Bayonne, NJ

"No matter where you go, you'll always meet someone who knows someone from Bayonne"

Bayonne High School’s annual Field of Heroes tribute honors veterans each year. (Credit: Denise Leonard)

Bayonne is the best of both worlds. It is a large urban area, with a population of about 65,000, but has a small-town feel. As a fourth generation resident and local teacher, I seldom go anywhere without running into someone I know. There is always someone to help, always someone to talk to. We have beautiful parks, Blue-Ribbon winning public schools, restaurants from every corner of the globe, and many family-owned-and-operated businesses. We have close access to the one-of-a-kind New York City, a gorgeous memorial in honor of those that lost their lives on September 11th, and NOT ONE other location in the United States has more Medal of Honor winners than Bayonne! In recent years, our fine city has seen a resurgence in so many ways. There are have been several updates to our public parks, including a special-needs playground.

Bayonne kids gather on a neighbor’s stoop for an ice pop break. (Credit: Denise Leonard)
Bayonne’s perfect climbing trees make for a natural playground! (Credit: Denise Leonard)

Stories About Bayonne

One day this Spring, a large number of local residents turned out for Buddy Baseball. Buddy Baseball is a special needs baseball program, coordinated by our amazing Recreation Division, that allows children of almost every age with various disabilities to play on a baseball team. Buddy Baseball is not only beneficial to the children playing, but everyone involved. Everyone works together to give these children the experience of a lifetime. Buddy Baseball is the essence of hometown pride, and you would be hard pressed to find someone that was not touched by the day’s parade and games!

Bayonne residents take to the streets for their Buddy Baseball parade. (Credit: Denise Leonard)

Bayonne is also a place where residents rally to support those in need. Last year, there were a few fires around town that unfortunately displaced several residents. Within a few days time, those families had everything they needed from a place to live, clothing, personal hygiene products, and even toys for the children. We also have two children in our community suffering from cancer. The overwhelming support for these families has been nothing less of astonishing. One of the children, a girl aged just 10 years, was treated to the Christmas of a lifetime when residents came together to purchase gifts for her and her sister. I was there when Santa paid her a special visit, and it was a moment I will never forget. When we are asked to help, we help. We are a community that comes together to help those in need, whenever and wherever that may be.

The Teardrop Memorial honors the lives lost on September 11th. (Credit: Denise Leonard)

Bayonne is also a place where people come back time and time again and revisit the same places. We have the most delicious chocolate covered, sprinkled donuts made by a bakery that has been here for almost 100 years. These donuts are unlike anything else, and Judicke’s Bakery is the only place that makes them! People come back to Bayonne to go to their favorite doctor or hair dresser. They come back to Bayonne to go to their favorite restaurant. They come back to Bayonne because it is a place like no other! Even my own uncle, who moved to Texas years ago, has to go to his favorite hot dog stand when he is here, and gets a slice of pizza at the best pizza place in town (although some will argue that point).

The downtown is a lovely place to lounge on a warm spring morning. (Credit: Denise Leonard)
Red, white, and blue are bound to be found on any block. (Credit: Denise Leonard)