drastically in the 15 years that we've been here," he says. He also has two sons; a 19-year-old who attends Rutgers University, and a 23-yearold who almost went to the French Culinary Institute – before Freda talked him out of it. "My family's always been in food," he says. "My father had his own company, and I didn't know any better. But I missed many holidays and my sons' games." Six days a week, Freda commutes by car from his home to Jersey City. From Monday through Friday, he arrives at the restaurant at 10:30 am and doesn’t leave until 11 pm. On Saturdays, he works from 2 pm to midnight. Because he's rarely home, Freda's wife usually cooks for herself and their daughter. She makes London broils, flank steaks, chicken cutlets,

chicken with peppers and onions – anything that can be made in less than 40 minutes. Freda forces himself to eat breakfast and then also eat at work so that he doesn't feel the need to eat when he comes home. "Chefs are probably the worst eaters in the world. We eat everything on the fly, standing up," he says. "People think we sit down and have a steak or veal chop and a glass of wine. But we don't close from 3 to 5 because we get a decent crowd from the courthouse. I never leave the kitchen." When he comes home from work, Freda's favorite way to unwind is by staying up too late and watching reruns of Yankees games on the YES Network. He played Division 1 baseball in college and still tries to get to the batting cages at least once a year. Freda also likes trout fishing in the south branch of the Raritan River; during trout season, he gets there whenever he can. And despite the fact that Freda rarely eats at home, he still cooks for his family every Sunday. His only request is that he doesn’t have to clean up after himself. "I leave a mess. I leave all the pans lying on the counter," he says. "We usually eat later on Sundays because I like to sleep in a little bit." 13


The Sunday meal varies, though not necessarily by choice. "I'd still make pasta and meatballs every Sunday because that's what I had growing up, but they get sick of it," Freda says. For his daughter's birthday, which fell on a Sunday, Freda prepared a Roman sausage sauce (see recipe at right). For his son's birthday, he will make chicken rollatini. He created a special version of chicken rollatini with jalapeno cheddar cheese because he noticed that his son had been eating a lot of it. He adjusts his recipes to cater to his family's evolving tastes and dietary restrictions. "When I make risotto, I have to make two: one will have chicken, one will have shrimp. I make one big batch of the risotto plain and then just separate it out," he explains. Within the past 10 years, Freda has developed food allergies to nuts – especially peanuts and hazelnuts – and also mushrooms. But the allergies are not yet so severe that he won't at least taste dishes that contain these ingredients. "I taste everything in the kitchen. Then I spit it out and rinse my mouth," he says. "I'm not one of those fanatics. If it's processed in a plant with nuts, I'll still eat it." 14

Although he is a renowned chef, Freda says he wasn't concerned about having a high-end kitchen in his home when he and his wife purchased it. "I used to make grilled cheese on top of an iron in college. When I first saw an electric range, I said, 'What is this?' I used to work at a dry cleaner, and the guy would heat up his frozen meals on a pressing machine," he says. "You make do with what you have." All the appliances – except the microwave – are KitchenAid. Freda went through two KitchenAid microwaves before switching to GE Profile. He does have a convection oven, but he admits it’s nowhere near restaurant quality. He has a stand mixer with all the attachments, including a sausage grinder, and a food processor. He installed the backsplash and the lights himself. In the center of his kitchen is a John Boos island, which he frequently admires. "It has a wooden top, but you don't want to cut on this. It's more for show," he says. "It's still great when you're pounding meat. You're not going to pound granite." When we visit, Freda’s refrigerator contains lots of milk, an open bottle of cooking wine, Tabasco, sriracha, olives, eggs, allergy eye drops that need to be refrigerated, jelly, beef and chicken base, seltzer, various types of lettuce, English muffins, leftover pizza, a tube of Italian tomato paste, bocconcini, heavy cream, Yoo-hoo, and yogurt. The freezer stores Eggo waffles, chicken, chopped meat, popsicles, a repurposed 4C breadcrumbs canister that's used to store grease, and – of course – ice cream. One of the cabinets contains an assortment of pastas and olive oils. He uses different oils for different applications. For general cooking, Freda likes a lighter oil – the distributor's own brand: De Carlo. He uses Saitta Selections extra virgin olive oil for linguine garlic and oil, or salad. "I use some De Cecco pasta, depending on the dish. I use Rummo Paccheri wide rigatoni that I get from one of our distributors," he says of the pasta selection. "I used to hate Barilla, but I think they changed their recipe. It's been different in the past three years. I like Buco Anna long fusilli. You’ll rarely see me eat angel hair or spaghetti. Ronzoni tastes like paste."

RECIPE

Roman Sausage Sauce with OrecchiettE

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reda features this dish as a special on Casa Dante's menu at least once a month. "You don't need extra virgin olive oil for this, and salting the pasta afterward doesn't work no matter what anyone tells you," he says. "Salt the water before you boil it." He keeps the fat he drains from the sausage and other meats in a large breadcrumb canister that he stores in the freezer. When it's full, he throws it out and lets "the garbage men deal with it." For anything with tomato, like sauce, Freda advises to always use a wooden spoon. For some reason, the metal spoon burns the bottom of the pot. Leave the wooden spoon in the pot, and nothing will burn. This sauce doesn't need salt because the sausage seasons everything. "I like my pasta saucy, but that's not the true Italian way," he says. "I love it soupy. That's just my preference." ½ medium yellow onion, chopped 1 T. olive oil 1 can (35 oz.) La Valle Italian peeled tomatoes 1 box of De Cecco Orecchiete (or pasta of your choice, something that will hold the sauce) 1 pound of Italian sausage (Freda uses Appetito sausage made in Union City) 1 cup heavy cream 1 teaspoon Mutti (imported from Italy) tomato paste 8 basil leaves, chopped ¼ cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat regular olive oil in a large sauté pot. In another large pot, salt water with Kosher salt and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Pulse tomatoes in a blender or food processor for only a few seconds. Sauté the onions and cook until translucent. Take sausage out of its casing and add to the onions. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon. Once sausage has browned, pour sausage through a strainer to trim some of the fat. Add heavy cream and lower the heat. Add tomato paste and peeled tomatoes. The sauce will start to turn pink. Drain the pasta when it's ready but leave some of the pasta water in the pot. Add some of the sauce from the sausage to the pasta and let it cook for about five minutes. Add the basil and cheese. Spoon pasta onto a plate and top with the sausage. Garnish with basil leaves and cheese. 15


