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WAR STORIES NO OBSTACLES YES TO THE DRESS MAKING A SCENE

Our own Caren Lissner hits


of a cleaning service

that uses color-coded cloths in every room. We use specific cloths in different rooms to prevent cross contamination and promote healthy living. www.maidinhoboken.com


G I V I N G T H A N K S TO OUR MANY CLIENTS DOMINATING HUDSON COUNTY with nearly $500,000,000 in Sales for 2016

LISTINGS • SALES • RENTALS • INVESTMENTS Look for our JERSEY CITY expansion coming 2017!

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CONTENTS 07030

FEATURES COVER 16 THE BIG SCREEN Our Own Caren Lissner Walks the Red Carpet Cover Photo by Rob Tannenbaum

20 HEROES World War II Vets

20 44 HOW WE LIVE House Proud

48 SPORTS AND FITNESS Hoboken Wrestling

52 ARCHIVES AND ARTIFACTS Museum Stuff

55 POINT AND SHOOT Moon over Mile Square

56 HELPING HANDS True Mentors

58 SENIOR MOMENTS Senior Citizen Program

62 EATERY Benny Tudino’s

52

65 VANISHING Biggie’s

DEPARTMENTS 10 CONTRIBUTORS 12 EDITOR’S LETTER 24 SMOKE SIGNALS Land of the Tobacco Pipe

25 WHAT’S IN A NAME “Hoboken”in Book Titles

26 PEOPLE POWER Brian J. Neary

30 HANGING OUT WITH Joe Cantatore

36 EDUCATION Into the Act

40 HOW WE WORK Small Businesses

24

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BEAUTIFUL BROWNSTONE Hoboken, New Jersey 4 BR, 2.5 BATH | $1.95M | Web#15443455 Matt Brown & Peter Cossio 201.478.6709/6710

LUXURY LIVING AT MAXWELL PLACE Hoboken, New Jersey 2 BR + Den, 2 BATH | $1.299M | Web#15408068 Matt Brown & Peter Cossio 201.478.6709/6710

SPACIOUS AND MODERN CONDO Hoboken, New Jersey 2 BR, 2 BATH | $799K | Web#14825740 Dale Fior 201.478.6745

UPTOWN HUDSON STREET Hoboken, New Jersey 2 BR, 1 BATH | $569K | Web#15282774 Sharon Shahinian 201.478.6730

halstead.com 635 VALLEY ROAD, UPPER MONTCLAIR NJ 973.744.6033 200 WASHINGTON STREET, HOBOKEN, NJ 201.478.6700 Halstead Property New Jersey, LLC All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate and all information should be confirmed by customer. All rights to content, photographs and graphics reserved to Broker.


FA L L | W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 | 1 7 Vo l u m e 5 • N u m b e r 2 Published twice annually A Publication of The Hudson Reporter

PUBLISHERS Lucha Malato, David Unger EDITOR IN CHIEF Kate Rounds GRAPHICS STAFF Terri Saulino Bish Alyssa Bredin Lisa M. Cuthbert Ines Rodriguez Pasquale Spina COPYEDITING Christopher Zinsli ADVERTISING MANAGER Tish Kraszyk SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Toni Anne Calderone Ron Kraszyk ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jay Slansky John Ward CIRCULATION MANAGER Roberto Lopez CIRCULATION Luis Vasquez ACCOUNTING Veronica Aldaz Sharon Metro

07030 Hoboken is published by the Hudson Reporter Associates, L.P., 447 Broadway, Bayonne, New Jersey 07002, (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, 447 Broadway, Bayonne, NJ 07002. Not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or other unsolicited materials. Copyright ©2016, 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. 447 Broadway, Bayonne, New Jersey 07002 phone 201.798.7800 • fax 201.798.0018 e-mail: 07030@hudsonreporter.com 07030hoboken.com

6 • 07030 HOBOKEN ~ FALL | WINTER 2016 | 17


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CARING FOR

HUDSON COUNTY FOR 150 YEARS

For 100+ years in Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken, our community hospitals have been here caring for our neighbors, when they needed it most. Today, as CarePoint Health, we’re here for Hudson County with an even broader human and economic impact than ever before. With more than 4,000 employees. A $750 million* economic impact on New Jersey. And a mission of high quality, patient-centered, truly coordinated care—for each person who comes through our doors in their time of need. Like you, we want our communities to be strong and healthy long into the future. And we’re here to make that happen. *2015 study conducted by the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers

             


MELISSA ABERNATHY TERRI SAULINO BISH

MARILYN BAER

C O N T R I B U T O R S

0 7 0 3 0

CRAIG WALLACE DALE

JIM HAGUE

DELFIN GANAPIN

TARA RYAZANSKY

VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

ALYSSA BREDIN

MARIO A. MARTINEZ

AL SULLIVAN

MELISSA ABERNATHY

DELFIN GANAPIN

is a freelance communications consultant and writer, who has called Hoboken home for more than half her life. The rich history of the Mile Square City has fascinated her since she first walked into the Hoboken Historical Museum in 2001. Ever since, she has dedicated herself to sharing this enthusiasm with anyone who’ll listen.

is an editorial assistant at the Hudson Reporter. In his spare time, he is immersed in contemporary geek and pop culture and has contributed to a small geek culture blog called We Are Geeking Out.

MARILYN BAER grew up in Hoboken and currently lives in Jersey City. She studied journalism at Ohio Wesleyan University and is now a staff writer for the Hoboken Reporter.

TERRI SAULINO BISH is an award-winning graphic designer, digital artist, and photographer, capturing many of the iconic images featured in print and online publications across Hudson County. You can view more of her work at tbishphoto.com.

ALYSSA BREDIN is an award-winning designer and photographer. Her work is featured in numerous publications, including Hoboken 07030 and Jersey City Magazine. You can see her full portfolio at tbishphoto.com.

CRAIG WALLACE DALE Is a Hoboken-based photographer who has been telling stories with his camera for national magazines, Fortune 500 corporations, and private clients for more than 20 years. When not shooting for clients, Craig teaches the finer points of digital photography from his school, Beyond the Photograph (beyondthephoto.com).

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JIM HAGUE is a Jersey City native, who landed a job with the Hudson Dispatch in 1986. He has been the sports columnist for the Hudson Reporter Associates for the last 22 years.

MARIO A. MARTINEZ is a freelance journalist who was born and raised in Hoboken. Aside from writing, Mario enjoys staying active and living a healthy lifestyle.

VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ has studied publication design, photography, and graphic arts. “I’ve been fascinated by photography for almost 20 years,” he says. One of his jobs as a construction project manager is to photograph job sites.

TARA RYAZANSKY is a writer who recently moved from Brooklyn to Bayonne. She works as a blogger for Nameberry.com and spends her spare time fixing up her new (to her) 100-year-old home.

AL SULLIVAN has been a staff writer for the Hudson Reporter newspaper chain since 1992. He was named journalist of the year in 2001 by the New Jersey Press Association, and photographer of the year in 2005 by the Garden State Journalists Association. In 2001, Rutgers University Press published a collection of his work, Everyday People: Profiles from the Garden State.


PHOTO BY MARIE PAPP

EDITOR'S LETTER 07030

‘HAPPENING PLACE’

On

August 20, the Wall Street Journal ran a full-page story in the “Open House Saturday” real-estate section. The headline was “Hoboken is a Happening Place: Mile Square City appeals to young professionals with easy commute, restaurants, bars and amazing views.” The story ran with a picture of Washington Street, the waterfront at Maxwell Place Park, and three properties for sale: a $575,000 condo on Jefferson, a $699,000 condo on Washington, and a $998,800 apartment on Park. When you read splashy, mainstream-media reports on our town, it’s a little like reading a Martian’s description of a convenience store: nice to get the perspective but nothing new. see page 33

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Over 126 Years of Service THE HOBOKEN PUBLIC LIBRARY ÂœÂŚÂĄ Š¤ŽªŠ­¤œÂšÂœÂŞÂ—ÂŽÂ?‘ŽထÂœÂ˜Â˜ÂŚÂšÂ“Â¤ÂŽĹś“Â?Ž—œš‘ŽŠ¥›“š‘ NEW AT YOUR HOBOKEN PUBLIC LIBRARY ‌

<RXU/LEUDU\&DUG0HPEHUVKLSRIIHUV

Ĺ&#x2DC;%RRNV Ĺ&#x2DC;&DWDORJXH 'DWDEDVH6HUYLFHV Ĺ&#x2DC;0DJD]LQHV Ĺ&#x2DC;(PDJD]LQHVXVLQJ=LQLR )UHH2QOLQH/HDUQLQJZLWKUniversal Class BrainFuseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s HelpNowDVVLVWVVWXGHQWVIURPJUDGH Ĺ&#x2DC;(ERRNV VFKRROWRFROOHJHZLWKDUDQJHRIKRPHZRUNQHHGV Ĺ&#x2DC;)UHH0XVLF 0XVLF'RZQORDGV Ĺ&#x2DC;&'V LQFOXGLQJOLYHRQHWRRQHKRPHZRUNKHOSVNLOOV EXLOGLQJWHVWSUHSDUDWLRQDQGFRPSUHKHQVLYH Ĺ&#x2DC;*UDSKLF1RYHOV ZULWLQJDVVLVWDQFH Ĺ&#x2DC;$XGLRERRNV The Adult Learning CenterDVSDUWRI+HOS1RZ Ĺ&#x2DC;&RPSXWHU6HUYLFHV RIIHUVVNLOOVEXLOGLQJDQGWHVWSUHSDUDWLRQDQG Ĺ&#x2DC;3ULQWLQJ )D[LQJ6HUYLFHV DXQLTXHDFDGHPLFVNLOOVFHQWHUIHDWXULQJOLYH Ĺ&#x2DC;-RE6HDUFK 5HVXPH:RUNVKRSV RQOLQHWXWRUV Ĺ&#x2DC;)UHH:LIL Brain Fuseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Job Now+RERNHQ/LEUDU\SDWURQV Ĺ&#x2DC;'R,W<RXUVHOI:RUNVKRSV FDQDFFHVVWKLVRQOLQHUHVRXUFHZKLFKRIIHUV Ĺ&#x2DC;7HFKQRORJ\/HQGLQJBorrow IPads, Tablets, Kindles UHVXPHLQWHUYLHZLQJDQGMREKXQWLQJWRROV 78725,1*21/,1(&2856(6 -2%$66,67$1&( )$;,1*6(59,&(6

and Lap Tops

The library is now offering faxing services.

/$1*8$*(/($51,1*5(6285&(6 Ĺ&#x2DC;5RVHWWD6WRQHĹ&#x2DC;0DQJRĹ&#x2DC;/LWWOH3LP

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',*,7$/086,&$1'029,(6 )UHHJDODOORZV+RERNHQ3XEOLF/LEUDU\ FDUGKROGHUVDFFHVVWRKXQGUHGVRIWKRXVDQGV RIVRQJVIRUGRZQORDGLQJDQGVWUHDPLQJ +RRSODSURYLGHVRQOLQHDFFHVVWRYLGHRV LQFOPRYLHVDQG79VKRZV DXGLRERRNV PXVLFDOEXPVDQGH%RRNV LQFOJUDSKLFQRYHOV  1D[RVLVWKHODUJHVWVRXUFHRIFODVVLFDOPXVLF RQOLQH,WSURYLGHVERWKPXVLFDQGVSRNHQ ZRUGLQVWUHDPLQJDXGLRIRUPDW Hoboken Public Library Hours of Operation Monday: 10 am - 8pm Tuesday: 9 am - 8pm Wednesday: 9 am - 8pm Thursday: 9 am - 9 pm

Friday: 9 am - 5pm Saturday: 10 am - 5pm Sunday: 10 am - 2 pm

*HW\RXUIUHHOLEUDU\FDUGPHPEHUVKLSWRGD\ 9LVLWRXUZHEVLWHDWZZZKRERNHQOLEUDU\RUJ

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Visit our Public Makerspace that includes: 3D printers, 3D Scanner & 3D Modeling Software, Robotics and Circuitry Kits, Cubelets, Rainbow Looms, Gel Pens, Leap motion controller with software, advanced photo and video editing software, music recording, LEGO educational kits for kids and an Oculus Rift! The Hoboken Public Library Maker Space is open every Monday, no appointment necessary. Tools will be available for use and a staff member will be present to assist. Those under the age of 13 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Children's Room & Young Adult Department Hours Monday: 10 am - 6 pm Friday: 9 am - 5pm Tuesday: 9 am - 8 pm Saturday: 10 am - 5pm Wednesday: 9 am - 6pm Sunday: 10 am - 2pm Thursday: 9am - 8 pm

/RFDWHGDW3DUN$YH+RERNHQ1-7HOĹ&#x2DC;)D[


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s t n i e H e r k c o S Bo e Big th A Hoboken writer walks the Red Carpet at the Toronto Film Festival

BY AL SULLIVAN

M

Getty Images

any people know Caren Lissner as the editor in chief of The Hudson Reporter. Fewer people know that this longtime Hoboken resident is the author of a highly successful novel, Carrie Pilby, recently adapted into an independent film. Originally published in 2003 as part of Harlequin’s Red Dress Ink series, the book was republished in 2010 under the Harlequin Teen label. It was considered one of the house’s smartest and most original novels and sold well. It has been released in other countries, including France and Italy. For the generation that moved back to the cities a decade ago, Lissner’s novel captures the intense isolation felt by young women dealing with the challenge of adapting to a new social environment. Some have compared the book to J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. Carrie Pilby came out at a time when TV shows such as Seinfeld and Sex and the City were looking at the impacts of America’s new urbanization. Lissner’s book found its niche, helping to expose the inner turmoil many young women feel in dealing with this new, challenging landscape. Premiering at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, the movie was touted as a social statement, not just a chick flick.

AUTHOR CAREN LISSNER

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Book to Film Lissner says her literary agent sent the manuscript to Shari Smiley, a Hollywood film agent, when the book first hit the market. “She looked at it and sent it out to some producers,” Lissner


Getty Images

says. Although an independent film, Carrie Pilby caught the attention of major film companies. “Some liked it,” Lissner says. “ABC and Disney optioned it.” But they were slow on the uptake. “Four years ago, I got an email from Suzanne Farwell asking if the rights were available,” Lissner says. “As it turned out, they were.” Farwell and Susan Johnson, both successful Hollywood producers, had loved the book and were looking for a feature film for Johnson to direct. Farwell is best known for producing films like It’s Complicated and The Intern. The Carrie Pilby movie is Johnson’s feature film debut. She had already produced independent films for which she had won the Independent Spirit Award and had directed music videos. Lissner was impressed with her. “Susan Johnson put a lot of heart into it,” Lissner says. “She loved the story and showed me the script. I got to make suggestions; some were taken.” Lissner says that Johnson took input from everyone and listened to actors’ ideas about line readings. “The other thing is she cared from the beginning, thinking about the film 24/7,” Lissner says. “I would see her posting things in the middle of the night.”

BEL POWLEY

It’s a Wrap

In Front of the Camera

SUSAN CARTSONIS

NATHAN LANE PHOTO COURTESY OF CARRIE PILBY PRODUCTIONS

In 2012, the producers started raising money—the film was funded partly through a Kickstarter campaign, raising about $73,000 to hire a screenwriter to adapt it. Since events largely take place around Christmas in Manhattan, a good portion of the filming was done there in December and January. “They finished editing in July,” says Lissner, who appeared briefly in a nonspeaking role in a Central Park scene.

Getty Images

Getty Images

Bel Powley stars in the title role, along with Nathan Lane, who plays

the therapist. One of the biggest challenges was to translate witty, sarcastic interior commentary to film. The solution was to have her therapist expose what was interior monologue in the book. The leads have impressive resumes. Lane has played starring roles in a number of major movies, including Trumbo, The Producers, The Lion King, and perhaps most hilariously, The Birdcage. Powley can be seen in Equals, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and A Royal Night Out. Lissner says the actors were wellrehearsed and serious, but not formal. “They knew what they were doing, and all of them seemed to be excited to be there,” she says. They believed in the film. Lane, in particular, could have done any film he wanted, but chose to do this one. Michael Penn, who did the score, was inspired to get involved after seeing a rough cut.

SUZANNE FARWELL

SUSAN JOHNSON

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17


The script, she says, reflects much of the feeling of the book, although it extended the storyline in some places for dramatic effect. “It has some new twists and new lines,” she says, and minor characters were added. “The character is always learning,” Lissner says. “At the end she’s the smartest person in the room but admits she doesn’t know everything. The film shows that very brilliantly. There are some resolutions in the movie that are not in the book. I was trying to be subtle; movies need to be more dramatic.”

An Inward Journey

Courtesy Carrie Pilby Productions

The novel Carrie Pilby has a lot in common with Voltaire’s Candide. Both examine human foibles and self-delusion, with the main characters alert to the ironies and hypocrisies of everyday life. Carrie is a genius who graduated from Harvard at 19. A wealthy father in England allows her to embark on a Huck Finn-like journey of self-discovery. But her Mississippi River is a job proofreading legal briefs at night and hanging out with a much more sexually experienced woman (Vanessa Bayer) and an oddball friend (Desmin Borges). Carrie meets a boy (Jason Ritter) who is engaged to be married. An attractive next-door neighbor, in an homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s, plays the guitar on the fire escape.

Premiering at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, the movie was touted as a social statement, not just a chick flick. Carrie is a highly intelligent young woman with nothing to fear. Her reclusive nature is not borne of self-doubt or anger, but of confusion at a world she neither comprehends nor values. She lives alone in a Manhattan apartment, reads voluminously, and views the sex obsession of the world around her as a national epidemic. She struggles to decode an immoral, sex-driven, hypocritical society, staying in her room, alone with her thoughts, rather than doing and saying things to fit in. The novel reflects a truth-seeker lost in a complex world, where people fail to live up to their ideals. Like Odysseus, Carrie follows a roadmap for a changing landscape and comes to terms with the world as it is. Lissner says the book is about figuring out which values to compromise on, and which to keep. In the defining scene, Carrie finally finds a dude but can’t lose her doubts.

The Envelope Please Reaction at the Toronto Film Festival was positive. One reviewer called it an “ambitious and surprising comedy” and said, “This is, ultimately, a very happy and upbeat film, and one with a very clear moral center.” “Some of the people in the audience were distributors,” Lissner says. “There was a lot of laughter and clapping.” The film is slated to come to U.S. theaters in spring of 2017. The book is available at Barnes and Noble. —07030

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DATES 0 7 0 3 0 Want your event listed? Please email us at 07030@hudsonreporter.com and put “calendar listings” in the subject line.

ONGOING Hoboken Gallery Walk, various locations, hobokengallerywalk.com. 2-6 p.m. Third Sunday of every month. Galleries and art spaces around Hoboken participate with special events and receptions highlighting the work of local, regional, and international artists. Uptown Farmer’s Market, 13th Street and Hudson, 2-7 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 22. Downtown Farmer’s Market, Washington Street between Newark Street and Observer Highway, 3-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Oct. 20. Family Farmer’s Market, Garden Street & 14th Street. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturdays through Nov. 23.

Tuesday Ballroom Dance Classes, Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., (201) 963-0909, symposia.us. 7 p.m. $15 per person per hour or $50 for four lessons. Wednesday Yoga classes, Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., (201) 963-0909, symposia.us. 7 p.m. Refreshments served after class. Thursday Guitar Circle, Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., (201) 963-0909, symposia.us. 8:30 p.m. Beginners welcome. Mangia Hoboken Food Tours, Hoboken PATH Station (corner of River Street and Hudson Place), (201) 653-151, hobokenfoodtour.com. 2 p.m. Saturdays. For reservations, call (800) 595-4849. $46 per person. The Mile Square Toastmasters Club Meetings, Hudson School, 601 Park Ave., milesquare.org. 7:30 p.m.

Mondays. Develop public speaking skills and leadership skills in a safe and supportive space.

OCTOBER 20 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

22 Harvest Festival, Pier A Park, First Street and Sinatra Drive, (201) 420-2207, hobokennj.org. 11 a.m.– 3 p.m. Hay rides, a hay maze, pony rides, petting zoo, moonwalk, face

painting, pumpkin painting, balloon art, craft activities, soccer, dance and gymnastic demos, live music and dance, and much more. The TriSonics in Concert at Symposia, Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St., (201) 963-0909, symposia.us, 8-10 p.m. The TriSonics play original instrumentals spanning roots, folk, bluegrass, blues, and jazz. Virtuoso soloing and dynamic, intricate arrangements are their trademarks. Tickets are $20.

26 The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Trivia, House of ‘Que, 340 Sinatra Dr., (201) 706-8755, houseofque.com, 8 p.m. Put your knowledge of The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror episodes to the test. RSVP at simpsonstrivia.eventbrite.com. see page 34

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W A R

STORIES gh Copyri

t: Evere

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cal

No battle fatigue for these WWII vets

PHOTOS BY CRAIG WALLACE DALE

T

he town of Hoboken—and indeed our nation—should be honored to have World War II vets still among us. Craig Wallace Dale shot beautiful portraits of these American heroes, who took time out to share some of their memories from the war years. Jack O’Brien, now 88, signed up when he was only 16 ½ years old. And, by the way, “signed up” is the right phrase. These young men were willing and able: Our ships were attacked at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and a genocidal maniac was murdering innocent civilians in Europe. They heeded the call. O’Brien was a steward on troop ships that crossed the North Atlantic some 17 times. He was in the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf. Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, the father of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commanded the camp in Basra. O’Brien was in England, Ireland, and East Africa. As a steward, he says, “I fed the troops and was storekeeper.” On the ship John Erickson, which carried some 3,000 troops, a fellow sailor was actor Carroll O’Connor of Archie Bunker fame. “I never got to meet him,” O’Brien says. “If the Germans knew about him, they would have sunk that ship immediately.” He says he was “surrounded by cruisers and destroyers firing off mines in the water.” O’Brien was born and raised in Hoboken and still lives here. He says

JACK O’BRIEN troops would leave from the docks in Hoboken, Baltimore, or Boston. “I was very proud and very patriotic,” he says. Compared to today, “It was a different war, and a different life. It was our duty to go into service.” He’s clear-eyed about our bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “It was them or us,” he says. “We didn’t start it. They bombed us. The Japanese caught us on a Sunday morning when

half the sailors were in church.” World War II soldiers had a perfect enemy in Hitler, who “was starving and burning people,” O’Brien says. When the war was over, his ship transported precious cargo: war brides. “We carried hundreds of girls who married American troops in England and France,” O’Brien says. But he waited until he got stateside to marry—a Jersey City girl.


O’Brien still participates in a fife-and-drum corps. He played at the World’s Fair in 1939 and continues to play throughout New Jersey. O’Brien’s father, James J. O’Brien, was a World War I veteran, which is important, as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. The Hoboken Historical Museum is offering a lecture series that runs through May 7, 2017. Visit hobokenmuseum.org for details. A lot has changed in Hoboken in the past century. “Rents went up, you know,” O’Brien jokes. No kidding. He says, “My mother paid $20 a month for our place on Monroe and Second.”

Two for the Price of One Staff Sergeant Vincent Wassman was also deployed to a troop transport ship in the North Atlantic during World War II, ferrying soldiers to Europe and bringing the dead and wounded home. He trained at Fort Eustis in Virginia, serving from 1943 to 1945. “We went back and forth quite a few times and ran into some hurricanes,” Wassman recalls. “It was a pretty big ship, with a thousand or so onboard.” Back then, ocean liners were used as wartime vessels. “When war came,” he says, “everything was turned over to the War Department.”

VINCENT WASSMAN

ROY HUELBIG

“It was the same as today,” he maintains. “Soldiers going off to war.” After the war, Wassman came back to Hoboken and had a few peaceful years before he was drafted into the Korean War, in 1950. He had an interesting experience at the Draft Board in Newark. “Who should walk in, straight from the Paramount Theater on 42nd Street and Broadway, but Sinatra,” he relates. “He was there the same day I was. He went to the front of the line, and everybody booed him—we were standing there in our BVDs [underwear]. He claimed he had a punctured eardrum, and they sent him back to the Paramount.” Wassman, meanwhile, was shipped over to Japan and then to Korea. Born and raised in Hoboken, Wassman still lives in the house on Bloomfield Street, where he and his wife, a nurse at the medical center, raised five kids. He bought the house for $14,000. “It’s worth $2 million today,” he says. “At that time, nobody wanted to live here,” he says, “and now you can’t afford it. “There are so many old things to talk about,” he says. “They were innocent years, let’s put it that way. Everybody knew each other. You’d walk to the theater, and nobody would bother you. You’d stay out late and come home at one or two in the morning.

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Total Recall

IN MEMORY OF ROY ENG

“Give me back the old days,” he says. “I’m an old-fashioned guy.” Wassman made his living laying tiles in private homes and was very active in Hoboken in the 1960s. “I was Mayor Grogan’s confidential aide,” he says. As soon as he returned from Korea, he joined the American Legion in Hoboken, where he served as commander and has been active for 65 years. “It gives me time to get acquainted with veterans who are still around and active,” he says. “We talk and reminisce. The Legion does a lot of nice things for America, and I’m for that.” He’s got a lot of medals displayed in his home. “I just got a medal from the Korean government a month ago,” he says, “a beautiful one.” Wassman, who will turn 92 in April, has 11 grandchildren. “It’s impossible to keep up with the younger generation,” he says. “Things move too fast. I wish they would slow down, so I could catch up.” He marvels at the tiny phone he’s talking on. “It’s a little black phone, about an inch or an inch and a half. “My memory’s not that good anymore,” he claims. Judging from our conversation on his little black phone, his memory’s just fine.

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Roy Huelbig sounds a lot younger than his 93 years. He’s got great hearing, a great memory, and a disarming (pun intended) self-effacement when he talks about the war and the old days. He signed on at 18, as soon as he was eligible, and served until 1946, when he was 22. Embarking from Hoboken, his ship landed in Scotland. From there, he went on to Trowbridge, England, for basic training. He was an Army Corporal. “Like Hitler,” he jokes. “I was in the Calvary Group,” Huelbig says. “We went out on ships and armored cars to find the enemy and report back to the infantry. They came up and wiped them out.” He says they went from the French city of Cherbourg to Brest in Brittany, where there was a big Nazi submarine base. “We found the enemy,” he says, “and someone else had to shoot them. We did not have too much fighting.” He was nearly involved in one of the most famous battles of the war: the Battle of the Bulge. “We were young guys, and we were scared, but we didn’t know any different,” he says. “As a matter of fact we were with Patton for one month in southern France.” That would be General George S., made even more famous by George C. Scott in the eponymous 1970 movie. Patton “was a pain in the ass,” Huelbig says. “The first thing, he got up and said, ‘a lot of you guys are going to die.’ We were 18 years old. He scared the hell out of us. “We rushed up to the Bulge,” he relates, “and when we got there, they didn’t need us.” Instead, he was wounded in a town in Germany.

IN MEMORY OF ORLANDO ADDEO


“I was hit in the leg twice,” he says. “Artillery shells split up and spin around the room.” They were sleeping in a building. “The shells came right through the building, split and spinning, shrapnel all around,” he recalls. “There were three of us, myself and another kid, 17 years old. The kid got hurt pretty bad, but he had no wounds on his body. He died from a concussion from the artillery. “In March of 1945, I was shipped back to a hospital in England, when the war ended.” Huelbig says he wasn’t too bothered by his wounds when he got back to Hoboken. “But I didn’t do much of anything,” he says. “I was like a bum.” That is until 1948 when the Hoboken Fire Department took him on, where he stayed for 25 years. “It was a great job,” he says. “When we were growing up, the houses were wooden, shacks really. As time went by, groups would come and try to buy people out. If the people wouldn’t sell, the bastards burned them out.” Huelbig says that in the early 1960s, hundreds of people died in arson fires. “When we were kids in Hoboken,” he says, “we couldn’t afford rent and moved every couple of months.” Times have changed. “It’s OK,” he says, “but it’s not Hoboken.” It’s not just the big, expensive highrises on the waterfront that get his goat. “One of the biggest problems is women with baby carriages,” he says. “It’s a serious thing. They go right out in front of drivers and get mad

when a driver doesn’t stop. The mother’s on the phone, afraid she’s going to miss something. Someone has to take responsibility.” Taking responsibility was a hallmark of his generation, whether it was on the battlefield, in a burning building, or on a Hoboken street with a baby stroller. “The world is crazy today,” Huelbig says. “It’s actually scary. I think we should take our allied troops and wipe out ISIS. It’s a whole different thing. They have no respect for anybody. They go into places and kill women and children and think nothing of it.” Oh, and did I mention that Roy Huelbig was awarded the Purple Heart? “It was about being stupid,” he says, “and getting wounded.”—Kate Rounds

Copyri

ght: Ev erett H istorica

l

Refer a Friend ~ Reward Yourself

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Smoke Signals HOBOKEN: LAND OF THE TOBACCO PIPE? PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HOBOKEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM

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ur little patch of the New World, which hugs the Hudson River, between the George Washington and Verrazano Bridges, is a gorgeous mosaic of early Native American, Dutch, and English history. The narrative is compelling, the nomenclature often confusing. Bergen, Secaucus, and Weehawken are Dutch; Guttenberg, German; and Jersey City, Union City, and West New York, presumably English. Bayonne is not French as many believe, but reportedly a made-up name from the English word “bay.” And Hoboken? Is it Dutch or Native American? Our friends at the Hoboken Historical Museum to the rescue. In 1896, Charles Winfield wrote what the museum calls “a pretty exhaustive history of Hoboken,” providing a “long explanation of the origins of the name.” Information extracted from Winfield’s book was published in a local newspaper in 1896. The first mention of the name of the area that is now Hoboken was around 1630 when the Director and Council of New Netherland referred to this land bought from Native Americans as “Hobocan Hackingh.” “Hobocan” is the Dutch mispronunciation of the Indian word Hopoghan, which means “tobacco pipe,” in this case pipes made from soapstone at Castle Point. Hackingh is the Indian word for “land” or “the place of.”

THE OLD COUNTRY But there’s another theory. E.B. O’Callaghan in his History of New Netherland, writes, “Hoboken is so called after a village of the same name, situated on the Scheldt [River], a few miles south of Antwerp.” Winfield begs to differ. He questions why the place would be named after “such an insignificant village,” which furthermore was not the residence or birthplace of any of the men involved in purchasing the land, where Hoboken now stands. He also points out that the topography of the two places is entirely different. He describes the area near Antwerp as a “level, sandy plain,” while the New World site was “hilly and rolling … a glacial drift deposited on the outcropping rock … and in some places nearly one hundred feet above high water.” All this is to say that nostalgic Dutch settlers, in viewing Hobocan Hackingh, would not be reminded of a village in what was then the Netherlands. Winfield reasonably asks, if the intention was to name the new site after the village of Hoboken near Antwerp, why didn’t they do so? Instead, in the deed to the land, they stuck with the Indian name, Hobocan Hackingh.

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LET’S HEAR IT FOR HOBOKEN OK, that said, why is the current name Hoboken? Here’s an email from the museum: “Between the mid-1600s to the mid-1700s, prior to the American Revolution, the land had passed from Nicholas Varlett through familial descent to William Bayard, an Englishman. By the time of the Revolutionary War, maps and some newspaper reports referred to it as ‘William Bayard’s farm at Hoebuck,’ which was shortened to ‘Hobuck.’ There are even references to the ‘Hoebuck Ferry’ in the late 1700s. Bayard, a loyalist to the Crown, was forced to forfeit the land during the Revolutionary War. Col. John Stevens bought the land after the war, in 1784, and officially named it Hoboken. As of 1804 it appeared as Hoboken on a map by Charles Loss, and in the 1830s, Stevens founded the Hoboken Land & Improvement Company to develop and sell parcels of land surrounding his estate on Castle Point.” Modern-day Hoboken has a couple of tobacco-related entities. Hoboken Cigars did not answer the phone. Bob at Hoboken Premium Cigars disclosed to 07030: “Hoboken is known for a lot of things; we only do cigars.” The Hoboken Smoke Shop did not return numerous phone calls. Hmmm. Wonder what’s in those pipes.—Kate Rounds


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Here’s a partial list we put together, with the help of our friends at the library: The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken by Laura Schenone The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater An American Werewolf in Hoboken by Dakota Cassidy Blame it on Hoboken by Sharon Glassman Underworld: From Hoboken to Hollywood by Kazimieras G. Prapuolenis Chicago Days/Hoboken Nights by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

Moby-Hoboken? “HOBOKEN” IS A POPULAR WORD IN BOOK TITLES

OK,

we’re probably never going to see a title like the one in the headline for this story. But still, there are a surprising number of books with “Hoboken” in the title. Lina Podles, director of the Hoboken Public Library, has some ideas on why this might be. “Very creative people live here,” she says. “They come here because we have a very creative community. Writers and editors know about us. We’re close to New York, and people who live in New York come to visit. There are also several instances where Hoboken is mentioned in the movies.” Hoboken’s history could also be a factor. She cites its connection to baseball, World War I, and Frank Sinatra, to name a few. Not to mention, she says, “It’s the flavor of the town.”—07030

Hoboken Hellmouth by Armand Rosamilia, Jack Wallen, Jay Wilburn, and Brent Abell Spondulix: A Romance of Hoboken by Paul DiFilippo Heaven, Hell, and Hoboken by M.E. Clifton James From Hoboken to Noboken by MR Allan J. Albrecht The Listerine Lunatic Hits Hoboken and Other Strange Tales by Patricia E. Flinn It Happened in Hoboken: Comic Tales from the Waterfront City by Eugene C. Flinn One More for the Road: 40 Tales from Ireland, Hoboken, and other Far-Away Places by Eugene C. Flinn The Burning Bush of Hoboken by D.F. Kaplan Madeline: A Novel of Love, Buddhism, and Hoboken by Florence Wetzel Home Sweet Hoboken by Nancy L. Zylstra Hi Ho Hi Hoboken by Nancy L. Zylstra Hotter in Hoboken by Nancy L. Zylstra Back to Yesterday: A Memoir: Snippets of Hoboken ‘Then’ … Summer at the Jersey Shore, a Kid Named Frank by Bunny Amatucci, Vincent Amatucci, Jr. Hoboken by Christian Bauman Jolly Roger: a Dog of Hoboken by Daniel Pinkwater Hoboken Fish & Chicago Whistle by Daniel Pinkwater A Hoboken Hipster in Sherwood Forest by Mari Mancusi (a second edition is now available with the title Mojitos with Merry Men, and the author is now credited as Marianne Mancusi) Hoboken by Marcus Reichart

Books with Hoboken Locales Yuppies Invade my House at Dinnertime edited by Joseph Barry and John Derevlany Out of Hormones Way (the entire Bel Barrett series is set in Hoboken) by Jane Isenberg 150 Pounds by Kate Rockland Zombie Scout: The Diary of Jack Sullivan by R. Diskin Black Curious Solitude of Anise by Thea Swanson Call Waiting by Michelle Cunnah Blood Music by Jessie Prichard Hunter The Stylist by Cai Eammons

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BY TBISHPHOTO


playing Court to Court with Brian J. Neary

H

e stands out in a crowd. He’s the one who, at Schnackenberg’s on a summer afternoon, is wearing a bowtie and baby-blue seersucker suit. He’s what used to be called a “natty dresser.” Brian Neary is a friend of Schnackenberg’s owner, Eugene Flinn, who also owns the Elysian

Café and Amanda’s, favorite Neary eateries. Neary says he sometimes gets mistaken for Flinn: same size, hair color, glasses, and—bowties. For 11 years, this eminent Hudson County attorney had an office in the Hoboken Land Building at 201 Newark Street. He no longer has that office, but he still serves Hoboken clients and twice a week, he boxes at Everlast in Hoboken—

he’s a fighter in and out of the ring. Neary had been living in Bergen County when he opened his Hoboken office in 2003. “I wanted to reestablish Hudson County roots; Hoboken is an exciting place, and I wanted to be close to the train station,” Neary says. “I wanted to develop a criminal-justice practice through Hoboken.”

