20 Reasons Hoboken Is The Prague Of NJ
20 Reasons Hoboken Is The Prague Of New Jersey
Hoboken resident Mark Sarian put together a fun look at why “Hoboken Is The Prague Of New Jersey” for your enjoyment.
“Prague , the sophisticated jewel of the Czech Republic, has sweet castles and a kick-ass history, but hey, so does Hoboken, New Jersey!”
1. Endless water features
“Prague boasts amazing hand-carved water fountains with intricate detail. Hoboken has man-made water features every time it rains!”
2. Hoboken’s St. Patty’s Day is just like Pražské jaro. Only greener. And sloppier.
“Every year Prague hosts the Pražské jaro (Prague Spring Festival) which sounds okay, but near Hoboken St. Patty’s Day, allows thousands of inebriated Jersey-ites to storm the city and be passed out by noon.”
3. Hoboken’s mayors are just as corrupt! Or more!
“Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem was supposedly a puppet to Mr Janousek, whom people called the shadow mayor and “Voldemort.” Meh. Hoboken’s Mayor was arrested three weeks after taking office for taking bribes as part of an FBI sting that included selling body parts!”
4. Prague had Mozart. Hoboken has the Cake Boss!
“If you’ve watched The Cake Boss on TLC then you know Buddy Valastro can make beautiful music with fondant and some googly eyes. In the Czech Republic there is a little something called a Cukrárna, a favorite of adults and children alike; it is a sweet shop, bakery and confectionery all rolled into one. In Hoboken, there is Carlo’s Bake Shop! A one-stop shop for t-shirts, memorabilia, mugs, pens, (and sometimes cupcakes.)”
5. The Old Jewish Cemetery vs. Sybil’s Cave. Oy vey!
“In Prague, there is the Old Jewish Cemetery where the gravestones are crammed against each other in a standing-room-only mass of the dead. Hoboken has Sybil’s Cave. You can’t go into it or even near it, but it has a really creepy-looking gate!”
6. Hoboken police love people!
“Prague has a highly trained professional police force. Boooring! One time, the head of Hoboken SWAT took his team to help out after Hurricane Katrina and hit every Hooters on the way home. All on the taxpayers’ dime! How’s that for “Stop and Frisk?””
7. You can have your puppet masters. Hoboken’s puppets are REAL!
“Prague-ites take their puppetry seriously. You can catch a show at the lively and progressive Divadlo Minor, or buy a puppet for yourself at Truhlář Marionety. But at any point during the day in Hoboken you may see Batman! Don’t know his name but he rides around all day protecting Hobokenites by directing traffic and making seven-year-olds smile. Maybe he lives in Sybil’s Cave?”
8. The Hoboken modern art scene!
“DOX, a new art centre opened in 2008, placing modern-day art in Prague. In Hoboken there are HUGE SIGNS directing everyday people to everyday things that to some seem like modern art, and to others seem like directions.”
9. Inventors of America’s Pastime while it was Still in the Past!
“Who can forget Prague’s own Martina Navratilova (the first female athlete to carve her own tennis racket) center court at Wimbledon or František Plánička (nicknamed ‘Fancy Pants’) manning the pipes for the Czech National Football (soccer) Team. Although they did not play the first tennis match or football (again, soccer) games, here in Hoboken the very first baseball game was played on June 19th, 1846 at Elysian Fields (between the Kickerbockers and the New Yorks). Batter up!”
10. Old Blue Eyes…
No, we’re not talking about Prague-born former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. It’s The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. Hoboken-born Sinatra lit the world (and a few enemies) on fire with his velvety pipes and sultry delivery. Just walk into any Italian eatery in Hoboken and you can be assured to see a painting on the wall of Frank or at least a sandwich named after him.”
11. Beer. Bars. Brawls.
“With all due respect to the historic drinking halls in Prague and their deliciously brewed local beer, Hoboken boasts more bars per square mile than any other city in America. During the turn of the century, Hoboken city issued more than 236 liquor licenses. What’d you say?!”
12. Hoboken has local delicacies too. They’re called “Pizza.”
“In Prague after all that delicious beer, you may fancy some cold smoked mackerel or raw beef on deep-fried toast. What? Hoboken has more pizza parlors per square mile than any other city in America. During the turn of the century, Hoboken city issued more than 236 pizza-making licenses. What’d you want on that?!”
13. Why Bungee off a bridge when you can swim in the Hudson!
“Sure you can bungee off the Zvikovské podhradí, a bridge high over the Vltava valley that costs 900-1,000 Kč per jump (about $50). In Hoboken, for FREE, you can jump into the pristine waters of the Hudson River anytime. Just make sure Sully Sullenberger is nearby.”
14. Gamble your money in Prague. Gamble your time in Hoboken.
“Take your chance at luck at the Savarin Casino in Prague. Or, for a real crapshoot, take a ride on a NJ Transit Bus and see if you’ll arrive at your destination on time or two hours late.”
15. To the Moon, Existentialist!
“Outside the Spanish Synagogue in downtown Prague is a bronze statue of Kafka depicted as a gnomish figure riding on the shoulders of a headless, handless, footless giant. If, and when, your bus arrives at the NY/NJ Port Authority Station, right outside is a rusting bronze statue of famed TV bus driver, Ralph Kramden.”
16. The “Hoboken Lap-Dance.”
“Czech law skirts the issue of prostitution and as a result Prague is known for its prospering sex business. In Hoboken, contractors systematically skirt the issue of zoning laws and build to their heart’s content in the “Mile-Square.”
17. Hoboken has a Really Old Clock too! And it works just fine. Sort of.
“Every hour on the hour in Prague, The Astronomical Clock built in the 15th Century releases wooden saints from trap doors, while below them a lesson in medieval morality is enacted by Greed, Vanity, Death and the Turk. In Hoboken, the Lackawanna Terminal Clock shows the time of day, every day, if you can see it, and except when it’s broke.”
18. Hoboken teens shred away puberty!
“Apparently, in Prague some teens have taken to pickpocketing to pass their time. But in Hoboken, we put our teens to the test in this totally rad city-built and managed Skate Park!”
19. You have it. I have it.
“In Prague, head to the Akropolis and hear local bands Lucie, Sto Zvirat and Cechomor. At Maxwell’s in Hoboken, once you peel your feet from the floor, dance to the heady rock of hometown fave Yo La Tengo.”
20. The witches come out at night here, too!
“In a Prague tradition that rolls the best of Halloween and Bonfire Night into one, Witches Night (Pálení čarodźjnic) marks the death of winter and the birth of the new spring. In Hoboken, on any given night you may fall prey to the “Mad Booter” who treats lazy sign readers and colorblind curb watchers to a delightful metal boot on your car and a $170 fine!”