New Jersey’s city dwellers, like New Yorkers across the river, are adjusting to urban quarantine life like champs (they don’t call themselves #JerseyStrong for nothing). While residents wait to return to their normal pre-COVID-19 daily habits, work grind, and social outings, there’s still plenty they can do to stay occupied from the comfort of home.
Whether you live in a high rise condo overlooking Manhattan’s skyline, a spacious brownstone, or a cozy studio apartment, everything you need to be happy, healthy, and creative in self-isolation can be found nearby in Jersey. In between Zoom happy hours with pals and Netflix binge sessions, locals are shopping small, participating in virtual classes, and finding new ways to cheer on essential workers and healthcare heroes daily. To keep your at-home routine in Hoboken, Jersey City, and beyond on track, we’ve curated an outline of our favorite restaurants, boutiques, and services to enjoy. Below is your complete guide.
HOW TO START YOUR DAY:
Although you may be enjoying the perks of makeup-free skin, the struggles of quarantine haircare are too real right now. Elle Serkin, a beauty advisor at Hoboken’s trendy Blo-It-Out Lounge, has a few tips to help you navigate common hair problems at home while salons are closed. For our friends with colored locks and major roots (ahem, blondes with highlights), Serkin recommends using Style Edit Root Concealer Touch Up Spray, which comes in a spectrum of colors. If you’re a keratin treatment regular in need of sleeker strands, her suggestion is Keratin Complex Shampoo and Conditioner. As for those looking to keep their unwashed hairstyle video chat-worthy, there’s the Style Edit Invisible Dry Shampoo, which, along with the other products, the salon has available for pickup or delivery via Instagram DM or email. To achieve a put-together look without the fuss, Serkin loves creating textured beach waves with Redken’s No Blow Dry Bossy Cream and a 24-hour dutch braid.
Like maintaining your beauty regimen, taking care of your body can be a real mood booster. To start the day right, fitness enthusiasts and yogis are turning to virtual classes for exercise. Popular online experiences include meditation or yoga with Asana Soul Practice; personal training with Bachata & Barbells; bar class with The Bar Method Hoboken; pilates with Elevate Pilates or Bum Pilates; equipment-free workouts at Core Confidance; and custom workout plans from Work it Out’s Danielle Pagliuca, who is donating proceeds to the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Before you dive into your workload for the day, chances are you’ll need a morning pick-me-up. Whether it’s a smooth cup of Intelligentsia java from Black Rail Coffee, a rich matcha latte from Jefferson’s Coffee, or a heavenly cappuccino from Jersey City’s Sam A.M., you can’t go wrong. Non-caffeine drinkers should check out the juices and smoothies from healthy spots such as Green Pear or Shaka Bowl.
WHERE TO EAT:
Take a break from cooking to support beloved neighborhood restaurants as they fight against the effects of COVID-19. Consider ordering takeout or delivery from foodie hotspots in the “Mile Square City” such as O’Bagel (their hand-rolled bagels are a must-try); brunch gems Turning Point and The Little Grocery; Vito’s Italian Deli, known for its fresh mozzarella; wine bar Bin 14, which is offering cook-at-home pasta kits; Frankie & Ava’s offering gourmet sandwiches; classic steakhouse Dino & Harry’s; and popular Italian eateries including Margherita’s, Augustino’s, Anthony David’s, and Tenth Street Pasta & Pizza (owned by Chris Manzo of RHONJ). In terms of Jersey City, try BBQ spot Hamilton Pork; White Star, boasting the area’s best burger; Caribbean-centric Harry’s Daughter; Corto, offering fresh pasta kits; top pizza joints like Carmines or Low-Fidelity Bar (cue the Detroit-style pizza); Taqueria, dishing up authentic Mexican fare; The Hutton, specializing in elevated American cuisine; Australian-influenced Frankie; Latham House, known for its crispy chicken; Japanese restaurant, Honshu; and sausage-focused WÜRSTBAR.
WHERE TO DRINK:
Make your Zoom sessions and Houseparty chats the social distancing event of the weekend with signature cocktail recipes and a carefully curated list of new bops. Sip on libations from your favorite hangouts like Orale Mexican Kitchen, which is selling DIY cocktail kits for bloody marys, margaritas, and micheladas, as well as Cellar 335 with their 16oz bottles of tiki-style cocktails (think Mai Tais and Hurricanes). Beer lovers can choose from over 70 take-out brews (plus a free Bavarian pretzel, yum!) at Pilsener Haus & Biergarten, while gin enthusiasts can take advantage of curbside pickup at Corgi Spirits distillery.
WHAT TO DO:
We’re big fans of shopping small from home. Update your WFH wardrobe and warm-weather outfits with unique finds at local clothing boutiques. Alba Boutique, which treats customers to everything from live chats with experts to VIP style box service, is selling a super cute QUARAN-TEE that benefits front line workers. Other cool-kid shops worth browsing are Mint Market, Vintage on First, Revival Vintage, and Pepper & Parlor. Need thoughtful gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays? Get in touch with Washington General Store, Kanibal & Co., Love Locked, and Little City Books.
Virtual experiences are so on trend right now. Put the TV remote down and explore your creative side—maybe even learn a thing or two. Sign up for a virtual cooking class with Hudson Table, who offers meal kits for you to prepare with instruction from a chef over Zoom, or with Tony Boloney’s, who offers Surviving Isolation 101 classes each Sunday with a portion of proceeds going towards feeding the community’s heroes. Participate in weekly virtual wine tastings (bring on the rosé) with Bin 14’s wine director, or Instagram tasting sessions hosted by California label Kendall Jackson’s winemaster, Randy Ullom (remember to order the wines ahead of time using their promo code!). Hone your artistic skills, or just have fun with your besties, by throwing a virtual paint party with ArteVino Studio.