Life Lessons on “Trash Hoboken” Day

3/8/2009:

Hoboken resident and blogger Gregory Bond was driven to write about his family’s experience in Hoboken yesterday during the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Getting worse each year

drunk-hoboken-girl-spd-parade.jpg“Yesterday was Hoboken’s annual St. Patrick’s day parade, held a week before the real St. Patrick’s day presumably to avoid competition with the NYC parade.

As in previous years the vast majority of people arriving for the parade are green-clad twenty-somethings not so interested in the parade but looking for a party. And they did not have to look far. As my family walked through the downtown area towards the end of the parade route parties were well underway in countless numbers of houses and apartments. Revelers, already clearly intoxicated, were shouting obscenities at one another from rooftops, open windows and sidewalks. A huge number of people had gathered in our building courtyard and, having discovered the ladder to the roof were also running around up there. After the parade we went to see a concert in New York and upon our return at 5:30 the situation had only gotten worse. People were weaving down the streets, still shouting obscenities. We passed more than one person vomiting in the gutter and from more than one building we saw cups of beer being tossed from open windows onto passers-by below. Returning to our building we discovered the lobby doors open wide to the sidewalk with people wandering in and out from the courtyard to the sidewalk. The building’s entry panel was broken, the elevator was broken and heaps of trash and broken glass littered the building. I expect the situation was the same in many other buildings judging by what we saw as we walked through the city.

Read the rest of Greg’s letter (and user comments) after the jump!

(Trash Hoboken, continued…)

“The morning after, the parade route along Washington St. still looks like a trash heap and our building smells like a bar from all the beer-soaked carpets.

hoboken-streets-trashed-after-spd-parade.jpg

My son is eight years old and here is what I had to explain to him as he saw all of this: adults can behave worse than a 5 year old when they drink; that adults are permitted to behave worse than 5 year olds when they drink; that drinking excessively impairs judgment and coordination; that drinking excessively leads to alcohol poisoning which leads to vomiting. Our son was alarmed by the intensity of the ‘adult’ behavior as they carried on in the hallways and stairwells of our building and the city streets. He worried that they would damage the building (which they, in fact, did) and worried that our own apartment would be damaged (which, thankfully, didn’t happen). On one hand I was angry that he had to see and experience all of this. On the other hand, I realized that this was a hard life lesson for him: that adults aren’t necessarily role models; that adults can be irresponsible and selfish. Also, that Hoboken City government organizes and sponsors this day; that governments don’t always do what’s right.

hoboken-fire-escape-spd-parade.jpgSince we took up residence in Hoboken 7 years ago, my perception is that this day has gotten progressively worse. It’s now at the point where my wife and I are seriously considering leaving the city for the weekend. This is most definitely a quality of life issue so responsibility for this lands squarely in the laps of Mayor David Roberts and City Council. How do they feel about all of this? From the perspective of a resident I only see the results. As things have been getting worse for seven years I can only conclude that they are successfully implementing a plan to encourage the situation or they are unsuccessfully implementing a plan to discourage the situation. In either case, they are failing in my opinion. What does the Mayor, a man with a young family, think about all of this? Well he does have a conflict of interest: he owns a local restaurant that had a mob in front of it yesterday attempting to get in for food and drink. So what about the rest of the City Council? I really don’t know since they aren’t known for their community outreach or transparency. I can only infer from what I see in the city and there are a a couple of things I’ve noticed. Since last year it’s been publicized that the police would have a zero-tolerance policy towards open drinks, fining people $1000 for breaking the rules. And this year I noticed bars posting signs requesting that patrons act civilly, for example stating that “public urination” would not be tolerated. The only place we saw police yesterday was at the train station and along the parade route.

I saw no cops walking the beat along the sidewalks where cups of beer were being tossed at passers-by. It seems that Hoboken simply doesn’t have enough police to handle the situation they’ve created. As for sanitation workers: where are they? Why does Washington St. look like a trash heap the day after? The policies established by the Mayor and City Council aren’t working at all. In fact, if one wanted to craft a policy designed to drive families out of Hoboken, then sponsoring a ‘Trash Hoboken’ Day, raising taxes by over 40% and showing contempt for the public school system would seem to do the trick, and that’s precisely what the Mayor and City Council are doing.”

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174 Comments on "Life Lessons on “Trash Hoboken” Day"

stevens32
Member
stevens32
[quote comment=”141981″][quote comment=”141938″]Regarding Herman’s post 150- Ha ha ha. I stand by my assessment. Your ignorance shines through. [quote comment=”141884″] i don’t recall saying that you condone the behavior KS, but i did refer to you saying that it’s to be expected. [/quote] When you called me idiotic a few pages back, it sure sounded like you thought I was condoning it. Either way, I don’t care. The people who pay our corrupt politicians off will ensure the parade and debauchery continues. I’ll get to continue to enjoy the one day a year it’s okay to be blotto by noon in my own town, and maybe, if we’re lucky, the cops (who did NOT do a good job given the lack of tickets written) & sanitation dep’t will do their job. I’m not holding my breath for any unionized employee to do anything well in this town, nor am I going to get amped about it. You guys can continue to spin your wheels and bitch and moan on this site until the cows come home. But unless and until a coalition of cancel-the-parade-types can muster up the payola to get the parade canceled, the rest of us are going to enjoy it for what it is, and realize that once a year this town gets trashed. Oh heavens to betsy, the horror, the horror!! You want to fix this mess? I highly recommend you get out and vote, as well as encourage everyone you know to do so. The… Read more »
stevens32
Member
stevens32
[quote comment=”142020″][quote comment=”141955″][quote comment=”141923″]Onetinygiant, the young singles may be YOUR demographic. It may be the demographic you are most interested in. It may be the loudest demographic. But, it is not the only demographic–and certainly not the most important. Hoboken is over 35% families, a sizable chunk. It also has over 10% senior citizens living alone. It has people who’ve moved here recently with children (tons of them actually–we rival Park Slope in strollers) and it has families who have lived here for generations, through Hoboken’s many different identities. (In other words–party town is not, and has never been, Hoboken’s only identity). Looks like you should spend some more time here looking around and assessing your own town. You clearly haven’t been very observant so far. Oh and, let me guess, you rent, huh? Well, I (and a lot of us families) are now paying 12,000, 15,000 and north in property taxes. I think that makes our demographic pretty important. By the way “just move” is easy advice for a renter, for those of us whose property has just been significantly devalued by property tax increases, it isn’t that easy (not that you would understand this.) The issue is not families complaining. The issue for many people (including some in the demographic you seem to think is the only important one) is that if we do not have enough security and services (i.e. toilet facilities) to avoid property damages, injuries and the general trashing of our town, then we need… Read more »
Springtime
Member
Springtime
[quote comment=”141955″][quote comment=”141923″]Onetinygiant, the young singles may be YOUR demographic. It may be the demographic you are most interested in. It may be the loudest demographic. But, it is not the only demographic–and certainly not the most important. Hoboken is over 35% families, a sizable chunk. It also has over 10% senior citizens living alone. It has people who’ve moved here recently with children (tons of them actually–we rival Park Slope in strollers) and it has families who have lived here for generations, through Hoboken’s many different identities. (In other words–party town is not, and has never been, Hoboken’s only identity). Looks like you should spend some more time here looking around and assessing your own town. You clearly haven’t been very observant so far. Oh and, let me guess, you rent, huh? Well, I (and a lot of us families) are now paying 12,000, 15,000 and north in property taxes. I think that makes our demographic pretty important. By the way “just move” is easy advice for a renter, for those of us whose property has just been significantly devalued by property tax increases, it isn’t that easy (not that you would understand this.) The issue is not families complaining. The issue for many people (including some in the demographic you seem to think is the only important one) is that if we do not have enough security and services (i.e. toilet facilities) to avoid property damages, injuries and the general trashing of our town, then we need to… Read more »
bradykp
Member
bradykp
[quote comment=”141938″]Regarding Herman’s post 150- Ha ha ha. I stand by my assessment. Your ignorance shines through. [quote comment=”141884″] i don’t recall saying that you condone the behavior KS, but i did refer to you saying that it’s to be expected. [/quote] When you called me idiotic a few pages back, it sure sounded like you thought I was condoning it. Either way, I don’t care. The people who pay our corrupt politicians off will ensure the parade and debauchery continues. I’ll get to continue to enjoy the one day a year it’s okay to be blotto by noon in my own town, and maybe, if we’re lucky, the cops (who did NOT do a good job given the lack of tickets written) & sanitation dep’t will do their job. I’m not holding my breath for any unionized employee to do anything well in this town, nor am I going to get amped about it. You guys can continue to spin your wheels and bitch and moan on this site until the cows come home. But unless and until a coalition of cancel-the-parade-types can muster up the payola to get the parade canceled, the rest of us are going to enjoy it for what it is, and realize that once a year this town gets trashed. Oh heavens to betsy, the horror, the horror!! You want to fix this mess? I highly recommend you get out and vote, as well as encourage everyone you know to do so. The merry… Read more »
bradykp
Member
bradykp
[quote comment=”141907″]I only moved to Hoboken recently, but it did not take me long to figure out the demographic. To those of you who say you have lived here for several years: Shame on you for not figuring this out sooner. This town is full of 20 and 30-something single professionals with some randoms scattered about. Of course this means lots of happy hour activity and partying. Why do you think there are so many restaurants and bars here? It’s not a tourist trap. If you have a family here and you think you are in the majority, you are mistaken. Hoboken is a commuter town. The point is, you chose to live here. That means you may have to put up with an excess of drunken debauchery once or twice a year. Deal with it. You could always move.[/quote] when will we actually know the real demographic of this area? I know people love to claim it’s filled with 20 yr old singles, but what I’ve seen happen over the past 5 years is many couples with a newborn have moved from Manhattan or Brooklyn or maybe Queens to Hoboken. I know this is true, because I’ve seen it. In my building of about 30 units, I believe it’s about 50/50 split between units that are a married with kids or just married, and the units that are two single people sharing space. The bottom line is – whatever the demographic is – people need to be respectful of… Read more »
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