Spaghetti Dinner Block Party
The Hoboken Summer Season takes a Bow
by Halley Wolowiec
Geri Fallo and the Cultural Affairs Office held the third annual Hoboken Spaghetti Dinner last Thursday night along the river walk adjacent to Sinatra Park. What began in 2004 as a celebration of Hoboken’s 150th anniversary, the Spaghetti Dinner has become somewhat of an annual tradition marking the end of the summer entertainment season. Families, friends, BNRs, and newer residents came out to enjoy the beautiful denouement encompassing the smells of garlic, the sounds of Sinatra and the Beatles, and views of a gorgeous day’s end framing the set.
Many of the Hoboken politico was there. Mayor Roberts opened the dinner but left early as he was feeling under the weather. Dawn Zimmer was there enjoying the evening with her family and friends, as was Beth Mason, Theresa Castellano and Peter Cammarano sporting a pair of faded long jeans, flip flops, tossled hair, and a tee that said “I heart soccer moms” (I’m kidding, he was in a suit). I liked seeing most of the Council members relaxed, casual and enjoying the evening. I also saw one handsome Dick England crooning to a Sinatra tune (devilishly smooth) and Jimmy Farina dancing to the Beatles Mick Jagger-style ala hands on hips. It is apparent the evening summer breeze had an effect on most everyone.
Spaghetti Dinner ticket sales ($15 a ticket) go solely toward funding the event, and proceeds from drink sales go to the Ambulance Corp who annually provides alcoholic and non-alcoholic libations for the event. Additionally with sponsorship help this year from Commerce Bank (their free water bottles make surprisingly handy wine decanters, who knew), Geri Fallo, Director of Cultural Affairs, says she tries to keep the expenses low so it is affordable for everyone, “the night pays for itself.”
This year there were two buffet lines instead of one so the flow worked much better in terms of hungry people wanting to eat boatloads of gorgeous Italian fare. There was spaghetti of course, a few types of pasta, spicy meatballs, Italian sausage (or ‘snausages’ as my friend affectionately called them feeding one to her dog), garlic bread, salad, and desert. The Brownstone of Paterson has catered the event annually. Fallo said that in her search for caterers, The Brownstone was the only contender, local or otherwise, that has the resources to handle the volume. To boot, she could not beat their quality, price, friendliness, or the Italian cookies thrown in gratis (now that’s Italian!)
The music was pretty fitting too. This old crooner named Ernie passionately sang Sinatra all night, and if your eyes were closed, you could not tell the difference. He was a sweet addition to the traditional, community feel of the evening, which was dichotomous to the modern, silvery skyline of the city across the Hudson. The night continued and ended with Bubble belting out technically perfect Beatles tunes complete with the city nightscape and an orange moon looming as a backdrop, “You can hardly see the strings holding up the set,” said the lead singer. He was right. It was pretty incredible.
(pictures courtesy of Geri Fallo)
Tomorrow, August 30th!
Spaghetti Dinner Block Party
Takes place along the walkway on Sinatra Drive overlooking the beautiful Manhattan Skyline.
Eat from 6pm to 9pm.
Tickets are $15 for person, or $150 for table of 10.
Includes 3 kinds of Pasta, meatballs, sausage, salad, bread and dessert (italian cookies & pastries) catered by the Brownstone of Paterson.
Call 201-420-2207 for more info or you can purchase tickets at City Hall in the Cultural Affairs Office.
- Ernie Contri sings the sounds of Sinatra from 6pm to 8pm
- Bubble performs the best of the Beatles 8pm to 10pm
For additional charge: beer, wine, soda & water can be purchased and proceeds support the Hoboken Ambulance Corp.
Here’s a picture from last years event: