Eastwood was considered a squalid, often dangerous, place to live, and with good reason — even as early as the late 1800s it had problems with gangs, street crime, and prostitution.
An increased police presence ameliorated the worst of these conditions by 1950, but Eastwood’s remained a solidly working-class neighborhood ever since. Even its proximity to Bankhurst, Worthington, and Highlands, all of which are nice neighborhoods, hasn’t done much to improve it…
But it looks like that’s about to change. In recent decades, developers have been eyeing Eastwood greedily. It’s a perfect location for upscale housing for business executives and their families.
Many locals scoff at this, and some of the intellectual “culture experts” at the newspapers decry the loss of Eastwood’s “unique community identity,” but it seems likely that the old, rough-and-tumble Eastwood written about in so many novels and police reports is going to fade away.
- Brantley Park
- Hibernia Hotel
- The Vidersea Boardwalk
- The Copper Samovar
- Sunshine Fishing
The yuppification that seems to be making its way into Eastwood proper got started here because of Eastdale’s nearness to Highlands.
The housing has been improved (in some cases simply by tearing down decrepit old tenements and replacing them with brand-new brownstones), and new, upscale businesses have moved in — mostly chain stores and franchises like Janice’s Fine Foods and the Pecos Steak House.
The easternmost point of Hudson City used to be a center of shipping.
But the shoreline isn’t as suited for the larger modern ships as points south (such as Bayside), and so time has gradually passed Northpoint by.
Today it’s mostly a lot of old wharves used at about half capacity, plus a lot of warehouses and similar buildings, many of which are abandoned, all of which are in some state of disrepair.
Northshore is the center of manufacturing in Eastwood. Several small- to medium-sized factories still operate here, providing jobs for many of the area’s residents.
Wedged in between Gadsden, Eastwood proper, and the ocean, this primarily residential neighborhood is a bright spot in the otherwise dingy Eastwood environs.
Dutch sailors, their families,
and other immigrants from the Low Countries began moving into the area in the 1800s, and gradually transformed it from a rough waterfront into a prosperous community of picturesque brownstones and shops. Gradually, over the course of decades, the Dutch were mostly replaced by eastern Europeans.
This park was once a pretty, green place where Eastwooders could enjoy the fresh air, but over the past thirty years or so vandalism, crime, drugs, and homelessness have robbed it of its charm.
Actually more of a long-term rooming/short-term apartment house than a hotel, the Hibernia has become famous due to some of its former residents.
In the 1930s, it was home to several artists of minor fame, but in the 1950s the renowned “Back-Beat” poet and novelist Jerrold Silverstein lived there.
Despite seeming “oldfashioned” to young people, the Vidersea Boardwalk — a long, broad, plankwood sidewalk running along the shore for roughly a quarter of a mile — remains a popular tourist attraction. Its combination of quaint shops, cheap amusements, and an unobstructed ocean view attract all sorts of people.
Specializing in Russian cuisine, the Copper Samovar is the restaurant of choice for many recent immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine, as well as Hudsonites in search of culinary adventure.
If you’re looking for a nice, thick burger and a good brew to wash it down, check out Stan’s.
If you’ve got a hankering to get out on the water and go after some fish, you need to talk to the people at Sunshine Fishing. They run a sport fishing charter service in the summertime.