Discover Life In Jersey City; Paulus Hook Neighborhood

January 30, 2014

USA Life

“You’re officially a B & T girl,” my co-workers joked when I told them I was moving from Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey. Ahh, B&T, the derogatory term usually used by residents of Manhattan to describe those “outsiders” who commute into Manhattan from the outer boroughs via bridge and/or tunnel.

View of Manhattan from the NJ Turnpike

View of Manhattan from the New Jersey Turnpike

Though I pretended to laugh at their joke, I was a little apprehensive back then about life in New Jersey versus the life I was accustomed to in Manhattan. But that was the year 2008 – when my only knowledge of the state of New Jersey consisted of a few dismal NJ sights like the ten lanes of traffic congestion on the NJ Turnpike, the shady motels stationed along the highway before the Lincoln Tunnel entrance, and the smell of toxic fumes that found their way into my car from the chemical/manufacturing plants next to the road.

Turns out New Jersey is a whole lot more than that!

On JC waterfront, with Manhattan in distance

On the Jersey City waterfront

I’m determined to show you some of the spectacular things that Jersey City has to offer, and ideally surprise quite a few of you, too –  beginning with life in the Paulus Hook neighborhood of Jersey City.

What makes me qualified to write about it?

I lived in Jersey City for almost four years beginning in 2008 until January 2012, and now I’m back again, having just returned from two years living abroad in London, England. It’s provided me with a great new perspective, and I’m ready to absorb and appreciate everything I can.

Why I Love Jersey City

Tranquility Amidst the Craziness of Manhattan

There’s no denying the excitement of Manhattan. It’s a fast paced, non-stop energizer bunny-like atmosphere and I love it. But I’m still a small town girl at heart and I need to get away from hoards of people after spending the majority of my days in Manhattan.

I can’t help feeling that Jersey City is the best of both worlds – an easy access point to everything Manhattan has to offer and an escape from all the madness (& an even greater escape from the expensive NYC resident taxes).

Overall a fabulous, tranquil place to live.


Brownstones in the Paulus Hook neighborhood

Tranquility often brings with it a sense of isolation, particularly isolation from those everyday, important things you crave.

For me, that’s three key things – coffee, food and beer. Luckily the Paulus Hook neighborhood has all of it (List subject to change as I check out all the new places that have sprouted up since I’ve been away from Jersey City):

Great Coffee, Food and Beer Spots –

Sam A.M. (top photo pictured below)

I couldn’t be more excited about this place – a new addition since I last lived in Jersey City and a short one minute walk away from my new home! With great coffee, a welcoming, fun staff, yummy breakfast sandwiches and free wi-fi, I expect I’ll be a regular here.

Sam A.M.

Lighthorse Tavern  (top photo below)

Named after Henry Lee III, (“Lighthorse Harry”), a captain in the continental army who captured 400 British soldiers in a surprise attack in 1779, the restaurant is quintessentially American and a staple in the Paulus Hook neighborhood – it’s been there for the last 11 years. It’s the place to go for a special occasion or really anytime you want to dine out for a nice, romantic dinner complimented by a great drinks list (for all those beer geeks like me they have an impressive beer list).

Jersey City food

Amelia’s Bistro (bottom left photo above)

An intimate NYC-like atmosphere along with a diverse food menu, (everything from a tapas menu to tasty fish dishes to comfort food like truffled mac n cheese), Amelia’s Bistro was and still is one of my favorite Jersey City restaurants.

Jim and I spent many nights here when we previously lived in Jersey City and are looking forward to continuing that tradition now that we’re back (and especially now that we live a block away from the place).

Paulus Hook Brick Oven Pizza (bottom right photo above) and John’s Pizzeria – Having two choices of delicious pizza options within a five minute walk to my apartment makes this neighborhood extra special for me!

Zeppelin Hall Restaurant and Biergarten

Zeppelin Hall photo collage

Not far from the center of the Paulus Hook neighborhood, Zeppelin Hall is a European style biergarten with thousands of square feet of space and also has a perfect outdoor beer garden during the summer months. They serve a great selection of beer, including both US craft beer and European selections.

I’ll be writing a future post with a focus on beer in Jersey City for those interested – watch out for it! To include some other great spots like White Star and Iron Monkey

After visiting any or all of the above places I just recommended, it’s always helpful to have a plan to get some physical exercise to balance all that coffee, food and beer…

The Walks & The Views –

Which is where the idea of a walk comes into play…A special aspect about Jersey City life is the ability to take gorgeous walks around the neighborhoods. Beginning with the waterfront walks –

Midtown view from Jersey City

Or through streets filled with brownstones where you turn the corner to find amazing landmarks in the distance:

Statue of Liberty in distance

Warren Street looking south. Statue of Liberty in the distance.

I highly recommend spending a sunny, clear day walking around here.

Jersey City waterfront panorama

Jersey City waterfront near to Exchange Place PATH train

Marina area in Jersey City_new

A view from an apartment along the south side of Jersey City looking on towards Liberty State Park and Statue of Liberty

I hope you can see my excitement now that I’m officially a Jersey City resident again!

Stay tuned for future posts where I’ll capture more about Jersey City life.

For more information about the Paulus Hook neighborhood, please reference the Historic Paulus Hook Association page.




, , ,

About Tanya

I’m a freelance travel and beer writer and a passionate and energetic 30 something - determined to enjoy life and see as much as possible along the way. Recently I lived abroad in London and traveled to 20+ countries within two years! As of January 2014, I'm back in the USA, and currently living in Charlotte, NC. But before all of that, my roots were set in small town America, where I spent the first 23 years of my life living, going to school, and working in the state of Pennsylvania.

View all posts by Tanya

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply