Neighborhood News & Beacon Events

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!

Meet the Management Team

17Mar

The Beacon wouldn’t be the incredible community it is today without a top-notch team behind it. Whether you’re a longtime resident in our luxury apartment homes, or just starting your search for the perfect studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom home in Jersey City, our team is committed to giving you the best apartment living experience possible.

Today, we sat down with three familiar faces at The Beacon: our General Manager, Resident Services Manager, and Community Manager! Blerina, Leann, and Zarmina help create the sense of community we love at The Beacon apartments.

Let’s meet the management team!

Blerina, General Manager

What brought you to the Beacon?

The opportunity to work at a beautiful community in Jersey City. I am also passionate about working with Greystar: I believe strongly in their core values and what they do for all their residents!

What is your favorite thing about working at The Beacon?

I love my team, I love the residents! I’ve enjoyed learning about the rich history that encompasses The Beacon.

What is one fun fact Beacon residents don’t know about you?

One of my favorite hobbies is cooking!

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Reading minds!


Leann, Resident Services Manager

What brought you to the Beacon?

A new opportunity to learn and grow at a unique property with a lot of history!

What is your favorite thing about working at The Beacon?

Every day, I walk around this beautiful property and find something new! I also really like meeting new people so this community is the best place to see new faces!

What is one fun fact Beacon residents don’t know about you?

I am a huge foodie and enjoy experiencing all different types of food!

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I love to travel, so if I could teleport anywhere in the world, it’d be amazing!


Zarmina, Community Manager

What brought you to the Beacon?

I am here for a challenging opportunity to master and develop as a leader. My goal is have my team and residents feel a sense of community at The Beacon!

What is your favorite thing about working at The Beacon?

THE TEAM! We have an excellent team of individuals who are dedicating themselves to providing beyond expectation customer services to both prospects and residents.

What is one fun fact Beacon residents don’t know about you?

I love to travel and have quite a few unique experiences under my belt, from cage diving with great whites in South Africa to hiking two miles to an erupting volcano in Hawaii. I am all about adventure!

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

As a Game of Thrones fan, I would say having my own dragon.


When searching for apartments for rent in Jersey City, our community stands out. We offer the best of city living in studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartment homes. At The Beacon apartments, we create community with our resident events, service with a smile, and policy of putting residents first. And we couldn’t do it without a top-notch team!

Stay tuned for more interviews with our staff! Over the coming months, we’ll introduce you to everyone at The Beacon, so you can put faces to names around our wonderful community. We’re here to help give you the best apartment living experience possible!

Together with our wonderful team, we aim to make The Beacon the best apartment community in Jersey City!

The Beacon

Meet the Beacon!

19Feb

Welcome to The Beacon! Whether you’re a longtime resident or a history buff excited for a first look around, everyone will find something to love in our beautiful, historic complex. Once home to the Jersey City Medical Center, the buildings that make up The Beacon are now an elegant collection of apartment homes, part of a tight-knit community here in Jersey City.

Today, let’s take a tour of our six residential buildings: the Criterion, the Hague, the Mercury, the Orpheum, the Paramount, and the Tower.  Each building in The Beacon offers everything you need for top-notch Jersey City living!

So — who’s who at The Beacon?

Criterion

The Criterion is an elegant 25-story building with housing options ranging from cozy studios to two-bedroom homes. It’s home to one of The Beacon’s well-equipped fitness centers and an Art Deco lobby. On the south side of the building, you’ll find fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan. On the north side, the rich architecture of Jersey City opens up for miles.

Hague

The Hague offers beautiful apartments on fourteen floors, all arranged around a central courtyard. Like the Criterion, the Hague offers fantastic views of New York City and the Statue of Liberty. The Hague is our second largest building — and is known for its views and easy access to everything The Beacon has to offer!

Mercury

The Mercury, situated next to our children’s playground, offers gorgeous views of the Great Lawn and downtown Jersey City. With studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom options available, you’ll find cozy space for one or room to spread out across sixteen floors. Life in the Mercury offers access to Club Aqua, which includes an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and two saunas.

Orpheum

The Orpheum is loved because of its elegance and access to Club Aqua, the chic fitness and spa facility. Choose from twenty residential floors and find home in one of our studio, one-, or two-bedroom apartments. Many of the Orpheum’s floor plans feature spacious walk-in closets and gorgeous city views.

Paramount

The Paramount definitely stands out in The Beacon’s skyline. This twenty-one story building is a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture — and the center of The Beacon’s operations! Home to our leasing center and resident services office, the Paramount is a gathering place for events in our club room and sky lounge. It’s also where you’ll find the expansive fitness center, yoga studio, and dog run on the north side of the building. With so much to offer, the Paramount is a shining example of apartment living at its finest!

Tower

Spanning sixteen residential levels, the Tower offers everything a person could want in apartment living. Residents here enjoy views of the Statue of Liberty, downtown Manhattan, and — closer to home — Overlook Park and Jersey City. The Tower is located conveniently next to our covered parking garage and is both smoke-free and pet-free. It’s also directly next to our shuttle drop-off and pickup locations, where you’ll find convenient, quick transportation to both the Grove Street and Exchange Place PATH Stations — free for Beacon residents!

Wherever you find yourself at The Beacon, you’ll discover a community ready to greet you with a “good morning,” an invitation to the next “Sing Your Heart Out” karaoke night, or a recommendation for the best Thai food delivery in all of Jersey City. Welcome home!

Check Out These Ice Rinks This Winter Near Your Beacon Apartment

27Dec

Just because it’s cold out, it doesn’t mean you need to stay holed up in your Beacon apartment – bundle up with your coat, hat and gloves and check out one of these ice rinks near the Jersey City area. Plus, zooming around the rink, you’ll warm right up!

If you’re ready to have some fun this winter without being cooped up inside, these rinks are sure to be just what you need this weekend, plus many of them offer skates to rent. Make sure you get there early – they’re bound to be packed all winter long!

Newport Skates, located at 95 River Dr S, Jersey City which is 14 minutes from your Beacon apartment, offers ice skating from mid November through March with both public and private skating and lessons available.

And don’t worry, you don’t need to own skates to come here – you can rent skates for $7, in addition to an $8 admission fee. Ice skating here is a great workout as well as a fun winter activity you can do with family and friends!

Charlie Heger Ice Rink, located at 807 Summit Ave, Jersey City which is nine minutes from your Gaslight Commons apartment, is known as being a great place to ice skate in the neighborhood, as well as place where you can rent skates.

They also have extensive hours which last from November through March, so you can enjoy ice skating here in Jersey City all season long. Also known as Pershing Field, this outdoor rink is covered, so you can skate (or learn to skate) in all types of weather. Plus, it’s quiet and peaceful!

 

Newport Skates

95 River Dr S, Jersey City, NJ 07310

(201) 626-7465

 

Charlie Heger Ice Rink

807 Summit Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307

(201) 547-4392