Best Places to Live in Jersey City

The Top 5 Best Places to Live in Jersey City

There are a ton of places to live in Jersey City. It can be challenging to pick the best place to live for you and your family. In this post, we will take a look at some of the best places to live in Jersey City. We will consider location, price, safety, income, and local amenities (like restaurants, shops, etc.) Below are a few of the greatest places to live for you and your family.

The Waterfront

The Waterfront in ranked #1 place to live in Jersey City by a landslide. It is also ranked #1 waterfront in the entire state of NJ as well. This area has tons of shops and restaurants that will keep your family busy and happy. It also has tons of parks, fitness centers, recreational area, and grocery stores. It’s truly an area filled with everything you could ever need within a short distance.

Crimes rates are very low – at 60% less than any other place in JC. Employment rate and income level are quite high, public education receives a solid B+, and the housing market is 10% higher than the rest of JC. However, cost of living is quite high compared to the rest of the state. JC is 8% higher than the state average in living costs. Best of all, JC waterfront is a stunning location, with many condos and apartments having views of the water and the NYC skyline.

Liberty Park

Liberty Park is ranked #2 in the best places to live in Jersey City. It has high income per capita, low crimes rates, a very stable and secure housing market, and has a lot of amenities. One of the best parts about this area of JC is the fact that it is right by the infamous Liberty Park. This is a fantastic area for walking, running, sports, picnics, and any other form of recreation. There are also tons of events that go on within the park – the most notable being the 4th of July fireworks and celebration. It’s a great area for fun and active families.

Liberty Park also has good school systems with high graduation rates, household income at 156% higher than other sections of JC, and low crimes rates making it a very safe place to raise a family. Just like most other areas of JC, living costs are quite high, so you must be prepared to expect expensive houses and high living costs overall.

Downtown

Downtown living is great for young families really looking to feel like they live in a city environment. There are a ton of places to eat, drink, shop, and walk around making it one of the best places to live in Jersey City. The crime rate is quite low for a downtown city, although slightly higher than some other JC neighborhoods. Employment, weather, and housing all receive strong, solid scores.

However, some downfalls of downtown is a relatively low education rating (D) and the very high cost of living. If you are looking to move your family into the downtown area, you may want to consider sending older kids to better quality private schools. However, you should take into consideration the high cost of living and your ability to easily afford pricey private schools for multiple kids.

Hackensack Waterfront

Hackensack Waterfront is an urban area, but with a decent amount of the cozy neighborhood feel compared to the JC downtown. It is a quiet area to live without a ton of commotion, but it is close to a bunch of great amenities as well. This area has a higher crime rate compared to some other areas of JC, so it is important to keep this in mind when considering the Hackensack Waterfront as a potential location to move your family.

Education and schools receive a B- rating, housing is 8% lower than the rest of JC, and there are a good amount of amenities. However, it is important to note that employment is a bit lower than some other areas of JC. Overall, Hackensack waterfront is a good location for families looking for a quiet, yet urban neighborhood feel. It is definitely one of the best places to live in Jersey City.

Grove Street

This is a stunning street in Jersey City. It’s filled with older, character filled brownstones, a good amount of restaurants, and things to do. It’s a very walkable street located in downtown area. Port Authority of NJ and NY is located on this street as well, making it awesome for commuters who go to NYC for work on a daily basis.

It’s a great street for younger families and couples looking to start a family in the near future! The NY Times says, “The New Jersey area has blossomed with the opening of more than a dozen stylish restaurants, bars, and shops, joining longtime establishments that help it retain a tempo slightly slower than that across the Hudson River.”

 

30 Places to Visit in New Jersey This Summer

The Top 30 Places to Visit in New Jersey this Summer

Are you looking for some of the best places to visit in New Jersey this summer? If you are, you have come to the right place! We have compiled a comprehensive list of some of the coolest and most beautiful places to visit in NJ this summer. There is a little something for the whole family, so let’s take a look at some awesome options for a family outing or vacation!

Breakwater Beach and Casino

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something for both the parents and the kids, Breakwater Beach and Casino in the perfect spot to visit in NJ this summer. Explore the water park or hit the casino when the kids are busy playing in the water!

Location: 800 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This outdoor water park is super close to the city, at only an hour drive away and is one of the best indoor and outdoor water parks around Jersey City. It is located in Jackson, NJ. This outdoor water park has a lazy river, tons of water slides, boogie boarding, water rafting, and more.

For the young kids, there is a baby pool, water swings, fountain, and tree house. There is a great combination of features for parents, younger kids, and babies, which is perfect for families with many different ages.

Location: Route 537, Jackson, NJ 08527

 World of Wings

If you have little ones that love bugs and insects, check out this awesome place!

“WOW is short for ‘World of Wings’.  World of Wings is a butterfly and insect museum which features a tropical, indoor butterfly atrium.  This beautiful glass atrium is made up of two pyramid structures which peak at 73 and 64 feet.  Here, we will fly thousands of butterflies in an exotic, temperature-controlled environment.  As well as the museum, its exhibits, and our atrium, we have a multitude of other activities for families and children of all ages!”

Location: 1775 Windsor Rd Teaneck, NJ 07666

Cape May

 

 

 

 

 

Considered one of the most beautiful historic towns in all of NJ, a visit to Cape May this summer is a must. It’s the southernmost tip of NJ and worth the drive from wherever you reside. It has gorgeous beaches, delicious restaurants, and the cutest and most colorful Victorian style houses you will ever see. You can check out the Cape May Zoo, go on a whale and dolphin watching sunset cruise, hit the beach, shop, or indulge in some crab fries from The Ugly Mug. You will never be bored in Cape May, which makes it one of the most exciting places to visit in New Jersey this summer.

Location: Cape May, NJ

Thomas Edison State Park

 

 

 

 

You can easily spend a few hours exploring this park rich with history. It’s a great educational day trip for the kids. You can tour the home and lab of the great Thomas Edison, see vintage movies, and get close and personal with some super old artifacts. They provide guided audio tours for those who want even more information while touring the park. This park is one of the most historically rich places to visit in New Jersey this summer.

Location: 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

Grounds for Sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe one of the coolest places in NJ for artists, or people who just love cool works of art, this is an awesome and whimsical place for the whole family. This is easily one of the most artistic places to visit in New Jersey this summer. These sculpture gardens include:

  • “A constantly evolving collection of superb contemporary outdoor sculptures
  • 42 magnificently landscaped acres in which to stroll
  • Rotating exhibitions in six indoor galleries
  • A year-round schedule of performing arts events
  • Tours of all sorts, including moonlight tours
  • Classes, speakers and community events for all ages
  • Spectacular dining and must-have merchandise in all price ranges
  • A surprise around every corner.”

Location: 80 Sculptors Way Hamilton, NJ 08619

Battlefield State Park

 

 

 

 

 

Princeton is one of the most beautiful small towns in NJ. It’s rich with history, is home the Ivy League college Princeton University, and is filled with fun things to do. At the park, you can check out the battlefield, the Clark House Museum, Mercer Oak, the Ionic Colonnade designed by Thomas U. Walter (who was also the architect of the US Capitol Building), a stone patio which marks the grave of 21 British and 15 American soldiers killed in the battle. For another historical visit in NJ, Battlefield State Park is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey this summer.

Location: 500 Mercer Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540

Paterson Great Falls

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew this huge 77-foot and stunning waterfall could be located smack dab in the middle of Patterson, NJ? Well, it’s there and it’s totally worth the visit. You can take a guided tour or you can just check it out on your own with the family and walk around the grounds. There is a pedestrian bridge that takes you right over the massive waterfalls – it’s an experience like no other. Please note that the pedestrian bridge is often closed for repairs, so make sure you check their website for closures. However, even if the bridge is closed you can still see great views of the falls.

Location: 72 McBride Avenue, Paterson, NJ 07501

Troy Medows, Parsippany

 

 

 

 

Could this get any more stunning? We don’t think so! So, plan your trip to Troy Medows today since this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in New Jersey this summer. This meadow is a freshwater marsh in the Whippany River Watershed in the Passaic River Basin. If you are lucky, you will get the chance to see tons of beautiful lavender blooming.

Location: Troy Meadows, East Hanover, NJ 07936

Newport Green

 

 

 

 

Sink your toes in the sand at Newport Green and have the kids build a sand castle and dig in the sand! They even have a water play area that the kids can splash around in so make sure your pack their bathing suits, sunscreen, and beach toys. No need to drive a few hours in traffic to a crowded beach on the Jersey Shore when you can get the beach experience right in your own backyard.

Location: 14th St, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Hoboken Cove Boathouse

 

 

 

 

 

 The Boathouse is a must-do activity in Hoboken, especially during the summer months. It is an awesome way to get active and spend some time on the beautiful river all at a very budget friendly cost…because it’s free! Of course, anything free makes it one of the most budget-friendly places to visit in New Jersey this summer. This is great if you have a large family and don’t want to spend tons of money on pricey events and activities throughout the city.

