Teaneck is a township located in Bergen County, New Jersey. It is the suburb with the second highest population of the 70 towns in the county with 39,776 as of the 2010 United States Census. The town is also located 11 miles north of New York City, making it a very desirable destination for those who love New York.
Teaneck was founded on February 19, 1895 by an act of the New Jersey Legislature. It was formed from portions of four different surrounding townships and was soon after made its own independent township. Today, it has a diverse population of Jewish and African American neighborhoods, and has a growing number of Hispanic and Asian residents. Teaneck has many lovely streets for its residents and tourists to stroll, shop, dine, and even enjoy local artwork.
Teaneck is divided into predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and predominantly African American neighborhoods. These areas are split and commonly referred to as “Jew Hills” at the top of the hill and “The Ghetto” at the bottom of the hill. There is a somewhat obvious gap between the wealthy and the less well-off neighborhoods and there is little to no overlap between the two. The Jewish sections tend to be the safer and wealthier parts of Teaneck, with clean streets for shopping and dining. In 2007, two documentaries were made about the Orthodox Jewish community in Teaneck. In one, Foreskin’s Lament, the writer describes living in the Jewish community in Teaneck as stifling and claustrophobic. In opposition, the documentary Life in the Present Tense describes the close-knit community of Teaneck’s Jews as a gift she couldn’t imagine when living in Manhattan.
Teaneck is the second largest city the county so you will more than likely need a car to get around. If you work in New York City, however, you can easily take a 15-minute bus ride from almost any street corner. Public transportation is fairly easy to figure out and buses run very frequently in and out of the town’s city limits.
Just like New York, summers are hot and sticky with temperatures rising into the 90s. The usual summer temperatures range from 69-85 degrees, and the winter months usually range from as high as 38 degrees to as low as 26 degrees. The tri-state area shares a very similar range in temperature and they take pleasure in all four seasons.
The town is known for its major institutions like Holy Name Medical Hospital and the Metropolitan Campus of Farleigh Dickinson University, the largest private university in the state of New Jersey. The Teaneck Armory is home to the New Jersey National Guard’s 50th Main Support Battalion and they host many events on their property for the community, mainly in the summer months. The commercial development of the town is concentrated in four main shopping areas and there is convenient access to many main highways from different points in town.
Teaneck is positioned along a number of major highways, including the New Jersey Turnpike (a portion of I-95) and I-80. Teaneck is the eastern final point of I-80, which stretches around 2900 miles west to downtown San Francisco, California. The town’s main highway is Route 4, running east to west through Teaneck from New York. There is no commercial development along this highway in the town itself due to safety precautions brought forth by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) but there is easy access to the commercial area just a few minutes down Route 4. New Jersey’s other main route is the Garden State Parkway and can be reached by car just a few miles west of Teaneck.
The closest airport to Teaneck in New Jersey is Newark Liberty International Airport, located 19.7 miles away in Newark. New York City’s La Guardia Airport is 14.7 miles away, located in Queens and can be accessed via the George Washington Bridge and is approximately 22 minutes away (in the most ideal traffic conditions). John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens is approximately 25. 7 miles (34 minutes) from Teaneck. There is also Teterboro Airport, which offers general aviation service, and is about a 13-minute drive away. All of these airports can be accessed by car or by taxi services located in Teaneck that will pick you up anytime day or night.
Teaneck has the availability of the New Jersey Transit bus service, with very frequent service to Teaneck Road, Route 4, and Cedar Lane. There is less frequent service on other main streets as well. NJ Transit bus services are offered at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan via the 155, 157, 167, and 168 routes. There is service to and from the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal via the 171, 175, 178, 182, and 186 routes. A few local routes provide infrequent and slow service to Hackensack and other nearby municipalities. A number of Jitney services also provide an unscheduled service along Route 4 between Paterson, New Jersey and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal.
There is currently no passenger train operation in Teaneck, but the closest available are on New Jersey Transit on the Pascack Valley Line at stations in Hackensack and River Edge. There is an active freight line bisecting Teaneck north-to-south (ex-New York Central) but it has no passenger service, nor is any expected in the near future. Efforts are being made to extend the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail via the Erie Northern Branch (a seldom-used freight line) a short distance east of Teaneck, with stops expected in Leonia and Englewood.
See and do
Teaneck has four main shopping areas located on Cedar Lane, Teaneck Road, DeGraw Avenue, West Englewood Avenue, and Queen Anne Road, most commonly known as "The Plaza."
For its size, Teaneck has quite a few parks, 22 to be exact. They are mostly small grassy spaces in residential areas with swing sets and basketball courts, but there are a few that hold significance for the entire town.
Arts and Culture
Teaneck has a number of plays and art exhibitions happening all the time, mainly supported by The Puffin Foundation and its Puffin Cultural Forum. They sponsor all of the arts in town at its location on Puffin Way. Teaneck is home to the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County, founded in 1953. The Teaneck Community Band presents a series of five outdoor summer concerts each summer, also sponsored by the Puffin Foundation. The Teaneck Cultural Arts Coalition has organized many community-wide events, including an annual First Night on New Years Eve in celebration of the arts.
The Garage Theater Group is Bergen County’s first non-profit professional theater company, and their members consist of mainly Teaneck residents and they perform the bulk of their shows at Farleigh Dickinson University.
Teaneck is home to the Metropolitan Campus of Farleigh Dickinson University, which is set on the border between Teaneck and the Hackensack River. The college has served over 4,000 undergraduates and over 2,300 graduate students as of the 2010-2011 school year. The majority of the students who attend are international and foreign exchange students from as far away India and China.
Teaneck is not known for any kind of fine dining, but for the simple things made extremely well. These places are made “the usual” spot for people all over Bergen County because it’s easy food made to perfection.