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Washio Laundry & Dry Cleaning

Would Washio laundry service work in Hoboken?

Washio laundryYou might have seen the buzz surrounding a wash and fold / dry cleaning pickup and delivery service called Washio. And I’ll tell you, the reason they may succeed (in the beginning) is because they’re following a certain trend that scoops up countless suckers by the second!

For starters – we had a similar service in Hoboken four years ago called Garment Valet. They’re currently just in the metro Boston area. Part of the reason they failed here in Hoboken because with all the dry cleaners and laundromats in town – the $1.25 per pound price was too much in the eyes of potential customers. However, they clearly missed the “magic formula” that transforms people into willing zombies.

What is the magic formula for today’s startups?

That “magic formula” is exactly what Washio is using, and many startups use the same spellbinding tactic:

  • Have a slick “app” for your service.
  • Use mind-melding words like: “greener,” “carbon footprint,” and “eco-friendly.”
  • Throw in “charity” talk and “ukulele music” and you’ll be well on your way with 8-figure seed capital.

Now the funny thing is that Washio charges $1.60 per pound for laundry! Not including delivery! That’s 25% MORE than what “expensive” Garment Valet used to charge here in Hoboken – and people are now all of a sudden soaking this up full speed ahead?

Washio isn’t in the Hoboken area (yet), but have presence in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

They’re getting lots of press – and the fact that angel investors are pouring millions into this venture makes you think they’re connected via some secret industry side-door.

But this will be tricky for them. Because even though their “buzz” may be good on social media – they can fall just as quickly by negative press that “goes viral” if they don’t maintain an utterly perfect record of performance.

However, in the end – they might make a splash, but I don’t see how their model is sustainable at those prices (which will certainly go up when investors wonder why they’re not making any money) and who knows what kind of quality they’ll be able to achieve. Initial over/under for bankruptcy: 1.9 years.

Real Life Apps

Real Life Apps – you need these too!

I was thinking about this the other day as I observed a large number of zombies trudging around Hoboken streets. With literally millions of smart phone “apps” out there to supposedly “make your life easier,” how is this negatively impacting society?

For one, I can see the “social” aspect of the digitally connected world making it harder and harder for a person “marinating in the matrix” to comfortably converse with another human face to face. If you have not witnessed this phenomenon, then you might be “one of them.”

But in order to make this article more compelling and easier to digest for the digital drones out there – I had to name it “real life apps,” because it’s sad, but true. Heck, people can’t even manage a trip to the dry cleaner anymore!

Real life apps cannot be downloaded in Hoboken NJ

Top 5 Real Life Apps you need to re-connect with today

Below are some “real life apps” that people ought to get (re)acquainted with NOW:

1. Common Sense

Number 1 real life appCommon sense is a actually a “learned app,” that you can’t really download to be your digital assistant. Common sense is something that sort of has its own unique law. You know, right – wrong, ethical – unethical, safe – risky, stupid – smart, do unto others as… etc.

Common sense used to be taught by parents back in the day. Not sure what happened to that.

People these days use the “crowdsourced” thing called the internet to act as their external brain – and don’t act upon their own brainwaves anymore. Super sad.

2. Observational Ability / Study

Number 2 real life appThis (like every other “app” we’re about to mention), cannot in anyway involve a “download” and a quick solution to your problems. This is something that is quite amazing in fact.

The ridiculously rare ability for someone to be able to actually study something these days without consulting the internet is something to cherish. This means spending some time with your problem, project or situation – and carefully examining everything that encompasses it. It could take hours, days or even weeks before you reach you solution.

But guess what – you did it on your own.

3. Patience

Number 3 real life appThis is really an off-shoot of the previous “app” called “study.” In order to have that observational and studious ability – you need to have another curious trait called PATIENCE. That means the capability to wait – and understand and have faith that you will solve your particular problem – but it requires that you try to comprehend (or think) more about the situation at hand.

Sometimes that means “sleeping on” an issue, or just “putting it on the backburner” until perhaps an unrelated circumstance allows you to stumble on the solution. Unless they are are “urgent” issues – most of your issues can be solved with patience.

Patience is also helpful when dealing with personalities and relationships. The plague known as “knee-jerk reaction” could be held in check if people had the real-life patience app.

4. Experience

Number 4 real life appThis is a big deal – and should have probably been number one – but here it is as number four: EXPERIENCE.

Looking up shit on Wikipedia (or any encyclopedia for that matter), may serve as a starting point – but it will NEVER make up for TRUE personal experience for anything.

So while reference books do actually serve a very great purpose in this world, they do not replace real world experience.

Especially with NEWS or events throughout the world. Take the Ferguson incident for example. People are rioting, commenters ablaze, taking one side or another. But how many of them were there to see with their OWN TWO EYES what actually transpired? My take? EVERYONE SHOULD BACK DOWN SINCE THEY WERE NOT PERSONALLY THERE.

5. Independent Thought

Number 5 real life appBeing “part of the herd” is attractive to most people because it takes most of the difficulty out of the equation. “Thrive with the herd, die with the herd,” so to say. And being independent adds a lot of responsibility to the mix for obvious reasons. You’re constantly on guard against a construct that is exponentially bigger than your lone dissenting voice.

But that is part of the problem, part of the design, and part of the bigger plan.

Independent thought for the most part is impossible without the other four “life apps,” but it is (in our opinion) a very dying breed – but at the same time quite essential for the survival of the human race.

So which real world “app” are you going to brush up on today?

Genesis Ice Bucket Challenge

Genesis Salon in Hoboken, NJ Ice Bucket Challenge

Below is a video that Genesis Salon at 1106 Washington St. contributed to the “Ice Bucket Challenge” the ALS Association has been promoting.

They’ve gotten close to 300,000 new donations thanks to viral marketing, social media, and for the most part simple followers (often referred to as “lemmings.”) This resulted in over 10 times more donations sent in to ALS compared to this time last year. (Tens of millions of dollars!)

It’s your money I guess – do what you wish with it!

Ice Bucket Challenge Charity Overload excess

Things to think about when being “charitable”

You know how we feel about charities in general – so we won’t rehash that now. But some other alternative outlets out there ask very great questions about charities. Such as:

  • Forget about curing Lou Gherig’s Disease – how come no one knows what actually causes it? All the money donated and still haven’t figured it out yet?
  • Do charities EVER want to find a cure? Because that would certainly “cure” their lavish paychecks too. Think about that. When was the last time a major charity found the cure, and “closed up shop?”
  • How many charities have been marred in scandal over the years to make you at least think twice about it? You think that disease will ever get “cured?”
  • Don’t get me wrong – I would never wish anyone suffer from a terrible disease. However, perhaps we could have a better “impact on society” if we tackled other deadly problems first (like diabetes which affects exponentially more people each year – with a known cure called awareness and low-carb living…)

In the end – parting with your money and dumping ice on your head – boils down to your cost for being TRENDY.

(Note to Genesis – Please Turn your phone 90 degrees from now on…)

14th Street Viaduct Project

Clumsy installation of traffic lights worry residents

14th Street traffic lights Hoboken NJ WTF momentAs you know, the 14th Street Viaduct project plagued drivers and residents for the past couple years. And with the roadway opening, the last remaining bits underneath are also nearing complete (we recently asked if it would ever be considered a “destination” in Hoboken….)

However – there is another piece of the puzzle that also deserves attention – as uptown resident Allen mentioned:

“As part of the “rehabilitation” of the 14th street viaduct, the county/city was supposed to coordinate the installation of new traffic signals at both 14th & Willow AND 14th & Park.

Clearly the latter has gone horribly awry.

