Melida Rodas 
Jersey City Resident 

Hudson County, NJ Tourism Development Office interviewed five Hudson County artists to ask what inspires their creativity and why they choose to live in Hudson County.   

Why do you choose to live/work in Hudson County?

I am drawn to Hudson County because I live for Art, Music and Dance. Deeply rooted in the arts, I call Jersey City my home. My Mayan ancestors are known for their art, pottery and their weaving. Naturally, as I evolved as an artist and writer myself, I gravitated towards Jersey City, Hudson County. Here I felt a sense of belonging.
I work in Jersey City because I am committed to helping combat homelessness in our area. I work for a company called, CARA SQUARED. We, as a team, develop affordable housing. My husband Eugene P. O’Connell, is at the helm of this company and this endeavor. Passionate about the arts and real estate development, we created a gallery space in one of our buildings. This building is located in Greenville, Jersey City. I am the Marketing and Media Relations director for this company.

Melida Rodas Jersey City, New Jersey 
Painter, Poet, and Photographer 

Do you have a place you like to go to get your inspiration in Hudson County?

Lincoln Park and Liberty State Park bring me back to center and it is here where I find myself most connected to something much bigger than myself. I love the sound of the fountain at Lincoln Park that has been recently, breathtakingly restored. By the statue of Abe Lincoln is where I often meditate. Help me find the answers, Mr. Lincoln,  I ask as I gaze upon this statue. From Liberty State Park, is where I often sailed. I’ve spent many days in the open waters admiring the cityscapes on both sides of the Hudson River. It has been one of my greatest joys, to navigate a vessel on these waters.

Melida Roda's Home Studio in Jersey City 

What inspires you?

The work of up and coming artists, musicians and writers in my municipality inspire me. The work of young students energizes me the most. Currently I moderate the Journalism Club at Marist High School in Bayonne, NJ. I also serve as the chief Editor of the newly revived student Newspaper, THE SHIELD. Together with the students and the administration we have brought it back into circulation and into the 21st century. Their work humbles me and moves me. It can be found here-

Where do you take people in Hudson County when they come to visit you?

Liberty House Restaurant, Jersey City Theater Center and Liberty Science Center are local gems that I turn to when I want impress visiting family members. Eating in the city, one has an over abundance of choices but my favorite small sized restaurants with stellar menus are Pasta Del Cuore, The Oak on Pine, and Madame Claude, especially on the days when there is free Gypsy Jazz by the Manouche Bag band to accompany the fabulous food. The youngest of my family members enjoy the carousel at Newport Green Park, along with the sandy beach in the summer and wintertime ice rink.

What is your favorite thing about Hudson County?

To live is Hudson County is to be a part of a beautiful, multi-colored and multi-cultural tapestry. I love the sounds of the city festivals. They exemplify our diversity. Weather it is the intense melodies of a singer found in Little India, Newark, Ave.,  a Latin drummer at Groove on Grove, or the cool jazz sounds floating above the trees at The Riverview Jazz Festival in The Heights,  I am reminded of how fortunate I, we are to co-exist among talented and heterogeneous groups of people.

Read more about Melida Rodas

Meet the Neighbors
Supported by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism
Copyright © 2018 Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs / Tourism Development,                All rights reserved.

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