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KIDS ON A LEASH? WHAT DO YOU THINK? NATALIE MORALES LOVES HER HOME TOWN TALKING MUSIC WITH TODD ABRAMSON MANZO BROTHERS SOCIAL CLUBS IN SEPIA SEXERCISING HOBOKEN HOMES WATERING HOLES EATERIES

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8 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

CONTENTS 07030

FEATURES 20 THE MANZO BROTHERS Bravo!

24 NATALIE MORALES Today in Hoboken

30 KIDS ON A LEASH Horrors!

68 10 THINGS To do with your kids

72 SEXERCISING Spand-X

DEPARTMENTS

72

14 EDITOR’S LETTER 16 CONTRIBUTORS COVER 18 POINT AND SHOOT Firefighters and kids PHOTOS BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH & ALYSSA BREDIN

28 WORKING OUT WITH— Geri Fallo

32 PEOPLE POWER Todd Abramson

35 HOW WE LIVE House proud

58 HOW WE WORK Small businesses

64 ARCHIVES AND ARTIFACTS Social Clubs

76

76 WEST SIDE STORY Monroe Center

78 ON THE WATERFRONT Shipyard Marina

81 DATES 82 EATERIES The Fig Tree

84 SOUNDING OFF Texas Talent

85 WATERING HOLES Pilsener Haus Biergarten

88 DISH 07030 Restaurant Listings

78 10 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

HOBOKEN

SUMMER 2012 Vo l u m e 1 • N u m b e r 1 A Publication of The Hudson Reporter

PUBLISHERS Lucha Malato, David Unger EDITOR IN CHIEF Kate Rounds ART DIRECTOR Jennifer Martiak GRAPHICS STAFF Terriann Saulino Bish, Lisa M. Cuthbert, Mike Mitolo, Pasquale Spina COPYEDITING Christopher Zinsli ADVERTISING MANAGER Tish Kraszyk SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Toni Anne Calderone Ron Kraszyk ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Joseph Calderone Jay Slansky CIRCULATION MANAGER Roberto Lopez CIRCULATION Luis Vasquez ACCOUNTING Christine Caraballo

07030 Hoboken is published two times a year by the Hudson Reporter Associates, L.P., 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (201) 798-7800, Fax (201) 798-0018. Email 07030@hudsonreporter.com. Subscriptions are $10 per year, $25 for overseas, single copies are $7.50 each, multiple copy discounts are available. VISA/MC/AMEX accepted. Subscription information should be sent to 07030 Hoboken Subscriptions, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or other unsolicited materials. Copyright ©2012, Hudson Reporter Associates L.P. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

07030 Hoboken is a publication of The Hudson Reporter Associates, L.P. 1400 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030 phone 201.798.7800 • fax 201.798.0018 e-mail: 07030@hudsonreporter.com www.hudsonreporter.com

12 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

Do You Know‌ there is an award-winning “destination hospitalâ€? right in your own neighborhood? There is no need to leave Hudson County for your healthcare needs! Jersey City Medical Center is committed to ensuring quality care by investing in state-of-the-art technology and recruiting and retaining exceptional physicians, nurses, and other professionals.

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We are dedicated to helping you find the right home for your family or business.

14 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

In the diverse, edgy, artsy, happening city of Hoboken, there’s one thing all residents share—zip code 07030. In this magazine, we will celebrate what makes us different and what brings us together. Mostly, we will be celebrating people. A magnet for celebrities, Hoboken is home to reality TV stars like the Manzo brothers and to broadcast news luminaries like the Today Show’s Natalie Morales, both of whom are profiled in this issue by reporter Amanda Staab. Todd Abramson, the guy responsible for booking all those great bands at Maxwell’s, will be writing a column for us on new sounds and up-and-coming talent. Our ongoing “How We Live” and “How We Work” departments highlight great homes and innovative entrepreneurs. Got kids? We’ve got you covered. 07030 reporter Arlene Phalon Baldassari shares 10 things to do with your kids in Hoboken before they are too embarrassed to be seen with you, and we ask the much-asked question, Is it OK to put your kid on a leash? We want your input and ideas. In “Point and Shoot,” you’ll have an opportunity to give us your best shots. If they were taken in 07030, they might end up in 07030. In our “Working Out With” department, we will be looking for Hobokenites to chat with while they’re in the weight room, on the yoga mat, or shooting baskets. And we’ll always be looking for fabulous spaces for “How We Live.” Friend us on Facebook, give us your feedback, and look for us in the fall, when our next issue will hit the stands. Welcome to the family of 07030. We hope you’ll see yourself in our pages.

CONTRIBUTORS MELISSA ABERNATHY is a Hoboken-based communications consultant, who serves as communications and volunteer coordinator for the Hoboken Historical Museum. She began her career as a reporter and editor with a business travel magazine.

TODD ABRAMSON MELISSA ABERNATHY

is co-owner of Maxwells. He books the talent for this legendary night spot.

ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI has worked as an actress, for a literary agency and book publisher, and in the restaurant industry. She lives in Hoboken with her husband Mike and daughter Sophie.

TERRIANN SAULINO BISH TODD ABRAMSON

ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI

began her career as a graphic designer more than 15 years ago. She not only creates images but captures them with her camera. Her work has appeared in many publications including Best of Photography 2006 & 2007. She currently works for the Hudson Reporter. tbishphoto.com.

ALYSSA BREDIN is a recent graduate of Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, with a degree in graphic arts. She hopes to pursue a career in photography. Her work can be seen at tbishphoto.com.

BETH DICARA is a full-time potter and part-time photographer. See her work at eveningstarstudio.net

TERRIANN SAULINO BISH

ANDREW HANENBERG began documenting his rock climbing trips throughout the country while in college. After a residence at the Maine Media Workshop, he worked with the industries’ top photographers. He is dedicated to creating inspiring portraits that depict real-life stories. Find more at www.awhphoto.com

ALYSSA BREDIN

VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ BETH DICARA

has studied publication design, photography, and graphic design. “I’ve been fascinated by photography for 17 years,” he says. One of his jobs as a construction project manager is to photograph job sites.

ANTHONY SAINT JAMES has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment. His photographs have been published in magazines and ads all over the world. He is pictured here with his greatest creation, his son Cosmo. More of his photography can be seen at anthonysaintjames.com.

ANDREW HANENBERG

AMANDA STAAB is a freelance reporter and a graduate of Columbia Journalism School. A New Jersey native, she currently lives in Hoboken with her husband and daughter.

JENNIFER MERRICK MARTIAK

VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

AMANDA STAAB

ANTHONY SAINT JAMES

16 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

is art director for the Hudson Reporter Newspapers, which includes 07030, Explore, and Jersey City Magazine. She has worked for the company for 17 years. Her work has won annual state awards throughout her career. Though her design credits are eclectic, fashion print is her passion.

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THE BABES AND THE BRAVEST

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PHOTOS BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH AND ALYSSA BREDIN THE FIREFIGHTERS AT LADDER 1, ENGINE 1 ON WASHINGTON STREET BETWEEN 13TH AND 14TH STREETS GOT A KICK OUT OF THE KIDS FROM BEYOND BASIC LEARNING, THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, WHO WERE FILING PAST THE FIREHOUSE WITH THEIR TEACHERS.

IN THIS DEPARTMENT WE WILL BE LOOKING FOR ICONIC HOBOKEN IMAGES. PLEASE SEND YOURS TO 07030@HUDSONREPORTER.COM.

07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

19

MAKING IT MANZO Homegrown reality TV stars talk business, manhood, and life in the Mile Square BY AMANDA STAAB PHOTOS BY ANTHONY SAINT JAMES

CHRIS (L.) AND ALBIE MANZO

rothers Albie and Chris Manzo know well where they got their fame, the phenomenon that is reality TV. “We don’t confuse ourselves with anyone who has a talent,” says Chris. But certainly what the 20-somethings do have is charisma, work ethic, and—most important—each other. They live and work together, and together, they are making the most of their 15 minutes. At ages 22 and 19, the brothers were introduced to a national audience after their mother, Caroline Manzo, was cast in Bravo’s reality TV hit, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Packed with tearful family dramas, vicious rivalries, catfights, love, loss, and a whole lot of levity (thanks to the Manzo brothers), the show has had three successful seasons. Before the first episode aired, Chris says he thought about how cool it would be to appear on the show. Now, both brothers have been in several episodes and even had their own web series spinoff, “Boys to Manzo,” on Bravotv.com. The series, mostly filmed in Hoboken, highlights how different the brothers are from one another. “I don’t think if you scoured the globe that you could find

B

20 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

two brothers more opposite than me and Chris,” says Albie in one of the webisodes. Albie, now 26, is a neat-nick with a preference for sport coats. On the show, he’s told he’s handsome by just about everyone but criticized for taking just about everything too seriously. Chris, now 23, is a jokester who wears whatever is clean and takes life dayby-day. But when they’re together, they have balance. “We need each other pretty bad,” says Chris. The Manzos say they don’t even think about the cameras anymore and live as if they don’t have a crew in tow. “We are not acting,” Chris says. “This is a reality show.” Their move into a threebedroom apartment on River Street in Hoboken with Albie’s college friend, Greg Bennett, was filmed two years ago. Since then, they’ve appeared at charity events and fundraisers in town and hosted tasting parties at local bars and restaurants. Chris even worked at the Wicked Wolf Tavern for a while. “We wanted to be somewhere we could have a good time and just enjoy our young 20s,” says Chris. “This is really the perfect spot.” The brothers say they’ve gotten to know a lot of people in town, and now whenev-

er they leave their apartment, they almost always see a familiar face. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like walking the high-school hallways,â&#x20AC;? says Chris. Despite their rise to stardom, the brothers have remained grounded. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We never use the word â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;celebrityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to describe ourselves,â&#x20AC;? Chris says. And the people who watch the show are just that, says Albie, people who watch the show. The Manzos never say they have â&#x20AC;&#x153;fans.â&#x20AC;? But they also have critics, and it sometimes bothers them when people tag them as spoiled rich kids. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grow up extremely wealthy,â&#x20AC;? says Albie. For a good part of their childhoods, the brothers lived with their parents and sister in Wayne, in a house that would fit into the master bedroom of the house their parents currently own in Franklin Lakes. As a freshman in high school, moving to a town known for McMansions and BMWs was a bit of a culture shock for Albie. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of people who have a lot of money,â&#x20AC;? he says. One of the first questions his classmates asked him was what his parents did for a living. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t care what your bank account is,â&#x20AC;? Albie says. The Manzos have never taken their success for granted. Their father turned a modest catering hall called the Brownstone into a well-respected, widely recognized business. And their mother, a dedicated stay-at-home mom, became the host of her own radio show after her three kids moved out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We understand the value of hard work,â&#x20AC;? Chris says. The brothers have also used their fame to launch their careers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have been doing some amazing things since the show started,â&#x20AC;? says Chris. The brothers are now proud co-owners of blk. Beverages, selling water infused with fulvic minerals, and they are spokesmen for a few other brands, including Levendi Wines, Krome Vodka, and Tributo Tequila. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not the beverage mold,â&#x20AC;? Chris says. They are much younger than a lot of their colleagues in the industry. While Albie has an undergraduate degree in business from Fordham University, Chris threw off his cap at his high school graduation and never looked back. Instead of going to college, he joined his father at the Brownstone, where he worked very long hours. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no such thing as part time there,â&#x20AC;? Chris says. Sometimes he would be cleaning up after a party until 4:30 a.m. and have to return to work only a few hours later. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We did a million different things there,â&#x20AC;? he says. He learned what it took to put together weddings, banquets, and barbecues at town pools, but at 21, he wanted to explore other possibilities. Albie had also been searching. After struggling through a year at law school, he enrolled at the Passaic County Police Academy while deciding whether he

