I QUIT SM KING at Jersey City Medical Center
The I Quit Smoking at Jersey City Medical Center program combines the power of pharmacology, counseling and medical testing. Using a one-to-one customized approach, the science-based treatments minimize your tobacco withdrawal symptoms to maximize your chance of successfully quitting. As featured on the Today Show and other national and local television programs, I Quit Smoking ensures the highest quit rates, over 15 times the national average. The program features an intense assessment of each patient’s tobacco addiction and a look at why treatment has proven ineffective in the past. Medication and counseling help the individual to conquer both the physical and psychological dependence to tobacco addiction.
A proven and successful way to get people to stop smoking forever. Medical Team: Victor Marchione, M.D., is the Medical Director of the program. Board certified in pulmonary and internal medicine, Dr. Marchione has been involved in smoking cessation programs since 1999 and often speaks and appears on television as an expert in this area. Matthew Bars, a board certified tobacco treatment specialist, has been engaged in the treatment, management and administration of nicotine addiction programs since 1980. He has been Director of the New York City Fire Department’s Tobacco Treatment Program since 2001. Since then, smoking in the FDNY has been reduced by 70 percent.
1-800-45-SM KE 1-800-457- 6053 www.libertyhealth.org
A Primary Teaching Affiliate of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and your Quality Regional Healthcare Provider The only hospital in Hudson, Essex, and Union counties to be recognized with the prestigious Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence! 2010 & 2011 #1 Overall NJ Hospital by the Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.’s Survey of NJ Doctors (among hospitals of similar size).
CONTRIBUTORS & STAFF SHARON ADARLO is an artist, writer and power tool maven living in Newark. But she loves going to Jersey City to get her fix of Filipino sweets. She used to cover crime for the Star-Ledger and now hustles as a freelance reporter, mostly for Patch, and does private art commissions. 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 young son and future first assistant, Jalen. joshdehonney.com MARK DYE is an independent photojournalist who has loved living and working in Jersey City for the past six years. Originally from Buffalo, he has been embedded in Baghdad, and covered the earthquake in Haiti, big events and everyday life in America for publications like the Star-Ledger, Reuters and others. markdyephoto.com BRENDAN CARROLL is a writer, visual artist and curator based in Astoria who regularly covers the arts for Jersey City Independent and Hyperallergic. He's also the cofounder of the Agitators Collective. brendanscottcarroll.com 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 CHRISTOPHER LANE is based in Jersey City and specializes in documentary and portrait photography. He works on a regular basis for major publications and enjoys spending time in Jersey City with his wife Jasmine and son Morris and daughter Savannah. christopherlane.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
NEW PUBLISHER Jon Whiten EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennifer Weiss ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Catherine Hecht ASSOCIATE EDITOR Shane Smith ART DIRECTOR Chuck Kerr STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Steve Gold GUIDE PHOTOGRAPHER Beth Achenbach COPY EDITOR Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg COVER IMAGE Nyugen E. Smith MAP DESIGNER Jaden Rogers/FinePointDesigns.net 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. 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. We belong to the New Jersey Press Association, Online News Association, New Jersey Hyperlocal News Association and Authentically Local. CONTACT US general firstname.lastname@example.org to advertise email@example.com WeAreNew.com JerseyCityIndependent.com Twitter.com/JCIndependent Facebook.com/JerseyCityIndependent
DIA SQU ARE
Y O E B L AZA L L HOL TUNNE L OURNAL HI O HAMILTON 26 T T Q UA HE P
E W N PLACE OR
From a 12-by-12 parlor room, Downtown
the third of an ongoing series, we look
gallery Curious Matter offers its own
at the past, present and future of the
spin on art exhibiting.
NEWS BY THE NUMBERS
THE ART IS
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Jersey City is a city of neighborhoods. In
Powerhouse Arts District.
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BOR HOME IS WHERE
I N U M
N D L
VOR E ST VE ARK CHAN GE P HAR AUL TY
SQ UA RE
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CON R S ER
FA -L BE Y C A ERNG O M W LI ES BE P T
AR ON S J IN
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JERSEY CITY MAP
10 RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
26 MANILA ON THE HUDSON 36 LIVING GUIDE
salsa, hot sauce, kombucha or beef
Cuisine for Dummies, and Walking and
jerky, these entrepreneurs are adding
Eating in Little Manila.
Whether they're making natural drinks,
flavor to Jersey City.
Filipino business, food and culture
flourishes in Jersey City. PLUS: Filipino
52 MARKETPLACE E
ON THE COVER T
he winner of our cover contest, Nyugen E. Smith, created this drawing to commemorate the proclamation of 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. The proclamation comes a year after the 50th anniversary of the independence of 17 African nations from European colonial rule (1960). Smith was inspired by the large African population in his community near St. Peter's College and in all of Journal Square â€“ Egyptians, Senegalese and other Africans or Americans of African descent whose food, music, art, businesses and celebrations add a vibrance to their neighborhoods. "Considering that we have a sizable African population living here in Jersey City and contributing to Jersey City's wonderful cultural fabric, yet [they] often go unnoticed and unrecognized, I wanted to thank them and salute them," he says. Smith, who was born in Jersey City, draws heavily on his West Indian heritage in his sculpture, installation, video and performance art. Growing up in Trinidad, he says he was "profoundly influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the residue of British colonial rule" he found on the island. He teaches art at St. Peter's Prep, and has been a visiting artist and guest panelist at Studio Museum Harlem, Pratt Institute, University of MassachusettsAmherst, Cooper Union and Seton Hall University.
Want to be on our next cover? Visit jerseycityindependent.com/covercontest He will be one of three artists featured this spring in Distinct Ethnic Magical Tales (the location is to be determined). Every Monday leading up to the opening, a new video will be released on the website 40owls.com. Smith says he feels a sense of pride when he interacts with Africans in his community, especially when he sees people wearing traditional garb. "I just feel a sense of pride thinking about my ancestry," he says. "It makes me want to be a part of it, whether it's asking them about it or having the urge to ask to be a part of whatever they're doing."