After final installation of new lights nearly over a month ago, the old standard/lights have been repeatedly knocking against each other in rainstorms/wind, and nearly caused multiple pedestrians and vehicles to scramble into traffic for fear of collapse.

I ask this: Why would the county or city put up these lights and then let the OLD lights remain for weeks on end as the stanchions knock into each other?? Isn’t it just a simple computer turn on? These posts must weigh hundreds of pounds, are RIGHT next to each other and could easily kill a motorist or pedestrian!”

Hmm. I guess the answer would be “more legal bills?”

Viaduct construction leads to traffic signal mayhem in Hoboken NJ

Click to see previous Hoboken411 updates regarding the 14th Street Viaduct

Ebola Virus

What you need to know about the Ebola Virus

See – we don’t really read the news much these days (other than quick glances at headlines). Truly “observing life,” requires looking at real things outside and kind of slowly forming an opinion based on real experiences, etc. So we haven’t panicked whatsoever about this “Ebola Virus Scare” that is dominating the “news” headlines. Remember all those other “global pandemic scares” in the past? Avian Flu, SARS, heck – even AIDS was supposed to kill half the world. I don’t know.

Anyway – below is a pretty funny clip from YouTuber Mark Dice. We don’t necessarily agree with the direction he goes on with his rants – but some can be quite entertaining, and his delivery almost always gives me a chuckle or three.

Here’s what he said about the latest fear mongering episode people are talking about:

Reverend Jim a Hoboken Icon

Hoboken Icon: Reverend Jim Dillman

Over the many years since Hoboken has transformed from its gritty blue collar past to the culture-less stroller haven it is today, one iconic character that has remained constant is The Reverend Jim Dillman, “Bartender to The Stars” at DC’s Tavern.

Hoboken Icon Reverend Jim Dillman

Originally from Long Island, he’s worked some interesting jobs prior to living here and has more anecdotes than you have change in your pocket. From his days of driving cabs in NYC to working at The Westbury Music Fair in the 1970’s and hanging out with the likes of Henny Youngman, Bob Hope, Cheech & Chong and ELO among others, you can always count on an interesting story from him.

A Hoboken resident since 1981, when he moved here with his band The Objects, Reverend Jim has lived, breathed and experienced the city during it’s hey-day as a burgeoning music and arts scene.

He spent a lot of time both working and performing at the renowned Beaten Path Club, Maxwell’s, Fabian’s and Boo-Boo‘s.

He’s performed in many other bands, including Love Zombies, Roadside Banditos with Joey George, Mad Happy/ Poor Old Souls with Mike Kilmer, The Shames, Candy Jones and Cherry Flip.

He’s also played with Chris Butler (of The Waitresses & Tin Huey fame) in the Legendary Wild Ensemble and the house band for the early 90’s Comedy Central Show Two Drink Minimum hosted by Jake Johannsen.

He currently plays with Hoboken’s own Davey & The Trainwreck. Until recently, he’d been serving the thirsty and faithful patrons at the legendary Louise & Jerry’s Tavern. Mr. Dillman has also worked as a music teacher for the Charter School at both the Demarest and Brandt Schools.

The Reverend has an encyclopedic knowledge of a wide range of music, radio and old movies and is always happy to discuss them. Pay him a visit and you‘ll be sure to hear one of his many eclectic mixes, including “Songs That Make Jim D Cry“, “Spittin‘ On The Hits“, “Early Surly Vols. 1 & 2”, “Music to Braise Parsnips By“ and “Ain‘t No “I” in Meathead“.

He wrote and sang the popular song “Weehawken Woman” with The Roadside Banditos that can occasionally be heard on WFMU 91.1 FM in Jersey City (Listen below -doesn’t he have a great singing voice?)

Jim speaks fluent Chihuahua, is a yellow-belt McGuyver fixer-upper and has often been mistaken for a statue. Hoboken is lucky to still have characters like him in its midst!

Weehawken Woman – The Roadside Banditos

Featuring Reverend Jim!