Letter: Kindness and disappointment

Community comes together after Sandy in Hoboken, NJ

Hoboken411 reader Chris shares some good and bad events that took place in wake of Hurricane Sandy in Hoboken.

“To get out of my apartment, I walked around to see what was going on with our community. One shot from the corner of 11th & Bloomfield, you can see generous neighbors set up free charging stations so people without power can get back online with their mobile devices.

Others I walked by, people set up free coffee and tea stands, along with bowls of candy for the kids.”

“It looks like one big block party and I think it’s great how it symbolizes the “feeling of community” within Hoboken.” (411 note: I applaud when residents voluntarily offer charging stations – as opposed to those who steal electricity without permission…)

Chris continues…

“On Washington, Amanda’s Restaurant was giving out free food. I didn’t get any but it looked like “spaghetti sandwiches.” What nice people they are!”

Taking advantage of the community in Hoboken?

“On the other side of this, I went to Molfetta Pizzeria to order a large garlic pie. The lady rang me up as $18. I asked her again, how much? Because on Sunday night before the storm, I ordered the same thing which was only $14.50. Now I realize this is only a difference of a few dollars which is nothing to me, but I was more irked by this on principle.”

“You have Amanda’s down the block giving out free food and Molfetta is price gouging customers (repeat customers, mind you). The line was an hour long for Molfetta, and they jacked up their prices. I just can’t believe it was true.

Just wanted to share my disappointment, but also the kindness of others in our community.

Chris

15 Responses

  1. Swaby says:

    Chris,

    My Fiance and I did the same thing yesterday, taking a tour of the city after being couped up in or apartment. We too stumbled across Amanda’s and were extremly thankful for their generosity, and made it a point to take note, so that we can come back as patrons when things were back up and running.

    We have just moved to Hoboken from NY, having lived here only 2 months. I can tell you here and now, after reading your post about Molfetta’s, we will NEVER give them any of our money, I could care less if they have the best piazza this side of the Hudson. Absolutly disgusting.

    On another positive note, there are also free charging stations located on 6th and Washington, and they too were handing out coffee, hot chocolate and soup. They weren’t asking for a dime in return. And you know what? People were friendly and thankful for the help. Nobody was cutting line to get to an outlet, or fighting over time spent charging. It was truly a great example of community; and as Jeremy Grey once famously said “people helping people!”

    • chewy says:

      Hey Swaby,
      I agree with you & it’s det’s re-assuring when you see people act humane to each other…after spending a month in Thailand over the summer and seeing how polite the Thai’s treat each other, it made me want to be like them in my everyday life. :)[quote comment=”217795″]Chris,My Fiance and I did the same thing yesterday, taking a tour of the city after being couped up in or apartment. We too stumbled across Amanda’s and were extremly thankful for their generosity, and made it a point to take note, so that we can come back as patrons when things were back up and running.We have just moved to Hoboken from NY, having lived here only 2 months. I can tell you here and now, after reading your post about Molfetta’s, we will NEVER give them any of our money, I could care less if they have the best piazza this side of the Hudson. Absolutly disgusting.On another positive note, there are also free charging stations located on 6th and Washington, and they too were handing out coffee, hot chocolate and soup. They weren’t asking for a dime in return. And you know what? People were friendly and thankful for the help. Nobody was cutting line to get to an outlet, or fighting over time spent charging. It was truly a great example of community; and as Jeremy Grey once famously said “people helping people!”[/quote]

  2. Zumwohhl says:

    It is not just Molfettas. We were walking by Mamoun’s last night and they were charging $4 for a falafel sandwich that usually costs $2.50. That is a 60% markup. talk about price gouging. Chris, I hope you report on that as well.

    • chewy says:

      Mamoun’s really!?! I usually go there after the gym…NO MORE![quote comment=”217797″]It is not just Molfettas. We were walking by Mamoun’s last night and they were charging $4 for a falafel sandwich that usually costs $2.50. That is a 60% markup. talk about price gouging. Chris, I hope you report on that as well.[/quote]

      • ajb1302 says:

        chewy, yes. mamoun’s was price gouging. on thursday they were charging $4 for a falafel sandwich and on friday, they upped it to $5. by saturday, they were back to regular prices but i’m seriously considering not giving them my business ever again. i used to go there weekly. 😐 [quote comment=”217809″]Mamoun’s really!?! I usually go there after the gym…NO MORE![/quote]

  3. willow says:

    I have to say this experience has been life changing. The support I saw from local businesses and neighbors has been wonderful. Unfortunately some look to make a profit from others hard times. If it is true that business are gouging I hope that people post and boycott in the future. Owners of symposium book store (allowing people to take books and pay later), Amanda’s generosity is wonderful.

  4. jeannerizzi says:

    Thanks for calling attention to all the good people, while it’s nice to know that neighbors will help neighbors I cannot get over my disappointment with the city of Hoboken. We had no clue what was going on the days after the storm and were stuck in our apartment left to fend for ourselves. It’s completely unacceptable and Mayor Zimmer has some answering to do – can’t wait for her re-election to come up so we can get her the hell out.

    As for the restaurants that were price gouging, I hope this news spreads and people boycott them. It’s disgusting how people will take advantage of others just to make a few dollars – it will come back to bite you in the ass.

    God bless everyone in Hoboken and hopefully we will all be back up and running really soon!!

