There are always factors to weigh when moving to a new area: cost of buying a home, property taxes, infrastructure – like restaurants and grocery stores, crime, ease of commute, public transportation, schools, etc. Some will be more important than others or will balance each other out.
For those of us that enjoy (if enjoy means “constantly stressed out and hoping the dice roll your way”) real estate speculation and buying/living in an area that will hopefully appreciate well (see my last article), that usually means moving to a place that is lacking in some or all of those categories.
In my Sherwood area of Bergen-Lafayette, there is definitely not a lot of infrastructure. There’s only one restaurant that offers wine with dinner and only one decent grocery store (I usually order most groceries from Shop-rite online). Zero shopping unless it’s a Dollar Store. But hey, I knew this going in and I’m okay with it. It’s a choice I made.
However, I have found out there are lots of cool things around and fun amenities to do. You just have to know where to look!
Berry Lane Park
Jersey Digs has previously written about Berry Lane Park but now it’s open and it’s great! I won’t wax long about it as you can read about it elsewhere, but it’s a new $38M park with all sorts of amenities in it. One of the best things about it is just it being there. My wife and I like to take a stroll around it in the evening, just to see what’s going on and who’s around. I feel very suburban waving to my friends with their kids, watching a lacrosse game and playing a little tennis. They have a dog run, which is a blessing around here, both for my dog and meeting new people. Soon there’ll be movies and concerts and other fun stuff! Open every day from dawn until 10:00pm.
Arlington Park Farmers Market
Okay, I have to be honest, I started this and currently run it, sooooo, yeah, it’s definitely on the list! Arlington Park Farmers Market is now in its second year and is doing great! It’s a smaller market as it doesn’t get the amount of traffic that Grove Street does. But what it does do is gives people who are currently living in a food desert a way to get fresh and inexpensive produce, homemade poundcake, muffins and other goodies and awesome products like Taproot Organics’ (freakin’ amazin’) coconut oil bugspray.
Every Saturday from 10:00am – 2:00pm, the residents of the area come out with their reusable bags and stock up on everything they need for the week. It has become a meeting area, a place to grab a little Saturday breakfast, a way for the neighborhood to physically come out and interact with each other. Also, we proudly and happily accept SNAP/EBT/WIC and other forms of financial assistance so we can make sure the market is for everyone! Saturdays, June – October, 10:00am – 2:00pm at the Corner of Arlington and Grand in Arlington Park.
More info: Arlington Park Farmers Market
Pacific Flea is a crazy mix of a flea market, food stalls and block party. It happens about once a month in the nice weather months. You can find all sorts of cool things here from old vintage signs, to handmade clothes, to new crafts to traditional flea market finds. There will usually be 2-4 different food vendors with great specials. And with their lax BYOB policy, it’s a great way to get lunch, shop around, have a few drinks and see all of your friends. Bonus – you can take your dog there! The next PacFlea is this Saturday, August 20th, so head on over and say hello!
More info: Pacific Flea
Liberty Science Center – After Dark
Not just for kids anymore, the Liberty Science Center is starting After Dark – special events and fun for those of us that are 21 and over. Every third Thursday of the month, LSC opens its doors late for some cool events such as Drone Racing or a Star Wars themed Cantina party! So skip the downtown bars and head here for an after-hours adventure at Liberty Science Center for cocktails, food, music, dancing, laser shows, and more. It all happens on the third Thursday of every month from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. Don’t miss the fun!
The first one, themed Dancing with Drones, kicks off tonight, August 18th at 6pm!
• September 15: Hard Cider Tasting
• October 20: Zombies + Beer = Zombtoberfest!
• November 17: Whiskey Tasting
• December 15: Space Cantina Party
More info: LSC After Dark
Lafayette Aquatic Center
A wonderful, big, clean and fun pool and mini waterpark, right in the middle of the city that no one seems to know about! It’s great for the kids, cooling for the adults and a great amenity to have in your neighborhood. Check here for info on hours and other programs. On Van Horne Street between Johnston Avenue and Maple Street.