Middle School 7 student David Sami on the bass

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n the era of standardized testing, every struggling public school has prioritized learning the three Rs (that’s reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic). While these are undoubtedly the cornerstones of education, the new emphasis on testing has often led to an either/or situation, in which art and music are cut back in favor of additional resources dedicated to meeting testing goals. With this in mind, it’s surprising to find a video on YouTube of Jersey City 5th grader Jade Adams performing “Change,” a song she wrote and sings with backing from several classmates. She would later perform the song live in front of 2,000 people at Montclair’s Wellmont Theatre during a show by Michael Franti. While Jersey City does still have some basic music education in its schools, Adams' performance was actually the result of the program Little Kids Rock, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that provides free guitars (and occasionally keyboards, bass and drums) as well as teacher training to schools in underprivileged areas. Since David Wish founded the organization in the Bay Area in 1996 (that’s long before the Jack Black movie, folks), he, a small staff, and an army of volunteer teachers have been bringing their message of music education to more and more of America’s children each year, at a time when budget pressures are forcing districts to scale back or eliminate "non-essential" programs like arts and music. "Music programs are rapidly evaporating, and nobody is more alarmed about this than schoolteachers, a constituency that has already dedicated their lives to serving children," says Wish, a former elementary school teacher himself. "Little Kids Rock provides these teachers with the tools they need to do just that." The idea behind this organization is that all children are born composers and improvisers who can draw upon the materials and knowledge of their teachers. Not only does Little Kids Rock attempt to restore a creative outlet that was taken away from students, Wish says the 18

From left to right: Malick Fall, John Flora, Fatou Sane and Sabrina-Lee Ceballo

organization hopes to completely revitalize music education (and perhaps education in general) in our nation's public schools. "Little Kids Rock approaches music as if it were a language," he explains. "Infants learn to speak before they are formally introduced to the written language. Traditional music education often takes the opposite course. Instead of first teaching children to produce music on instruments through imitation and approximation, students are immediately taught how to read music before they can play. Little Kids Rock's approach allows kids to play and improvise within minutes of their first lesson. We also stress composition, because putting children in touch with their creative sides will help them develop academically and emotionally." The group's success can be partly chalked up to its ability to woo star power to the cause; Jade Adams' Montclair hook-up with Michael Franti was no lark. Little Kids Rock has received

support from a number of prominent rock stars, including Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Ziggy Marley and B.B. King. Fender Guitars provides instruments, the Dr. Phil Foundation has kicked in support, and a variety of other organizations have stepped up as well. The group, which Wish dubs "a grassroots, teacher-led educational movement," currently offers music lessons and instruments to nearly 75,000 K-12 students across the U.S., including over 2,000 in Jersey City. After launching its chapter here in April 2008 with help from a $20,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Little Kids Rock has grown to offer its curriculum in 19 schools all over the city. The program's teachers either create after-school programs built specifically around Little Kids Rock, or try to weave the ideas into existing curricula. "I had been introduced to David Wish at a jazz club and thought his ideas had merit and could be applied to the urban school districts around

the country," says music teacher Carl Botti of Downtown's Middle School 4. "I especially liked the ‘famous’ sponsors associated with Little Kids Rock, providing a 'realness' to pop/ rock music instruction. Plus the addition of many instruments made it all possible." Botti is a keyboard teacher who teaches in a 16-instrument lab as part of the general music requirement to graduate middle school; he also oversees a "Little Kids Rock" band featuring keyboards, guitars and vocals. Yet as any parent will tell you, Jersey City is faced with more than its fair share of challenges when it comes to the general student population. John Flora, who teaches music at Middle School 7 in the Heights, has tried to integrate what he's learned during Little Kids Rock into his regular classes, but has had difficulties teaching the principles to the general population of his school. The main reasons, he says, are lack of parental support, behavioral problems and class size. He team-teaches the district's 19


general music class, which leans heavily on theory and history as well as listening and ear training, yet at times there are up to 55 students in a class. "It's a discipline nightmare if we don't crack the whip as soon as they come in the room," Flora says. "So to take the time to give out the instruments, tune them and then collect them at the end of class doesn't really give you much time. We try to integrate it more with certain classes that we think can handle it and it works to a degree, but not a hundred percent." Students who want to join the Little Kids Rock program must go through an audition process. They are accepted on the basis of commitment to the program, and if they have a musical background (though the latter is not required).

a guitar offers a lot of forgiveness when it's a song by Katy Perry or a song by the Allman Brothers," he explains. "All of a sudden it stops being an ethnic thing: They have something in their hand and they are doing something right now. They learn an A chord and suddenly they are playing along to a CD." Flora and his students practice what they call "Derockracy." They name the band together. They agree on the songs they want to learn, practicing a brand of give and take that will serve the students if they end up being in another band or some other group activity. One recent success can be found on YouTube. It's not quite up to the standards of Jade Adams, but it's nonetheless an inspiring version of the Guns N' Roses hit "Sweet

The Middle School 7 students at an after-school rehearsal

Flora is currently working with 20 students, but the total for the year is 35. Parents have to sign off on a series of permission slips that cover what's expected of kids, including praticing after school at least once a week. Little Kids Rock also shows how music can transcend cultures and languages in the ethnically diverse Jersey City public schools, although questions do arise: What kind of connection do children of Dominican immigrants have to country music? Who is Elvis? Why do they have to learn some old song their parents like? Flora had his doubts early on, but he's been converted. "In half the cases you have students who are so kinesthetically moved to touch something [or] hit something that strumming 20

