If you’re curious to know what you missed this week in Hoboken + Jersey City news, we’ve got you covered. Among the local headlines: Suspects arrested in Green Room robbery; Mark Wahlberg was seen hanging out in Jersey City; $3 million allotted to Hudson County Parks; Mayor Bhalla announced Hoboken will be installing flood barricades; and so much more. Keep reading for all the news you missed this week in Hoboken, Jersey City, + beyond.
Razza Pizza in Jersey City Ranks Fourth Nationwide
Razza, located at 275-277 Grove Street, was ranked fourth out of a nationwide survey of the best pizza in the U.S. The survey was done by ItalianFood.Net and named the top 50 pizzas in the US. Nine pizzerias in New York City were included, making it the most represented region. The 15 top-ranked pizzas will automatically be judged in the ranking of the top 100 pizzas in the world, with the results to be announced in Naples, Italy in September 2022.
Mark Wahlberg Took a Break From Filming NJ Movie to Hang Out in JC
Mark Wahlberg and Halle Berry are currently starring in a movie called Our Man From Jersey and, fittingly, they are filming in NJ. Among the filming locations are Jersey City, Bayonne, Kearny, and Paterson — and it seems filming has already begun in JC. Just this week, JC Councilman Yousef Saleh posted on Instagram that Mark Wahlberg took time out of his busy scheduled to hang out with some neighbors and members of the Ward D Community while filming in Jersey City. Click here for what we know about this local movie.
Jersey City’s Juice Joint Celebrates its Opening
A new cafe in Jersey City promises to be more than a juice bar. Autumn Velez and Maurice Burnell, owners of the Juice Joint, located at 1180 Summit Avenue in Jersey City, want people to come for the delicious juices as well as the vibes. This new spot officially opened its doors this week with a celebration on July 15th. Click here to read about the latest juice spot on the scene.
Torta Truck in Jersey City is Getting its Own Brick + Mortar
A food truck beloved for its delicious tortas is opening a shop here in Jersey City. The Torta Truck Torteria & Taqueria will open later this summer at 413A Central Avenue in The Heights. A torta is a Mexican sandwich served on a soft roll and filled with whatever the chef can imagine. Traditional fillings include slow-cooked meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Many Hudson County residents have come to love the tortas served on the truck, and now they will be able to get their fix at the brick-and-mortar location. Click here for what we know about this new storefront.
Leila’s Plants in Jersey City is Officially Open
Jersey City resident Mariel Acevedo has always had a passion for plants. Mariel grew her collection and learned more about different kinds of plants for much of her life and made a ‘pandemic pivot’ to launch her plant business, Leila’s Plants — which got its official brick-and-mortar location at 351 Martin Luther King Boulevard in Jersey City this moth. The shop is located in a converted shipping container as part of an entrepreneurship incubator program supported by the City of Jersey City. Click here to learn all about Leila’s Plants.
Automated Flood Barricades are Coming to Hoboken This Fall
Hoboken is a wonderful place to live for so many reasons — but it’s no secret that one challenge to living here is how easily the area floods during severe weather. Flooding can be devastating for a community, from fearing for one’s safety to costly + severe damage left behind on city infrastructure and personal property. With more extreme weather and rising water levels expected in the coming years, Mayor Bhalla and the City of Hoboken recently released an announcement stating that Hoboken will be installing flood barricades in low, flood-prone areas this fall. These barricades will have sensors that monitor flood levels, which City officials will watch in order to raise the barricades up when flood levels are high. This initiative is an effort to hopefully increase safety for residents and decrease flood damage. Click here to read all about these new flood barricades.
Project Sculpt is Expanding to Jersey City
Project Sculpt, located at 319 Washington Street Floor 2, has been popular in Hoboken since its opening three years ago. With a focus on body transformations and sculpting the body you want, the gym features boxing, full body classes, core strengthening, one-on-one personal training, and more. Now, the fitness studio has announced that it will be expanding to Jersey City and is aiming to open up ASAP this summer. The new spot will be located on the corner of 1st and Provost in the first floor of the Public Storage building. Click here to read about the new Project Sculpt location.
Hudson County Budget Approved, Totaling $634 Million
According to NJ.com, Hudson County’s budget was approved. Two main factors in this year’s budget include federal funds for COVID relief and an overall increase in revenue for the county. Over $20 million in federal relief made its way into the budget. Hudson County property owners will see a decrease in property taxes levied this year, with Weehawken residents seeing the largest decrease.
Three Hoboken Restaurants Win Wine Spectator Awards
Three restaurants in Hoboken gained recognition by Wine Spectator, winning the magazine’s 2022 Restaurant Awards. Court Street was noted for its extensive wine list, with over 390 choices available. Sorellina was noted for its strength in Italian wines, with over 120 selections. Del Frisco’s Grille was noted for its strength in California wines, with over 225 wines.
Local Breweries Push Back Against New NJ Rules
A special ruling by the New Jersey Alcohol Control Board (NJACB) took effect July 1st, frustrating craft beer brewers across New Jersey. Brewers complain that the ruling unfairly limits their businesses, as many current activities at breweries would be banned under the new rule — including capping the number of live music performances, limiting the number of on-site special events, and a prohibition of food trucks on-site. Click here to read more.
Hudson County Parks Receive $3 Million Grant
The Hudson County Board of Commissioners approved over $3 million in funding to complete park improvements and historic preservation efforts county-wide, per a press release. Among the nine projects receiving funding are three in Jersey City, two in Hoboken, and one in Bayonne. One of the Jersey City projects to receive funding is the historic Loew’s Theater, specifically to complete exterior rehabilitation.
Journal Square Monuments to Remain Despite Construction
In the face of ongoing development at One Journal Square, two noteworthy Journal Square monuments will remain. Per TapInto, the Christopher Columbus statue will be relocated, and the September 11th memorial, the Jackie Robinson statue, The Circle of Honor, and the Journal Square Fountain will all undergo restoration efforts. The costs will be covered by the development company working on the redevelopment. The Columbus statue will be relocated to a traffic circle near the Loew’s Theater, where it was originally erected.
Masks Again Recommended Indoors for Some NJ Counties
According to the CDC, nine counties in New Jersey are once again at risk for medium-to-high spread of COVID. Per NJ.com, the reported cases in all of New Jersey are at over 5,000 since the January 2022 Omicron wave. Masks are recommended to be worn in indoor spaces and on transportation in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Gloucester, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, and Sussex Counties, which are designated as ‘high risk,’ per the CDC. The ‘medium risk’ counties are: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Union, and Warren.
Hoboken Dentist Recognized
Dr. Robin N. Lucas-Massay DMD, FACCA, the founder of Lucas Dental Associates, was honored by the American Academy of Clear Aligners (AACA) by becoming a Fellow. The AACA is a professional organization made up of leading dentists with an interest in using Clear Aligner Orthodontic Therapy in their practices. The Fellow is an academic and clinical distinction in the Clear aligner/Invisalign orthodontic space.
Dr. Lucas said that in order to be considered for the Fellowship, she “went through an application process which included submitting 100 completed cases, five of which were randomly selected for review. I had to have completed 50 continuing education credits in the orthodontic discipline and take a written examination.” Out of 51 applicants nationwide, 29 were selected. Dr. Lucas says patients should know about this achievement because “this fellowship demonstrates my advanced training and understanding of all clear aligners systems and my ability to deliver efficiencies not available in most offices.” Lucas Dental is located at 232 Bloomfield Street, #1, Hoboken.
Cashless Tolling Takes Effect on the GW Bridge
As of July 10th, 2022, cashless tolling is in effect on the George Washington Bridge. Drivers without an EZ-Pass will receive tolls by mail. According to a press release from PayNJ, the tolling equipment was installed at the GWB’s upper level in October 2021, with the lower-level installation completed in January 2022. Crews completed setup and configuration for the new tolling system in April 2022, while calibration and testing were finalized in June 2022. Once the system is activated, drivers will not need to stop or slow upon approaching the GWB toll booths.
