Union City may be overshadowed by its Manhattan neighbour, but that doesn’t stop it from serving up an attitude all of its own. The city is a cultural melting pot, with thoroughfares like Bergenline and Summit Avenues charming visitors with their Spanish signage, blaring Hispanic music and abundance of hole-in-the-wall rice and bean restaurants.
Located in New Jersey’s Hudson County, Union City is home to a small community that gives it a distinctly less chaotic feel than New York. Thanks to a recent revitalisation, the neighbouring communities of Hoboken and Secaucus have also become popular with visitors in search of an authentic alternative to the bright lights of Manhattan.
Union City is well-connected to Manhattan and surrounds, with Bergenline Avenue and the New Jersey Route 495 both serving as major public transportation corridors. Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station Bergenline Avenue services 49th Street, with New Jersey Transit buses ferrying passengers to neighbouring counties such as Hudson, Bergen and Passaic, as well as the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The closest airports are Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia, both located around 20 kilometres away.
Since its incorporation as a city in 1925, Union City has experienced two major immigration waves. The first saw Germans flood its streets, while the second established it as a hub for Spanish-speaking immigrants. Both have contributed to the development of its unique character, with locals nicknaming it “Havana on the Hudson” after its lively Hispanic roots. Every year, thousands of pilgrims flock to Union City to attend the nation's longest-running passion play. The city is also the proud host of New Jersey’s annual Cuban Day Parade. For those that catch Union City in celebration mode, the experience is loud, colourful and unforgettable.