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With a total area of 1.4 square miles, and a population of 46,000, West New York is a city in miniature. Located across the Hudson River in the New Jersey Palisades, it has long served as a haven for immigrants and commuters who prefer its lower rents and more relaxed lifestyle to the big city across the water.

In the late 19th century, the manufacturing city was dominated by European immigrants, including Germans, Swedes, Slavs, Armenians and Jews. Today, though one of many Latin American cultures in the city, the Cuban community is still strong. congress, and the annual Cuban Parade enlivens Bergenline Avenue each June.

West New York has a split personality. Just two decades ago it had the unenviable distinction of being one of the poorest cities in New Jersey. But an ambitious transformation of the waterfront has changed all that. Now, dozens of high rises have created a gilded coastline boasting luxury living at prices unattainable in New York.

Abhi Gupta, an accountant who works in midtown, said he moved to a newly built West New York condo five years ago to escape the city’s high housing prices. Now he appreciates living in the Palisades for more than just its low price.

“It’s quiet, it’s close to New York City and I have more space than in New York,” said Gupta, 32. “It’s the next best thing to living in New York City.”

Gupta is typical of West New York’s newest residents: Young professionals who like the Manhattan skyline views and 15 minute commute to midtown by bus or ferry. But the older West New York still exists, one where two family homes and walkable streets support a small town atmosphere, family owned businesses sell their wares at discount prices on Bergenline Avenue, and the food, culture and music is infused with Latin American culture of all stripes.

FIND ITWest New York is bounded by 67th Street and North Bergen on the north, the Hudson River on the east, 49th Street and Union City on the south and Kennedy Boulevard West on the west.

THE ONE THING YOU MUST DOSee the Hudson River view. Whether you’re perched high in the bluffs or waterside, this is a view of the Manhattan skyline you won’t forget. To try both, start in Donnelly Park, where you can catch a glimpse from eastward facing benches and coin operated scopes. Then walk down Hillside Road to Riverwalk Place, where a perfect for strolling cul de sac abuts the water.

REAL ESTATEWest New York is divided into two parts: the riverfront and the plateau, located west of Boulevard East. In the latter, two family houses and five story walkup apartments abound, while the riverfront is dominated by high rises.

Buyers will find plenty of newly built luxury properties that will seem like a steal compared to New York City prices, according to Coldwell Banker Realtor April Hartmann. Prices range from $189,000 for a studio in a doorman co op to $3 million for a waterfront townhouse, with many condominiums offering amenities such as a gym, pool and free shuttle buses that will take you to the New York ferry.

“West New York’s a deal,” Hartmann said.

Renters can expect to pay from $980 per month for a one bedroom in a pre war building to $7,000 per month for a river view townhouse, Hartmann said.

To Buy Studio in river view co op, 24 hour doorman, gym, pool, 650 sq. ft. Listed: $189,900. Sold: $175,000. (Boulevard East) One bedroom, waterfront apartment with pool, club house, basketball court, yoga studio and screening room, 750 sq. ft. Listed: $360,000. Sold: $350,000 Two bedroom, two bath, waterfront townhouse with two pools on property, 1,280 sq. ft. Listed $529,000. Sold: $490,000 Five bedroom, two bath single family home. Fully renovated 1913 Tudor colonial. Listed: $649,000. Sold: $590,000. (Near Boulevard East) Two bedroom, two bath waterfront apartment with concierge, indoor parking, pool, gym and conference center, 1,380 sq. ft. Listed: $699,000. Sold: $672,000.

To Rent Renovated two bedroom with high ceilings, living room, dining room and den, $1,600. (Park Avenue and 61st Street) Two bedroom with private garden, $1,500. (65th Street and Boulevard East) Three bedroom, two bath duplex, with private garden and washer and dryer, $1,900. (64th Street at Boulevard East) Studio with hardwood floors, washer and dryer in building, $880 (64th Street near Boulevard East) One bedroom, fully renovated condo, laundry room in building, $1,000 (Monroe Place near 61st Street)

DID YOU KNOW? West New York was a filming location for the Will Smith movie “Independence Day” “My Chemical Romance” frontman Gerard Way is a former resident Bergenline Avenue is the longest commercial avenue in the state

TO EATWest New York’s high Hispanic population makes eating in the city like taking a culinary tour of Latin America. You will find Salvadorian pupusas, Mexican tamales and Brazilian churrasqueria, to name a few. And the eating doesn’t stop there. Chang’s China Bistro chain have followed.

Meson EspaolSeafood abounds at this white tablecloth restaurant, where the owners ply regulars with sangria, fresh clams ($8.50), and lobster ($35) amid a Spanish villa dcor. While not on the menu, try ordering a tortilla (potato omelet) to enjoy this mainstay of Spanish cuisine.5700 Kennedy Boulevard W.201 865 5880

Las PalmasA neighborhood fixture for more than 30 years, Las Palmas serves up Cuban cuisine just like abuelita (grandma) made it. The most popular dish, churrasco, comes in three sizes, $7.95 for “mini,” $15.95 for small, and $23.95 for large, with rice and beans on the side.6153 Bergenline Ave.201 861 1400

Teri TeriThe small but slick interior gives this Japanese restaurant an on the go feel, but you’ll want to stay for fresh sushi rolls ($4 to $9), beef ramen ($9), and veggie tempura ($7).5509 Bergenline Ave.201 325 8374

Yella’sThis submarine shop, just over the North Bergen line, is splashed with bright colors and offers cheap eats. Try a roast beef and gorgonzola sandwich, served on a ciabatta roll, for $4.99.5905 Kennedy Boulevard W.201 869 3661

Luna RestaurantThe expansive, dark lit interior of this Salvadoran restaurant includes a jukebox and bar. Pupusas are $1.25 each, with filling choices such as cheese, beans, meat and pork rinds. Entrees including carne asada ($9.50) and salmon filet ($12) complete the menu.512 55th St.201 770 9113

Panaderia El CarreteroA Colombian pastry shop and diner style restaurant, El Carretero serves up hefty meals at prices that are wallet friendly. The traditional bandeja paisa piles on steak, sausage, beans, avocado and egg for $10.50. The fresh juice and shake menu includes passion fruit, papaya and South American mamey ($3 each).3500 Bergenline Ave.201 863 6681

TO PLAYWhere West New York is strong on food, it lacks in culture and nightlife. Most residents simply get their fun fix in across the water in New York, or in nearby Hoboken. But those who look hard enough will find a few weekend options for dancing, drinks and music.

De CachetA bright and newly opened restaurant and lounge, De Cachet hosts some of the classiest (and packed) weekend dance floors this side of Hoboken. Friday night is Ladies’ Night, with a house and hip hop mix.512 59th St.201 553 2817

Casa Del FaroOn Saturdays this river view restaurant pumps a Latin mix of salsa, merengue, bachata and more.759 Farragut Place201 854 1004

Sammy’s BarRegulars keep it low key at this neighborhood dive.5400 Park Ave.201 866 3686

Harbor Bar BrasserieEnjoy a late night view of the Hudson from this riverfront bar in nearby Weehawken.500 Harbor Boulevard201 348 4444

TO SHOPShoppers flock to Bergenline Avenue to take advantage of a discounted 3.5 percent sales tax available only in the “Urban Enterprise Zone” from 49th to 67th Streets. Big name stores such as Payless ShoeSource and The Children’s Place are here, as well as countless independent clothing, electronics, furniture and other shops.
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