Neighborhood News & Beacon Events

Celebrating National Hamburger Day on May 28th in Jersey City

27May

Cooped up in our Beacon apartments these past few weeks, many of us have been yearning for the nice weather and summers perks that come with the upcoming season. While the beaches will open this Memorial Day, we know they’ll be crowded and it will still be safer to stay at home in Jersey City. But don’t fret! Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and with summer comes a treasured American tradition – BBQing – and May 28th offers a whole new reason to celebrate – National Hamburger Day!

If you want to take advantage of this special day with a delicious dinner of a burger and fries, order it from some of these top-notch eateries located throughout the Jersey City area. Beef, turkey, salmon, vegan, you name it… these local burger joints have something for everyone, and they deliver right to your apartment!

Dark Side of the Moo – There are tons of fast food places in in Jersey City where you can grab a delicious cheeseburger, but we guarantee you, there is only one place where you can grab a kangaroo burger. Say what!? That’s right, Dark Side of the Moo, Jersey City’s only exotic meat restaurant. While their daily specials vary, on any given day you can find alligator, yak, bison, and yes, kangaroo, on their burger menu. For traditionalists, they also have plenty of beef varieties, and for vegetarians, they even have a vegan menu! There’s something for everyone at Dark Side of the Moo, making it the perfect melting pot for this American holiday.

Five Guys – A national favorite, and for a good reason, Five Guys serves up the traditional, greasy, delicious hamburgers we all know and love. You can get a regular hamburger delivered to your Beacon apartment, or even a triple stacker with cheese, just make sure not to forget a bag of their amazing Cajun fries!

Dark Side of The Moo

52 Bowers Street

Jersey City, NJ 07307

Five Guys

101 Hudson St

Jersey City, NJ 07302, USA

Having Happy Hour Delivered to Your Beacon Apartment

13May

Just because the taproom for the time being has become your Beacon kitchen doesn’t mean you have to forego your taste for craft beer or favorite wine. Instead, you can utilize the delivery and curbside pickup being offered by breweries and wine and liquor stores around Jersey City!

If you’ve been craving a cold one but just any old beer won’t do, check out this local brewery who are still doing their part to serve the community with their delicious brews. We also have several options for wine and liquor!

Departed Soles – In business in Jersey City since 2015, Departed Soles Brewery aims to have a beer line-up as diverse as our city. There’s something for everyone here, and COVID19 has not stopped their brewmasters from brewin’. Call in your order and pickup at their store, or for Memorial Day weekend, they are offering curbside delivery in Jersey City.

CoolVines – Our go-to wine store has always been CoolVines, and with the current times, they’ve became a staple for many Jersey City residents these days! Offering delivery through their website, CoolVines still has all the same great wine and liquor selection they’ve always had over the years. We look forward to the days where we can have them host another Happy Hour on our terrace!

Departed Soles Brewing

150 Bay St #2A

 Jersey City, NJ 07302, USA

CoolVines

350 Warren St

Jersey City, NJ 07302

Bringing Cinco de Mayo to Your Beacon Apartment

04May

We may not be able to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at our favorite Jersey City Mexican restaurants this year, but that certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate! Thankfully, lots of local Mexican restaurants are currently hard at work cooking up authentic dishes available for takeout, and many deliver right to The Beacon! Just check your DoorDash, Seamless or Grub Hub account for the dozens of different options.

If you want to celebrate this fun holiday in your Beacon apartment with some delicious enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos and burritos, give these local Mexican eateries a call. Below are a few of our favorites for a Mexican meal.

Surf Taco – Located in Hoboken, but still close enough that they’ll deliver right to your Beacon apartment, Surf Taco isn’t the most authentic Mexican eatery in our area, but it’s certainly one of the most popular! With a baja California/Tex-Mex twist to their menu, Surf Taco’s delicious coastal takes on tacos and burritos will have you craving the sounds and sights of the NJ Shore (which don’t worry, is still opening up this summer!) We love their mango shrimp tacos for an extra summery vibe to your Cinco de Mayo.

