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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