This past week my family visited with me here in Jersey City Heights. The last time they came to this area I was living in Hoboken on Bloomfield Street.
It was so interesting to see their reaction to this urban area since they live in the foothills outside Boulder, Colorado. They cannot see their closest neighbor, but here on Central Avenue we have the typical city noise, people yelling, traffic, police sirens, taxis honking and more. Since I have a balcony they would sit out there and watch the city come to life, morning and night. They did love my space, very roomy and much bigger and more spacious than anything I’d had or could have in Hoboken. I have a small view of lower Manhattan and when we went to the roof we shot photos of the marvelous view.
It has been years since I lived down in Hoboken and my brother had fond memories of that location. He only wanted to visit Benny Tudino’s (no website? must call them) and show his youngest son the biggest slice of pizza in the world. We hit their restaurant twice! (They make a great salad too!) He also likes to run in the mornings, and last time came back so excited because he had run right past Joe Pantoliano. This time it was his son’s slight fascination with Buddy Valastro of Carlo’s Bakery and the Cakeboss TV show. Luckily he didn’t feel like standing on the line that stretches down two blocks now. Since he eats a lot of sweets he was thrilled when I showed him Goehrig’s Bakery up here. During the week he sampled almost everything Joseph Gigante makes! They also hit Rita’s for ice cream quite a few times.
It was so much fun being their tour guide around NYC. We visited the World Trade Center, Battery Park City (my favorite garden over there) and went to the top of the Empire State. We took the Yankee Clipper to see the Yankees battle the Red Sox. Yanks lost and it was brutally hot, not to mention that disaster clipper ride to the stadium which I wrote about previously. We went to the Jersey Shore, Sandy Hook and Point Pleasant.
My brother commented on the strong differences between Hoboken and JC Heights. Completely different types of people, stores, activity. It was obvious to him seeing the young professionals out to dinner and drinking every night of the week in Hoboken whereas up here some stores close and there’s no outdoor restaurants or any of the more upscale shops.
I completely understand and for a long time I thought that the Heights would change the way Hoboken did many years ago, but it just hasn’t happened. I think the Heights is stuck. With the economy suffering, businesses are closing and nothing opens in it’s place. There are stores that have been vacant since I’ve lived here. What can we do to make Central Avenue more attractive, safer and a better place to live?
They left on Sunday but couldn’t help sitting outside on the balcony one more time. It was quite early and there was no activity but I promised to keep them posted on the latest happenings.