Hudson Catholic High School basketball team in 1969. Brian (#4) is holding the trophy. Photo courtesy Hudson Catholic High School. 07030 HOBOKEN ~ FALL | WINTER 2016 | 17 •

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BY TBISHPHOTO

He jokes that one of Hoboken’s most popular events was good for business. “The St. Patrick’s Day Parade brought minor misbehavior to the Hoboken municipal court,” he says. As president of the Hudson County Bar, Neary chose Hoboken’s Elks Club for the group’s events. “We had two successful dinners at the Elks’ Club,” he says. Each event drew 250 lawyers. “It was fabulous,” he says. “It reinvigorated the Hudson County Bar’s connection to Hoboken.”

THE EARLY YEARS Neary grew up on Wade Street in the Greenville section of Jersey City to become one of the tristate area’s most successful trial lawyers. Though only five-foot-nine, basketball gave passion and permanence to a life that spans some six decades living and working in Hudson County. His work puts him in the orbit of some pretty famous people, but it’s the name Bob Hurley that really floats his boat. Hurley, Jersey City’s stellar basketball coach, was a boyhood friend of Neary. “I could hold my own with anybody,” Neary says. “I can really dribble and shoot. I spent a lot of time in the schoolyard dribbling back and forth. I was on the first varsity team at Hudson Catholic.” Would he have made the varsity team in 2016? He thinks yes, maybe shooting three-pointers like a Steph Curry. “Though not that good,” he acknowledges. These days, you can find him at Elysian Park at 6 in the morning, shooting baskets by himself at sunrise in the shadow of the New York City skyline. “It’s a spectacular way to start the morning,” he says.

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BY STEVE GOLD

He’s on the court at the crack of dawn.

(l-r) Former pro basketball player Carol Blazejowski; Pat Devaney, director of the Hamilton Park Summer League; Brian; and Bob Hurley at a Hamilton Park game. “At the same time,” he says, “I was a pretty smart kid. When I wasn’t in the schoolyard, I was sitting in a room reading a book.” It runs in the family. One of his two sisters attended St. Dominic Academy and became a physician. The other graduated from Holy Family in Bayonne and is a banker “down the Shore.” Neary says, “Our mother was a stay-at-home mom, who was the smartest person I ever knew. She read a book a day.” His father was the first person in the family to attend college. Neary’s wife was a soap opera star for 20 years and is a television director. He has four grown kids, one of whom is an assistant prosecutor in Passaic County.

THE CATHOLIC THREAD Neary attended St. Paul the Apostle grammar school in Jersey City before going on to Hudson Catholic Regional High, an experience that reverberates to this day.


COURT TO COURT The basketball court and the trial court have been home to Neary for most of his life. Early on, he had stints as a prosecutor in both Bergen and Hudson Counties, but “ultimately I think I knew I would end up as a criminal defense lawyer,” he says. In hindsight, that sociology degree played a key role. “I was interested in deviant human behavior,” Neary says, “in juvenile delinquency, psychology, and how people interact.” Despite the glut of TV lawyers, it’s not Perry Mason or Olivia Pope who inspire him. “Anybody my age has read To Kill a Mockingbird,” he says. For him, Atticus Finch spoke to the “ethical quality” of the law profession. “It takes a certain conscience to be able to represent people,” he says. “You have to understand human nature, human foibles. You have to be willing to protect people in the legal system. It’s about how to represent people and take care of people when they’ve been charged in terrible events.” DUI cases are a good example. “I counsel people that they shouldn’t drink and drive,” he says, “but a person is entitled to a defense in a death-by-auto case. The defendant has often otherwise led a good life, but in a dramatic consequence, they could go to jail for 30 years.” A Neary case that may ring a bell with Jersey City folks is that of Leona Baldini, a deputy mayor in the Healy administration, who did time in federal prison, convicted on bribery charges. Well-known Neary clients include Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wilson Pickett; hip-hop artist DMX; rapper, model, and actress Foxie Brown; and NBA player Jason Williams.

PEOPLE POWER 07030

BY TBISHPHOTO

“I’m not pious,” he says, “but a Catholic education gives you a sense of morals, conscience, and social responsibility. I was an altar boy for a long time” and later in life represented priests who took advantage of altar boys. He was in the second graduating class of Hudson Catholic and now serves as chairman of the board of trustees. “I’m a role model for kids,” he says. “I walked these same streets and corridors and turned out pretty good. I’m close to the basketball teams. The kids know me and know that I was a player.” After graduating from Hudson Catholic, he went on to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where he majored in sociology. “I’d never been west of Paterson,” he jokes. Back then in Neary’s circles, “people did not go away to college.” Talk about culture shock. “Absolutely,” he says. “Oh gosh. I was not ready for the Midwest experience. I was from an urban environment. What’s this thing called country music? I’d never heard it before.” He came back home to attend law school at New York University in the heart of Greenwich Village. It was after Dylan and his crowd were haunting the Bitter End, and before the Millennials were texting their brains out. “It was Needle Alley,” Neary says. Nevertheless, it was where the bowtie first caught his fancy. “I was a law student in the NYU criminal law clinic,” he recalls. “The first week I saw an assistant district attorney working the courts wearing a bowtie, and I thought it was cool.” The rest is history. “I haven’t worn a straight tie since the mid ’70s,” he says.

“It takes a certain conscience to be able to represent people.”

COACH IN THE CLASSROOM “Teaching comes naturally to me,” Neary says. “I love teaching law students.” He describes it as the “whistleand-clipboard” technique. “Not lecture hall. I’m handson. I teach young lawyers how to try cases. How do we do this? I jump up and have them do it again. I’m a trial coach: back to the basketball metaphor again.” He has his students at Rutgers and Notre Dame read or reread To Kill a Mockingbird. “I go back to South Bend twice a year to teach, and I have to re-acclimate myself,” he says. By that he means, reacquaint himself with the country-music scene.

FULL CIRCLE Neary calls me early on a Sunday morning. He’s already been to the basketball court in Jersey City’s Hamilton Park—he texts me a selfie to prove it. We go over key points that are important to him. “It may sound somewhat trite,” he says, “but I wanted to help people. I liked standing up to people. I hated bullies.” His career as a defense attorney has borne that out. Though he gave up his Hoboken office, he now has an office in Hackensack and in a “gorgeous location” on Exchange Place in Jersey City with three other lawyers and two staffers. “I am so fortunate and so grateful, and I love to give back,” Neary says. “I can talk to a Supreme Court justice in the morning and a basketball coach in the afternoon.” Where are you headed, I ask him. “The Hudson County Jail.”—07030

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JOE AND MARIO

Joe says his recent success was a surprise and has been a great honor. “AGFC pretty much gave me an award without me knowing, which was very exciting,” says Joe, with a brilliant smile. “And then my film was nominated and shown for best documentary. I didn’t win, but being nominated was a really big opportunity and accomplishment for me.” Like many Hobokenites, Joe enjoys hanging out around the city: in its parks and restaurants, and along the waterfront. But in a city of some of 50,000, Joe is truly one of a kind. As a child growing up in Hoboken, he enjoyed playing sports like baseball, basketball, and hockey and playing recreationally in the city’s parks. He kept himself active until he was diagnosed with Friedreich Ataxia (FA) as a teenager, after his parents noticed his mobility seemed to be off. FA is a recessive inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system, affecting muscle

coordination, and can lead to other complications such as scoliosis, heart disease, and diabetes. Fortunately, the disease has no cognitive effects. It has been more than a decade since Joe was diagnosed with FA; he now uses a motorized wheelchair. Still, Joe has not let his disease disrupt his ambitions and is currently pursuing his MBA in Media Production at New Jersey City University. Looking for a New Hope is an eye-opening documentary that illuminates Joe’s day-to-day challenges. Joe says the disease affects about 1 in 50,000 people in the U.S. “My video was meant to raise awareness of people without FA,” Joe says. “I want them to have an open mind about it and actually get themselves tested. If someone in your family has problems with walking, you should get them tested or maybe before you have a kid. ... It’s really tough on everyone, so you should get yourself checked out.”

Currently there is no cure or treatments for FA. However, recent research has led to breakthroughs in finding one. Joe hopes that awareness of the disease continues to grow and garner the attention it deserves.

He’s Game Joe has other passions besides film production, such as gaming. He enjoys video games, board games, and app games, like the popular Pokemon Go. With hotspots all around Hoboken, Pokemon Go has led Joe to meeting new friends, whom he might not have met otherwise.

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HANGING OUT WITH 07030

“There’s a lot people, especially from Stevens and others that come from all over,” Joe says. “It’s like, ‘Where did you guys come from? Are you from Hoboken?’ So it gets me out there and talking to people like, ‘Hey, I found a Pikachu!’” Joe loves being outdoors. Weather is a big factor in his ability to get around town. But there are others. “The problem with most stores in Hoboken is that they’re all grandfathered,” Joe says. “They have steps that are built in the foundation, and I can’t get up them.”

When Joe visited the recently opened Aether Game Cafe on Fifth and Washington, some hometown hospitality made the cafe one of his new favorite places to hang out at. “It was a little bit intimidating because it’s a brand new place, and they have steps,” Joe says. “I talked to the owner, and he said he would work on something for the entranceway, and that it was no problem. It took a couple weeks, but now they have a ramp to help me get inside. I feel like it’s one of the few places that is accessible.”

Joe faces his challenges with persistence and vigor but says he always welcomes a helping hand. He admits that at times the obstacles are frustrating, but Joe Cantatore usually finds a way to overcome them.—07030 To watch Looking for a New Hope: Joe and His Life with FA, visit Joe’s YouTube channel at JoeyCoolProductions. To learn more about FA visitcurefa.com.


EDITOR'S LETTER 07030 from page 12

It’s also not news that Hoboken draws talented, innovative, and entrepreneurial types to live and do business here. At one end of the spectrum you have a one-woman weddingdress designer operating out of a tiny space on Monroe Street. On the other, you have brawny Elvi Guzman, the force behind the City Challenge Obstacle race. Wildly different, they share wild success. In between are lots of other folks who are doing their thing in the Mile Square: We’ve got high-profile defense attorney Brian Neary. If you’re in the dog house or in the big house, you want him on your side. Don’t miss Mario Martinez’s story on Joseph Cantatore, who is educating the public through documentaries about Friedreich’s Ataxia, a condition he’s had since he was 13 years old. Or Al Sullivan’s story on our own Caren Lissner, Hudson Reporter Editor in Chief. Her novel, “Carrie Pilby,” was made into a movie that was screened at the Toronto Film Festival. As fall turns to winter, indoor sports are the thing. Catch Jim Hague’s story on the Edge wrestlers. A personal favorite of mine is our feature on World War II vets. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, we are so lucky to have them in our midst, telling funny stories, and in most cases, playing down their heroism. But they are heroes, and Craig Wallace Dale did a lovely job of capturing their wit and wisdom, and their legacy of courage and sacrifice. We’ve got a couple of fun stories about the name “Hoboken.” Where did it come from, and what about all those books with “Hoboken” in the title? “The Hoboken Chicken Emergency,” anyone?—07030

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DATES 07030 from page 19

27 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

30 Hoboken House Tour, various locations, (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org. 10 a.m.– 4 p.m. An annual tour of some of the great private homes in Hoboken. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 on the day of the tour.

31 Ragamuffin Parade, 13th and Washington Streets, (201) 420-2207, hobokennj.org. 3 p.m. Lineup starts on 13th Street and heads down Washington Street, followed by a Costume Contest at the Little League Field. Prizes awarded for the best costumes. Friends Halloween Themed Trivia, Maxwell’s, 1039 Washington St., (201) 798-0406, maxwellsnj.com, 8 p.m. Put your knowledge of Friends Halloween-themed episodes to the test. RSVP at halloweenfriends tv.eventbrite.com.

NOVEMBER 2 Disney Movie Trivia, House of ‘Que, 340 Sinatra Dr., (201) 706-8755, houseofque.com, 8 p.m. Put your knowledge of Disney movies to the test. RSVP at hobokendisney.eventbrite.com.

4 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

6 Downtown Storytime, Fire Department Museum, 213 Bloomfield St., hoboken museum.org, 12 p.m. Children ages 2-5, and their parents or guardians, are invited to join see page 47

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Treading the B O A R D S

DANIELLE MILLER

Hoboken students get into the act BY TARA RYAZANSKY IMAGES BY TBISHPHOTO

D

anielle Miller, known by her students as simply “Miller,” has been teaching theater at Hoboken High School for six years. Her classroom looks like it would fit in an art school campus. The black walls are decorated with Greek masks and various medals won by her actors. Instead of rows of desks, her students sit in a circle talking about the details of a scene. Adding to the collegiate vibe is the way that Miller asks them for their opinions. Theater is

a collaborative effort in Miller’s classroom. “They’re extremely mature young adults,” Miller says. The teenagers help fill her many roles as a theater teacher. “I’m director, I’m producer, making the fliers, sticking to the budget, set designer, costumes, my hand is in every pot,” she says. “I have to delegate.” The close bond, engendered by this collaborative style, means that many alumni come back to mentor current students or help with plays. “I actually just hired two of them to be production assistants,” she said. “They all come back.”

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The theater program has two big shows each year. One is the high-school musical; the other is a district show that is open to students in all Hoboken public schools. Last year more than 150 students from kindergarten through 12th grade tried out. Miller’s high school students are role models for the little kids. “In Beauty and the Beast we had our Chip being played by a second grader,” recalls junior, Dave Rivera. “He was the liveliest kid that you would ever meet.” Adds junior Ivelisse Lorenzo, “And he was the loudest singer. He was the best singer. He was amazing.” Rivera says,


H O R R O R S O F

“He would come in, and even if you were having the worst day ever you would leave smiling.” “He was definitely a trouper too,” says Hannah Mack, Drama Club president. “The costume that he had to be in was a big tray table. He had to sit in a really uncomfortable position for the whole show, and he did not complain. It’s really cool to see how children put as much effort into the shows as we do because they love being a part of it.” “His parents told me that he had been having a really hard year at school, because he wasn’t doing well at sports,” Miller says. “The play really helped him.”

Miller believes that theater, or any of the arts, benefits students of all ages. “What’s great about theater education is that I am not here just to create Broadway actors, though some of them are talented enough that they could be a contender if they wanted,” Miller says. “It’s teaching them teamwork, collaboration, self-confidence, and public speaking skills. In any

L I T T L E

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THE DRAMA OF LIFE

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job out there in the world they’re going to need those skills.” Theater enhances self-knowledge. “A creative outlet allows them to discover new things about themselves,” Miller says. “It allows them to be confident no matter what they look like, no matter their sexual orientation or what their family life is like. They get to really feel proud about something that they do.” Miller’s Thespians Competition Team is especially proud of performing at the International Thespian Festival in Nebraska last year. The team has had a few students who qualified to go individually over the years, but this was the first time that all 14 students won. To qualify for the international fest, they first had to win at the New Jersey Thespians Festival. “Last year I found this play called Almost Maine,” Miller says. “It’s set in this made-up town, and it’s about the people who live in this 200people town. These characters are dealing with the most powerful thing that we all deal with in life, which is love. Every scene is a completely different relationship, some finding love, some losing love, some realizing they have to love themselves. Some are comedic, some dramatic.” She went on, “We performed that last year in Nebraska, and we won first place. It was so exciting.” The Hoboken School District funded the Nebraska trip because the entire team won for the play, instead of individual kids winning awards for best actor or best supporting actor. At press time, the club was fundraising to support this year’s trip to Nebraska, which costs about $1,700 per student. The fest includes plays and workshops, so they will attend even if they don’t win the New Jersey event.

ART IS FOR MATH GEEKS, TOO Miller, who is the president of the Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey, created an event that gives all local students a similar experience. “We host Hudson County Theatre Day every year in January, where every public school in Hudson County comes to Hoboken, and

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B E A S T T H E A N D B E A U T Y

students get to take four workshops with professionals in the field for free,” Miller says. “Since we are so close to the city we have been able to form many relationships with professional actors and playwrights.” Miller feels she lucked out in her job teaching theater, which she refers to as “art.” “I just love teaching art in this town,” she says. “Our program is really strong, but that’s not the case all across the state, and it’s getting worse and worse as the years go on. I’m a big advocate for trying to mainstream the importance of art in every subject and every classroom.” She teaches a professional-development workshop that shows teachers how to bring theater games and exercises into classes like math or history. “New Jersey only requires one class of art in high school for you to be able to graduate, and I think that it should be one per year,” Miller says. “Art teachers like myself want to push for more because art affects everything else. Students who take art have higher GPAs, and they’re more likely to graduate from a four-year college. I love to go to other schools and say, ‘Bring art into all of the classrooms, and this is how you do it.’”—07030

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B U S I N E S S E S

M A K E

ELVI GUZMAN

CITY CHALLENGE OBSTACLE RACE 121 River St. (201) 659-3873 citychallengerace.com

PHOTOS BY ALYSSA BREDIN INTERVIEWS BY KATE ROUNDS

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H O B O K E N

W O R K

NO OBSTACLES Competing for a cause

If

you’re walking along Sinatra Drive and spot a guy— or a gal—jumping or sliding over a police car or taxi cab, no worries. It’s all part of an obstacle race to raise funds for charities. An unfortunate event in his own family spurred Elvi Guzman to launch this exciting and community-spirited enterprise. Just as his sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, Guzman conceived of the City Challenge Obstacle race. “An urban race right in our backyard would be a great idea,” Guzman says. The idea, which came to fruition in spring 2013, was similar to the Mud Run. But for that event, “Folks had to travel hours to get to a venue,” Guzman says, “and had to throw away their muddy shoes after the race.” This obstacle course runs through city streets, as opposed to in parks or mountainous areas. Currently, races take place in Hoboken, Jersey City, New York City, and Orlando. Guzman wants to expand to other cities, such as Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. He emphasizes that these are not franchises. “In my races, we travel to those cities,” he says, “load the obstacles and produce the races.” Given its charitable mission, “obstacle” may not be the best word to describe these events. For that first race, Guzman raised funds for the Susan G. Komen organization to fight breast cancer. Thankfully, his sister is now healthy. Other nonprofits that receive a portion of funds from ticket sales include The Wounded Warrior Project; Jersey City Youth Foundation; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; Safe Horizon New York; the United Negro College Fund; and the Hoboken Shelter. This year, the city of Hoboken partnered with City Challenge and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties for the October 1 race to raise funds and awareness for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

A Fit Kid Guzman, who is Dominican, came to the U.S. at age 7, grew up in Perth Amboy, went to junior college in Edison, and earned a degree in business management from Florida International University in Miami. His background is in the

hospitality business, where he worked in the management program of the Ritz-Carlton. So, how did he go from all this to the obstacle-race business? “I grew up playing sports,” Guzman says, “being very active in gym class, running in the backyard with neighbors, playing baseball and basketball. I have a background in amateur boxing exhibitions. I have a fitness-oriented lifestyle.” Now, at age 37, he’s lived in Hoboken for eight years, coming here for the reason most newcomers do: the easy commute to Manhattan. Though his family is not part of his business, his family and friends show up on race days to volunteer. At press time, he’d produced some seven races. He produced Turkey Trots in Hoboken and the Jersey City Heights, and the New Year’s Run and the Valentine’s Day 5K, both here in town. Guzman is the brains behind the obstacles, including the jump-over-the-car favorite, unique to his race.

Church and Champs “I come from a very humble background,” Guzman says. “My parents have a high-school education. They worked in factories to put us through school, so the struggle is real. There were eight of us in a three-bedroom apartment. I grew the business through hard work and God’s will.” He attends Saints Peter and Paul in Hoboken every Sunday. For his success, he credits “God and His will, combined with hard work and relentless efforts.” The hard work has paid off. “The most fulfilling thing about going into this type of business,” he says, “is seeing people lose weight, get in shape, and live an active and healthier lifestyle through fitness. I see them cross the finish line after a grueling hour-long obstacle race. The smiles on their faces motivate me to create great events for our community.” Those events can be life-altering. “Athletes lose 50, 60, or 70 pounds, give up alcohol and smoking, and keep the weight off, thanks to participations in the race,” Guzman says. “They turn around their lives completely. It’s fulfilling to see.”

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SUSANNA’S BRIDAL & EVENING BOUTIQUE 301 Monroe St. (201) 420-0355 susannasbridal.com

SAY YES TO THE DRESS A wedding-dress diva wows the ‘I Do’ crowd

N

ot every genius is scrawling equations on a blackboard. At least one is creating magic on Monroe Street in Hoboken. The minute you lay eyes on her, you’re aware of her presence. She occupies. I’m sitting on the stoop across from her tiny shop. A white van is parked in front. The only part of her visible under the van are her feet, straining against a teeny pair of flats. She’s instructing deliverymen to remove her couch. Amazon delivered the wrong one. On this beautiful September afternoon, chaos is just barely held at bay. There’s the couch, there are clients, and there’s me, threatening to bring her comfortable chaos into terra incognita. She tries to shoo me away, pleading alterations-overload. Undeterred, I pull up a chair and watch her work.

Clothes Make the Woman Susanna comes to Hoboken by way of Armenia, Russia, and France. She has a comforting Russian accent but is easily understood. An incongruous combo of solid Soviet stock and French haute couture, she has strong hands—she could be sheetrocking as well as sewing—her features are bold, her body robust but swathed in the most feminine handmade dresses. Knowing and intuitive, Susanna sizes you up right away. Still, she can’t fathom that there’s a woman on this planet—me—who doesn’t own or wear a dress. Mon Dieu! Her first client, Katie, has brought in a number of garments that need to be altered. Susanna is the master of the sleightof-hand, making her clients think that they’re in control. Her adventurous English is peppered with American idioms and slang. “OK, baby, I understand.” She’s also tech savvy. “Google my reviews on Yelp!” “Oh my God, really nice, cute,” she says to Katie, whom she persists in calling Kelly, never mind that two out of three people in the room are named Kate. Kelly/Katie starts with a long skirt and strapped top. “Baby, what you doing. That no question, no problem, one inch. You look OK? A little less. I want you to tell me.” They wrangle a bit over how much to hem. “Sometime you don’t listen to me. Good girl. When you need, ASAP I know.” Now it’s time for a back-and-forth about the date and price. “OK, baby, Saturday at 7, but how much I cannot tell you.” Prices for each alteration range from $5 to $20. She finally decides on $40 for the lot. “You pay now or later. Cash or credit. Up to you.”