Location: Hoboken, NJ 07030

Sandy Hook

30 Places to Visit in New Jersey this Summer

Sandy Hook is a stunning stretch of beach that runs for 7 miles. There are so many things to do in the park that the whole family will love. Of course, you can hang on the beach and play in the water and sand. But you can also walk or bike the bike path all the way down to the tip of the park, where you will have amazing views of the NYC skyline. You can rent kayaks and paddle boats, or bring your own surfboard and parasail to ride in the calm bay side. Sandy Hook is also home to an abundance of unique birds, wildlife, and flora and fauna – perfect for the nature lover.

Located at the very end of the park is Fort Hancock. Visit the Fort Hancock Museum, explore the hidden battery buildings, officers row, lighthouse, and tons more. It will feel like you are thrown back in time.

Location: Sandy Hook, NJ 07732

Red Bank

 

 

 

Super charming and quaint, Red Bank has been awarded one of the top small town main streets in the US. There are tons and delicious restaurants, adorable clothing shops, bakeries, and so much more. You can hit the antique shops, take a stroll along the waterfront, and get some famous Italian Ice at Strollo’s Lighthouse (be prepared to wait in a line!)

Location: Red Bank, NJ

Liberty State Park

 

 

 

 

With maybe the greatest view of the NYC skyline in all of NJ, Liberty State Park is a must. The park is great for walking, throwing or kicking a ball around, or having a picnic right near the water.

Location: 200 Morris Pesin Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Keansburg, NJ

 

 

 

 

A trip to Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids is a summer must for many families on the Jersey Shore. With affordable prices and tons of water rides and regular rides to ride, this is a perfect place for smaller and bigger kids alike.

Location: 275 Beachway Ave, Keansburg, NJ 07734

Adventure Aquarium 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the best and biggest aquariums in NJ, your kids will love this awesome aquarium. Visit hippos, sharks, fish, and penguins. They even have special touch exhibits where you can get up, close, and personal with some super cool sea creatures.

Location: 1 Riverside Drive Camden, NJ 08103

Land of Make Believe

 

 

 

 

Pirates Plunge water slide, Jumping Frog rides, haunted Halloween houses, and talking scarecrows are just some of the cool attractions at this cool amusement park. The park also has 9 food areas, a free picnic area, and much more.

Location: 354 Great Meadows Rd, Hope, NJ 07844

Storybook Land

 

 

 

 

 

In operation since 1955, Storybook Land is a magical park for kids and families.

“The timelessness of childhood will ring true as your family literally walks through its all-time favorite stories and nursery rhymes at Storybook Land. Children’s classics are interspersed with exciting new family rides and attractions in a remarkably clean and enjoyable park setting. Join us several times a year for memorable family experiences. You are certain to enjoy your visits!”

Location: 6415 E Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234

Luna Parc

 

 

 

 

This private home and art studio of Ricky Boscarino is like something from a fairytale. It is only open a few times per year and the next time to visit is October 18-20, 2017 – although this is not technically the summer and it definitely worth the extra wait. With over 6 acres of in lush NJ woods, you will find all kinds of artwork scattered throughout the house and property. It’s truly something the whole family will love. 

Location: 22 Degroat Rd, Sandyston, NJ 07827

Seaside Heights, NJ

 

 

 

 

Whether you are looking to lay on the beach while you kids play in the water and sand or you want to stroll along a boardwalk, check out this awesome seaside town. There are tons of restaurants and ice cream shops to try, rides, and places to walk.

Location: Seaside Heights, NJ

Diggerland Construction Theme Park

 

 

 

 

Have a little one in your life that love digging, dirt, and construction cars? Then take them to the amazing Diggerland. You can drive and ride in actual machinery that are diesel powered, full-sized pieces of equipment. However, they are modified a bit to make them safe for the general public. When you are finished driving the construction machinery, you can take a ride on their military vehicles, play arcade games, climb a rock wall, or one of the biggest rope courses.

Location: 100 Pinedge Ct, West Berlin, NJ 08091

State Fair Meadowlands 

 

 

 

 

This is the biggest fair in NJ of the whole summer. There are endless games to play, foods to eat, and rides to ride! Your kids will be in heaven at this huge state park!

Location: 1 MetLife Stadium Dr, East Rutherford, NJ 07073

6 Flags Safari 

 

 

 

 

Want to see elephants, giraffes, tigers, lions, and tons more? Look no further than 6 Flags Wild Safari! It has over 1,200 animals you can take a safari car and drive right through the safari fields to get super close to these majestic animals. It’s one of the great off-road excursions you can take in NJ this summer.

Location: 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ 08527

Pole Position Raceway

 

 

 

 

Indoor go-kart racing is always a super fun activity for the whole family…even dad! Go-karts can go up to 45 mph! This is definitely an activity for your older kids and they are sure to love it.

