Garbage Paranoia in Hoboken?
Good to be alert in Hoboken; but why are so many people “suspicious?”
I’ll say this – being alert and aware of your surroundings are key components to survival in the world.
Knowing where fire exits are, identifying who may be “unwelcome” guests, having an action plan, avoiding troubling situations and so on. These are good characteristics to have.
But ever since all these so-called “terror” stories that have peppered newscasts over the past decade and more, I believe it’s created a general populous who is “running scared.”
I’ve been in Hoboken the past decade and a half – and have been following the local police and fire action since moving here. And one trend that has increased exponentially is “suspicious packages.”
It’s just random spewed kitchen refuse!
Yesterday afternoon, I overheard a police call where a resident was concerned about a bag of what he thought was “white powder” underneath the bench at the bus stop at 11th & Washington Streets. Hoboken Police arrived and said it was just garbage. I shrugged it off as an insignificant incident.
I later received an email from Hoboken411 reader Ryan, who was the one that notified HPD about the “suspicious” bag (see photos).
He called the bag a “Ziploc bag filled with powder that looked like cocaine,” and added that he wasn’t any expert, and thought it could have easily been something harmless like a cooking ingredient.
He expressed disappointment that the HPD didn’t launch a full-scale investigation into this bag they determined was garbage sitting on the sidewalk.
People throw away many things all the time!
While out walking with the Hoboken411 Mascot Oscar early this morning (around 1am), I decided to check this area myself. When I arrived (and in a damn rain storm), I checked under the bench and discovered that the bag was still there. In fact, it had been busted open.
This wasn’t a Ziploc bag – but rather it was a white plastic shrink-sealed bag containing a white powder that appeared to be cake batter or Bisquik biscuit mix. Something you’d find in a Duncan Hines cake-mix box. There was a date printout on the bag itself from what I saw.
My guess is that someone was cleaning out their cupboard, and was discarding expired products. Definitely didn’t look nefarious, but rather a run-of-the-mill product you’d find in practically any kitchen. Keep in mind that random garbage appears everywhere in Hoboken!
Don’t be afraid to poke around a little
However, my rule of thumb is as follows: There is no need for paranoia or fear.
99.99999% of what you’ll encounter in your travels is innocent and harmless. Much of what you fear isn’t even real – it’s manufactured paranoia that exists these days to excessive (and inaccurate) news reports, over-the-top television and movie dramas and the like. Even if this was a real “criminal” substance, odds are it wasn’t some kind of “terror dust.” The only thing it could possibly have been might be some blow, but what drug dealer leaves an item of such value behind so easily? And for so long?
Seriously – if you’re afraid to poke around and investigate on your own, just give Hoboken411 a shout… and myself and the Mascot might check it out for you. You need to supply photos – and I offer no guarantees that I’ll even be bothered to do it.
Bottom line: Chill out with the paranoia! Worry about more tangible aspects of our lives – like the economy!