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CHRIS (L.) AND ALBIE MANZO

22 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

wanted to pursue the degree. He says he had fun driving police cars, shooting guns, and learning how to cope with being pepper sprayed, but he never wanted to become an officer. Albie had his aha moment while at a food show in Manhattan with his uncle. The pair met two women who had been organic syrup dealers but instead decided to bottle the water that is now the blk. product. The women came up with the formula after trying to find something that might help their mother through chemotherapy. “We knew this was a huge opportunity,” says Albie. The brothers decided to put their marketing skills to the test. In addition to its formula, the water has another unique quality that makes it easy to sell: its black color. “We have such a major advantage over anyone else,” Chris says. If it was a transparent beverage like its competitors, potential customers wouldn’t be nearly as curious. People want to know what makes the water black and whether it still tastes like regular water. “They have more questions than we can even explain,” says Chris. Apparently, it’s working. Albie says blk. is selling well coast to coast but especially in California, New York, and New Jersey. Hobokenites can get it at their local Kings Food Market for $1.99 a bottle. After the Manzos got involved with blk. Beverages, they got more business offers. “One thing we’ve learned,” says Albie, “is your life can change in a phone call.” Though still young, the brothers have embraced their new challenges. “I still don’t look at myself as a real grownup yet,” says Chris, “but I definitely realize that I have responsibilities, and I don’t just represent myself anymore. There’s always a lot of balls in the air, but now is the time to do it.” Though the brothers spend a lot of time in the black blk. sprinter van traveling to cities all over the country, they just extended their lease in Hoboken and plan to stay a while. And despite how it may appear to onlookers, their lives haven’t changed that much. “We still go to family dinner every Sunday,” Chris says. “We all cook. There’s always a family fight, then a big family joke, and everybody leaves happy.” While becoming men and businessmen, the brothers have learned a lot from each other. They spend almost 24 hours a day together now, but the only consequence is the occasional silent car ride when they’ve run out of things to talk about. The Manzos say that five years from now, they might still be trying to expand their brands or traveling more for pleasure or maybe even filming their own TV show. Whatever it is, it’ll be big, it’ll be together, and it will be Manzo.—07030

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07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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24 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

PHOTO BY VIRGINIA SHERWOOD/NBC

TODAY IN HOBOKEN

Natalie Morales talks about her childhood traveling the world and how she came to live in Hoboken BY AMANDA STAAB

When Today Show news anchor and co-host Natalie Morales landed her first job at NBC Studios in New York, she knew she wanted to move closer to the city. She and husband Joe Rhodes had a house in Connecticut that was already full of furniture. (They’d come a long way. Years earlier, Rhodes had wooed her with a Valentine’s Day dinner he’d cooked with pots and pans he’d bought on his lunch hour.) They knew downsizing to an apartment would be a challenge. They started looking in Manhattan, but their search expanded to New Jersey. “Everything seemed to be a fixer-upper,” says Morales. Then she set her eyes on a brownstone in Hoboken. “First sight, I fell in love with it,” she says. And a meal at Zafra—now one of her favorite local restaurants—sealed the deal. “I said, ‘This is where we are definitely living,’” she says. HOBOKEN SHOULD BE FLATTERED. MORALES, A striking beauty in her early 40s with dark hair and light eyes, lived on four different continents before she graduated from high school. Her mother is Brazilian. Her father, who is Puerto Rican, dedicated 24 years to the U.S. Air Force, and the family moved every two to three years, which is how Morales breaks down her

own personal timeline. She says when she was in the fourth through sixth grades, she remembers her father gathering the family in front of the TV to watch 60 Minutes every Sunday night, a ritual that would later influence her career choice. But moving around, to Panama, Spain, and Brazil, was hard on Morales. As soon as she made friends in one place, she’d leave with her parents and two sisters to start anew someplace else. Nevertheless, she “grew up” in Madrid, where she lived from ages 12 to 17. But right before her last year in high school, her parents moved the family back to the U.S. to live on a military base in Dover, Delaware. “Dover didn’t have much but the airport space at the time,” says Morales. And going from a major European city to an American suburb was a shock. “I had to learn what it meant to be American at an American high school,” she says. Having lived at the same base for a few years as a child, Morales says she had ideas of what it might be like. “I had all these illusions of football games and cheerleaders,” she says, but her experience wasn’t at all like she’d imagined. Her school didn’t offer the sports she played like soccer or volleyball, and no one was interested in starting a new friend-

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PHOTO BY PAUL DRINKWATER/NBC

ship while wrapping up old ones. “I felt I left a lot behind in Madrid,” she says. The one bright spot was being cast in the lead role in the “The Taming of the Shrew.” NOT BEING ABLE TO PUT DOWN ROOTS TAUGHT Morales how to adjust to new places and people. “It made me all that much stronger,” she says. It was also probably the best education she could have gotten. “It was incredible as a young kid to see the world, and it’s truly what inspired my passion for journalism,” she says. She can pinpoint the moment she decided to pursue that career. It was 1977, when President Jimmy Carter visited Panama to negotiate the Panama Canal Treaty. Morales and her family were living there, and she got to shake Carter’s hand. “I was there for part of history,” she says. “I experienced it.” Decades later, Morales returned to Panama on assignment with the Today Show and used footage her father had kept of that handshake in her final edit. “It’s the amazing way we come full circle in life,” she says. As a journalist, Morales likes to be on the scene, reporting history as it is unfolding. MORALES MAJORED IN JOURNALISM AND LATIN American studies at Rutgers University. Though she had written a few articles for the student newspaper, she was committed to broadcast journalism, but she had a hard time finding a job in her field after graduation. When Chemical Bank in New York City offered her a spot in the management training program, she took it. At the end of the program, participants either continued in banking or went into business. “Or you take my option and leave the industry altogether and follow your heart,” says Morales. And

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her heart was telling her to try journalism. “I knew at that point, I had to go for it,” she says. She got her break working behind the scenes at Court TV. “It was sort of my real foot in the door,” she says. Morales finally got in front of the camera at News 12 the Bronx. She did everything from writing and producing to shooting and anchoring. “I fell in love with it completely,” she says. Morales later became a correspondent for WVIT, a subsidiary of NBC in Hartford, Conn., then for MSNBC and NBC News. NATALIE MORALES’S INTERNATIONAL HERITAGE AND upbringing has influenced her work. “It’s who I am,” she says, “and I think it gives me an incredible perspective on stories that people might otherwise not think about.” She says she is proud to be a Latina and that with the most recent Census, it seems people are realizing Latinos are becoming a majority. “We’re here and we want to do more,” she says. “Give us opportunities. We are capable.” Being able to speak Spanish has been a boon; she’s one of the few bilingual reporters at NBC. “It’s been an amazing advantage to me in telling a lot of stories,” she says. While covering the rescue of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than two months, Morales translated the Chilean president’s speech for NBC News. She says for such a difficult task, she could have used three brains. “I give translators all the credit in the world,” she says. But it was the story itself that really captivated her. “I still can’t believe that all are alive,” she says, “and how they were able to execute the mission to save them and just seeing the passion and being in the desert with their families.” The coverage won Morales a National Headliner Award in 2010.

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AS A REPORTER, SAYS MORALES, people expect you to be unemotional, but for some stories, she’s had a hard time remaining stoic. When CBS news anchor Dan Rather broke down in tears during his appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman six days after the 9/11 attacks, she thanked him. “It was liberating in the sense that a lot of times we can feel like we have to have this tough exterior and just report, report,” she says. But reporters are also human, she says, and sometimes viewers want to see that too. Though Morales is an acclaimed journalist, getting criticized can sometimes get to her. But it also makes her work that much harder. “I always have to keep on my game,” she says, “and make sure I am getting better and better.” Morales starts her day at 4:15 a.m. “I pretty much hit the ground running,” she says. At the studio, she’s busy reading newspapers and newscasts, checking scripts, and rewriting segments. Then, there’s hair and makeup, and the show starts at 7 a.m. “It’s go go go,” she says. But being a part of the show is fun. “One day, I will be interviewing the top newsmaker … then turn around and do a fashion segment,” she says. “It never gets old.” She especially loves to do stories that allow her to travel. She’s looking forward to covering the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where her husband and two boys will accompany her. Though they are still quite young, Josh, 8, and Luke, 3, have already done quite a bit of exploring outside their hometown of Hoboken. “The two of them have more passport visa stamps than I had the first couple of years of my life,” Morales says. But when they are at home with their three rescued pets, they enjoy the lifestyle. Morales loves being able to walk to the park or to a restaurant, and she likes running along the waterfront and sometimes even makes it all the way to the Newport section of Jersey City. Morales says she doesn’t “juggle” work and family. Rather, a wonderful set of Hoboken friends—and one great nanny— catch the proverbial balls she tosses in the air each day. “I am just really lucky,” she says. She’s called Hoboken home for 10 years, and still when she tells people where she lives, she sees disdain on their faces. Morales tells them Hoboken has so much going for it, but she also wouldn’t mind keeping it a secret. “We know how good we have it,” she says. “We don’t need all those Manhattanites to come over and check us out.”—07030

