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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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Featured on CityJuJu.com

City of Hoboken (NJ) city seal (thehobokenjournal.blogspot.com)

Hoboken NJ is a (not so) quaint and high powered town located in the coveted “Gold Coast” of NJ. What is the Gold Coast one asks? The coast is “Gold” because of its strength as a real estate powerhouse for the well to do. The “well-to-do” work up and down the North NJ coast and most distinctively, in Manhattan (NYC).

Nick named “The Mile Square City” unofficially, it has come through the decades from surrounding poverty, infrastructure degradation and up to the current financial triumphs. In the last 35 years, the town (and in sync with its neighboring Coast cities) has increased it reputation leapfrogging from strength to strength.

Baseball:

To many, when someone says baseball, no one equates it to Hoboken. However, the very invention of baseball was from and played in Hoboken NJ. Go figure, right? Except to the die-hard baseball fan, it’s pretty safe to say that this fact isn’t very well know. Kudos Hoboken, however, just like the “sports announcer” who’d never had any athletic experience, Hoboken has lost its “baseball” branding, a long time ago.

Transplanting Phenomenon:

Because of its incredible location to the Hudson River, its accessibility prowess, and closeness to its bigger and more well known city across the river (NYC), it had to be just a matter of time the benefits took fruit for Hoboken. And they did, starting from the 80’s to the current times. Today, Hoboken is one of the most prized and often reviewed for dwellings from college graduates to the already wealthy. The city of Hoboken, one can say, could not have become the way it is today, with out the Manhattan and its financial industry.

Rail

Another important trait of an up and coming city or an established city is the Rail and Mass transit system. For the sacrifice of paying for the privilege of living in Hoboken, there are a complete list of mass transit options, including: NJ Transit, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, and PATH. Each one connects up an down the coast reaching from Newark NJ to NYC, and deep as South NJ and surrounding Gold Coast cities (especially Jersey City). And just like in any “financial transaction”, transaction of residents guarantees revenues.

The city’s done a great job of marketing and branding itself as one of the most convenient of Gold Coast cities to reside. It’s family friendly, business friendly, and transportation friendly. It’s a good start.

Just need some coin to live well, however.

Lets explore that in Part 2 of this article.  

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Lady Gaga celebrate the new year in Times Square (Jason Kempin / Getty Images)

Did you guys see it?

It was at the New Year’s Eve party in Time Square midtown Manhattan, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg and pop star Lady GaGa smooched the (in)famous one. Even better was that it was done near in vicinity to Bubba Gump restaurant (I just like saying that name so).

Unfortunately, I missed the live broadcast (although I did catch their “dancing” together, which was very very awkward to watch).

But fortunately, one of our fine photojournalists named Jason Kempin captured the good smooch on his fine digital goodness. Yum.

Kudos to both Bloomberg and GaGa. Kudos. Both a match made in New Year’s Eve Rockin’ Eve Rock & Roll!

And Happy New Year to all. Hope the first new year’s days have gone fine, so far.

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all heard it.

The movement started officially on September 17, 2011.

Now, it’s October 30, 2011 – the movement’s 46th day of operation.

Well, it was about time. I’d delayed in visiting the park for many life reasons, I’m sure.

But just like many in the country, I’d been keeping up with the happenings in and around Occupy Wall Street (#OWS) as much as possible (mostly through Online methods). After all, the channels in recent weeks had been covering the protests in more earnest, compared to the beginning of the movement.

And today was my first day of physically visiting Zuccotti Park (which I’d visited many many times prior to the occupation). I left the apartment early and was there for the shoot by 745AM.

Of course, was a Sunday and being an ‘off’ day for all of the protagonists in this dance, it was very quiet (well, except for the throngs of tourists).

The first thing that greeted me was the chill (although seemed colder as I landed in lower Manhattan). The air was cold. The prior day’s October snow storm was still evident in the early air.

That’s ok. I was prepared for the weather- decked in down coat and in layers with gloves and winter hat.  But what I wasn’t ready for, was how the Occupiers were dressed and waking up from the frigid night’s cold.

I was impressed. They certainly were a tough group of devotees.  There wan’t a shortage of commitment in this group, for sure.

And more impressive was that it was a mix of age groups, all huddled together and with individual responsibilities within the encampment. There was a full “HQ” style food distribution station with very basic foods (i.e. bananas, apples, simple breads, nuts, etc.), duties for sanitation & clean-up. As well as people who were very knowledgeable and very kind to persons like myself.

Well, I intend to visit the location several times this week. Hope to continue talking with some of the group members, other activists, and other photographers, as well- to see where they stand and to just shoot the breeze.

And I’m sure because it’s now the weekdays, there should be better action to capture.

All images copyright mediaform jasonkim photograph

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