This Saturday, a band of retailers and hospitality venues will gather together on Hoboken’s First Street for an inaugural Block Party, celebrating the diverse make-up of Hoboken’s “other” main drag.
hMAG had a chance to talk with acclaimed artist Ricardo Roig, who got together with his friends and neighbors along this vital commercial corridor and managed to organize “The First 1st Street Block Party“—hopefully the first of many more to come…
hMAG: What prompted you to plan this event?
Ricardo Roig: Ever since Mark at Vintage on First opened up, we’ve been talking about what a great block we have here and all the wonderful people and businesses and what we can do together to improve it. We started to try to get string lights on the trees and make it a nice scenic street, then the effort went to having a block party.
Mark is friends with a lot of people in a lot of circles and organized a collaboration between Sweet Chick NYC and Tony Boloney’s. Since they were having something Mark wanted to make it bigger and thought to include everyone on the block. A sidewalk party idea then escalated into me reaching out to our councilperson Mike DeFusco. Mike got us on a conference call with Jason (Freeman) in City Hall and Lt. (John) Petrosino.
All of us talked it through and the Lt. was so kind to offer us a Saturday and to expedite the process for us. Lt. Petrosino also so generously included the police staff at no charge, which is a huge savings.
The city and the police recognized our need as small businesses to come together for our great community to share in some local fun and local culture.
h: How would you characterize the first street community?
Roig: Friendly and eclectic—there are a lot of shops, business, restaurants, bars, art galleries and experiences you can have just going down the street and visiting. The more people you meet the more you run into them and the more enriched relationships and life you have. It’s a nice mix and everyone in the community is really welcoming to share their passions and connect with each other.
h: What can attendees expect?
Roig: Great Food – Live Music- DJ’s – Games – Local Art & Artists – Clothes – Desserts – Lots of different experiences from all the small businesses – hangout areas (feel free to bring chairs)
I was trying to organize a mini soccer game between Mulligans & Northern Soul but we’ll see how that goes. Maybe we will keep it to ping pong : )
Also people can expect that if this is a hit maybe the city will work with us again to have it in the Spring or just annually again next Fall.
The First 1st Street Block Party will take place Saturday, October 20 from 11:oo a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on 1st Street (naturally), between Willow & Park Avenues. (That portion of the street will be closed to traffic.)
Participating retailers and hospitality venues include:
- Alex Morales Atelier
- Antique Bar & Bakery
- Bucket & Bay Craft Gelato
- Bum Pilates
- Eye Shapes
- Guitar Bar
- Little City Books
- Mint Market
- Northern Soul
- Pavana Yoga
- PRIME Real Estate
- Red Lion Framing
- Roig Collection
- Simply Juiced
- Soho Flower and Garden
- Sugar Suckle
- Sunnyside Cafe
- Tony Boloney’s
- Vintage on First