February 2006 Archives

Marma Day Spa

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Marma Day Spa
1122 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
201-795-3636

Spa Hours
Sunday 10am-4pm
Monday thru Friday 12pm-9pm
Saturday 9am-5pm


The longer I live in Hoboken, the more I realize that it is a much bigger town than I realize, with so many interesting businesses and restaurants. My latest foray was getting a massage at Marma Day Spa, located at 1122 Washington Street.

Marma was based on the principles of Ayurveda (pronounced eye-yer-vay-duh) is the art of healthy living developed in India. The word, from ancient Sanskirit literally means "Knowledge of Life". Such principles of Ayurveda includes the use of herbs, nutrition, panchakarma cleansing and acupressure massage which promote taking charge of your life and healing.

These principles are not lost upon walking into Marma, where the front entrance has statues of Indian dieties, textbooks on the subject of spiritual healing and an atmosphere of comfort. The receptionist marked off my appointment, and led me into a back area of the spa, where they had individual lockers, and a changing room. I was given a robe and rubber slippers, where I removed my clothing and waited on a couch in a private area adorned with candles and a small faux waterfall.

In a short time I was introduced to Carla, who was a very friendly massage therapist, and she led me into one of the four therapy rooms. The rooms are small, with the sound of dripping water, soothing music and candlelight, all playing upon my different senses. The massage began with her washing and massaging my feet in a large stainless steel bowl. She first asked the purpose of the massage, and anything she should know about my health. I asked why, and explained to me about how Ayurvedic massage focused on hitting certain pressure points in the body and that depending on why I needed the massage, she would change the massage accordingly. I told her about my leg, and to take care around the knee area, but otherwise I just wanted to destress and relax.

After drying my feet we selected a liquid scent that she would use during the massage. There was a whole table with dark, tiny bottles on them each containing a different fragrance. I had her choose one for me, since I really was aloof about what scent was used. She chose orange mint, and then left the room to let me disrobe and get on the massage table, under the sheets.

After a few minutes she returned, and before she began she told me to let her know if she was using too much or too little pressure during the massage. She first started by having me breathe in the citrus oils from her hands three times, with deep breaths. She began the massage in earnest, and it was, quite simply, wonderful.

I could write about the finer points of the massage, but what is there to tell, really? It was relaxing and soothing, and when I walked out of the spa I felt like a million bucks. I walked home, and when I entered my home I realized for the first time, in a long time, that I completely forgot about my sore leg. My surgery was mid-January, and the whole walk home was at a brisk pace with little thought about my leg.

A few days after I called Laurie and chatted with her a bit about her salon and spa.

Owned by Laurie Michelson, also the owner of Hair Cult salon on 11th and Washington. Laurie told me she was a hairstylist in the entertainment industry including Carly Simon, Bon Jovi, Kip Winger, Sean Penn (while he filmed State of Grace). She needed a base of operations for her work, and Hair Cult was born 18 years ago.

She came up with the idea to open a spa after listening to feedback from her customers.

"At our spa we give head massages while we shampoo our clients hair, many told us they would love to have other spa services and Marma started because of that.", Laurie told me.

When she opened the salon she combined the elements of Ayurveda along with the products and mission statement from Aveda, creating an enviromental concept salon. The Aveda website quotes Horst M. Rechelbacher, the founder of Aveda, "Our mission at Aveda is to care for the world we live in, from the products we make to the ways in which we give back to society. At Aveda, we strive to set an example for enviromental leadership and responsibility, not just in the world of beauty, but around the world."

It seems to me that Laurie isn't just creating a business, but a way of life for her clients. If my massage at Marma was any indication, I can only imagine how wonderful the other spa services at the salon could be. The offer Spa therapy, skin care, manicure, pedicures and waxing. Prices and services are explained in detail on their website at www.marmadayspa.com. Of course i'm about 6 years late getting to Marma, and hoping I can make up for lost time. If you haven't been here yet, maybe it is about time to make an appointment and see what you have been missing.