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WORKING OUT WITH 07030

KATE (L.) AND GERI

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WORKING OUT WITH—GERI FALLO Power walking on the waterfront PHOTOS BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH AND ALYSSA BREDIN

In every issue we will be working out with and getting to know an ink-worthy Hobokenite. Find us in the gym, on the bike path, on the yoga mat—you name it. Who’s up next? Stay tuned. When you’re walking with Geri Fallo, don’t expect an uninterrupted workout. As Hoboken’s director of cultural affairs, she knows a lot of people who like to wave and stop for a chat. She loves walking along the waterfront, so we did just that, striding around Shipyard Park, the 14th Street ferry slip, and the pier where the Yankee is tied up. Fallo is a Hoboken native who was brought up in the burbs, lived in North Bergen for a while, then came back in 1990 to live in the town she’s always loved. “People thought I’d always lived here,” Fallo says, “because I was working here and was very involved.” An art school graduate, she was drawn to the art scene in Hoboken. “Artists started moving here,” she recalls, “and they said, ‘You really should come to Hoboken, it’s a cool place,’ and I gravitated here like other artists and musicians.” She wasn’t the first artsy type to find fellow travelers at Maxwell’s. “I’d hang out there and other places in Hoboken, and like everybody else, I fell in love with it.” Though she’s drawn to the city’s old architecture, she loves

what’s happened to the waterfront, and indeed, we wouldn’t be walking here now if it weren’t for all the improvements over the past few years. “When I first came here,” she says, “there wasn’t Pier A, Pier C, Sinatra Park. Go down to Maxwell Place, and there’s a little park there with a lovely boathouse. Now, I can’t imagine living here without them. It’s exciting to see the new waterfront. It’s been very positive for the city.” Many of the events she plans in her capacity as cultural affairs director take place on the waterfront. Another thing Fallo loves is sitting in outdoor cafes when the weather is warm. “Everybody comes out of hibernation,” she says. “I bump into people I know. Since Hoboken is only a mile square, it’s easy to get to know people and feel connected to things going on here.” But one thing she loves about walking on the waterfront is having time to meditate on her own. “I appreciate the Manhattan skyline,” she says, “the breeze, the sun shining off the water, the nature. It feels so calm and peaceful.”—Kate Rounds

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K I DS ON A LEASH

Some folks are outraged when they see toddlers in a harness. Where do you stand? BY AMANDA STAAB PHOTO BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH AND ALYSSA BREDIN

hen my daughter started taking her first steps a few months ago, everything in our apartment posed a new threat. She tripped on uneven tiles, the corners of our couch, her toys, and sometimes her own socks. Now that she has better control of her newfound mobility, I catch her reaching for the oven door handle, leaning over the bathtubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge, and once even hanging off the back of the toilet. Her moments of exploration fill my days with angst, and when I think ahead to future walks on busy Hoboken streets with a toddler who has no fear, I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but consider the possibility of the much-judged safety harness. From First Street to 14th Street, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not uncommon to see a small child running ahead of a parent, or a car running a stop sign. But what is unusual to see on the streets of Hoboken is a child on a leash. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something people shy away from because they think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s absurd to put a leash on a kid,â&#x20AC;? says Selina Aquino, store manager at Bambi Baby on Washington Street. And the stigma, she says, comes from a correlation of leashes to pets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those who come in shopping for it are always afraid to say â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;leash,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? says Aquino. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So I tell them itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a leash, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actually a safety harness.â&#x20AC;? On average, one timid parent a day walks in the store to ask about it, but only one parent a week will actually buy it, and usually thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s because something â&#x20AC;&#x153;really badâ&#x20AC;? has happened. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It takes that initial meltdown that they are like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You know, I am not even going to think twice again,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Aquino says. The safety harnesses the store carries look like little stuffed-animal backpacks. Similar gear on the market is disguised as matching wristbands for parent and child. But no matter the design, the stigma stands. Several parents in town say theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve thought about using a safety harness for their child. Mother of two Rebecca Malinsky admits that the negative connotation made her hesitate to use one for her son, even after she had to stop him from running into the street. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was really scary,â&#x20AC;? she says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and it was one of those times when you could see why a parent would use one.â&#x20AC;? Malinsky says she was eventually able to teach her son boundaries without resorting to a

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safety harness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think for every family, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an option,â&#x20AC;? she says. Between her newborn son who never seemed to like his stroller and her curious two-year-old daughter who wanted to navigate the aisles of CVS on her own, Hoboken mom Amanda Fowler was stressed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My nerves were just absolutely fried,â&#x20AC;? she says. She often worried that her oldest would approach a stranger or an aggressive dog. Then she discovered a monkey backpack safety harness and started using it for her daughter at the mall and airport. Unlike some parents who mentioned theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d gotten looks or comments when using a safety harness in public, Fowler said she hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t noticed anything different in peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attitudes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People could be looking at me,â&#x20AC;? she says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really care.â&#x20AC;? Before she had her daughter, Barbara Geary said she was against safety harnesses for kids: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I always saw people in the mall and thought, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;How horrifying.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Then her child learned to walk, and Geary realized the benefits of using one. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She can run a little bit, and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry about her being snatched up,â&#x20AC;? Geary says. Hoboken clinical psychologist Dr. Jodi B. Streich, Ph.D., says there is nothing wrong with a parent using a safety harness to protect a child. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is perfectly acceptable as long as it is being used properly,â&#x20AC;? she says. The harness could actually serve as a kind of security blanket. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If it gives mom peace of mind and if mom is calm, her child is going to feel that,â&#x20AC;? Streich says. However, parents shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t overuse a safety harness; they should allow the child some freedom to explore on his or her own. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You also want your child to be able to adapt to the world without being tied to something,â&#x20AC;? says Streich. But the safety harness has the potential for becoming the norm. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It might be something like a car seat to some people,â&#x20AC;? Streich says. Common or uncommon, stigma or no stigma, Amanda Fowler says parents should focus on whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important: their childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safety. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be embarrassed when you become a parent,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You just have to buckle up for the ride.â&#x20AC;?â&#x20AC;&#x201D;07030

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THE MUSIC MAN

PEOPLE POWER 07030

The go-to guy for cutting-edge sounds BY ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI PHOTO BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH

PEOPLE POWER 07030 Mention Hoboken to anyone in the music business today, and the first name they bring up is Maxwell’s. And no one has had a stronger influence on the scene there than Todd Abramson, who’s been booking its shows for 23 years. Raised in New Providence, NJ, Abramson’s love of music started early. His first favorite band? “Probably Three Dog Night, because of ‘Joy to the World,’” he says. Next came the Beatles, soon replaced by the Rolling Stones. He listened every week to Scott Muni on WNEW-FM’s “Things from England” and stepped over to British Glam: Slade, Sweet, and T-Rex. In 1983, Abramson moved to Hoboken, drawn in no small part by Maxwell’s, which was opened by Steve Fallon in 1978. Many credit that debut with bringing Hoboken’s first wave of regentrifiers—musicians and other artists. “It’s hard to imagine now, but Maxwell’s served the first brunch in Hoboken,” says Abramson with a wry smile. He was working as a booker for a weekly series at Greenwich Village’s Folk City, which lost its lease and was moving to the East Village. Anticipating some down time, he approached Fallon, who was busy not only with Maxwell’s, but with his label, Coyote Records. Abramson asked if he could do a month booking bands. Fallon said yes. “And I just hung on,” Abramson says. Despite having played such an important role in Hoboken’s music scene, Abramson appears unfazed. Sitting in Maxwell’s amid a forest of upturned chairs, as the floors are mopped around us, he seems to recall every band, every show in detail. In an industry where bigger-than-life personalities vie for attention, he has never been in it for self promotion. His focus has always been on the music. Nor will he take credit for launching the careers of bands he’s booked. “There are a lot of bands, the first time they played here to maybe 10 or 15 people. Some that come to mind are the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Wilco. Then the next time they play, it’s 100, and a couple of months later they’re sold out. But just because Nirvana played here a couple of times doesn’t make us responsible for their success.” Abramson has opened the door for countless bands across many genres, and finds them in many ways. “Discovering new bands, it’s never one thing. Over time I’ve built up a network of agents, managers, friends. People who ... if they’re involved with a band, identify it as quality. People you trust.” And it’s not as simple as going by his tastes. “A lot of the music I cherish isn’t that popular. If you book only according to your taste, your venue won’t last long. But it’s nice when the booker interjects themselves and the club has their musical personality stamped on it.” His favorite show of all time? “There are so many,” he says, “but one show the Cowsills played ... I didn’t know all that much of their stuff but it was just one of those magical nights.” He also points to Yo La Tengo’s yearly “8 Nights of Hanukkah” as a highlight that has now identified them in the public consciousness with Maxwell’s, and vice-versa. Abramson seems to have his ear tuned to what people want. Maxwell’s has been voted “Best Club in New York-Even Though It’s In New Jersey” by the New Yorker and as “Best Reason to Leave the State for Dinner and a Show” by the Village Voice. Abramson co-owns the place with Dave Post of the Swingadelics and Steve Shelley, drummer for Sonic Youth. Will they ever expand

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the brand to another location? He says theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather keep fine-tuning the one they have. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The day you think you know it all, you might as well hang it up.â&#x20AC;? he says. After 25 years, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still learning. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a DJ for 15 years on WFMU, working as ToddO-Phonic Todd. He is now booking for the Bell House in Brooklyn and is the founder of Telstar Records. Has the digital era affected live performance venues? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot easier for fans to have access, to check out a new band,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to go to the local record store. You can find and see new bands on YouTube, download them on iTunes. And we can get the word out about shows a lot easier.â&#x20AC;? That said, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no substitute for the real thing. He recalls a customer emailing to complain about everything heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d experienced one night at the club, from his PATH ride to the sound system. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the magic of live music, Abramson says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you want it to be exactly the same, go listen to the record. Here, there are ... moments that are great, really great. And the failures are memorable.â&#x20AC;? That experience, he says, is irreplaceable.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;07030

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The Itzhak family is slowly making its way down the Hoboken waterfront. After emigrating from Israel, they rented in the Tea building, then bought at the Shipyard, and now own a townhouse at Maxwell Place. Shiri and her husband, Oded, have two kids: Inbar, a girl, 11, and Ori, a boy, 8. “They were sharing a room,” Shiri says, and the family needed more space. Which is exactly what they got in this three-level townhouse with more than 3,000 square feet of space. Walking in the front door, which faces the water, you’re greeted by a light, airy, spare interior, with an open kitchen and living room. A gallery area above is visible from the first level. “We wanted it to be very modern and very sleek,” Shiri says.

07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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HOW WE LIVE 07030 It is definitely that, with walls of bright white and subtle grays that are perfect for displaying their contemporary art. Glass shelves on the ground level display their collection of colorful shot glasses. There’s a huge flat screen TV on one wall and below it a discreet gas fireplace that’s easy to miss unless there is a fire burning in it. Because there are so many windows on the ground floor, facing the street, shades were really important. Interior Motif supplied shades for all three levels. They are off-white in a kind of pleated material, and they go up and down with just a push of a button. On the second level is Inbar’s room, complete with private bath and flat screen TV. Down the hall is the den with another flat screen, wet bar, music area with drums and guitar, and an office with the only vintagelooking piece of furniture in the house.

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HOW WE LIVE 07030 “Crate and Barrel,” Shiri discloses. On the third floor is Ori’s room. It’s bigger than his sister’s but without the flat screen—he’s got his eye on a foosball table. The master bedroom is next door, featuring a huge platform bed and, yes, another flat screen TV. One of the best things about the house is the view. Above the shades are windows, looking out onto the piers and the New York City skyline beyond.

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In the wake of another recent fire in Hoboken...

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42 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

REALTOR

HOW WE LIVE 07030

67 YEARS AND STILL INNOVATING

The Sailing Club AT THE SHIPYARD MARINA

13TH STREET PIER, HOBOKEN

GLEN STOFFEL

candies could be mistaken for refrigerator magnets. But, like any factory in Hoboken, this one brings us back to our charmed industrial past. Enter Zabrina and Glen Stoffel who bought the building about four years ago. It had already been renovated, and Zabrina says they haven’t done much to it. “I love to look at people’s houses,” Zabrina says, articulating the reason we actually do this feature. She saw the property on a listserv and encouraged Glen to go and see it. Zabrina relates that as soon as Glen walked in the door, he said, “We’re buying this house.” Here are the facts: It has three bedrooms and three bathrooms. But, like any interesting space, there is more to it than that.

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You enter through a huge kitchen with one brick wall. A wooden staircase leads to the bedrooms, where there are separate rooms for the kids, ages 5 and 7. The place is huge—3,550 square feet with a 1,100-square-foot courtyard, a study off the upper deck, and a two-car garage. Of course, any Hobokenite will salivate over that last feature. Landscaper Valerie Hufnagel has been called in to consult about that fabulous courtyard. What remains from the old marzipan factory? A framed packing box, left to the Stoffels by the previous owners. Zabrina says it will always stay with the house, no matter who owns it. “I feel so fortunate to live in this house right in the middle of town, with the parking space and the outside space,” Zabrina says. “Every time I walk in this house, I feel happy.”

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44 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

HOW WE LIVE 07030

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HOW WE LIVE 07030

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WILLOW TERRACE PHOTOS COURTESY OF MINERVINI VANDERMARK ARCHITECTURE

How many people can say that they have bloggers blogging about their house? Architect Anthony Vandermark for one. Vandermark and his wife, Sasha DeGennaro, were walking their two dogs, Leo and Wilson, when they noticed a tiny, handwritten for-sale sign on one of the houses in Willow Terrace, the fabled cobblestoned enclave built in the late 1890s. “Every time we passed by, my wife said that we should buy that house,” Vandermark says. “She said it would be great for my career.” That was about four years ago, and the rest is history. “It was a long process,” Vandermark says. “We had to seek approval from Zoning for the expansion of a ‘nonconforming structure.’” By nonconforming, they meant the beautiful contemporary arrangement of geometric shapes, ironspot brick, cedar, light, and glass that Vandermark built among the traditional 19th century rowhouses.

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HOW WE LIVE 07030

“There was a very large blog on Hoboken 411,” Vandermark says. “Everyone had opinions about the architecture and chimed in on what they thought it should be.” But the house, which has three bedrooms and two and a half baths with outdoor space on each of three levels, must be doing something right. On the Hoboken house tour, Vandermark says that in four or five hours, 850 people came through the house. Though he had two nervous breakdowns while building it, Vandermark says, “I love living in it. I love most looking at something every day that I created. It gives me great pride and satisfaction.” ANTHONY VANDERMARK AND SASHA DEGENNARO

50 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

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HOW WE LIVE 07030

PHOTO OF ADAM AND KASIA BLOOM BY MICHAEL WILSON

52 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

HOW WE LIVE 07030

GARDEN STREET LOFTS PHOTOS BY KASIA BLOOM

Kasia and Adam Bloom and their 19month-old daughter moved into their third-floor loft from the Upper West Side in Manhattan about a year ago. Adam had been reverse commuting, and the time was right. “We fell in love with the building and the loft,” he says. The building, developed by Bijou Properties, was the former Baker’s Coconut factory and is eco friendly. “All the insulation is reclaimed denim, the floors are bamboo, and purified air is pumped in 24 hours a day,” Adam says. The rooftop, with grass, plants, and flowers, is especially beautiful in spring and summer. The 2,100-square-foot space has three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, and 12-foot ceilings. “The style is modern with a very comfortable home feeling,” Adam says. “It has old concrete beams and concrete columns throughout.” Though it has an artsy, lofty feel, the space is family friendly with closet space and everything to “support a growing family for the rest of our lives,” Adam says.

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GARDEN STREET LOFTS

54 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

HOW WE LIVE 07030

In just a year, the Blooms have made lots of friends in Hoboken. “It’s a small town that sits on the river overlooking New York City everywhere you walk,” Adam says. “It’s a clean, comfortable, quiet, mellow environment with lots of like-minded people at similar places in their lives. It caters to young families, and we love it.”

YANKEE PHOTOS BY VICTORIA MACKENZIECHILDS

This early 20th century ferry boat has been a fixture at the Shipyard at 13th Street for the last eight years. Richard and Victoria MacKenzie-Childs have been her loving crew since 2002, when they brought it across the river from Pier 25 in Tribeca. When the Yankee was built in 1907, her mission was to bring wealthy New Yorkers to the Calendar Islands off Maine. “She was the fanciest ferry boat,” MacKenzie-Childs says. She still is—not just fancy—but a nostalgic paean to a bygone era. When immigration exploded in the early 20th century, the Yankee was used to ferry third-class passengers from their ships anchored out at sea to Ellis Island. 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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YANKEE

VICTORIA MACKENZIE CHILDS

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HOW WE LIVE 07030 At 1,505 feet in length, with a 310-foot beam, she can hold as many 2,500 passengers. In her 4,000 square feet of space are three heads, a galley and a half, promenade, quarters for crew, many separate salons, and generators below decks. Richard and Victoria are artists, and there is plenty of studio space for both of them. “We never stop working on it,” Victoria says. “Our focus is on renovation and saving the Yankee. Any boat not used goes down. If it’s not renovated it goes to reefage.” Not likely with this vessel. Signs of life include a thriving barge garden with plants growing inside tires that were once used for fenders. Victoria calls it her polka dot garden. There are also nesting hens who supply the crew with fresh eggs. Victoria envisions a future in which the Yankee could be used as a think tank. “Fresh ideas could fuel good for mankind,” she says. Interviews by Kate Rounds

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HOW WE WORK 07030

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The idea behind this year-old business is deceptively simple. It rents reusable plastic bins to residential and commercial clients who are moving. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We deliver the bins, unpack the things when you move, and pick up the empty bins,â&#x20AC;? says co-partner Stephanie LeBlanc. LeBlanc and partner Cliff Godfrey had convenience and the environment in mind when they started the enterprise in 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not wasting paper boxes, figuring out how to clean them, or where to buy them,â&#x20AC;? LeBlanc says. LeBlanc and Godfrey met at Stevens Institute of Technology. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was going back and forth from Brooklyn and using plastic bins to carry things back and forth,â&#x20AC;? LeBlanc says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the space to store them, and I figured I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the only one with the issue.â&#x20AC;? Thus, the idea for Bin There, Store That was hatched. LeBlanc has a day job in digital advertising, and Godfrey is a project manager with the Newark Housing Authority. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The rental market in Hoboken, New York, and other urban areas is so great that the opportunity is there to do it fulltime,â&#x20AC;? LeBlanc says. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also planning to â&#x20AC;&#x153;fulfill the name of the business by providing storage,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll store the filled bins, so you never have to set foot in a storage facility.â&#x20AC;? If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the kind of person who grabs cardboard boxes from the back of the

HOW WE WORK 07030

nearest liquor store, think again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the age of bed bugs, that has to be completely wiped out,â&#x20AC;? LeBlanc says. The companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest hurdle? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Getting people to change their mindset about cardboard boxes to something cleaner and more convenient,â&#x20AC;? LeBlanc says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once they hear about it, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hey, that makes sense.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?

BRICKS 4 KIDZ MONROE CENTER 720 MONROE ST. UNIT E505 (201) 747-7070 BRICKS4KIDZ.COM Talk about bricks and mortar. A year ago, Della Markferding hooked up with a franchise that uses LEGOÂŽ bricks to teach kids about architecture and engineering. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kids ages six and up learn math and science, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for how things work,â&#x20AC;? she says. The franchise supplies model plans designed by architects and engineers with themes such as space, construction, and amusement parks. The kids take it from there in hands-on classes in which they learn about everything from gears and motors to catapults and windmills. If they choose to build a windmill, they learn, not just how to build one, but how they work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was looking to change careers from bookkeeping,â&#x20AC;? Markferding says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was thinking of opening a Montessori school, but the Bricks 4 Kidz franchise kept popping up, and it had the word LEGOÂŽ in it, which I knew had an educational benefit.â&#x20AC;? Markferding has two kids, ages four and eight, and she wanted to be able to spend time with them. She eventually rented a space in the Monroe Center and signed up to teach the after-school enrichment classes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My four-year-old loves it,â&#x20AC;? Markferding says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t read the directions, but he can look at the pictures and know where the pieces go. Self-expression is encouraged, and his creativity is coming out.â&#x20AC;?

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HOW WE WORK 07030

PETE GONZALEZ

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work HOW WE

60 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

“This has been a hobby of mine for some time,” says owner Pete Gonzalez. That’s why he started the business last year. He offers saltwater and freshwater fish that are “flown in from all over the world,” he says. They hail from Australia, the Philippines, and Singapore, among other places. The most popular fish? The clownfish. This makes sense when you figure that Nemo is a clownfish, and all the kids want one. Gonzalez has 80 different varieties, starting as low as $2 for a freshwater specimen. A lot of parents go for fish because dogs are too high maintenance. “For those who don’t want to maintain the tank, we make house calls,” Gonzalez says. “You have to clean the tank once a month. People think you have to empty out the whole tank, but you just have to remove 25 percent of the water.” The Fish Emporium sells all the fish gear you could want, including tanks, filters, fish food, sand, gravel, and that little fish furniture you can stick in the bottom of the tank. Most people buy the 10-gallon tanks, but, says Gonzalez, “the old-fashioned goldfish bowls still sell well.”

HOW WE WORK 07030

ANTHONY LENARDO

HOBOKEN GOLD AND DIAMONDS 115 WASHINGTON ST. (201) 659-0486 HOBOKENGOLDANDDIAMONDS.COM

$3,000 or for $10,000. “It depends on the quality of the diamond,” Lenardo says. “The average price is $8,000.” Satisfied customers are his main goal. “If they don’t like something, we remake it,” he says. “We want them to be happy with it. It’s rewarding to design something they want for the rest of their lives.”

Before you get on bended knee, you might want to check in with Hoboken Gold and Diamonds. This Washington Street jeweler has been around for 30 years, and is the last word in custom-made engagement rings and wedding bands. Anthony Lenardo’s father opened the store in 1982, and Anthony has been on board the whole time. “Most of our work is in custom-made rings,” he says. “We have a lot of rings in stock, and customers will pick things from three different rings, or they will bring in a picture of a ring.” Jewelers on site then execute the design. You can get a three-carat diamond for 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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RALPH MORRISSEY WITH HIS STAFF

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HOW WE WORK 07030

ACADEMICS

LEADERSHIP

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MORRISSEYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MOVING & STORAGE CO. 38 JACKSON ST. (201) 222-1224 MORRISSEYMOVINGCOMPANY.COM

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Ralph Morrisseyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family has been in Hoboken since 1920. Most were longshoremen, but Morrissey has always been into moving. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the Army I was always getting things from point A to point B,â&#x20AC;? he says. Though he moves shipments all over the United States and out of the country, 60 percent of his business is in Hoboken and Jersey City. He does nine jobs a day in the two towns. Even in the bad economy, business was good. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People were downsizing,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and a lot of people lost jobs or took pay cuts, and they were moving back with mom and dad.â&#x20AC;? When people move, the storage arm of his business also prospers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lot of stuff they canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t take,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;or they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to do with it.â&#x20AC;? Anyone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ever hired a moving company knows that the work is backbreaking. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t for those people, we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be so successful,â&#x20AC;? Morrissey says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are so dedicated and honest and hardworking. If someone asks them to do something they smile and do it. If we have to move something 10 times to make the client happy, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll do it.â&#x20AC;?

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ODD FELLOWS, ELKS, AND EATING SOCIETIES

ARCHIVES AND ARTIFACTS 07030

Hoboken’s clubs are legendary PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HOBOKEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM

ELKS CLUB rom as early as the 1700s, Hoboken has been fertile ground for social clubs—from eating and drinking societies to civic, arts, and sports clubs. Some groups built impressive club headquarters. The Brotherhood of the Paternal Order of Elks at 1005 Washington St. is still going strong. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which no longer has a local chapter, met at a building that stood at 412-414 Washington St., which until recently housed a Blockbuster video store at street level. The Columbia Club at 11th and Bloomfield Streets, designed in the “Richardson Romanesque” style, was built in 1891 by some of the most prominent men in Hoboken. The club, which promoted cultural and civic improvement projects, featured spacious, mahogany-paneled rooms for billiards, receptions, and lectures, and bowling lanes in the basement. Within 20 years the group had disbanded, and the building was taken over for a few decades by one of the many Masonic lodges in town. In the 1980s, the building was restored and converted into four condominiums that retain many of the original architectural details. The clubhouse of the Hudson County Pigeon Club (HCPC), at 358 Newark St., still stands. Founded in 1922, the group built the

F

64 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

current clubhouse after World War II. HCPC once had more than 70 members and sponsored the Hoboken Derby, one of the most famous pigeon races in North America. Members kept pigeon coops on rooftops, much like the one seen in On the Waterfront. The club is much smaller these days, as pigeon coops have largely been replaced with central air conditioning compressors. It now rents its facilities to The Pigeon Club recording studio. Hoboken resident Vinnie Torre has shared his memories of the group’s glory days in an oral history chapbook, “The Pigeon Guys,” available at the Hoboken Historical Museum or downloadable on hobokenmuseum.org. Other former clubhouses have been replaced by modern interpretations of the original. The Union Club at Sixth and Hudson Streets, built by the Deutscher Club in 1863-64, changed its name to the Union Club during World War I when German-Americans were closely monitored on suspicion of espionage. The club was later bought and run by the Samperi family, and converted to condos in the 1980s. The current building features a columned portico that echoes the original. In Maxwell Place Park is a structure built to resemble one that was built at about that location in 1845—the New York Yacht

ARCHIVES AND ARTIFACTS 07030 ELKS CLUB

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ARCHIVES AND ARTIFACTS 07030

DEUTSCHER CLUB

Club. Hobokenite John Cox Stevens, son of Hoboken founder Col. John Stevens, was its first commodore. He and his brother, Edwin, helped design the legendary yacht America. In 1851, the brothers were members of the crew that sailed the America to Britain, capturing the coveted America’s Cup. The original NYYC clubhouse has been relocated twice and now sits on property owned by the group in Newport, RI. One of Hoboken’s earliest recorded social groups dates to 1796, when scores of gourmands came from all over the region to feast on turtle soup and a smorgasbord of other delicacies. Turtle Club members’ drinking habits were so prodigious as to attract the attention of New York Times reporters.

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To learn more about our town’s clubs, visit the Hoboken Historical Museum.—Melissa Abernathy, communications and volunteer coordinator, Hoboken Historical Museum. Hoboken Historical Museum 1301 Hudson St. (201) 656-2240 hobokenmuseum.org “I Belong: A History of Hoboken Social Clubs” July 29-December 23 The museum will be closed July 1-28.

ARCHIVES AND ARTIFACTS 07030

ODD FELLOWS’ HALL

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PHOTO BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH

YOU WENT WITH YOUR MOTHER??!! 10 Hoboken things to do with your kids before they’re embarrassed to be seen with you BY ARLENE PHALON BALDASSARI

PHOTO BY TIMOTHY CARROLL

BEFORE KIDS ONLY WANT TO HANG OUT WITH THEIR FRIENDS OR RACK UP POINTS ON THE WII, THEY JUST MIGHT WANT TO JOIN YOU FOR THESE UNIQUELY HOBOKEN ACTIVITIES.

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Take them to Leo’s Grandezvous (200 Grand St.) and show them the pictures of Frank Sinatra. Give them a handful of quarters and let them pick Sinatra songs from the jukebox. A pizza bar pie costs just a little over $3.00.

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Go to Carlo’s Bake Shop (95 Washington St.) for some crumb cake or cannoli, because out-of-towners always ask your kids if they’ve been there. Big hint: Show a valid ID with a Hoboken address and you get to skip the line. Diehard Cake Boss fans can sign up for a cake-decorating class. Visit the waiting room in the Erie Lackawanna Station (1 Hudson Place), pointing out the renovated and restored stained glass ceiling by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It’s like stepping back in time. Then play them the YouTube video of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World.” The terminal was also used as a location in many other films and videos, including Julie and Julia. 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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PHOTO COURTESY OF STEVENS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

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Across from the riverside skate park is the entrance to Sybil’s Cave. Explain that in the 1800s, Hoboken’s waterfront was developed as a resort, and Manhattanites would take a ferry to stroll along the river and pay a penny a glass for the spring water, thought to have healthful properties. Eventually the water was deemed “unfit for human consumption.”

Schnackenberg’s Luncheonette is a destination on its own. It was founded in 1931 at 1110 Washington Street by Dora and Henry Schnackenberg, and not much has changed in the last eight decades. The handmade chocolates made in its vintage molds are not to be missed.

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Hoboken isn’t usually thought of as a college town, but Stevens Institute has lots of programs open to the community. Sign the kids up for swimming lessons in the indoor pool, or the free lacrosse clinics held by students hoping to start a youth league. Or just walk through one of the most beautiful campuses around, and check out the view from the cannon at Castle Point.

PHOTO BY MARIAH DE BENEDETTO

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Fishing off the piers has been such a tradition here that when the piers were rebuilt, special gutting sinks were installed. Bring the kids to play on Pier A (100 Sinatra Dr.), and if you see someone cleaning his or her catch, ask if the kids can watch. Guts and gore are always a thrill.

Walk or run, bike or scooter, all the way up from Pier A to 14th Street. (It’s actually 1.4 miles).

Ask to tour the firehouse on Washington Street between 13 and 14th streets. Kids love the shiny trucks, bells, and all the other firefighting gear. Firefighters are usually happy, not only to show kids around, but to teach them about fire safety. (See “Point and shoot” page 18.)

