• Hoboken May Get an Orangetheory + More News You Missed This Week

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    It’s been a busy week in Hudson County with lots of local developments making the news, but then again: When isn’t it a busy week? Earlier this week, we reminded you that the Hoboken Italian Festival is returning September 5th, gave an update on all the crazy changes happening in the downtown bar scene, and reported that the Jersey City Seafood Festival is happening September 7th. Did you miss any of those? Then double back and make sure to read up.

    Now that it’s Sunday, we’ll catch you up on the rest of the headlines you might have missed this week. For starters, Mayor Bhalla is moving forward with acquiring Union Dry Dock under eminent domain in order to turn it into a public park.

    Sadly, a shooting occurred in Jersey City, leaving a man with life-threatening injuries and Jersey City mysteriously stopped reporting its crime statistics on its website. In other happier news, Hoboken-born tennis legend Michael Chang stopped by the Mile Square to visit his mural, a Harry Potter game outpost is coming to the Newport Centre Mall, and Hoboken may get its very own Orangetheory.

    Ready to catch up on everything you missed? Keep reading!

    Mayor Bhalla to Use Eminent Domain to Acquire Union Dry Dock, Turning it Into Public Park

    union dry dock stop work

    It’s happening; Hoboken is making moves to officially acquire Union Dry Dock. Wednesday night, the Hoboken City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Bhalla to the use of eminent domain to acquire the property under the intention of transforming UDD into a public park. The City is now entering the process of negotiations with New York Waterway to agree upon a potential acquisition price for UDD.

    In the event that the Bhalla administration and NYWW are unable to come to terms, the City can purchase the property through the use of eminent domain for $13.1 million. If, of course, New Jersey Transit does not acquire the property first.

    “Today, Hoboken is one critical step closer to achieving our decades-long dream of a public, waterfront park at Union Dry Dock,” said Mayor Bhalla in an official statement. “We cannot, and will not give up this opportunity to create a contiguous waterfront our children can enjoy for generations to come. I want to extend a special thank you to the many residents and community groups who have made their voices heard throughout the process, as well as the City Council for their unanimous support. I look forward to beginning good faith negotiations with New York Waterway to acquire Union Dry Dock in a process that is fair to both parties.”

    Clinton and Grand Street Getting Bike Lanes

    jersey city bike lanes

    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    As Hoboken’s Vision Zero continues in full swing, protected bike lanes are to be installed on Clinton and Grand Streets. Modeled after the ones in Jersey City {pictured above}, protected bike lanes are thought to be a way to reduce sidewalk riding and accommodate all riders, according to Mayor Bhalla.

    “It is one of the many ways we will work to achieve the Vision Zero goal of 0 traffic-related fatalities or injuries by 2030 and should be installed by the spring of next year.”

    Christopher Columbus Drive in JC is Getting a Redesign

    christopher columbus redesign

    {Photo credit: JerseyCity.gov}

    Christopher Columbus Drive is undergoing a significant redesign. The new plan comes as a result of the Columbus Drive Corridor Study, executed by the City of Jersey City and New Jersey Department of Transportation. According to the PDF of the redesign plans, the new concept will feature new bike lanes, new sidewalks, raised buffers, painted buffers, delivery or pickup/drop-off zones, and more. The overall premise of the redesign seems to be reducing Columbus Drive to one lane each way, a plan some Jersey Citians expressed concerns about in the comments section of a recent reddit thread.

    “I’m very anti-car but I think that reducing to one lane in each direction will cause way more gridlock since people will still try to take the shortcut from the Turnpike plus the growth of ride-sharing vs owning a car,” one user wrote.

    Another user wrote, “I would guess one of the goals is to reduce the number of people cutting through a residential neighborhood to get to the tunnel. Cause them enough pain that eventually the cut through is no longer a viable option. There aren’t enough people living with cars in Harsimus/Village/Hamilton Park that would generate enough serious traffic on their own. Plus this gets people to stop driving 40mph+ between Brunswick and Washington.”

    Man Shot in the Head in Jersey City

    jersey city police nj

    A man was shot in the head in Jersey City early Tuesday morning near Martin Luther King Drive and Wegman Parkway. After police discussed the shooting in radio transmissions, Jersey City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Sclacione confirmed the incident later that afternoon.

    The victim was a 30-year-old man who suffered two life-threatening gunshot wounds around 12:50AM Tuesday morning. Also shot in the ribs, the victim was brought to Jersey City Medical Center where he continues to receive treatment for the life-threatening injuries.

