Just across the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan, Weehawken, N.J., is far removed from the excitement and chaos of its eastern neighbor.
With cheaper housing, good transportation options and panoromic views from the Verrazano-Narrows to the George Washington bridges, most residents prefer it that way.
“The proximity to New York is great, but you live in a real neighborhood that’s quiet and safe,” said resident Karen Shriner.
The site of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr’s famous duel and later the home of a pleasure garden replete with fountains, pavilions and an amphitheater, Weehawken today is a residential area made up of single- and multi-family homes and a few low-rise apartment buildings.
The famous spiral structure of the Lincoln Tunnel approach cuts the town into several mini-neighborhoods. Park Avenue is the main commercial strip that runs throughout with convenience retail, shops and restaurants.
Recently, the waterfront has undergone development with condominiums, office buildings, restaurants and a shiny ferry terminal.
In addition to a quick commute to Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel or on the scenic ferry, residents enjoy the benefit of the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, which offers service to West New York, Jersey City, North Bergen and Hoboken.
There are many types of properties in Weehawken, including low-rise apartment buildings, condominiums and multi-family houses.
Waterfront homes are among the most desirable, yet the views are not the only thing drawing people to the area.
1 bedroom with renovated garden in a tree-lined neighborhood
Contact: Richard Maio, 201-333-4443
2 bedrooms plus den with hardwood floors, front porch and big windows
Contact: Edgar Caraballo, 973-294-0464
1 bedroom waterfront condo with granite kitchen and breakfast bar, and patio overlooking the Hudson River
Contact: Sheri Taylor, 201-533-3072
2 bedroom riverfront condo with a wall of windows, soaring ceilings and indoor pool
Contact: Marlene Frazzini, 201-418-7514
2 bedroom riverfront condo with panoramic views of the city, two private terraces and marble countertops
Contact: Padraic Gallagher, 845-222-2909
While Weehawken may lack the culinary depth of the five boroughs, you can still find some great food there.
4301 Park Ave.,
Homemade ice cream is at its finest at this artisanal shop. Flavors include vanilla chocolate chip, flan, sambayon, strawberry cheesecake and dulce de leche.
974 Boulevard East,
A festive Mexican restaurant with expansive views of the Manhattan skyline, El Charro features guacamole prepared tableside, excellent fajitas and a killer mole sauce.
Touch of Spice
4114 Park Ave.,
Tasty seafood, lamb, vegetarian and chicken dishes are nicely prepared at this welcoming Indian restaurant, which also has a daily lunch buffet and appetizer sampler platters.
Paula at Rigoletto
3706 Park Ave.,
This cozy Italian eatery is known for its appetizers, which include spicy fried calamari and grilled eggplant layered with ricotta and pecorino and topped with marinara sauce. It also has excellent pasta dishes: try the penne with grilled eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and artichokes.
Hi-Tech Billiards Inc.
1000 Harbor Boulevard, 201-271-0413
A spacious pool hall near the water with an arcade, full bar and weekend karaoke.
Park Avenue Bar & Grill
3417 Park Ave, 201-617-7274
This multilevel bar and restaurant features four unique spaces: a sports bar and lounge with outdoor patio; a fine-dining area with fireplaces and chandeliers; a lounge and DJ space; and a rooftop bar.
3809 Park Ave., 201-617-1110
A boutique selling women’s clothing, accessories and gifts, ArtsEcho is also an art gallery showcasing the work of regional artists. If that isn’t enough, it also hosts intimate concerts and events.
The Wood Shed
4500 Park Ave., 201-866-7949
Here you can find high-quality unfinished wood furniture, including desks, wardrobes and TV stands. All pieces are made on site, and The Wood Shed also accepts custom orders.
Unique attractions showcase Weehawken’s scenic vistas.
Weehawken Water Tower
41st Street & Park Avenue
When built in the early 1880s by Gothic Revivalist architect Frederick Clarke Withers, the Weehawken Water Tower provided a new source of water to thousands of nearby residents and businesses. Functionally obsolete today, its iconic structure lives on.
Boulevard East and Hamilton Avenue
This lovely park with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline lies on the grounds where Alexander Hamilton fell to Aaron Burr in their famous duel. Don’t miss the 1930s era bust commemorating Hamilton.
King’s Bluff Historic District
Homes are located west of Hamilton Park and south of Boulevard East.
Perched atop a high bluff overlooking the Hudson, these beautiful historic homes and mansions are known for their varied architectural styles. It’s a lovely window into the history of Weehawken that’s worth a trip.
Q&A with Karen Shriner, who has lived in Weehawken for 4 1⁄2 years.
What do you like about the neighborhood? I enjoy going into the city anytime I want, but I can come home to a real neighborhood with families all around. It’s also not loud — it’s not downtown NYC.
What don’t you like about it? The one negative thing is that the buses don’t run 24 hours, so if you want to stay past 1 a.m. in the city, you have to get a cab — which is pretty expensive — or you can take the PATH to Hoboken and get a cab from there.
What are some of your favorite places to eat and drink in the area? Park Avenue Bar and Grill has good food and isn’t as pricey as Manhattan. They also have a deck on top that’s lit up at night. Paula at Rigoletto is the perfect place to take a date—the food is really great and the people are nice.
How has it changed since you’ve moved in? It was mostly Hispanic when I moved here, and now I hear even less English. It makes me wish I spoke more Spanish!
How do you expect the neighborhood will change? There’s been a lot of newer buildings being put up or older ones being redone, and it seems like that will continue. They’re trying to bill it as a hipper place to live like West New York or Hoboken. If that happens rents may go up, but for now it’s very reasonable to live out here.