Hoboken NJ. Looking towards mid-town Manhattan NYC (Vikas Bhardwaj)

Hoboken NJ residents and frequenters are young (25-40). It has a vibrant small business downtown. It’s a proverbial “stay-ground” for the NYC financial district jet-set. And from the outset, seems to be one of the best places for a family to live and thrive. So, why does some folks just don’t like how the city has changed? Or is this just an act of over zealous and dispassionate citizens (past citizens) whom just remember the “good” parts of the Hoboken past?

Public Opinion::

Here are some quotes from self-proclaimed former residents and visitors of Hoboken, sourced from the inter-web.

One notes, “…it has succumbed to the same blandness that has made parts of Manhattan (Murray Hill I’m looking at you) into chain-store filled repositories for Wall Street d-bags…who want to stay in NJ but want a “city-lite” experience. It does have some pretty good restaurants, but too many of the bars are your typical nondescript Irish Pub or sports bar filled with an immediately post-college clientele still acting like they’re freshmen and experiencing freedom for the first time.”

Another pontificates, “…so it’s either Uptown Snobbery or Downtown 23-year-old scene. Don’t get me wrong…Hoboken’s OK, I even hang out there sometimes. It’s just that Downtown JC seems to have more authenticity to it, if that makes any sense. 10 years ago, Hoboken was actually quite hip.”

Does Hoboken have a sizable populous of “trust fund types” and recent grad’s whose rent is being subsidized by their parents? Yes, it does.”

One harshly stamps Hoboken living as, “fake city living”.

Fairness::

As in any city living, there are the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. Every city has the ‘highlights’ and the ‘blights’. It’s just a territory which is inherent to lands that house multiple thousands of human beings. It just is.

After all, a city is a civilizational excuse, with which is built for the convenience between individuals to individuals. And much of the time, like many things in the world, ‘machines’ get worn out, re-routed, broken down, re-thought and re-invented.

And some of the changes rubs some the wrong way.

Some will tell you, compared to just about 30 years ago, Hoboken was part of the coast cities in NJ to have an “edge”. And when stating Hoboken was “edgy”, it meant it had many empty decrepit buildings, sectors of the city was underdeveloped, citizens were a bit ‘seedy’, and Washington Street (current heart of Hoboken small business activities) was a fraction of today.

But this is a matter of opinion, of course. We all remember the 70’s, the 80’s and the 90’s, and when a city was destitute it was very, very dangerous.

So, as in any incorporated business (yes, the township of Hoboken, is a business entity), it has to survive. There isn’t any surviving (thriving) without bodies living and paying taxes within its walls. And Hoboken had to re-invent itself.

And how did Hoboken achieve this? By marketing its fabulous location. Just needed ‘time’ to pass.

Just as realtors repeat “location, location, location”, Hoboken was destined to be valuable as it is now, again. The city’s primary “ace in the hole” is its location, and the undeniable property values draw new customers, left and right. 1970’s speculations started the land revolution, culminating into how Hoboken is perceived and treated in the current environment.

On the Waterfront. Marlon Brando. (1954)

Marlon::

Recognize this? “I could have had class. I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody. Instead of a bum…which is what I am.”

Many of us recognize the quote above. It’s the famous line from “On The Waterfront”. A film which was directed by the famous Elia Kazan, and the quote famously said by, non other than Marlon Brando. Did you know, the much of the filming was done on Court St, Hoboken’s Railway Station, Hudson St, and in the Waterfront.

Once, famous and overly recognized shoes walked in Hoboken.

Class::

It’s part of the human experience. The way we miss or reminisce about the past, of a city, we once live isn’t a unique explanation.

We as animals have a propensity to pick and choose how we remember reality, in many cases. Certainly a psychological uniqueness.

There’s absolutely no fault in how we remember focused aspects about “things” surrounding us. Our brains are just built that way.

As for Hoboken, it is what it is. Expensive, haughty, noisy (at times), young, elite, historic, and ‘classy’.

Wouldn’t say it’s Marlon Brando classy, but it is one great alternative places to live. Just bring the wad of cash and you’re “in”.

Be classy, y’all!

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