Archived Posts from "'Parenting & Family'"

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

Free range kids next to impossible?

What ever happened to “free range kids?”

Stumbled on the article below recently. It’s getting out of control to “criminalize” things like kids playing outside unsupervised. Most of us grew up with no external entity telling us how to raise and care for our children.

Frankly, the outcome of any unfortunate incident (injury, death) due to negligence is on the backs of the parents already. I can imagine the sorrow a parent would have if, due to their recklessness their offspring suffered in any way. And that is where it should end – the grieving parents. That “punishment” on its own should be enough – not state-mandated, revenue generating “control” over how we live our lives.

Does smashing a car window to “save” a toy baby doll ring any bells?

So it appears that lovely concept of “free range kids” is circling the drain faster by the week, as the fashionable trend these days is for a “community” to own and raise the children – and not individual parents. When will the BS stop?

Poll: Most Want to Criminalize Pre-Teens Playing Unsupervised

Girl on swing

A whopping 68 percent of Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids 9 and under from playing at the park unsupervised, despite the fact that most of them no doubt grew up doing just that.

What’s more: 43 percent feel the same way about 12-year-olds. They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents).

Those are the results of a Reason/Rupe poll confirming that we have not only lost all confidence in our kids and our communities—we have lost all touch with reality.

“I doubt there has ever been a human culture, anywhere, anytime, that underestimates children’s abilities more than we North Americans do today,” says Boston College psychology professor emeritus Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn, a book that advocates for more unsupervised play, not less.

In his book, Gray writes about a group of 13 kids who played several hours a day for four months without supervision, though they were observed by an anthropologist. “They organized activities, settled disputes, avoided danger, dealt with injuries, distributed goods… without adult intervention,” he writes.

The kids ranged in age from 3 to 5.

Of course, those kids were allowed to play in the South Pacific, not South Carolina, where Debra Harrell was thrown in jail for having the audacity to believe her 9-year-old would be fine by herself at a popular playground teeming with activity. In another era, it not only would have been normal for a child to say, “Goodbye, mom!” and go off to spend a summer’s day there, it would have been odd to consider that child “unsupervised.” After all, she was surrounded by other kids, parents, and park personnel. Apparently now only a private security detail is considered safe enough.

Harrell’s real crime was that she refused to indulge in inflated fears of abduction and insist her daughter never leave her side. While there are obviously many neighborhoods wrecked by crime where it makes more sense to keep kids close, the country at large is enjoying its lowest crime level in decades.

Too bad most people reject this reality. The Reason/Rupe Poll asked “Do kids today face more threats to their physical safety?” and a majority—62 percent—said yes. Perhaps that’s because the majority of respondents also said they don’t think the media or political leaders are overhyping the threats to our kids.

But they are. “One culprit is the 24 hour news cycle,” said Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, when I asked him why so few kids are outside these days. Turn on cable TV, “and all you have to do is watch how they take a handful of terrible crimes against children and repeat that same handful over and over,” he said. “And then they repeat the trial over and over, and so we’re conditioned to live in a state of fear.”

Why shouldn’t kids experience life?

free range kidsRationally understanding that we are living in very safe times is not enough to break the fear, he added.

So what is?

Experience. Through his Children and Nature Network, Louv urges families to gather in groups and go on hikes or even to that park down the street that Americans seem so afraid of. Once kids are outside with a bunch of other kids, they start to play. It just happens. Meanwhile, their parents stop imagining predators behind every bush because they are face to face with reality instead of Criminal Minds. They start to relax. It just happens.

Over time, they can gradually regain the confidence to let their kids go whoop and holler and have as much fun as they themselves did, back in the day.

Richard Florida, the urbanist and author of The Rise of the Creative Class is one of the many parents today who recalls walking to school solo in first grade. He was in charge of walking his kindergarten brother the next year. The age that the Reason/Rupe respondents think kids should start walking to school without an adult is 12.

That’s the seventh grade.

Florida has intensely fond memories of riding his bike “everywhere” by the time he was 10. Me too. You too, I’m guessing. Why would we deny that joy to our own kids? Especially when we’re raising them in relatively safer times?

