As someone totally new to life on the East Coast, I also have an insatiable desire to experience as much as I can during my time here. The close proximity to so many nearby states is pretty fascinating. In less than an hour, I could walk from my apartment in Manhattan to a subway station and take a train to the state of New Jersey. For perspective, it can take at least an hour to just get from West Hollywood to Santa Monica during rush hour.
For better or worse, the first thing I associate with New Jersey is the show The Jersey Shore. Well, I wasn’t planning to head to the beaches of New Jersey, but I was going to check out a nearby city aptly called Jersey City. It was recommended to me by a friend of a friend, so I figured it would be a nice, easy day trip for my New Jersey tourist adventure.
From Manhattan, I took the PATH train from the 32nd St. Station toward Journal Square. When planning my trip to Jersey City, I had been told by Google Maps to take the train to the final stop at Journal Square, so that was my plan.
Upon arriving at Journal Square, I walked out of the subway station and well, didn’t see much at all. Sure, there were some buildings around but not much going on. I kept calm and figured the ‘exciting’ portion was probably a little bit of a walk away.
I walked, and I walked some more. Instead of finally finding something interesting, I was honked at three times and wandered into an even-more desolate part of town that had me slightly fearful for life. My first impression of Jersey was not so good.
I now understand why they had Kevin McAllister get lost in Manhattan. If they had him get lost where I was, it could have easily been turned into a far-less fun ½ hour PBS special.
I messaged my contact who had originally recommended Jersey City to ask where exactly I should be heading to, since it was safe to assume I was not at the right spot. I finally got my answer: Grove Street.
Important note: when heading to Jersey City via the PATH train, get off at Grove Street, not Journal Square.
I walked the two miles to Grove Street and found some cute restaurants, bars, and shopping. At Grove Street and Columbus, there is a farmer’s market Monday-Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and live music Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m.
By the time I actually made it there, I was pretty tuckered out. I wandered around for a bit but eventually made my way back home to Manhattan.
While I was glad I could cross visiting New Jersey off my bucket list, I also realized that there’s probably some other great parts worth seeing too, and you shouldn’t judge an entire state by one city – or a reality television show.
About the author
Jill Zwarensteyn is a writer, comedian, and television producer who has been featured on Amazon, truTV, The New York Times, Matador Network, BUST Magazine, Tiplr, ARTRPRNR Magazine, YourTango, Thought Catalog, GoMad Nomad, Mashable, The Daily Mail UK, the Cannes Film Festival, LaughFest, Women's Lifestyle Magazine, and the Funny Women Festival LA. For more info visit: http://www.jillzwarensteyn.weebly.com