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Here Comes the Bride! A bride-to-be and her sister-in-law touch down from Wayne, NJ. “Congratulations! Health, happiness, children, and money!” Susanna yells as the two, looking a little bewildered, venture, unsuspecting, into Susanna’s world. She shows them a $4,000 gown on a mannequin. But this bride knows exactly what she wants: a ball gown with a puffy satin bottom, cap sleeves, and a crystal-beaded bodice. “No problem! Not any dress I couldn’t make! Don’t worry!” “You have a cute body!” Susanna observes, lifting her own breasts to demonstrate that some women aren’t burly enough to hold up a strapless dress. They get the picture. “You want back opened or closed?” The bride doesn’t care but insists that the waist be at the waist, not below. Susanna agrees, encircling the woman’s waist with her muscular hands, one finger sporting a huge amber ring. Then comes a long discussion of crystal. Thinking stemware and chandeliers, I had to Google it to get my bearings: We’re in the realm of beaded ornaments that decorate the bodice. Susanna explains that the crystals have to be bought separately. Turns out that the sister-in-law’s dress has the exact right bottom, so all Susanna has to do is create the top. The sisterin-law goes to the car to retrieve it, returning in a huge cloud of puffy satin; you can hardly see her face. Will the top look like it’s connected to the bottom? But of course. “Don’t be scared. I know what I’m doing. In 40 years I’ve never had an unhappy customer.” A few days later, photographer Alyssa Bredin and I return for the photo shoot. This time, Susana’s hair is quaffed, makeup applied, black heels in place of flats, and yet another handmade dress. She disappears for a minute into the changing room. “Inside out,” she explains. Once Alyssa starts shooting, Susanna’s thrilled, shooting pictures of the pictures with her smartphone. Alyssa discloses that she’s getting married soon. “Baby, I make dress for you.” Alas, the dress is already bought. “Wait a minute, find size,” Susanna says, grabbing a cocktail dress from the rack and flinging the hanger on the floor. Alyssa tries it on. Perfect. It’s a gift. “I work hard to make my customers happy,” Susanna says. “I give them everything what they want.”—07030


HOW WE WORK 07030

SUSANNA

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PETER WITH SOPHIE, AND CLARE WITH LILY


How We

HOW WE LIVE 07030

TENTH AND BLOOMFIELD INTERIORS BY JESSICA BROWN PHOTO OF COSSIO FAMILY BY DANIELLE GUENTHER PHOTOGRAPHY

I

can’t tell you the number of Manhattanites who move across the river, assuming that their social lives will stay in Manhattan, only to discover that there’s plenty to do right here in Hoboken. Peter Cossio went two steps further, joining the boards of the Hoboken Historical Museum and the Shade Tree Commission. Now a broker with Halstead, Cossio came over here to invest in real estate. He and his wife, Clare, were living in a rentstabilized apartment. The price was right, but the size wasn’t, especially since kids were in their future. They started out in 2001 in a small condo on Bloomfield. A couple of years later they moved to Maxwell Place. They bought their current home on

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Tenth Street in 2008. In need of renovation, the house was ready for prime time in 2009. Originally a four-family, it occupies four floors. In the beginning they had a tenant in the garden level, but now the space comes in handy for overnight guests. On the parlor floor is a living room, kitchen, and dining room, overlooking the garden on Bloomfield. There are five bedrooms. On the second floor is the master bedroom with an ensuite bath, a laundry room, an office, and another bedroom. Above that are two bedrooms and a bath for the kids, Sophie, 11, and Lily, 9. This 1870s townhouse satisfied the Cossios’ love and respect for historic structures. Peter was enamored of the original moldings; damaged ones were restored during the renovation process. “It was quite interesting,” he says. “Silicone molds were drying in different rooms.” The Victorian home was built in the Italianate style, which was popular at the time, with many Italian immigrants doing the work. Peter notes an unusual feature of the house are metal lintels, painted to look like brownstone; most lintels are stone or brick. A popular practice at the time was to build anywhere from two to four homes in a row with a shared cornice that peaks in the middle. “I find it interesting,” Peter says. “The quality of the homes built back then was high, and there’s a certain value in preserving history through time and making it so that modern families can live in homes where they can appreciate the history.” When you restore them, he says, you make the interiors attractive to modern families. “We had the opportunity to take a house that was chopped up for four families and make it into a single-family, which is what it was originally,” Peter says, “and restore some of the original architectural features, such as the molding.” When these houses were first built, the kitchens were usually on the garden level. The Cossio kitchen, as with many such renovations, is on the parlor floor. “The kitchen is the place where everyone congregates,” Peter says. “It’s the heart of the home and the most dramatic space, with high ceilings and ornate historical details.” Back in the day, there was a Downton Abbey feel to the place, with cooks coming in every day to prepare meals, which were sent to the family upstairs. In contemporary times, the Cossio kids have been attending All Saints Episcopal Day School since they were in nursery school. “We spend a lot of time here,” Cossio says. “It’s a great community. I live and work here and ride my bike to work. It’s a nice way to live. The kids walk to school and play in Elysian Park.” The Cossios are invested in the town. “I make sure Hoboken is taken care of,” Peter says, “by helping to preserve history and making sure the trees are healthy.” Except for visiting museums, there is no need to go back to Manhattan. “Everything is here,” he says, “whether it’s yoga class for kids or great bars and restaurants.” – Kate Rounds

HOW WE LIVE 07030


DATES 07030 from page 34

us for story time. No reservation required. Arrive early to secure a good spot. Free. WWI Author Talk: Jeffrey Sammons, “Harlem’s Rattlers and the Great War: From Hoboken to the Rhine and Back,” Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 4 p.m. The lecture series, “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of World War I,” continues with NYU history professor and author Jeffrey Sammons. Free. NJ Mom Baby Expo, W Hotel, 225 River St., njbabyexpo.com, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Featuring 60+ premium baby and toddler brands, educational seminars and demos, one-day-only discounts, giveaways and more. Tickets at njbabyexpo.com.

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8 Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour, various locations, (201) 420-2207, hobokennj.org. This city-wide self-guided walking tour of artists’ studios, galleries and group exhibitions features the work of over 100 local artists. Pick up maps at City Hall on the day of the tour, located at 94 Washington St.

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11 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

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Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

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WWI Author Talk: Christina ZieglerMcPherson, “A City on the Eve of War, Hoboken in 1916-1917,” Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 1 p.m. The lecture series, “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of World War I,” continues with public historian and exhibit curator Dr. Christina Ziegler-McPherson. Free. see page 51

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DAVE ESPOSITO

JEFF MARSH

PHOTOS BY ANTHONY B. GEATHERS

On the

Hoboken wrestling goes to the mat 48 â&#x20AC;¢ 07030 HOBOKEN ~ FALL | WINTER 2016 | 17


BY JIM HAGUE

N

estled in a second-floor space that’s been converted into a full-fledged gymnasium on Newark Street near the Jersey City border lies the future of athletics in Hoboken. You might think it’s football because, after all, the high-school grid team, the Redwings, have captured 10 NJSIAA state championships over the years, the most in Hudson County history. Or perhaps it’s baseball because, after all, the sport was invented in the Mile Square City on June 19, 1846, when Alexander Cartwright brought the game he created to the Elysian Fields in a matchup between the Knickerbocker Club and the New York Nine. Maybe it’s basketball, because, after all, Hoboken sent Derrick Alston to the NBA, and the Redwings won their share of county and state crowns. Nope, the future of athletics in Hoboken lies in wrestling. Not the WWE stuff with Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon. That’s staged entertainment. We’re talking real wrestling, the kind they used to have in the Olympics, with headgear and flat mats and singlet uniforms and pure strength and quickness.

The Origin Story Six years ago, Dave Esposito, an excellent wrestler at John F. Kennedy High School in Iselin and Lehigh University, wanted to bring wrestling to Hoboken. After graduating from Lehigh, Esposito began to coach at a wrestling school founded by the legendary Ernie Monaco in Belleville called Edge Wrestling. Esposito trained at the Edge under Monaco when he was in high school and college, where Esposito became an NCAA Division I All-American. “Then I was a coach,” Esposito said. Esposito, 40, went on to gain his Master’s degree from Columbia University and coached there as well. A Hoboken resident, Esposito decided that he could serve his wrestlers well by opening a gym/training facility here. “While I was at Columbia, I found the place that had the space,”

Esposito said. “But it was in a community that never had wrestling before. I had the chance to start the Edge Wrestling and did so with Ernie’s blessing.” Esposito had no idea how it would be received. “It’s a great sport that keeps the kids active and busy,” he said. “It teaches them about discipline, about mental toughness, about the rewards that come with hard work. When we first started, we couldn’t predict how many kids we would get.” Esposito aligned himself with good coaches to work with the Edge students.

SPORTS & FITNESS 07030

Marsh Land Enter Jeff Marsh, 31, a native of Dexter, Michigan. A two-time state champion in Michigan (Dexter High School), he went on to wrestle at the University of Michigan. He won three Big 10 titles there and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament once. Esposito recruited Marsh to Columbia to coach there as a graduate student. “I would come to New Jersey to train with Dave,” Marsh said. “I knew that there were a lot of good wrestlers in New Jersey. It was different than Ann Arbor. I would stay here in New Jersey for a couple of weeks, then go home. But I found that I loved it here.” Enough, maybe, to start a business in New Jersey. In 2011, Marsh and Esposito joined forces to bring wrestling to

PHOTO BY ANNETTE DAVIS

PHOTO BY VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

PHOTO BY ANNETTE DAVIS

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Hoboken. Esposito also opened a satellite facility to Edge Wrestling on Jersey Street. “As soon as I saw what Dave had done, I said, ‘I’m in,’” Marsh said. “We then started to build the program.” When Marsh signed on, only 20 kids were registered. “By being an ex-wrestler, word of mouth got out,” Esposito said. “We found out that we have a lot of former wrestlers in Hoboken and Jersey City. And they had kids. There were a lot of kids that were interested.”

Real Wrestling One of those kids was James Davis. “When I was a kid, I thought wrestling was only the WWE,” Davis said. “I’m a big WWE fan and wanted to get involved. I thought it was going to be like WWE. I never knew about this kind of wrestling before.” But it didn’t take long for Davis, a high-school freshman, to like conventional wrestling. “The thing I like the best is that it’s a team sport, but it’s also individual,” Davis said. “You can’t have someone win your match for you.” Luke Leonard, another Hoboken resident, had a wrestling background. “My dad [Andy] was a wrestler at Bergenfield High,” Leonard said. “He said it was a great sport, that it teaches you discipline and hard work. I checked it out when it first started in Hoboken and really liked it. You learn things at your own pace. I got to meet the coaches as people. They taught me the techniques I needed.” Leonard took private lessons at the Edge throughout high school. “There were so many things I needed to work on,” Leonard said. “I would tape my matches and bring them to Dave and Jeff, and they would work on things for me.” Leonard went on to wrestle at 182 pounds at St. Peter’s Prep and advanced to the NJSIAA District 16 finals. He now attends Miami University of Ohio, which does not have a wrestling team. “But I do volunteer coaching for the Hoboken Recreation team,” Leonard said.

Children and Champs Close to 100 kids participate in the Edge Wrestling program. “Every day we talk of running technique,” said Marsh, who also is an

PHOTO BY VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

7-year-old Jacquin and 5-year-old Jordan. Marty Martinelli of Union City is another up-and-coming wrestler. “We have 75 kids who are registered here through Hoboken Recreation and another 25 who wrestle year-round,” Marsh said. There are also adult wrestling sessions, but those hearty souls do it for fun. There are also jiu jitsu classes and Muay Thai lessons for all ages and skill levels. And there are classes for the mixed martial arts (MMA), which is now the rage everywhere, both in spectator and participation. “Frankie Edgar [one of the topranked MMA fighters in the UFC] comes here sporadically,” Marsh said. “Rafael Natal [who has had 12 fights in the UFC] trains at the Edge regularly. So does Damian Maia from Brazil. Rashad Evans has popped in.”

Join the Club

PHOTO BY VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

assistant coach at Stevens Tech. “I can run the same practice with the college as I do with the kids. Wrestling is an easy sport to pick up, and it builds their confidence. We have kids who are fully committed to the sport.” One of the top wrestlers is 9-year-old Anthony DeFillippis, who took second at the Mid-Atlantic districts for 9-yearolds. Seven-year-old Will Gallucci was named the Novice of the Year. He comes from a family of wrestlers, joining Nick Gallucci and Ben Gallucci, both of whom wrestled for St. Peter’s Prep. Julian Duquet is a 10-year-old who won the district and regional championship. He has two younger brothers,

“The adult programs are big,” Marsh said. “We have 12 different people who attend different classes at high levels. But the main focus to me is the kids. Fifty percent of our students are kids under 10.” James Davis attends Hoboken High School, which doesn’t have a wrestling team. “I’m thinking about starting a petition to get wrestling in Hoboken,” he said. “I want to see if we can get enough signatures to get it done.” “Wrestling is my favorite sport now,” he continued. “I think about it every day. I get training from guys who train the best in the world.” Said Esposito, “It’s pretty crazy how fast it’s grown. When I first started, did I think this was possible? No. We have coaches, who put their heart and soul into it, and we have great parents.” Two of the parents are talk show host Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos. Their sons are in the program. “The kids are like sponges,” Esposito said. “They soak everything in. It’s definitely rewarding, but we’re trying to achieve more. If I can provide a place for kids, a place to keep them safe and off the streets, then I’m doing my job. If they become good wrestlers? Well, that’s just icing on the cake.”—07030

To learn more about Edge Wrestling and its programs for kids and adults, visit edgehoboken.com


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Holiday Banding Concert, date and location TBA, (201) 420-2207, hobokennj.org. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m.