Location:99 Caven Point Rd, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Amish Market

 

 

 

 

 

A trip to this delicious Amish Market will leave you and your family’s bellies happy. They feature fresh baked good and doughnuts, fresh fruits and veggies, smoothie stand, fresh meat at the butcher counter, an Amish restaurant, and tons more! Check out this unique market as it is one of the coolest places to visit in new jersey this summer.

Location: 108 Swedesboro Road, Mullica Hill, New Jersey

Jenkinson’s Family Amusement Boardwalk

 

 

 

 

 

Jenkinson’s has tons of shops, candy stores, restaurants, rides, and so much more. They have awesome clean beaches to spend the whole day playing at and relaxing. Check out Jenkinson’s as it’s one of the most fun places to visit in new jersey this summer.

Location: 300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

Wild West City

 

 

 

 

 

This is the perfect place for the little cowboy or cowgirl in your life! This is definitely one of the best places to visit in new jersey this summer.

“Wild West City is a town rooted in traditional family values where history and entertainment create an unforgettable moment in time. Wild West City’s shows and activities have at their very core the important, ageless theme of the triumph of good over evil, where justice prevails and the good guys still win! Wild West City stands as a testimony to that unflinching, unwavering, courageous frontier spirit that shaped America.”

Location: 50 Lackawanna Dr, Stanhope, NJ 07874

The Twin Lights

 

 

 

With its amazing views of the forest, NYC, and the Atlantic Ocean, Twin Lights is a must visit place this summer. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse, check out their museum, and climb on the huge cannons out front!

Location: Lighthouse Road, Highlands, NJ 07732

Lakota Wolf Preserve

 

 

 

 

 

Want to take a wild wolf tour? Luckily, you can at Lakota Wolf Preserve. You must schedule a tour in advance. During the tour, you and the kids will also learn all about wolf habits, wolf packs, their interactions with humans, and so much more. This is truly an amazing experience to have with the whole family, making it one of the most places to visit in New Jersey this summer.

Location: 89 Mt Pleasant Road, Columbia NJ 07832

Happy Day Farm

 

 

 

 

Whether you want to go raspberry or blueberry picking (through August), run through the sun flower maze, climb the tire mountain, ride on a tractor, or so much more, Happy Day Farm has something for everyone. It is a perfect place to take the whole family and there is no shortage of things to do.

Location: 77 Iron Ore Rd, Manalapan Township, NJ 07726

 h
89 Mount Pleasant Road, Columbia, NJ 07832

Ward E Candidates for 2017 Jersey City

James Solomon

Ward E Candidates for 2017 Jersey City
by Reciprocity Studio

James Solomon believes in public service. Serving as an aide to the Mayor of Boston, he utilized technology to solve persistent problems like potholes and snow removal. James also designed a performance management system for three city departments for then Newark Mayor Cory Booker. James earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and his BA from Pomona College. He is currently a professor at New Jersey City University & Hudson County Community College.

James met the love of life, Gabrielle Ramos, at graduate school, bonding over a shared commitment to make the world a better place. They married in August 2015. Two months later James was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, James is blessed to be completely healthy.

James fights for progressive values. From knocking on doors on behalf of Barack Obama in rural Missouri to organizing the efforts to elect Hillary Clinton in Jersey City to leading in the Evict Trump/Kushner movement, James believes in backing up his values with hard work.

James is progressive and independent. He’ll fight for safe streets, honest government, and responsible development. And he’ll always put our community first because of this promise: his campaign won’t accept a cent in donations from Jersey City real estate developers.

Michael “Billy” Bisogno

Ward E Candidates for 2017 Jersey City

Ward E Candidates for 2017 Jersey City Michael “Billy” Bisogno is the Colombian born adopted son of an Italian Catholic father and Austrian Jewish mother. Michael first moved to Jersey City in 2001 and since that time has been a successful businessman, advocate and community organizer. As a globally recognized broadcaster and communicator, Michael hosted the Emmy nominated series “In The Life” on PBS as well as been a cultural commentator on HLN and CNN recognized for his regular appearances on Showbiz Tonight.

As a small business owner Michael successfully created jobs and opportunities by forging relationships between private enterprise and government. Michael founded and developed numerous small businesses such as Humanity Pride Productions, JB Talent Management and Discovery Map Hudson and understands the needs of the entrepreneur as well as the hard work required to make it successful.

Using his skills as a communicator, Michael advanced the goals of the LGBTQ community by successfully bringing health and human services that had previously not been available. Today Michael sits on the Board of Hudson Pride Connections Center and on the Jersey City Diversity and Inclusion board where he continues to serve the community. As a response to the current political climate, Michael founded the grass roots collective “Jersey City Stands” which organizes large scale rapid response rallies, vigils & events that aim to unify communities behind a collective cause. Michael also co-founded The Jersey City International Television and Film Festival and co-chairs the week long Jersey City Pride festival that brings 10,000 people to downtown every August.

During times of need, Michael lead and organized meetings and events which provided a voice for all of the City’s residents. He continues to work with leaders throughout the City’s neighborhoods and communities to be a voice for their concerns.

Grounded in a personal story which allowed Michael to become a successful advocate and community organizer for the entire City, he  will use his communication skills and business experience to guide the continued growth and development of Ward E in a manner which preserves its rich heritage and protects its residents.  As your Councilman, Michael can be your vocal advocate in City Hall.

Nicholas J. Grillo

Ward E Candidates for 2017 Jersey City Ward E Candidates for 2017 Jersey City, Nicholas J. Grillo was born on May 1, 1981, in Jersey City. He graduated from Holy Rosary School, Jersey City, and was raised in a close-knit Italian-American community, centered around Holy Rosary Church,  Hamilton Park and the Village Sections of downtown.  It was at Holy Rosary and in “downtown” where Nick, at a young age, began his community involvement.

In 1995, he went on to Queen of Peace High School, North Arlington. (A National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence). By the age of 17, Nick accepted his first position as a Parish Music Director/Organist for St. Joseph’s Church, East Orange. This was the beginning of many years in Liturgical Music and active participation in the Church, both in music and in fundraising.

In 1999, at the age of 18, he was named Chairperson of Holy Rosary Church’s Annual Italian Street Festival, today is known as La Festa Italiana – Jersey City, a title he still holds today sharing, it with two others. During his 15 years with the festival, it has grown into one of New Jersey’s premiere Italian-American Street Festivals, drawing thousands of visitors each day to this 5-day “feast” of great food, entertainment and summer fun. It is by far, Jersey City’s most anticipated summer event.  In the same year, Nick took the next steps in his education, entering Caldwell College to obtain his BA in Music & Liturgical Studies graduating in 2005. He has worked as organist and music director for various catholic churches and is currently the organist and music director of Holy Rosary Church, Jersey City.  He has also been involved in numerous fundraising campaigns.

Having developed a great love for serving others through his music ministry and through his work with La Festa Italiana, Nick, even early in his career, sought out additional ways to share his talents. Immediately after he graduated from Caldwell College, Nick decided to consider a future as a Licensed Funeral Director. He entered the renowned American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, in New York City and graduated in August of 2007.

In 2005, he began an internship with the Introcaso- Angelo Funeral Home in Jersey City. Working there gave Nick the opportunity to serve his downtown community and the people of Jersey City in their time of need. He made most of the Funeral Arrangements with families under several different financial & family circumstances. His compassion and understanding were unmatched, and the families he served will never forget it.  He has assisted thousands of Jersey City families in his 10 years as a funeral director downtown.  In 2011 he was honored by the Jersey City Puerto Rican Heritage and Festival Committee, as an honorary “Puerto Rican for the Day” in the 51st Annual Parade, for his support and contributions to their cultural events and because of the care and compassion he showed to the many families of Puerto Rican decent at the Funeral Home.

In October of 2014, he received a special recognition award for his dedicated service to Catholic families of the Archdiocese of Newark in their time of need.  In March of 2015, he completed the acquisition of the Levandoski Funeral Home of Bloomfield, NJ. Now, Levandoski-Grillo Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Nick hopes to bring his years of professional service to the people of Bloomfield/Essex County.  Nick has also partnered with the Riotto Funeral Home & Cremation Company of Jersey City, so that the many families Nick has served over the years in Jersey City, can still call upon him locally, in Hudson County.  In June of 2016, Nick in partnership with a friend founded the Zuasola-Grillo Filipino Funeral Service, a fully operational funeral home catering to the cultural needs of the Filipino Communities of New Jersey. It is the First Filipino Funeral Home established in New Jersey.