Child o' Mine" by a group of students with ethnicities ranging from African-American to Egyptian to Puerto Rican to Dominican. "I showed them the video for the song and explained that Slash was a benefactor to Little Kids Rock who visited schools in California," Flora recalls. "When I played the riff they thought it was cool, but they thought it was their parents' music. But once they got the assignment of learning the riffs, the chords and the lyrics (and how to imitate Axl Rose and his stage moves) it became a whole different thing. I had 20 kids committed to Guns N' Roses." With role models like Michael Franti, Bootsy Collins (who recently stopped by Flora's class) or pop stars like Ciara and Colbie Caillat (who have attended area events) to inspire

the kids, the days of piano lessons from the little old lady down the block or learning "Puff the Magic Dragon" on acoustic guitar from the "cool" music teacher in school are long gone. Instead, it's hands on and star-studded. One thing that doesn't change is that music is an avenue for learning. Learning how to play an instrument is part of it. Learning how to work together is part of it. Even learning how to learn is part of it. While it obviously won't work for everyone, the approach certainly opens doors for those willing to give music a chance. "Kids are performing and learning music while staying focused on their studies in other areas of academia," School 4's Botti points out with pride. "Self-confidence, self-esteem and personal pride is developed in the children as the year progresses – students are speaking more effectively and becoming leaders among their peers."

JERSEY CITY’S LITTLE KIDS ROCK SCHOOLS Academy 1 Middle School Alexander D. Sullivan School (Public School 30) Alfred E. Zampella School (Public School 27) Chaplain Charles Watters School (Public School 24) Dr. Michael Conti School (Public School 5) Ezra L. Nolan School (Middle School 40) Frank R. Conwell School (Middle School 4) Franklin Williams Middle School (Middle School 7) Gladys Nunery School (Public School 29) Joseph H. Brensinger School (Public School 17) James F. Murray School (Public School 38) James J. Ferris High School Jotham W. Wakeman School (Public School 6) Julia A. Barnes School (Public School 12) Liberty High School Martin Luther King, Jr. School (Public School 11) Rafael de J. Cordero School (Public School 37) Ronald E. McNair Academic High School Whitney M. Young, Jr. School (Public School 15) 21


From Waterbugs to Tang Soo Do: The Past, Present, and Future of

143 Columbus

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Weiss PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Steve Gold


When Paul Del Forno and Larry Perlaski bought the building at

143

Columbus Drive with partners in 1985, it was full of sewing machines. The late-1800s four-story brick building was a furniture warehouse in the days when trains, not cars, passed by on elevated tracks (giving the thoroughfare its earlier name of Railroad Avenue). Then furniture made way for clothing; seamstresses once worked long hours there, and an "operators wanted" sign still hangs by the front door. "Jazzy City Dance & Fitness," another, newer sign, is a remnant of the building's next chapter, when it was mixed-use, housing work spaces and small businesses like Jazzy City. But the era that put 143 Columbus on the map in the city's arts scene began when Lex Leonard and two friends from the local arts community rented space there in 2003. They had the fourth floor, a walk-up with an open layout, big windows and high ceilings – around 1,500 square feet to do whatever in for less than $2,000 a month. Newly single and in his early 30s, Leonard had been trying to decide whether to start focusing on work or head in a more "interesting, bohemian" direction. He chose interesting. Before long, he had invited a cadre of Native American craftsmen to join them. The seven men arrived late one night, trudging up the four flights of stairs in flannel shirts and cowboy hats. Leonard built tables with wood he'd scrounged from 111 First

24

Street, and the men sat at them to paint and make jewelry. The 10 guys often ate meals together, trading stories and drinking beer. "That was the beginning," says Leonard, who moved last year from Jersey City to the West Village. "That was a prophetic period, a flash of what the rest of 143's history was to be." Leonard and his friends formed the Waterbug Hotel, a collective named after a bug that would appear from time to time, usually in the kitchen doorway. The first big event took place during the 2003 Artists Studio Tour, and the next seven years brought art, performances, booze and intrigue with a rotating cast of characters. There were bands, gallery shows, workshops, outdoor festivals, parties and a weekly poetry open mic that ran for four years. Eight or nine guys would share the fourth floor at any given time, though the group grew as big as a dozen. It was like a fraternity. They hung tapestries on the walls and affixed sheets to the ceiling to divide the space. Leonard, a carpenter by hobby, built walls, a stage, a DJ booth and a bar. Poet and writer Aaron Middlepoet Jackson spent almost a year there in '03/'04 and hosted the weekly open mic, which after its first year moved a few blocks away to Rolon's Keyhole Bar. He met his wife, Jan Tompkins (aka DJ Lady Jay) at one of the numerous parties, which often included a live performance element, like a Middle Eastern dancer or percussionist, and usually lasted all night. "It was a combination of real creativeenergy people who were trying to find their way and kooky, crazy, freaky people, and it was the perfect blend at the right time," Jackson says. "I told people we had a loft with eight people and we did poetry readings and naked art classes in our living room – and that's really what went on." Over the years, Leonard expanded his influence over the building, bringing in new tenants as renters on the lower floors moved out. He collected money for Del Forno Real Estate, and says he had an open-door policy: You could be in your 20s or your 60s, and it didn't matter where you were from.