Molcajetes – Located much closer to The Beacon, on the West Side of Jersey City, Molcajetes is another great option for getting a delicious Cinco de Mayo feast delivered right to your apartment. Much more authentic than other local places, Molcajetes packs in the flavors and the freshness with their homemade Mexicans meals. This place has all the traditional favorites like quesadillas and burritos that Americans love, and a ton of other delicious dishes, like nopales and cebollitas, that most Americans have yet to discover, give them a try this Cinco de Mayo!

Surf Taco

62 Newark St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

Molcajetes520 West Side Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Cooking at Home: Plan a Window Herb Garden

17Apr

Looking for new cooking tricks to try this spring? The Beacon team has you covered.

A great way to add a pop of flavor and freshness into any homemade recipe is with a pinch of fresh herbs. We all know the struggle of buying packaged basil that goes bad within a few days–so how do we make the best recipes for apartment kitchens without breaking the bank?

A window herb garden offers the best of fresh herbs whenever you need them, with little up-front costs or effort. All you need to do is provide basic maintenance and water for your plant babies, and you’ll have fresh cooking herbs on hand all year long!

What herbs can survive in an apartment?

Most culinary herbs are the perfect plants for apartment life. Basil, in particular, is a hardy little plant that can survive just about anything. A lot of kitchen herbs grow well in indoor environments because they don’t need much in terms of care: well-drained soil, plenty of water and sunshine, and a few clippings here and there is all you’ll need to do in terms of maintenance.

Here are some of the best herbs to grow in your apartment:

  • Basil is great in pesto or on top of pasta, grilled chicken, or veggies. It’s delicious with tomatoes and mozzarella for a perfect caprese!
  • Chives pack a punch of onion-y flavor in a small package. These little shoots are best chopped up small and served on top of baked potatoes, eggs, or other hearty meals.
  • Cilantro adds zing to salsa, guacamole, and East Asian cuisines. It also smells amazing in fresh form!
  • Dill is a great herb to add to fresh sauces, like homemade ranch or various aiolis. It also goes really well with fish or chicken!
  • Mint* is a crowd favorite because of how good the fresh leaves smell. They’ll brighten up your entire kitchen, even before you add it as a topper for desserts or fruit salads.
  • Oregano spices up Italian dishes like no other. Used fresh, it’s a great addition to pastas and meat dishes. You can also dry it to sprinkle on pizza!
  • Parsley is a go-to herb for just about every dish. It adds a pop of color and brightness to homemade meals, with a fresh and versatile taste that doesn’t mask other flavors.
  • Rosemary is great for hearty meat dishes, like baked chicken or cast-iron steak. Plus, it smells divine while it’s cooking!
  • Thyme is another addition to your hearty meals. It adds an earthy, almost nutty flavor to baked dishes like chicken and fish.

*A quick note about mint: Mint doesn’t like to play nice with other plants! Its root systems can choke other plants if they’re seeded too closely together. If you choose to add mint to your apartment garden, make sure he gets to live in his own container.

Here’s what you need for your window herb garden:

  • Seeds or seedlings for your favorite culinary herbs (we like basil, cilantro, and parsley!)
  • 1 large, rectangular container OR a few individual ceramic pots.
  • About 2 cups of high-quality potting soil per plant
  • Plenty of water
  • A sunny spot, like your kitchen window or balcony

To plant your herb garden, make sure to pay attention to the instructions that come with your seeds or seedlings. Some seeds, like basil, need to be covered with about a quarter inch of soil, while tiny seeds, like oregano, only need to be pressed gently into the surface of the soil.

Give your seedlings plenty of space: make sure to plant them at least 2-3 inches away from other species. If you’re starting from seeds, keep the soil moist (but not drenched) by lightly spraying the surface with water. After a few days, you’ll start to see sprouts poking through!

Most herbs need to be trimmed back to keep from growing too thick and fighting for resources: depending on the herb, this will be when the sprouts are between two and three inches tall.

