Letter to the Editor: Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade
It’s Time to Change How Hoboken Honors Its Irish Heritage
As a Hoboken resident, I am very sad and disappointed over the extreme decline of our St. Patrick’s Parade event which started out as a nice family-friendly community event over twenty years ago and has evolved into a day of horror, nothing short of a low budget version of Blade Runner or Escape from New York.
As an Irish American, trust me when I say that you do not honor my heritage by inviting over 30,000 people in the tri-state area to come to our small town to turn it into a day of destruction and violence. I was sickened to hear about a rape victim being transported to HUMC, fights involving knives, and guns being wielded, and party goers blocking fire trucks in transit and throwing bottles off of buildings at Hoboken’s police officers and firemen who were the only people trying to contain this debacle. Trust me, as an Irish American, I do not feel my heritage is being honored when someone urinates on my front door, vomits on my stoop, breaks my window with an full bottle of beer, and defecates behind my neighbor’s car.
Last year before the 2010 parade, I was relieved when Mayor Dawn Zimmer said she would follow up two months after the event and implement some new measures for the 2011 parade. This was reiterated by Councilman Dave Mello who assured everyone that we were going to address the ever growing list of complaints and serious problems stemming from the event.
That would have been the most critical and effective move the city could make to reduce the dangerous alcohol-fueled behavior from both bars and house parties. Unfortunately, the Mayor and the City Council did not have these important meetings immediately following last year’s parade and they did not implement any changes. Instead they opted to send it to the City Council sub-committee which determined they would follow the business as usual plan of all hands on deck and raise the fines. Obviously, their plan failed, and once again, while the bar owners are making unprecedented amounts of money, the residents, most who hide out in their homes for two days, are left in the wake of the Armageddon, to literally clean up the mess, the property damage and to cover the six-figure expense of employing police officers in and outside of Hoboken.
As a parent, I used to enjoy taking my children to the parade, and I think people should be able to have parties and celebrate like we do on the 4th of July, New Years Eve, and many other days of celebration. That’s no longer the case in our town. Hoboken’s St. Patty’s Day has gone beyond any form of reasonable or typical celebration for a town this size. Hoboken has become notorious for its city officials looking the other way while the drunken mob of thousands takes over the town for 24 hours at the detriment to the residents who have to hide out in their homes, from the first sign of the arrival of party goers coming from the PATH station with their suitcases on Friday evening, until Sunday morning.
Hoboken has been complacent
Hoboken’s very lurid St. Patty’s Day reputation supersedes any notion that we expect people to “party and drink responsibly.” No one believes this because the reality is that the few thousand trouble makers know that the City of Hoboken has been complacent in altering the behavior of this event. Sure, the City posts warning signs of zero tolerance, but the City also advertises this event, encouraging people to come and drink early, knowing full well that we do not have the manpower to control a one-mile square mob of drunks. This responsibility and undue burden should not fall to the police or fire department. Our municipal employees have been outstanding, doing everything in their power to manage the ridiculous expectations of City Hall but the elected officials have really dropped the ball on this one.
The question is why is the City pandering to the bar owners? The bar owners want to keep things as is because they maximize profits, and the Parade Committee has stated we won’t get the good bands if we have it on the actual St. Patrick’s Day and compete with New York City. Well, the quality of life for the residents of Hoboken should come first!
Have the parade on a weekday that does not compete with NYC’s parade and watch those house parties dwindle to a reasonable, manageable number, and we’ll still be able to get good bands and bagpipe performers in the metro area, and the bar owners will still make money. Maybe not obscene amounts of money, but is that really the purpose of this event? It shouldn’t be, not if this is truly about honoring our Irish heritage.
Finding the solution to this serious matter is easier than solving our budget or infrastructure problems. This should be, as they say, a “no brainer” for our city officials to resolve. I am asking the Mayor and the City Council to return the St. Patty’s Day Parade to the community. Make this a safe community- friendly event for the sake of all of our residents and our quality of life, and start by having this parade on a weekday afternoon with normal hours of operation for the bars.
Hoboken Resident for 15 years
See Hoboken411 Police Blotter below…
Hoboken Police Blotter – St. Patrick’s Parade 2011
This is the list that Hoboken411 compiled – but by my estimates – probably only includes about 40% of what transpired (doesn’t include before 11am, after 1am the next day – and things missed throughout the day).