NEWS BY THE NUMBERS 17.8
$55,481 4,102 Total amount spent by
The highest vote tally
Jersey City's 121,589
winning City Council
for a single candidate
it took before Hudson
registered voters who
County Clerk Barbara
The percentage of
voted in November's state Richardson and Rolando legislative and special
Lavarro, as of 11 days
City Council election
before the election
The percentage who
the discovery of two misplaced voting
vote-getter Lavarro from
voted in the November
cast for those two
The amount those
Number of public protests (organized by
The number of votes not
Lavarro) that spoke out
cast in the election by
against the delay
The percentage who voted candidates spent per vote so-called "bullet voters," in the November 2008
the results following
separating second-place first runner-up Suzanne
Netchert could certify
The number of votes
Total number of votes
The number of days
who voted for just one of the two open seats
Number of votes found on the cartridges
P VPILAL HRAK
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V A N L IB ER
WRITTEN BY: Jon Whiten and Matt Hunger ILLUSTRATION BY: Matthew Ward PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Shane Smith
ER TY 6
land. The area ended up attracting a number of artists, drawn as usual to huge lofty spaces and dirt-cheap opportunities. The pulsing center of the PAD's late 20th century arts scene (and the entire city's arts scene) was the former Lorillard tobacco factory, at 111 1st Street. The cigarette-maker moved into the circa1866 building in the early 1870s and stayed there until about 1920; later the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company (makers of Camel and other brands) took up shop in the factory. But by the 1990s, the only cigarettes in 111 1st Street were those burning in the ashtrays of the artists who had set up shop (and, often, homes) there. The building, by then owned by real estate investor Lloyd Goldman, had become the arts capital of Jersey City, if not the entire state, housing about 120 artists, artisans and other tenants at its peak. The building became the focal point of the recently launched annual Artists Studio Tour, and was a place you could visit on any given day to connect to the city's creative community (perhaps before or after swinging by the now-defunct Uncle Joe's down the block to connect to the music scene). However, the community of artists that grew at 111 had the misfortune of being too early, too organic – and not profitable enough. The arts scene that blossomed quickly became part of the
he Powerhouse Arts District is part misnomer, part mystery and – for now – part missed opportunity. The neighborhood, usually just called the PAD, is a historic district chock full of sprawling warehouses that has long been seen as Jersey City's answer to Brooklyn's DUMBO. Yet nearly eight years after the bohemian art scene was forced out of the neighborhood, development has largely stalled and the PAD continues to feel like it is just a few crucial steps away from fulfilling the promise of its name and becoming the Jersey City neighborhood for the arts. The architectural origins of the PAD, which is located just blocks from the Hudson River, are inextricably linked to the old industrial waterfront. In Jersey City, as in Hoboken and other New Jersey riverfront burgs, the waterfront was a place for work, with huge factories dominating the rugged landscape. Among the more notable buildings were the headquarters of the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (better known simply as A&P), a Lorillard tobacco factory, a Manischewitz factory and several large warehouse buildings. The etymological origins of the PAD, however, are tied to what happened next. As the 20th century progressed, industry slowly left the waterfront area, leaving huge derelict buildings in what became an apocalyptic, bombed-out no man's
AG SIMUS POWERHOUSE E C E VOR E ARTS VE S T N D DISTRICT P ARK CHAN GE NTI HAR PAUL H D
marketing pitch of Jersey City; no longer was it just proximity to Manhattan, but also the "creative class" aspect of the city, that was driving rampant real estate investment. 111 1st Street fell victim to an environment it had unwittingly helped create, as the building's owner began what tenants usually described as a full-on war against them. Rents were raised, repairs were not made, fires were set, and after a lengthy and contentious political battle, the last artists left in 2005 and the building was torn down. The next fall, so-called "starchitecht" Rem Koolhaas accepted a commission from Goldman and his partners to build a 52-story tower at the site. The plans for the project, which was estimated to cost about $400 million at the time, called for 370 apartments or condos, 252 hotel rooms, 120 artist live/work spaces, a 719-car parking garage that would span six floors, and two levels of retail/ gallery space. But nearly five years since the unveiling of Koolhaas' design at the Jersey City Museum, 111 1st Street remains as fallow as it did in early 2006, littered with overgrown weeds and garbage.
111 1ST STREET AS ALLEGORY The story of 111 1st Street has achieved nearmythical status in Jersey City. It is about far more than a building – in many ways, it is about the entire district. Despite several successful smaller projects and the fact that several dozen working artists do keep studios in the neighborhood, most of the big-time and big-name development in the area has been stalled, as both the economy and the ongoing struggle over neighborhood definition slow the process down. Another landmark case study involves Toll Brothers, the self-described "nation's leading builder of luxury homes," and its plan to build three 30-story towers. The plan, which was first submitted in 2008, was just this fall finally given final site approvals by the city's Planning Board, after being the subject of ongoing legal battles. Toll says it hopes to break ground on the first of three construction phases this coming spring. The area's neighborhood group, the Powerhouse Arts District Neighborhood Association (PADNA), sued the city over the variances to the neighborhood's master plan that it granted Toll. PADNA was
WHILE YOU'RE THERE Despite the overall slow pace of development in the neighborhood, there are some thriving small businesses worth checking out in the PAD. • THE WAREHOUSE: This cafe, on the ground level of the former Leo Cooke Warehouse at 140 Bay Street, has served up coffee, food and an artsy vibe for more than two years. 140 Bay Street thewarehousejc.com • PARLAY STUDIOS: Parlay isn't exactly a business you can frequent every day, but when not being used for photography and film shoots, the company's massive ground-floor warehouse doubles as a host of community art events like the Studio Tour closing party, Steven Gritzan's Record Riot and, most recently, a fundraising concert featuring legendary hip-hop group Dead Prez. 161 2nd Street parlaystudios.com • BIGDRUM ART & FRAMING: The husbandand-wife team behind this framing shop used to run a store in Newport Centre mall, but decamped for the PAD in 2008. 127 1st Street bigdrumart.com • PILATES HAUS: This under-the-radar Pilates studio receives rave reviews from its customers, and offers a children's program, Kinder Haus, as well. 155 2nd Street pilateshaus.com • O'HARA'S DOWNTOWN: Formerly PJ Ryan's, this bar and restaurant sits at the edge of the PAD at 1st Street and Marin Boulevard. 172 1st Street oharasdowntown.com • POWERHOUSE LOUNGE: The newest addition to the PAD's bar/dining scene, the Powerhouse Lounge is a popular happy hour and weekend spot that includes a fantastic neighborhood mural by Thomas John Carlson on its south exterior wall. 360 Marin Boulevard powerhouselounge.com 7
foremost opposed to the extra height and density the city allowed in the project. Toll's development, like Koolhaas', includes some art-friendly components (the construction of a new, 550-seat theater and a public plaza, for example). But the tension remains between the new developer-friendly vision of PAD and the pioneers' grand plans for the arts district. As Jersey City's Planning Director Bob Cotter explains, the plans for the neighborhood have changed over time as external forces and pressures have come to bear. At first, he says, the city strove to keep the PAD a true arts enclave. “We zoned it for 100 percent live/work spaces to allow the artists there to remain,” Cotter says. But,
he says, the requirement undercut the developers’ profits and scared away economic growth. “Every time someone looked at doing a project there, even if they were friends of the arts, they couldn’t bank it,” he recalls. The city “kept watering [the requirements] down” until they reached a point that stipulated the new residential buildings had to provide the current ten percent space for artists, what he calls a “realistic” compromise. “[The] Powerhouse Arts District didn’t work out the way the dreamers dreamed it in the 1990s; we just couldn’t get anyone to bank anything,” Cotter says, before referring to current development plans like Toll's: “This is as good as we could get.”
THE NAMESAKE T
he structure that the PAD takes its name from sits just on the other side of Washington Street from the core of the neighborhood. Its future has had as many starts and stops, it seems, as much of the rest of the area, though Jersey City officials recently struck a deal that may help propel redevelopment of the grand 100-plus-year-old industrial structure. The Powerhouse opened in 1908 as the literal power source for the Hudson & Manhattan rail lines that went under the river from Jersey City to New York (the precursor to today's PATH train). It ceased to provide that function in 1929, and served mostly as a storage space for the railroads in the decades that followed. By the second half of the 20th century, the building was all but abandoned, and dilapidation set in. In the late 1990s, the Port Authority was talking about tearing it down (with the full-throated support of then-mayor Bret Schundler). But thanks to preservation activists like John Gomez, that never happened and instead, the Powerhouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The city and the Port Authority, along with several development companies, negotiated for the next decade about how to move forward on the site. While city officials envisioned (and still do) a mixed-use destination for art, culture and retail outlets, the fact that the Powerhouse was majority owned by the bi-state transit agency and minority owned by the city was complicating any development plans. But that all changed this fall, when Jersey City and the Port Authority approved a land-swap deal that gives the city full ownership of the Powerhouse after five years of negotiations. The city can now move forward with Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, the designated developer of the site. Cordish redeveloped a similarly abandoned power plant in Baltimore in the '90s, turning it into "Power Plant Live!," an indoor/outdoor dining/entertainment complex that sits a block from that city's Inner Harbor. While city officials caution that the Powerhouse's next phase as a destination and anchor point for the PAD is still years away, they are all pleased that the iconic building will remain intact and not meet the fate of other architectural gems in the area. "It's a monument to industrial architecture," planning director Bob Cotter told the Star-Ledger in September. "It's important to keep this here."
