December Newsletter

Saturday, December 5, 2015

There’s no place like Harsimus for the Holidays. It’s only a matter of time until the neighborhood becomes the setting for holiday markets, snowy scenes on brownstone-lined streets and, for the first year, snow on the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall.

In keeping with our tradition, HCA will take this month off from our general meeting in the spirit of celebrating the joys of this season with our friends and family. This includes the DCNA Annual Holiday party, which will be held in Harsimus Cove this year.  Details to follow, but first…


As always, HCA encourages our neighbors to shop locally, and we hope everyone supports these businesses that not only contribute to HCA as sponsors, but also make living in Harsimus Cove even better. Click on the logos below to visit their websites.


HCA General Meeting

 No General Meeting in the Month of December. Will resume on January 11, 2016. 


Announcing HCA’s New Board & Committee Chairs

Last month, HCA elected its board to serve for the 2016 term. The Board has a healthy mix of incumbent members as well as new faces and is comprised as follows:

·       Jeremy Jacobsen, President

·       Michael Francisco, Vice President – Communications

·       Meredith Blanton Lander, Vice President – Membership

·       Eric Fleming, Treasurer

·       Rebecca Symes, Secretary

·       Trey Raymond, At-Large

·       Cesar Sarmiento, At-Large


Additionally, the following individuals have assumed the roles of Chairs and Vice Chairs of HCA’s newly formed committees

·       Stephen Musgrave, Chair – Streets & Sidewalks Committee

·       Austin Sakong, Chair – Construction & Development Committee

·       Carrie Craft, Vice Chair – Construction & Development Committee

HCA would like to thank all that have taken on these responsibilities, as well as those who have volunteered for other roles on the committees.

DCNA Holiday Party

The Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA) will be having its annual Holiday Party on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 7 to 10 PM at Raval (136 Newark Avenue, on the pedestrian mall). The party is free and guests will be treated to complimentary appetizers, and get one (1) complimentary drink ticket on a first-come/first-serve basis. There will also be a raffle table with donations going to benefit some of the less fortunate among the children at PS# 5.

For more details visit:

City Council to Vote on HDSID Expansion

The City Council will be voting on an ordinance to expand Historic Downtown Special Improvement District (HDSID) at the December Council meeting on December 16, 2015. Currently, the portion of Newark Avenue in Harsimus Cove already falls within that zone. There is only a small piece of the expansion in Harsimus Cove (Erie between Newark and 1st will be added). The change means HDSID will expand services (e.g., cleaning in front of storefronts, advertising, holiday lights) intended to benefit commercial businesses to that block, and that those businesses will be assessed a fee by HDSID.

The ordinance can be found here and a map showing expanded zones can be found here.


Holiday Volunteering/Charity Opportunities

This is a time of year where our hearts turn to those less fortunate, and there are plenty of options to volunteer and give right here in Harsimus Cove. The list of opportunities includes:

St. Mary’s Food Pantry (309 3rd Street) is accepting donations of non-perishable items. Some specifically mentioned are rice, beans, bread, pasta, turkey and chicken. Contact: Brother Lou Mauro, 201-434-8500.

Grace Church Van Vorst (2nd and Erie) has a Breakfast Plus Program to feed the hungry and homeless every weekend morning. Program details and information for those who’d like to volunteer or donate are at

Torico’s (1st and Erie) is accepting donations for two charitable causes this year.

·       Its annual Hope House Giving Tree is now on display. The tree contains tags of items needed or desired by those living in a local women and children’s shelter. Patrons take a tag, purchase those items and return them (wrapped) to Torico’s prior to the December 20th collection date.

·       From the weekend of December 5th - December 11th, there will also be a collection box for unwrapped toys going to Jersey City Ties annual toy drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County. Toys in high demand include Disney movie or superhero-themed toys and comic books, basketballs, footballs & other sports equipment, toy cars and racing sets, LEGOs, dolls & teddy bears, art supply sets, and shopping gift cards for teens (to be used for clothing, video games, cosmetics, etc.).

JC Shovels Program

The City of Jersey City has a new program that seeks volunteers to help seniors and disabled people to shovel snow. Here is the Jersey Journal’s article and a link to sign up


Social Media

Join the discussion happening in our Facebook group, it's a great way to keep up on neighborhood happenings and discussion between meetings. And follow our Facebook page or Twitter feed for announcements.

Useful Links

Pedestrian Mall:  For those interested in details, updates and rules relating to the Newark Avenue Pedestrian Mall, the following link from the City website can be used as a resource: 

Resident Response Center

For other non-emergency matters, HCA encourages members reporting one-off issues (e.g. trash/recycles uncollected, snow removal issues) to the City via the Resident Response Center (RRC) and notify us after-the-fact if there are issues with responsiveness.  Online, you can use this link or you can call (201) 547-4900 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to to 8 PM.

The RRC not only routes your request to the appropriate place within the city government and autonomous agency structure, it also provides a ticket number so it is documented and can be tracked.  For those who utilize the HCA Facebook Group, it gets even better because you will have a ticket number to include in posts of recurring or unresolved issues, which will help HCA advocate for you if the need escalate them arises. 

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