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Re: Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
#7
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Of all of the blocks in the neighborhood, I am not sure yours would be my first choice, but I have never had any problems walking there during the day or at night.

As some posters have already mentioned, the Old Colony Square center is a great convenience to the Van Vorst Park neighborhood (thought it is in need of a cosmetic overhaul and it has its fair share of loiterers as many city shopping areas often do).

Besides fast food options like Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds and Blimpie and bigger anchors like Hollywood Video and Pathmark, the plaza also has a Radio Shack, Little Gym, Bank of America, Washington Mutual location as well as a handful other shops. I believe a small pizzeria, liquor store, cleaners and laundromat are all in that general vicinity as well.

The shabby-looking Great Wall Chinese eatery in the Old Colony center has tasty takeout for what is -- their prices are low, their portions are large, their staff is efficient and they are open late (closing at 11PM Sunday through Thursday and at 12 Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays).

You also benefit from being just blocks from the bustling-yet-still-tranquil Van Vorst Park, the foot bridge to Liberty State Park, the Jersey Avenue light rail stop, the historic public library, the city museum, the new hospital center, the new Liberty Harbor North development that's under construction and, of course, the new public schools. Plus, the I-78 New Jersey Turnpike extension, Sunoco/A-Plus and neighborhood car wash are all relatively close if you happen to have wheels.

Two other great places to grab grub that are within easy walking distance of where you are considering living are Bubby's Burritos and the Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory. Bubby's delivers and Brownstone has everything under the sun, and they open early and close late. In fact, Brownstone was recently featured on a fun Food Network program called "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and is a really nice fixture to have in the neighborhood -- incredible breakfasts, delicious comfort food, Greek specialties, diner classics and more.

On the down side, I have heard now and again of people being harassed or mugged in that area, but then again I hear about that sort of stuff across Downtown Jersey City. If you do find yourself heading out at 1AM to Pathmark or something, just be alert and smart and I am sure you'll be fine. Again, I've walked over in that area at all hours of the day and night in the summer and in the winter with no problems at all.

Final thought: Be really careful with the whole basement apartment thing. When I first moved here, it seemed like all the best places I was shown were basement apartments. But keep at it, I eventually found something great in a third floor walk-up. Why didn't I want a basement place? A number of them had musty smells in the hallways and foyers outside of the newly-renovated apartments (and I already have a pretty severe mold allergy). Plus, I was somewhat concerned about security and street-level noise as well as a lack of privacy and natural light.

Flooding didn't really ever occur to me as a real concern back at the time (which was 7 years ago), but given all of the problems JCList members have posted about their basements flooding during torrential rains, I would never consider a basement apartment these days (unless it were truly my only financial option).

Welcome to the neighborhood, good luck with your search and I hope you find what you are looking for.

P.S.: Here are some rather recent JCList threads about flooding, but if you dig deeper you'll find a heck of a lot more. See below...

- Flooded!

- Flooding Today

Posted on: 2008/6/29 12:45
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Re: Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
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Quote:

bluehorse wrote:
I should add that in addition to the negatives there are positives living next to a school.

1. The security cameras have, I believe, improved the safety. Before the school, that area was one of the worst in downtown.

2. When the kids go to and get off school, there are police and crossing guards everywhere so I have not seen vandalism or any of the things I thought would happen. And they go in and out of the school pretty quickly, so you only hear them goofing around briefly. If you like kids, it can be a pleasant sound.

3. When you have a concern, the city seems to respond pretty quickly when you say it's right next to the school (i.e. kids will be hurt, someone will get in trouble if they don't do something about it.) I've heard of two useful pieces of legislation regarding schools, though I have no idea how well executed: pedophiles cannot live near a school and the air/water quality around/in a school are supposed to be tested. Unfortunately, PS 3 was tested to have lead in the water, so what does that say about our water? PS 3 is new and presumably have new pipes.


As for the area, though a long way off, the colony strip mall there is supposed to spruced up, starting with the Bates Project (on Bates St/Grand).