2 5 AM E R I CAN C RA F T ta p s
crowns a play with music by regina taylor
from the book by michael cunningham & craig marberry
directed by judith moss FEBRUARY 18-27, 2012
201-413-9200 or AtticEnsemble.org THE ATTIC ENSEMBLE
at The Barrow Mansion 83 Wayne St., Jersey City, NJ
V ICTORY BREWING NIGHT! -12.01 SHMALTZ BREWING NIGHT! - 12.20
$10 LUNCH SPECIAL FRI & SUN 163 NEWARK AV E, JERSEY CITY, NJ 07302 201.332.4555| BARCADE JERSEYCITY.COM
recipe for success Specialty foods add flavor to jersey city
Written by Laryssa Wirstiuk Photography by Josh Dehonney
Eric MacNeil of JC Hot Sauce
ara Marshall-Schkade’s salsas were born out of homesickness. Unable to find Tex-Mex food in Jersey City, the native Texan began to experiment. When she lost her job in corporate communications in 2009, she started to devote more time and effort to developing recipes and building her specialty food business. “When I lost my job, I could’ve just packed up and went home,” says Marshall-Schkade, founder of Saucy Sara’s Salsa. “I started to think about this and realized that I have a niche market for my salsas here. In Texas, starting another salsa company would be ridiculous.” The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) defines specialty foods as “foods and beverages that exemplify quality, innovation and style in their category.” According to this year’s State of the Specialty Food Industry, these foods represented 13.1 percent of all retail food sales, with total sales at $70.32 billion in 2010. One Jersey City-based beverage company, Fizzy Lizzy, has even won a very high NASFT honor: the silver sofi (short for “specialty outstanding food innovation”) award. 12
Sara MarshallSchkade with her salsas
Liz and Aaron Morrill of Fizzy Lizzy
Fizzy Lizzy, Saucy Sara’s Salsa and other local specialty foods businesses – with their versions of products like hot sauce, beef jerky and kombucha – have taken advantage of farmers’ markets, festivals and welcoming retailers to share their products with an eager public. Jersey City has seven farmers’ markets, a few of which run May to December. Jersey City residents can also find fresh and specialty foods at a number of festivals held throughout the year: Creative Grove Artist Market, Not Yo Mama’s Craft Fair, and the Hamilton Park BBQ Festival are just a few. “The markets at Grove are really what signaled to me that the specialty foods movement was alive in Jersey City,” says Joshua Kace, founder of Jersey City-based beef jerky company SlantShack Jerky.
In July 2011, 26-year-old Eric MacNeil sold his first bottle of JC Hot Sauce at the Creative Grove Artist Market, which takes place every Friday afternoon at the Grove Street PATH Plaza. He says his goal is to make an array of hot sauces as diverse as Jersey City’s population. “I put some samples on the table, and the first person who tasted it said it was really good,” says MacNeil. “It felt good to see that someone appreciated the time I put into it.” By September, MacNeil had accumulated a local fan base. One woman told him her son had finished a bottle in just two days and that she’d be coming back every week to buy a new bottle. Aaron Morrill, CEO of Fizzy Lizzy, believes that placement and location at these festivals can mean the difference between good and bad sales. Morrill and wife Liz, the company’s
founder and namesake, have showcased their all-natural, award-winning blends of fruit juice and carbonated water at both the All About Downtown Street Festival and the Hamilton Park BBQ Festival. “For us it’s really important that we’re right where the food is,” says Morrill. “You need to place yourself by the food trucks, where people are eating. We get great feedback when people taste the product. We rarely see anyone scrunch their faces or frown when they take a sip. “When we do get a negative response,” he adds, “it’s usually because the person is used to drinking soda.” Marshall-Schkade has also worked hard to get the best positioning at festivals, but bad luck with press coverage and lack of transportation have been two of her most recent challenges. After exhibiting at the Hamilton Park BBQ Festival, she was disappointed to find that a reporter from a local publication had left her name out of an article. Marshall-Schkade also sells at the Riverview Farmers Market, but not having a car prevents her from showcasing at most other markets. “If I had a car, I would be all over the place,” she says. Local retailers like the Downtown Coop, Subia’s Market, Basic Food and Beverage, Hudson Greene Market, Liberty Towers Gourmet Market, and the Warehouse Café stock specialty products by local entrepreneurs. Some store owners even vouch for the entrepreneurs behind the products by helping them network with influential leaders in the community. “Mary Suliburk at the Downtown Coop is a huge fan of my product,” says MarshallSchkade. “The people at the Coop are fantastic. They’re
very supportive, and they love my salsa. She’s even gotten in touch with me when someone influential bought my product.” Some retailers, eager to have unique and local products on their shelves, seek out these specialty foods. For example, Barcade in Downtown Jersey City approached Kace and his team to propose a possible partnership. Now, SlantShack Jerky is available for purchase at the bar. Says Kace, “Barcade actually emailed us before we got a chance to go make a sales pitch. Match made in heaven.” Selling specialty items in a city where consumers can already find a wide variety of brand-name, nationally recognized foods and beverages is a challenge, but these specialty food vendors believe that their products have something new and worthwhile to offer the market. When Marshall-Schkade first began experimenting with her recipes, she didn’t believe she was doing anything out of the ordinary, but family and friends encouraged her to pursue her hobby. “I’ve always made my own homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. I began to dabble in salsas. I would take them to parties and give my landlord and his wife any leftovers,” says Marshall-Schkade. “On my fridge, I keep a note from my landlord that says, ‘You should patent this immediately!’” Though she made some of her first batches at home, Marshall-Schkade now rents space in a Jersey City Heights commercial kitchen she shares with a few other people. And she wasn’t the only entrepreneur in town motivated by job loss. After MacNeil lost his job in 2010, he applied his degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology to the art of creating recipes.
“on my fridge, i keep a note from my landlord that says, 'you should patent this immediately!'”
Mike Schwartz of BAO Kombucha
“When I first started writing out the recipes, I pretty much looked at them like chemistry experiments,” he says. MacNeil still works from his home kitchen, which he shares with two roommates, one of whom does not like spicy food. He says, “It’s not that messy, but it makes the entire house smell like peppers and makes some people irritated. I don’t need a lot of tools, just a pot and a blender.” Kace, who also lives with roommates, named his company after his Jersey City apartment. SlantShack Jerky pays homage to the apartment’s uneven floor. Though now saucysarasalsa.com headquartered in Long Island City, BAO Kombucha was born fizzylizzy.com two and a half years ago in the basement of a slantshackjerky.com house on Jersey City’s Jewett Avenue. Says cofounder Mike Schwartz, jchotsauce.com “Our house has a full bar in the basement. Some people in the drinkbao.com neighborhood think it used to be a speakeasy. It’s particularly suited for brewing.” BAO Kombucha offers seven flavors of kombucha, a fermented tea-based beverage; three flavors of fermented vegetables; raw hot sauce; and raw ketchup. All these products are “live,” which means they contain the probiotic bacteria culture, a natural preservative. According to NASFT, “functional beverages” – a beverage that has special nutritional benefits – is the fastest-growing specialty foods category. Schwartz, who has lived in Jersey City with his wife for eight years, has been a consultant for Paulus Hook restaurant Two Aprons and a now-defunct food truck. As a result, he has a very realistic take on what aspiring restaurant and food business owners battle when they try to open in Jersey City. Permitting processes can sometimes be arduous. Regardless, he remains optimistic about Jersey City’s growing consumer market.
