Deep in the heart of New Jersey's largest city, surrounded by a network of railroad tracks that enclose its four square miles and give the area its name, is a small enclave known as the Ironbound. The area was rural until the 1820s, when German and Irish immigrants came in, comprising a much-needed workforce that allowed the city to become more industrialized.
If you don't have the time or money to cross the Atlantic to visit Portugal, then you can just traverse over another body of water (the Hudson) and find some great authentic food in New Jersey.
With the recent opening of George Mendes's Lupulo, there has been a spark of interest in Portuguese cuisine in the city, but the truth is we're still short on options within the five boroughs. That's where New Jersey comes in. If you take the PATH or NJ Transit into Newark—just a 30 minute ride when the trains operate as scheduled—you can explore Portuguese food and get a genuine sense of the culture.
The Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) has joined with East Ward Councilman Augusto Amador and individuals and organizations from the East Ward and around the City of Newark to announce the formation of the Ironbound Immigrants Memorial Foundation.
The Foundation is committed to the fulfillment of a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute to the City of Newark’s 350th Anniversary celebration in 2016 by completing and erecting a statue to memorialize forever the individuals and families who are the foundation of the Ironbound’s past and future success. The goal is to raise more than $200,000 necessary to complete and install the memorial by the fall of this year.
Designed by local artist Camilo Satiro, a noted painter and sculptor, the memorial will be carved from marble and erected on the island located at the Five Corners intersection of Ferry Street, Wilson Avenue and Merchant Street that fronts historic St. Stephan’s Church.
“Newark’s Ironbound District has welcomed generations of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe and the Americas, including African Americans from our southern states, seeking freedom and opportunity,” stated Councilman Amador at a kickoff event held recently at the Mediterranean Manor.
“It is estimated that more than 40 different ethnic communities call the Ironbound home; all have made important contributions, helping to build the Ironbound, Newark and New Jersey,” the Councilman added. “Through their pursuit of the American Dream, a dream that for many began in this community, the Ironbound has become one of Newark’s leading neighborhoods for residents and visitors, with a thriving business district, acclaimed restaurants, safe and welcoming streets and respected cultural and artistic institutions.”
Newark’s Ironbound is recognized as one of New Jersey’s top dining and food destinations. It is also home to AeroFarms, the world’s largest indoor vertical farm, currently under construction on Rome Street.
While the facility is being completed in time for a grand opening scheduled for later this year, AeroFarms, the company behind this revolutionary new way to grow delicious, nutrient-dense leafy greens and herbs without sunlight, rain or soil, has set up another commercial farm at 400 Ferry Street, the former home of a paintball facility that is less than half a mile away from Rome Street, bringing together one overall 100,000 square feet farming operation.
Recently, AeroFarms joined forces with the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) to host a tour and tasting of several different leafy greens harvested at peak flavor grown with no pesticides and up to 95% less water than traditional farming.
“The Ironbound is a food-centric community, and having “Newark Fresh” produce available to local residents as well as the hundreds of restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, markets and other food-related businesses in our district is a perfect match,” said Seth A. Grossman, the IBID’s Executive Director. “Newark’s business sector now includes a significant and growing number of food-related companies and we are proud that many, like AeroFarms, call the Ironbound home.”
More than 30 community members participated in a public meeting at the Prospect Street Firestation to talk about bicycle safety and a proposed bicycle network for the Ironbound. Hosted by the City ofNewark's Engineering Department and supported by the Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID), the effort joins a citywide pedestrian awareness program designed to make the Ironbound andNewark a safer place for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists sharing local roadways.
Colorful mums and decorative cabbages are providing a touch of seasonal color to the Ironbound Business Improvement District’s streetscape. More than 130 planters throughout the district, including Ferry Street, East Ferry Street and Wilson Avenue, were cleaned out from summer plantings and replanted for the fall season during the month of October.
“Be Street Smart” will encourage motorists and pedestrians to “Check Your Vital Signs” to improve their safety on the road
Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Municipal Council, Engineering Director Phillip Scott, and Traffic and Signals Division Manager Jack Nata announced today that the City of Newark this October will participate in the statewide pedestrian safety education campaign to address the high incidence of pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes in New Jersey. The “Be Street Smart NJ” campaign is a collaborative effort between public, private and non-profit organizations to educate pedestrians and motorists about making safety their top priority whether walking or driving.
Installation of the imprinted crosswalks along Ferry Street, part of the restoration work to the Ironbound District streetscape after PSEG’s major gas main replacement project this summer, has started.
Work will take place during the day, starting at McWhorter Street and working its way to Merchant Street. Please plan your travel through the area accordingly. Businesses and restaurants will remain open while the re-paving is underway.
Additional questions can be directed to the IBID at 973-491-9191 or the City of Newark’s Division of Traffic & Signals at 973-733-3985. Thank you for your patience as this important work on the Ironbound District’s infrastructure is completed.