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How many towns have a Little League Field (401 Hudson St.) with the New York City skyline in the background? Introduce toddlers to the fun of the game by letting them watch the big kids play. And what better place than in Hoboken, where the game was reportedly invented? The snack stand sells hotdogs and popsicles. —07030 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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SEXERCISING

What’s the magnet that keeps clients coming back to exercise classes? Could it be??? PHOTOS BY HOWELL VILLAMAYOR

ure, you want to get rid of the gut and tighten the triceps, but it could be something else that’s drawing you to those exercise classes. It begins with “s,” and it’s not sweat. It’s definitely good for business, and in the case of fitness trainers, it might be good for your health, as well. Some clients, says Noel Descalzi, “definitely follow certain instructors. They look for an instructor who’s super inspiring or motivating, who gets you going, or has a physical appeal. They’re trying indirectly to be like them or look like them. They get hooked on someone and come back every week.” Descalzi is the 25-year-old creator of Work it Out Fitness Studio on Willow Avenue. “There’s a fine line between workout attire and sexy attire,” she says. “You can’t be too provocative with low, low cleavage with everything hanging out. There has to be some type of balance.” Her studio attracts mainly women, “the type of person who doesn’t want to be around people who are looking at them. They’re not putting on a show for anybody,” she says. The clientele that she draws want to have fun and incorporate training into their lifestyles. “They might look like crap after work,” Descalzi

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says, “and want to let it out and not feel pressure in the gym.” In fact, Descalzi says, the whole “s” thing is “in complete opposition” to the environment she has created at Work it Out. “Instead of boot camp we have ‘Next Stop Skinny,’” she says. “It’s cutesy and girly. There are no men in the class.” Though Descalzi grew up in Secaucus, she says, “I’ve had a lifelong relationship with and emotional connection to Hoboken. I’ve watched it change into what it is now, a baby town with strollers, new families, new mothers, and people with yoga mats. From a business standpoint, I like the direction it’s going in.” AND SPEAKING OF THOSE YOGA MATS, JOCELYN Krasner is a Hoboken-based yoga instructor and holistic health counselor. She emphasizes that yoga is not an exercise but a practice. “It’s natural if you are a teacher for your students to be inspired by you,” she says. “They look up to you. You’re a special person in their lives.” Krasner was in advertising for 20 years, an environment in which “sexy” could apply to anything from a concept to a Cadillac. If yoga is sexy, it’s in that context. “We do some sort of physical

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LARRY LAGMAN (THIRD FROM RIGHT), HOBOKEN FIT CAMP

activity so we can get in shape and stay in shape,” Krasner says, “and we attach looking good to being fit. A student may want to go to yoga class to be more fit and a sexier person, but that’s not why I teach yoga.” Yoga is not sexual in the normal sense. “Sexuality in the yoga room doesn’t belong,” she says. “As teachers we have a responsibility to be really careful.” Language can be a big bugaboo for both yoga instructors and fitness trainers. For some reason, the body part technically known as buttocks gets a lot of attention, and instructors use a lot of “b” words to describe it: bum, butt, and bootie, to name the top three. It’s the last of those that carries the most “s”-word baggage, as Krasner found out the hard way. “I did a weekend retreat in the Berkshires,” Krasner relates, “and when I was looking through the forms they fill out, they said how much they liked the weekend, all was fabulous, but one person made a comment about the use of the word bootie. Languaging is my strength as a teacher, so I’d come up with new words for talking about the butt, like bum, rear, bootie. I had no clue that the word had a connotation of sex. People are sensitive. I had no idea it was an offensive word.” For the record, the standard dictionary says that bootie means buttocks, but is “potentially offensive, usually objectionable.” The friskier Urban Dictionary says that bootie means “a woman with a healthy fleshy ass.” Other definitions are not printable in family lifestyle magazines. HOBOKEN NATIVE LARRY LAGMAN runs Hoboken Fit. He also makes house calls and teaches classes on Pier A, weather permitting. Ninety percent of his clients are women.

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“All my clients talk about their personal life,” he says, “where they’re going, their jobs, private things—‘my husband notices that I’m getting skinnier and I’m more attractive to him.’” Lagman says that his clients are 100 percent comfortable with him and vice versa. “When I say, ‘stick your butt out a little more,’ it’s a professional talking to them, and they’re comfortable with that.” It’s the nature of the beast that you sometimes have to touch a client in order to correct their form. But, stresses Lagman, “Always ask before going out there and touching them. That’s appropriate.” He also wears suitable attire. “I always dress appropriately in shorts and workout gear,” he says. But a little vamping is okay. “Flirting with clients makes them feel sexier and good about themselves,” Lagman says. “That’s exactly what I want. I want them to feel good about themselves.” That’s what motivates them to stay fit. “They love the workout, and they love talking to the trainer,” Lagman says. “That’s why they come to me and want to see me.” TRAINER NANCY TRUPPNER DOESN’T FLIRT WITH clients, but, she says, “I do have those who are attracted to the person who’s training them, but I’ve never had any relationship while training a client. I keep it strictly client/trainer.” She says a lot of people go to the gym for other reasons besides getting fit and healthy. “A lot of them have gotten out of relationships, and they want to start something new and make new friends,” she says. “Sometimes friends turn into relationships.” But, she says, most people “go to the gym to train hard, and they don’t look at clothes.” She describes herself as a “Nike kind of girl,” meaning she does

She describes herself as a “Nike kind of girl,” meaning she does not wear pretty sneakers. Truppner says she does “a lot of butt work because everyone wants a tight tuche.” She herself is a kick-butt 51-yearold Hoboken native. Though she says some of her clients look at her as a mother figure, most mothers are not like her. They say, “My mom would never get up and do this, and she’s 42!” Truppner says, “I don’t think I’m hot, I don’t see it, but people say, ‘She’s gorgeous for her age.’” Having a thing for the trainer can be good for your physical fitness. If clients “like the way I teach class, they do form a bond,” Truppner says. “They do better if they like me, and if they do feel a crush, they work better.”—Kate Rounds 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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MONROE CENTER ROCKS WEST SIDE STORY 07030

Moving forward while keeping the faith

PHOTOS BY VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

Progress has not always been kind to artists. Habitually cashstrapped artists often fall prey to tone-deaf developers or aesthetically challenged landlords who transform artists’ colonies into condos or shopping malls. About a year ago, Hershy Weiss’s Basad Realty took ownership of the Monroe Center. This artists’ enclave at 720 Monroe St. had fallen on hard times, and tenants were nervous. A lot has happened since then. Last fall, one of the lobbies was renovated, and three new retailers are coming online. Iggy and Frieda Sciancalepore are opening Affamato, an Italian pizzeria with a wood-burning oven. Prime Markets, with seven locations in Jersey City and Hoboken, will be opening an upscale market with organic products and produce. Finally, La Isla restaurant on Washington Street is opening a new place at the Monroe Center in the former Shades space.

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The center’s current retailers include Pleasant Road Spa, The Cheese Store, and Hoboken Bootcamps. “Our vision is for a vibrant, active arts center,” says Weiss. “We want to make it a destination with a mix of retail, restaurants, businesses, and artists’ events.” Events include the Digable Arts Festival, Hoboken Book Fair, and performances by one of three theater companies on site. “We have events every week,” Weiss says. “There’s always something happening.” Among the theater tenants are Mile Square Theatre, Hoboken’s Children’s Theater, and The Theater Company. The center houses about 25 artists’ studios, as well as some spaces that are shared by as many as eight artists. “I was trying to come up with a way to make artists’ space more affordable,” Weiss says. Last winter, the Hob’art gallery finally found a permanent

WEST SIDE STORY 07030

home in the Monroe Center. For years it had been a nomadic cooperative, moving from one place to another. At press time, another gallery called the Palette was poised to open. “We’re getting a lot of support from tenants, and there is a great sense of community in the building,” Weiss says. “Our vision is materializing.” There’s synergy between the center and the town. “Hoboken is a very vibrant, young, and hip community,” Weiss says. “It’s absolutely the right place for the center, and the center is the right thing for Hoboken.”—Kate Rounds

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BOATS ‘N‘ BELLINIS

ON THE WATERFRONT 07030

All hands on deck at the Shipyard Marina PHOTOS BY TERRIANN SAULINO BISH

The 13th Street Pier will be really hopping this summer. The Applied Development Company is “reinvesting in the marina,” says Applied project manager Colin Leary. The marina has 85 slips, which can be rented by the season, month, week, or day. For those of you who may be fantasizing about being Sleepless in Hoboken, there are no live-aboards! The marina, which is owned by Applied, has been in operation for about a decade, and the Shipyard was developed in the early to mid-1990s. Sailing anyone? “We bought some new boats and are rehabbing some others and will have a fleet of five sailing boats,” Leary says. The fleet includes J/24 boats, as well as a French-designed Archambault racing boat.

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All this is to draw boating enthusiasts to the Hoboken Sailing Club. “We’re putting some energy into getting members,” Leary says. “We’re getting the marina into shape for the season.” Folks who want to learn to sail or just beef up their skills can take sailing lessons. In order to become a member of the club, you have to take a boating safety course. The season starts in May and runs through Oct. 31. Visit shipyardmarina.com for more information on the sailing club and all the other amenities the marina offers.

WHITE WITH FOAM After a hard day negotiating the swells and the winds and the currents and the white caps on the Hudson, how about a cold

ON THE WATERFRONT 07030 brew at the Pier Garden? That’s right, this waterside watering hole, which opened around Memorial Day, is the perfect spot to chill out on a summer day or evening. Future plans call for food service at the Pier Garden, but until then a fleet of taco trucks and other food trucks is slated to take up the slack. “We’re also working with an architect to renovate the interior of the boathouse,” Leary says. Eventually, food service may be offered in the boathouse. Using other local waterfronts as a model, such as Battery Park City, South Street Seaport, and the Frying Pan in Manhattan, the Shipyard Marina could feature movie nights, games for kids, and other fun stuff in its future. The pier, which is 675 feet long with 275 feet of grass at the end, lends itself to creative possibilities. But, says Leary, “We want to keep it simple, and let the space do the talking. The biggest thing about Pier 13 is obviously its location, the unique atmosphere, and the breathtaking views of New York City. It’s a unique spot in Hoboken, and we hope to bring a lot of people to it.”—Kate Rounds FRENCH DESIGNED ARCHAMBAULT RACING BOAT

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D A T E S

Want your event listed? Please email us at 07030@hudsonreporter.com and put “07030 calendar listings” in the subject line.

VENUES Elk’s Club 1005 Washington Street (201) 656-9602 This classic club, with the iconic elk out front, offers function space and the Edwin J. Chius Grill Room. Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Terminal 1 Hudson Place Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1907 Beaux Arts building has been beautifully restored. The waiting room has been featured in such movies as Julie and Julia. It is not only a must for sightseers, it also is a hub for the light rail, trains, and ferries. Hoboken Historical Museum 1301 Hudson St. (201) 656-2240 hobokenmuseum.org Located in the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard building, the museum hosts rotating exhibits and educational lectures. It was founded in 1986 to educate the public about Hoboken’s history, culture, and historic landmarks. Scores of events are planned for the spring and summer, including art exhibits, jazz performances, and a tomato-tasting festival. Contact the museum for dates. Open Tuesday-Thursday, 2-7 p.m., Friday 1-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday noon-5 p.m.

Maxwell’s Bar & Restaurant 1039 Washington Street (201) 798-0406 maxwellsnj.com This legendary Hoboken night spot is famous for its music scene, featuring cutting edge bands and musicians. Mile Square Theatre 720 Monroe St., Suite E202 (201) 683-7014 milesquaretheater.org This professional theater group based in Hoboken performs plays and musicals including the annual original production “The 7th Inning Stretch,” a collection of plays about baseball by well-known writers.