Don't Forget To Turn Out The Lights...

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Living in Hoboken for the better part of 10 years I have learned that one of the things that defines your experience in town is the bar you associate with.

Each bar has it's own varying "reputation" if you will. Some bars are guido hangouts. Some bars are for the snobs. Some bars are dives. Some are neighborhood pubs. Some are irish hangouts. Some have a great music scene.

When I first moved in to town, I didn't know anyone. At my 9 to 5 job I met some co-workers who lived in Hoboken and they marched me over to Hennessy's bar, which was located on Newark street, in between River and Hudson streets. It was one of many irish pubs in town, with a decent weekend crowd and strong group of regulars. I became part of the regulars, friends with the bartenders and those early years were filled with drinking, laughs and comraderie.

Hennessy's changed owners, and the bartenders there moved to midtown to a new bar called "Farside". Farside was "our" new home. All the regulars from Hennessy's moved with the bartenders to the new bar, along with hanging out at Moran's. We were a motley crew of non-conformists, some locals and some yuppies. We liked to drink, play darts, listen to Patrick Fleming and play late night card games. Many a holiday we spent together, plenty of adventures outside of Hoboken we had and we had the common bond of the bar that kept us together. New faces would show up and old friends would leave, but we always had Farside.

Then Dipper's opened up in late 2001. It used to be Dooley's, a bar that I would go every once in a while to order some food or watch football. I didn't frequent Dooley's very much - the "regulars" didn't go there, and we didn't really know the bartenders. After Dipper took over the bar, he took on my friend Joe as a manager. Joe handpicked the new bartenders, bringing in "people he could trust behind the bar". He approached me about bartending, and I was very interested. I saw how much fun Goody and Kenny had at Farside, and wanted to have that same fun also. To me, the money was secondary. I had my 9 to 5 job - I was just looking forward to having a good time.

Like I wrote before, every bar has a reputation. Dipper's, to me, was a neighborhood pub. It was located smack dab in the middle of town, and looked like its decoration budget was $500. You didn't take someone to Dipper's for its "scene", you took someone there because you either knew a bartender or knew a patron. Dipper was very involved with making sure we treated the customer right. He set up "comment cards" and would ask customers what changes he could make to make the bar better. Some he attended to, some he disregarded, but he would always be willing to listen.

It was cool to be at the bar when it first opened, because all the bartenders had so many ideas to try out. We had bands that would play at the bar, we tried theme nights, martini nights, shot nights, ladies nights, dart leagues, Golden Tee league, football clubs (Go Birds!) and trivia nights. Some worked, and some didn't. But it was still very exciting, because Dipper just let the employees do whatever they wanted - as long as if we were generating a profit.

The bar wasn't about making money, it also a social scene for many of our regulars. Dipper's is easily responsible for many marriages, friendships and of course a few break ups, too. Oh, I had my share of good girls and psycho girls that I met there. But I want to take this time for a special shout out to some of my coworkers who made the last 1500+ days special:

Joe: You took a chance on me, and I always appreciated it. I think until the day we die, we will both chuckle over the 'Twin Story'.

Teresa: T - you and I, bartending Friday nights. Listening to Rage Against The Machine and Beastie Boys, having a blast behind the bar. I will bartend with you any day of the week.

Chris: I think you were the most underappreciated bartender at Dipper's. You were like the unofficial owner of the bar and the hardest working bartender I ever saw, plus having a spot-on Rodney Dangerfield impression always made me laugh.

Tom: We had our ups and downs, but I have to admit that now the ride is over I'm proud to have worked for you. My only complaint is that for the last 4 years I had to explain why you called the bar "Dipper's". Meh!

Heather: Heather, you are easily one of the nicest people I know. If I had a nickel for every person you charmed (I'm looking your way Nikki & Jay), I would have a bag of nickels. You can have your choice of bars to work in town - you would have a legion of people who would go there just to visit you.

