Paterson, New Jersey, is home to about 146,199 people as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The city got its start as an energy producer with hydropower from the Passaic River under
the Society for the Establishment of Useful Manufactures program founded by Alexander Hamilton. The city got its name from William Paterson, who was the governor of New Jersey in 1792 as well as one of the people who signed the U.S. Constitution.
Silk was one of the first materials produced in Paterson, earning the community the nickname "Silk City." A large mill district grew around the river and the 77-foot-tall Great Falls waterfall. During World War II, Paterson played an important role
in manufacturing aircraft.
Paterson is a community now known for its pedestrian friendliness. The city’s high population density has caused residents to frequently turn to multi-use buildings, where the restaurant or business is located on street level with the owner’s residence above. The community is also served by mass transit buses and trains, making it easy to get around or connect to other cities in the area. Paterson is also recognized for its historic neighborhoods and natural areas found around the Passaic River, such as the river's canyon. Due to Paterson’s comprehensive parks and recreation system, residents can enjoy many athletic pursuits, physical fitness facilities and classes, art classes and community gatherings. Once the movers have delivered your belongings, and you have fully set up your new home, it will be time to venture out and visit some of the city’s top destinations. As a new resident, you might not be sure of where to start. Check out the following list of popular venues you should stop by when you’re ready to explore your new community.
Lambert Castle Museum
Learn about Paterson's rich history with a visit to the ornate Lambert Castle Museum, where you can view historical artifacts and maps from the city's founding. There is information about the early settlers of the area, and you can also learn about some of the prominent politicians in New Jersey's earliest days as a state. You can climb through each level of the castle, examining its authentic furnishings, textiles and pieces of art. The museum grounds feature ornate fountains and statues. There are many park benches, so you could pack a picnic lunch or bring a pair of binoculars and do some bird-watching. The Lambert Castle Museum is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. Self-guided or group tours with a docent are available. (Photo Credit: http://www.lambertcastle.org)
Paterson Great Falls
Watch the splashing water as it cascades down the 77-foot-high Paterson Great Falls. Located on the Passaic River, the Paterson Great Falls have been a source of natural wonder and power for centuries. The water's might was used to power textile, lumber and food mills during the community's earliest years. Today, you can take a walking tour of this natural wonder, with audio available through the park service's free app for your smartphone. The falls feature a deep gorge with basalt cliffs, and migratory and seafaring birds often stop at this location during the spring and autumn months of the year. Bring your camera along and try to capture the cranes, herons and other wildlife in this beautiful area.
At the Paterson Museum, you can discover some of the famous people and inventions that have come from the community. The museum hosts informative exhibits about individuals such as John Holland, who is regarded as the father of the modern submarine; John Ryle, the father of the silk industry in Paterson's earliest days; and Sam Colt, who perfected the revolving cylinder for armaments. Artifacts from the town's history as well as the everyday lives of the people who have lived there are peppered throughout the space. The museum is also home to many mineral specimens that have been excavated from the area’s soil, gorge and riverbed. Check the museum's calendar for special events, such as blacksmith or weaving demonstrations. The Paterson Museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays.
Conveniently located in the center of the city near popular residential neighborhoods, Montgomery Park provides you with the chance to let off some energy. The park features extensive playground equipment for children to climb on as well as swings and slides for added fun. Kids can try their skills at the monkey bars and other structures. Montgomery Park offers plenty of shade, making it comfortable on warm, sunny summer days. There are also plenty of picnic benches to sit at and enjoy a snack or packed lunch between playing sessions.
Toros is a family-owned and -operated restaurant that has served the Paterson community since 1972. They specialize in providing visitors with authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Menu options include red lentil soup, baba ghanoush, cold cucumber soup, feta cheese pie, chicken or lamb kebabs, seared lamb chops and Turkish sausage. Be sure to save room for dessert, with tantalizing options such as baklava, oven-baked rice pudding and caramelized baked milk pudding available after the main course. (Photo Credit: http://www.torosrestaurant.com)
Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center
Learn about the history, geology and cultural influence of the Passaic River and its waterfall at the Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center. It features educational exhibits about the Great Falls and surrounding landscape. There are hundreds of photos of the area over the years, with a special focus on the different mills and factories that came to harness the power of the water rushing over the falls. The Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center also explores the cultural significance of the falls and how the industrialization of the area came to change the way people lived their lives. The Great Falls Historic District Cultural Center is a division of the Paterson Museum, and guided tours with a docent are available. You can also conduct your own tour, taking time to read the informative plaques and sift through the historical documents.
Lefty’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
Enjoy a slice of pizza or an entire pie when you stop into Lefty’s Pizzeria & Restaurant. This casual eatery features pizza toppings such as meatballs, pepperoni, salami and Italian sausage for meats. Veggie toppings include spinach, onions, mushrooms, olives, peppers and tomatoes. You can also choose some of their curated pizza options, such as the buffalo chicken. They also offer subs, salads, pasta, garlic bread, breadsticks, soups and hamburgers. If you are planning a special event, Lefty’s Pizzeria & Restaurant offers catering services to fit your needs.
E & V Ristorante
Satisfy your appetite for Italian food by dining at E & V Ristorante. This restaurant specializes in Italian seafood cuisine. Some of their menu options include calamari salad, stuffed clams, rigatoni with vodka sauce and clams and linguini with red or white clam sauce. You can choose an individual portion or opt for a family-style meal. Some of their delicious dessert options include homemade cannoli or tiramisu, gelato, lava cake and ricotta cheesecake. E & V Ristorante features an extensive wine list, and the server can assist you with pairing the right variety with your entree.
Al Raouche Restaurant
Sample even more varieties of Mediterranean food at Al Raouche Restaurant. Their specialties include shawarma, shish kebabs, gyros and makanek. They also offer appetizers, such as fried cauliflower with tahini dipping sauce or hummus with crisp strips of bread. Try their meat platters if you're really hungry. These dishes combine several kebabs with rice and vegetables for a satisfying meal. They also offer seafood platters, with shrimp kebabs or a whole fried fish. Sweets include rice pudding and kataif. Quench your thirst with hot or iced tea, coffee or soda.
Al Basha Restaurant
Try your favorite or a new-to-you Middle Eastern food when you stop by for a meal at Al Basha. Their menu includes appetizers such as falafel and a stuffed version. Lunch and dinner entrees are generously sized with options including green beans with lamb, chicken with tomatoes and stuffed grape leaves with chicken. The restaurant serves freshly squeezed juices, soft drinks and hot and iced teas. There is a children’s menu that contains small portions of kid-friendly foods. Desserts are offered as well, with selections including baklava. Reservations are recommended at Al Basha, and private event spaces are available for parties. (Photo Credit: http://www.albashausa.com)
Finding a reliable moving company and relocating your household to Paterson, NJ, could prove to be a hectic time. Once your belongings have arrived, and you have arranged your home to your satisfaction, you may want to get out and explore your surroundings. This list of establishments to visit highlights some of the great tastes and sights to be experienced within the city. You may wish to work your way through the list with some of your neighbors or family, but each place is also fun to visit on your own. Along the way, you may discover some other great destinations to visit. Visiting each of these spots will allow you to become familiar with the city and help you to get a feel for everything Paterson has to offer its residents and visitors alike.