Two Retail Cannabis Sites Proposed in Hoboken
The applications of two retail cannabis vendors are moving on to the next stage in getting approvals from the city. According to TapInto, the applications for Blue Violet LLC and Jersey Joint LLC will next be heard by the full Planning Board. Blue Violet LLC is tentatively located at 628 Washington Street, and Jersey Joint LLC is tentatively located at 1427 Grand Street.
Spotted Lanternfly Update
According to Patch, the lifecycle of the spotted lanternfly is about to hit one of its final stages. In July, the black nymphs seen in prior months become predominantly red, while the adults begin to appear, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Residents are encouraged to kill as many of the lanternflies as possible, as they are an invasive species that will damage agriculture, plants, and trees.
New Affordable Housing Proposal Introduced in Jersey City
A proposal has been made to Jersey City’s inclusionary zoning policies to create more affordable housing, per the Hudson Reporter. The policy creates an ‘overlay’ of new developments, where 10 to 15% of new units must be designated as affordable housing. The City argues that the outcome would result in both more density and more affordable housing. The amendment will be discussed at the Planning Board’s next meeting on July 26th, 2022.
State of New Jersey Introduces Mental Health Emergency Number
The Federal Communications Commission recently approved a new 3-digit dialing code, 988, for mental health crisis and suicide prevention. The State of New Jersey joined the rest of the country in introducing the new emergency phone number, 988, for mental health support and suicide prevention. The program in New Jersey is managed by the New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Residents nationwide can call 988 to be connected to Lifeline crisis centers.
City Challenge Race Returns to Hoboken
The award-winning obstacle course race, City Challenge, returns to Hoboken on July 30th at Pier A Park. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the race, per TapInto. The race also serves as a fundraising opportunity for local charitable organizations. Past recipients of City Challenge’s support include the Hoboken Shelter; the Jersey City Youth Foundation; and the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson, & Union Counties.
The Boss is Back: Bruce Springsteen to Perform in Newark
The pride of New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen, will return to Newark for his first hometown performance in over seven years. Per NJ.com, The Boss and the E Street Band will make a stop in Newark as part of a 2023 world tour. The show will be on April 14th, 2023. Tickets will go on sale later in July. Other nearby dates include Madison Square Garden in New York on April 1st, Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 3rd, and the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on March 16th.
Midnight Market Returns to Jersey City
The Midnight Market will return to Jersey City in a special partnership with 902 Brewing Company. The Midnight Market is a late-night food festival featuring food trucks and other local vendors. The event on July 22nd is a ticketed event, open to those 21 and up. In addition to food trucks and other vendors, this market will feature a DJ and live music, as well as beer from 902 Brewing Company.
Citywide Speed Limit Enacted in Hoboken
The City of Hoboken announced a citywide speed limit of 20 MPH, which will take effect over the next few weeks as street signs are updated, driver education is released, and speed calming measures are installed. Hoboken has been recognized as a leader in urban pedestrian safety, with many efforts coming out of the city’s Vision Zero project, which started in 2019. In a statement, Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla said, “Reducing the citywide speed limit is the latest commitment we are making to ensure our streets are safer for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists.”
Ribbon-Cutting Held for Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza
On Monday, July 11th, Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop joined the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District, the Jersey City Council, and local business owners to celebrate the completion of the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Plaza. According to the Hudson County View, the work included the addition of 24 new trees, 20 planter boxes with shrubs and landscaping, 14 large square planters with built-in seating under trees, 30 recycling and garbage combination units, 16 bike racks, and 40 benches. “Today marks the culmination of many years of hard work. The pedestrian mall has become a vital point in the area, and I couldn’t be happier,” said Historic Downtown Special Improvement District Executive Director Rachel Sieg.
Winning Lottery Ticket Sold in Hudson County
According to the New Jersey Lottery, a winning ticket was sold earlier this week in Hudson County at K & R Food Corp., 1723 Summit Avenue in Union City. The ticket sold was a $5 Jersey Jackpot Fast Play game, and the prize is $41,105. Congratulations to the ticket holder!
Hoboken High School Pool Open to Public
The City of Hoboken, in collaboration with the Hoboken Public School District Board of Education, has decided to extend open swim time for residents at the Hoboken High School Pool, located at 800 Clinton Street, to include Saturdays until August 13th, 2022.
