A love affair with Hoboken

12/22/2010:

New Hoboken411 contributor: Lara Kaplan Hanson

Lara Kaplan Hanson has been a Hoboken resident for a shade over a year – after jumping from place to place in the NYC tri-state for many years. Since landing here – she’s so in love with our city – and wishes to communicate her happy thoughts via the written word.

So today, let’s introduce you to Lara – and her upcoming periodic column here called “A love affair with Hoboken.”

A Love Affair with Hoboken

Introducing Lara Kaplan Hanson…

“Born and bred along the sunny beaches in Santa Monica, California, I traded coasts in 2000 for the Boogie Down Bronx.

There, I adopted Fordham University’s Rose Hill as my new home. “Why would you move from California to the Bronx?” the confused looks never failed, as they noted my blatant blond hair and fading tan. Answer: I wanted to play D1 basketball, study journalism, and get the hell away from an opposite insanity residing out west.

Fordham was a great school, and I settled into Arthur Avenue’s Little Italy in the Bronx as my first home. Ending all too quickly, my six years of riding the D train at Fordham Road had come to a close. Two degrees later, it was time to hit the subway platform and find a new stop.

Like any kid out of college with dreams of grandeur in NYC, I wanted a Manhattan address. I found the cheapest apartment possible on the Upper West Side, right off the A train’s 181st stop. The tip of Manhattan, called Cabrini Heights to those who paraded airs, known more locally as Washington Heights, offered a slightly different taste. A convergence of old Jewish families, post grads from Columbia University, a trendy gay contingent, and a large mishmash of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, offered the stereotypical NYC melting pot. However, after a year in the Heights, a landlord I sued for living on my couch, and a boyfriend in Queens who refused to visit, I caved in by moving to Astoria. Astoria, the home away from home for the Greeks, where apartments were big and rent small. Next stop, Broadway and Steinway in A-Town. After two years, I found no redeeming qualities other than the Bohemian Beer Gardens and a few friends I made. I hated Astoria. It was dirty, there were no parks, and the subways were bursting at the seams. Hence, after a long overdue break-up with the boyfriend of five years, it was time to hit NYC’s public transportation again.

I had lived in three boroughs in eight years, I thought completing the Big Apple adventure in Brooklyn or Staten Island might make sense. But, after hearing the SI accents, and scoffing at the idea of squeezing into skinny jeans and getting a f**ked up haircut with a move to Williamsburg, I was stuck.

Where would I go next?

Hoboken it is!

It was nearing 4th of July, 2009, and with the Frying Pan closed for a private party, I searched for options. It was determined by my posse that Manhattan parks would be too crowded. With locals leaving for the Hamptons, and the outer borough degenerates invading, I asked everybody I knew for suggestions. The word on the street: New Jersey, and the city of Hoboken seemed to linger in the air. What was this Hoboken place? And, how did one get to New Jersey? Upon further research, I discovered something called The PATH, and my maiden voyage was underway.

Hence began my love affair with the Home of Baseball, the Birthplace of Frank Sinatra, the set for one of my favorite movies: On the Waterfront, and a new residence. Today, after a year of living in the Mile Squared, I would have to say there is more love than hate in this affair; the constant intrigue of festivals, bar/restaurant openings, new friends and random discoveries, my love affair with Hoboken continues…

Stay tuned: Lara has a timely “Holiday” post for you all tomorrow!

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11 Comments on "A love affair with Hoboken"

