Culture Up, Amenities Down in Jersey City Heights
It’s been just over 10 years since I moved from Hoboken to Jersey City Heights. I have seen some real change in areas, both for the good and unfortunately, not so good.
One of the reasons I like living on Central Avenue is it’s a shopping district and usually everything is right within reach. Some of the most basic needs however, are now not available. Two different newsstand locations are now closed; the bakery “Goehrigs” closed over a year ago; and soon the closest supermarket (C-Town) I hear will be closed, even if for renovation, that’s still closed.
I see some stores come in here and there, but they don’t seem to be suited to this area and what the street or residents need.
Considering Central Avenue is a shopping district, why can’t we get two of the most basic type of stores to open in a heavy traffic location. I can walk down to the ShopRite (in Hoboken) to get a bread, but will I need to take a bus to Journal Square or Hoboken for a magazine and newspaper?
As I worry about these issues, I will say that there are more cultural events happening in the Heights than I have time to attend! There is… the farmer’s market, jazz at the reservoir, art shows, poetry and prose readings, musicians, open mic nights, outdoor murals to admire, the gardening group, and more.
Lots of people are moving to heights. Our own Mayor Steven Fulop has recently bought a house on Ogden Avenue.
Just this past week, I was walking down Central Ave. and was excited to see a inspiring idea in action. Over 90 students were painting pictures on shop windows for Halloween. With teachers there to advise and business owners embracing the idea, they have easily decorated the avenue with art, while showing how the community can come together for creative instruction and the public gets to admire the pictures every day, at least for a few weeks.
In the branding business, we usually say (or I do), “If you build it right, they will come.” So, maybe it’s time to start enticing the right businesses to open in these empty locations by showcasing why they would succeed. The bus stops alone draws tons of people on their way to work and they would be standing right outside these stores waiting for the bus, and since we know that could be a while, imagine how many would want a coffee, muffin and newspaper!
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