I have told people before that our bar, like Farside and Hennessy's, was like a "Cheers!" kind of pub. A place that if you were the bartenders knew your name (and your favorite drink), we would get you drunk and show you a good time. The bar could be hit or miss. Some nights we would get a great, fun crowd and some nights it was D E A D.

The demographics of Hoboken is changing, and the type of bar-goer is changing along with it. Less and less 20-something college graduates are moving into town, only to be replaced with 30-something homeowners with a more discerning choice of venue. Bars like Trinity, Lua, 3 Forty and The Madison are popular for a reason - they attract the crowds because of the way they are designed. I remember The Madison when it was a non descript sports bar, that was never very popular. But, once renovated, it became the bar to be seen at.

Dipper's would never be those bars, nor did we ever want to be those bars. The last 4 years we did well enough, and Tom made a tidy profit from his sale. Contrary to any rumors, Tom sold the bar because he lives in Virginia and has a booming business with the U.S. Government. His orginial idea to buying the bar was that he hoped his children would want to run it eventually - but they didn't. They had other aspirations in life. So, he sold it at a very nice profit. That's it. It's that simple.

It is an end of an era. A slice of my life that is over and I enjoyed most of it, with a few minor issues that were an annoyance. No matter what other ignorant people can write about Dipper's, it wasn't the Taj Mahal, but it was the home away from home for a lot of Hobokenites over the last 4 years. It will be missed.

Blurbs Of Thought

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I'm kind of mailing this entry in. I have a few things going on, but nothing spectacular to create into a big entry.

On the other hand i'm trying to avoid the "slacker" comment from Tiffany that I get when I don't update the blog enough for her. I'll still get grief over this from her.

I went to a comedy club on Friday, with a few friends. I really wasn't planning on going, but at the last minute I decided to go. It was at StandUp NY at 78th and Broadway. It was a 7pm show where a friend of mine, Mike, was going to do his material. The show was $10, with a 2 drink minimum (another $18). Worth it? Sure, it was fun. Most of the comedians were either awful or good. One, the headliner, actually went up on stage, said a few strange incoherient thoughts and then said "Fuck it.", dropped the mike and walked off stage after 1 minute. The audience was shocked, the owners of the club were stunned for about 15 seconds until the ushered up another comedian to the stage. The girl who gets up on the stage stole the show by looking around nervously and saying, "How the fuck do I follow that act?!". Everyone laughed.

Afterwards we jetted over to Jake's Dilemma. Back when I moved up to NYC, Jake's was the cool bar to hit on a weekend (if you were into bars and not clubs or lounges). Friday night seemed tame, with maybe half the bar full. We played some pool, foosball and watched some people play beer pong at Jake's. Afterwards we finished up with a few drinks at Brother Jimmy's. I like New York, but only a few times have I gone into New York and really thought the city was amazing. Otherwise, I am normally thinking, "Eh, I could be having just as good as a time in Hoboken".

Saturday I bartended at Dipper's. We had a staff party, which was an open bar for staff and regulars. It was a good time, like the old days of Hoboken when I could walk into a bar and know most of the people at the bar. Sadly, with time, people are either moving away or getting married and don't go out as often as they used to. Plus, it seems the demographics of Hoboken have changed from the post-college 20-something to the 30-something homeowners.

Sunday I was going to hit Court Street, until I saw that the entire bar area was full, so I went to dinner at Brass Rail. I haven't been to the restaurant since their renovations, and i'm impressed with what they have done with the place. The crab cake appetizer I had was delicious, with a wonderful presentation. The cake sat on a small bed of pesto pasta, which was very tasty. I tried the filet mignon entree, which read "with whipped potatoes, ragout of wild mushrooms and caramelized onion and red wine veal jus". When I got the entree, it was surrounded by mashed potatoes, topped with a broccoli rabe and I think it was a sour cream on top. This isn't what I was expecting. I really don't like broccoli rabe or sour cream. I didn't like the entree very much, and at $30 I was very unimpressed.

