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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 2:02 AM
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Hackensack, NJ

"Last Sunday afternoon
I took a trip to Hackensack,
But after I gave Hackensack the once-over,
I took the next train back."

-Cole Porter

Hackensack won’t win any beauty contests, as smartass Mr. Porter can attest, but it’s a pretty energetic little city with a bustling, perhaps sleazy, downtown.

Hackensack, pop. 43,000, is the seat of Bergen County, New Jersey’s most populous at just under 900,000. The county is a prime example of NJ’s boroughitis, packing 70 municipalities into 237 square miles. Hackensack is about 10 miles from Manhattan and is a thoroughly diverse town.

Ex-Ithican did a great tour of Hackensack a few months ago, but I had to do my own tour while home for the holidays.

Main Street. Go Devils.




Johnson Library


Looking south on Main


Hackensack is fairly unique among New Jersey cities in that it has very little industry (not many office buildings either). It is mostly a commuter town, with the county government and Hackensack Medical Center being the biggest employers in the city. There are two old midrise banks on Main Street, and a much larger skyline of residential towers up the hill west of downtown.



Prospect Ave towers in the distance




There are a bunch of neat old apartment buildings near downtown, but they don’t really form a cohesive urban district.






Fans of 1960’s jazz will know Hackensack as the place where Rudy Van Gelder started recording artists including Sonny Rollins for Blue Note Records, before moving the studio to nearby Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
In my opinion, the jazz recorded in Bergen County (the bulk of 60's output form Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Freddie Hubbard, Donald Byrd, Dexter Gordon, Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill) holds up to anything recorded in New York at Columbia or Atlantic.



Tudor is a very popular style in Bergen County, as well as the rest of North Jersey and parts of central Queens. More than any other style it reminds me of home. You don’t see much in the Midwest or New England.






Awesome urban Sears on upper Main


There is a matching row of these on the other side on the block facing River St


Apparently this is the carpet district…






Main Street is about a mile long, and packed with stores. The only chains I can think of are CVS, Blimpie, and ReMax. It's a fun and engaging place to go strolling.








Banta Pl




That guy’s hairstyle looks like it has good traction.








The Bergen County courthouse is much nicer and more grand than the state capitol in Trenton.
















It was rather cold.


Interesting cornice. Reminds me of water wheels.



-
NJ Transit’s Bergen Line has stations in Hackensack on Essex and Anderson Streets. It’s maybe 20 minutes into Manhattan
Colonial-era church. I didn’t feel like standing in a foot of snow to read the plaque.






This must’ve been a nice building


Side street




Looks like that building lost a floor.








Heading out


Back downtown a few days after Chistmas, running some errands




Random block off E. Kansas St in south Hackensack




Businesses on Essex St
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Last edited by Thundertubs; Jan 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 2:15 AM
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Great pictures. Hackensack looks like an interesting North Jersey city.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 3:11 AM
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Hackensack is such a memorable name, thanks for the excellent tour
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 4:07 AM
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Hackensack, what movies has this town been in? I remember it from somewhere. Its dirty looking
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 6:13 PM
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Great shots. Not a bad little place; oddly reminiscent of some of Chicago's outlying areas.

That Sears is positively kick-ass.
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 6:46 PM
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Great Tour! I lived in New Jersey for about 5 years in the '80s-'90s and really enjoyed exploring all the different main streets. Hackensack looks exactly as I remember it. It was never one of the affluent towns like Ridgewood, Westwood or Summit, but a busy enough, doing ok kind of downtown.

I remember listening to the Burt Bacharach song "Hasbrouck Heights" (which is close to Hackensack) and thinking, oh, that must be the NJ equivalent of Beverly Hills. After moving there, I saw that it wasn't but I still wondered what the inspiration of the song was. Anybody know? Did Burt or Hal David ever live there?
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Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 10:48 PM
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Thundertubs, I owe you a debt of gratitude. Hackensack was my place of birth!! However I actually lived in Teaneck for the first two years of my life, until my parents moved out to the Kansas City area. Thanks a bunch for doing this thread!!
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Who needs a house out in Hackensack?
Is that all you get for your money?
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 12:20 AM
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Great name for a city
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 12:42 AM
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Nice
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 3:31 AM
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Nice city. Love the diversity.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 4:46 AM
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I grew up next door to Hackensack in Teaneck. I took swimming lessons at the Y and we used to shop at the Sears (it's not closed, the windows are painted over and the entrance is on the other side by the parking lot). You may want to travel along the river and see the USS Ling, an old military submarine, by the diner.

It doesn't look like it's changed that much. It's always had potential to be more upscale because a lot of neighboring towns are upscale. (I didn't realize Bergen County is the biggest county in NJ now, I would think that Essex or Hudson would be the biggest. )

If you have time you may want to go into Teaneck and take pictures along Cedar Lane, the most urban area of Teaneck.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
Great shots. Not a bad little place; oddly reminiscent of some of Chicago's outlying areas.

That Sears is positively kick-ass.
Lawrence Ave, Montrose (west of the river) and maybe parts of Edgewater always reminded me of Hackensack a little bit. Those are also some of my favorite parts of Chicago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by philadelphiathrives View Post
I grew up next door to Hackensack in Teaneck. I took swimming lessons at the Y and we used to shop at the Sears (it's not closed, the windows are painted over and the entrance is on the other side by the parking lot). You may want to travel along the river and see the USS Ling, an old military submarine, by the diner.

It doesn't look like it's changed that much. It's always had potential to be more upscale because a lot of neighboring towns are upscale. (I didn't realize Bergen County is the biggest county in NJ now, I would think that Essex or Hudson would be the biggest. )

If you have time you may want to go into Teaneck and take pictures along Cedar Lane, the most urban area of Teaneck.
Yup, I grew up in northern Bergen County, and went to the USS Ling a few times as a kid. I remember going to Prozy's army-navy store on Main St a few times (closed about 5 years ago). Years later I bowled my greatest game at Bowler City by the midtown bridge. 176!
I think Bergen has been the most populous in NJ after Essex started losing population in the 1960's-70's.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 6:20 PM
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I have heard of Hackensack quite a bit...from movies or TV or whatnot...so, it is nice to actually see it. Looks pretty urban to me. Great photos, thanks!
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2009, 1:29 PM
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Very nice, agree about the Dutch colonial. Is the Sears actually still open?
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Old Posted Jan 21, 2009, 4:15 PM
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Great photo set! It doesn't look like the nicest place, but it sure has character, and you displayed it well. Thanks for sharing.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2009, 7:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthJersey7 View Post
Is the Sears actually still open?
The Hackensack Sears is open, but they moved the main entrance to face the back.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 21, 2009, 10:57 PM
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I thought you might put out a Hackensack thread. Lookin' good Tt. Active downtown (even if it has a bit of an edge to it), street full of talls on the hill, and an impressive courthouse; Hackensack has it all. But look at all the snow, yikes. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed it.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 5:00 AM
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 5:58 AM
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Spent a bit of time in Hackensack for some reason or another. Found it to be kind of weird for some reason or another. I liked it for some reason or another.

And yes, Hackensack has some great jazz history. I have a number of great albums recorded at Van Gelder studios.
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