Music, art and wine take center stage at a historic townhouse in Jersey City's Hamilton Park

Jersey Avenue FacadeJersey Avenue Porch

Walking along tree-lined Jersey Avenue, just below Hamilton Park, one might get the impression that they've been magically transported to the picturesque city of New Orleans. Here, a series of brick rowhouses are fronted by a wide connected porch, decorated with ornate wrought-iron trim. It's an aesthetic that elegantly channels classic Creole townhouse architecture, a vibe that's further enhanced in the spring, when residents place hanging ferns and foliage all along the handsome row.

"It definitely reminds me of the houses in the French Quarter," remarks Billy, who's resided in a three-story townhouse here for four years with his wife Carin and son Dylan.

"Once we all put out our hanging ferns, I can't tell you how many people on their way to the park stop to look at the houses and take pictures," Carin agrees. "If you meet someone in town, and you say, 'I live in the houses that look like New Orleans,' everybody knows exactly what you're talking about."

Bill and Carin

Introduced by a mutual friend, the couple celebrates their 10 years together. For Billy and Carin, life together has been repeatedly influenced by a series of serendipitous connections and introductions. That includes the Jersey Avenue home they now occupy. At about the same time Carin and Billy were looking to leave their previous home in the nearby Cast Iron Lofts, Dixon Leasing had acquired the Jersey Avenue residence and put it up for rent. With the help of close friends who lived next door, the unique abode was immediately on the couple’s radar. Coincidentally, it turned out that Carin had already been introduced to Dixon Leasing through prior business connections, in New Orleans, of all places. Their future in the Jersey Avenue home seems fated from the start.

Carin and Bill on porchFamily mugs

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Originally from Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, Carin interned at NBC New York while attending the University of Pittsburgh. Following graduation, she relocated to the city and worked in both film and television, including a stint in the talent department at "Saturday Night Live," where she booked the show's musical guests and hosts. Today, she's co-national director of the nonprofit Right to Play, which uses sport and play as tools to support children in education, gender equality, health and well-being, safety and peace-building. With nearly 30 years in promotion, A/R and management, Billy is a well-known figure in the music industry, and he's worked with a long list of impressive acts, including the Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Walk the Moon, Beck, Counting Crows, Kings Of Leon and Cage the Elephant. Originally from Minnesota, he began his career at Geffen Records in Chicago, where he then moved to New York to serve as the company's VP of alternative music. Later, he advanced his career at RCA Records as senior VP of rock and alternative music. After his 15-year tenure at RCA, Billy became co-founder of an entertainment company, and has recently launched his own management consulting business.

Right to playBook of Rock

Carin smilingCarin and Bill kitchen shot

Photo (top left) courtesy of

Billy and Carin are at once welcoming, charming and completely laid back, just like the home they share. Acquired in good, updated condition — thanks to the home's former architect — the 1856 brick townhouse features unexpected pops of color accentuated by the couple's intriguing art collection and décor. Billy and Carin have put their additional stamp on the home over the years, from choosing contemporary light fixtures in the living room, to carefully selecting the garden level tile when it was time to update the kitchen floor.

Light FixtureArt and booksPeptol Bismol paintingAndy Warhol brillo box

Bathroom artMaster bath tile

Located on garden level, the open-concept kitchen boasts professional-grade stainless steel appliances, a large center island and tons of custom cabinetry set along painted brick walls. A large farmhouse table accommodates guests, while family photos and stacks of cookbooks adorn the walls and shelves. A row of closet doors conceals a washer-dryer and extra storage.

"I really love entertaining and cooking here," Carin says. "I love to cook, and there's so much room. I don't think I've ever had so much counter space. People just love the vibe down there, so it's a fun place to hang out and have friends over."

With Carin as the home's avid cook, Billy is the self-professed sommelier. While the kitchen boasts several handy nooks for wine storage, the couple's significant collection spans several locations. "We have a wine fridge in almost every room in the house, and we have some stored off-site as well," Billy explains. Carin teases, "Wine is a Billy thing. It's an expense account/hanging out with rock stars thing."