    While there is little information to go on, as police have not confirmed any details, witnesses told police that two men approached the victim, shot him, and ran west toward Bergen Avenue. All information about this incident has been gathered from police transmissions and NJ.com as police haven’t shared any details yet.

    Bum Pilates Moves to Grand Street

    bum pilates

    Bum Pilates has officially moved studios. You can now get your pilate on over at 1422 Grand Street in Suite 5A. In a recent Instagram post, Bum Pilates reminded their members of the switcharoo.

    “DON’T FORGET WE HAVE OFFICIALLY MOVED TO 1422 GRAND STREET, 5A,” the IG caption read. “SEE YOU THERE.”

    New Documents Said to Prove NYWW Doesn’t Need Union Dry Dock for Ferry Maintenance Facility

    union dry dock new york waterway

    More about the Union Dry Dock controversy between the City of Hoboken and New York Waterway. Earlier this week, Mayor Bhalla released newly-uncovered documents that demonstrate NYWW was planning a ferry maintenance facility at its current site in Weehawken. In a letter from Arthur Imperator, the President of New York Waterway to New Jersey Transit in February 2017, Imperatore confirmed plans were underway.

    “Yet again, Arthur Imperatore and New York Waterway are exposed by another lie and blatant disregard for the truth,” Mayor Bhalla said in an official statement. “Now we know for certain, through Mr. Imperatore’s own admission, that New York Waterway was planning for a ferry maintenance facility at its current site in Weehawken. Not only does this prove, once and for all, that New York Waterway does not need Union Dry Dock to operate a ferry maintenance facility, but that Mr. Imperatore himself purposefully misled the public about a self-imposed transportation ‘crisis.’ New York Waterway owes the residents of Hoboken an apology for its history of lies and deception.”

    The letter is seen by many as further proof that NYWW can continue to operate at its current Weehawken location rather than have to move the site to Hoboken. Moreover, the letter is also seen to be proof that NYWW misled the public about the existence of a “transportation crisis.”

    In other recent UDD news, the New York/New Jersey Baykeeper has declared its support for the City of Hoboken as Bhalla attempts to turn UDD into a public park.

    “NY/NJ Baykeeper has long been a champion of public access to our urban waterfronts, and that is the reason we support Hoboken’s longstanding plan to create unfettered public access along the length of its popular waterfront,” said Baykeeper and CEO, Greg Remaud. “In fact, NY/NJ Baykeeper and Hackensack Riverkeeper successfully sued the State of New Jersey for not upholding the public’s right to access tidally flowed land along our urban waterfronts and beaches.  Our legal victory along with the public trust expertise and leadership of the American Littoral Society and community groups throughout the length of Jersey Coast led to the passage of new public trust legislation in New Jersey that was signed into law by Governor Murphy in May.”

    Mayor Bhalla reacted to the Baykeeper’s response by saying: “I thank the NY/NJ Baykeeper for recognizing the vital importance of connecting Hoboken’s waterfront,” said Mayor Bhalla. “We should never compromise the health and safety of our communities, and a heavy refueling depot would ruin any chance we have of a public at Union Dry Dock while ravaging our environment for years to come. I look forward to our continued efforts with NY/NJ Baykeeper and the numerous environmental organizations that have joined Hoboken in this critical fight to save our waterfront.”

    Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance Hosting a Fall Fundraiser at The Franklin

    fall fundraiser invitation

    The Jersey City Reservoir Preservation Alliance is hosting a fall fundraiser at The Franklin on September 24th. All are invited! VIP Hour is from 6:00PM-7:00PM, dinner from 7 :00PM-10:00PM. Located at The Franklin {159 New York Avenue, Jersey City}, tickets cost $55 for dinner, $75 for dinner + VIP Hour, $100 for dinner, VIP Hour, + supporting membership, and $175 for dinner, VIP Hour, sustaining membership, + recognition at the event.

    You can grab the full details of the event, menu, and more here.

    More Details on Lokal Eatery + Bar Surface

    lokal jersey city

    When Taphaus in Jersey City closed, many wondered what would become of the former space. {Especially with all those stunning waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline.} Well, we quickly learned that Lokal Eatery + Bar would be taking over the location and now, Hoboken Girl finally can provide some more information on the new restaurant.

    According to Jersey City Upfront, the owners of Lokal are Mona Panjwani and restauranteur Hemant Phul and together, they have transformed the former Taphaus into a brand new space that will welcome all and feel safe to all.

    “Jersey City is a town of immigrants and we’re all the new locals,” Phul told Jersey City Upfront. “Jersey City has come a long way. We’re bringing in quality food and a quality bar program so that you can stay local.”