NickAdams
Member
NickAdams
Having grown up practically next door to Fordham University, I can attest that the neighborhood is but a mere ghost of what it was, it having been destroyed, like the sacking of Rome, in the 1970’s by various urban ills, mostly crime and arson. As for the D train, there is not now nor has there ever been, anything Romantic about it. It is dirty and dangerous and always has been. The 4 train which runs parallel with it through the Bronx is a somewhat better choice, but Metro North, which actually stops next door to the Fordham campus is the way to get to Fordham or points (Bedford Park, Woodlawn) north. I won’t even mention Fordham Road itself except to say it bears no resemblence at all to my schooldays when I attended High School right off of it. And as for my beloved Hoboken, I finally, after about 25 years, broke up with her in June and moved to Brooklyn, where I live a short walk to the Heights, DUMBO and Fort Greene and very close to every subway line, making it just a few minutes to almost any part of Manhattan. A taxi ride is just a few bucks too. Brooklyn is infinitely more vibrant than Hoboken, the condos much more affordable and the people more interesting. The NYC income tax is a nice chunk of my paycheck, but then again my real estate taxes are abated for 15 years but which in any event, would not… Read more »
mooshu
Member
mooshu
“As for the D train, there is not now nor has there ever been, anything Romantic about it. It is dirty and dangerous and always has been.” Hm, other than the D train failing to possess the romantic factor, disagree. I found it a better trip into the Bronx than the #4, but I guess that it depends on how chicken-poop the two of us are within, and how much we can tolerate living amongst folks who look different on the outside, huh. Remember that every city goes through it’s ups and downs. It really wasn’t that long ago that Hoboken was known as a piece of crap. [quote comment=”201221″]Having grown up practically next door to Fordham University, I can attest that the neighborhood is but a mere ghost of what it was, it having been destroyed, like the sacking of Rome, in the 1970’s by various urban ills, mostly crime and arson.As for the D train, there is not now nor has there ever been, anything Romantic about it. It is dirty and dangerous and always has been. The 4 train which runs parallel with it through the Bronx is a somewhat better choice, but Metro North, which actually stops next door to the Fordham campus is the way to get to Fordham or points (Bedford Park, Woodlawn) north.I won’t even mention Fordham Road itself except to say it bears no resemblence at all to my schooldays when I attended High School right off of it.And as for my… Read more »
NickAdams
Member
NickAdams
“Hm, other than the D train failing to possess the romantic factor, disagree. I found it a better trip into the Bronx than the #4, but I guess that it depends on how chicken-poop the two of us are within, and how much we can tolerate living amongst folks who look different on the outside, huh.” Can you say that in clear English? It sounds maybe as if you are still making inane comments about things of which you know nothing. If I am deciphering your code correctly, you are assuming that I am of a certain race, and further assuming that I am afraid of those who aren’t of the same race as me. And you are basing these incorrect assumptions on the fact that the I said the D train is dirty and dangerous, both of which are absolutely correct statements. I never mentioned mine nor anyone else’s race and you have no idea of my opinions of other people. Indeed, you do not know my race either. I know a lot more about the Bronx, the D train and Hoboken ( and the subways in general, Manhattan and Brooklyn ) than you so go back to your cats and stop slandering people. I bet you have never taken the D train to the end of the line or to Fordham in your life. Maybe you took it once on the way to a Yankees game. And BTW, in case you haven’t noticed, Hoboken isn’t exactly diverse.[quote comment=”201251″]“As… Read more »
mooshu
Member
mooshu
Seriously, “professor”? You make my niece, a toddler, sound more intelligent the more you spew your thoughts. Look, don’t assume you know how many times, or throughout how many years, I’ve taken the D. It wasn’t a dangerous train. And all trains are dirty, unless you consider the brand new ones. So, yeah, you’re still made of chicken-poop on the inside. Deal with it.[quote comment=”201261″]“Hm, other than the D train failing to possess the romantic factor, disagree. I found it a better trip into the Bronx than the #4, but I guess that it depends on how chicken-poop the two of us are within, and how much we can tolerate living amongst folks who look different on the outside, huh.”Can you say that in clear English? It sounds maybe as if you are still making inane comments about things of which you know nothing. If I am deciphering your code correctly, you are assuming that I am of a certain race, and further assuming that I am afraid of those who aren’t of the same race as me. And you are basing these incorrect assumptions on the fact that the I said the D train is dirty and dangerous, both of which are absolutely correct statements. I never mentioned mine nor anyone else’s race and you have no idea of my opinions of other people. Indeed, you do not know my race either. I know a lot more about the Bronx, the D train and Hoboken ( and the subways… Read more »
NickAdams
Member
NickAdams

You’re an idiot and you’ve been making idiot comments on here for years, annoying everyone, feeling compelled to make stupid comments about everything. No one cares what you have to say.

You know nothing about me at all. I was riding the D train before I was 5 years old. You have no idea what I know, or what I’ve witnessed. You sure as hell don’t know what I’m made of. You just confirm, yet again, your stupidity by suggesting otherwise. Just go away.[quote comment=”201273″]Seriously, “professor”? You make my niece, a toddler, sound more intelligent the more you spew your thoughts.Look, don’t assume you know how many times, or throughout how many years, I’ve taken the D. It wasn’t a dangerous train. And all trains are dirty, unless you consider the brand new ones. So, yeah, you’re still made of chicken-poop on the inside. Deal with it.

[/quote]

escaped68
Member

Well in california you have;
1. earth quakes
2. wild fires
3. heavy rains resulting in floods
4. mud slides
5. gang problems
6. air pollution
In new jersey we have;
1. high taxes
2. crooked politicians
3. overall corruption
But in new jersey we” MIGHT ” have a chance to change some of problems
In this contest new jersey wins.

bornandrazedinhobo
Member
bornandrazedinhobo

New Jersey also has substantial flooding in fact more so than California by far, as well as just a big of a gang problem per capita, worse air pollution as well as a higher level of overall noise pollution. Most of the wild fires are arson related and the earth quakes and mudslides usually only occur in 10 to 20 year intervals with a very low fatality rate.

[quote comment=”201167″]Well in california you have;
1. earth quakes
2. wild fires
3. heavy rains resulting in floods
4. mud slides
5. gang problems
6. air pollution
In new jersey we have;
1. high taxes
2. crooked politicians
3. overall corruption
But in new jersey we” MIGHT ” have a chance to change some of problems
In this contest new jersey wins.[/quote]

bornandrazedinhobo
Member
bornandrazedinhobo

Anyone that would leaved California for New Jersey has to have serious mental issues!

homeworld
Member

What’s so great about California? [quote comment=”201161″]Anyone that would leaved California for New Jersey has to have serious mental issues![/quote]

bornandrazedinhobo
Member
bornandrazedinhobo

Ever heard the saying “If I have to tell you you will never understand”? Nuff said! ;-)[quote comment=”201164″]What’s so great about California?

[/quote]

mooshu
Member
mooshu

Great job, Lara.

The D train is quite possibly the most convenient and smooth ride into, and out of, Manhattan. Many don’t seem to know that, moving into Brooklyn and Queens, and dealing with a jumble of letters. Great that this commute worked for you for six years!

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