“Let your kids play in the park, for God’s sake,” Florida pleads. “We’ll all be better for it.”

Why should South Pacific toddlers have all the fun?

Even more waterfront filth

Garbage mountains in Hoboken – blame robotic trash bins?

Earlier today we mentioned that even though countless robotic trash bins that send tweets and text messages pepper the waterfront – there are still many signs of filth.

But have you seen what Pier A Park looks like after a typical Movies Under the Stars showing? People cannot fit their trash into these things, and refuse (food, etc.) piles up – attracting disease-ridden vermin to scavenge for scraps.

If this isn’t a sign of “progress,” I don’t know what is.

Waterfront filth welcome to Hoboken postcard

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Hopeless and living in luxury?

What is luxury in Hoboken?

You ever wonder if the word “luxury” is abused in the Real Estate industry to the point where it should be ignored? I mean a stainless steel appliance no longer applies as “luxury” anymore – as pretty much 95% of all appliances sold at big box stores are of that variety. Heck to the rest of the world, running water, electricity and heat are MAJOR luxuries! But I digress…

One Hoboken resident who lives near 6th Street and Jackson Streets and paying close to $50,000 a year for rent – shares what she feels are some troubling circumstances that regularly happen in her neighborhood – including some recent gunshots!

What is living in luxury at the juliana in Hoboken NJ

Hoboken Resident: Hopeless and living in luxury on Jackson Street

“Does anyone know about the gunshots at Jackson and 6th this past Sunday at 4AM?

Lots of people running from projects past the Juliana towards the NJ Light Rail tracks. More shots were heard, a total of about four. After the fracas, the police were sweeping the area around The Juliana looking for a weapon.

No one ever reports on what is going on back here but there is constant yelling, fighting and false alarms every night into the early morning hours. We are paying very high rents, $4,000 a month!

Hopeless and living in luxury on 6th and Jackson”

How you would rectify this situation if you were in a “position of power” in Hoboken? (i.e., police, city hall?)

Hoboken Projects living in luxury

Frozen & Hunger Games at Pier A Park

Hoboken Movies Under the Stars: 8/20/2014

The 2014 Movies Under the Stars event held on Wednesday nights at Pier A Park is about to come to an end.

And because of a previous rain-out, we have a “double header” scheduled for the final Movies Under the Stars showing: Animated cartoon Frozen and blockbuster hit Hunger Games – Catching Fire starring Jennifer Lawrence – The second in the “Hunger Games” Trilogy (third one expected in 2015.)

Hopefully for movie-goers, any thunderstorms will keep their distance.

See what you missed in 2014 here!

Frozen Hunger Games Hoboken NJ Pier A Park Movies Under the Stars

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Viaduct a desination?

Is the 14th St. Viaduct a destination in Hoboken?

Is the 14th Street Viaduct a destination in Hoboken NJThis new so-called “open space” that has been created under the 14th Street Viaduct, while a definite step up from what it was prior – can it even be considered a bonafide “destination?”

Construction workers building that new dog park which is as close to the western border of Hoboken that anything can possibly be – thought it was “a foolish concept,” and wondered once the fanfare of it opening up – will it actually be used. Especially with all the homeless around, and the overall bleak industrial feel of the area.

Some folks assume something is going to happen closer to the Bow Tie Cinemas – but may be disappointed. Apparently it will just remain a big slab of concrete – which will of course be hailed as some kind of “open area.” Sure in the beginning their might be some effort to organize some kind of events, markets, etc. – but the general consensus is that it would be poorly attended and short-lived.

Take a walk up there one day. If you were captured on hidden camera – you’d probably have that quizzical look that says “you’re kidding, right?”

If only the administration was smart enough to approve that totally awesome bowling alley proposal. But alas, they’re probably waiting for some other kind of political payday that’s being discussed in back rooms around the mile square.

I guess time will tell. Perhaps will more residential development (as well as commercial), it may certainly help. But how long that takes, and who will allow the market to decide (and not some pretentious “think tank” of people) remains to be seen.