17 Headlines You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City This Week

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Hey, Hudson County! How are you doing? From us to you, we sincerely hope you are staying strong as our community continues to shelter in place during the coronavirus pandemic. Little by little, our communities are starting to re-open, with some Hoboken parks opening as of Friday. We may be #AloneTogether right now, but we’ll be together together soon.

We’re rounding up the most crucial COVID-19 related headlines as well as some other local news that’s worth catching up on from this past week. Let’s start with the latest COVID-9 updates in Hoboken + Jersey City:

  • – As of May 8th, Hoboken now has 525 positive COVID-19 cases according to the latest Nixle alert; and Jersey City has 6,066 positive cases as of May 8th. Track Jersey City’s numbers daily here.
  • – Over 125 residents have made full recoveries, with most confirmed cases falling in the 31-40 demographic. Two of the confirmed cases in Mile Square are children under 16.
  • — Hoboken has begun COVID-19 antibody testing, piloting with first responders — the full story.
  • — Jersey City has begun antibody testing for all residents.
  • – Every night at 7:00PM, join the Hoboken Girl team in showing our gratitude for those working on the frontlines of this pandemic — doing a Hoboken + JC wide clap. Get more information here – we pick a song nightly.
  •  Find more of the latest local + statewide updates on our daily updates page.

Hoboken To Close Jefferson Street to Cars to Create More Social Distancing for Pedestrians and Cyclists

jefferson street closed hoboken

The City of Hoboken launched an “open street” pilot program on Jefferson Street this weekend. In an effort to create more social distancing space for pedestrians and cyclists, Jefferson Street between 3rd and 11th Streets will remain closed to cars and other vehicular traffic on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00AM to 8:00PM during the pilot program.

Hoboken PD has five Traffic Control Officers {TCOs} patrolling Jefferson Street. Officers will assist residents who need access to vehicles or their garages. According to a statement from Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla, residents who have parked their cars on Jefferson Street do not need to move their cars.

During the social distancing pilot, anyone outside is expected to wear a mask and congregating in groups is prohibited.

Bhalla also added that the waterfront street, Sinatra Drive, in Hoboken has not been closed to vehicular traffic in an effort to prevent overcrowding. The concern, Bhalla said, is that if Sinatra Drive is closed to cars, more out-of-town pedestrians will come to walk around the waterfront, which would make enforcing social distancing more difficult.

Jersey City Mayor Fulop Goes Viral For Sharing City Hall Floor Renovation

Who could have guessed that during all the craziness of the COVID-19 outbreak, that Jersey City and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop would go viral for something positive.

In a recent tweet, Mayor Fulop explained how COVID gave Jersey City an opportunity to do some renovations that would normally be difficult to coordinate because of inconvenience. He wrote, “We used COVID-19 shutdown to do projects that would’ve been inconvenient for residents regularly {street paving, park renovations, etc.} One project was ripping up the 1960s vinyl floor at City Hall. We thought we’d find garbage but instead we found the original from 100 years ago {sic}.”

The tweet was picked up by meme account @kalesalad, which has more than 3.9 million followers. In the caption, @kalesalad wrote, “While we are here why did every house cover hardwood floors with carpet in the 1960s @stevenfulopjc.”

After going viral with the original tweet about City Hall’s original floors, Mayor Fulop provided a follow-up a few days later.

“This is the latest from our restoration to the original City Hall that we started during the COVID-19 shutdown,” Fulop tweeted. “I shared some of the earlier mid-1800s original tile we found hidden in hallways underneath the 1960s vinyl tile. Here’s the next section we found of historical tile.”

NJ Supreme Court Rules Against City of Hoboken in Monarch Site Fight

monarch site hoboke news

The New Jersey Supreme Court has come up with a ruling for the Monarch Project in Hoboken as of May 5th: Hoboken versus Shipyard Associates LP. The court ruled against the City of Hoboken, which has been trying to bar the development of two 11-story buildings at the waterfront Monarch site. The court rejected the retroactive application of a pair of ordinances that would prohibit residential uses on piers, noting that they were passed less than two years after the project’s approval.

Despite the ruling, the City can fall back on a previously negotiated deal with New Jersey-based property company, Applied. While the terms of the agreement have not yet been finalized, the negotiation would ultimately culminate in the transfer of the Monarch property to the City of Hoboken. In the meantime, Hoboken is continuing the redevelopment process to prevent Shipyard Associates LP from developing the waterfront Monarch site.

Get the full story here.

