If you don’t get to the northwestern part of Hoboken often because, well, there’s practically no reason to go there if you don’t live there, you might not have noticed the new “pop-up” park taking shape between 12th and 13th Streets and Adams and Madison Streets. For a “pop-up” park, it’s looking all kinds of permanent.
To refresh your memory, the city bought about 6 acres of land from BASF a few years ago with the intention of construction a large “resiliency” park that would include performance space, the northwest’s first municipal parking lot, and a floodwater detention system to assist in the city’s ongoing quest to be disaster-free for a few more years. That permanent park is just getting into the planning stages, so this park is designed to give residents use of the land until construction begins in a year or two (or three or four, you know how these things go).
Community Gardens, Hoops, and Walking Lanes
As you can see, whatever images the term “pop-up” brings to mind, this looks pretty solid. The community garden plots are in place, the walking/running trails painted, and the basketball hoops are up (officially, these are “multi-sport” courts). The park will eventually boast a playground area, a skate area, bocce ball court, a rock climbing wall, and some space for community art displays and shady spots for sitting—plus more.
The activities and installations were chosen to ensure that the asphalt “cap” that was put down isn’t disturbed, because the land was used for industrial manufacture of laundry, beauty, and adhesive products. That asphalt cap is the only reason humans are allowed to spend time in that space, so everything installed had to leave that cap in place. Which is either comforting, or terrifying, depending on your point of view.
That’s pretty ambitious for a “pop-up,” but you can’t argue with the idea that it’s better to be able to use the space instead of staring at weed-cracked blacktop for the next several years. There are also plans to have food trucks in place for the summer, which means the Northwest Park might just be the place to be. If the only time you head into that area of Hoboken is to hit up the Shop Rite, the time might have come to check it out a little more thoroughly. And if you think the other park spaces in town are a little less populated this summer, the Pop Up Park might be why.