    One of the concepts behind Lokal — which is the German word for “local” — is to bring on board as many New Jersey-sourced ingredients as possible. Even the cocktail menu will feature local beers and spirits.

    To bring their vision to life is executive chef Walter Donadio, a Michelin star kitchen trained chef who has worked everywhere from Nobu Fifty Seven to Le Cirque. Donadio is also a graduate of the French Culinary Institute. To make the drinks as spectacular as the menu items, Phul and Panjwani brought mixologist Tess Sawyer on board. Sawyer has worked at The Up & Up, Mother’s Ruin, and The Happiest Hour.

    Jersey City Stops Posting Crime Stats on Website But Doesn’t Say Why

    jc crime stats

    Jersey City has ceased updating its website with the city’s crime statistics. In fact, Jersey City’s COMPSTAT page has not been updated since 2018.

    The purpose of the page is to list the city’s number of crimes as reported monthly and annually. All of this information was easily accessible to the public and was released and updated regularly. Until now; and JC representatives are not explaining why.

    When The Jersey Journal asked Mayor Steven Fulop for comment earlier this week, the City issued the following reply: “The JCPD continues to submit all Uniform Crime Reporting {UCR} data to the FBI, which the state makes publicly available on the State Police website.”

    Jersey Journal also states that a follow-up question went unanswered.

    Of course, the statistics are reported on the State Police website but are aggregated in a much more difficult way to read than the made-for-every-resident COMPSTAT. UCR states are apparently grouped by dates and not broken down by district.

    3 Hospitalized After Car Crashes into Orale Mexican Kitchen

    orale mexican kitchen

    Three people have been hospitalized after a car crashed into the exterior of Orale Mexican Kitchen in Hoboken. The incident began when a driver, who was an employee from the Riverfront Car Wash at 1500 Willow Avenue, backed his vehicle onto the sidewalk, striking a female employee. Police Chief Ken Ferrante confirmed the incident to Hudson County View

    Afterward, the driver continued onto Willow Avenue, where he then struck a vehicle traveling north, sending the vehicle flying into the outside of Orale Mexican Kitchen.

    The restaurant, located at 1426 Willow Ave, sustained minor damage to its brick exterior. The car wash employee was uninjured, while the female employee was taken to Hoboken University Medical Center for treatment of several non-life threatening injuries. The driver and occupant of the other car, which crashed into Orale, were treated for minor injuries, according to Ferrante.

    Hoboken-Born Tennis Player Visits Mural After Tennis Courts Named After Him

    michael chang visits hoboken 1

    {Photo credit: Facebook}

    The Hoboken-born tennis player Michael Chang recently visited Hoboken to see his mural in the flesh. Chang and his family were also there when Mayor Bhalla renamed the city’s tennis courts in his honor. Chang was the first Asian-American to win a grand slam and was just 17 when he accomplished it to boot.

    “It was an honor to host one of my childhood heroes, Michael Chang, who made the trip to Hoboken with his family to check out the beautiful mural! We’re so proud to recognize Michael, who was born here and became the first Asian American {at age 17!} to win a grand slam, by renaming the tennis courts in his honor.”

    “His grit and resilience on the tennis court is truly emblematic of our City,” Bhalla added.

    Looks Like Orangetheory Is Coming to Hoboken After All

    orangtheory hoboken

    The rumors that an Orangetheory gym is coming to Hoboken have been plentiful and loud over the years, but Hoboken Girl has learned that Orangetheory is in the final stages of crossing its t’s and dotting its i’s for a potential space in Hoboken. Though there is no official timeline regarding the fitness studio coming to fruition, a source has shared that the fitness franchise is in talks with the town and going over paperwork. In the meantime, things seem to be happening more quickly over at OT’s other new NJ location, in East Rutherford. That’s all we can divulge at the moment but as more information becomes available, Hoboken Girl will update this ongoing story. Right now they have locations in Jersey City and Edgewater.

    Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Game Coming to Newport Centre

    harry potter wizards unite

    {Photo credit: @hpwizardsunite}

    Good news for Jersey City Potterheads: You won’t have to travel to Orlando, Florida for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter experience. The Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City is getting its own little sliver of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and beyond.

    Newport Centre will feature an amplified Harry Potter: Wizards United gameplay experience with increased rewards and elusive enemies. Simon’s 200+ US Shopping Destinations® will each have multiple sponsored Inns and Fortresses, giving players more XP and more spell energy than any other non-sponsored location in the U.S. In the future, Simon properties may host real-world events and QR assignments for Harry Potter: Wizards United.

