LETTER FROM THE EDITOR – hMAG MAY/JUN 2015
I moved to Hoboken in 1997. That’s not long enough ago for me to have known Sinatra personally, but he was at least still alive when I got here.
I used to drink at the Cadillac Bar and eat at the Clam Broth House. The only reason I’d be found west of Willow was for an afterhours party at a friend’s music studio in the Monroe Center. Hoboken was edgier, grittier, and arguably bolder as it floundered for its own identity—much like the post-collegiate throngs that moved in and out of here with the tide.
Today, the cost of living in this city is startlingly higher than when I first moved here. The fratty undercurrent that came with that post-collegiate tide has been tempered a bit by the socioeconomic realities of the city’s ongoing, sometimes awkward evolution. Fights continue—although they have mostly gone from the streets to the blogs and the planning boardrooms. Hoboken’s conflicts today are less “whaddayou lookin’ at?” and more “not in my backyard.”
Everyone thinks they know what’s best for this city—but no matter how much people try to mold it into their ideal, Hoboken will never be characterized by just one thing.
Hoboken has tremendous commercial opportunity, a robust artistic scene that has stood the tests of time, and a deep-rooted spirit of innovation. You can’t just slap a label on a place like this and call it a day. This city changes the minute you think you have it all figured out. That’s what makes it such a unique place to be.
The City of Hoboken is currently trying to create a “brand” for our town, and they’ve taken some criticism for it. After all sorts of brainstorming, paradigm shifting and outside-the-box thinking, they came up with “Mile Square City”—which has long been Hoboken’s nickname.
Personally, I think it’s perfect. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Besides, anything else would be out of date by the time they made the t-shirts.
You can’t pigeonhole Hoboken. You can view it from afar and say it’s too yuppie, too hipster, too fratty, too family, too rowdy, too lame. Meanwhile, anyone living here could tell you just how wrong you are.
Christopher M. Halleron