How do I know my plants are getting enough water?

When you’re practicing apartment gardening, it can be tricky to balance things like sunlight and water.

A good way to tell your plants are drinking enough is to touch the soil lightly with your fingertips. If it feels damp, you’re all set! If it’s dry or cracking, you need to water. (And if your fingers come away muddy, you’re over-watering, or your containers aren’t draining properly. Let your plants breathe!)

Spring is the perfect time to add something fresh to your apartment. Here at The Beacon, we love to celebrate springtime in Jersey City! Whether you’re freshening up your studio apartment with a few potted plants or planning an entire green spread for your two-bedroom apartment’s balcony, you’ll find the perfect place to call home at The Beacon.

Home Workouts to Try in Your Apartment

15Apr

Looking to build the ultimate home gym in your apartment? Before you break the bank on expensive equipment or private training sessions, take a look at some of the workout styles you can try from the comfort of your Beacon apartment.

These three workouts build strength, get your blood pumping, and boost your metabolism with little equipment needed–or none at all! Just suit up in your favorite workout clothes, drink plenty of water, and don’t forget your warm-ups and cool-downs.

(P.S. Don’t forget to consult your doctor before starting a new workout routine!)



For the heart racer: HIIT

Difficulty: Moderate
Equipment Required: None!

The Basics: “HIIT” stands for high-intensity interval training. These popular workouts alternate between intervals of high-paced, sweat-building activity and intervals of rest and careful breathing.

The idea here is that these short bursts of intensity allow you to exert yourself at max effort–without pushing it too hard or for too long, the way many athletes get injured in the gym. The short periods of rest between intervals allow your body time to catch up, recover, and prepare for the next interval. It’s a great way to balance cardio with strength training, and keep yourself from taking on too much too fast.

What You Need To Know: One fun factor of HIIT workouts is that most of the exercises have entertaining names. You’ll hear common exercises like “burpees,” “butt kickers,” “pop squats,” and “skaters.”

For these apartment workouts, you’ll need to know:

  • Butt kickers: Jog in place, kicking your heels up high to touch your rear
  • Reverse lunge: From standing, step back and bend both knees to 90 degrees, then stand up to return to your starting position. Repeat by alternating sides.
  • Pop squat: From standing, jump and land in a deep squat, tapping the floor with one hand. Jump back to start.
  • Downward dog to toe tap: Starting in the yoga pose “downward dog,” lift one arm back to stretch your hand toward your toes and your head toward the front of your exercise space. Repeat by alternating hands.
  • Skaters: From standing, jump to the right, swinging your left leg behind as you land lightly on your right foot. To repeat, try the same “skating” motion in the other direction.
  • Front plank: We all know and love this one! Starting on all fours, raise yourself into “push-up position” and hold, building heat and strength in your arms, legs, and core.

For the suggested workouts below, you can find more detailed explanations (and how-to videos) of the exercises at this link. The full HIIT workout here is recommended for experienced HIIT athletes. If you’re just starting out, stick with just a few exercises, and be prepared to take more breaks.

The Workout:

  • Warm-up:
    • Jog in place for 60 seconds
    • 30 jumping jacks
    • 30 seconds jumping rope (or jumping in place)
  • Workout:
    • Beginner: 30 seconds’ exercise, 30 seconds’ rest
      • Butt kickers
      • Skaters
      • Front plank
    • Novice: 45 seconds’ exercise, 15 seconds’ rest
      • Butt kickers
      • Reverse lunge
      • Pop squat
      • Front plank
    • Expert: 45 seconds’ exercise, 15 seconds’ rest
      • Butt kickers
      • Reverse lunge
      • Pop squat
      • Downward dog to toe tap
      • Skaters
      • Front plank
  • Cooldown:
    • Gentle leg lunges
    • Arm circles
    • Gentle stretching, focusing on the legs and arms

For the strength trainer: Kettlebells

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Equipment Required: One kettlebell (two if you’re fancy)

The Basics:

One of the most versatile (and least expensive) pieces of exercise equipment out there is the kettlebell. This easy-to-use [weight] is made up of a circular metal or hard nylon weight connected to an easy-grip handle. Most kettlebell exercises (like the famous kettlebell swing) can be completed with just one kettlebell, but some people use two to get the full impact from certain exercises.

