Making Headlines

"Paterson" Brings the Great Falls to the Big Screen

Paterson, the new film starring Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Girls) opened on December 28. The film, directed by independent visionary Jim Jarmusch, premiered to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The story follows a week in the life of Driver's character, a bus driver and poet aptly named Paterson, as he goes about his daily routine. His poems, reflections on the details of everyday life, bring to mind the works of William Carlos Williams—particularly his famous epic poem also called "Paterson." Paterson has received rave reviews, many calling it "the best performance of Adam Driver's career." Paterson, both the film and the character, bring the understated beauty and rich character of the city to life.


In November we held an event to honor Adam Driver for his contributions to Paterson's legacy. He sat down with film producers Josh Astrachan and Carter Logan to discuss his time at the Great Falls, working with Jim Jarmusch, and driving a bus through the streets of Paterson. 

Connecting Culture and Cuisine in Paterson

Food has always been one of the most important ways that we experience and understand difference cultures. It has always been a major part of Paterson's cultural landscape, from Alexander Hamilton's 1778 picnic at the Great Falls to the Latin American, European, and Middle Eastern restaurants that line the city's streets today.

Since Hamilton's time Paterson has been a city of immigrants, opening its doors to people from around the world looking for new opportunities. Hamilton championed the "diversity of talents" that immigrants would bring to the new nation. Each successive wave of newcomers has infused Paterson with a new culture and character, making it the diverse, multicultural city it is today.

People nationwide are discovering what Paterson has to offer. The Washington Post called the city's markets, bakeries, and restaurants "a dream come true." And the Los Angeles Times describes Paterson as a must-see destination—even giving directions on how to get here from California.

In 2017 we partnered with the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park and local restaurants and businesses to connect the history of the Great Falls to contemporary life in Paterson through food. The Great Falls, Great Food, Great Stories community engagement program and the Savor Paterson cultural festival invited residents and visitors to explore the city's rich culture and heritage through its many cuisines.

Paterson restaurants and businesses that participated in Great Falls, Great Food, Great Stories and Savor Paterson include:

Abu Rass, 1057 Main Street
Middle Eastern cuisine 
Al Basha, 1076 Main Street
Middle Eastern cuising 
Al Basha Sweets, 1090 Main Street
Arabic bakery 
The Brownstone, 351 W. Broadway
Fine dining and events 
City Green Mobile Market
Traveling farm stand and market 
Costa Marina, 182 Market Street
Peruvian cuisine 
Delizioso, 21 Mill Street
Peruvian and Italian cuisine, ice cream parlor 
Dulcemente Peruano, 73 Market Street
Peruvian desserts 
JonJax, 356 10th Avenue
Soul food 
Nablus Sweets, 1050 Main Street
Middle Eastern bakery 
Nouri Brothers, 999 Main Street
Middle Eastern market 
Nouri's Family Restaurant, 1003 Main Street
Middle Eastern cuisine 
Panchito's, 46 Market Street
Peruvian chicken (pollo a la brasa) 
El Regional, 51 Cianci Street
Argentinian and Uruguayan market 
El Rompe y Raja, 57 Cianci Street
Peruvian cuisine 
El Señorio, 30 Market Street
Peruvian cuisine 
Somos Tu Peru II, 1194 Market Street
Peruvian deli and market 
Syraan, 1090 Main Street
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine 
Toros, 1083 Main Street 
Turkish cuisine 
Savor Paterson Cultural Festival


Celebrating the 100th Birthday of the National Park Service with the Food and Stories of Paterson

Alexander Hamilton founded Paterson as the first city planned from the start to stimulate industry and innovation. He welcomed the "diversity of talents" that immigrants would bring to the workforce. Since Hamilton's time Paterson has been a city of immigrants, opening its doors to people from around the world looking for new opportunities. Each successive wave of newcomers has infused Paterson with a new culture and character, making it into the multicultural city it is today.

Food is one of the most important ways that we experience and understand different cultures. It has always been a part of Paterson's cultural landscape, from Alexander Hamilton's 1778 picnic at the Great Falls to the Latin American, European, and Middle Eastern restaurants that line the city's streets today. Savor Paterson invites visitors to explore Paterson's rich history and culture through its many cuisines.

Savor Paterson is the first of three events at the Paterson Great Falls National Park celebrating the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. The Centennial kicks off the second century of America's National Parks, reaching and building communities through recreating, conservation, and historic preservation.

"Savor the Past" family program 

How has food in Paterson changed over time? Join Park Rangers and the Great Falls Youth Corps at Overlook Park in celebrating 225 years of Paterson's cultural diversity through food and stories. View a model of Paterson's past restaurants, learn about Patersonians' favorite dishes and recipes, and add your own favorite family meals to the display. Afterwards, take a short walk to Mary Ellen Kramer Park to experience the food cultures in Paterson today!

Savor Paterson restaurant tasting 

Visit several of Paterson's finest restaurants to get a true taste of the city. Each restaurant will be selling small samples of their cuisine for $1-$3.

