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  • Exploring Jersey City: The Hamilton Park Neighborhood

    With the winter weather fading away {we can only hope} and the temperatures soon-to-be rising outside, it’s the perfect time to explore another section of Jersey City! Hamilton Park, the area just north of Downtown JC and bounded by 6th Street, Marin Boulevard, 10th Street, and Division Street, is chock full of action-packed restaurants, cafes, shops, and nightlife that are definitely worth checking out on your next adventure day in JC. Here’s a look inside the Hamilton Park neighborhood in Jersey City.

    History

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    As you may have guessed, Hamilton Park is named after {wait for it…} Alexander Hamilton — by a fellow Federalist and flour merchant named John B. Coles. Coles, like Hamilton, believed that New Jersey was a suitable area for manufacturing and transporting goods outside of the New York City area. In 1827, Coles decided to build a park, but he died before the project was completed. The park was later finished by Coles’ heirs in the mid-1800s, and the area, which now contains a gazebo, basketball court, playground, and tennis court, continues to be a focal point of the family-friendly Hamilton Park neighborhood we know today.

    How to Get There

    If you’re coming from Hoboken, it may be easiest to take an UBER or cab. You’ll have to cross over the Holland Tunnel road sitch which has no real sidewalks for pedestrians, and that’s never fun. But, it’s a pretty easy walk from the Newport PATH station or Light Rail station, so if it’s nice out that’s another way to go about it. You can also walk along the waterfront on the Hudson River Walkway and then take a sharp right, crossing through the Newport mall, to get there.

    Eating and Drinking

    Ahri’s Kitchen {227 7th Street}

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    When you’re in the mood for some comfort food, Ahri’s Kitchen is the place to go for down-home authentic Korean cooking. The restaurant, opened by a New York expat family, began with a love of food and a lack of Korean food options in the Jersey City area. Now that Ahri’s has been a family-owned favorite for over two years, locals can’t remember how they survived without their Korean BBQ fix. The restaurant has a laid back feel — you order at the counter and seat yourself– so it’s a great option for an easy lunch, dinner, or takeaway/delivery. And don’t forget, it’s a BYOB {and closed Tuesdays}, so swing by whenever that dumpling craving hits with a bottle of wine.

    White Star Bar {230 Brunswick Street}

    If you’re looking for a friendly neighborhood bar to enjoy boozy brunch, juicy burgers, and locally-sourced veggies, the White Star Bar is the perfect place. Offering a casual and rustic feel, the White Star Bar prides itself on tasty local food and attentive service without the fuss. With burgers that are ground-fresh daily by Pat La Frieda and served on an unseeded Balthazar bun, it’s definitely worth a try. The kitchen is open late, so if you find yourself in need of late night parmesan truffle fries, mac and cheese with applewood bacon, and/or TASTY cocktails, head to the White Star Bar. {PS – they have two locations, so you probably remember them from the last post about Paulus Hook!}

    GP’s Italian Restaurant {236 Pavonia Avenue}

    For those craving some Italian homecooking, look no further than GP’s, which offers an intimate dining atmosphere complete with a full bar and TVs. Set right off of Hamilton Park below the condos {that were once the site of St. Francis Hospital}, the restaurant boasts an old-school, relaxed vibe complete with red-and-white check tablecloths. Tip: opt for the meatball appetizer and the chicken parm; you won’t be disappointed.

    The Hamilton Inn {708 Jersey Ave}

    Awarded as one of OpenTable’s best 100 brunch restaurants in the country, The Hamilton Inn is a great place to enjoy brunch, dinner, or late night food with friends and family. Offering classic brunch options and healthier veggie focused foods (the Roasted Sweet Potato Salad is AMAZING), you can’t go wrong. There is usually a bit of a wait for brunch, so don’t be discouraged if you have to sip on mimosas while you wait at the bar. Like the White Star Bar, the restaurant is open late, so swing by when the midnight munchies hit or visit the next morning and enjoy a little Hair of the Dog. More about a visit to The Hamilton Inn here.

    Hamilton Pork {247 10th Street}

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    Not to be confused with the Hamilton Inn, Hamilton Pork is a spot to be reckoned with — Texas-style BBQ, tacos, and other delicious eats paired alongside cocktails and beers. You may also remember their churro waffle ice cream sandwich, which is beyond. 

    Milk Sugar Love {19 McWilliams Place}

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    If you’ve been lucky enough to sample — let alone enjoy a full cone of — an ice cream flavor or dessert from Milk Sugar Love in JC, you know it’s ice cream to write home about. The ice cream shop churns all of its ice cream from local organic milk and cream and locally-sourced products in New Jersey. You can literally taste the difference; perfect for a hot summer day strolling the area.