He is currently associated with the following organizations:

  • Co-Chairman of La Festa Italiana – Jersey City, Inc. (www.LaFestaItalianaJC.com)
  • President & Founding Member of the Jersey City Columbus Day Parade Committee
  • Past President of UNICO – Jersey City Chapter
  • Past President of the Hudson County Funeral Directors Association (current Trustee)
  • Member of the Dante Alighieri Society, Jersey City
  • Member of UNICO – Bloomfield Chapter
  • Civic Advisor for the Archdiocese of Newark – Blue Mass for Law Enforcement
  • Member of the National Italian American Foundation
  • Member of Casa Colombo, Jersey City
  • Member of the Maria SS. Dell’Assunta Society of Holy Rosary Church
  • Member of the Essex, Union, West Hudson Funeral Directors Association
  • Chairman of the Associate Member Division of the Italian American Police Society of New Jersey
  • Member of the National Funeral Directors Association
  • Member of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association

Platform Points:

~Enhancing & Increasing Open Green Space

~Providing real parking solutions & impoving traffic flow

~Increasing Pedestrian Safety

~Demanding smarter development

~Strengthening Neighborhood Associations

~Reducing Abatements

~Fighting for better Education

~Encouraging Affordable & Senior Housing

~Create a neighborhood where families WANT to raise their children.

~Being readily available to constituents

Jake Hudnut

Jake Hudnut is a fighter. Standing up to the system and advocating for others is what he’s all about. He recently served as a Jersey City Public Defender while managing his own successful criminal defense law firm right here in Jersey City for six years, advocating for the accused and protecting their constitutional rights. He is now an attorney at Spar & Bernstein, P.C., a law firm dedicated to fighting on behalf of immigrants and non-citizens.

Jake loves Jersey City with all his heart. He moved here in 2005 and has worked alongside his neighbors and city leaders while campaign managing two successful and reform-minded candidate slates for Jersey City Board of Education elections in 2012 and in 2013.

Jake graduated from Montclair State University and Seton Hall University School of Law. He lives on Grove Street with his boyfriend, Tyler, an events manager for a non-profit serving LGBTQ homeless youth.

Camp Riverbend “Wild West” Open House Saturday April 8

Choosing a camp for this summer?
Join us at our Open House Saturday April 8, 10 am – 12 noon. We’re rounding up cowpokes and buckaroos to join us for some rootin’-tootin’ “Wild West” games, crafts, and cooking for children and parents. You can meet some of our amazing counselors and tour the camp site. Free! RSVP required to [email protected] or 908-580-CAMP.
Camp Riverbend is 30 minutes from downtown JC; daily summer bus service included

NANNY SHARE IN JOURNAL SQUARE?

Hello! Does anyone have a nanny they love and interest in sharing her services starting May 1, part-time to full-time? Our daughter is 17 months and on the waitlist for daycare, so we are looking for a solution in the interim (but if it works out well, could be more permanent). We live on JFK close to Saint Peter’s, and would be happy to drop off our girl at your place with her own food and diapers (could also provide her pack n’ play for napping), so your little one’s routine would be minimally affected. And hopefully he or she will make a new friend along the way, while you also get the benefit of saving a bit on childcare. We can give you references and answer any other questions, as well. Would also appreciate references for you and your nanny. If this sounds like something that might work for you, please shoot me an email: [email protected] Or if you have any recs for other childcare solutions, let me know. Thank you!

Baby Clothes Swap in Jersey City

Date: Saturday, March 25th
Time: 10pm to 2pm
Location: Harborside Atrium
PLEASE NOTE:
Let’s clear out some clutter. It is ONLY for maternity and baby/toddler CLOTHES:
o   Make sure your apparel items are freshly laundered and in good condition – no stains, fading, or excessive wear.
How will it work? Please, read all the Steps.
1)  In order to participate you need to bring at least 5 pieces.
2)   Each participant can get up to 10 pieces.
3)   Expectant Parents can participate by bringing 1 pack of baby diapers (worth 5 pieces), that will be donated to a charity organization in Jersey City.
4)  After the event gets over, unwanted  items will be donated.
5)  After filling the form JCFamilies’ team will contact you with further details about drop off.
-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-

Christine Goodman: Art House Owner and Jersey City Mom

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey City

I’ve known Christine Goodman since before either of us had kids. It’s been amazing to grow into motherhood with her. Her words are always inspiring.

JCFamilies: Tell us who you are, professionally.

Christine Goodman: I am the founder and executive director of the visual and performing arts center Art House Productions. Now in its 16th year, we present plays, art exhibitions, and a quarterly citywide arts festival – JC Fridays.

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey CityJCF: How did JC Fridays start?

CG: JC Fridays came about after the closing of 111 First Street, an artist enclave in Jersey City. When that building closed, a lot of our arts community felt really beaten down. Art House had a meeting with arts organizers, arts friendly businesses, and other community leaders, to see how we could move the arts forward in Jersey City.

The idea of JC Fridays came out of that meeting. Even to this day, it continues the spirit of the community coming together to support one another around the arts. There was a real need for that. I think that’s why it’s such a successful program.

