The beautiful and renovated waterfront, where the Arthur Kill and the Raritan Bay meet, is possibly the Perth Amboy's biggest attraction . Perth Amboy's waterfront is where the city was first settled and one of the few places left in New Jersey that has a historic and marina culture surrounded by water. Passengers on yacht boats, as well as people on foot, get to see a complete view of the waterfront. There one could see stately Victorian homes, the redbrick promenade, the marina, Bayview Park which features a bandshell, a yacht club, and seafood restaurants next to a major waterfront redevelopment plan on the right. This plan costs $600 million and will take eight years. It will include luxury condominiums, restaurants, specialty shops, an international market, and a hotel. The waterfront rises very steep after two blocks. This hinders the rest of the town making the waterfront look like a quiet fishing village. Beautiful Victorians fill the tree lined streets including High Street. Many of them have steep lawns which provide a great view of the bay. There is a Governor's Mansion on Kearny Avenue that dates back to the 1700s where the royal governor of East Jersey lived. It is now a museum and houses some offices, as well. Other points of interest include St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, the Kearny Cottage and City Hall Park. Popular eateries include The Barge, Seabra's Armory, and Harbor Delight, an ice cream parlor. On beautiful days, the waterfront attracts many people and gatherings. Seeing couples holding hands or lying along the Sadowski Parkway park is also not an uncommon sight. On sunday afternoons in the summertime, Perth Amboy hosts the Concerts by the Bay in Bayview Park's bandshell.
Perth Amboy’s downtown is centered along Smith Street, Perth Amboy’s main street. Downtown Smith Street is 7 blocks long. Once a shopping mecca for Central New Jersey, competition from the malls and New York forced the higher end stores out of Perth Amboy’s downtown. The shops today include 99 cent stores, grocery stores, and hip-hop clothing stores among other types of stores. Except for a Foot Locker, there are no major chain stores here. However, downtown Perth Amboy is still bustling largely because of the 3% Sales Tax. Instead of paying the statewide 6% Sales Tax, you only pay half. This tax money goes on to enhancing downtown's image by putting in Victorian streetlights, benches, trees, and redbrick sidewalks. Since Perth Amboy is overwhelmingly composed of Hispanic immigrants, you will hear Spanish as the dominant language on the streets. Smith Street, west of the train station, is more thoroughly Hispanic with many Hispanic restaurants and grocery stores.
Places of interest include the 10 story skyscraper in the "five corners." The “five corners” is the intersection of Smith Street, New Brunswick Avenue, and State Street. Buildings downtown usually aren’t taller than 6 stories.
Woodbridge Center Mall is just fifteen minutes away. This is where the big chain stores are. To get there just take the 815 bus to Woodbridge Center in downtown Perth Amboy
Restaurants in Perth Amboy range from expensive seafood restaurants to hole in the wall restaurants. The most renowned and expensive restaurants in Perth Amboy are The Barge, Seabra's Armory (both facing the marina), and the Portuguese Manor (on Elm Street). Other restaurants include Karini's (Puerto Rican), Carvajal (Mexican), Bar BQ Luso (Portuguese chicken), and Bonao, El Encanto, Quisqueya Lunchonette, and Alegria (all Dominican). Karini's on 299 New Brunswick Avenue serves traditional Puerto Rican food as well as a dessert called "flancocho" (not sancocho). A flancocho is a part flan part cake dessert that costs about $3.50. Carvajal restuarant serves fine Mexican food but is a little pricey.
Crime rates have significantly dropped in Perth Amboy in the past 10 or 15 years largely because of the demolitions of two high rise housing projects. However Perth Amboy still isn't crime-free but if you're cautious especially during the night time you'll be fine. Harbortown, a townhouse development in Perth Amboy is probably one of the most crime infested parts of town. Even though there are many affluent and middle-class residents in Harbortown, there are also many section 8 recipients living side by side next to the middle-class residents. It is also ethnically diverse as it is economically diverse. While Harbortown is the most educated and one of the most expensive neighborhoods in town (for those who aren't on section 8), it also has the highest poverty rate.
West of Rt. 35 or Convery Boulevard is a mostly suburban section in Perth Amboy. Although it is not a tourist attraction at all, it is still distinct from the rest of the city. The area west of Rt. 35, along with the waterfront, are the most attractive areas in town. Largely middle-class, much of the population in this area is aging. This area is also heavily and almost evenly white and Hispanic. It is the most suburban area in town with cul de sacs, split levels, and garages. The area can be split into sections, Spa Springs and Chickentown. Spa Springs lies to the north of Rt. 440 while Chickentown lies south.
Joe's Meat Market on 437 Smith Street is possibly the closest you could get to Poland in the Perth Amboy area. Joe's Meat Market is laden with everything Polish---dziennik (newspapers), czasopismo (magazines), ksiazka (books), woda (water), mleko (milk),and napoj (beverages) just to name a few. This store is redolent with kielbasa which are suspended from hooks and huge chunks of smoked ham, pork tenderloin and other meats waiting on the counter. Shelves offer Polish red and white borscht, mayonnaise, chocolate, and other packaged goods.. Polish is the predominant language in this grocery store but English is also spoken. Around the corner is the ZPA, a Polish American cocktail club. Also of Polish American interest in Perth Amboy is St. Stephen's on 490 State Street which offers mass in Polish at 11:00 a.m. and Ed and Mary's Tavern on 555 Penn Street, a Polish restaurant. Perth Amboy used to have a substantial Polish population especially in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Although today the Polish population stands at about 5%, there are still some remnants of Poilsh American culture evident in Perth Amboy.
Hall Avenue is no longer the commercial thoroughfare it once was. However, business is up because
loiterers have stopped congregating in front of their storefronts. Still there are a few businesses
left because it was very risky for business owners to set up shop there. Today there are three
bodegas, two bars, and one restaurant. The street has a few pedestrians but it is not deserted. In addition, there is a recently built strip mall on the corner of Hall Avenue and State Street called the "Firehouse Plaza."
Hall Avenue is now primarily residential. Most of the homes are aging apartments but there are also some newly constructed homes. There are also
school signs, tall trees, and mailboxes. The tallest building is no taller than 3 ½ stories.
Hall Avenue is more than 86% Hispanic with about half of that population being of
Puerto Rican descent. There are Puerto Rican flags hanging from window sills and
fluttering from car rear view windows. Salsa and reggaeton blast from the window sills and car stereos. The avenue also features Banco Popular and
a storefront Puerto Rican church. It hosts the city’s Puerto Rican Day Parade on June the same weekend the NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade takes place as well.
From the 1950’s to the early 1990’s there was a drug epidemic plaguing Hall Avenue.
Hall Avenue used to be filled with juveniles loitering on street corners, many selling
heroin, cocaine and marijuana openly. The federal government, through the work of the
local housing authority, tore down a high-rise apartment complex nearby that had served
as an incubator for crime. In addition with the Perth Amboy Police Department, Hall
Avenue is now a lot more cleaned up. Even though there are still drugs and crime here
and there, it is hard to see this avenue as the drug fueled war zone it once was.
you will alway have you'r nails & hair did and you will always have a beepaa.
Fondest memory: My sister Samantha!!!!!