The old days of 143 (clockwise from above): a crowd gathers outside the Waterbug Hotel, an artist studio, and Lex Leonard (at right) with friend and tenant Alex Brown. (photos provided by Lex Leonard)

"I wanted to create this bohemian enclave, and whatever you can imagine happens in those scenarios, that's kind of what happened," Leonard says. "There were these orgiastic events going on – a lot of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll would be the metaphorical way to describe it. I compared it to Andy Warhol's Factory, but without the fame, without the money, and to some of my critics, without the culture." He started the Laissez-Faire Society, a private social club whose late-night parties attracted a diverse group, from artists and musicians to local politicians and members of law enforcement, even reputed gang members. What made it interesting also made it chaotic at times, says Chelo Mercado, who now runs the Grassroots Community Space on Coles Street, an organization Leonard also helped launch. "I liked that kind of free-for-all, liberated feeling, that on any given night you were going to walk into a mixed bag of fun," Mercado says. "Regardless of how mixed-up it may have looked at the end of the night, it was always something to do. It was a beacon, a source for just all-out good times." The bohemian party vibe at 143 would soon be accompanied by a slightly more professional one, as Leonard opened his eponymous Lex Leonard Gallery on the building’s second floor. Its inaugural show, during the 2006 Studio

Tour, included photography and graphic design by John Palmer, Lego sculpture by Eric Sophie, paintings by Carla Criqui, Miguel Hernandez and Maria Rubio, and sculpture by Nyugen Smith. Smith, who became an important curator at the gallery, Palmer and several other artists also had studios there. For a time, the third floor became the gallery's annex, another host to regular art events. The next year saw the launch of Toy Eaters Studio, described at the time as "an adaptable multi-purpose event space," and founded by musician and actress Christian Ahlgren-Williams along with musicians James Black and Chris Brooks. Black had been a part of what he calls the "artist flophouse" on 143's fourth floor, and was the host, after Jackson, of the Waterbug open mic. "We were talking about how there's so much art going on in Jersey City and not really a good venue for artists and bands to perform," says AhlgrenWilliams. "There are some places bands can play, but we wanted to add another venue for those kinds of performances and the arts in general." With Leonard's blessing, they took over the first floor. They hosted two solo shows by Thomas John Carlson, now director of the Jersey City Art School, plus a group show Carlson curated called People Places Things with work by artists from across the river. Long before Barcade, they 25


rented a dozen vintage video games and invited people over to play them. They hosted cultural events of all stripes: Melissa Surach's BabyHole comedy night, late-night parties, the Home Field Advantage experimental jazz series, movie nights, and performances by local and touring bands like Lebanon, Shellshag, the Casualties, the Meltdowns and Water Under Water. "We made that building loud," says Black. The authorities noticed. Facing complaints for noise, potential fire hazards and an unlicensed bar, and feeling for other reasons that it was time to go, the group left town suddenly in 2008. Meanwhile, the building continued to pulse under Leonard. One of the last big parties was a fundraiser for Haiti soon after the January 2010 earthquake. Singers, DJs and breakdancers performed and nearly $2,000 was raised for Wyclef Jean's YĂŠle Haiti foundation. That was the same year Leonard decided to leave, citing disagreements with tenants and money issues as the main reasons. He moved to Manhattan, launched a new art collective called L'Orange Carpet and got a public relations job with the Boy Scouts. It was finally time to try that other path. happen during daylight hours. Where Toy

Today, many of the events at

143 Columbus

Eaters once hosted parties, percussionist Pat Catino opened JC Studios, a sleek new rehearsal space for bands. Local acts Devi, Hoodless, and Jimmy Lopez's World

26

Sound Traveler are among its regulars. Catino decided to launch his business after leaving a full-time job; he lived Downtown but would go to Manhattan to practice, and felt the neighborhood needed a music studio. With Mercado, he also runs Downtown Live, an organization that works to bring music, arts and fitness programs to the building. In mid-April, the space played host to the latest show in the multidisciplinary performance series Art in Motion, which featured dance, music, visual arts and poetry; about a month later, it hosted the finals of the weekly slam poetry competition JC Slam. "We have a chance to make a strong impression on the arts scene here," says Catino. Rich Ahlers started his Tang Soo Do Academy through Downtown Live, teaching the Korean martial art three nights a week on the second floor of 143. This is Ahlers' first studio, and on class nights, the space resounds with his shouts in Korean as his students practice their defensive stances and swift high kicks. "I'd rather be a part of something than spending $5,000 on a storefront," Ahlers says. Keyboardist Bill Donohue rents rehearsal and recording space in the building's basement. And on the fourth floor, the new web-based business Soar Nation sells concert tickets, albums and clothing, with a cut of the profits going to the customer's choice of several charities – to prove that it's possible to practice consumerism while also helping people, says co-owner Yan Akaev. Akaev moved to the Heights recently from California, where he ran an artist collective with friends, and says the arts community was the biggest draw of Jersey City. When he tells people he's at 143, they usually know of the building and its lore. "I've heard stories about crazy four-story parties," he says. He and friends fixed up the space, installing new wood floors and building new walls to create separate offices. As of April, the walls were mostly blank white except for a splashy graffiti tag by an artist from Sacramento. Akaev, who doesn't do blank walls, says soon the whole place will be covered; when our photographer stopped by in May, he had begun

Some current tenants at 143 (clockwise from above): Rich Ahlers of Tang Soo Do Academy (at right in photo), Pat Catino of JC Studios and Yan Akaev of Soar Nation.

to make slow progress towards that goal. Mercado misses the fun late nights of 143's past, but sees benefits to a calmer scene moving forward. "We're still welcoming all different types of artistic outlets," Mercado says. "We're open to collaborating with the right groups and helping their idea or endeavor to grow. The future has yet to be written." That future could bring big changes. Del Forno says his company has approvals to build a mixed-use building on the parking lot next door with almost 60 condos or apartments. If that moves forward, 143 Columbus could be converted to residential loft or office space, he says. Del Forno, who is also trying to redevelop other parts of that block, says the project will not happen immediately because of the economy. Del Forno says he regrets that strict construction and zoning rules prevent artists from convening in huge, affordable spaces more often.

