Jersey City: A Flower Blossoming as a New Colossus


On a warm Saturday in Jersey City last month, the siren call of the sofa and cable television was probably a bit muted for many residents.

Filipino and Diwali festivals coexisted a mile apart on Newark Avenue and Exchange Place. In front of City Hall, the local L.G.B.T. organization, Hudson Pride, gathered for its annual festival. At the Culinary Arts Institute of Hudson County Community College, the scent of shellfish and saffron wafted from the New Jersey Paella Festival. Even the local cemetery, a few blocks from the Pride Festival, was hopping: 1,000 people, some in Halloween costumes, frolicked in front of a makeshift stage, where eight local bands were performing.

The cultural rise of Jersey City, the state’s second-most-populous city, which many might say accelerated after the 2008 revival of the Grove Street PATH station, was on full display.

Among residents like Anthony Vito Susco, who organized “Ghost of Uncle Joe’s,” the annual fund-raiser at the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, the bonanza of events has come to seem normal for this city of more than 250,000 people.

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