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Harrison, N.J., has redevelopment plans that have poised this small mile-square town to become a hip, happening area similar to Hoboken. Development along the riverfront and new construction of multi-use buildings offer promising signs of a new life for this once flourishing industrial town. Despite an economic downturn that left parts of Harrison filled with abandoned factories and rubble-filled parking lots, Harrison's residential population has remained steady and solid. Perhaps this is thanks to the residential areas' well-maintained homes and buildings, a relatively low crime rate despite the town's close proximity to Newark, and its access to public transportation.
This ethnically diverse town's convenient location along the banks of the Passaic River between Newark and Jersey City, combined with its public transportation and proximity to Interstate 280, makes Harrison an appealing alternative to living in the big city. The small population sticks together as a tightly knit community while transportation options make commuting to work relatively easy.
As of August 2017, the average apartment rent in Harrison, NJ is $1,731 for a studio, $1,988 for one bedroom, $2,433 for two bedrooms, and $857 for three bedrooms. Apartment rent in Harrison has decreased by -0.3% in the past year.
Harrison's restaurant and nightlife scene holds its own against larger areas, ranging from cheap deli sandwiches to fresh sushi and upscale Italian cuisine. When you need a budget-friendly, flavorful lunch, stop into Enzo's for a fresh sandwich loaded with your choice of fillings for reasonable prices. This small deli could easily be overlooked, although that would be a shame since it makes some of the best sandwiches in the area, along with homemade desserts and salads. La Fiamma boasts a classy, white tablecloth kind of atmosphere that pairs well with its upscale Italian fare. Start your meal with appetizers such as beef carpaccio or mussels in a white wine sauce. Entrée specialties include homemade gnocchi, spaghetti with fresh seafood, chicken rollatine, grilled filet mignon and mustard-crusted rack of lamb. For a fun night out on the town, stop into O'Donnell's Pub, which features an extensive selection of beers and Irish whiskey in addition to live Irish music on the weekend. The bartender can make recommendations and explain any of the specialty beers that you aren't sure about. One of Harrison's hidden gems, the Greenroom, features live music from local bands, tasty food and reasonably priced drinks in addition to friendly bartenders and specials such as half-priced wings and $3 sangria. The cool, clean atmosphere, stellar staff and solid menu makes this a favorite hangout among locals. Its location makes it an ideal stop for before or after catching a game at nearby Red Bull Arena. For a fun night out without the crowds of a big city club, check out the vibe at Central Lounge located on Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard. During the week, the lounge features televisions and music piped through its sound system. On Friday nights, kick it to club, hip hop and house music spun by a DJ. Saturday nights, another local DJ plays retro 80s and 90s music.
Captain William Sandford, native of Barbados, purchased the land that includes the town of Harrison from the Umami Indians who originally resided here. Originally named New Barbados Neck, Harrison received its name in honor of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison. In the mid-1800s, Harrison's reputation as a hub of industrial growth rapidly took hold thanks to the town's proximity to the waterfront and major rail facilities. In the mid-1900s, competition and cheaper real estate in neighboring states cause Harrison's status as a beehive of industry to take a nosedive, leaving an economic downturn in its wake.
Residents can learn more about Harrison's history by visiting the Henry Mutz Museum of Harrison, located on Town Hall Annex's lower level. The museum displays many artifacts, documents, photographs and memorabilia collected by the museum’s namesake, who was also the town’s first historian.
Travel to the World Trade Center in Manhattan on PATH's Newark-World Trade Center Line at the Harrison Station on Frank E Rodgers Boulevard South. Passengers can transfer to the Journal Square-33rd Street Line at the Journal Square Transportation Center. The line also stops at Christopher Street, 9th Street, 14th Street, 23rd Street and 33rd Street stations. You can also connect with New Jersey Transit buses and taxis at Harrison Station. Alternatively, arrange a ride with Uber or call local cab companies such as Harrison Cab.
Most residents in Harrison take advantage of the various public transportation options available in the immediate area, leaving plenty of parking spaces available in the neighborhood. Your best bet for on-street parking is to apply for a residential parking permit at the Harrison Police Department or through the department's website.
Interstate 280 serves as Harrison's major roadway, running through the entire town and connecting with the Garden State Parkway and Interstate 80 to the west. Traveling eastward, I-280 connects travelers with the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 7. Take New Jersey Route 21 South from Harrison to Newark Liberty International Airport. This major airport, located less than 6 miles away, was the first to serve the metropolitan area.
Although Harrison's housing costs rank among the nation's highest, the area's prices seem like a bargain in comparison to some of New Jersey's high-end, ultra-expensive communities. Life in Harrison generally costs more than living in Newark but less than living in Jersey City or Manhattan. Prospective residents can expect to pay rental prices of approximately $1,705. Going out for a drink typically costs around $5 for a draft beer or $3 for sangria at local pubs such as The Green Room.
New Jersey Transit bus fare costs $1.50 each way, while PATH trains cost $2.75 each way, or it's $8.25 for an unlimited day pass. Gas prices in Harrison typically run 3 percent below the national average.
Aside from grocery stores, food markets and tattoo parlors, Harrison's limited shopping scene lacks the high-end or specialty shops that reside in nearby areas. Take a quick train ride to Newark, and walk over to Halsey Street, home of boutiques and quirky shops such as Gifts East West. The artist couple who owns the shop creates and sells unique pottery, jewelry, sculptures and prints perfect for gifts or special touches in your own home décor.
Just over the Passaic River from Harrison, Fortress of Solitude attracts local comic book enthusiasts. The friendly store carries back issues of popular comics, as well as a wide selection of anime and manga products. If you're short on funds, bring in your old comic books and sell them to the store for cash.
For even more options, catch the PATH train into New York City. Near the 14th Street station, you'll find plenty of stores and specialty shops, including Kidding Around, named one of the best toy stores in the area by New York Magazine. This independent toy store sells everything from arts and crafts to educational toys and dress-up items. It carries toys appropriate for kids of all ages, with items made by toymakers such as Apple Park, Asmodee, Bananagrams, Beka, eeBoo, Green Tones and Hape, just to name a few.
Residents don't need to travel outside of the neighborhood to stock their pantries. Markets such as Isabel Mini Supermarket, Vic's Food Market and Fine Grocery Store line Harrison Avenue. Other options include the Walmart Supercenter and Bunge MidAtlantic. For freshly picked vegetables, fruits and flowers, visit nearby farmers markets, which include the Newark Farmers Market or Lucky Farm in Jersey City.
This tiny industrial town shares its most significant green space with Kearny, its neighbor to the north. West Hudson Park welcomes leashed dogs, providing ample room for exercise, play and relaxation. This large 46-acre park has two playgrounds, a free water park, a 2-acre spring-fed lake, sports fields, four tennis courts, an exercise course and four miles of paved walking trails. The park also hosts annual events like a fishing derby and movies in the park.
Harrison’s Community Center welcomes all Harrison residents, although some activities require paying a small annual fee and may have age restrictions. For example, you have to be a freshman in high school or older to lift weights in the weight room. Get your cardio on at the exercise room while the kids play games such as ping-pong and foosball in the game room. The center also organizes sports for children such as softball, little league and soccer.
Although Harrison lacks any festivals or annual events, residents don’t have to travel too far to find a festive gathering. Nearby events include the Wofabe African Dance and Drum Festival in Newark and the Hoboken Fall Arts and Music Festival.
Apartments for Rent Under $1,500 in Harrison, NJ
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