"It's basically killing the artist community," he says. "Artists have the choice of condos or houses," the prices of many of which have risen beyond their reach. "All the places to live and work are disappearing." Del Forno has two buildings now where he says he would love to have a group of artists pool their money and rent workspace. One is the colossal red brick building at 190 Columbus, where last year's 4th Street Arts Mac & Cheese fundraiser was held, and the other is a 141-year-old church a block-and-ahalf from Hamilton Park on Pavonia Avenue. Leonard himself was eyeing a building similar to 143 in Chelsea, envisioning a new gallery and art cooperative. The rent was three times what he was paying in Jersey City and while he tried to get a group of artists together, he couldn't make it work. "143 is a great institution. That was a great place," says Leonard. "Maybe it will happen again, maybe not."

27


JERSEY CITY

Washington Park

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1. Abbey's Pub & Grill p. 34 2. Another Man's Treasure p. 38 3. Art House Productions p. 42 4. Barcade p. 6 Liberty State Parkp. 48 5. Bigdrum Art & Framing 6. Bubby's Burritos p. 32 7. Comprehensive Spine Institute p. 4 8. DEEN p. 38 9. Downtown Coop p. 36 10. The Embankment p. 34 11. Gallerie Hudson p. 41 12. Grace Church Van Vorst p. 43 13. Groomingdales Pet Salon p. 46 14. Groove on Grove p. 4 15. Grove Street Bicycles p. 6 16. Grove Street Farmers Market p. 6 17. Gull's Cove p. 1 18. Hamilton Health & Fitness p. 44 19. The Hamilton Inn p. 31 20. Hamilton Square Back Cover 21. Hard Grove Cafe p. 32 22. Hound About Town p. 36 23. Hudson Pride Connections Center p. 45 24. Iris Records p. 48 25. The Iron Monkey p. 35 26. Jersey City Art School p. 48 27. Jersey City Tattoo Co. p. 46 28. Jersey Wine & Spirits p. 37 29. Kanibal Home p. 46

25

HBLR

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30. The Kennedy Dancers HBLR 31. LITM 32. Madame Claude Wine 33. Maritime Parc 34. Next Step Broadway 35. Park & Sixth Comfort Food 36. Port-O Lounge 37. Project Pilates 38. Rising Tide Capital 39. Riverview Neighborhood Assoc. 40. Shampoo JC Hair Salon 41. Skinner's Loft 42. Smith & Chang General Goods 43. SunMoon Yoga 44. Tonal Art Music Center 45. Uptown Crew 46. Vespa Jersey City 47. The Warehouse Cafe 48. Washington Park Association

p. 48 p. 34 p. 37 p. 30 p. 45 p. 36 p. 30 p. 44 p. 46 p. 6 p. 40 p. 33 p. 40 p. 47 p. 48 p. 48 p. 39 p. 46 p. 4

OFF THE MAP JC Fridays JC Lofts JCF Boot Camp Magic Cleaning Service Pinch-Hitter Qi for Wellness Show Me Your Faces Super ImpaCt boot Kamp

p. 42 Inside Cover p. 45 p. 47 p. 47 p. 47 p. 47 p. 47 29


JERSEY CITY GUIDE

SUMMER 2011

MARITIME PARC 84 AUDREY ZAPP DRIVE JERSEY CITY 07305 T 201 413 0050 maritimeparc.com Maritime Parc captures the spirit of the sea, featuring an outdoor stone patio where food, drink, and the company of friends and family can be savored in the open air; a year-round indoor dining room where accessible yet sophisticated cuisine is served by an attentive staff; and an event hall perfect for any celebration. The restaurant revitalizes the tradition of the great seaside restaurants of yesteryear for the modern diner, adding a signature spectacle: expansive views of the Hudson River and lower Manhattan that frame the scene.

PORT-O LOUNGE

THE HAMILTON INN

286 1ST STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 420 9550 portolounge.com

708 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 839 5818 F 201 839 5804 hamiltoninnjc.com

Port-O Lounge brings the essence of Portuguese cuisine and the elegance of port wine to Downtown Jersey City. Port-O offers an array of tapas, selected wines, and refreshing sangrias, served in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. At nightfall Port-O turns into a hip lounge complemented by great cocktails, stylish ambiance and the sound of euro beats. In the warmer season, guests can enjoy outdoor dining under the shade of a graceful tree.

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The Hamilton Inn is one of the newest additions to the quickly growing Hamilton Park community. This well-rounded spot is perfect for indoor and outdoor dining for lunch, dinner with friends, hanging out at the bar or visiting for a not-to-miss brunch experience. The Hamilton Inn brunch features $4 cocktails, chilled out DJs and a menu that includes everything from a classic Inn Burger to the innovative fusilli bolognese with braised beef, veal and pork with crème fraiche. There is even a distinct spin on sandwich, pizza, pasta and salad options, and a tasty kids' menu. Raw bar fanatics take note: The Hamilton Inn serves up fresh Kumamoto and Blue Point oysters and clams on a half shell. To accompany your delicious food, there is an affordable wine list with 35 choices available by the glass, half bottle and bottle; as well as delicious cocktails and a great beer selection. Special nights include Taco Tuesdays, an Endless Happy Hour on Thursdays and Late Night Dive Bar specials on Fridays and Saturdays.

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JERSEY CITY GUIDE

SUMMER 2011

HARD GROVE CAFE 319 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 451 1853 F 201 451 8964 hardgrovecafe.com Take one step inside this artsy Downtown restaurant and you’ll know that you’re in for an entertaining evening. Latin music and Cuban mojitos set the tone for a South Beach-like party atmosphere, while authentic Cuban food choices are available – from Hemingway churrasco steak to shrimp with garlic sauce to the classic Cuban shredded beef. The Hard Grove Cafe has expanded its menu to include vegetarian selections with a Latin emphasis, like vegetarian lemon salsa chicken. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, check out the all-you-can-eat Latin mango-pineapple BBQ chicken, ribs or pulled pork with prices starting at $9.99. The cafe offers brunch on weekends, and features selections like mixed berry pancakes, breakfast quesadillas and huevos rancheros – not to mention bottomless bloody marys and mimosas. Stop by the Hard Grove and enjoy a magnificent experience.

BUBBY’s BURRITOS

SKINNER’S LOFT

440 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 333 1550 or 201 333 7004 bubbysburritos.com

146 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 0600 skinnersloft.com

Bubby’s Burritos is a cozy Downtown CaliforniaMexican eatery which prides itself on providing fresh, natural, lard-free ingredients in all its dishes. Its homemade corn tamales, nachos, burritos, tacos and quesadillas are oil-free and never too hot or spicy, while its salsas, guacamole and chili are handmade fresh on a daily basis with onions, cilantro and natural ingredients. Bubby’s offers delivery throughout Jersey City and Hoboken.

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Skinner’s Loft is an elegant yet casual, upbeat bistro-style restaurant. It features an eclectic menu of deliciously seasoned small plates and entrees, as well as tried and true comfort food, like a juicy burger. There are extensive beer, wine and liquor lists to accommodate those seeking the usual as well as satisfy the adventurous. The handcrafted bar is adorned with a copper ceiling and antique Italian tiled floor, with the loft space upstairs housing a beautiful, but comfortable, dining room. In the summertime, Skinner’s Loft offers dining in the rooftop garden, serves specials daily, and features carefully made cocktails using fresh squeezed juices, house-made syrups, and house-infused liquors. Join us for lunch Tuesday through Friday, brunch on the weekends, and dinner until 11 every night.

PAID FOR BY OR IN PART BY THE NJ URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM

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JERSEY CITY GUIDE

SUMMER 2011

THE EMBANKMENT 234 10TH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 222 6115 theembankmentnj.com The Embankment Restaurant is a unique space for your next wedding or event. Its experienced team has a talent for making your day an unforgettable occasion for both you and your guests. The Embankment is equipped to handle many different types of events, and looks forward to helping you plan yours.

ABBEY'S PUB & GRILL 407 MONMOUTH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 963 3334 This neighborhood pub has an extensive bar and dinner menu, featuring its famous Portuguesestyle BBQ chicken and ribs. Stop in for happy hour from 4 to 7:30 pm Mondays through Fridays, and enjoy $4 martinis all night. For a nightcap, smoke a hookah while savoring an espresso or cappuccino, and a homemade dessert.

LITM

THE IRON MONKEY

140 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 536 5557 litm.com

99 GREENE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 435 5756 ironmonkey.com

Every day is new and exciting at LITM. The popular neighborhood destination is a restaurant, bar and an art & video gallery. Known for its creative and seasonal cocktails and its excellent American food (recently named "Best Mac + Cheese in Jersey City"), LITM also offers an extensive beer list. LITM hosts rotating and ongoing events, including monthly art exhibitions and film screenings by local and international artists.

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Welcome to the jungle. On the corner of York and Greene stands a six-foot-tall metal monkey with three identifiable words swinging below: The Iron Monkey. This Downtown Jersey City restaurant & bar offers an entertaining dining experience featuring an award-winning menu with 30 specialty drafts and over 300 bottled craft beers. Come and enjoy three levels of quality service including a downstairs bar, second-floor lounge and rooftop entertainment while overlooking the Jersey City waterfront. Open daily, the Monkey offers an array of seasonally inspired food and cocktail specials and has introduced a new weekend brunch menu. Exuding an enthusiastic, yet casual atmosphere, the Iron Monkey is anything but ordinary and all things extreme.

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JERSEY CITY GUIDE

SUMMER 2011

PARK & SIXTH COMFORT FOOD

JERSEY WINE & SPIRITS

364 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 918 6072 parkandsixth.com

492 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 763 5888 libertyharborwine.com

From its braised brisket sandwich and four different chicken salads to its homemade mozzarella, Park & Sixth has redefined the standard in comfortable food served quickly, affordably and hospitably. It's called comfort food for a reason – come find out why.

Jersey City's premier wine shop. Over 2,000 wines from around the world to choose from.  Wines for every budget, single-malt scotches, small-batch bourbons and a great selection of microbrews, corporate gift baskets, glassware and cheese. Great customer service. Delivery available. Stop by the store or shop online at libertyharborwine.com.

DOWNTOWN COOP 29 MCWILLIAMS PLACE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 855 6767 downtowncoop.com

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Downtown Coop is Jersey City's alternative grocery store specializing in a diverse selection of local, organic and sustainable foods. It strives to build a lasting relationship between local, independent producers of high quality food and the wonderful community that is Jersey City. Get Healthy, Get Local.

PAID FOR IN PART BY THE NJ URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM

HOUND ABOUT TOWN

MADAME CLAUDE WINE

218 MONTGOMERY STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 721 5532 houndabouttownjc.com

234 PAVONIA AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 386 9463 madameclaudewine.com

You live a stylish and progressive urban lifestyle – and your pet should too! At Hound About Town, convenience meets community, creating a healthy, eco-conscious and social experience for pets and people, with a focus on eco-friendly, locally made apparel and accessories, as well as a wealth of knowledge and choices for optimal, sustainable nutrition for your pet. Second location coming soon to Hamilton Square!

Alice Troietto and Mattias Gustafsson, who have delighted Jersey City for years with their authentic French bistro Madame Claude Cafe, welcome you to Madame Claude Wine. Come visit their new store at Hamilton Square, where they offer fine wine at a reasonable price, with helpful and personal service. They also offer a selection of liqueurs and beer, as well as gourmet sausages, pâtés, breads and cheeses. Check the website for wine tastings.

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JERSEY CITY GUIDE

SUMMER 2011

ANOTHER MAN’s TREASURE 353 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 860 9990 amtvintage.com Established in 2006, this Downtown shopping destination, dubbed a "knockout vintage boutique" by Time Out New York, continues to attract admirers from both sides of the Hudson and beyond. Traveling far and wide, the owners carefully hand-pick each item while striving to keep the racks affordable and fresh with hundreds of new items weekly. The shop is known for its array of wearable vintage fashions, accessories, shoes and jewelry for men and women from the 1900s to the 1980s. You’ll find seasonally appropriate styles, on-trend picks and designer duds that won’t break the bank, plus an intriguing mix of records, books and other vintage treasures. Open 7 days a week!

