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Happy Labor Day 2014

Happy Labor Day 2014, Hoboken!

“Happy Labor Day” would probably be better phrased as: “Enjoy the long weekend” (for those who it actually makes a difference to). We’ll probably have some traffic issues later to contend with if you travel with the masses.

If you’re on vacation or decided to jettison out of Hoboken for the day, hope you’re all having a good time! If you stayed behind – what are you going to do today? We’re in the midst of what will probably be the warmest weather for the rest of the year, so here are a few ideas for you.

  • Try out a new restaurant or bar. Some of the more recent Hoboken additions include: McLoone’s Pier House and Bareburger.
  • If you’re going to a BBQ – pick up some spirits at the newly opened Cork Wine & Spirits uptown.
  • Or head to nearby Jersey City to indulge in a scoop of organic ice cream at Milk Sugar Love.
  • Take a walk along the waterfront walkway uptown if you haven’t been in a while (pictured below). Usually a fairly quite area to relax, take in the sights or read a good book.

Another suggestion might be to leave your phone home to enjoy life in an “analog” way, but that is next to impossible for most.

Otherwise – be safe, and go easy on your internal organs if you have to work tomorrow. Treat today like a Sunday!

Labor Day Hoboken NJ

Productivity = Zero

Charlie Sheen Ice Bucket Challenge causes productivity to evaporate

Charlie Sheen kills productivity as millions waste time watching him dump money on his headWe briefly mentioned charities and the moronic ice bucket challenge last week. But here’s an extra bonus that puts things into perspective.

Forget the challenge, forget the charity for a second. Irrelevant to this story. What this story is about is Charlie Sheen’s Ice Bucket Video – and how that single-handedly created a perfect example of what is WRONG with society here in America (and abroad).

When we wrote this story – approximately 17 million people watched one individual human being dump a bucket of money on his head, and talk about other “celebrities” you will never know personally. Your life would remain exactly as it was if you didn’t watch it. But what happened collectively was that millions of people did NOTHING. Nothing productive at least.

With all the problems running rampant in this country perhaps time should be put to better use (like thinking or reading?)

What is 17 million minutes?

Want to know what 17 million minutes is? The equivalent of:

  • ONE FULL DAY of work for the entire Google Corporation!
  • ONE WEEK of protection from 7,000 neighborhood watch volunteers.
  • ONE YEAR of output from a medium manufacturing company with 140 employees.
  • 10 YEARS of tidying up from a small housecleaning company with 14 employees.
  • 70 YEARS worth of repairs from an independent electrician (and his daily helper).

So in the end – his meager “donation” was far outweighed by the amount of time he essentially stole from the productivity of this nation.

But what is productivity anyway? You got to “ReTweet” how noble it was that Charlie Sheen donated money instead of snorting it up his nose. Big pat on the back for y’all!

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