The Brownstone
351 W. Broadway

City Green
Mobile Market

21 Mill Street

Dulcemente Peruano
73 Market Street

356 10th Avenue

Nablus Sweets
1050 Main Street

46 Market Street

El Regional
51 Cianci Street                            

El Rompe Y Raja
57 Cianci Street

Somos Tu Peru II
94 Market Street

1090 Main Street

1083 Main Street                        



Great Falls Great Food Great Stories

Great Falls Great Food Great Stories is a project that connects the history of the Great Falls to contemporary life in Paterson. The Great Falls are at the center of Paterson and American history, and food is a central part of our lives and cultures, in Paterson and beyond.

A collaboration of the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park, the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson, and Paterson restaurants and businesses, Great Falls Great Food Great Stories brings the park into the city. Nine “storyfronts” that share stories of Paterson, food, and the Falls are installed around Market and South Main Streets. Look out for them and for signage and special placemats in participating neighborhood restaurants.

Alexander Hamilton’s 1778 picnic at the Great Falls of the Passaic wasn’t just a peaceful break from the fighting of the Revolutionary War—it also planted the seeds of an idea. While some envisioned the new United States as a nation of independent farmers, Hamilton thought that America’s story should start with a new city, one that would stimulate industry and innovation. He welcomed the “diversity of talents” that immigrants would bring to the workforce.

Paterson went on to attract people from around the world, who came to the city to work and make a better life for themselves and for their families. They would develop many of the industries and inventions that put Paterson on the map.

 People in Paterson have always worked hard to put food on the table—and they have always enjoyed the landscape of the Great Falls. They have strived to preserve their heritage while adopting new cultures and customs. Their story is the same today. The businesses, foods, and languages may have changed, but the dream is the same. 

Map of Market Street restaurants

Costa Marina
182 Market Street

El Señorío
30 Market Street

Dulcemente Peruano
73 Market Street

46 Market Street 

El Regional
51 Cianci Street

Somos Tu Peru II
94 Market Street 

El Rompe y Raja
57 Cianci Street


Map of South Main Street restaurants

Abu Rass
1057 Main Street

Nouri Brothers
999 Main Street

Al Basha
1076 Main Street

Nouri’s Family Restaurant
1003 Main Street

Al Basha Sweets
1090 Main Street

1090 Main Street

Nablus Sweets
1050 Main Street 

1083 Main Street

A project by Team Paterson for the Hamilton Partnership for Paterson: Friends of the Paterson National Park. Produced with the support of the New Jersey Council on the Humanities.

 Great Falls Great Food Great Stories was created by Team Paterson: Manuel Miranda, Mariana Mogilevich, Valeria Mogilevich, with Yuyeon Cho, Sarah Harrs, Fred Pirlot. Based on a proposal as part of the 2015 Van Alen Institute/National Parks Service Competition National Parks Now, which also included Frances Medina, June Williamson, and Willy Wong.

Special thanks to:
Josephine Abarca, Dora Cohen, Jacqueline Daniels, Ocie High, Crescenzo Lalama, Margarita, Yadira Lopez, Senior Activities Program, Catholic Family & Community Services, located at Governor Paterson Towers; Abdullah Abedrabbo; Agnes Aknid, Willese Bennett, Mae Sue Boyd, Sharon Haley, Humon, Paterson Adult Center at the Dr. Norman Cotton Homes, Catholic Charities; Yesi Alejo, School 15; Gianfranco Archimede, Paterson Historic Preservation Commission; Susan Balik, Cultural Affairs at Passaic County Community College; Jef Berg, Catholic Charities; Joseph Bubba, Jr.; Tom Carroll; Kevin Cherashore and Phil Redisch, M. S. Signs; Cynthia Czesak, Paterson Public Library; Lynn Gaffney, Catholic Family & Community Services; Rusty Giammichele, Mario's Uniforms; Jaquair Gillette; Evelyn M. Hershey, American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark; Jasmine Moreano and Claudia Urdanivia, City Green; Al Nouri, Nouri Brothers; Pantano's Dairy; Paterson Division of Cultural & Community Affairs; Sarai Perez and Erik Sosa, Park Rangers, Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park; Councilman André Sayegh; Maria Luz Sudaño Mah; Daniel Walkowitz, New York University
Breaking News: New Visitor Center Coming to the Paterson Great Falls

Future park visitors will have a new way to experience the history, culture, and beauty of the Great Falls—the Alexander Hamilton Center. The plan for the Center was announced at today's meeting of the national park's Federal Advisory Commission.

Alexander Hamilton Center, courtesy of Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.

The world-class visitor center will include exhibits that explore the national park's major interpretive themes, including economic independence, immigration and labor, industry and innovation, arts and literature, and Negro League baseball.

It All Started with a Picnic at the Great Falls

On July 10, 1778, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Marquis de Lafayette stopped for lunch at the Great Falls. Years later, as the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton founded the City of Paterson as the birthplace of America's economic independence, fueled by the rushing water of the Passaic River.