I was also unimpressed with the wine at the Brass Rail. I normally eat at Court Street, where they use nitrous oxide to preserve the better wines by the glass. The first glass of red wine, a $7 by Rosenblum tasted like it turned. I asked for a different wine, and they were nice enough to not charge me for the first one. I chose a $10 glass of Cabernet, which was very tasty.

After dinner I decided to try their carrot cake dessert, along with a glass of 10 year old Taylor Fladgate tawny port. The port was old and opened far too long. I wasn't about to complain again, and it wasn't so bad that it was undrinkable, it was easily over 2 months old. At $10 a glass, I also would expect that the Brass Rail would have higher standards for preserving wine and port.

I'm slowly getting back to cooking again. It is just less fun to cook for myself and I very much enjoy cooking for others. There is a sense of accomplishment and pleasure that a good meal gives others. Tonight i'm making a Tuscan barley and bean soup from a cookbook that was given to me by my sister. I made it once before and it was perfect for a cold winter night.

I'm also going to hit up Marma Day Spa this week. Dipper was nice enough to give his employees gift certificates for a 30 minute massage. I called and made it an hour long massage. The spa is booked all the time. I tried for various nights and two Saturdays, yet they were booked. I have an appointment, and I will write something up about the place later in the week.

Retrospective Introspection

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If you are a long time reader of this site, I wrote about my childhood in Richboro, moving to an isolated Gwynedd Valley, going to an all-boys high school and eventually going to Villanova.

My high school social life was non-existant. I was no longer around my childhood friends and living in a house on a very quiet street in Gwynedd. In high school I didn't date. I didn't even go to the prom. I simply didn't know any girls, nor was I friendly enough with guys in high school that I was going to parties on the weekend.

Villanova isn't a party school. After 1985, when they won the NCAA Championship the school really cracked down on drinking on campus. They wanted a more polished image. By the time I got there in 1990, it was very hard to get trashed as a freshman, unless you were in a sport, joined a fraternity or were in ROTC.

I was in NROTC, I did join a fraternity and even then - I would say my social experience at Villanova was "eh" (imagine a shoulder shrug here). Everyone's experiences are different. I'm sure if you pulled 100 guys from Villanova who graduated from 1994, they would have 100 different stories. My story is that my formative years, as a high schooler and having zero experience with girls didn't translate very well at a school like Villanova, which isn't known for its decadent party scene and sexually liberated women.

My first three years there, I had a good enough time, but nothing remarkable. A little of this, a little of that. I was always the nice guy in college. I always had a lot of girl friends. I was easy to talk to, and a lot of girls found that refreshing from their boyfriends that treated them badly. I would always get "I wish my boyfriend were like you" from girls. To me, I was an 80's kid watching too many movies with John Cusack where the nice friendly guy gets the cute girl. That never worked for me at Villanova, I just made a lot of girl friends who put me into the box of "friend". Plus it seemed that most girls who were freshman and sophomores were dating juniors and seniors, which didn't help much either. It wasn't until senior year that things started to look up for me.

PSE&G Update

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Some of you may be wondering what is happening with PSE&G, and my $8,000 bill.

The BPU is coming out tomorrow to swap my electric meter. They will take the old meter to their offices and test it on March 9th.

A friend of my family was kind enough to get me in contact with a lawyer friend. Her name was Megan and she was extremely helpful...until she found out that her office did some minor work with PSE&G and things got complicated. She is trying to help out but can't offically represent me because of the conflict of interest. But she still thinks the bill is ridiculous and that there is no way that I should pay a dime of the bill.

That's where the situation stands, i'm waiting for the BPU test and once that is done I am hopeful that there will be some type of arbitration between the BPU and PSE&G.

Happy Birthday To Me

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Friday night was a night on the town, organized by me, for me. I have done parties in the past where I just went down my email list and invited out everyone I knew to a local pub. This year I wanted it to be a bit smaller and something different.