    “Newport Centre is committed to creating fun, innovative, real-life experiences for our shoppers, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is exactly the type of cutting-edge activation our customers get excited about playing. We believe the elevated gameplay we’re offering as a part of the program will drive traffic and excitement for our properties as well as the brands and retailers at Simon,” said Jill Daniel, Director of Marketing + Business Development.

    Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is built on the Niantic Real World Platform, and created using the game design and content creation expertise of WB Games San Francisco. As new recruits of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, players will investigate the chaotic magical activity that is leaking into the Muggle world and work together to solve the mystery of this Calamity. Players will be able to explore their real-world neighborhoods and cities to discover mysterious artifacts, cast spells, and encounter fantastic beasts and iconic characters along the way.

    10th Annual Hoboken Comedy Festival Starts September 30th

    amy schumer comedy festival

    {Photo courtesy of Hoboken Comedy Festival}

    The 10th Annual Hoboken Comedy Festival starts September 30th and runs through October 6th. As usual, this year’s festival is packed with a powerful line-up of comedy dominance. With 13 shows and more than 90 featured comedians, there are a whole lot of laughs to look forward to.

    In the past, big names like Amy Schumer, Pete Davidson, Hannibal Buress, Artie Lange, Rachel Feinstein, and more, have been showcased at Hoboken’s Comedy lineup. But for the first time since the festival’s inception, the future of the show is unclear.

    “For the first time in a decade, the future of our Festival is in question,” says Festival Coordinator Dan Frigolette. “The landscape of venues has changed so drastically over 10 years that we are having a hard time finding suitable locations for performances.”

    The Festival, now more than ever, has started looking towards non-traditional venues to host comedy. Last year, the festival worked out of The Jubilee Center, a non-profit space, and Barksy Gallery, an independent art gallery.

    “Both venues were amazing for us and worked incredibly for our needs, but audiences are more interested in comedy shows in bars,” Frigolette added.

    For every ticket sold or donated, $1 is allocated to a different charity each year. Past years’ recipients include Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey, and the Liberty Humane Society. This year, the $1 per ticket will go toward the Hoboken Police Department’s Police Benevolent Association Local 2. Friday night’s events will exclusively benefit the Jubilee Center of Hoboken, which is partnering as a festival host.

    Kicking off from Monday to Sunday with 8:00PM shows nightly, late-night shows will be added to the roster on Friday and Saturday. Event hosts include Willie McBride’s at 616 Grand Street, Arthur’s Tavern at 237 Washington Street, Brass Rail at 135 Washington Street, The Jubilee Center at 601 Jackson Street, and Studio L at 505 Madison Street.

    Presale tickets are $20 weekdays and $25 on weekends with an additional $5 added if purchased at the door.

    For Lineup Information, venues, and tickets check out www.HobokenFestival.com or call 201-898-0772.

    Asbury Ale House Coming to Newark Pedestrian Mall

    asbury ale house newark mall

    {Photo credit: @venuesnj}

    Asbury Ale House first opened on Cookman Avenue in Asbury Park and now, it’s coming to the Newark Pedestrian Mall in downtown Jersey City. The bar and grill, which has another location in Toms River, is thought to be coming to 143 Newark Avenue and 126 Christopher Columbus Drive, an area with a 7th-floor restaurant, rooftop, and patio. Jersey Digs reported last month that Leafrak, LLC applied for a liquor license for that space, but there is no confirmation yet as to if Asbury Ale House is the business taking over.

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

    The Hoboken Community Center Needs Your Input For the Renovation of the Former YMCA

    hoboken community center

    The Hoboken Community Center {formerly the YMCA} is asking locals to complete an online survey to provide input as to what programs + spaces the public will want when the recreational facility is renovated.

    President of the Hoboken Community Center, Ken Nilsen, said in a press release, “Since the YMCA closed in 2010 due to declining membership and challenging economic pressure, the needs of the Hoboken community have changed significantly, and we are exploring a variety of models for the future of our building including creating a mini version of the 92nd Street Y. We are aggressively moving ahead with the planning process for this project and we want to hear from as many people as possible to make sure this facility is a space that reflects the community’s vision and needs.”

    If you’d like to fill out the survey, click here. It will be open for answers until September 30th.

    Jersey City’s No.119 Bus Service Will Now Operate on Sundays

    bus news

    Good news, JC commuters, the city’s No.119 bus service will now be running on Sundays with a scheduled stop along Central Avenue once every hour. Thanks to this new weekend schedule, the bus will be able to take riders to Port Authority and the Journal Square transit hub, making transport in/around and to/from Jersey City all the more accessible.

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

    Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

    We release new episodes every Tuesday!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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