Jersey City Introduces That Prohibits Delivery Apps From Charging More Than 10% on Delivery; Uber Eats Responds with Additional Fee for Customers

takeout food delivery coronavirus

 

Jersey City’s Mayor Fulop has signed an executive order that limits percentages of 3rd party delivery apps such as Delivery.com, GrubHub, Seamless, and UberEats — from charging more than 10% of a delivery during the pandemic.

“The restaurants are sort of this little guy that’s getting kicked around because if they don’t use the app then most customers don’t find them,” Ward E Councilman James Solomon said. “If they do use the app their margins are so small that it doesn’t allow them to get their head above water.”

That being said, in a response to the cap in Jersey City, Uber Eats released a statement on Friday that they’d be charging $3 fees on top of normal delivery fees to JC deliveries.

In Hoboken, Councilman Defusco and Council President Jen Giattino introduced a similar ordinance in Hoboken. Read more about the situation here.

Taco Bell Is Coming to Downtown Hoboken

taco bell opening hoboken news

{Photo credit: @tacobell}

Sources tell Hoboken Girl that a Taco Bell could be coming to town. The fast-food taco and burrito chain is allegedly settling in downtown Hoboken in the old Cascade Cafe space at 38 Hudson Place. Right now, the closest Taco Bell to the Mile Square is located at the mall in Jersey City.

While Hoboken has not been added to the website’s official list of locations nor have any Hoboken “hiring” ads been posted, if COVID-19 doesn’t put a damper on construction, it looks like the Mile Square could have a Taco Bell as early as 2021.

Former Hoboken Girl of the Week Courtney Roselle to Appear on The Rock’s Season Two of The Titan Games

courtney roselle the titan games

Almost exactly one year ago, Jersey City-based Courtney Roselle was our Hoboken Girl of the Week and now, she is appearing as one of the new Titans in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Season 2 of NBC’s The Titan Games.

The new season of The Titan Games premieres on NBC on Monday, May 25th. Roselle has coached at Brazen Athletics in Hoboken, Black House Strength + Conditioning in Jersey City, and competed in Miami’s Wodapalooza Fitness Festival. She has also appeared in Women’s HealthSelf, and Shape.

If you’re new to The Titan Games, “The Rock” hosts the show, which gives exceptional everyday men and women the opportunity to push themselves in extreme tests of strength, endurance, and mental fortitude, according to the tagline of the show. Contestants compete in head-to-hand battles of physical challenges, with ultimately, one man and one woman competitor left standing.

You go, Court!

Cavany Foods Opening Gourmet Market in Jersey City

cavany food market jersey city

{Photo credit: @cavanyfoods}

Cavany Foods is a full-service meal prep company that is now opening a gourmet market at 235 Grand Street in Downtown Jersey City.

“Cavany Foods is a local business with a loyal following and a high-quality product. We’re delighted to partner with them on their first retail location,” said Jonathan Kushner, president of KRE Group. “When we select a retail tenant for one of our buildings, we consider the impact it will have on our residents and the community at large. In this case, the benefit was clear.”

This is Cavany’s first-ever retail location, but Cavany is in no way a stranger to the local community. Previously, Cavany operated home-delivery service through an app and made appearances at local farmer’s markets.

“We decided to open at 235 Grand because it is in an area with a lot of pedestrian traffic, close to the PATH and the downtown commercial district and near our existing customer base,” Chef Alejandro Ferrer said.  “We also like the idea of setting up shop in a brand new building whose residents will essentially be using us like room service.  It’s the perfect location for our business to grow.”

Hoboken Girl Raises $2,000+ for EMS Volunteers

hoboken volunteer ambulance corps

Hoboken Girl has raised $2,015 for EMS volunteers in the Mile Square. Following our virtual ’90s dance party benefit last Saturday, May 2nd, we were able to successfully raise over $2,000 for the Hoboken  Volunteer Ambulance Corps — thanks for donating, everyone!

JS Design in Hoboken Offers Downloadable Mother’s Day Coloring Pages and DIYs

mom day coloring pic frame

A born-and-raised Hoboken dad is offering downloadable Mother’s day coloring sheet designs, as well as a print-out tulip bouquet DIY. Print-outs for Nana and Grandma are also available! Looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift? Check out the downloadables on JSDesignHoboken.com.

City of Hoboken Releases Map of Which Local Businesses Are Open

city of hoboken business map

Not sure what’s open and what’s not? The City of Hoboken has released an interactive map that shows which local businesses are currently open. According to a notification that appears when you first visit the website, the information for the map was crowdsourced through the City’s Business Status Survey.