I chose to bring the group bowling at BowlMor, on 12th and University, near Union Square. If you haven't been to BowlMor and you live around New York City - then you really are missing out on a quintessential landmark establishment. It is deceptively large, and has a cool, funky vibe to it. We arrived around 7pm on Friday, and there were plenty of lanes open, but they quickly filled up by 8pm.

We bowled, we drank, everyone had a good time. One of my guests grabbed my camera and for once I didn't have to be "camera-guy". With my leg only operated on about 4 weeks ago I was very nervous at first putting stress on the knee. Fortunately I warmed up after one game and my good friend Captain Morgan assisting me. My last game I bowled a 146, which I didn't think was too shabby for someone who doesn't bowl very often and had recent leg surgery.

Afterwards we went to MercBar, a favorite bar of Kristen's. It was about 11pm by the time we got there and it was really packed. Some people didn't like the crowd and simply left for Hoboken. I felt bad about it, because I didn't realize how crowded the bar would be. It's a Friday - and certainly expected it to be busy, but it was arm-to-arm busy. I briefly considered moving the gathering, but decided against it, because some people were still meeting us at the bar. A couple of my guests, who attended bowling, didn't like the crowded bar and left for Hoboken.

MercBar cleared out, actually, after 45 minutes - by midnight or so there was plenty of room to talk and socialize. There were some people who couldn't make bowling and met us at the bar, where we drank until about 1am or so. Everyone was super nice that night, buying me drinks and paying for bowling. Easily one of the more fun and active birthday nights. We ended the night, in Hoboken, with a few drinks and shots at our local bar.

I did get one special gift that easily was one of the best birthday gifts I have gotten in a long time. Leslie, a friend from Hobokenchat, who I have known for the better part of 3 years or so, was nice enough to give me a 375 ml bottle of Dow's Vintage Porto 1977. It was absolutely appreciated by someone like me, and I was gushing with thanks. I'm not sure what, exactly, I will do with it. I'm bad with wine - I like to drink it soon after I buy the bottle.

Thanks again to everyone who came out that night, thanks to Leslie for the bottle, John for the lottery tickets (we lost!) and my sister Stephanie for her book "Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise". Now I have a new book to read after Marley & Me.

Bad Dog! Good Book: Marley & Me

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I finished reading, "Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog" by John Grogan, and it was a touching tale about the unrequited love and bond that a canine companion can bring to our life. Marley, a yellow Lab, was blockheaded in form and actions, barrelling through screen doors and dragging dining tables by his leash, while trying to fetch any piece of fabric, trash or food into his cavernous maw. Many families wouldn't put up with such an unruly hound, but the Grogans learned to love Marley and his boneheaded ways up until his passing after thirteen years. The book is an easy, witty and lighthearted look into the Grogan's life of the last thirteen years, from John's early years working in Florida, to his stint with Organic Gardening to his present job as a columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Any dog owner of past or present will instantly relate with this book, and it certainly is a GREAT read if you ever plan on adopting or buying a dog. Caveat emptor - Let the buyer beware.

Mini-Netflix DVD Reviews

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Now that I joined Netflix, I get 3 movies at a time. Here are the rentals that I watched and a quick blurb about them, along with my thumbs up (see it now!), thumbs sideways (eh - up to you) and thumbs down (you have better things to do) rating system:

Super Size Me - Lives up to the hype, very disturbing look at what happened when someone ate three McDonalds meals every day. Thumbs up.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - I read the book and played the video game on my commodore 64 when I was a teenager. I simply had to rent this because the geek inside of me ordered it. I give it a thumbs sideways, it had a few neat scenes. Otherwise, if you hate sci-fi, stay away.

The Incredibles - Very cool, not sure if it is really worth renting, but I wanted to see it before it came out on cable. Thumbs sideways.

Lords of Dogtown - Early pioneers of skateboarding in California and really was a cool movie if you were a skaterat, like me. Might not be as interesting for your girlfriend who wants to watch "The Notebook" for the 20th time. Thumbs sideways.

