Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Please Oh Pretty Please : Make My City Better!!


My friend C. has spearheaded an event in our fair city of Jersey City to encourage residents to spend their $$$$ in Jersey City instead of traveling across the river or down the road to spend it elsewhere. The challenge is to shop local, July 18th - 24th.

She has contacted various local businesses, some of which are my very favorites, and throughout the week many of them will be offering discounts or promotions to entice you to shop. I urge you to try out something new this week as without increasing business, many of these shops simply might not survive. This initiative, "Make My City" could be just what local businesses need to perk up during the slow summer months

Back when I moved from New York City to Jersey City in 2003, I continued to travel to New York to do the bulk of my shopping. Those were hectic times as I carted nearly all of my groceries and my 6 month old to and fro. Little by little, as I began to discover uniquely Jersey local gems, I decreased my city visits to a more reasonable once or twice a week. Now I combine Jersey City shopping and New York jaunts for the best of both worlds.

I am always surprised when many friends and acquaintances claim never to have shopped at some of my favorite spots. Jersey City has much to offer if you take the time to discover.

Now is the time to dive in...

If you haven't done so, do stop in at Pecoraro Bakery where they now make croissants and muffins, as well as their always fresh Italian loaves and pizzas (some only available on weekends). Next stop, Europa Meat and Provisions where you can discover a world of Polish sausages at your fingertips, perfect for summer grilling. While there you will be across the street from Made With Love Organic Bakery and Cafe, where you can snack on scones nearly as good as mine! Jack's Toys is right next door (though with summer hours will only be open Saturday, offering future discounts) but they are definitely worth a stop anytime you are looking for gifts for the little ones.

Other sweets worth checking out, via their websites or local markets: Sassy Sweet Treats, where you will find home-baked cookies and brownies and Cocoa Bakery where you will find adorable mini-cookies, shortbread, cupcakes and other delights.

After all of the food and sweets, you might possibly be in need of a workout so what better time for me to plug my all-time favorite place to firm up: Project Pilates and their newest venture Hamilton Health and Fitness which I hope to join as soon as it opens!

It is hard for me to end this post as there are so many worthwhile places participating in this event. One new addition that I just can't resist mentioning is Smith and Chang General Goods. Just around the corner from my house, they are a boon to the neighborhood, providing an eclectic, carefully chosen mix of items for the home. Perfect for gifts or for yourself. I can't keep away from the place and even Izzy is attracted to the vintage offerings and purchased an adorable oil can for his Papa for Father's Day.

This is by no means a comprehensive listing of the participating shops and businesses. I frequent many of them but do not have the energy right now to highlight more of them but hope to in the future. Meanwhile check the website for more information. And don't forget to SHOP LOCAL!