So, the area is fine. I'd worry about the flooding though.


I live around the corner on Varick and I daily have kids hanging out on my stoop, but those are the older, middle school kids. Sometimes, I will have school employees taking their smoke breaks there as well. If you work during the day and aren't at home you probably won't have any issues with the school.

As far as Pathmark goes, it has served my family and I very well. They are very good for things like cereal, milk, and packaged stuff or diapers and toilet paper. There also is a pharmacy inside that seems to function quite well. Also, at the shopping center is a Hollywood video which we rent the occasional new release from. The staff there is sweet and tries really hard to be helpful. And, ya know, the liquor store is functional as well. It doesn't carry organic beer or anything but they can fill your basic needs and hey, it's right outside your house. In terms of safety, I have never ever had a problem at this shopping center and I go there often.

The intersection at Monmouth and Bright can be a little hairy sometimes but it's not much different than the rest of downtown.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 21:40
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Re: Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
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I have lived on Bright for about a year and a half and love the area. My units bottom level is basement/garden level and experienced only one incidence of flooding. I do have to say it was only during the record breaking 9 inches we had in April last year. We probably would have been fine if the two building sump pumps were in place at the time. Our Federal Flood Hazard paper work shows that we are not in a special flood hazard area, but a lot of downtown is. Just make sure you invest in a good sump pump or check to see if your building has one.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 19:58
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Re: Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
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I should add that in addition to the negatives there are positives living next to a school.

1. The security cameras have, I believe, improved the safety. Before the school, that area was one of the worst in downtown.

2. When the kids go to and get off school, there are police and crossing guards everywhere so I have not seen vandalism or any of the things I thought would happen. And they go in and out of the school pretty quickly, so you only hear them goofing around briefly. If you like kids, it can be a pleasant sound.

3. When you have a concern, the city seems to respond pretty quickly when you say it's right next to the school (i.e. kids will be hurt, someone will get in trouble if they don't do something about it.) I've heard of two useful pieces of legislation regarding schools, though I have no idea how well executed: pedophiles cannot live near a school and the air/water quality around/in a school are supposed to be tested. Unfortunately, PS 3 was tested to have lead in the water, so what does that say about our water? PS 3 is new and presumably have new pipes.


As for the area, though a long way off, the colony strip mall there is supposed to spruced up, starting with the Bates Project (on Bates St/Grand).

So, the area is fine. I'd worry about the flooding though.

Posted on: 2008/6/28 13:29
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Re: Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
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Quote:

will i have to worry about flooding in this area. it is a basement unit...
BOC




BE - EXTREMELY - CAREFUL - ABOUT - THIS

The grand St area has bad flooding. Don't take the sellers or the agent's word about this, speak to neighbors if you can, and get a 1st class inspection. A flooding basement apartment will make you miserable. You simply can't be too suspicious about this issue, particularly if it seems "a real good deal".

Is it newly renovated? New sheet rock? Bad sign.

Other than that it's a pretty nice hood, the main downside of the area is it's proximity to the school and the skanky Pathmark plaza. But those can pluses too.

Good luck

Posted on: 2008/6/28 3:31
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Re: Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
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I live on this block and haven't had any problems. The neighbors are friendly and it's nice to be so close to the park. Sometimes it can be a pain to find parking during the start and end of the school, but aside from that, it's a pretty calm street. In terms of flooding, we had a problem twice since we've moved here 4 years ago. In both cases, JC overall had horrible flooding. Hope that helps!

Posted on: 2008/6/28 0:54
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Bright St Btwn Jersey & Monmouth
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hey guys, i'm new here. i'm thinking of buying a place on bright street near monmouth and wondering if anyone can give me their opinions of the area/neighborhood, bad, great, indifferent, (i'll be happy with all of them) and/or the future prospects of the area. your info and brutal honesty is greatly appreciated. thanks in advance

ps -- will i have to worry about flooding in this area. it is a basement unit...

BOC

Posted on: 2008/6/28 0:29
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