If New Jersey could be telescoped into a single representative town, that town might look like Ridgefield. Once an untamed expanse of woodland and marsh, the area that is now Ridgefield – bordered by Ridgefield Park and Palisades Park to the north, Cliffside Park to the east, Fairview to the south, and the Meadowlands to the west – has gradually been transformed by the force of immigration, transportation, and commerce into a compact mix of industry and suburban living. Though it sounds like a contradiction, Ridgefield is properly named. Near
Broad Avenue, the town’s main north-south thoroughfare, the steep eastern hills of the Palisades flatten into the western lowlands of the Hackensack River.