Change on Jersey City's Newark Avenue: Then and Now

The changing face of Newark Avenue over the course of one year

Soon after we moved to Jersey City -- in April/May 2014 -- as I began to get my bearings in regards to where we were (this was where) and what was around us, I honed in on how quickly Newark Avenue was changing. It is such a central thoroughfare for Grove Street PATH riders or attendees of the Farmers' Markets or Groove on Grove or the Artists & Makers Market (or any other downtown markets).

Living on Erie Street, we would walk down and take a left on Newark almost daily (if I wasn't taking a creative path simply for amusement and distraction) for one reason or another. So when Mayor Fulup turned that stretch of the avenue into a permanent pedestrian plaza, I was thrilled. The traffic that actually drove through there was already extremely minimal, but now when my two year old ran into the street, I was far less worried about potential cars. In fact, I could encourage her to run wild in the plaza and release her energies on the people of Jersey City (sorry, people of Jersey City).

Toward the end of summer 2014, when I saw what an immense amount of development, construction and change was underfoot around me and how much the face of Newark Avenue alone had shifted in the three months we'd been there, I threw the World's Cutest Human on my back (when that was still possible), grabbed my camera and took a walk. I captured images with the intention to do the same thing one year later, just to see what the change would amount to.

I waited until the very last moment just before we moved to go back out and take the "after" pictures. With the craze of packing, the opportunity to take these pics began to wane before my eyes, so I ran out to grab some snaps very early one morning during the last week of July (2015). Because it was so early when I went out, and I don't have a mount flash (yet!), the lighting is not great and of course, the stores aren't open. So it wasn't the direct comparison I was going for, but you get the idea and the idea is impressive!

Take a look.

Summer 2014

Summer 2014

Where previously there was nothing, there now sits SOUTH HOUSE Bar and Restaurant (read more about SOUTH HOUSE here).

From a scrumptious pizza-less world, to a Jersey City outpost of the stylish Pizza joint, PORTA.

Monty's Public House made progress, but it wasn't quite finished when we left. Is it open yet? Keep me posted, Jersey City!

It may have annoyed me to cross the street to walk around while it was under construction, but once Carrino Provisions and TaldeJC were in place, we wouldn't have traded them for all of the pedestrian freedom to stroll in the world.

JC Taekwondo and Kickboxing Academy got a little facelift, too.

Where once there was just a space, there is now construction. Tell me, Jersey City, is this place finished yet? What is it? Please add a note in the comments, or email me at if you have an updated image and I will add it here!

This stretch of Newark Avenue used to be tapas-less, but now there stands Raval.

When we first moved to Jersey City, the Hard Grove Cafe sat on the corner across from the Grove Street PATH Station. During the summer of 2014, it moved to Newark Avenue and is still in the process of re-opening. Meanwhile, its former location became a PNC Bank in Summer 2015, just before we left.

A few more captures from Summer 2014 (click to see individual photos):

Last, a few more captures of Newark Avenue, and surrounding areas, as it stood at the end of July 2015 (click to see individual photos):

Summer 2015
Summer 2015

Let's keep it going, Jersey City! Share what has changed during August and into the future by posting to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ChangingJC and let's keep track. Whether you are pro-moving forward or #JCTakeitBack, it sure is interesting to visually measure the change in photos!