Saucy Sara’s Salsa Fizzy Lizzy
SlantShack Jerky JC Hot Sauce
“Eight years ago, I don’t think I could have sold my kombucha anywhere in Downtown Jersey City. Americans in general, specifically the under-40 crowd, have become much more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies, which I think is great,” Schwartz says. “But the people who really need the nutritional benefits of kombucha are the ones who are financially struggling. The hardest part is to get my product, which is costly to produce, to that crowd.” At the end of the work day – which sometimes happens in the middle of the night due to commercial kitchen scheduling constraints – these specialty foods entrepreneurs know that they wouldn’t exist without their consumers. Kace is always making improvements to satisfy customer needs and desires. “We recently got rid of the trace amounts of MSG and high fructose corn syrup in our marinades,” says Kace. “We’re also starting to sell a maple glaze option for the jerky. Maple glaze and garlic is a particularly big hit.” Producing and selling specialty foods in a city in the shadow of one that “never sleeps” requires a competitive spirit. Morrill admits that Fizzy Lizzy’s biggest competitor is a beverage brand called Izze, which is owned by PepsiCo and sold at Starbucks. While Fizzy Lizzy drinks contain pulp, Morrill describes Izze’s beverages as resembling little more than “colored water.” Without added sugars or preservatives and with an average of 60 percent juice per bottle, Fizzy Lizzy is a healthy alternative to soda, but Morrill finds it challenging to convince consumers that both quality and healthfulness have value. “People are fairly cynical about quality claims because they hear them all the time,” Morrill says. “It’s hard to get a lot of mileage on a quality claim. You can only make that meaningful after they’ve looked at the product and tasted it.” The competition may be humbling, but these entrepreneurs thrive on a good challenge. “I think Jersey City is a very difficult part of the country to live in. It’s not easy,” says Marshall-Schkade. “Here, nothing is handed to you. I think it takes a lot to survive.”
Writ ten by Brendan Carroll Photography by Christopher Lane
e r e wh the art is
From a 12 -by-12 parlor room , Downtown gallery Curious Mat ter of fers it s own spin on art ex hibiting
his is not the first confession I have made in my life, and it will not be the last. I had never visited the art gallery Curious Matter before September 2011. To date, they have organized 13 exhibitions that have featured more than 200 artists from Jersey City, New York, and abroad. Raymond E. Mingst and Arthur Bruso run the gallery, which opened in 2007. When I lived on Belmont Avenue, I was less than two miles away from the gallery, and never visited it, not once. I always intended to go, but never did. I had to move 10 miles and an hour’s travel time away to finally see the gallery. The irony is not lost on me. Curious Matter is located on 272 Fifth Street in the Harsimus Cove section of Downtown Jersey City. Red-brick row homes dot the tree-lined streets, and the air is often filled with the sound of bells from nearby Catholic churches. Dames Coffee and Espresso Bar, which is located around the corner, serves delicious lattes. After more than five years in business, Curious Matter has established itself as an integral member of Jersey City’s Downtown art scene. The community is undergoing a renaissance of late, with longtime heavyweight 58 Gallery continuing to organize exhibitions and performances, and Jersey City Art School and _gaia continuing to attract and nurture emerging artists. The most recent upstart is WOOLPUNKstudios, a gallery that opened on Newark Avenue near Brunswick Street. Curious Matter, despite its diminutive size and staff, is thriving. The fact that it is run from the parlor room of a private residence only adds to its allure. 20
Raymond E. Mingst (at left) and Arthur Bruso in their home/gallery
PARLOR ROOM THE Bruso and Mingst operate Curious Matter out of the parlor room of their row home, which is accessible via a steep stone staircase. To walk into the parlor room is to travel back to 19thcentury Jersey City, when the building was first constructed. With a keen appreciation of history, they have preserved the room’s Italianate style. The first things I noticed were the hardwood
floors, the crown molding, a stone fireplace, and the beautiful chandelier from Murano, Italy. In many ways, Bruso and Mingst have returned the parlor room to what would have been its function in Victorian days – a room set aside for special occasions, visitors and entertainment. While the work they show is contemporary, they use the space in a very traditional manner, which seems particularly appropriate considering their house is located in a historic district.
The room itself, at 144 square feet, is a 12-foot square. Size, however, is not a limiting factor. “We make the most of every inch,” says Mingst. “The doors from the foyer into the parlor have small shelves for our catalogs and publications. A door from the parlor to the rest of the building has been fitted with a panel for additional exhibition space.” When I dropped by in September, Bruso’s suite of 25 photographs was on view. The 21
exhibition, Falling City, presented derelict apartment houses, passersby on the hustle, and morning hangover. Many of the photographs rested on a small temporary ledge, no more than two inches deep, which ran the length of the north and east walls. The remaining photographs hung from wire on a small section of wall space adjacent to the fireplace. A bouquet of pink flowers, exhibition statement and exhibition catalog rested on the mantelpiece. A well-situated mirror within a gold frame, which Mingst purchased at a Brooklyn Salvation Army years ago, helps the room breathe. The architectural details here would shame many contemporary gallerists. Most exhibition venues in Chelsea or the Lower East Side resemble antiseptic white cubes. The idea behind the austere construction is that contemporary art is best served with the
least distractions. The outside world should disappear, or at least be far removed. Mingst and Bruso do not fear the hullabaloo of the world beyond the parlor room, and find no reason to protect the art from it. To them, the details of the parlor room serve their exhibitions. Their insight that the history of a room could play into their exhibitions occurred during a trip abroad. “Before we curated Naming the Animals [a previous show], Arthur and I had visited La Specola in Florence. It’s an absolutely thrilling museum of natural history that maintains a collection that dates back to the 1700s,” says Mingst. “From the creaking wooden floors to the centuries-old display cabinets with taxidermy and anatomical wax figures, everything about the museum speaks to its place in history.” Naming the Animals, which was a partnership
“Mingst and Bruso do not fear the hullabaloo of the world beyond the parlor room, and fin d no reason to protect the art from it.”
between Curious Matter and Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn, included artists from Australia, Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom, in addition to artists from the immediate area. Artists were asked to explore man’s impulse to classify the world around us. Richard Haymes contributed a Gothic woodwork cabinet that housed religious tchotchkes, jewels and jewelry fittings, a fish tank thermometer, a page from an Italian children’s primer, and a hair net, to name just a few items. Lasse Antonsen’s artwork included taxidermy that featured three kingfishers. Colette Male’s sculptures, which referenced sailors’ ivory carvings from the 1500s, comprised seashells, coral, plaster, and resin, and resembled a hybrid creature. If the parlor room is beginning to sound like a cabinet of curiosities, it should.
VARIATIONS ON A THEME
A cabinet of curiosities, known in German as Kunst- und Wunderkammer, displays an encyclopedic collection of all kinds of objects of dissimilar origin. Whether the objects on view were manmade or natural, the collection was a reflection of intellectual
rigor and inquisitiveness. It would not be an anomaly to find taxidermy birds paired beside clock automata or botanical specimens from an exotic location. “Cabinets of curiosity vividly evidence the desire to understand the world around us,” says Mingst. “The physical manifestation of the pursuit for knowledge is what captivates me as an artist. I often think of the art I produce as a collection of relics and notes.” Bruso echoes Mingst’s enthusiasm. “As a visual person, I am interested in visual objects,” he says. “As a youth, I was interested in science and collected all kinds of things: shells, rocks, butterflies, bones, and anything that was out of the ordinary.” The world of nature is not the only aspect of cabinets of curiosities that inspire Bruso. “I also grew up in an Italian-Catholic family which had all of the statues, prints, reliquaries, beads, prayer books, and candles associated with the religion. “I developed an interest in the macabre, the occult, tarot, symbolism and the creepy and fantastic,” he adds. “This is the aspect of cabinets of curiosities that attracts me.” 23
ART GALLERIES AT HOME Like many of the galleries in Jersey City, Curious Matter is a do-it-yourself affair. But what separates Curious Matter from other exhibition venues in town is its parlor location. “Our approach parallels attitudes held by Alfred Stieglitz in relation to his Gallery 291,” says Mingst. “We’re an exhibition space, but also a place of inquiry and ideas.” Gallery 291 was located on 291 Fifth Avenue, near Herald Square in New York City. It opened in 1905. Stieglitz rented a studio apartment to show photography, which was an unrecognized art form at the time. From this small residential studio, he would exhibit the avant garde work of Cezanne, Picasso and Matisse. This living space helped introduce modern art to American audiences. Over the years, Jersey City has had a string of in-home exhibition venues. Elen Sviland operated 919 Gallery from her spacious industrial loft at 150 Bay Street and during the gallery’s tenure hosted acclaimed artist Miru Kim. Farah Nuradeen used to manage an informal art gallery from her Downtown garden apartment on Jersey Avenue. Curious Matter is not the first exhibition venue Mingst has run from a private residence. Cabinet Gallery, an earlier incarnation of Curious Matter, was housed in an SRO (single room occupancy) on East 9th Street in Manhattan’s East Village. Mingst, at the time, had been creating temporary art in remote locations in Far Rockaway, Fire Island, and Pennsylvania. His materials were sand, snow, dirt and sticks. A shovel was his primary tool. Due to the transient nature of the work, he began to consider documenting his projects. This shift led him to consider the collection, presentation, and stewardship of objects as well as to reflect on ideas about preservation and adoration. The Cabinet Gallery was the articulation of those interests. Earlier in his career as an artist, Mingst realized the potential of domestic living quarters to operate as exhibition venues. “The very first shows I put together were renegade presentations in art school,” he says. 24
“I would simply commandeer rooms and hallways and install work, then create flyers and put them up around campus," he adds. "Creating art and exhibiting have always been linked for me.” The Cabinet Gallery, in addition to being a home and exhibition venue, was where Mingst met Bruso. Bruso, at the time, was organizing shows at La Mamma La Galleria, an exhibition venue near the Bowery. Both artists were exploring new directions in their practice; they identified similar intent and began to collaborate on projects. Museology, cabinets of curiosities and religious iconography were among their intersecting interests.
