Other Side of the Tracks
Once dismissed with “bridge and tunnel” jibes as an industrial wasteland populated by Mafia families and trashy Jersey Shore characters, Jersey City is reinventing itself as a happening enclave just a seven-minute train ride from the new One World Trade Center. No wonder New Yorkers are chugging across the river.
Drink. Igniting a perfect storm of drinks and books, Dullboy has a snug, speak-easy vibe, with typewriters and book covers decorating the walls. The fanciful cocktails are named after female literary figures such as Holly Golightly and Lolita. Barcade is a late-night hangout where the tattooed crowd drink microbrews over classic tunes and old-school video games. And LITM is an all-white spirits bar and gallery space.
Eat. Stylishly industrial Razza dishes up one of the best artisanal pizzas this side of the Hudson along with a sensational spread of starters featuring naturally leavened breads and handmade butter. But the latest arrival is Talde from Top Chef star Dale Talde, housed in a former police station. Its delicious Asian-meets –American creations (pretzel pork and chive dumplings, crispy oyster bacon pad thai) bubble with originality.
Do. Catch a reading from authors including Irvine Welsh at the Brooklyn-transplant bookstore Word which hosts a steady stream of live music and literary happenings. Curious Matter is a quirky contemporary art gallery in the parlour of an 1860s terraced house. Or walk down to the waterfront through the city’s regenerating warehouse district to see views of lower Manhattan and the Battersea Power Station – like ruins of the Powerhouse.
Shop. Hipster lifestyle emporium Kanibal & Co is a curiosity shop stocked with vintage furniture, whimsical art and pretty jewellery. It also holds monthly craft classes (mice and squirrel taxidermy, custom bath salts, natural dyes) by local artists. Another Man’s Treasure is a vintage showroom that attracts fashion folk and costume designers. It has sold pieces – everything from Alaia dresses to army surplus – to the likes of Marc Jacobs and Mad Men stylists.