You read that right. Jersey City, we’re headed West! Sure, it’s not part of New York, but I know some amazing people who live and love Jersey, so it’s definitely an option for those who are moving. Meet Ross from Jersey City!

Part of the New York metropolitan area, Jersey City is bounded on the east by the Hudson River and Upper New York Bay and on the west by the Hackensack River and Newark Bay.

Ross is a good friend of mine who I’ve now known for a little over two years. After moving to New York and living in a number of different locations around the city, he and his wife decided it was time to get some more space and move across the Hudson, a decision you’ll find they’re very happy with!

Ross also wanted to note that Jersey City is a very big area (21sqm – as compared to say, the East Village which is 0.768sqm), so, therefore, he doesn’t know everything about all the far-reaching areas. Those looking to move to Jersey City would probably look to move to the Grove Street, Hamilton Park, Paulus Hook, and maybe Newport areas, so a lot of this is about those areas in general!

Ross Jersey City Neighborhood Champion

All about Jersey City by Ross

Is it friendly for people new to the city (is it safe throughout the day and night)?

Yes, very! It’s full of young families and younger childless couples. Back in the day, it had a bit of a reputation but it worked hard to shake that and with all the new buildings going up, there’s been a massive flood of people from Manhattan moving in.

It’s very welcoming because, much like New York, everyone is relatively new to the area and therefore they’re always looking to meet new people.

Why do you like (or dislike) living in the area?

For the amount you pay, you get so much value for money. Anyone coming from Manhattan could upgrade where they live and probably pay at least a third less than they’re currently paying.

It’s convenient, only 8 minutes from the World Trade Centre area, and 10-15 minutes from the West Village. It’s 18 minutes to get from the Grove Street stop to 33rd.

Living in Manhattan is fun and exciting, but when you compare the quality of life and the space you have around you, we love our decision to move.

I travel a lot for work so therefore getting to Newark is so much more convenient than anyone getting to LaGuardia with the traffic. It’s reliably 20-30 minutes to Newark which makes a big difference if you’re traveling to and from the airport frequently.

Would you say it was a cheaper neighborhood, an average-priced neighborhood, or an expensive neighborhood?

With Jersey City being so big, you’ll find the prices vary a lot.

I wouldn’t say anywhere was “cheap” but when comparing to New York City, the prices are less. There are some really expensive areas as well if you’re looking for something especially nice.

The area around Grove Street is lovely, and cheaper than anywhere in Manhattan, especially for what you get. It’s also much cheaper than Williamsburg in most cases, and you’d need to head a fair way into Brooklyn to get something comparable.

How would you describe a clichéd person living in the area and how do they live?

It’s a fairly young crowd in general.

Both Newport and Grove St, are filled with Manhattan commuters typically in their 20s and 30s with their families. Grove St is a bit closer to the action and more filled with nightlife and Newport is slightly more residential.

North Hamilton Park is filled with townhouses and looks much more like the suburbs. It’s more expensive, and the population is definitely older.

What is your favorite bar in the area to go with friends?

Hudson Hall [where we’re sitting right now doing this interview]. They do great beers, in a fantastic big venue, and the atmosphere is always great.

There’s also Porta, a pizza place that makes fantastic pizza. They make their own mozzarella and ricotta and they have their own rooftop bar.

Do you have a favorite spot to go alone or quietly with others (venue or not)?

I love running along the waterfront. From the Goldman Sachs building in the South East, all the way to Weehawken along the Hudson. You get great views of the Manhattan sunset as the glow shines off the buildings.

Do you have a favorite café or deli and what is your order?

I’m a café person. My favorite place is Hidden Grounds and I don’t have a regular but always get a cappuccino, the coffee is great.

Out of 10 how would you rate the neighborhood for: Overall? Kids? Going Out? Quiet Living? Food? As a tourist? 

Kids: 10 – Our building is full of them, and they are welcome to go along with you everywhere. There are great parks, like Hamilton Park, and Van Vorst Park all very close to the PATH – getting a house around there is expensive but it’s beautiful to visit
Going out: 9 – We never want for anything, we have everything around us that we need. We often say that if we could just get everyone we know to move to Jersey, we’d never leave!
Quiet: 6 – It’s quieter than lower Manhattan but it is very lively and busier. If you’re looking for a West Village kind of quiet, you won’t find it here.
Food: 7 – There’s lots of great restaurants for a low to medium price point, but there’s nothing high end. You’ll find great pizza, ramen, sausage (WÜRSTBAR), and lots of great cheap food.
For tourists: You’re still commuting to Manhattan, so it’s not perfect. The hotels also aren’t all that cheap, so it’s not ideal for tourists, I’d say.
Overall: 9 – Monday to Friday is great, but it’s a little annoying when the train stops in Hoboken on the weekends

In a few words, how would you sum up the neighborhood?

Restaurants and bars. Young families. Tattoo parlors (did you know that tattooing used to be illegal in New York until only recently, so lots setup in Jersey City).

Anything else you’d like to add about the area?

There’s a new bar and restaurant opening every month, so while it’s already well established, it’s still a growing and vibrant area. For example, Hudson Hall wasn’t here when we moved in and now it’s our very close local!

All About Neighborhood Champion, Ross

How do you describe yourself in one sentence?

A metal head management consultant.

What is your favorite thing to do in the city (outside of your neighborhood)?

Running in Central Park and roaming around the West Village late at night.

Where do you call “home” and where are you “from”?

Sydney, for both.

Now’s your chance to promote whatever you want (your business, your hobby, your cool idea, or something you love)

Go Australia in the Cricket World Cup at the moment!

I’m very much looking forward to the Rugby World Cup, and will be watching lots of games when it comes around in a few months. Go the Wallabies!

Comment below if you want to keep in touch with Ross and maybe even watch a game or two together.

From America Josh

Thanks Ross! The beer was delicious.


Introducing Neighborhood Champions!

Other Champions: Meet Nico from Cobble Hill, Meet Erin from Long Island CityMeet Rachael from FiDi/SeaportMeet Edwina from WilliamsburgMeet Scott from Greenwich VillageMeet Josh of Alphabet City

Getting to know a neighborhood in New York is one of the most interesting and fun parts of living here. Building community, understanding the nuances of streets, bars, cafés, and cultures, and knowing what’s cool (and what’s not) makes you feel like you’re really part of the city. So, I want to hear about yours!

So. Are you my next Neighborhood Champion for your neighborhood? If so, send an email to [email protected] and we’ll arrange a time to meet!

About the Author

America Josh

I had a fantastic life in Adelaide and in Australia but thought in late 2015 that it was time to do something new. I handed over control of my company, sold my house, car, and even gave away my cat (“Aslan”) to start on my journey to New York.

I arrived in New York on January 10, 2017, from Adelaide, South Australia and in March 2017, I started America Josh to help make the transition to the US from wherever you’re from just a little bit easier.

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