THE JERSEY CITY SCENE
Jersey City is a source of bewilderment for many New Yorkers, especially its artist types. New York has the infrastructure to support, nurture and sustain the arts. Jersey City simply does not. Mention Jersey City to a curator based in New York, and his or her eyes glaze over. Despite their longtime status as New Yorkers, Mingst and Bruso do not suffer anti-Jersey bias. They love Jersey City, and its hidden treasures. New Yorkers cannot claim these treasures, no matter how hard they try. “Folks get baffled too easily sometimes,” says Mingst. “The Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre with its Wonder Morton Organ is located in Jersey City.” He notes another icon that Jersey City has that New York does not: “Proximity to the Pulaski Skyway, not to drive, just to look at.” “Then there’s that maple syrup smell that wafts through some mornings, and too, there’s seeing the sunset from the ShopRite parking lot on Marin Boulevard,” he adds. Bruso’s appreciation of Jersey City, on the other hand, is more pragmatic. “In New York, my studio was the surface of my bed. And Jersey City has a quicker ride to Manhattan than Brooklyn does.” He adds another pro: “the ability to keep chickens.” But Jersey City is not the easiest place to run an art gallery or institution. Ask the former employees from the Jersey City Museum or Cooke Contemporary – they can tell you. Money is always an issue. Making ends meet is a
Le Bouquiniste set up outside on 5th Street
constant struggle. Despite these challenges, Bruso and Mingst remain undaunted. “We’re sustained by our commitment, which is bigger than any bank account,” says Mingst. The gallery also receives support from Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit service organization. “Most galleries and museums complain about their attendance. Very few people visited the Institute of Contemporary Art until the Mapplethorpe controversy blew up,” says Bruso. “When I was exhibitions director, gallery sitters were always disappointed at the sparse attendance of the shows.” But neither Bruso nor Mingst wallow in despair. “There are many ways of increasing attendance. The founder of the Museum of Jurassic Technology would stand outside and play the accordion to bring attention to his space. Neither Raymond nor I can play the accordion ...” Mingst interjects: “But I play Billie
Holiday 78s on the portable victrola I bring out with Le Bouquiniste [their new mobile kiosk of art books and zines].” Kidding aside, Bruso and Mingst acknowledge and accept the challenges of running an art space in Jersey City. They also focus on what Jersey City does have: self-reliance and determination. “Jersey City has a large and active artist population. Yet there’s a lack of exhibition venues, which I know is frustrating,” says Bruso. “But what these challenges have created is a healthy do-it-yourself ethic. The artists are creating opportunities for themselves all the time.” The best action Curious Matter can take to promote the gallery does not include gimmicks, and they know this. “We can hand out business cards and direct people to our website. And talk and talk about our gallery,” Bruso remarks. “The best thing we can do is present amazing exhibitions that people talk about, and this we do.” How would Mingst describe the overall experience of running Curious Matter? “You’re more likely to have a diverse audience here, not merely art world insiders," he says. "We get a very savvy crowd, a more colorful mix than any Thursday in Chelsea.”
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
Curious Matter is not content to sit and wait for the audience to come to them. These guys are men of action and refinement. If people cannot attend the gallery, they bring the gallery to them, literally. Le Bouquiniste, the mobile kiosk, is their most recent project. It features books, prints, broadsides, chapbooks, and zines, all of which are published by small and independent presses. Inspired as much by the booksellers of Paris as Fourth Avenue in New York, Le Bouquiniste is a special project of Curious Matter, created to expand the audience and scope of work the gallery presents. “We figured not everyone is inclined to visit a gallery, but if we were right out on the street,” Mingst says, “there’d be no way to avoid us.” 25
Manila on the Hudso WRITTEN BY: Sharon Adarlo PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Mark Dye
Erwin Santos stands in an aisle at Phil-Am Food
FILIPINO BUSINESS, FOOD AND CULTURE FLOURISHES IN JERSEY CITY
O A young Erwin Santos among the rice bags at Phil-Am Food (photo provided by Santos)
HHHHHHHHHH ne of Erwin Santos’ fondest memories of growing up is the bags of jasmine rice in his family’s Filipino grocery store on Newark Avenue in the Five Corners neighborhood.
The stacks of rice bags were only four feet tall but Santos, as a small child, thought they looked like towering mountains. He, his younger sister and cousins would spend many hours climbing up the piles of rice bags and then sliding back down. “You were the king of the mountain and then you tried to push people off,” Santos says, recalling the memory with a smile. Phil-Am Food, the grocery store where Santos spent his childhood, has grown from a modest storefront more than 30 years ago to a sprawling market that he now runs. Phil-Am was one of the first Filipino-owned businesses in Five Corners, along with the Philippine Bread House, famous for its cakes in exotic flavors like ube, a type of purple yam, and its ensaymadas, a buttery, sweet brioche. These pioneering stores spawned more Filipino-owned
businesses and cafes along Newark Avenue and an offshoot around West Side Avenue, constituting what many people in Jersey City call Little Manila. The two corridors pale in comparison to Filipino enclaves in New York City and California, but they serve a fairly large community of Filipinos who call Jersey City home (and plenty from surrounding areas in New Jersey as well). Nearly 20,000 of the city’s residents are Filipino, and there are more than 85,000 Filipinos in the state, according to Census data. Filipinos are such an integral part of Jersey City that Manila Avenue was named after the Philippines’ capital city. A bust of a Filipino soldier is located at Manila Avenue and Second Street, which is called Philippine Plaza, and honors Filipino veterans of all American wars. A statue of Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ foremost national hero, stands at a park bearing his name, located at Columbus Drive and Brunswick Street. Rizal is famous for publicizing the corruption and abuses during the Philippines’ Spanish colonial era in the late 19th century. Filipinos celebrated what would have been Rizal’s 150th birthday and the Philippines’ 113 years of independence from Spain with city officials, including Mayor Jerramiah Healy, at the park this past June. At the Jersey City Free Public Library, actors also recreated the 1896 trial where Rizal was sentenced to death for fomenting revolution against the ruling Spaniards.