1 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

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Christmas Tree Lighting, Hoboken City Hall, 94 Washington St., (201) 420-2207, hoboken nj.org, 5 p.m. Featuring Elvis the Elf, an appearance by Santa Claus, and much more.

8 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

11 WWI Author Talk: Richard Striner, “Woodrow Wilson’s Failure of Wartime Leadership,” Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 4 p.m. The lecture series, “Heaven, Hell or Hoboken: Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of World War I,” continues with Washington College history professor and author Dr. Richard Striner.

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15 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

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635 Washington St. | Hoboken, NJ | 201 201-659-0009 -659-0009 07030 HOBOKEN ~ FALL | WINTER 2016 | 17 •

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Thanks for the Memories A peek into the Hoboken Museum’s “attic”

BY MELISSA ABERNATHY PHOTOS COURTESEY OF THE HOBOKEN HISTORICAL MUSEUM

O

ver the past 30 years, the Hoboken Historical Museum has collected a dizzying array of donated, acquired, and salvaged artifacts, from documents, books, and photographs to storefront signs and costumes. Some of the items are as small as cocktail picks from the great transatlantic ocean liners; others are as huge as the 14foot neon “Last Drop” from the Maxwell House sign. Each object hints at a different facet of Hoboken’s colorful history. Since its founding in 1986, the museum has collected more than 100,000 items, all carefully catalogued and neatly stowed in the museum’s tiny collections storage space in the Shipyard complex. The space is maxed out, so the museum recently launched a campaign to raise more than $100,000 in donations from the community to create a new Hoboken Museum Archives and Research Center. The goal is not only to accommodate the museum’s next 30 years of collecting, but to provide space for researchers and visitors to use these resources with the assistance of the Collections Manager. In the meantime, you can browse the vast majority of the museum’s collections online, at hoboken museum.org /research/collections. Here is a sneak peek at some of the fun, functional, and funky items that help tell today’s generations about Hoboken’s storied past.

Enameled pin for Hoboken Turtle Club.

PARTY CITY Evidence that Hoboken had a thriving party scene over a century ago is seen in this framed collection of 70 tickets from various dances, costume balls, and social events from Hoboken and Hudson County between 1914 and 1920. Collected by Joseph Bucino and donated to the museum by Anthony Bucino, these tickets document the range of entertainments for the price of a quarter, including live music –

Sign from Apicella’s Fish Market.

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Stock Certificate for the Hoboken Ferry Company.

Tickets from various social events.


ARCHIVES & ARTIFACTS 07030

Returning Army troops aboard the U.S.S. Von Steuben, Hoboken, April 19, 1919. Hawaiian and Dixieland were popular – free or reduced admission for ladies, and prizes for the largest groups to appear at the door. Displayed in the museum’s 2012 exhibition, “I Belong: A History of Civic and Social Clubs in Hoboken.” http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.com/webobject/0B936E1A7198-481C-99B6-815538621380

SOMETHING FISHY Standing out on Hoboken’s bustling First Street wasn’t easy, so Joseph

Hoboken’s 300th anniversary program.

Apicella’s & Sons Fish Market, 309 First St., hung a huge 6-by-6-foot, doublesided sign in the shape of a leaping swordfish, suspended above the waveedged, store-wide business sign with the slogan, “Enjoy that fresh fish flavor.” Established in 1906, the business endured for nearly 100 years, supplying family kitchens as well as the cafeterias and dining halls of St. Mary’s hospital, local factories Maxwell House and Lipton Tea, and the Holland America steamship line. It was dismounted from

K & E Improved Transit Compass.

the building in 2007, after the business closed in 2005. http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/webobject/3775F4A5-BA78-4D92AD63-184249470851

HOOKED ON HOBOKEN A longshoreman’s hook was more than a prop for the 1954 movie On the Waterfront. For tens of thousands of Hoboken men, it meant access to paying jobs during the first half of the 20th century. Donald “Red” Barrett, inter-

False passport issued to NYT drama critic Brooks Atkinson.

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viewed for the museum’s oral history chapbook, “The Hook,” worked on the Hoboken docks in the 1960s. “We had to buy our own hooks. Well, the big hook that I had—if you were on the waterfront with the guys [you needed it to move cargo]—I always kept it on my belt, [even] when I’d be driving the car.” http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/photo/EE582E53-34D3-41BEACDC-980140033302

GOOD TO THE LAST DROP A surprising amount of the museum’s collection was salvaged just before it was hauled off to the rubbish heap. One of the largest items in the collections is the 14-by-5.5-foot neon Maxwell House Coffee Drop sign that once faced New York City from the General Foods factory at 11th and Hudson Street. A dismantling company worker saved it when the factory was demolished in 1993-94, and later donated it to the museum. All other parts of the sign were scrapped. The original sign, 182 feet long by 75 feet high, was designed by Arthur R. Blair, and erected in 1938 by the Claude Neon Lights Company. “Good to the Last Drop” was ranked sixth among the top 10 advertising slogans of the 20th century by Advertising Age. http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/webobject/F3F7E1DD-BFA7-4F349197-912020555611

REVENGE ON THE TURTLES One of Hoboken’s earliest recorded social groups dates to 1796, when Hoboken founder Col. John Stevens and his buddy Alexander Hamilton cooked up an idea to exact revenge on the giant river turtles who had been stealing Stevens’s prize chickens. Turtle soup and “great tubs of punch” became the centerpieces of an annual gourmand feast for hundreds of Turtle Club members drawn from all over the region. The club lasted for well over a century, with medallions and medals identifying members, whose motto was the lighthearted “As we journey through life, let us live by the way.” This enameled pin, circa 1880-1900, is owned by former Museum Trustee Paul Neshamkin. http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/photo/F442C482-1E5C-4923-8856064550126155

Longshoreman’s hook.

A PASSPORT TO HOBOKEN FREE STATE In 1928, a bon vivant from New York, Christopher Morley, was charmed by Hoboken’s theater scene and dubbed it the “Seacoast of Bohemia,” in a book and in several light-hearted articles in the New Yorker and other popular magazines. He and three partners took over the Empire Theater and renamed it the Rialto, putting on stage productions, light opera, stock theater, and more until about 1959. They created an elaborate pseudo-passport to the “Hoboken Free State” for New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson, with a cartoon-style map of Hoboken’s many theaters and other attractions. http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/archive/EC2806A5-5D51-4AB09FAF-115931825540

TAKING STOCK OF PUBLIC TRANSIT Stock certificates tell the story of Hoboken’s earliest public transit companies, the Hoboken Ferry Company and the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad Company, which eventually became the PATH system. Each is valued at $100 per share, and both are beautifully illustrated. The Ferry certificate sports a vignette of the ferryboat Bergen, while the “Hudson Tubes” are illustrated in cross-section. Hoboken Ferry Company (1890-1900) http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/webobject/F85DB87C-1359-403BBE6E-105901230627 Hudson & Manhattan Railroad (1910, 1923) http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/webobject/B289AD9B-87F1-4B178855-310835492984

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IN TRANSIT

In 1867, Hoboken residents Wilhelm Johann Diedrich Keuffel and Herman Esser founded the Keuffel & Esser Company to import and sell precision instruments, like this “Improved Transit” (1924) for the architectural, engineering, and drafting professions. Its first office was in Manhattan at 79 Nassau St. As demand grew, it began manufacturing its own products in Hoboken in 1875, opening a complex of factory and office buildings on either side of Adams Street at Third Street. K&E instruments helped build the Brooklyn Bridge and Panama Canal, as well as its bread-and-butter item, the slide rule. http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/webobject/9E20935E-1944-4BE89EC9-182344324669

“HEAVEN, HELL OR HOBOKEN” General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, rallied the troops in France on the eve of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive by telling them that they would be in “Heaven, Hell, or Hoboken” by Christmas. Hoboken was the port that nearly all soldiers would pass through on their way home. The first convoy carrying U.S. troops to war left Hoboken on June 14, 1917. Approximately two million servicemen passed through Hoboken between the spring of 1917 and the fall of 1918.— 07030 http://hoboken.pastperfectonline.co m/photo/A6EAF74A-A78F-415F-8799267099255067


POINT&

SHOOT

MOON OVER MILE SQUARE PHOTO BY VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

SEND YOUR HOBOKEN PHOTOS TO 07030@HUDSONREPORTER.COM. BE SURE TO WRITE “POINT & SHOOT” IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

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HELPIN

G

tephan ft) and S e (l s n e tev Tiara S

ie Stadig

Role Models True Mentors makes great matches

PHOTOS BY VICTOR M. RODRIGUEZ

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may be the worst-kept secret of parenting: Kids would rather get advice from the guy at Gravity Vault than from you. Enter True Mentors, a Hoboken nonprofit that provides kids with the perfect shoulder to lean on—not Mom and not Tom at GameStop. The program started about six years ago when a volunteer at the Jubilee Center noticed a need for role models. “Every child deserves someone to be there and support them to reach their goals,” says True Mentors Program Director Rebecca Denaro. “Research shows that kids need multiple relationships outside family to thrive and figure out their passions. Our mission is to unearth the excellence of the youth of Hoboken to find their potential through supportive relationships.” Each month, the program serves about 80 kids, ages 7 to 17. The mentors are volunteers. “Mentors come from different walks of life, with a passion to give back,” Denaro says. The matching process is crucial. Mentors and mentees are interviewed. “We gather information about what their interests and passions are,” Denaro says. “We look at common

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interests, along with other things such as availability, to get the right mentor and mentee.” Denaro always wanted to work in youth development. She says that though you don’t always see the impact right away, the successes are fulfilling, everything from a young kid getting to school on time to an older one finding a great job after an internship.

The Mentee Tiara Stevens is a Hoboken High graduate who started at Rutgers this fall. She heard about True Mentors when its internship program was announced over the loudspeaker at school. The program connects mentors with companies that offer internships. Tiara was assigned to an e-commerce startup called Stantt, based in New York City. The company crafts men’s shirts one at a time, with a new business model based on data and technology. A whopping 75 sizes are designed for the “perfect fit” 98 percent of the time instead of the traditional 15 percent.


Tiara’s job was to do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the competition. Stephanie Stadig, 28, turned out to be Tiara’s perfect match. “We’re very similar in how we do things,” Tiara says. “She works at Goldman Sachs five minutes away.” Stephanie is on the team that writes quarterly reports for investors. She was well-positioned to advise Tiara on her internship project. “We’d go to her office and work on the SWOT,” Tiara says. They also talked about college and career goals. The True Mentors organization was a role model for Tiara’s chosen major: nonprofit administration. She thought at one point that she might be interested in journalism, but after taking a journalism program at NYU she thought maybe not. Though Tiara has aged out of the program, she wants to stay connected to Stephanie. “We’ve decided to continue with the mentorship,” she says. “I want to try to go home once a month to see my family and meet with Stephanie. We talk a lot; we text and call.” Everyone involved in the program believes that family is important. But, Tiara says, “With Stephanie I can talk about anything. She totally understands. I talk to her about things I wouldn’t normally talk about with my mom. She wouldn’t understand SWOT analysis, startups, and men’s shirts. Stephanie understood the process.” But it wasn’t all work. “We have similar interests,” Tiara says. “We loved to go to the movies and shop.” They’d go to the Newport Mall and to the Crepe Guru in Hoboken. “We created a friendship and bond,” Tiara says. “She was there to help me.”

A sentiment Executive Director Katy Eades would endorse. “It’s pretty awesome to see kids articulate what their strengths are,” she says. “When their communication skills improve or they get better at public speaking, it’s pretty cool.” She wants kids to know that “if you want to do something, there are people who want to support you in your journey.”— Kate Rounds

The Mentor “I was looking for an opportunity in the community to work with local youth,” Stephanie says. “I really like kids. They keep you on your feet. They’re fun and sharp and very active.” She graduated from Fairfield University, a Jesuit school, where she got a holistic education with a strong service component. “It’s worthwhile to have someone to bounce ideas off of,” she says, noting that in Hoboken some parents have not gone to college or are new to the States. “I’m not that long out of college,” she says, “and I could help Tiara apply to x-y-z school, help she might not get from a guidance counselor or parent.” She says she was a sounding board for Tiara. “We’d talk through different things, and she was very eager to meet and do stuff with me. We’d get our nails done and go for walks.” She was drawn to True Mentors because, given her busy work routine, she and Tiara could create their own schedule. She’s a fan of the internship program because it offers hands-on experience, and she is well-matched to offer help and advice. “I’m familiar with the corporate world,” she says. “Tiara was doing a competitive analysis that no high schooler would be exposed to. It gave her a good edge and a good understanding of the business side of things.” True Mentors, she says, “provides children with programs for good nutrition, and skills, such as managing finances and public speaking.”

Two-Way Street Mentors also benefit from the program. “It helps ground you for work,” Stephanie says. “A lot of days you’re so busy, it’s nice to take time and unwind and talk to someone who is going through things, someone you can help. It’s nice to see.” True Mentors paves the way. “They make volunteering as easy as it can be,” she says. “It’s looking to grow. More people should join.” 07030 HOBOKEN ~ FALL | WINTER 2016 | 17 •

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Friends, Fun, and Do-It-Yourself Families THE CITY PROGRAM HAS IT ALL Cathy DeMatteo (left) and Lilian Schroeder

Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger… …And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day Old people just grow lonesome Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello” So if you’re walking down the street sometime And spot some hollow ancient eyes Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare As if you didn’t care, say, ”Hello in there, hello” –“HELLO IN THERE” BY JOHN PRINE PHOTOS BY CRAIG WALLACE DALE

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he haunting lyrics by John Prine cited above and sung movingly by Bette Midler could be a sad anthem for the desolate landscape that is old age in America. But the more you witness senior programs in Hudson County, the more convinced you become that the twilight years have their own special sheen. Just ask Thomas Foley, who runs the Hoboken Senior Citizen Program. “I love this job,” says Tom, who has held various city gigs for 25 years. “I wasn’t really settled in any other job.”

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At noon on a hot, late-summer day, clients are starting to gather at the senior center at 124 Grand. The reason? Bingo starts at 1 p.m. sharp. You can be as young as 50 to participate in the activities, but you have to be at least 60 to take advantage of the services. The center offers yoga, tai chi, crocheting social, monthly trips, and holiday theme parties, but nothing is more popular than bingo. You can bag up to $100 if you win “the whole board,” but you get the feeling that collegiality is more important than cash. Friends Cathy DeMatteo, 83, and Lillian Schroeder, 74, have been coming for about seven years. They met at their senior


SENIOR MOMENTS 07030

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SENIOR MOMENTS 07030

Tom Foley prepares food for a barbecue. housing building at 514 Madison. Cathy was born in Hoboken. Lillian is originally from North Bergen. “I don’t want to stay in the house alone,” Lillian says. Adds Cathy, “We socialize here and have lunch every day.” They don’t do any of the other activities. But they do enjoy senior trips to the Newport Mall. (No mall-walking for these ladies. They like to shop and go to the food court.) They also like playing the slots at the senior trips to the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, PA. In fact, gambling has played a part in both their pasts. In Atlantic City, back in the day, Cathy won $5,000, and Lillian won $3,750. She also took home some big bucks in Vegas. They both plow their current earnings back into the casino. “I keep the money for next time,” Cathy says. They also like to go to Doolan’s Shore Club in Spring Lake for a senior sitdown lunch with entertainment and an open bar.

HOBOKEN IS WHERE THE HEART IS “Hoboken has changed so much,” Cathy says. “There have been good times and bad times. Years ago, there were baby carriages on Washington Street. It was a friendly town. I knew nine out of 10 people. Now everyone’s a stranger up there. The small houses are gone, and there are new condos.” She remarks that nowadays, “fellas and girls go to bars,” which they didn’t do so much back in the day, she says. “You could find anything you wanted in Hoboken: bakers, men’s stores, dress

shops, shoe stores, a German pork store, and German bakeries. “The town is beautiful,” she continues. “Uptown you have the Shipyard and you can walk along the waterfront.” Neither Cathy nor Lillian has a dog. “We walk ourselves,” Lillian says, noting that the two enjoyed a spaghetti dinner on Sinatra Drive. And both women like to eat at Margherita’s on Eighth and Washington. Another thing these two do together is attend Weight Watchers meetings at the Elks Club on Saturday mornings. “It’s fun, we lose weight, and you can eat anything you want,” Lillian says. “And it works,” Cathy adds.

SERVICES RENDERED I wander around the large, sunny rec room. Blue paper lanterns hang from the ceiling, and a sense of anticipation fills the space. The bingo players ask questions about the magazine as photographer Craig Wallace Dale captures the scene. One woman pulls on my sleeve and asks if I can test her blood pressure. I can’t, but Cathy and Lillian give a nod to the “people in the office. They’re very helpful,” Cathy says. Lillian cites transportation to and from doctors’ offices as a major benefit. The program offers lots of services that could help with blood-pressure testing and many other things, including certified home health aides, information and assistance, benefit screening, extended assessment, care management, transportation, language translation and interpretation, legal

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assistance, adult protective services, oral health, information education, socialization and recreation, nutrition education, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, and a medical equipment loan program. Cathy and Lillian say they were tapped by Tom to be interviewed for this story because they’re “talkers.” Remarking on the many women on hand, they note that women usually outlive their spouses. “We kill them,” Cathy jokes. They recall a 101-year-old woman who just recently died. “She came here quite often,” Cathy says, “three times a week.” Lillian says, “She was a perfect lady, a Spanish lady.”

BINGO! Cathy and Lillian head for their usual spot, up front, to the right of the caller. “Bingo keeps the mind going,” Lillian says. “You have to concentrate with the numbers and everything. It keeps you from becoming feeble-minded.” While the players take their seats, Tom is in the kitchen preparing food for a barbecue the following day. “This job is like being with your parents and your aunts and uncles,” he says. “It’s fun to be with them and provide them the services they need.” Tom’s wife teaches pre-K at a Catholic school. Tom laughs. “We both come home with the same stories every day,” he says. Before the game starts, Lillian says, “We’re fixtures.” “We take care of one another,” Cathy says. “We look after each other; that’s what friendship is all about.” —Kate Rounds


DATES 07030 from page 51

22 Uptown Storytime at the Museum, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 10:30 a.m. Librarian Penny Metsch shares stories with children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. Free.

30 Last Day of “Frank Sinatra: The Man, the Voice, the Fans” Exhibit, Hoboken History Museum, 1301 Hudson St., (201) 656-2240, hobokenmuseum.org, 1-5 p.m. This is your last chance to see the exhibit celebrating the legendary Frank Sinatra.

JANUARY 23 – FEB. 3 Hudson Restaurant Week, participating restaurants, hudsonrestaurantweek.com. This bi-annual culinary celebration promotes Hudson County as a premier dining destination. Enjoy two weeks of discounted dining deals in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Weehawken.

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Benny Tudino’s Aslan preparing a pie PHOTOS BY TERRI SAULINO BISH

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veryone who’s anyone eats at Benny Tudino’s: highschool students after class, college students after the bar, businesspeople after work, kids with their moms, moms without their kids, bowling buddies, blind dates—people who love really great pizza and a slice bigger than a baby. That last part can be documented. Pictures behind the counter feature infants next to a 14-inch Benny’s slice, and the slice definitely wins. We ordered just one slice and took half of it home. The sauce is homemade. The “secret recipe” has a delicious, slightly sweet flavor. No one in our party left the crust, like you see some people do. It managed to be crisp and tender at the same time. As for the cheese? Well, it’s hard to beat melted pizza cheese. The slices sell so quickly that they are incredibly fresh; they never have to be reheated. If you’re into toppings, Benny’s has the full range, from meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, ham, chicken, and bacon to mushrooms, anchovies, peppers, garlic, black olives, onions, eggplant, spinach, and broccoli.

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Mimoza with a ginormous pizza

Speaking of moms, any who are reading this, we can assure you: We ate our greens. In this case, a classic Greek salad, with tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, and grape leaves, topped with a generous amount of feta cheese on a bed of lettuce with vinaigrette. A word about the olives: They were pitted, which is really appreciated by customers and their dentists. Nothing goes better with a slice than an incredibly fresh green salad. Other salads and dressings include Caesar and avocado with blue cheese, honey mustard, Caesar, or ranch. But there’s much, much more on Benny’s menu. A full complement of appetizers includes antipasto, mussels, fried calamari, fries, garlic bread, and mozzarella cheese sticks. You can also get jumbo Buffalo wings or chicken fingers, as well as sides, hot and cold sandwiches, and wraps. As you might expect, just about any kind of pasta is available, and you can add grilled chicken, grilled jumbo shrimp, sausage, or meatballs, to beef things up. Under “casseroles,” don’t expect that tunamushroom-soup-potato-chip thing from the Campbell’s can. These are pasta combinations with cheese, meat, and vegetables. Entrees include chicken, veal, and seafood dishes. We chose chicken with broccoli, sautéed in white wine garlic sauce. Everything was very tender and nicely seasoned with a robust peppery taste.

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At Benny’s, pizza boxes are stacked to the ceiling, and the walls are jam-packed with memorabilia: pictures of family, friends, customers, and sports teams. A soccer match was playing the night we were there. By the way, Benny’s also has three draft beers and bottled beers, along with tea and sodas in the fridge, if you want to catch a game with a beer and a slice. Mimoza, our waitress, was as warm and welcoming as the place itself, and Allen and Raymond are real pros at making pizza: fast and perfect every time. Benny’s has hosted some bigwigs in its time, including Vice President Joe Biden, Judge Lance Ito of O.J. fame, and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.

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But it’s the honest food and friendly atmosphere that continue to earn Benny’s the goodwill of the community, and that’s more important than any celeb. Founder Bari Drishti, who died in 2015, would be pleased. Benny Tudino’s 622 Washington St. (201) 792-4132 bennytudinos.com


MICHAEL “BRO THER” YACCAR

INO

Biggies NOT CLOSING, JUST MOVING

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or seven decades, Biggie’s Clam Bar has served up sandwiches, salads, soups, and seafood at 318 Madison St., a small red brick building with two outdoor picnic tables and several tables inside. Family photos hang on the white walls. This much-loved eatery closed permanently on Oct. 3. But not to worry. Owners Steven and Michael Ranuro moved operations to the newer Newark Street site. “This building is 120 years old, and it’s been through Hurricane Irene and Sandy,” Michael said. The brothers also cited parking problems at the Madison Street location, particularly since the bike lane was put in. see page 66

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VANISHING 07030 from page 65

Hoboken was a blue collar waterfront town in the 1940s when Joseph Yaccarino, “Joe Biggie,” an immigrant from Naples, went corner to corner shucking raw clams from pails to patrons. Eventually he operated a pushcart, selling clams on the half shell for a nickel a piece. Biggie recruited his son Michael Yaccarino into the business, and in 1946 father and son opened Biggie’s Clam Bar at 318 Madison. The Ranuros are Michael Yaccarino’s grandsons. In April of 2012, Biggie’s opened its second Hoboken location on the former site of the legendary Clam Broth House, at 36-42 Newark St. “We don’t want to forget where we came from,” Michael said. “Is it going to be different and sad that a place closes? Yes, but we are hoping that it’s a positive.” “We are not closing; we are just moving,” said Steven. “We have a very dedicated client base who have been coming here for a very long time, and I don’t want them to feel that we are closing up shop.” While residents and regulars will still be able to get their favorite foods, they will also be introduced to new menu items, including pasta dishes, thin crust pizzas, and seafood from the raw bar. In September, there was a celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the Madison Street restaurant. Michael pulled a picture off the wall of Biggie’s original eatery and pointed at a young boy in the image. “That’s me, here, behind the counter, when I was probably 10 years old,” he said. “It’s a type of place where a father takes his son, and he takes his son. It’s generational, and we make sure that this continues.” Michael said, “Simple things like welcoming people, being sure to serve fresh and quality seafood, looking into somebody’s eye and shaking their hand — we want to get across that those aren’t just Madison Street values. Those are Biggie’s values.”—Marilyn Baer

SEND YOUR

VANISHING

PHOTOS

TO

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07030 HOBOKEN FALL/WINTER 2016/2017