Meet Matt, Summer Intern Extraordinaire
This is a new series on our blog written by our summer intern, Matthew Burdorf. Matt just finished his freshmen year at Boston College's Carroll School of Management. He will be battling Hoboken and Jersey City establishments all summer long, offering an unbiased opinion of his findings.
Hoboken vs Jersey City:
Best Park to Spend a Couple Hours; Pier A Park in Hoboken or Liberty State Park in Jersey City?
Pier A lies between from Newark to Second Street, a few blocks from Carlo’s Bakery and Citibank. When I first arrived around noon, I noticed that the park was relatively packed. I struggled to find a parking spot, but eventually found one near Third Street, in a 4-hour parking zone. On a 90+ degree day, there were hundreds of people walking around, enjoying the beautiful New York City views and breeze from the Hudson River. There were plenty of shady benches to rest upon, as well as freshly cut green grass to lay on. Everyone seemed extremely friendly, even on a hot and humid day. Several kids were enjoying the sun on some grass by some shady picnic tables. After my walk around the park, I had several lunch places to choose from along Sinatra Drive. Overall, the park seemed like the perfect place to enjoy a work lunch break or a hot and humid day in general.
Being in such an optical location, Pier A is set to host many Hoboken summer functions in the following months. One function is every Wednesday night in June, July, and August, the park will be hosting free outdoor movie screenings. Another recurring event is Art in the Park, designed for toddlers, which will be held on certain weekday mornings (see hobokennj.org for details). Pier A will also be hosting several fitness classes, such as various versions of yoga, during the summer months. There seems to always be something to do at Pier A.
Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is located blocks from the Liberty Science Center exit on Phillip Street. At first I parked my car in the wrong parking lot. As I was walking up near the Hudson River, a police officer kindly asked me to move my car to a different lot. The officer was extremely kind and in a real friendly mood for another extremely hot day, and the many visitors of the park gave off a similar vibe. I saw tons of friendly faces that were walking their dogs, or just enjoying a break from the sun at one of the many available picnic tables. I did not realize how beautiful the views were from the park until I walked farther from the parking lot and found myself staring at the back of the Statue of Liberty. Not to mention, I also was treated to wonderful city skyline views. I observed a lot of runners, but all I wanted to do was sit back and watch all the beautiful boats on the water.
Something that clearly stands out at Liberty State Park is the “Empty Sky” 9/11 Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the 749 people from New Jersey who lost their lives on the September 11th tragedy. The walls of the memorial are located in such a position to represent where the Twin Towers were positioned in the New York skyline. The names of the victims are engraved on the interior of the stainless steel walls.
Of course one of the things to do at the Liberty State Park is to hop on a ferry to see the beautiful Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. With this is mind, from June 20th to July 12th, visitors can sail upon the A.J. Meerwald, which will be making its annual appearance to Liberty Park during this time. It will be taking visitors on tours three times a day (10am, 1:30pm, 6:30pm) for two hours at a time. Also, for the younger children, there will be a seven hour Sailor for a Day camp for ages 10-16 taking place on both June 28th and July 12th.
At both parks I had an enjoyable, relaxing time. There are plenty of sights to see and places to rest and relax at Pier A Park and Liberty State Park. However, if I had to pick one park to go to for the rest of the summer, I would choose Pier A in a heartbeat, solely based on the location and nearby places to go. Although the parking advantage definitely goes to Liberty State Park, I found Pier A to be more enjoyable overall.