The map has a few handy features. First, you can click on any of the business names that appear in the right column and information like hours, phone numbers, and whether or not they’re doing takeout or delivery, and available on third-party delivery apps will pop up. On the left side, you can actually customize your search. So, if you’re looking for an emergency vet, you can actually toggle to “Animal/Pet Services.”

You can also customize your search by the service you’re looking for — delivery, delivery via third-party apps, takeout, curbside pickup, online ordering, virtual streaming {for various events and classes}, by appointment, shipping, or other. Lastly, you can also customize your search by only searching businesses that are Hoboken Green Certified businesses.

9th and 23rd Street PATH Stations Close Overnight in Manhattan

path fare increase

According to NJ.com, both the 9th and 23rd Street PATH stations in Manhattan have decided to close for overnight hours for the rest of the COVID-19 emergency. Port Authority announced that each station will close at midnight, then promptly reopen at 5:00AM to service the essential workers still commuting into the city.

The PATH stations at 9th Street and 23rd Street in Manhattan will shut down during the overnight hours for the remainder of the coronavirus emergency, the Port Authority announced.

“The temporary station closures will remain in effect through the duration of the emergency orders,” the Port Authority said in an official statement. “This enables [the] PATH to focus resources efficiently throughout the system while maintaining overnight service.”

Despite the two closures, the Journal Square-33rd Street line, Christopher Street, 14th Street, and 33rd Street stations will continue to operate 24 hours a day.

Police Department Reports Anti-Asian Bias Incident in Hoboken

hoboken police patch

In the wake of a recent “bias incident” in the Mile Square, Hoboken PD Chief Ken Ferrante has issued an official statement. The incident, which occurred on Saturday, May 2nd, saw uniformed officers responding to a call of criminal mischief at 222 Clinton Street. There, near the garage doors, officers found anti-Asian hate speech spray-painted across the pavement.

The spray painting read, “1 AMOR = 3 C***** USA #1 C***** DIE.”

In response to the hate speech, Mayor Bhalla said, “Hate has absolutely no place in Hoboken not now, not in the future, not ever. Hoboken is a fair and welcoming City where all are equal and accepted, and I stand with our Asian American community in condemning this racist act in the strongest terms possible.”

Bhalla ended his official statement by thanking the Hoboken PD and encouraging anyone with information regarding the incident to call 201-420-2113 or 201-420-5112.

When police arrived at the scene on May 2nd, no suspects were in the area. However, Investigative Detectives Bret Globke and PO Ryan Houghton secured surveillance footage that depicted a suspect nearby around 10:56PM on May 1st.

In the footage, the male suspect — described by Hoboken PD as a light-skin male, bald, with a medium build, wearing dark-colored clothing and dark shoes — walked south on Clinton Street, then stopped in front of the garage door to spraypaint the ground. The male suspect then enters the parking lot, then leaves the lot soon after, walking south on Clinton towards 2nd Street around 11:11PM.

If you have information on this bias incident, Hoboken PD urges you to call Detective John Quinones at 201-420-2113 or D/Sgt. William Collins at 201-420-5112 or email them at Quinonesj@hobokenpd.org and Collinsw@hobokenpd.org.

Former Maxwell’s Place to Turn Into Sirenetta Seafood + Raw Bar

sirenetta seafood raw bar old maxwells

{Image rendering by Nastasi Architects via Jersey Digs}

It was the end of an era when the iconic Maxwell’s Place in Hoboken went out of business nearly three years ago. Now, after being vacant for years, it has officially been announced that the former Maxwell’s at 1309 Washington will be transformed into Sirenetta Seafood + Raw Bar by Gabi Lombardi, the owner of Sorellina.

The fact that Sirenetta is going to be a seafood and raw bar comes as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Back in October 2019, a press release for the not-yet-disclosed restaurant read, “As for the full details of our concept and plans for the space? You will just have to wait and sea…”

The emphasis on the “sea” made many believe that the new place would be serving seafood. If that’s what you guessed almost a year ago, then you were right!

Construction on Sirenetta began back in January and though no official opening date has been announced, restaurant representatives did present their plans to the Hoboken Historic Preservation Committee during a virtual meeting on May 4th.

While current plans for the restaurant show that it will be able to seat 100, restrictions as a result of COVID-19 could potentially cause the owner to scale back.

#HRH5 Raises Money for Essential Staff

high rise high five

Local Jersey Citians Ashley and Sarah have launched High-Rise High Five {or #HRH5}, a fundraiser that raises money for the essential staff in their Gotham JC apartment building — specifically the concierge, maintenance, and cleaning staff that have worked so hard during the COVID-19 crisis to clean and cater to residents.