See original St. Patrick’s Hoboken Police Blotter thread here for comments – and review the list below again.
- Miscellaneous Incidents
12:59am: 124 Garden St. – “noise complaint…”
12:47am: 3rd & Wash – “party passed out drunk near McDonalds…”
11:08pm: Two idiots arrested at 3rd and Willow – will they learn? Nah.
11:03pm: 1st and River – Car strikes “Hoboken Rapid Deployment Vehicle” near Lana Lounge
11:01pm: Hoboken411 enjoys Truglio’s Hamburgers! Best on planet earth
11:00pm: “Intoxicated Person” at 11th and Washington – what a coincidence!
10:40pm: Fight 513 1st Street – knife involved – multiple cops responding
10:28pm: Still alarm of fire “Odor of smoke” 320 Jackson St.
10:20pm: 102 Bloomfield – “Very intoxicated Female” – Attractive
10:07pm: 3rd & Bloomfield – passed out drunk
10:03pm: Spa Diner – reports of a fight
9:22pm: Another drunk with head injury – 95 Hudson St. – What’s up with downtown?
9:18pm: Drunk with head injury – 93 Garden Street
9:13pm: Assault – 6th & Clinton – Actor running southbound from 5th & Clinton
9:02pm: 1st & Grand – Female laceration to the face “bleeding heavily” EMS en route
9:00pm: Female passed out in cab at 505 Madison St.
8:45pm: Double Drunk Feature: Man down 5th & River – Woman down 2nd & Park
8:39pm: The 10th & Park fight – they’re looking for a man with gun…
8:38pm: Fight – 10th and Park – you think they had anything to drink?
8:31pm: Drunk passed out on ground…
8:20pm: Spa Diner “unruly drunk”
8:15pm: Man tried stealing liquor at Farside Bar
8:00pm: female rape victim at HUMC Hospital.
7:56pm: 415 Washington – street fight
7:53pm: 702 Washington – folks tossing crap out windows
7:39pm: Female passes out in Port-o-John – Hudson St. & Hudson Pl.
7:35pm: Drunk Arrested at 3rd & Adams
7:29pm: Fire investigation at 1023 Washington St. Reports of smoke on roof
7:28pm: Three Arrested at 3rd & Jefferson 2 males – 1 female
7:18pm: fight at 5th and Wash – EMS requested
7:00pm: fight at 9th and Wash
6:58pm: mayhem – fight in front of teak – and assault at 2nd and river
6:55pm: 1315 Washington fight at Sushi House
6:50pm: 11th and Grand “man down”
6:45pm: man assaulted 10th & Willow
6:37pm: 118 Washington – “fight going good…”
6:36pm: 4th & Garden – drunk tries breaking into Ambulance “he’s in bad shape”
6:28pm: 6th & Garden – unconscious drunk…
6:16pm: 704 Grand St. “intoxicated male” EMS en route
6:12pm: 55 Newark St. “Debris flying out the window”
5:55pm: 413 Washington – ticket for open container
5:49pm: 1st & Bloomfield – overly intoxicated male – EMS dispatched
5:27pm: 422 Washington Street – 4 disorderly summonses issued
5:18pm: 8th and Clinton – “Female with severe burn to the arm”
5:14pm: “Man waving gun” at 14th Street Ferry Terminal (idiot with cap gun)
5:06pm: 11th and Clinton – two arrests
4:55pm: Officer requesting backup near 1st & River post office – fight (and arrest)
4:46pm: Robbery at TEAK bar
4:45pm: Two fire alarms – 333 River and 505 Madison St.
4:44pm: 6th & Willow – Street fight
4:41pm: 1024 Clinton – one injured male – and another “tearing up the lobby…”
4:40pm: (UNCONFIRMED) but “DOA” reported at HUMC Hospital – supposedly a young girl
4:35pm: Observer & Park – Street fight (probably over something stupid)
4:33pm: NJ Transit Bus terminal downtown – incapacitated male
4:22pm: two fire calls – 91 Grand and 405 Washington
4:16pm: 460 5th Street – injured party – assault in apt 6E
4:15pm: Sinatra Park – “Man Down”
4:14pm: Hudson St. & Hudson Place – drunk male belligerent with Police
4:13pm: 800 Madison – drunk female passed out – EMS requested
4:06pm: 66 Madison – pedestrian hit by car – EMS on scene
3:57pm: 63 5th Street – ticket for open container
3:56pm: 106 6th Street – ticket for open container
3:54pm: 300 Grand – ticket for open container
3:45pm: 204 Washington St. – unconscious drunk needs ambulance for survival
3:42pm: 3rd & Grand – ticket for open container
3:41pm: 1st & Washington – intoxicated person – EMS en route
3:38pm: 153 8th Street – fight
3:36pm: 254 6th Street – fight
3:35pm: 1st & Bloomfield – Open Container behind city hall
3:28pm: 1001 Clinton – fire alarms activated
3:24pm: two car accidents – 2nd & Marshall and 1st & Grand
3:17pm: 5th and Grand – male assaulted two females then threw brick through window
3:06pm: 3rd & Jackson – intoxicated male
2:44pm: 10th and Bloom – open container summons
2:16pm: 12th & Wash – injured party – EMS dispatched
2:13pm: 606 Grand Street – ticket for open container
2:13pm: 212 Adams – four tickets issued
2:12pm: 102 1th Street – two tickets for disorderly
2:10pm: 203 Court Street – ticket for public urination
2:10pm: 219 Grand – person passed out in hallway
1:59pm: 4 tickets issued unruly house 1014 Wash
1:58pm: 2nd & Wash – ticket for open container
1:49pm: Smoke reported at 805/807 Wash – turned out to be unruly house
1:48pm: ticket for open container at 2nd and Jackson
1:31pm: idiots throwing bottles from 333 River towards the W Hotel entrance – tickets issued
1:22pm: 704 Washington – bottle thrown out of window
1:17pm: 106 Washington – one ticket issued – open container
12:57pm: Two tickets issued – 800 Jefferson
12:41pm: “Large group walking westbound on 6th St. damaging parked cars…”
12:35pm: Girl exposes breasts – 8th & Clinton
12:30pm: 801 Madison – idiot pulls fire alarm
12:26pm: 250 3rd Street – ticket for open container
12:10pm: 1036 Garden – $2000 ticket for open container
11:44am: Illegally parked cars 12th & Clinton – “making it difficult for buses to turn”
11:38am: Hoboken Batman helping HPD with Traffic
11:25am: Councilman Peter Cunningham – Car illegally parked – blocking intersection 10th and Garden
- Unruly House Parties
6:47pm – 323 Willow – unruly house party
6:27pm – 827 Willow – balcony issues (“cake boss” family member)
6:05pm – 227 Adams – apt. 9 – “out of control party” AGAIN
5:52pm – 227 Adams St. – disorderly house
5:36pm – 235 Hudson Street – hundreds of idiots causing a scene HPD responding for the 4th time
5:21pm – 800 Washington – unauthorized rooftop party
3:31pm – 116 Willow – large party (and assault)
2:46pm – 716 Grand – HFD en route – hazard
2:44pm – 114 Clinton – overcrowding
1:27pm – 726 Wash – large group drinking
1:03pm – 1st & Hudson rooftop
12:57pm – 1210 Hudson – unauthorized rooftop – Applied housing
12:53pm – 77 River Street – Apt. 3 & 4 & Lobby “large unruly crowd”
12:50pm – 1015 Washington “throwing cups and things out the window…”
12:35pm – 1026 Bloomfield – ditto
12:34pm – 9th & wash – unruly balcony party…
12:24pm – 9th & monroe – “overflowing balcony”
12:19pm – 7th & Garden “Roof top party about to be busted up…”
12:15pm – 409 Washington – House party – ticket issued
12:10pm – 301 Grand – overcrowding
12:00pm – 701 Garden – unruly house party
11:46am – 408 Washington “Large party, rooftops, windows, fire escapes…”
11:36am – 4th and Monroe – Party on Roof
11:28am – Tickets issued – 517 Bloomfield St…
11:20am – 1035 Bloomfield – loud backyard party
11:20am – 120 Washington Street – unauthorized rooftop party
11:07am – 104 14th Street – loud party
11:04am – 61 Court Street – loud rooftop party
11:00am – 513 Bloomfield Street – drunks!