I’m not even in Hoboken right now, but I feel like talking about it. I love living here… for the most part. Unfortunately, thanks to the politics, finances, and certain legal issues, I’m just about ready to move out. Lately I’ve been rather down on the city for these reasons, but sometimes I go out and have a blast and remember why I love it so much. Tuesday was the perfect example because Lisa and I took a little walk along Washington St. to shop and then picked up some food at our favorite Cuban restaurant. While we were eating I made the comment that La Isla probably is the best thing about Hoboken. So I started thinking along those lines and decided that I should make a top ten list about Hoboken. Today being Thanksgiving (at least when I started typing) I figure I’ll make it the “Top Ten Things to be Thankful for in Hoboken” (alliteration be damned).
- La Isla – Nothing beats an incredible meal at a cheap price in a place where you feel like you’re home. Everytime I eat there I can’t help but feel good afterwards – there’s just something so comforting about a pressed Cuban sandwich (and truset me, give the potato sticks a chance 🙂 ). How can anyone go hungry in this world when all it really takes to satisfy are rice and beans?
- Art and Music Festival – Twice a year the town closes half of its main stretch allowing thousands of residents and visitors a chance to wonder amongst artisans and musicians plying their wares. It truly is amazing to merely walk amidst those crowds even if you do nothing more than look at the Cheap Art and buy some Fried Oreos. I’ve missed exactly one in the past 8 years and I swear I’ll never do that again.
- Nag’s Head – “You wanna go where everybody knows your name.” The town is full of pubs and bars, and if you’re lucky you’ll find one with a close-knit atmosphere that allows you to meet people who will gladly call out your name everytime you walk through the door. I certainly consider myself lucky to have stepped into the Nag’s the first time around.
- Maxwell’s – This list would be laughable if I didn’t include one of the most famous music clubs in the Northeast. What more can be said about a small venue that offers up great indie bands almost every night of the week and still finds time to book the locals. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to try their humus.
- New York City – Let’s face it, one of the main reasons so many of us live in this town is the proximity to one of the greatest city’s in the world. Hoboken affords us a community – a real sense of belonging. But being next to NYC gives us everything else we could ever ask for.
- Artkore OpenMic – I was going to say the Rodeo/Ristra itself since there is so much else Ivy has going on there these days, but it all comes back to the OpenMic. For the past couple of years the OpenMic has thrived and built up a true scene of musicians, poets, and artists and the people who support them. To say that we owe a lot to the OpenMic would be an extreme understatment.
- Louise & Jerry’s – Ask just about anybody in town who has the best jukebox and you will undoubtedly be pointed to L&J’s. This is the classic local bar that’s packed with all of the usual characters complete with a friendly face behind the bar. It’s like a nexus that ties us all together – a common ground where we can all come together.
- Gibby – The man is a cultural icon in the burgeoning Hoboken music scene. His passion and energy has helped to push, not only his own band, but countless others into the limelight of our little town. I could list many other great musicians in this town, but it takes a figure like Gibby to rally those people and give them a true sense of worth.
- Summertime – If you have the opportunity, take the time to walk around Washington St. in the middle of the week in June. It’s amazing how packed the outdoor seating becomes for all the cafes and restaurants. I can’t go more than two blocks without running into someone I know, and perhaps joining them for a bite, or a quick pint at 3 in the afternoon.
- Castle Point – Quite simply one of the greatest views in the world. The heart of Stevens’ campus, Castle Point at night provides a stunning and (typically) quiet panoramic of the NYC skyline. Sure you may have to share it with a few lovers taking a stroll on date night, but you really can’t blame them.
Okay, so that’s my quick take on this town o’ mine. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, I hope you agree. For those unfamiliar with the area, make sure to drop by and check out why we find it so difficult to leave this overpriced little city.