PAID FOR IN PART BY THE NJ URBAN ENTERPRISE ZONE PROGRAM

DEEN

VESPA JERSEY CITY

88 MORGAN STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 963 3336 shopdeen.com

247 10TH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 VESPA JC (837 7252) vespajc.com

DEEN is a lifestyle boutique located in the Powerhouse Arts District in Downtown Jersey City. Find trendy fashion, accessories and home decor from a unique mix of brands and local designers – all at affordable prices. Enjoy 10 percent off your purchase this summer at DEEN's new location in Trump Plaza when you bring this ad.

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Vespa riders quickly discover that even everyday travel becomes a memorable adventure. A daily commute into the city, a last-minute errand, a fast Saturday trip to the farmers market – suddenly you’ll look for reasons to twist the throttle and go. Wherever you choose to ride, you’ll get there with a minimum of fuel, a maximum of fun and plenty of storage space to bring your laptop or that gallon of organic milk. For every mile traveled on your fuel-efficient Vespa, you make a lasting contribution to conserving our nation’s energy resources, the environment and the mental health of congestion-weary fellow travelers. Vespa Jersey City is the only exclusive Vespa and Piaggio dealer in New Jersey. With factory certified service on site and UEZ certification, you can enjoy savings (only 3.5 percent sales tax on most items), convenience and fun. A beautiful boutique dealership in a historic building, Vespa Jersey City makes it worth the visit. 39


JERSEY CITY GUIDE

SUMMER 2011

SMITH & CHANG GENERAL GOODS 230 PAVONIA AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 420 0557 smithchang.com Smith & Chang General Goods in Hamilton Square is a one-stop shopping destination for everything essential in your home. Featuring kitchenware, furniture, lighting, hardware, personal accessory and bath products, the store melds both vintage and new to create an atmosphere stylish and easy to live with.

SHAMPOO JC HAIR SALON

GALLERIE HUDSON

107 CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS DRIVE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 395 0045 shampoojc.com

197 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 434 1010

By way of NYCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lower East Side, Harley DiNardo of Shampoo Avenue B has opened up shop in Downtown Jersey City. "We want clients to feel as comfortable about getting their hair done here in Jersey City as they would in a hip Manhattan salon."

Gallerie Hudson goes beyond just ordinary framing. In addition to creating award-winning designs, they offer conservation and restoration services and expert advice on how to properly preserve and showcase your art. Also featured in the gallery are original works of art by local artists and artists from around the world. They have thousands of choices in frames, from handcrafted Italian mouldings to contemporary American hardwoods. Whether you need to frame a family photograph or a Picasso original, Gallerie Hudson is the place to go. They are fully insured and guarantee the quality of their workmanship. So drop by for a friendly, professional design consultation or peruse their collection of original art. Store hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 am-7 pm and Saturday 10 am-6 pm. (Member of the American Professional Picture Framers Association.)

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JERSEY CITY GUIDE

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ART HOUSE PRODUCTIONS 1 MCWILLIAMS PLACE | 6TH FLOOR JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 9911 arthouseproductions.org For a decade, Art House Productions has been a pioneering force in the Jersey City arts movement. Producing a wide range of events, Art House provides opportunities for new art and artists, and fosters a widespread appreciation for the arts in our community. From original, multimedia plays to gallery exhibitions and the popular JC Fridays festival, Art House reminds you that “home is where the ART is!”

Photo by Tatsuro Nishimura

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JC FRIDAYS

GRACE CHURCH VAN VORST

CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 915 9911 jcfridays.com

39 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 659 2211 gracevanvorst.org

Art House Productions presents JC Fridays, a quarterly festival held throughout Jersey City at the start of every season. Local businesses and arts organizations join together to celebrate art and culture with a wide range of free events for the public. Programs include art openings and exhibits, music, dance, theater, poetry, film/video screenings and more. Next dates: June 3 and September 9.

A vibrant, progressive Episcopal church located in downtown Jersey City, Grace Church Van Vorst has been serving the community since 1847. GCVV is a leader in innovative arts and social justice programs that reach out to those who are seeking a deeper connection to God and neighbor. The Grace Senior Center for Healthy Living and the Breakfast Plus! Program provide activities, support and food for hundreds of our most needy. 2011 marks the 22nd year of its annual Cathedral Arts Festival, the longest running celebration of the visual arts in Hudson County. And of course, there are worship services in the beautiful sanctuary every Sunday. All are welcome to join a traditional service at 9:15 am or a contemporary worship (with child care) at 11 am. Be sure to check the website often for upcoming events. There’s always something happening at Grace Church Van Vorst.

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SUMMER 2011

JERSEY CITY GUIDE

HAMILTON HEALTH & FITNESS

JCF BOOT CAMP

161 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 714 7600 hamiltonhealthfitness.com

CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 484 7848 jcfbootcamp.com

Located inside Hamilton Square, Hamilton Health & Fitness combines the latest innovations with a spa-like setting. Taking its cue from the natural beauty of historic Hamilton Park, HHF is light, airy, green and natural. Large thermal windows flood the space with light, while natural stone and wood finishes accompany the most advanced cardio and weight-training equipment. In addition to an innovative, cutting-edge nutrition program, integrated amenities complete the experience for body and mind. HHF features an indoor lap pool, sauna and steam rooms, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room, group fitness classes and a fully equipped Pilates studio directed by Project Pilates. Group fitness classes include Pilates mat/tower/reformer, Zumba, indoor cycling, intenSati, boot camp, kettlebell, yoga, water workout and learn to swim classes. HHF offers the most holistic health and fitness experience in Jersey City.

