Bergen-Lafayette – Jersey City, NJ

The Bergen-Lafayette community, lying just southwest of the downtown area in Jersey City, represents many separate neighborhoods, including the Communipaw Junction and the Bergen Section. The residents of the community benefit from a close proximity not only with various other neighborhoods and cultural atmospheres, but also with the Liberty State Park, Science Center and Liberty National Golf Course that to the east and southeast. Bergen-Lafayette sits just 1.5 miles from the heart of the city.

Schools in Bergen-Lafayette

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Bergen-Lafayette lives up to New Jersey's reputation for good food, and here, locals find both classic and unusual cuisines. The Honey Bakery + Kitchen sells itself as a diverse Asian cuisine joint that melds the lines between what defines a bakery and a restaurant. With rice pilaf served with lamb for dinner and cottage cheese cookies for dessert, it serves up a unique experience in the area. The Honey Bakery sits on Bergen Avenue in McGinley Square, which makes it easy to take an after-meal stroll in Lincoln Park. A short walk to the northeast of Bergen Lafayette to the Village sits Third & Vine, a “cheese and wine tavern” known for its cocktails and small servings of tapas. The chef cooks with seasonal produce, ensuring a fresh and organic meal. There are three main employees, each specializing in either cheese, beverage or cooking, and all are more than welcome to answer customer questions about their respective area. Looking toward venues with a lively night time scene, nearby music pubs such as the Zeppelin Hall Biergarten and Restaurant never fail to entertain. The atmosphere has a true beer garden feel, where customers sit at long tables in a wide, open space that incites conversation and interaction. In addition to regular live bands and DJs, the Zeppelin Hall holds regular drinking contests, game nights, Oscar night parties and other events.

History & Culture

Because of the amount of neighborhoods that comprise Jersey City, there are many different origin stories in the area. The Bergen Section was originally Bergen City, and it once made up most of Bergen-Lafayette. Soon renamed Bergen Township, it eventually merged with Jersey City. Bergen-Lafayette maintains the West Bergen Historic District, which in 1997 was placed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places. Both Kennedy Boulevard and Bergen Avenue showcase many homes and apartment buildings of Victorian and other turn-of-the-century styles. The Liberty Science Center provides a great cultural and intellectual space to explore in addition to a place for families to hang out in, learn and have fun. While the museum tends to gear its atmosphere toward children, adults constantly find themselves loving its exhibits, games and IMAX theater experiences. Ticket options allowing one film, two films or basic admission are available.

Transportation

Through the bus service maintained by NJ Transit, locals find easy transportation within Bergen-Lafayette as well as out to the rest of Jersey City and the New York City. Notably, the 87 bus provides convenient service through and around Bergen-Lafayette. A number of bus stops line the streets of the neighborhood. Drivers access the Bergen-Lafayette area by car via I-95, which runs to the west of Jersey City. Exit 15E off of I-95 links to N/US-9, which leads straight onto Communipaw Avenue. Drivers use local parking lots at minimal cost, such as Square Ramp Parking north of Bergen-Lafayette and Grove Pointe Garage in the Village. Jersey City harbors many bicyclers and many biking routes, which make getting around the city via bicycle easier than ever. Cyclists find dedicated biking lanes in Bergen-Lafayette on Ocean Avenue, Union Avenue and others. The community also maintains an atmosphere friendly to pedestrians, and distances within the neighborhood are easy to walk. Through its New Jersey Service, Uber also provides for a reliable travel option throughout Bergen-Lafayette, throughout Jersey City and into NYC. However, other taxi services operating out of NYC can be contacted by phone, such as the Go Green Ride service.

Cost

The average cost of living in Bergen-Lafayette runs 25 percent higher than the national average, but it also falls 7 percent lower than the Jersey City average. Its median rental rate for an apartment hovers around $1,040, which rests slightly below the average rate for the city. Gas prices in the area fall around 9 percent higher than the national average. Public transportation from Bergen-Lafayette to the city center of Jersey City on the 87 bus costs $1.50 for an adult one-way ticket and an additional $0.70 for transfers. When visiting a local pub, a beer usually costs between $5 and $6.

Shopping

Many small food markets serve the Bergen-Lafayette neighborhood, including the Pioneer Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive and Twin City Supermarket on Sip Avenue. However, after a slightly farther walk, one of Jersey City's many farmers markets may provide a fresher option. At the local Grove Street PATH Plaza, the Historic Downtown Jersey City Farmers' Market takes place every Monday and Thursday from 3-8 p.m. The Hamilton Park Farmers Market sets up every Wednesday from 3-7:30 p.m. Residents find several small, local venues for shopping in the cracks around Bergen-Lafayette. When looking for gourmet food products, the Hudson Greene Market on Hudson Street offers a variety of fresh-baked goods, coffees and hot soups. This store also carries a large selection of natural foods from all over the world as well as fresh meat, seafood, cheese and European chocolates. To the west of the neighborhood stands The Thriftique Warehouse, a thrift shop with a truly urban atmosphere. Located in an actual warehouse and adjacent to several other warehouses, this place provides everything from casual thrift-store picking to genuine antiquing. Local vinyl, coin and art collectors think of this store as an extremely valuable asset.

Parks

The Liberty State Park has been a metropolitan landmark in New Jersey for many years, and it provides views of both the New York City and Jersey City skylines. Whether looking for a casual stroll in a natural setting or organizing an open-air event in need of a pavilion, residents find what they need from the Liberty State Park. The park opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. It charges no basic usage fee, allows pets and maintains free picnic areas. The park includes fishing areas and issues boat-launch permits. The park's “Empty Sky” 9/11 Memorial draws many visitors to honor the New Jersey citizens who lost their lives on 9/11. The park has ferry services that run from the park to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Jersey City hosts a number of live, outdoor events that are an easy walking distance from Bergen-Lafayette. The Groove on Grove event serves as a free, family-friendly music series that features local musicians, performers and vendors. The event takes place at the Grove Street PATH Plaza every year.
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