Getting to Know My Neighbors in Bergen-Lafayette


As I walk around the area, I see and meet lots of people. Some are new transplants, some have been here for decades and some are born and raised. I wanted to find out their thoughts on the area so I asked them five questions:

  • What is your favorite part of Bergen – Lafayette?
  • What is something you would tell people to convince them to move here?
  • What’s your favorite building, architect-wise to look at?
  • A hidden gem in BeLa?
  • Why did you move here?

Lauren & Sal Ghashghaei – BeLa newbies


  • Our favorite part of BeLa is the corner of Summit Ave & Astor Place because of the gorgeous Victorians, late 1800s brownstones and brick rowhouses. Plus there are amazing views of downtown NYC & the WTC.
  • We would tell people that it’s a great area to live in because there’s a real sense of community and it’s exciting to be a part of the revitalization occurring in this area.
  • 108 Summit Ave!!!!! The most beautiful Victorian with a mansard roof, porch with detailed wood work & tons of historic charm.


  • The summit avenue park (between Astor Pl. and Cornelison Ave.) that has views of WTC and the Statue of Liberty.
  • We wanted to buy a brownstone in an area with historic homes & historic charm that was in close proximity to downtown/midtown Manhattan, at a reasonable price.

Robin T. Munn – Owner of Flowers & Favors, 728 Grand Street, Opened 1999


  • I was born and raised here so my favorite part as a kid was Harmon Pool (on Harmon Street, now closed). We would go there every day! Now I love it because it’s like a small city within a larger city. I really like the commute to NYC.
  • I would tell them to come and spend a weekend during the summer and check it out. There are lots of parks and a variety of farmers markets. Just come!
  • My favorite are the homes on Arlington Avenue. There are so many gorgeous big homes.
  • I think the libraries on Pacific and MLK are hidden gems. Not many people know about them and they’re great.
  • Well, I never moved here, but why have I stayed here? I can get anywhere. It’s so easy to get to NYC or Hoboken or Newark.

Thornton Smith – 44 year resident of Sherwood area of BeLa


  • My favorite part is Arlington Park.
  • I would tell them that it’s so convenient. The ease of transportation into NYC with the lightrail right here. I even used to take the old trolley cars around town! You’re so close to all of New York’s culture. Plus, it’s pretty quiet around here compared to downtown.
  • My favorite building is the Salem Baptist Church on the corner of Madison Avenue and Clinton Avenue. I think it has such a beautiful steeple!
church bergen lafayette
Salem Baptist Church
  • A hidden gem? The history around here!
  • I moved here on April 5th, 1972. I had lived in another part of Jersey City and I had always loved the houses here [that he now lives in.] I never thought I’d get a chance to live in one!


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  1. Please stop trying to make “Sherwood” happen. It’s pretty tone-deaf to take it upon yourself to rename a neighborhood, even under the auspices of it being on a map from the 19th century. Similar re-branding by realtors and developers of neighborhoods across the NY region just screams of a profit motive.

    Even the use of “Claremont” for that area is somewhat limited, but at least the Berry Hill/Claremont FB group provides some substantiation that it’s a name the community accepts.

  2. Well technically, unless the names are First American like Communipaw and Hoboken (which is Lenape for hupokàn – a pipe), all places have been renamed. Many of them multiple times over. IMHO, I think Sherwood is a beautiful name, carries historical significance and doesn’t try to rebrand the area as something that it never was. And it sure beats another one being bandied about, SoCo (South of Communipaw.) Just consider it my affectation for my lovely area. 🙂


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