Murderball - An example of how the name of the movie simply killed it. People won't watch this movie because it sounds like a 1970s horror movie. Excellent documentary about Wheelchair Rugby, one of the best movies I have watched all year. Thumbs way up.

Constantine - Dude, you are like posessed by demons. No way. I'm having another cigarette. That's the movie, basically. Thumbs down - and I like bad movies, too.

Grizzly Man - very interesting documentary about a off-kilter environmentalist who took his fascination with bears to dangerous consequences. A history of his life, along with the reason why bears are "wild animals" and not "furry fun beasts".

40 Year Old Virgin - I thought this was going to be Wedding Crashers funny, but it wasn't. It was good, not great. Not too many laugh-out-loud moments and one-too-many "this seems familiar" moments. Worth catching more on cable, in my opinion.

Sickness

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Just when things were looking good last week, I get bitchslapped by Mother Nature with some infection. My entire weekend was me, in bed, feverish and oddly dizzy.

I took off work yesterday, and with the Super Bowl on Sunday that doesn't make my work ethic look so great to the boss, i'm sure. Fortunately today they can easily see that I look like shit, and i'm blowing my nose and sneezing every 10 minutes.

This Friday I decided to invite a few friends out to do something different than another night of drinking in Hoboken. I didn't want to invite every single person on my email list, and if I didn't invite you I hope I don't get the, "Why didn't you invite me" email. I tried to keep the list as small as I could.

Going to do bowling (come on, how often do you bowl anymore?) and hitting up a bar in NYC. I hope i'm not still sick by Friday.

Yesterday was one of those rare days when I actually feel the load of life slip off my back and think that maybe, for once, things were going right.

If you have been reading the blog for a few months now, it seems that Lady Luck has been really pissed off at me for leaving the toilet seat down in our apartment of life.

But she can only stay angry at me for so long, I suppose.

As you know, I had leg surgery 2 weeks ago. It was to remove a titanium bolt from my tibula, which was put in there so the government could track my ever....I mean, it was put in there to fix a broken bone.

The last two weeks haven't been a lot of fun. Like, I couldn't take showers, for example. For two weeks. Oh, I could run the shower and lean inside of the shower and wash my hair - but I couldn't get my wound wet, for risk of infection. So every other day i'm leaning inside the shower, washing my hair and then I have to stand at the sink and bathe. I would take a washcloth and it was like I was an extra on the set of Deadwood. Showers are relaxing, this was tedious. Some mornings I would wake up for work - look at my hair and just say "Bleh, its good enough to get through the day" and go into work. I was regressing to a 3rd grade level.

But yesterday I was freed from the shackles of my staples. Dr. D (a great orthopedic doctor in Manhattan that Lisa recommended), removed the staples from my leg and I could instantly feel the skin expand. The staples pinched the leg for the last 2 weeks, and it was like instant relief, I felt so much better when walking.

Plus, he gave me the green light to walk without crutches. He said "No running, no jumping, stay away from pitcher's mounds..."

Yea, real funny, doc. I haven't heard that before.

The whole leg saga finally felt over. This whole crappy situation started last May and now it was behind me. No more surgery. No more titanium bolt. No more crutches. It was over. I was nearly skipping down Lexington Avenue and feeling great.

At the end of the day I went to Mad One Jack's for a haircut. My mood was already feeling good and going there made it even better. If you didn't read my write up about Jack's before - its simply a great establishment. You walk in and everyone is NICE. After going there for a few months - Jack, the receptionist, and other hairdressers all greet me with a, "Hi Furey!"

They are genuinely friendly. When I used to get my hair cut at a stylish Manhattan salon - I never got that. My old hairdresser, Barbara, was awesome and I loved to see her. She was probably the only reason why I kept going and paying that much for a haircut. But Jack is proof that there are people who can do just as good as a job - and cost less.

So while i'm chatting to Jack - he tells me that people read my article about his place, came into his salon and said, "Yea I read about your place from Furey's blog on www.philly2hoboken.com..."

