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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Escape for Summer

Sure, summer has so far been mostly rainy and cold. But eventually summer will arrive, and that means hitting the beach. So just in case you want a little bit more sand than Newport Beach offers, here are a few getaway special deals:

NJ Transit Beach Special
Hoboken Now points out a NJ Transit discount on beach tags along the NJ Coastline. Round trip fares include beach passes for several destinations along the route with savings up to $6.50.

Atlantic City Express
The brand new ACES train service, an express train from New York / Newark Penn Station to Atlantic City, is offering a short time discounted fare of $29 for those who want to gamble. The train has bar service and runs Friday through Sunday.

Sandy Hook, by Boat
If you rather cruise your way to the beach, SeaStreak offers ferry service to Sandy Hook from Manhattan seven days a week. Twice daily service provides a 30 minute jaunt to a dock in the highlands, includes a short shuttle service, and admission to the beach.

Northeast Corridor
Meanwhile, Amtrak is running a 25 percent discount on Northeast Corridor rail service. So if the beach isn't your thing, consider some of the nation's great historical cities like Boston, Philadelphia or Washington D.C.


Finishing Touches in Liberty Harbor

Construction in Liberty Harbor North has slowed to a crawl and new buildings aren't expected to break ground for a while. However, at the southwest end of the current development are three buildings receiving their finishing touches.

The Regent finishes off the end of the street. The rental building will sport a rooftop pool and be the third of the larger residential towers after the Sutton and the Zenith. The marketing department claims the brickwork reminiscent of Art Deco, but our first thought was that it resembled the Kalahari Apartments.

Adjacent to the Regent are two more buildings, row houses sporting an anything goes architectural style.

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255 Washington Street

Monday, June 29, 2009

Beer Garden Opens to Crowds

Friday night saw the opening of the Zeppelin Beer Hall, a massive German style beer garden in the base of the Zenith, a luxury rental tower in the newly opened neighborhood of Liberty Harbor North on the south side of the downtown. The beer hall has a capacity of 800 and claims more than 144 taps, though the total number of available beers is much lower than that.

The main beer hall features two separate rooms with bars, as well as a food service station. Within the hall are picnic tables that match those outside, and in the secondary room is a small bandstand, though no musicians performed over the weekend.

Friday service opened to a beautiful summer afternoon interrupted only briefly by a sudden downpour. But the beauty of Zeppelin Hall is the large capacity inside as well as out, and until the rain passed, there was plenty of room indoors. After the rain cleared, the outdoor tables quickly filled.

The staff seemed unprepared Friday to deal with the crush of people. The two indoor bars were both overwhelmed and the outdoor bar did not open Friday. The bartenders flipped a stack of credit cards representing open tabs like a pile of playing cards. Customers could choose from a half liter ($5), liter ($10), or pitcher ($15), and the sheer number of orders simply slowed service to a crawl.

The garden abuts against the light rail track, and the train sounds an air horn as it approaches a grade crossing and Jersey Avenue station, also adjacent to the garden. Saturday night patrons began cheering each time a train passed to the chagrin of residents of the Zenith rental building prompting noise complaints.

Sunday afternoon brought out a family crowd, and by late afternoon the garden was again filled with everyone seven to seventy. The installation of umbrellas provided shade Sunday too. By Sunday, the long lines for beer seemed to have abated, and the outdoor taps were turned on.

The beer hall has plenty of room indoors and out. There is plenty of space between tables to walk, and enough open areas where groups of people can gather.

The kitchen serves a variety of burgers and German style sausages. By Sunday, they had sold out of most of the sausage varieties, with only a kielbasa available, served with fries and sauerkraut. The burgers are passable; some interesting combinations are available, including burgers with kielbasa, but the beef isn't terribly high quality. The fries were fresh, crisp and everything you would want.

Parking is available at a lot on Jersey Avenue, about a block away from the beer hall. But with easy access to public transportation, and the quantity of beer flowing from the establishment, its probably better not to drive. The Jersey Avenue light rail station is a block away and trains run every ten minutes. The location is also just 6 blocks from the Grove Street PATH station, making the beer hall about 15 minutes door to door from lower Manhattan, a far easier trip than the hour to Astoria. See the Google Map for how to get there from the PATH and Light Rail.

After an early rain storm, crowds fill up the garden on Friday night

A mock German style building inside the beer hall adds to the whimsy

The floors inside the beer hall add to the German feel

Sunday afternoon was a family friendly crowd

Umbrellas were installed Sunday morning

Yes, that's the window of a luxury rental apartment 10 feet above the beer garden

By Sunday, the outdoor bar was operating too

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225 Grand Street Bricked

The first of bit of facade is going up on this Grand Street rental tower; the Marin Boulevard side of the tower is getting covered with goldenrod bricking.

So far it seems the tower will have a set back on the Grand Street elevation.

Gulls Cove looms behind the new tower as the construction crane sits off to one side.


Foundations, Rebar on Wayne and Barrow

The small project on the corner of Wayne and Barrow is getting foundations poured over the wooden pilings pounded into the ground a few weeks back.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beer Garden Finally Opening

Rumor has it that the Zeppelin Hall, a German Style Biergarten is finally expected to open on Friday afternoon, serving up beer and sausages and all sorts of German food.

A tipster sent us the above photo as well as this one from the inside:

Zeppelin Hall is located in the base of the Zenith, shown below, in Liberty Harbor North.

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New York's Sixth is a blog for the forgotten, de facto borough across the river featuring original content, commentary, and information relevant to living in Downtown Jersey City / Hoboken.


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