On Sunday July 10, 2016, we will hold a series of free events in the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park to commemorate the "most important picnic in American history." The event starts at 12:30 p.m. in Mary Ellen Kramer Park (parking is available in Overlook Park at 72 McBride Street). Hamilton Partnership President Leonard Zax will speak about the Great Falls as the inspiration for Alexander Hamilton to create the world's first planned city of innovation, and launch what we have come to call the American Dream.

At 1:00 p.m. living historians portraying Washington, Hamilton, and Lafayette will recreate the famous picnic. We encourage visitors to bring their own picnic lunch and dine along with the founding fathers! After the picnic, visitors will be able to meet and talk to the founding fathers.

At 2:00 p.m. rangers will lead an hour-long walking tour of the national park. The tour will conclude at the Paterson Museum, where visitors can explore some of the incredible inventions and technological innovations from Paterson that would forever change life in America, and around the world. The Museum will also feature the traveling exhibition Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made America, organized by the New-York Historical Society. This beautifully-designed display tells the story of Hamilton’s life, from his childhood as a poor orphan in the Caribbean, to his journey to New Jersey to begin his education, to his rise as one of our most important founding fathers.


These events are hosted by the National Park Service and the Hamilton Partnership, and by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society as part of their annual CelebrateHAMILTON program. For a full schedule of 2016 CelebrateHAMILTON programming, visit 

Click the link below to download the flyer for the event.

Paterson at the Cannes Film Festival

Paterson, the latest film by acclaimed indie director Jim Jarmusch, premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Paterson stars Adam Driver, best known for his performances in Girls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as a New Jersey Transit bus driver and poet named, aptly, Paterson.

Click the image to watch a clip from the film.

Jarmusch's Paterson is quiet and serene, a place for reflection and inspiration. The film has introduced the beautiful landscapes and vibrant character of the city to new audiences from around the world. The Daily Telegraph, one of London's top newspapers, reminds readers that the city of Paterson "was an early birthplace of American industry, on a site chosen by founding father Alexander Hamilton (yep, the one from the Broadway musical) near the Passaic River’s Great Falls."

The film's reviews have been uniformly positive.

"Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson is a singular ode to the ordered life, domestic harmony and poetry as something worth living for." The Hollywood Reporter

"A quiet delight which celebrates small-town life and dreams." The Guardian

"Unquestionably Adam Driver's finest performance to date." Indiewire

"It is a sublime slice of life in the city of bards." Collider

"This is one of the most beautiful-looking films of the festival so far, even though it’s set, and was filmed, in a city that many may not think of as beautiful." Time Magazine

"A work of becalmed eccentricity and unforced charm, Paterson is a portrait of an artist's world." Los Angeles Times

Paterson will be distributed in the United States by Amazon Studios.

Hamilton at the Great Falls

Thanks to the hit Broadway musical Hamilton Paterson's founding father is becoming a pop culture icon. A recent NPR story about the connection between the musical and Alexander Hamilton's economic legacy began not in New York City but at Paterson's Great Falls. Last year we hosted a brunch with Lin-Manuel Miranda and many other cast members from HAMILTON, along with historian Ron Chernow and playwright John Guare. Before seeing the show Ron and John led our group in a lively conversation about Lin's creation of the musical inspired by Ron's best-selling biography of Paterson's founder. In October we honored Hamilton star Jasmine Cephas Jones and Paterson's own Doug Herzog, president of Viacom's Music and Entertainment Group.Lin-Manuel Miranda with John Guare; Jasmine Cephas Jones

NPR Reports on Hamilton's Financial Legacy at the Great Falls

HAMILTON may be the hottest ticket in New York today, but the story of Alexander Hamilton and his vision for America's economic independence begins here in Paterson.

NPR visited the Great Falls to explore how Hamilton implemented his ambitious strategy to stimulate manufacturing and industry to secure the new nation's economic independence, and talked to Lin-Manuel Miranda about turning Hamilton's legacy into a Broadway hit.

Listen to the full story here.

First Phase of Park Renovations Complete!

Ribbon Cutting at Mary Ellen Kramer Park

The first phase of improvements to the National Park was completed this summer, and we celebrated with a ribbon-cutting cermony on August 28.

The newly-renovated section of the park, tucked in between the Great Falls and Hinchliffe Stadium, is known as Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

It is named for Paterson's former first lady, whose work in the 1970s was instrumental in preserving the land around the Falls and establishing the Great Falls National Historic District.

Mary Ellen Kramer Park now has a variety of new amenities including paved and lighted walking trails, benches and picnic tables, and a decorative brick-and-iron entrance gate. A stepped walkway leads to an observation deck, giving visitors new and improved opportunities to get up close to the Great Falls.

Visitors tour the newly-renovated Mary Ellen Kramer Park.

Now that Mary Ellen Kramer Park is open, park visitors can once again walk the full Mill Mile. Download the audio tour app (Android or iOS) to take a walk around the Great Falls with Super Bowl star Victor Cruz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, MacArthur Prize-winning creator of HAMILTON Lin-Manuel Miranda, and other friends of Paterson.

Photos courtesy Giacomo DeStefano ⓒ2015