Beginning Saturday, July 16th, the pool will now be open on Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM.
The open swim schedule is as follows:
Monday through Thursday 12PM – 1PM
Monday & Wednesday 1PM – 4:30PM
Tuesday & Thursday 3PM – 4:30PM
Saturday 10AM – 4PM
The pool will be closed on Saturday, July 30.
Open swim is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The pool’s capacity is 20 swimmers.
For more information, please contact Recreation@hobkennj.gov.
Jersey City Restaurant Week Starts July 17th
Jersey City Restaurant Week will take place from July 17th through July 31st at participating restaurants. Participating restaurants will have promotions throughout the week, such as prix fixe menus and special menu items. Diners can easily search for restaurants by neighborhood on the Restaurant Week website or use QR codes to find out about offers and opportunities to dine locally.
Arrests Made in Hoboken Robbery
According to Hoboken Police, on Thursday, July 7th, a robbery was reported at The Green Room, located at 64 Newark Street. Employees reported that the stolen goods were valued at over $1,000. Hoboken Police officers were able to use the store’s security cameras to identify a male and a female suspect. Officers arrested two suspects matching the descriptions on Wednesday, July 13. The suspects are 40-year old Maribel Rosario of Lockport, New York and 33-year old Joshua Medero of Union City.
Darek M. Wajda, owner of The Green Room said in a statement, “I’d like to acknowledge how quickly the HPD caught the individuals who stole from my shop. The Green Room is a big supporter of all local law enforcement in the towns where we have stores. It was an absolute pleasure to see how efficiently HPD was able to not only do a great job, but also keep Hoboken and its business owners safe. It’s a good feeling to know they have our back.”
Funding Assigned for Bergen Arches Project
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The State of New Jersey’s budget was approved, including an item assigning $100,000 to study preservation options for the historic Bergen Arches. The work will take place as part of the effort surrounding the Essex-Hudson Greenway. “The Bergen Arches Feasibility Study Committee looks forward to continuing as the primary liaison with the community, civic organizations, and City Hall as we have since 2018 when our organization formed. We expect the study to cost $250,000 so this is a great first step!,” said BAPC President Gregory D. Edgell, also told the Hudson County View.
Hoboken Mayor Urges Caution Related to Monkeypox
Hoboken Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla acknowledged that while no cases of monkeypox have officially been reported in Hoboken, its proximity to NYC, where cases are on the rise, means that it’s necessary for residents to take extra precautions to protect themselves, per Patch. The first case reported in New Jersey was in Hudson County, in Jersey City. Cases nationwide continue to rise, with NYC being a hotspot.
McNair High School in JC Receives Accolades
A recent study by The Washington Post education columnist Jay Matthews ranked Jersey City’s McNair High in the top 1% of schools nationwide for challenging its students. The school, located at 123 Coles Street, was ranked at 142 out of the top 300 schools in the country, according to the Jersey City Times. In particular, the school was noted for the number of students participating in advanced curriculum such as the AP and IB programs.
Boat Accident on the Hudson Claims Two Lives
The NYPD, FDNY, and the NY Waterway service teamed up on Tuesday, July 12th to respond to reports of a capsized boat in the Hudson River. The incident occurred close to Pier 79 near the Midtown Ferry Terminal around 3PM. Twelve people were involved in the accident, including the boat’s captain. Sadly, two people died in the accident.
Hooked JC to Close; Owners to Focus on Cafe Alyce
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Hooked JC, a Jersey City seafood restaurant, is closing on July 17th. The restaurant, located at 467 Communipaw Avenue, is owned by the same team behind Cafe Alyce, located at 641 Montgomery Street. According to an Instagram post, the owners are closing Hooked JC to focus on Cafe Alyce.
New Jersey Well Represented at 2022 Emmys
Many Garden State residents, past and present, will represent their home state at the 2022 Emmy Awards. In categories from comedy to drama, and both in front of and behind the camera, New Jerseyians are included in many of this year’s nominations, per NJ.com. There are familiar names, like Montclair’s Stephen Colbert, and some newcomers, including dancer Kiara Mooring from Ewing, who was a participant on the Amazon reality series, Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Girls, which was nominated for six Emmys.