    Seven Sheep Coffee {342 7th Street}

    This cute little cafe tucked away on 7th street is run by a lovely woman named Luciane, originally from Brazil. Seven Sheep Coffee offers all your classic coffee options with healthy breakfast and brunch food to stay or to go. Seven Sheep Coffee’s healthy treats, sandwiches, and soups are made in house, so everything is extra fresh. There’s absolutely an old school ambiance, easily seen in the vintage furniture and decor found throughout the shop. If you’re looking for strong wifi and a relaxed feel with healthy food and coffee, Seven Sheep Coffee is absolutely worth trying.

    Smith and Chang General Goods {230 Pavonia Avenue}

    This general goods shop-turned-coffee-shop combo is a spacious haven for anyone who likes tasty coffee and gluten-free and vegan baked goods. The shop not only carries delicious food to start your morning off right {the gluten-free ginger cookies are AMAZING!}, but also houses soaps, lotions, mugs, artisanal chocolates, housewarming gifts, and so much more. They carry all types of milk alternatives, so this is great spot to take all a vegan friend or anyone opting for a dairy-free lifestyle. The bohemian rustic feel of the coffee shop provides a calming backdrop to do work or meet up with friends, so don’t miss out on this lovely shop and great caffeine fix!

    Shopping/Things to do

    Hound About Town/Hazel Baby & Kids {17 McWilliams Place}

    An amazing combo shop for wo/man’s best friend AND the special little tots in your life is Hound About Town/Hazel Baby & Kids. This two-for-one store carries all of the treats, toys, and gear you might need for your favorite fur baby, as well as a full selection of eco-friendly clothing, toys, gear, and accessories for babies and toddlers. The owner of this twofer shop is extremely helpful and attentive to his customers and their furry, and less furry, babies. Next time you visit, check out their selection of colorful leashes and collars for your pet companion, and their assortment of trendy green and eco-friendly toys for a favorite little one in your life.

    Madame Claude Wine {234 Pavonia Ave}

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    If you find yourself in need of wine and appetizers any night of the week {and by any night of the week, we mean every night of the week…}, Madame Claude Wine is a convenient shop for all of your hosting needs. Right around the corner from Smith and Chang General Goods, Madame Claude’s carries a vast selection of wine, spirits, cheese, sausages, and much more. The store offers a Wine Club, tastings, and wine classes periodically. If you’re not in the Hamilton Park area and still want to experience Madame Claude’s, drop by their bistro and cafe locations on 4th street.

    The Brunswick Center {189 Brunswick Street}

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    ^Hudson Play, inside the Brunswick Center

    The Brunswick Center in the Hamilton Park district of Jersey City focuses on improving the health and wellness of the JC community one class or activity at a time. With at least 13 small business within the center {including yoga, kickboxing, cycling, ballet, ballroom dance, pilates, therapeutics, art galleries, and more}, there is always something going on at this beacon for health and wellness. Formerly the Holy Rosary Catholic School and redeveloped by BGT Enterprises, the Brunswick Center has become a place for people, of any age, to learn and feel better about themselves through physicality, mindfulness, and education.  See more on the Brunswick Center from a recent visit here.

    Sightseeing

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    One of the best things to see in the Hamilton Park area of JC is — you guessed it— Hamilton Park! This lovely park is the centerpiece to a plethora of community activities and family-friendly events surrounded by beautiful browntones. Every Wednesday from May until October, you can find a local farmer’s market right inside the park, and in June, the community holds the Hamilton Park Festival, complete with music, raffles, food, and workout demonstrations. During the summer, the park also participates in the outdoor summer film series, and the park’s association offers house tours in the area with all proceeds donated to the St. Lucy’s Shelter. So, the next time you’re in this tiny {but mighty} Hamilton Park area, don’t forget to swing by some of these locally grown businesses and shops — you’ll find you don’t have to go very far to feel like you’re welcomed and at home in this inspiring JC community.

     

    See More: Exploring Jersey City — Paulus Hook Neighborhood


    Written by:

    Carianne is a loud-and-proud Jersey Girl. She moved to Hoboken in 2012, and what began as a stopover in this tiny urban town has turned into 4 years of exciting adventures. She works in NYC during the week, but during those free hours of the day you’ll find her seeking out a new fitness class, trying a challenging ( and clean-eating) recipe, or running around Hoboken and JC in search of new experiences. However, Carianne’s favorite activity is snuggling her fluffy Shih-Tzu companion, Fig Newton, at home with her husband.


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