JCF: How important are the arts to a community?

CG: The arts are an extremely valuable component of any healthy city, particularly in times where people feel like they don’t have a voice. The arts gives people a platform, a meeting place, a community. A vibrant arts scene makes people feel invested in the city and in the communities in which they live.

JCF: What’s a typical workday like for you?

CG: It starts at 6 am – but through no decision of my own.

JCF: Because of the kids?

CG: Yes. Should we talk about a work day, or about my family?

JCF: Both.

CG: So I have my predawn experience with my one year old. That’s how we roll into the rest of the morning. I have two kids. The day starts with them waking up pretty early. My husband and I get them to school, and then I’m at Art House. It’s a 24/7 job. As a founder, an organization like this is a third child. This is my teenager.

JCF: Why did you call it a teenager – what makes it a teenager?

CG: First because it’s 16 years old. But also because it has really has matured. It can stand on its own. It has its own identity. It’s wonderful to see that through all the growing pains, we have created an institution that means a lot to many people.

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey City

JCF: How do you balance your business and your family?

CG: That’s the million-dollar question. It’s evolving. It’s a balancing act. As professional mothers, we continually walk the line of making sure that we’re there for our kids, that they have what they need, and also that we’re taking care of what the businesses needs, which can mean that you are on call at the strangest hours.

There’s no easy answer or a magic pill for running a business and being a mother of two. We have these standards of excellence as professionals and mothers that we can handle everything. The short answer is that it’s really tough. I think the short answer is in continually making sure that your children know that you’re there for them and empowering other people around your business as well.

JCF: How do you do that?

CG: For me, it means making sure that my kids feel comfortable at my business. I don’t run a 9-5. They’re comfortable at Art House. They’re comfortable in the theatre. They have space here that’s their own. They’re welcomed when they walk in the door. At the times when there needs to be a lot of juggling, they can be in the space of my business and feel like they belong.

The other thing is being realistic about my timelines, about what is humanly possible for me to accomplish. I think that the Christine before kids would work all night if she needed to. Christine after kids needs to make sure that the timelines and support systems are in place. Which has been a wonderful change for me.

JCF: Do you ever work at night?

CG: Taking a meeting at 7 pm is tough. It means that there are other people who have to sacrifice in order for that to happen. Even for me to be at the shows that I produce – I’m continually figuring out how to navigate. The natural result is that I’ve had to not hold on so tightly to the idea that I need to do it all myself at Art House. And it’s been great. There’s a beautiful leadership team here that’s really wonderful and rocking it out. It takes a village on both ends.

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey CityJCF: What was it like going from one to two babies?

CG: Having my first child and the incorporation of motherhood into business ownership was overwhelming at first, and then manageable. We found our rhythm and knew that it wouldn’t last forever, but it was working.

But when the second baby came along, the juggling wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t possible. At that point, I needed to make sure that we had a theatre manager and a technical director who could be on site in the evenings and make sure that the shows went smoothly in my absence.

JCF: If you had to do it all again, what would change?

CG: Nothing. Through owning my own business, I was able to bring my kids to work with me for the first 10 months of their lives. I could pursue my love of the arts and keep the business going. It was a wonderful opportunity and for that I am extremely grateful. In an ideal world, I don’t even know how I would change it, because my kids are growing up in the theatre and I think that’s a unique experience for them too.

JCF: What is the best advice that you ever got?

CG: It wasn’t any specific thing. Having the influence of other mothers around me that were making it work, and knowing that it didn’t always have to be perfect, was amazing. Being able to see that we all mess up, and we’re all feeling our way through this – and that it’s possible to raise children who are kind, aware, intelligent human beings while still not always getting it right felt like such a relief. It shifted the focus from being supermom to being a human being and the best mom I could be. That gave me more confidence. It’s nice to know that we all drop the ball, and we all feel like we’re constantly playing catch up, and we forget the diapers, and we try to figure out a last minute dinner, and we forget the paperwork for the school, but at the end of the day, our kids are good people. And that says to me that I’m on the right track.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at www.urdoingitright.com.

Matthew Argenti and Michael Billy: Making Jersey City Shine

Michael Billy Jersey City

I met Matthew Argenti and Michael Billy in the afternoon at the fabulous Vogue Coffee Shop in Jersey City, NJ. If you’ve seen Billy’s name in the news recently, it’s because he organized the Rally to Stand with Immigrants and Muslims, as well as the Rally to Stand with Victims of the Orlando Nightclub shooting. He’s an activist and a filmmaker, currently working on a feature about meeting his birth family in Columbia.

