Perth Amboy Off The Beaten Path Tips by NJ_nonstop
Perth Amboy Off The Beaten Path: 3 reviews and 11 photos
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.
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