PENCI L IT I N Manhattan and is adjacent to the historic Erie-Lackawanna train terminal. It is connected to the Hudson River Walkway, a public walkway that spans the Mile-Square City along the scenic waterfront and continues to parts of Jersey City and along the Palisade cliffs to Fort Lee. Pier C Park Frank Sinatra Drive (201) 420-2207 hobokennj.org Bike, jog, or walk along the river walk at Pier C. This newly refurbished open space is an urban oasis, with views of Manhattan and the always-exciting boat traffic on the Hudson River. Easy access to a playground for kids.

ONGOING

Monroe Center for the Arts 720 Monroe St. (201) 795-5000 monroecenter.com Monroe Center features a diverse group of artists, designers, and specialty retail stores in a spacious former factory building. In addition to artist spaces, the center offers classes and hosts a series of art shows, talks, and screenings throughout the year.

Movies Under the Stars, Pier A Park, First Street and Frank Sinatra Drive, (201) 420-2207. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, 9 p.m., free, June 13, 20, 27; July 11, 18, 25; Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, 8 p.m. Fitness in the Park, Pier A Park, First Street and Sinatra Drive. Free classes, hosted by a different fitness facility each week, 7-8 p.m. June 4, 11, 18, 25; July 9, 16, 23; Aug. 6, 13, 20, 27.

Pier A Park First Street and Frank Sinatra Drive (201) 420-2207 hobokennj.org This park on the Hudson River has stunning views of

Family Fun Nights, Shipyard Park. Free performances and entertainment for children, 7-8 p.m., June 5, 12, 19, 26; July 10, 17, 24, 31; Aug. 7, 14, 21.

Sinatra Park Concert Series, 6:30-9 p.m., June 7, 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26; Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23. Summer Concerts in Church Square Park, Wednesday nights in June, July and August, 7-9 p.m.

JUNE Our Lady of Grace Fest, Church Square Park, June 2 -3. Confirm. (201) 6510369. The Sounds of Hoboken, June 9-10, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Musical celebration in city parks, local galleries, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Sinatra Idol Contest, Sinatra Park on Frank Sinatra Drive between Fourth and Fifth Streets, June 14 (rain date, June 15), 6:30 p.m. Prizes awarded to the best Sinatra imitators. Free. 10th Annual 7th Inning Stretch, Mile Square Theatre, 720 Monroe St., Seven 10minute plays about baseball, June 15 -16, 8 p.m., June 17, 3 p.m. Hoboken Secret Garden Tour, June 3 (rain date, June 10), 10 a.m.-4 p.m., starts at the Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, guided two-hour tour, $25 ($20 for members). Church Square Park Concerts, Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m.

JULY Kayaking days, Maxwell Place Park, Maxwell Place and Frank Sinatra Drive, (201) 420-2207. Kayaking on the Hudson on sit-on-top kayaks. No experience required. 1- 6 p.m. Free. St. Ann’s Festival, between Seventh and Eighth Streets, from Adams to Madison Streets, Hoboken, July 20-26, (201) 659-1114. Church Square Park Concerts, Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m.

AUGUST Heirloom Tomato-Tasting Festival, Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240. Annual festival featuring tastings of locally grown tomatoes. Aug. 26, 1-5 p.m. Free. Spaghetti Dinner Block Party, on the walkway along Frank Sinatra Drive from First to Second Streets, Aug. 30, 5-8 p.m. Church Square Park Concerts, Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m.

SEPTEMBER Hoboken Italian Festival, Feast of the Madonna Dei Martiri, Sept. 6-9, Sinatra Park, on Frank Sinatra Drive between Fourth and Fifth Streets. Hoboken Fall Arts and Music Festival, Sept. 30.

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EATERIES 07030

THE FIG TREE PHOTOS BY BETH DICARA

Talk about hot off the press. The Fig Tree had been open for only two days when we stopped by for dinner on a beautiful spring evening. But it seemed as if they’d already gotten all the kinks out. If you’re walking along tree-lined Park Avenue between Fourth and Third Streets, you might miss this classy, upscale eatery. The understated façade in tones of metallic copper, black, and gray, with its discreet sign, is recessed from the street, down a few steps from the sidewalk level. The interior repeats the elegant motif. The décor is sleek contemporary in subtle shades of gray and white. We ate in the airy front room, right near the window. But the restaurant goes way back to a spacious dining area with a gas fireplace and

beyond that, a room for private dining. Owner Gerry Farrelly, who also owns Zack’s, the Oak Bar and Restaurant at 232 Willow, is a friendly, gregarious Irishman who recounts how he wanted The Fig Tree to have a West Village feel. “It’s not a place for kids,” he says. “It’s a place for parents to come alone and talk about their kids.” Indeed, it has a refined, adult, whitetablecloth ambience with candles and fresh flowers but still friendly and inviting. And you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the prices.

DINNER IS SERVED Wine lovers will revel in the The Fig Tree’s extensive wine list. But photog-

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EATERIES 07030

rapher Beth DiCara and I chose from the restaurant’s craft beer list. Farrelly emphasizes that there are no Bud Lights and no TV at the bar. We selected a Smuttynose IPA and Victory Prima. We were given a complimentary teaser of octopus and ceviche on a taco chip, followed by cornbread with cheddar and chives, served with a delicious combo of butter and honey. For an appetizer we ordered yellowfin tuna tartare, which came sculpted in a mélange of edamame, avocado, sesame, mint, and Thai chili vinaigrette, held together with light and crispy filo. Fish is a specialty of the house. Beth ordered butter-poached lobster with fennel bread pudding, sea beans, runner beans, heirloom radishes, and parsley beurre blanc. Consisting of just the most delectable parts—the tail and the claws—it did not look like a large portion, but Beth nevertheless had to take some home. I chose Atlantic hake, served with melted leeks, Bouchon mussels, applewood smoked bacon, and lemon beurre blanc. It was a light, flaky white fish, brought to life by the synthesis of flavors surrounding it.

FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION A word about presentation: Executive Chef Milton Enriquez is a real artist. Every dish was painstakingly arranged with scrupulous attention to shape and color, as well as to taste. For dessert we ordered a chocolate mousse cake which came with a sauce of mixed berries. Due to a fortuitous mistake by the chef, we were also served a peanut butter chocolate cake that came with caramel popcorn and coffee ice cream. Two smooth decaf lattes topped off this exquisite dining experience. The staff was perfect for this chic establishment. Lauren, the hostess, seemed like a pro even though it was her first day at work. Kristine was a knowledgeable and friendly server, and Luis bussed with efficiency. Oh, and by the way, there is a fig tree somewhere on the premises and lots of pictures of figs and fig leaves on the walls. —Kate Rounds The Fig Tree 306-308 Park Ave. (201) 420-0444 thefigtreehoboken.com 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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TEXAS TALENT

SOUNDING OFF 07030

BY TODD ABRAMSON

IN EARLY JUNE, ALEJANDRO’S new album, Big Station, was released on Fantasy Records. Many of the songs were previewed during blistering live performances at Austin’s SXSW music festival last March. Big Station is his third consecutive album to feature lyrical collaborations with Chuck Prophet, a fine San Francisco-based songwriter whose band, Green on Red, was making the rounds the same time as Rank and File. As he ventures into his sixties, Alejandro’s passion only increases. His drive and determination have enabled him to survive and thrive artistically despite never having that elusive “hit.” He says, “With every record, you gain confidence. … I’m still searching, still dodging bullets. And my music is still mutating, which is the cool thing about it.” If you missed Alejandro at Maxwell’s, check out his upcoming shows at alejandro escovedo.com. IT’S POSSIBLE THAT NO PERFORMER today deserves the title “survivor” more than Roky Erickson. Roky’s infamy began with the legendary Texas psychedelic rockers, The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. Their recordings for the International Artists label are the holy grail of 1960s psychedelia. Their best-known song, “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” was a cornerstone of Lenny Kaye’s influential 1960s garage comp, Nuggets. Drugs (especially LSD) and poor distribution hastened the band’s demise. On American Bandstand, the late Dick Clark asked Roky who the head of the band was, to which he infamously and accurately responded, “We’re all heads.” Constantly hounded by Texas police, Roky found himself in a mental institution in 1969, PHOTO OF ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO BY TODD WOLFSON having pled insanity to avoid jail time after a pot I’m very excited about two veteran Texas performers who visit- bust. He was subjected to three and a half years of shock treated Maxwell’s this June. They have traveled very different paths to ment and mind-numbing medication. A fine documentary, You’re arrive at the same destination. Gonna Miss Me, tells Roky’s harrowing story. Alejandro Escovedo is a member of one of America’s foremost AGAINST ALL ODDS AND WITH A LOT OF HELP musical families. His relatives include percussionist brothers Coke FROM friends and family, Roky began to record again and and Pete and former Prince cohort Sheila E. Originally from San returned to the stage. In April 2007 he made his first live appearAntonio, Alejandro lived in San Francisco in the second half of the ance in our area. 1970s when he helped form one of the West Coast’s early punk His set includes select Elevators faves as well as many numbers bands, The Nuns. The next stop was Austin and one of the first from his now prolific solo career. Much of the material is culled “roots rock” bands, Rank and File, followed by the more aggres- from Roky’s excellent first solo album, The Evil One, which dissive True Believers. plays his obsession with 1950s science fiction and horror. In the early 1990s he struck out on his own. Roky’s June 22 performance at Maxwell’s was followed by his Alejandro’s punk, country, and family roots have been on dis- appearance at the Metallica-curated Orion Festival in Atlantic play throughout his solo career. On the tender side, check out his City. That in itself seems like science fiction! Visit rokyerickson.net fabulous ballad, “Down In The Bowery,” an ode to his angry son, to find out where he’ll be next. Don’t miss Roky—it’s great music Paris, on the 2010 album, Street Songs of Love. 2008’s Real Animal and a great story.—07030 boasts two snarling autobiographical rockers, “Chelsea Hotel ’78” and “Nuns Song.” Visit maxwellsnj.com for a schedule of upcoming events.