Back at Five Corners in the early 1970s, Santos says the area around his family’s store had many more Polish and Italian families and businesses and not as many Filipinos. Angelina Ferrer, Santos’ aunt, says the neighborhood back then “didn’t seem safe” and that unruly teenagers would go into the grocery store and steal candy and bananas. But the neighborhood has since changed, she says, and over the years, Filipino businesses expanded on Newark Avenue and around the city – reflecting the growth of the community. The clutch of Filipino businesses around Newark Avenue include restaurants, cafes and even a branch of the Philippine National Bank, where people can wire money to relatives back home. Besides Phil-Am Food, Santos’ relatives have gone into other businesses such as a wholesale company, Max’s of Manila – a famous Filipino fried chicken chain – and Casa Victoria, which Ferrer runs – a décor store that doubles as a bakery-cafe. Santos says business has boomed at
Phil-Am, which draws people from up and down the East Coast, as far away as Maryland and Connecticut. They are drawn to the wide variety of hard-to-find Filipino staples on his shelves, such as the different varieties of soy sauce and vinegar. “People would just take the road down,” says Santos, who believes Phil-Am Food to be the largest Filipino grocery store on the East Coast. “They would say, ‘Look at this. I can’t believe they have this!’” Santos says he has even shipped food to Indiana, where a customer once had a hankering for frozen durian, a spiky, green fruit famous for its aroma of rotten onions and gym socks. He also sends packages to homesick Filipino soldiers at overseas American military bases. “I am giving them a taste of home,” Santos says of the soldiers, who order off the Phil-Am website. Even chains in the neighborhood, like the Dunkin Donuts at Summit and Magnolia Avenues, have become meeting places for older Filipino men, a spot where they can shoot the breeze and gossip, says Homer
Lerma Lasala prepares fans to hang for sale in Casa Victoria
HHHHHHHHHH Customers shop at Phil-Am Food and Casa Manila
“This is like going back home, but in an American setting.”
Delcastillo, 62, a retired warehouse worker. “Jersey City is friendly to Filipinos,” Delcastillo says, rattling off the city’s benefits: public transportation, proximity to New York City and airports, and the thriving Filipino community. On Sundays, he prays at Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church on John F. Kennedy Boulevard near the Five Corners, which boasts a large clock tower and has numerous Filipino parishioners. And the city recently got another notable Filipino restaurant, a Jollibee on Danforth Avenue. Jollibee, a beloved Filipino fast food franchise, is the equivalent of America’s McDonald’s. Freddy Panes, in the Five Corners on a recent afternoon, is meeting local business owners and spreading the word about his new publication, My Pinoy World, a free newspaper geared toward Filipinos in the United States and Canada. “This is a field trip for us,” says Panes, a Cherry Hill resident in town with his wife, a friend and relatives. “This is like going back home, but in an American setting.”
Filipino Cuisine For Dummies
To Panes, Cherry Hill seems like a sleepy provincial town in the Philippines, but Jersey City is Manila, in terms of the Filipino community and the businesses concentrated here. “There are so many Filipinos! I wish I could move here,” he says with a laugh. Panes, himself the father of three sons, forbade spoken English in his home in order to keep ties to their home country and traditions. “I always told them you have to be proud to be Filipino,” Panes says. Santos, the Phil-Am owner, worries that as the community and local businesses continue to thrive, Filipinos adapting so readily to the American way of life could eventually lose some of their cultural identity. “A Filipino can go to any country and adapt. We adapt so well, but unfortunately we lose our identity a little bit,” Santos says. Growing up, his father would always remind him to stay true to his roots. “You are an American,” his father would tell him, “but your heritage is Filipino and you can never lose that.”
Filipino food is a mix of Malaysian, Chinese and Spanish with some American influence – all reflecting the history of the archipelago, which has seen waves of Chinese immigrants, and conquest by Spanish conquistadors and the American military over hundreds of years. It has a lower profile than other Asian cuisines, Erwin Santos says, because there tend to be different variations for dishes such as adobo, a stew of chicken or pork in vinegar that is considered the national dish. One version can incorporate coconut milk or none at all. Another has soy sauce. Filipino food also gets a bad rap because the dishes served at restaurants are usually oily and include a lot of pork, Santos says. Most of the food in Filipino restaurants and cafes in Jersey City are displayed in steam buffet tables or turo turo style, which means, “point-point” – people can “point” out what food they want to the server. Santos recommends first-timers try adobo over rice, any pork dishes, such as roasted lechon, and any type of noodle entrees, or pancit. Egg rolls, pork or vegetarian, are often a big hit with newbies, along with turon, which are plaintains in rice wrappers. And, of course, Filipino pastries. 31
Walking and Eating in Little Manila NE WAR
Max’s of Manila Phil-Am Food
Red Ribbon BakeShop HOB
SUMM IT AVE
Fiesta Grill Victory Chicken House and Buffet House
Little Quiapo American Pinoy Food Mart Phillipine Bread House
Filipino meals and a bakery counter filled with treats such as empanadas and sweets. The store even sells Filipino furniture, decor, and the Barong, a formal embroidered shirt made of translucent fibers that is typically worn by men at special occasions. 691 Newark Avenue
Red Ribbon BakeShop
Phil-Am Food www.philamfood.com This sprawling grocery store offers reasonably priced produce, snacks and a wide selection of Filipino pantry items such as the different types of vinegar, from sugar cane to coconut water spiced with hot peppers. A cafe in the back serves a generous plate lunch for $5.70, which includes two dishes, rice or noodles, dessert, and a free drink. 683 Newark Avenue
Max’s of Manila www.maxschicken.com This famous restaurant franchise from the Philippines serves up its signature fried chicken, noodle dishes, soups, salads and breakfast specials. 687 Newark Avenue
Casa Victoria casavictorianj.com This storefront has a steam table offering traditional
www.redribbonbakeshop.us This famous Filipino bakery chain serves cakes, pastries, bread rolls and light meals. Cakes come in flavors like Black Forest, coffee and more exotic offerings like ube macapuno – purple yam chiffon with young coconut pieces. Custom cakes can be ordered for special occasions. 591 Summit Avenue
Casa Manila You can easily spot this restaurant by the colorful sign on the glass storefront. It serves traditional Filipino food such as chicken adobo and turon, which are fried plaintains in a rice wrapper. On a recent day, skewers of pork barbecue lacquered in a sticky sweet and savory sauce were being served. 665 Newark Avenue
Filipino dishes, but its second outpost, Victory Buffet House, which opened in September on Newark Avenue, also offers Italian, Mexican, Korean and Japanese food. But Filipino cuisine still takes center stage with a short-order menu of adobo, dried squid and fish. On a recent visit to the Newark location, the buffet table also featured salads and fresh fruit, a rare sight at Filipino cafes. 537 West Side Avenue 629 Newark Avenue
American Pinoy Food Mart
Philippine Bread House
Located next to the Philippine Bread House, this grocery store is small but still offers hard to find Filipino delicacies. You can pick up balut, the boiled half-formed embryo of a duck or chicken still in its eggshell. Crack one open and sip the broth inside before shooting the innards in your mouth. The best ones are of younger chicks that haven’t formed their feathers yet. 530 Newark Avenue
Fiesta Grill fiestagrill.net Fiesta Grill’s Newark Avenue location is a typical Filipino mom-and-pop restaurant that offers a wide selection of dishes from its steam table. You can get cripsy pata or deep fried pork knuckle and noodle dishes like pancit canton. A decent plate of food can be had for under $10. The West Side Avenue location has a larger, more formal dining room that can accommodate 200 people. Work on your cha cha, the official Filipino party dance, at its ballroom on the weekends. 655 Newark Avenue 819 West Side Avenue
Victory Chicken House and Buffet House victorychickenhouse.com Victory’s first location, on West Side Avenue, is a small restaurant serving typical
philippinebreadhouse.com This bakery offers delicious cakes and pastries incorporating exotic Filipino flavors such as green pandan leaves, purple ube yam and coconut. It also has Filipino treats such as polvorón – a crumbly shortbread wrapped in colorful cellophane – and is well known for its pan de sal, a subtly sweet bread roll, and ensaymadas, a buttery, addictive brioche dusted with sugar and cheese flakes. There is a small cafe in the back that serves hot drinks to go. Bonus: you can order a whole roast suckling pig here too. 530 Newark Avenue
This tiny restaurant, located on the same lot as the Philippine Bread House and American Pinoy Food Mart, serves food buffet-style but you can also order fresh plates of food like pancit palabok, noodles in an orange sauce topped with slices of boiled egg, fish flakes, and spring onions. You can also order their halo halo, a dessert with shaved ice, fruit, red beans, pieces of flan, and sweet condensed milk. 530 Newark Avenue
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JERSEY CITY GUIDE
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THE IRON MONKEY 99 GREENE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 435 5756 ironmonkey.com
Founded 15 years ago by Stephen McIntyre, The Iron Monkey quickly became a favorite place for Jersey City residents to eat and drink. Today, The Iron Monkey offers casual, modern American cuisine with three floors for eating and drinking. The main bar has a wonderful traditional pub feel. The second floor offers an elegant, yet vibrant, dining experience that is perfect for dinner with friends or corporate parties. The Iron Monkey also boasts the only rooftop in Jersey City with dining and a full bar. In addition to having the most unique space in Jersey City, The Iron Monkey has been a longtime proponent of the craft beer movement. With 39 taps devoted to craft beer and a bottle list that numbers well over 300 bottles, The Iron Monkey ranks among the elite destination beer bars in the Northeast. 37
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
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 286 1ST STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 420 9550 portolounge.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.
