Sneha Girap (Editor)

Paterson, New Jersey

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United States

145,948 (2013)

Unemployment rate
12.7% (Feb 2015)

8.704 sq mi

November 22, 1791

Jose "Joey" Torres (term ends June 30, 2018)

Colleges and Universities
Passaic County Community College, Hohokus School of Trade and Technical Sciences

Points of interest
Great Falls, Lambert Castle, Paterson Museum, Cedar Lawn Cemetery

Paterson is the largest city in and the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, in the New York City Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199, rendering it New Jerseys third-most-populous city reflecting a decline of 3,023 (-2.0%) from the 149,222 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 8,331 (+5.9%) from the 140,891 counted in the 1990 Census. The Census Bureau estimated a 2012 population of 145,219, a decrease of 980 (-0.7%) since 2010. Data from the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau estimate reveals that Paterson continues to carry the second-highest density of any U.S. city with over 100,000 people, behind only New York City. Paterson is known as the "Silk City" for its dominant role in silk production during the latter half of the 19th century. The city has since evolved into a major destination for Hispanic emigrants as well as for immigrants from the Arab and Muslim world. It has the second-largest Muslim population in the United States.


Map of Paterson, New Jersey

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Paterson, New Jersey in the past, History of Paterson, New Jersey

The area of Paterson was inhabited by the Algonquian-speaking Native American Acquackanonk tribe of the Lenape, referred to as the Delaware Indians. The land was known as the Lenapehoking. The Dutch claimed the land as New Netherlands, then the British as the Province of New Jersey.


Paterson is located at 40°54?53?N 74°09?46?W (40.914746,-74.162826). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 8.704 square miles (22.544 km2), of which, 8.428 square miles (21.829 km2) of it was land and 0.276 square miles (0.715 km2) of it (3.17%) was water.

The city borders Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Prospect Park, Totowa, West Paterson in Passaic County, and both Elmwood Park and Fair Lawn in Bergen County.

Paterson, New Jersey Culture of Paterson, New Jersey

Paterson is the subject of William Carlos Williams five-book epic poem Paterson, a cornerstone work of modern American poetry. Paterson is also mentioned in the twelfth line of Part 1 of Allen Ginsbergs poem Howl. In the novel On the Road by Ginsbergs friend Jack Kerouac, the protagonist Sal Paradise lives with his aunt in Paterson. Kerouac may have chosen Paterson as a stand-in for his hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, also a mill town with a waterfall. Paterson is the setting of many of Junot Diazs short stories and novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and John Updikes 1997 novel In the Beauty of the Lilies.

Paterson, New Jersey Culture of Paterson, New Jersey

The controversial arrest and conviction of boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, whose conviction was overturned in 1985, was dramatized in the 1999 Denzel Washington film, The Hurricane, and was partially shot in the city. The lyrics of the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" include "In Paterson thats just the way things go / If youre Black you might as well not show / Up on the street / Unless you want to draw the heat". Lean On Me is based on events that occurred in Patersons Eastside High School. Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) with Brooke Shields was filmed entirely in Paterson, the directors hometown. as was State Property. Its sequel, State Property 2, and Far from Heaven, The Preachers Wife and Purple Rose of Cairo are among other films that were partially shot in Paterson.

Lou Costello often referred to his hometown of Paterson, New Jersey in his comedy routines with Bud Abbott. The plot of the June 28, 1945, episode of the Abbott & Costello radio show is about the City of Paterson inviting him back for "Lou Costello Day" to launch a new garbage scow.

Paterson Falls was featured in the first season of The Sopranos in the episode Pax Soprana as the place where Junior Sopranos friend, Capris grandson committed suicide after taking poor designer drugs. As a favor, Junior Soprano had Mikey Palmice and another individual toss the dealer, Rusty Irish, over the falls. Some interior shots for the show were filmed in the unused Barnert Hospital. The Sopranos also shot a scene at Ralph Piccolo Pizza and renamed it "UF-FAS Pizzeria".

The NJ-based band Suit of Lights pays tribute to Paterson in their song, Goodbye Silk City. The 1983 music video "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood makes reference to Paterson in its opening sequence.

The first marketable revolver was produced in Paterson by Samuel Colt starting in 1836, and was known as the Colt Paterson.


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