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PILSENER HAUS BIERGARTEN

WATERING HOLES 07030

PHOTOS BY AMANDA STAAB

What could be better on a summer afternoon or evening than sitting outside at a beer garden, enjoying a cold, frothy brew? When the Pilsener Haus Biergarten appeared on the Upper West Side about a year ago, it was an immediate hit—just what der Doktor ordered. 07030 contributor Amanda Staab was a perfect dinner companion. She’s second-generation German-American and said the ambience accurately reproduced the real thing back in Europe. Though it was late spring, we visited on a cool, rainy evening. With beautiful wood beams and long tables, fashioned from reclaimed barns in Pennsylvania, the interior has a warm, ski lodgey feel. Now, let’s talk beer. Pilsener Haus offers more than 20 premium imported drafts and 50 European and American craft beers by the bottle. To start, I chose the Radeberger pilsener on draft, described on the menu as a “crisp, fluffy-headed golden lager, brisk in bitterness and mellow in malt.” OK, let’s just say it was really good and really refreshing. Amanda chose the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen, a “wheat beer with a big bready base, filled with banana, toffee, and tropical fruit.” Hmm, maybe not so much banana, Amanda said, but a delicious brew.

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WATERING HOLES 07030

A lot of beer gardens are so consumed with the brew, they blow off the food. Not this one. It has the more traditional, self-serve grill and rotisserie with everything from hot dogs and burgers to kielbasa, sausage, and bratwurst. But it also offers a full menu, from salads to desserts, and we were astonished at the high quality of the selections. We started with the haus salad, a brisk, vinegary blend of marinated lentils, beets, cucumbers, and red cabbage on a bed of watercress. For an entrée, Amanda chose the chicken paprikash, local farmraised chicken, braised in paprika, lemon zest, and sour cream, served with a kind of noodle called spatzle. Amanda, who had traveled in Prague, observed that the chicken had a Czech feel to it. Indeed, when owner Ladi Sebestyan sat down with us, he revealed that some of the menu items reflected his roots in the Czech Republic. I chose a classic wiener schnitzel, pork cutlet served with parsley potatoes, cucumber salad, and lingonberries. There were actually two tender, lightly breaded cutlets, so I was able to take one home. We ordered a side of sauerkraut that took the traditional to a new level with caraway seeds and a pinch of red pepper.

Ladi suggested we try his favorite beer, the Staropramen, a light but robust dark amber beer brewed in his homeland. It’s strong but has a smooth finish. Our favorite was probably the Paulaner Salvator, “majestically malty, nutty with a deliciously dry finish,” which was light enough to drink with a hearty dinner. Ladi’s advice on dessert was the palatschinken, a crepe with chocolate sauce and hazelnuts, and a classic apple strudel with ice cream. Both were surprisingly light and came with fresh whipped cream. In the unlikely event that you are not a beer lover, the restaurant has a solid wine list. It also offers weekend brunch and entertainment throughout the week, including festivals, films, live music, and beer tastings. If you’re looking for me this summer, you’ll probably find me in the garden of the Pilsener Haus. Prost!—Kate Rounds Pilsener Haus Biergarten 1422 Grand St. (201) 683-5465 info@pilsenerhaus.com pilsenerhaus.com

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DISH 07030 YOU HAVEN’T BEEN TO HOBOKEN, UNTIL YOU’VE EATEN AT LEO’S!

s u o v e d n a r G s Leo’ EST. 1939

And Don’t Forget! You can now take the Great Taste of Leo’s Home with you.

LEO’S FAMOUS SAUCES

Fra-Diavolo Vodka

Pomodoro Marinara

-/.$!9 &2)$!9!- 0-s0- 03!452$!9 0-s35.$!9 0-

200 GRAND ST., HOBOKEN, NJ 201-659-9467 leosgrandevous.com

BAJA/HOBOKEN

104 14th Street (201) 653-0610 www.bajamexicancuisine.com

BAJA/JERSEY CITY

117 Montgomery Street (201) 915-0062 www.bajamexicancuisine.com

Baja offers a new experience in charbroiled Tex-Mex specialties. With the best mojitos and margaritas around and Happy Hour every day, it’s a fun place with a happening bar. Private parties of up to 60 can be accommodated in Jersey City.

BIGGIES

36-42 Newark Street (201) 710-5520 BiggiesClamBar.com

Biggie’s is proud to offer a second location in the Mile Square City. Formerly the Clam Broth House, Biggie’s offers an extensive menu of both old and new selections and a full service bar. Its raw clams on the half shell are second to none. Through the dynamic changes Hoboken has undergone in the last 60 years, Biggie’s has stood for tradition, quality, consistency, and stability. Biggie’s is well known for its family atmosphere. Stop in and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

® 100 Sinatra Drive Hoboken 201.222.1440 www.meltingpot.com/hoboken

800 Jackson St., Hoboken 201.714.4040

www.hoboken.tiltedkilt.com 88 • 07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012

DISH 07030

EDWARD’S STEAK HOUSE 239 Marin Boulevard (201) 761-0000 www.edwardssteakhouse.com

Edward’s Steak House offers steak, seafood, and other sumptuous fare with an elegant bistro flare. Tucked into a historic townhouse in downtown Jersey City, Edward’s is comfortably upscale. The menu includes all the classic steaks and chops—aged prime sirloin, porterhouse, filet mignon, and more. You’ll enjoy the atmosphere whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or stopping by for a steak sandwich at the bar.

KOMEGASHI

103 Montgomery Street (201) 433-4567 www.komegashi.com

Located in Jersey City’s financial district, Komegashi offers fresh, well-presented sushi along with traditional Japanese favorites and an extensive selection of fresh shellfish. Locals and visitors from around the world find this a perfect spot to dine in casual elegance. Open seven days.

KOMEGASHI TOO 99 Pavonia Ave. Newport Financial Center (201) 533-8888 www.komegashi.com

Komegashi too offers an authentic Japanese dining experience with a spectacular view of the New York Skyline. The menu includes perfectly prepared sushi and sashimi, kaiseki, teriyaki, and tempura. Located on the river at Newport Financial Center, Komegashi too is open seven days.

Michael Anthony’s WATERFRONT RESTAURANT

INTRODUCING EXECUTIVE CHEF BRYAN GREGG

LEO’S GRANDEVOUS 200 Grand St. (201) 659-9467 leosgrandevous.com

Since 1939, this Hoboken landmark has been tantalizing guests with old school Italian standards and contemporary specials. A variety of pasta, fresh fish, veal, and chicken dishes keeps the emphasis on great taste and homey charm. You haven’t been to Hoboken until you have eaten at Leo’s!!

CALL

tel 201 798 1798 OPEN 7 DAYS

On Pier Parking Courtesy Validated Parking (in Westin Hotel Garage)

MARGHERITA’S CAFÉ 740 Washington St. (201) 222-2400 margheritascafe.com

This popular, Italian restaurant keeps locals happy with its large, delicious portions of homemade Italian fare. It is well known for its pasta, fresh fish, meat dishes, and famous mozzarella. Diners are welcome to bring their own spirits. Zagat Rated.

www.mar-jc.com 502 WASHINGTON BLVD., JERSEY CITY

Patio Bar with Spectacular Views of Manhattan Live Entertainment Large Banquet Party Hall Can Accomodate all Functions

(AT THE NEWPORT MARINA PIER)

07030 HOBOKEN — SUMMER 2012 •

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MIKIE SQUARED

From the moment you step into Michael Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but be impressed by the nautically inspired dĂŠcor. High ceilings, boat-shaped bar, ten-foot sails for the indoor and outdoor bars, and waterfall walls separating the banquet room and restaurant enhance your fine Italian dining experience. Enjoy a cordial on the deck overlooking the spectacular Manhattan skyline. Join us for happy hour, dinner, or a private social event.

Good food. Good drinks. Good People!! Enjoy hearty, high-quality food in a friendly and casual dining atmosphere. Mikie Squared, a great restaurant with a fun bar, lively cocktail menu, and special events, embodies the essence of Hobokenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighborhood feel. Offers lunch, brunch, dinner, and happy hour.

502 Washington Blvd. (201) 798-1798 www.mar-jc.com

THE MELTING POT 100 Sinatra Drive (201) 222-1440 meltingpot.com/hoboken

WE CATER & DELIVER

Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just something about a fondue pot that invites conversation, laughter, and coming together. At the Melting Pot, we offer a unique, interactive dining experience that creates memorable moments with family and friends. From the time the first piece of bread is dipped to the last piece of dessert is savored, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll discover new things about old friends, and make new friends in the bargain.

WE CATER & DELIVER

MICHAEL ANTHONYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

616 WASHINGTON ST., HOBOKEN, NJ 07030 tXXXNJLJFTRVBSFEDPN R

ITALIAN DINING

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800 Jackson Street (201) 714-4040 hoboken.tiltedkilt.com

O U S E

LOCATED IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN PARKING AVAILABLE CALL FOR RESERVATIONS 201.761.0000

www.edwardssteakhouse.com

NJ MONTHLY Top 25 Restaurants in NJ CRITICS CHOICE for Best Steakhouse

90 â&#x20AC;˘ 07030 HOBOKEN â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SUMMER 2012

WINDMILL

79 Hudson Street (201) 963-0900 windmillhoboken.com

Welcome to the Windmill. We serve tasty, award-winning burgers and dogs, along with cheese fries to die for. Zagat has given us the thumbs up, but more important, Hoboken locals love us. Stop by and find out for yourself!

Edwardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s T E A K

TILTED KILT

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the business of lifting spirits one burger, one beer, one guest, one visit, at a time. So, the next time youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re nearby, whether at happy hour, noon, or night, stop in and see us. The Tilted Kilt offers a one-of-a-kind experience that will always leave you in a better mood then when you arrived.

740 WASHINGTON ST., HOBOKEN NJ 07030 0 XXXNBSHIFSJUBTDBGFDPN

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616 Washington St. (201) 792-0001 mikiesquared.com

239 MARIN BOULEVARD, JERSEY CITY

Who insures you doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter.

Until it does.

Muller Insurance 930 Washington Street Hoboken, NJ 07030 201-659-2403 â&#x20AC;˘ www.mullerinsurance.com

Financial Strength and Exceptional Claim Service Homeowners | Auto | Yacht | Jewelry | Antiques | Collector Car Chubb Group of Insurance Companies ("Chubb") is the marketing name used to refer to the insurance subsidiaries of The Chubb Corporation. For a list of these subsidiaries, please visit our website at www.chubb.com. Actual coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued. Chubb, Box 1615, Warren, NJ 07061-1615


07030 HOBOKEN