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Image courtesy of lngfbruno on Wikipedia. Used by permission under CC BY-SA 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.
Image from Bergen / Lafayette - Jersey City
Image courtesy of lngfbruno on Wikipedia. Used by permission under CC BY-SA 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.

Living In: Bergen / Lafayette - Jersey City

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As it's name implies, Bergen/Lafayette is (traditionally) two neighborhoods, located in Jersey City, NJ. However, modern usage refers to the two neighborhoods as one common area. While you may hear some people still refer either to just Bergen, or Lafayette, every year that becomes less common, as the two areas coalesce into one neighborhood identity. The "Bergen" portion roughly corresponds to the former town of Bergen City, which existed from 1855 to 1870. In 1870 it, along with the former Hudson City, merged with the larger Jersey City. There are a number of small "sub" neighborhoods that locals sometimes refer to, although they aren't considered official neighborhoods or sub-neighborhoods. They include The Junction, Bergen Hill (or just The Hill), Jackson Hill and Communipaw. This is one of the largest neighborhoods in Jersey City, in terms of land, and it shows in the variety of residents and sections. There are areas that are under gentrification, with new luxury housing built, and old commercial buildings redeveloped into luxury housing. On the other hand, you have sections with middle and lower class housing as well. A mix of apartment buildings (including some pre-war) of varying sizes, along with non-descript single and two family homes. You will also find sections with historic row homes, and large Victorian mansions. The area is mostly residential, with small pockets of commercial strips on some of the main thoroughfares. These mainly serve local residents with day-to-day needs, who then go elsewhere for their larger or weekly shopping trips. Lafayette Park is in the eastern section of the neighborhood, in the area closest to Historic Downtown Jersey City. It is designed in the familiar "city-square" style, also found in Van Vorst Park and Hamilton Park. The park was originally close to the waterfront, before extensive landfill was done in the early twentieth century, which expanded the city's size. Also in Bergen/Lafayette is a new park, called Berry Lane Park. When completed, it will be the largest municipal park in Jersey City at 17.5 acres (Lincoln Park, and Liberty State Park are multiple times larger, but are county and state parks respectively). Much of the park contains "passive" recreational space, with more than 600 trees planted. The park also contains a spray park/rain garden basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball field, soccer field and a playground. As around half of the residents of the area are under the age of 18, the park was designed to provide them with recreational activities. Concessions, a dog run, and restrooms are part of the final phase of the project. The park was developed on contaminated brownfields (former industrial sites), that had to be cleaned up. The Communipaw-Lafayette Historic District is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places in Hudson County. Mass transit options primarily consists of a variety of bus routes that will take you to transfer points in Journal Square, Exchange Place and Hoboken Terminal where you can catch rail and ferry options in to NYC. There are also 3 stops on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail that are on the periphery of the neighborhood.

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