The Heights is the northernmost part of Jersey City on the Palisades overlooking Hoboken. It is a residential area consisting mainly of two family homes, small multi-unit apartment buildings, and some of the most postcard-worthy views of Manhattan.
Like many parts of Jersey City, this area is rich with history. During the Revolutionary War, Washington and his troops used the higher ground as a vantage point to keep an eye on Manhattan and watch out for the British. Officers even stayed at what is now the oldest house in Jersey City, which has stood at 531 Palisade Ave since 1740. On a lighter note, the movie term "cliffhanger" was coined in the area by the French film studio Pathé. A number of episodes of their well-known series The Perils of Pauline were filmed on the Palisade cliffs that stretch from Jersey City to Nyack.
For decades, locals have known where to get the best of everything in The Heights, but the last few years have really seen a renaissance of the neighborhood as a whole. Whatever you're looking for, The Heights has you covered!
Take a stroll on Central Ave and you can find a wide range of cuisines like mouth-watering Latin eateries, take-out Asian food, and old school Italian joints to name a few. For a grab-and-go breakfast, load up at Angel Azul, Wonder Bagels, or Dulce De Leche Bakery. For a quick lunch spot hit up Rumba's Cafe, Ozu Japanese, or my personal favorite, Gino's Pizzeria. For a lazy weeknight dinner, pick up or order delivery from Noches de Colombia, Pio Pio, or Noodlefan.
There's also a new crop of dine-in restaurant bars that has added some nightlife to the Heights. For something hip and eclectic, stroll into Fox & Crow on Palisade Ave. For a more chic and modern cuisine, make your way up to The Hutton just off of Kennedy Blvd. For a place to watch your favorite team, bring it on at Corkscrew Bar & Grill on Congress St.
The Heights has a great community feel, largely due to the Riverview Neighborhood Association spearheading the effort. The RNA continues to revitalize Riverview-Fisk Park along Palisade Ave with volunteer cleanups and a community garden. They've also organized events like Live at The Lumberyard, an outdoor concert series featuring local bands, spoken word at Fox & Crow, and the Riverview Farmers Market and Jazz Festival.
The City also runs a number of recreational activities in Pershing Field, which is located on Central and Manhattan Ave. The park features an ice skating rink and indoor swimming pool, where you may run into Heights resident Mayor Fulop getting in some laps. Rather be outdoors? Head across the street to the reservoir, where during warmer months you can go kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching.
Sections of The Heights are also designated as an arts district, meaning artists can live and work in their studio spaces. Galleries like 107 Bowers give local creators a space to display their work and connect with the community. Make your own ideas come to life at JC Fab Lab on New York Ave which has a woodshop, 3D printer, laser engraving and much more. They offer memberships, workshops, and even summer camps for children to learn how to make toys!
Written by Stephanie Sumulong
Jersey City born and raised, Steph loves that Chilltown is finally flourishing with new small businesses, restaurants, and bars opening at an incredible pace. She has a passion for photography, international food, and live music. One of Steph's shining moments was winning a Gothamist foodie photo contest for a seat as a citizen judge at the 2015 Street Food Vendy Awards. Come discover her latest explorations on Instagram @stephsumu or scroll thru her visual journal seesteph.com