What You Need To Know:

If you’ve never used kettlebells before, start by finding kettlebells at a comfortable (and safe!) weight. The standard recommendation is 35 lbs (16 kg) for men and 26 lbs (12 kg) for women.

The core of kettlebell exercises is the kettlebell swing. To perform a swing, stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, plant your feet, and swing the kettlebell up to rib level, down between your legs, and back. Breathe in on the way up, and out on the way down.

Be careful to stick to your balance: many kettlebell enthusiasts choose to work out in flat shoes (like Converse) or no shoes at all to get that “flat foot” feeling. Posture is essential too, as good posture keeps your back muscles protected while you work out so many parts of your body at once.

The Workout:

  • Warm-up and cool down:
    • 10 arm circles (forward, then back)
    • 10 long lunges on each leg
    • 10 back twists to each side
    • 5 slow squats
  • Workout:
    • Beginners: 100 two-handed kettlebell swings
    • Novices: 100 two-handed kettlebell swings, 50 one-handed swings with each hand
    • Experts: 200 two-handed kettlebell swings, 50 one-handed swings with each hand

For the center seeker: Yoga

Difficulty: Easy to Expert, depending on the poses
Equipment Required: A yoga mat
Optional Equipment: Pillows, blankets, blocks, and straps to assist in poses

The Basics: Yoga is a great way to give the mind and spirit a break while giving the body a full workout. Although it’s often viewed as a “lighter pace” exercise meant for stretching and meditation, a dedicated yoga practice can work out just about every muscle in your body.

If you’ve never done yoga before, a great way to start is by following a free video tutorial. Many successful vloggers, like the yogi behind Yoga With Adriene, offer introductory video lessons for beginners. It’s a good idea to start here, to get an idea of the poses and the “flow” between them.

What You Need To Know:

For the suggested workouts below, we rely on the most common sequence of yoga poses: the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation follows two Sequences (A and B): specifically, the versions of these sequences followed in vinyasa yoga.

Sequence A (or Surya Namaskara A), follows gentle poses starting in a standing position, working your way through a lowered plank, floor stretches, and back to standing in a sequential flow. Common poses include Downward Facing Dog, Warrior 1, and the Standing Forward Fold.

Sequence B (or Surya Namaskara B), typically follows Sequence A and adds in more advanced poses, like Chair Pose and Warrior 2. These poses build natural heat in the body, and can be done quickly to build cardio, or slowly to build endurance.

Almost all yoga practices end with Savasana, or Dead Man’s Pose, which involves lying flat on the floor with your body fully at rest, allowing your breath and heart rate to slow. At the end of a rigorous yoga practice, it’s a fantastic reward!

For a good idea of how the Sun Salutation works in sequence, check out this video.

The Workout:

  • Warm-up: Ocean breathing and gentle stretching, focusing on the legs, back, neck, and arms.
  • Workout:
    • Beginners: 5 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A)
    • Novices: 5 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A), 3 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence B), 3 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A)
    • Experts:
      • 5 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence A),
      • 5 fast Sun Salutations (Sequence A),
      • 1 extended Sun Salutation (Sequence B),
      • (optional) 1-3 inversions of your choice
      • 3 slow Sun Salutations (Sequence B)
  • Cooldown: Savasana.

With simple workouts like these, you can turn a corner of your apartment living room into a home gym perfect for your morning workout. 

Here at The Beacon, Jersey City’s best apartment community, we believe in the power of endorphins and hard work. Whether you’re starting a gentle warm-up in your studio apartment, or enjoying gorgeous Statue of Liberty views after you finish your cool-down, you’ll find a home workout like no other at The Beacon apartments!