SKINNER'S LOFT 146 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 0600 skinnersloft.com
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, housemade syrups, and house-infused liquors. Join us for lunch Tuesday through Friday, brunch on the weekends, and dinner until 11 every night.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
PARK & SIXTH COMFORT FOOD 364 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 918 6072 parkandsixth.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 â€“ come find out why.
LITM 140 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 536 5557 litm.com Every day is new and exciting at LITM. The popular neighborhood destination is a restaurant, bar and art/video gallery known for its creative, seasonal cocktails, extensive beer list, fun happy hour specials and excellent modern American food. Voted Jersey City's Best Mac & Cheese in 2010. Monthly art exhibitions by local and international artists.
MADE WITH LOVE 530 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 451 5199 madewithloveorganics.com With artisanal breads, empanadas, quiches, cookies, pies and cakes made with organic ingredients, Made with Love is Jersey City's destination for sweet and savory baked goods. Now there's more to love: daily lunch, weekend brunch, communal dinners, art receptions, cooking/ baking classes and children's parties.
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HARD GROVE CAFE 319 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 451 1853 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 allyou-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 440 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 333 1550 bubbysburritos.com Bubby's Burritos is a cozy Downtown California-Mexican 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. 41
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
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.
STEAM CAFE 276 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 706 2489 steamcafe-jc.com Steam Cafe features coffee, loose tea and espresso drinks, as well as pastries and stuffed breads that are baked daily. It also offers signature gourmet sandwiches and muffins, among many other daily surprises. Free wifi; BYOB. HOURS: M-W (7 am - 2 pm); Th & Fri (7 am - 6 pm); Sat & Sun (9 am - 6 pm).
RED FEAST WINE & LIQUORS 129 COLUMBUS DRIVE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 333 3360 Red Feast features a large selection of wines from around the world plus imported, domestic and craft beers. Its owners are also open to customer suggestions, so let them know if there is something you would like added to the inventory. Free delivery to Downtown Jersey City, including The Village, Newport, Exchange Place and Paulus Hook ($30 minimum order).
JERSEY CITY SUPER BUY-RITE 575 MANILA AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07310 (ACROSS FROM HOLLAND TUNNEL HOME DEPOT) T 201 239 1200 buyritewines.com Jersey City Super Buy-Rite is the largest liquor store in New Jersey, with over 30,000 square feet of retail space. Its size, financial strength and association with the Buy-Rite chain allows it to buy at the best prices possible and ultimately pass the savings along to you. Buy-Rite also has one of the largest beer selections in the world, as well as thousands of wines and spirits, and an extensive cigar selection. Buy-Rite might look like a big box retail store, but it strives to give you the same service you'd expect from a boutique wine shop, with numerous managers who are trained and certified wine, spirits and beer experts. Save 10 percent on wines with purchases of 12 bottles or more. Buy-Rite has free and ample parking, and delivery is also available to Hoboken and Newport â€“ mention this ad for free delivery! For the holidays, Buy-Rite will host daily wine tastings and regular weekly tastings in January and February; check the website for details.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
EUROPEAN WAX CENTER 389 WASHINGTON STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 239 6200 waxcenter.com European Wax Center specializes in full-body waxing for men & women, and is truly "the ultimate wax experience" with its unique 4-step process. Its comfort wax system is 100% natural beeswax and applied at low heat; the stripless formula provides a quick application and silky smooth results. All new guests receive a free wax offer.
TOUSLED HAIR SALON 500-A JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 309 1200 mytousledhair.com There are good stylists who show up to work, and there are exceptional stylists who show up to create. Let the Tousled stylists create your next customized color and style for this season from a quaint Aveda haircare hub located in the historic Downtown district of Jersey City.
JCF BOOT CAMP CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 484 7848 jcfbootcamp.com 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.
SALONBE 106 RIVER DRIVE SOUTH JERSEY CITY 07310 T 201 222 1101 hairsalonbe.com With the perfect balance of a trendy yet upscale ambiance, Jersey City's premier salon has finally arrived. Located on the waterfront in Newport, SalonBe is here to help each client find their desired look for their personal lifestyle. Featuring some of Jersey City's most talented hairstylists, offering the most current services, and carrying the lead products in today's industry, SalonBe is sure to redefine and rejuvenate your confidence. Drop by or call during the month of September to indulge in some of our grand opening promotions â€“ including free conditioning treatments with any service; 10 percent off all hair care products; and free cut, color and product consultations. Join SalonBe for complimentary wine and food every Friday as it showcases the work of a different local artist each week.
ANOTHER MAN's TREASURE 353 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 860 9990 amtvintage.com Now in its sixth year, this local "knockout vintage boutique" (Time Out New York) continues to impress with its selection of wearable vintage fashions and accessories. Every item is carefully hand-picked in an effort to keep the racks affordable with ontrend finds, seasonal styles and designer duds. Open 7 days a week with new additions daily!
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
HAMILTON HEALTH & FITNESS 161 ERIE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 714 7600 hamiltonhealthfitness.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€™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.
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-/postnatal Pilates and injury prevention and recovery.
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. Thank you for celebrating the beauty in simple things throughout the year. Please visit our new webstore at SmithChang.com.
HOUND ABOUT TOWN 218 MONTGOMERY STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 721 5532 houndabouttownjc.com You live a stylish urban lifestyle â€“ your pet should too! At Hound About Town, convenience meets community. These cozy boutiques focus on eco-friendly, locally made apparel and accessories, as well as optimal, sustainable nutrition choices for your pet. Second location now open at Hamilton Square (17 McWilliams Place - 201 918 5557).
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
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. Amy and her professional staff offer ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop, voice and acting classes for all ages and levels. Information on 2012's musical theater summer camp for ages 4 and up will soon be available on Next Step's website.
POSTNET 344 GROVE STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 332 8828 firstname.lastname@example.org Turn to PostNet for your holiday packing and shipping needs, and be sure to come back for quality printing and shipping services year-round. PostNet is locally owned and operated, which means you will always find the products you need, with the personal service you deserve. PostNet supports the community; shop local and return the favor.
14th STREET GARDEN CENTER 793 JERSEY AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07310 T 201 963 1414 14thstreetgardencenter.com Jersey City's premier family run garden center has a wide selection of indoor foliage and outdoor blooming flowers. It keeps a full selection of plants year round to suit your city living. This year, be green and buy a real Christmas tree â€“ 14th Street offers delivery and recycling pick up too, and it has a wide selection of poinsettias, garland and wreaths to complete your holiday decorations.
