CALENDAR
January
18  

Hispanic Flamenco Ballet

28   Defining Rhythm
   

 

February
16  

Wizard of Oz

18   Showtime 2012
23   Chamber Theatre - Eureka
     
March
1   Live at the Park
     

Our Neighborhood

Around Town

The City of Union City is a very special place for those of us who grew up here and for those of us who came here from other cities, towns and villages all over the world.

Since its incorporation on June 1,1925, Union City has been a destination and become a home for people with a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. One of the things we pride ourselves on is the fact that so many people-over 67,000 live and work together in this small city of 1.4 square miles.

Union City resulted from the merger of West Hoboken and Union Hill, two towns in eastern Hudson County. Although records indicate that Hudson County was first settled in 1614 when the Dutch established a trading fort only a few miles away from the present site of Union City, it was not until the mid-1800s that the city began to develop. Before the Dutch settlers the area was inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Indians.

Active subdivision and settlement of the area began in the 1850's when a group of German-American pioneers built homes in the Union Hill section (32nd to 49th streets). The city then began to grow rapidly, reaching a population of about 60,000 in the 1920s. After World War II, with the movement of city dwellers out in the newly developed suburban areas, the population dropped to less than 53,000, according to the 1960 census.

However, during the 1960s, Union City's population quickly recovered from its temporary decline, thanks largely to an influx of Cuban refugees fleeing the communist dictatorship in their native island nation. Union City became a destination for the Cubans most likely due to its proximity to New York City. At the time, Union City had an abundance of reasonably priced housing and business opportunities, which also attracted other newcomers such as middle-class New Yorkers seeking to escape the expensive New York lifestyle and hectic pace of the "big city".

In the 1960's the Cuban were the newest ethnic group to find Union City attractive. Before them came the Dutch, the Germans, the Italians, the Irish, the Armenians, and the Puerto Ricans. After the Cubans came others: South Americans, Central Americans, Haitians, Asian Indians, Koreans, Arabs and many others. Since the end of World War II, Union City has a large Hasidic Jewish community who have become very much a part of the Union City tapestry.

Through the years, each of the groups has left their own indelible mark on Union City culture. Today, we all enjoy foods tasting of the spices from many lands and we all share our lives with friends and relatives from different ethnic backgrounds. On a walk through our shopping districts, one's senses are stimulated by the sights, sounds, and smells of a rich variety of cultures. We celebrate our diversity - it is what makes Union City unique and interesting place to live and work.

Union City is bordered on the south by Jersey City, on the north by West New York and North Bergen, on the west by North Bergen, and on the east by Weehawken. We are in Hudson County, in an area know as North Hudson.

Restaurants and Hotels

RESTAURANTS | HOTELS

RESTAURANTS

$ - $$ - $$$

Casa Di Napoli $
703 32nd Street
Union City, NJ 07087
201-867-1934

Mi Bandera $$
518 32nd Street
Union City, NJ 07087
201-348-2828

4 Star Diner $
543 32nd Street
Union City, NJ 07087
201-866-0101

IHOP $
3196-A Kennedy Blvd.
Union City, NJ 07087
201-617-7079

HOTELS

Crowne Plaza Meadowlands
2 Harmon Plaza
Secaucus, NJ 07094
(201) 348-6900
Fax: (201) 348-4436

Holiday Inn Hasbrouck Heights
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
(201) 288-9600
Fax: (201) 288-4527

Quality Inn Meadowlands
10 Polito Avenue
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
(201) 933-9800
Fax: (201) 933-0658

Club Hotel & Suites by Doubletree
455 Washington Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07310
(201) 499-2577
Fax: (201) 499-2424

Days Inn
2750 Tonnelle Avenue
North Bergen, NJ 07047
(201) 348-3600
Fax: (201) 271-0950

Novotel Meadowlands
One Polito Avenue
Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
(201) 896-6666
Fax: (201) 939-4002

Exhibits

The Cultural Thread/
El Hilo Cultural

The Cultural Thread/El Hilo Cultural is an exhibit that highlights the varied embellished and luxurious textiles stitched right here in New Jersey and the people who created them. While it still comes as a surprise to many people outside of this area, people who live in the North Hudson region of New Jersey know that this area has been a major center of the creation of commercial embroidery and lace for 120 years. The emblems worn by boy scouts and the U.S. military, the fine embroidered lace on bridal wear and the dresses of divas, the lacey net on contemporary lingerie have all been designed and/or produced here.

culturalimg1

W.R. Thread showing the cutting of a field of stars for United States flags.

The Cultural Thread/ El Hilo Cultural tells the story of northern New Jersey's unique heritage as a world capital of embroidery and lace. Since the 1870s when Swiss and German immigrants set up the heavy machinery that creates the finest lace, North Hudson has produced intricate stitching worn by people around the globe. The knowledge regarding this art has been passed on from one generation to another in the many families involved in this cottage industry. A number of embroidery companies active in North Hudson today are still run by descendants of the Swiss, German and Austrian immigrants who established these businesses. Successive waves of immigrants from Eastern Europe, the Near East and Latin America have contributed imagination and skill to the industry in subsequent years.

culturalimg2

Othmar Metzler, Swiss embroidery design.

In addition to the prolific embroidery created in the small shops of North Hudson, New Jersey has a number of expert embroiderers and lacemakers creating one of a kind garments and home furnishings. The Cultural Thread/ El Hilo Cultural exhibit also features work by skilled embroiderers from many cultural backgrounds including Asian Indian, Czech, Cuban, English, Episcopalian, Greek, Guinean, Hungarian, Italian, Jewish, Mexican, Nigerian, Palestinian, Turkish and Ukrainian.

culturralimg3

Olena Halkowycz, Ukrainian embroidery.

Materials on display include old sample books, tools used to create embroidery, "cartoons" or enlargements of designs, embroidered fabrics, clothing, vestments, and quotes from embroiderers' stories.

"My grandmother bought her first house through the money she earned doing hand cutting. Women did 'home work.' They took the delicate stuff--the collars, the yokes--and hand cut all of them."

"How did I get started in this? I was born. There were no babysitters in those days, no preschools. I started working with my father and that was it. Whatever didn't get done in the daytime, daddy brought home. I made shuttle when I was 6 years old."

Credits: This exhibit was produced with the ongoing cooperation of the Schiffli Embroidery and Lace Manufacturers Association and with the assistance of The Newark Museum. Many individual embroiderers and embroidery companies have loaned or donated materials for the exhibit. This exhibit is made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Bernard M. Hartnett, Jr., Hudson County Executive; Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders; Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and NJ Department of Commerce Office of Travel and Tourism.

Hours: The exihibit is open by appointment. Admission is free, except for guided tours. Call (201) 865-6980, ext. 15 for more information.