“We… have noticed a significant influx of packages and increased cleaning in our 23-story high-rise,” Sarah explains to Hoboken Girl via email. “Our staff is working so hard and trying to stay positive while dealing with incredible amounts of stress.”

Plus, they are also offering donation incentives. Those who donate $50 to the cause will receive an official #HRH5 thank-you coloring page not delivered contactless, posted to their door. Anyone who donates $100 will receive a shout-out on Instagram. Those who donate $150 will receive a Lucky Karp Self-Care Pack {Lucky Carp is Sarah’s business} and those who make a donation of $250 receive all of the aforementioned incentives, as well as a homemade mask and according to the website, “mega thank-you karma.”

The High-Rise High Five GoFundMe Page has already hit its goal of $2,500, with a total of 45 donors, but Ashley and Sarah don’t plan to slow down their fundraising efforts.

“While our immediate goal is focused on The Gotham, we would love to inspire others to do the same in their buildings,” Sarah writes. “We’re offering our support and guidance to launch their campaigns.”

Bread Basket Announces Overnight Delivery, Delivers Locally

bread basket delivery

Manhattan-based bakery Bread Basket has announced national shipping during the coronavirus emergency. Bread Basket delivers bread, pastries, and sweets locally. There are one-time bread delivery options as well as one-time delivery donation options, and weekly and bi-weekly delivery options.

Hoboken to Begin Public COVID-19 Antibody Testing, Piloting with First Responders This Past Friday

hoboken antibody testing

Hoboken is going to begin doing public COVID-19 antibody testing, having done a pilot run with first responders this past Friday. The city is partnering with Dr. Javed Islam from Prompt MD, as well as Power Analytics {a real-time simulation, software, and data analytics company} to offer antibody testing with a rapid, 10-minute antibody test. The testing site will be located at 601 Jackson Street {7th street + Jackson Gym}. The antibody site will formally open to the Hoboken public in the coming week, with appointments required for testing.

Launch of the Hoboken Relief Fund Aims to Raise Money for the Local Economy

hoboken brick mortar businesses

The Hoboken Relief Fund is the brainchild of a group of citizens who are on a mission to help the small businesses in Hoboken, as well as residents, get through the economic and financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is organized by Councilwoman Jen Giattino, Councilman Phil Cohen and Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. Money raised will go into the local economy, helping small businesses get back on their feet while also aiming to help Hoboken’s vulnerable residents, families, and seniors.

The kick-off event for the Hoboken Relief Fund will be a concert on Saturday, May 16th that will be broadcast on the City of Hoboken’s Facebook page. The concert will feature Hoboken musicians who will perform songs to benefit the fund. The event will be co-hosted by Mayor Bhalla and popular Hoboken businessman and TV personality Buddy “the Cake Boss” Valastro.

Hoboken Relief Fund board members — Joe Barry, Grant Sahag, Irene Perello, Lavon Smith, Donna Garban, and David Bistany, along with the Fund’s clergy advisors — Rabbi Robert Scheinberg of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas of All Saints Episcopal Church, and more to come — are looking to raise $2 million and provide those funds through a grant process to businesses and organizations in need.

Fund co-chair, councilwoman Jen Giattino said, “Without our small businesses there would be a gaping hole in the heart and soul of our community.  I am very excited to have the opportunity to ensure that our small businesses will be supported and I am hopeful that they will be able to receive funding that will help secure their future.  Thank you to my fellow board members and Rabbi Scheinberg and Reverend Thomas for their work.  A special thank you to Geri Fallo for organizing our first event.”

If you would like to donate to the Hoboken Relief Fund, visit HobokenReliefFund.com or mail a check to The Hoboken Rotary Club at P.O. Box 1027, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Checks can be made payable to the Hoboken Rotary Foundation and the memo of the check should say, “The Hoboken Rotary Club Foundation c/o Hoboken Relief Fund”. The Hoboken Relief fund is currently in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status to ensure that all donations are tax-deductible.

Got a news tip? Let us know — email us at hello@hobokengirl.com! We appreciate it.

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Stephanie Osmanski writes honest things about health, the planet, and being a woman. Her words have appeared on Business Insider, Parade, Eat This Not That, Dogster, Scary Mommy, Green Matters, Parents, Seventeen, Life & Style, InTouch Weekly, and more. Her articles have been syndicated on World Economic Forum, MSN, MSN UK, and MSN Canada. In her free time, Stephanie and her registered therapy dog, Koda, volunteer at local hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.


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