  5. Rosewood Ghosts says:

    Places that did NOT gouge me… Sassos Deli, Torna Pizza, Yash Liquors, Price King Liquors. Also Elysian Cafe had some tasty sandwiches last night for only $5. There are alot of really good people in our community.

  6. lm3888 says:

    My husband, myself and two friends went to Molfetta’s on Tuesday night to get out of the house & get a hot meal – $30 for what would normally have cost AT MOST $22 [we USED to order from there all the time] and it was hardly even cooked!!! I could not believe that in this difficult time, after witnessing such wonderful acts of kindness at the charging stations & Amanda’s, that a local establishment would try to profit like this from such a sad natural disaster that has displaced so many. They have DEFINITELY lost customers in us – I hope it was worth it. I really hope something is done about this – they were wrong, wrong, wrong.

  7. lauramae says:

    Thankfully I’ve seen much more kindness than anything else this week but there are certainly a few businesses that have disappointed me. Most of you have pointed those out already so I’ll share my positive experiences. While I was out in search of a place to charge my phone I stumbled upon some truly wonderful people on 9th Street. They were brewing fresh coffee and providing snacks for all of those using their charging station that they had set up. This was something they didn’t have to do but did and were genuinely happy to do so. Cugini Kichen was serving up food for a great price. Windmill was giving away FREE sandwiches while only suggesting a donation to help the city. Farside and O’Neil’s were open and giving “hurricane” prices to patrons. Yesteday the owner of Empire coffee was giving out cider and muffins. Most everyone in the community seemed eager to help out and that was wonderful to see. Made me change my mind about wanting to move back into NYC.

  8. HobokenMJD says:

    My wife and I ventured out a few times and this what we discovered:

    Karma Kafe – Basically giving away free food, and you can give a donation if you want. They even let us eat our food inside and they aren’t open yet.

    Black Bear – Selling Boxed Mac and Cheese for 10 bucks… It wasn’t even the whole box. Total price gouging and I will never go back there.

    La Isla – free rice and beans and chicken

    Vito’s – cold chicken parm sandwich for 9 bucks and 3 dollars for a warm bottle of soda, kind of ridiculous

    Cafe Michelina – open, full menu, huge portions, totally worth it if you want to spend some money

    McSwiggans – serving mixed drinks in small plastic cups at full price… Better off buying a beer because you at least get your money’s worth.

    It just frustrates me to see so many places giving out free or normal priced food, and others trying to make a profit. Please join us in boycotting these bad places and rewarding the generous and honest ones.

  9. Boken79 says:

    Nice to see so many people providing for their neighbors and giving back to the community that has given them so much.

    Speaking of which…..where’s the Cake Boss?!?!?!!

    You would think for all the millions we put in his pocket that he could show up through the tough times to lend some hope and encouragement……maybe a cupcake and coffee???

    But I guess we can all wait till he shoots the episode where he puts on a benefit to aide those who lost everything in the storm and makes out like the Hoboken hometown hero again (to all those who live outside Hoboken anyways) – trust me, that episode is coming!

    Asking him to come down at this point is just too far below him. Once we get everything all cleaned up and restored though we should be sure to let him know and extend a lovely invite to come back and exploit our community again. Oh wait, it’s his community too, or was…….pretty sure the same community that did everything they could to help his family when they had little and were having tough times.

    Hope he’s enjoying his new community with his new shop in the burbs……..the American dream…..selling out…….. :mrgreen:

  10. Hobokeney says:

    In fairness to Mamouns they were operating on a generator and staying open late night most of the time they were marking up prices so my friends and I didn’t feel like it was a terrible move on their part, especially when you consider some of the other disgusting cash grabs and non-helpers in town. Someone already called out “Hoboken’s own” cake boss and a friend told me that the W has been no better. The only operational hotel in town made no use of their common areas or ball room as relief centers and did not only make no effort to offer discounted housing, in many instances the price of rooms went way up. Tutta Pasta isn’t being mentioned but they were offering free hot dogs, hamburgers and sausage and peppers off the grill out front of the restaurant yesterday which was nice to see. Folks at Johny Pepperoni’s were fantastic to me and my friends as well letting us charge up with free coffee and the owner even brought out water for my dog. Thankfully it seems like the good has far outweighed the bad, Hoboken’s residents should consider themselves proud in my estimation.

  11. fishface says:

    Liberty was over charging as well. We are in there all the time as it’s across the street from my apt. They posted a sign that said something about food and cold beer so I ventured in. I was charged $34.00 for 2 orders of fries and 2 orders of chicken bites. The size of the orders wouldn’t have constutied one normal order size for this bar. The chicken bites were a half a chicken cutlet cut up into little pieces. Both orders combined may have made up one small chicken cutlet and a very small order of fries. Absurd!

  12. fishface says:

    On the other hand, Sobsey’s opened the day after the storm. They didn’t have power. I lived on that side of town for about 6 years, I used to shop at Sobsey’s all the time. They tend to run a little pricy but are well worth it. The day after the hurricane I was able to buy a bag of assorted foods (apples, oranges, organic fru fru pop-tarts, chips, drinks, stuff that was not pb&j or canned!) He charged me $19.00 for the entire bag of food. Much Much less than his normal prices!!! Thank you Sobsey’s!!!

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