I was tickled to hear that. It is very of cool to hear that. I get a lot of people who email and tell me that they like the site, which is always nice to hear a compliment, but even more cool to hear that an owner of a great hair salon is getting more business because of what I write. Kudos to Jack & Co!

After leaving the salon, I was feeling great. I'm the kind of guy who just walks down the street and i'm in my own world. My friends will walk within a foot of me and get angry that I didn't notice them. Hey, i'm just bad like that. But this day, i'm walking down the street, and taking in the world around me, it was just feeling like a good night.

I decide that I want do my usual routine of Wednesday sushi. I went into Sushi House - to try something new. I was going to get something to-go, and watch Lost at home. But, to my dismay, the sushi deluxe at Sushi House comes with a Manhattan Roll (Salmon), and not a Spicy Tuna Roll. I asked if I could substitue a Spicy Tuna roll and they said it would cost extra. Screw that, I went to Maru instead.

Maru, on 2nd and Washington, is in my rotation of Hoboken Sushi restaurants. I go to Sushi Lounge when i'm with a group of people, I get Robongi when I want take out, and I eat at Maru when I want to sit at the Sushi bar and talk to the chefs.

Before going to Maru I stopped at the liquor store three doors down from the restaurant. I grabbed a chilled silver can of Sapporo for $3.50 (something which angers me about Sushi Lounge where they charge me $7 for a pint of Sapporo!!), and went into the restaurant.

The super-nice waitstaff showed me to the bar, took the Sapporo can from me and poured it into a beer glass. I ordered up edamame and a sushi deluxe and read my newspaper for a bit while drinking the beer. I was amped, feeling good and you know that feeling of relaxation right after you have a sip of delicious, cold beer? You exhale and the worries just float away.

Once they served me the sushi deluxe, the chef mentions that he gave me a special pate roll to try and if I didn't want it - he could replace it with something different. I declined, saying that I was happy to try it.

So while I ate, I chatted with the chef, talking about Sushi Yasuda, Tomoe, and where he learned his skill. I found out that Tomoe is pronounced TOh-MoE-A. 020206.jpg I was pronouncing it TOh-May. That's nice to know. The chef, Terry, was a bit hard to understand with his accent and the music in the restaurant. I'm the type of person who likes to learn about things. If I drink wine - I really get into where the wine is made, what kind of grape is used and what kind of food should be paired with the wine.

So I started to ask him all sorts of questions about eating sushi. He went on to explain that there is "summer sushi and winter sushi" - times when the fish is better to serve depending on the season. I found the presentation of the sushi at Maru to be top notch. Unlike many other Hoboken sushi restaurants, Maru really puts attention into the details. Some of the sushi were ungarnished. Some had a light garnish. Others had a light sauce on top. One had a razor thin slice of lemon on it. I commented how I loved the seaweed they used for the spicy tuna roll - he went on to explain that there are "grades" of seaweed that places use. Maru used the higher grade seaweed, which should just crunch easily in your mouth, and not be chewy like many other lower grade seaweed.

I got on to the subject about how I used to write restaurant reviews for Hobokeni, and still do it from time to time. He said, "I thought I recognized you."

I blinked.

He said, "Yes, I read a website a few weeks ago about a guy who was going to go to Sushi Lounge and then saw a cute girl in the window at Maru and gave it a try..."

He was reciting my blog entry!

Are you kidding me? Not only is Jack at Mad One Jack's telling me about people reading my blog and coming to his salon, but now that Terry, the chef at Maru is saying he read my blog? Come on.

Well I was flattered, to say the least.

What a great day. I paid my bill, thanked Terry and told him that I would absolutely be back again.

I try to tell people about Hoboken, and Jack's and Maru are just two examples why I love this town so much. I don't feel that same closeness while I work in New York. The owners of stores there have seen me for 10 years and barely give me a grunt when they see me. Hoboken has that small-town experience, which is so very gratifying.

Mr. Rogers would be proud.

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