Recently my wife and I shared dinner with friends who were moving out of town, eating from a restaurant that was closing the next day.
At some point in the middle of that meal it dawned on me—this is the new Hoboken, where the only thing I can count on is that it will soon change.
I’m not going to pretend to be overly excited about the cover story for this issue of hMAG. The luxury real estate market is certainly a dynamic new phase of our city’s growth, but Hoboken’s development has come at a cost to Hoboken. Those hard-handed days highlighted in Nora Jacobsen’s documentary Delivered Vacant ushered in an era of ruthless real estate battles, all in the name of “gentrification.” And at the end of the day, we all know who won.
Price-weary Gothamites now look at Hoboken as “the new Brooklyn,” but it’s not… it’s Hoboken. It’s been here for years, and it has had its own identity.
That may sound hollow, coming from a guy who moved here in 1997. When I got here, I wondered why so many of the locals were grumbling about my presence. But I get it now. Remember going out in Manhattan in the 1990’s, when you told a girl you lived in Hoboken and she automatically walked away? Well now she’s moving here from Tribeca—with her 2.5 kids.
With each new tide here in Hoboken, a lot gets washed away. Many of the lifelong residents here in Hoboken were taken out by the wave of yuppies that came in around my time. Now the yuppies, who were nevertheless proud to call Hoboken home, are getting pushed out by the Gothamites, who are looking at Hoboken as a city-wide gut renovation.
Given the overall scope of economic hardship brought on by gentrification, sob stories like mine are hardly sympathetic. But all the same, I’ll miss my friends, and I’ll miss my restaurants.
I’ll miss MY Hoboken, like so many miss theirs before me.
Christopher M. Halleron
Christopher M. Halleron is the Publisher/Editor of hMAG.
As a columnist and journalist, he has covered various aspects of life here in the ‘greater Hoboken area’ and beyond for the past two decades.
His opinions are his own.