GALLERIE HUDSON 197 NEWARK AVENUE JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 434 1010 Gallerie Hudson goes beyond just ordinary framing. In addition to creating awardwinning designs, it offers 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. Gallerie Hudson has thousands of choices in frames, from hand-crafted Italian mouldings to contemporary American hardwoods. Whether you need to frame a family photograph or a Picasso original, this is the place to go. Gallerie Hudson is fully insured and guarantees the quality of its workmanship. So drop by for a friendly, professional design consultation or peruse its collection of original art. Hours: Tuesday through Friday 11 am-7 pm and Saturday 10 am-6 pm. (Member of the American Professional Picture Framers Association)
101 DISCOVERIES 80 GRAND STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 677 8101 101discoveries.com 101 Discoveries offers premier chess and math after-school enrichment classes for children. Chess introduces critical thinking skills which are applicable across the school curriculum; children learn to see patterns, solve problems and become more deliberate. Chess also helps children understand how to handle healthy competition and learn that having an opponent is OK.
JERSEY CITY GUIDE
JERSEY CITY CHILDREN'S THEATER 83 WAYNE STREET (IN THE BARROW MANSION) JERSEY CITY 07302 T 917 363 7429 jcchildrenstheater.org Jersey City Children's Theater (JCCT) celebrates the art of play and the diverse tapestry that is Jersey City. Through its unique and original curriculum of storytelling, play-making and theater games, children will discover new ways to express themselves and explore the world around them – and have great fun doing it! Be sure to check out the new Story Theater: Make a Play class for children in 4th to 8th grades. Announcing a new show: Enchanted Forest: Stories from the Brothers Grimm on December 3 and 4 (2 pm and 4:30 pm performances both days). Plus a special scholarship benefit performance on December 3 at 7 pm. A miniworkshop for children follows each performance.
SCHOOLPLUS 1 CANAL STREET JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 844 8535 school-plus.com/hudson SchoolPlus is an academic enrichment program designed to supplement the diet of the basic school curriculum, thereby enhancing students' performance in the classroom and giving them confidence and a desire to explore beyond. Classes offered: logic, math, creative writing, chess, Russian, art and more (Pre-K through 8th grade).
ART HOUSE PRODUCTIONS 1 MCWILLIAMS PLACE 6TH FLOOR JERSEY CITY 07302 T 201 915 9911 arthouseproductions.org For over a decade, Art House Productions has been bringing Jersey City the very best visual and performing arts entertainment. Join Art House January 21 for the sixth annual Snow Ball, a "black tie creative" gala to benefit Art House's innovative arts programs. With live music by the One and Nines, DJ George "Soul" Fernandez, fine food and drink, and an exciting silent auction, Art House's Snow Ball is the perfect opportunity to meet your neighbors and party for a good cause. Visit the Art House website to order your Snow Ball tickets in advance, register for adult and children's classes, and to find out about upcoming art exhibitions, concerts, film screenings and plays. Photo: Laura DeSantis-Olsson
JC FRIDAYS CITYWIDE | JERSEY CITY T 201 915 9911 jcfridays.com 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 date: March 2. Photo: Mike McNamara
Free 90 day Layaway Plan for Bicycle Purchases. Winter Storage–6 months storage and free Basic Tune Up for only $99.00! Select in Stock Bicycles on Sale (while supplies last) Bring this Ad in during January or February and receive one of the following: –$10.00 Discount on Complete Tune Up (package #2 - $69.99 value). That’s Almost 15% off! –Free Grove Street T-shirt ($17.99 value) with a Complete Tune Up (package #2) at full price. –10% Off Any In Stock accessory or clothing item. This discount can be combined with other specials! Vist our Website for Coupons and Specials
PROFESSIONAL REPAIRS ON ALL BRANDS OPEN 7 DAYS • 3.5% SALES TAX (Excluding Labor) www.grovestreetbicycles.com
365 Grove Street Jersey City, N.J. 07302
THE WAREHOUSE CAFE Come get plugged in and restored at The Warehouse. 201 420 8882 | 140 Bay St. | thewarehousejc.com
GROVE STREET BICYCLES This full-service shop carries bikes for the entire family and offers lifetime service with every new bike purchase. grovestreetbicycles.com
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
GROOMINGDALES PET SALON Professional, courteous pet styling with comfort as the first priority. Only all-natural products used. 201 659 5559 | 351 2nd St. | groomingdalesnj.com
MAGIC CLEANING SERVICE LLC $15 off when you mention this ad! Call 201 963 1147 or email email@example.com to book an appointment. magiccleaningservicellc.com
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
Uptown Crew a NJ Nonprofit Corporation
Hours: 6 am-9 pm daily 201-618-0278
Gift Certificates Available & Most Major Credit Cards Accepted
PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER & PERSONAL ASSISTANT
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. Eliminate, Delete, Remove, Throw Out ... De-Clutter for the Holidays!
PINCH-HITTER If you don't have the time to do it, Pinch-Hitter will do it for you. Hours of availability: 6 am to 9 pm daily. 201 618 0278 | pinch-hitter.com
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
JERSEY CITY ART SCHOOL Courses include painting, sculpture, jewelry making, writing & digital photography. Weekly: Figure Drawing (Wed.) & Sunday night Film Forum. jcartschool.com
HUDSON PRIDE CONNECTIONS CENTER This full-service LGBT community center has programs for LGBT youth, seniors & everyone in between. 201 963 4779 | 32 Jones St. | hudsonpride.org
BIRDBRAIN PROJECTS Hand printed items made in Jersey City. T-shirts, tote bags, stationery, art. Shop online at birdbrainprojects.com.
DI=VA CREATIVITY LIFE COACHING Life coaching, wellness and fitness training. Mention NEW and get 25% off a 3-month coaching package. This year, invest in you. yaromilolivares.com
Custom Framing Framed Art Celebrating 18 Years in Business
Open 7 Days a Week in Jersey Cityâ€™s Powerhouse Arts District 201-418-8771 JACKS TOY SHOP This locally owned, independent toy store offers fun, high-quality, award-winning toys for infants & children. 201 332 TOYS | 528 Jersey Ave. | jackstoyshop.com
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Beginner thru Professional Kennedy Dancers Repertory Co. & Inner City Youth Jr.. Dance Co.
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
A Non Profit Corp. Since 1976. 79 Central Ave Jersey City, NJ 07306 (201)- 659-2190 www.kennedydancers.org email@example.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 CITITZENS
Personalized lessons for guitar, piano, flute, and voice All teachers hold masters in music. 84 Wayne Street, Jersey City
TonalArtMusic.com VIOLIN & VIOLA LESSONS WITH MELINDA HIRSCH-ROBINSON
Professional violist with over 15 years teaching experience. All ages and levels. First lesson is half price with ad. Call today! 917 771 8063 | mhrmusic.com
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
MAXIMILIAN IMAGING HEADSHOTS Premium headshot photography for actors and business professionals. Downtown Jersey City | 140 Bay Street | 917 439 4364 | maximilianimaging.com
MAXIMILIAN IMAGING EVENTS Premium event photography for weddings, special events and parties. Downtown Jersey City | 140 Bay Street | 917 439 4364 | maximilianimaging.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. firstname.lastname@example.org
MICHELLE TIMEK YOGA On-site outdoor/indoor vinyasa, pre/postnatal & restorative classes. Private, semi-private & group sessions. All are welcome! michelletimekyoga.com
QI FOR WELLNESS WITH JANINE BERGER-GILLET Certified Wu Ming Qigong instructor of the Dragonâ€™s Way & Wu Ming Qigong for Breast Health. For more information and a class schedule: qiforwellness.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
PARTING SHOT: Flooding in downtown jersey city
August 28, 2011
Published on Dec 3, 2011
The Winter 2011 issue of NEW, Jersey City's magazine of arts, culture and lifestyle. Featuring stories on Filipino food & culture in Jersey...