By Alexandra Antonucci, Victoria Bishop-Smith and Victoria St. John
Where is it?
The West Side neighborhood covers multiple areas on either side of West Side Avenue in Jersey City from Bergen Avenue down to West Side Avenue from Broadway south to Danforth Avenue. The area also includes the Hackensack River, Lincoln Park, New Jersey City University (NJCU) and Saint Peter’s University.
History of West Side:
When West Side was first established it was referred to as West Bergen. During the 1870’s and 1880’s, the area surrounding Lincoln Park were for wealthy people looking to buy summer homes.
According to data from Statistical Atlas, a website that uses information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Community Survey to create in-depth data and analysis, West Side has the following population:
Race: Black: 28.5%, Asian: 27.5%, Hispanic: 25.0%, White: 15.5%, Other: 2.2%, Mixed: 1.3%
One of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail lines terminates at the West Side Avenue station, which is located on West Side and Claremont Avenue by NJCU. An extension of the line is in the planning stages and will go over Route 440 to a new development currently called Bay Front. There are a number of buses that run on West Side Avenue to Journal Square including NJ Transit bus 80, A and C bus company buses #31 440 Shopper and #30 Society Hill that travel on West Side Avenue to Journal Square and #31 Montgomery-West Side that travels on West Side Avenue, then goes down Montgomery Street to the Newport Mall.
There are Citi Bikes stations near Lincoln Park.
West Side Avenue is one of Jersey City’s main shopping streets and offers a diverse array of small businesses, such as perfume stores, florists and film shops. There is also a variety of ethnic eateries and shops available, including Elio’s Bakery & Deli, New Khan Groceries & Halal Meat and Ando West Indian and African Market. The Miss America Diner near NJCU is an original classic New Jersey diner. Gary’s Sweet Shoppe is a hub of local politics.
Holy Name Cemetery & Mausoleum (823 West Side Avenue) is the largest cemetery in Jersey City, with over 267,000 burial plots and mausoleums. It began in 1886 and was formerly known as Hudson County Catholic Cemetery. Holy Name is most known for its beautiful artwork and architecture, as well as being the final resting place of Frank Hague, former mayor of Jersey City. Holy Name is also where Congresswoman Mary Theresa Norton and NJ Supreme Court Justice Marie Garibaldi are buried.
Lincoln Park on West Side Avenue is considered to be the oldest and largest of Hudson County’s parks. It was first established in 1905, but wasn’t called ‘Lincoln Park’ until 1930, when the famous “Lincoln the Mystic” statue was formally dedicated. Lincoln Park has an exceptional amount of open space and preserved natural habitats. It is also in close proximity to the Hackensack River and is apart of the Historic Liberty/Water Gap trail. The Skyline Golf Course in Lincoln Park West is a 9 hole course on the Hackensack River opened in 2015.
West Side Community Alliance Farmer’s Market is held at Lincoln Park every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can find an array of produce, plants, baked goods, eggs and ready-to-eat meals, among others. The markets runs from June 16 through October 27.
Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey serves the West Side neighborhood, where she currently resides with her husband. She was first elected in 2017, is a member of Keep Jersey City Beautiful and co-created West Side Arts & Music.
Jodi Drennan serves as the President for the West Side Community Alliance (WSCA), which volunteers to bring a sense of community to the West Side neighborhood. WSCA also organizes the Farmer’s Market at Lincoln Park.