Daris Wilson started JCF Boot Camp in 2008 to give women an effective alternative to pricey personal training sessions and traditional gym settings, where the bulky equipment can be intimidating. The four-week program for women of all ages and fitness levels is designed to challenge your fitness level.

NEXT STEP BROADWAY 233 9TH STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 706 3025 nextstepbroadway.com Former Radio City Rockette Amy Burnette is the proud owner of Next Step Broadway. Sign up today for classes and Musical Theatre Summer Camp. Amy and her professional staff offer ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, hip-hop, voice and acting classes for all ages and levels. Check the website for fall registration dates.

PROJECT PILATES 161 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 HEALTHY (432 5849) projectpilates.com Pilates is great for muscle stamina, strength, flexibility, mental clarity, health, wellness and awareness. Project Pilates offers a variety of classes to fit any budget including private and semi-private sessions, group tower, group reformer, and group mat classes. The studio specializes in pre-/post-natal Pilates and injury prevention & recovery. Located inside Hamilton Health & Fitness, Project Pilates gives you the most complete Pilates experience in New Jersey.

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SPRING IS HERE! Remove, Eliminate, Delete with

MARKETPLACE

PINCH-HITTER

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Professional Organizer & Personal Assistant

TO ADVERTISE IN THIS AREA PLEASE EMAIL: checht@jerseycityindependent.com

It’s time to remove that unwanted ... It’s time to eliminate those old ... It’s time to delete those accumulated ... JERSEY CITY TATTOO CO. The best place in Jersey City for custom tattoos. Open 7 days a week; walk-ins welcome. 201 360 0139 | 253 Newark Ave. | jerseycitytattoo.com

RISING TIDE CAPITAL Providing entrepreneurs with the skills, tools and information they need to start and grow successful businesses. 201 432 4316 | risingtidecapital.org

KANIBAL HOME Offering a range of refurbished furniture, found objects, vintage dishware and plenty of new home goods, apparel and gift items. 551 200 9386 | kanibalhome.com

GROOMINGDALES PET SALON Professional, courteous pet styling with comfort as the first priority. Only all-natural products used in a stress-free environment. 201 659 5559 | 351 2nd St.

THE WAREHOUSE CAFE Come get plugged in and restored at The Warehouse. 201 420 8882 | 140 Bay St. | thewarehousejc.com

Sign up for Summer Classes Today!

PINCH-HITTER If you don't have the time to do it, Pinch-Hitter will do it for you. Hours of availability: 6 am - 9 pm daily. 201 618 0278 | pinch-hitter.com

SUPER IMPACT BOOT KAMP In Liberty State Park & Lincoln Park. Mon-Fri 5:45 am7:45 am & 7 pm - 8 pm. Sat 10 am - 12:30 pm. 201 716 1542 | superimpactbootkamp.com

SHOW ME YOUR FACES Actors and other performers go to John Crittenden's studio in Jersey City Heights for portraits & headshots that bring success. showmeyourfaces@yahoo.com

SUNMOON YOGA Offering hot yoga, vinyasa and restorative classes. Take a class and get your second one free. 201 963 7999 | 413 Monmouth St. | sunmoonyoganj.com

QI FOR WELLNESS WITH JANINE BERGER-GILLET Certified Wu Ming Qigong instructor of the Dragon’s Way & Wu Ming Qigong for Breast Health. For more information and a class schedule: qiforwellness.com

MAGIC CLEANING SERVICE LLC $15 off when you mention this ad! Call 201 963 1147 or email info@magiccleaningservicellc.com to book an appointment. magiccleaningservicellc.com


Uptown Crew a NJ Nonprofit Corporation

Spotlighting the

people, places and history of the Upper and Outer reaches of Jersey City  Community and Commerce   History and Culture   Arts and Entertainment 

THE CREW IS YOU.

Custom Framing Celebrating 18 Years in Business

Open 7 Days a Week in Jersey City’s Powerhouse Arts District

UptownCrew.org facebook.com/TheUptownCrew UPTOWN CREW Presenting an open mic on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays of each month, readings and theatrical productions, and a teen program. 917 536 2682 | uptowncrew.org

BIGDRUM ART & FRAMING Whether the job is big or small, Bigdrum prides itself on quality workmanship and attention to detail. 201 418 8771 | 127 1st St. | bigdrumart.com

Personalized lessons for guitar, piano, flute, and voice All teachers hold masters in music. 84 Wayne Street, Jersey City

TonalArtMusic.com JERSEY CITY ART SCHOOL Courses include painting, sculpture, jewelry making, writing & digital photography. Weekly: Figure Drawing (Wed.) & Sunday night Film Forum. jcartschool.com

973-665-2051

TONAL ART MUSIC CENTER Personalized music lessons for guitar, piano, flute or voice. At 84 Wayne Street near the Grove Street PATH. 973 665 2051 | tonalartmusic.com Diane Dragone, Director Beginner thru Professional Kennedy Dancers Repertory Co. & Inner City Youth Jr. Dance Co.

A Non Profit Corp. Since 1976. 79 Central Ave Jersey City, NJ 07306 (201)- 659-2190 www.kennedydancers.org kennedydancers@aol.com

Teen Scholarship Pre-Professional Program

SUMMER DANCE CAMP FULL OR PART-TIME AGES 5-14 JULY 5 TO AUGUST 12 SUMMER DAY AND EVENING DANCE CLASSES FOR AGES 3 TO SENIOR CITIZENS

IRIS RECORDS LPs/CDs with new arrivals weekly. We buy collections! Hours: Thurs/Fri 3-8 pm; Sat/Sun 12-6 pm. 609 468 0885 | 114 Brunswick St. | recordriots.com

THE KENNEDY DANCERS Classes for children & adults, from beginner to professional. Get $20 off if you mention this ad. 201 659 2190 | 79 Central Ave. | kennedydancers.org Diane Dragone, Director A Non Profit Corp. Since 1976. 79 Central Ave



NEW Magazine: Summer 2011