Categorized | Editorial

EDITORIAL: Not Just Buildings: the Perth Amboy Waterfront

Hurricane Sandy did not just demolish businesses and homes on Front Street but the storm left in its wake the disruption of the livelihoods of those who owned and worked in those establishments. We are taking a walk down memory lane of what those businesses meant to us (from the Amboy Guardian Staff).

The Barge has been in business for over 80 years. I would have the Early Bird Lunch at the Barge once a month and I had a special table in the bar section. I would also attend the Women’s Club luncheons that were held every other month in the upstairs dining area. During my monthly luncheons in the bar, I would always see Alex (co-owner of the Barge) mingling with the patrons, discussing anything from politics, sports or anything that was happening in town in general. There one thing that was always constant is that everyone always had a smile on their face. I don’t know why I would always ask to see the menu because I always ended up ordering the salmon which was my favorite meal for lunch. If you went to the Barge after the Perth Amboy Council Meeting, you would find some of the Council Members mingling with residents who may have disagreed with them at the Council meeting held that same night. Every so often, some of the Amboy Guardian Staff would meet at the Barge to meet clients, have a leisurely meal, or to celebrate a special occasion.

C.M.

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We hope that the Barge will be able to return so we can have those happy times again.

How many functions did we attend at Seabra’s Armory? Too numerous to list, but we do remember that we recently attended several political functions there this year. The Armory was the site of many events including class reunions, weddings, wedding show extravaganzas, sweet sixteen parties, etc. In fact, Paul and I had our wedding reception at the Armory in October 2005. As you entered the front door of the Armory, the bar that was located on the right was a very popular spot for those who just wanted relax and enjoy the ambiance. Even if the building is saved, it will never be the same.

K.M.

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American Pride Bait & Tackle had two stores: one in Perth Amboy and one in Sewaren. Both businesses were destroyed in the storm. The one in Perth Amboy was owned by Eddy Gonzalez who contributed to the Guardian with the Bait Shop Report. His sister, Yolanda owned the American Pride Bait & Tackle Shop in Sewaren. In the summertime Eddy would have Open Mic Night where he would also served light refreshments. We remember the many times that he would have his faithful dog at the shop whom we enjoyed talking to and petting.

Slavko’s Harborside was already closed for the season. So his lunch truck was not at the Waterfront when Sandy hit. Since the parking lot where he kept his truck was destroyed, the Waterfront might be repaired before he returns in late spring. We loved his crab cakes and the many conversations we had with Chef Slavko and his regular customers. We won’t forget the time that Slavko told us how he acquired his dog, Lucy whom he adopted from the Happy Homes Shelter.

Barry Rosengarten had his real estate office on Front Street and on his walls were his plans to renovate the Waterfront. He also had pictures on the showing the dedication of the Arch at City Hall Circle. Rosengarten was very proud of the fact that he was instrumental in getting that accomplished. He was also the driving force for having fireworks return to Perth Amboy this past July 3rd. We remember when he owned the Armory and had grand fireworks display in the past.

C.M.

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Fajji’s Bayside Creamery was the new kid on the block. Tom Griffin is also the owner of Fajji’s on Amboy Avenue. Griffin expanded the hours at Bayside Creamery adding breakfast and lunch items to the menu. Tom Griffin’s daughter, Tara helped run the parlor and was his advertising manager. We enjoyed the many conversations we had with him along with the ice cream. Tom was very proud of the fact that he was awarded the Best Dessert at the 2nd Annual Taste of Perth Amboy. He also he won top prizes at the New Jersey Ice Cream Festival. Griffin was also involved in the community, sponsoring a local little league baseball team and Stomp the Monster. The last event he held was a Pet Adoption Day at Bayside Creamery.

Several homes were also destroyed or were heavily damaged by Sandy on Front Street. The condos next to Bayside Creamery and a private home near the Armory were also damaged. The Raritan Yacht Club boat basin sustained considerable damage. As you can see in the photos in the Guardian, the boats are piled on top of each other. Some of the boats have parts that were strewed in different parts of the lot. The walkway leading to the pier is destroyed. The Yacht Club was known for having their Red Grant Regatta Sailing Races for years and we enjoyed taking photos of the junior sailing teams as well as the adults.

Hopefully repairs can be made in time for the 2013 Red Grant Regatta.

Other towns were hit and you will see some of the photos in this issue. Almost the entire Jersey Shore was destroyed by Sandy. As we write this editorial, the three of us (Paul, Katherine, Carolyn) were fortunate that our power was restored within two days. Others were not as lucky. We hope and pray that power will soon be restored to all of those who have been suffering since this hurricane hit.

C.M. K.M. P.W.

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