Matthew: We met in Teaneck, NJ at an Irish Pub. It was a fraternity thing – I was part of a fraternity – and I was there with friends. This striking gentleman was singing Boyz II Men’s End of the Road (doing karaoke) and the whole bar was singing along. That was my first impression.

Michael: We were different people back then. I’ve been sober from alcohol for 9 years – and we’ve been together 11.

Matthew: – and I work in the liquor industry! But we’re able to communicate –

Michael: – and we’ve changed together.

Matthew: That’s why it works. When people ask us ‘How have you stayed in a relationship for so long?’ I always mention how we grow together. Like when he became sober, I was at a point where I was also ready to stay away from bars, too.

Michael: Our core values have not changed. It’s almost as if we’ve been in relationships with different people –

Matthew: (eyebrows raise)

Michael: No – I mean like, the person you were in college was a different person. I would not date that guy today, who you were in college. That’s what I mean. Our core values were different then. And it was ok then. But now they’ve changed. And we changed together. Right?

Matthew: (nods) We’ve been together for eleven years but married for one. And now we’re ready to have a child.

Michael Billy Jersey CityMichael: Because we have a dog, and that worked out. (laughs) And we’re home a lot… This past year, I found my birth parents [in Colombia]. I found my birth mother and found out my birth father had been murdered by Escobar’s people. It was a huge bomb dropped into my personal life. And then Matt brought up the idea that we should adopt from Colombia.

Matthew: We have family there that we could trust in the process. There are so many kids that need a home. Michael was adopted from Colombia – we would want to do the same for someone else.

JCFamilies: Do you have an idea of what kind of parenting philosophy you would have? Or what would be important to you as parents? Like what did you appreciate about your own childhood that you would want to replicate?

Michael: I really wanna screw this kid up. (laughs)

Matthew: (clears throat) We had different experiences of growing up. My mom owned a travel agency, so I was able to travel a lot. I was able to experience different cultures and adapt. That’s would be very important for me. And maybe a city lifestyle. Jersey City is such a melting pot – it would be a great way to expose our kids to all the things we value.

Michael: In a larger context, I think it’s become very clear that we need to reform education on all levels. I believe being a parent allows us to educate our children on quiet, on stillness…On all things – from gender, to meditation, to different ethnicities. We have an opportunity to correct some of the wrongs that have been taught. Regarding the school situation – who knows? I was partly homeschooled. I know there were benefits, but for me there were also missed opportunities.

Matthew: – and I grew up in a Catholic school. As far as high schools go, my school was actually very accepting and open to different kinds of kids.

Michael: We were Jewish. I went to Catholic school too but at the end of the day, my mom would tell me the “real deal” as she said… We also have to mention humor. And dancing. Those are all so important in raising children. The energy of the house, the energy we give off… It’s not just the things we say. We come from a generation of people who are wildly horrific at communication –

Matthew: I think that’s one of the things I love about our own relationship – the communication. Even when we’re having a bad day, we always make each other laugh. We connect with humor.

Michael: We keep a little journal to surprise each other with.

Michael Billy Jersey CityMatthew: It sounds corny, but think about it. Your husband surprises you with a card or a note or something, you’re not sure how long to keep it, it ends up getting thrown away, then there’s guilt about that – like what’s the expiration date on those cards? But if you had a journal book where you had all these surprise love notes, like when you come home from a bad day to a love note – and then you have this book to keep –

Michael: Take a moment for someone. It’s your fricken husband for godsakes!

Matthew: It’s a “remember when” in a sense.

JCFamilies: Can we talk about raising queer children? What are some of things to keep in mind?

Michael: Start with an understanding that gender expression and fluidity are all about love. It’s not about putting the child in a box or a label. Experimenting and questioning is part of evolving.

Matthew: There’s a part of the world that you can’t provide for your child. But providing love and acceptance in the home will school the child for their whole life. Be open, loving, accepting. It’s stability.

Michael: I’ve been attacked myself, and that one event kicked off my entire life. My parents could not control that. But they did provide me a home.

There’s an assumption that adversity is bad. But the pain that trans and LGBT kids are feeling only makes the community stronger. It helps to create a voice that is undeniable for years to come. Don’t judge adversity as bad. Give up control and prepare your child for the array of things that may happen in their lives.

Matthew: There was a guy I bonded with in high school – he was straight – and he got made fun of for being gay too. So it doesn’t matter. Energetically, we’re all the same.Michael Billy Jersey City

Michael: We are every one of us.

Matthew: Whether it’s a queer family, or straight family, or whatever – we’re all one and we’re all part of the community. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity we are, we’re all part of this community. And we’re awesome.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at www.urdoingitright.com.