A bridge not too far leads to the hot dogs, history, and parkland of Hudson County’s Peninsula City, Bayonne. Here are some fun places to visit:
The Bridge: The Bayonne Bridge was designed by Swiss-born civil engineer Othmar Ammann, whose A-list credits include the George Washington, Throg’s Neck, Triborough, Bronx-Whitestone, and Verrazano-Narrows bridges. A great view of the 5,780-foot-long span can be had from Mayor Dennis P. Collin Park (First St and Kennedy Blvd).
Hail to the Chief: The city’s first fire company convened in 1870 at what is now the Chief John T. Brennan Fire Museum, named for the state’s longest-tenured fire chief. Visits by appointment only (10 W 47th St). Visit their FaceBook page too.
Dog Heaven: Since it opened more than 80 years ago, Petridis Hot Dogs has been a required stop for every Bayonne native. You should try it, too (546 Broadway, 201-436-0974).
Fore! The spectacular (and private) Bayonne Golf Club can be glimpsed from the public walkway surrounding the course, which sits on 7.5 million cubic yards of material dredged from the Hudson River and nearby waterways.
Sports Central: The Big Apple Sports Palace has 30 televisions plus tasty, ultra-thin pizza. Check out signed jerseys from two Bayonne-bred stars: Danan Hughes (Kansas City Chiefs special teams captain from 1993 to 1998) and current Cleveland Indians’ reliever Joe Borowski (412–414 Broadway, 201-858-1075).
Wunderbar: The toughest Saturday night table to get is at Hendrickson’s—site, in 1869, of Bayonne’s first City Hall. The menu, originally German, is eclectic (671 Broadway, 201-437-4955).
In Memoriam: Drive through the old Military Ocean Terminal (currently being converted to commercial and residential use) to Harbor View Park and Russian artist Zurab Tsereteli’s 100-foot-high memorial to the victims of the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks (the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, 51 Port Terminal Blvd).
Bird Land: Visit Richard A. Rutkowski Park, a 42-acre nature preserve on Newark Bay. During World War II, a yellow crane (still standing) lowered patrol torpedo boats built in Bayonne (including JFK’s famed PT-109) into Newark Bay for test runs (Stephen R. Gregg/Hudson County Park, 48th St and Kennedy Blvd).