July 2010 Archives

This, That, The Other Thing...

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Couple of things going on in my life. Thought i'd share.

Feet! Ever since I started the "diet" in January, I also have been doing a bit of running on a treadmill. One issue I ran into recently was that my left heel would get sore, and tingle a bit. This is the same leg where I broke my leg in 2005, and I was concerned that my running may be causing issues. My friend mentioned that he went to Foot & Ankle Care Associates on 108 Washington Street. I made an appointment, and they determined that I have a slightly higher arch than normal, which causes me to run on the outside of my foot, and caused Plantar Fasciitis, but no heel spur according to x-rays. Long story short is that they took a mold of my feet, and are making me orthotics which I will put in my running shoes. I'll update later on how that goes.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)! If you haven't been paying attention this is the hot new sport according to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. My friend Matt has been telling me about it since June, he bought one and uses it in Ocean City, NJ. Apparently, it's been the newest thing to start using on the Hudson River, and there's no rentals, but you can learn to ride one by taking a class with the NY Kayak Company or on Wednesday nights 6-8pm they offer a class for beginners who want to try SUP. I signed up for the 2 hour class and tried it last Saturday. I had a lot of fun, fell off the board about 20 times, I would do it again, but since I am 6'3.5 - I had a board that was 11'6" and had some major issues balancing on it because my center of gravity is so much higher than smaller people. Towards the end of the session, I got better and was using muscles in my legs that I never used before while running. Also note that when doing SUP I was wearing a life jacket the whole time.

Million dollar idea: Open up a SUP rental company in Hoboken and operate out of Weehawken or Hudson Cove. The laws of a SUP is that it is considered a vessel according to the US Coast Guard. Translation? You can take it anywhere on the Hudson River. Of course the last thing you want are people renting the SUP, going out into the Hudson and getting run over by boats. I would have to imagine that renters would be restricted to just the coves, and not allowed to enter the Hudson unless they have an instructor with them. The NY Kayak company doesn't rent SUPs. You can store your own SUP at their store (located at Pier 40) for the season for $800 and go anywhere you want. Again, I think in 4 years from now you will see an explosion of people doing this on the Hudson. It's a fun way to exercise, and get to explore the coastline of the Hudson River.

Also for those who think "Ewwwwww! The Hudson River is so nasty!" - you should do a bit more research. The Hudson River is actually much cleaner than you think. I'm not advocating going into the River and drinking the water, but I don't think it's any less safe than going into the ocean at any of the shore points.

Here's some mini-reviews:

Chicken Factory! I tried the Chicken Factory the other day. Don't let the name fool you, it should be called Korean Chicken Factory. I tried the Bulgoki (Korean BBQ Beef with Rice), and I liked it - but think the portions could be bigger. Definitely was hungry after eating it. I will try some of their other items on the menu.

Farside! If you haven't been to the Farside in a while, like me, you should really get over there and try their new revamped menu. I'm a bit of a foodie, and have to say it's easily one of the most underrated kitchens in Hoboken. This will sound dumb, but everything is good on the menu. One of the biggest criticisms I have in Hoboken is how "average" the bars are with their lame kitchens. If you live anywhere near Farside, I would highly recommend you go there and try their food. I'd be frankly shocked if anyone was disappointed, I loved the crabcake sandwich the other night and the 1/2 rack of ribs were delicious. Also try the garlic Parmesan French fries.

Taco Truck! I have been a long and true advocate of the Taco Truck, and now the store is open. It is fantastic, and if you haven't tried the Taco Truck store yet, I do actually pity you. I heard grumblings about how the portions are too small, and I can agree to that - they aren't giant Tacos. To me, it is a simple equasion of taste to price. For example, I said how at Chicken Factory I felt like the portions were too small - but it was good. Whereas, Taco Truck is also a bit small, but I think the food is just fantastic. I'll pay more money for great food. They told me the other day that two people came into the store and ordered the Seanito off the Secret Menu. I found that funny.

Clam Broth House: I wrote about my first impression a few weeks back and I have been back to the CBH since then. I have to say that i'm glad I went back. I tried a few other things on the menu - like the Margherita Pizza and Guinness Fish and Chips. Both were very good. Only issue I still have is that I have been back three times, and each time I sat at the bar - and yet it still took the bartender longer than five minutes to acknowledge that I was at the bar. I don't expect a bartender to come running over immediately, but I worked in the industry - and it almost becomes a joke when I look at my friend like "Do we have to raise our hand to get noticed?" It's too bad because I know one of the bartenders there and she's fantastic, and even she was busy chatting with some customers while I sat there with a girl friend and wondered if she would come over to us. I finally had to shout her name in order to get her attention, and this is at a bar with maybe 12 people sitting down. Oh well.

Lucky's! I am so looking forward to this opening. Why? Two reasons. One - Five Guys Burger and Fries doesn't deliver (for free). Two - I have a co worker who lives in NYC and raves about this place. Says that it is different than FGBF, but very good. The sign says they are opening Summer 2010 - I don't think that is happening. But mark my words, I guarantee you that when this place opens, that FGBF will "suddenly" deliver for free, instead of the bullshit $3 delivery charge.

Joey's BBQ! While i'm ranting a bit - I have to write about Joey's. I love the food, but can't stand it when I call there, with a good 45 minutes until they close and get told that "they are no longer accepting deliveries". This has happened about three times, and i'm tired of it. I'm someone who eats later at night, I just don't usually get hungry until about 8:30pm or later.

La Isla! When i'm not eating from the places I mentioned above, I try to "eat healthy" during the weekdays. When I do - I go to La Isla and order their chicken breast. It's the best deal in town. A rotisserie chicken breast for $3.50. I get it every night for dinner, pair it with broccoli, spinach or asparagus. Also I use a dash of Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce #7 on the side (probably about 1 tablespoon). I dip the chicken edge (sort of like how you would dip sushi into soy sauce) into the BBQ sauce, and it's soooo good. If you are watching your weight like I do - this is a great way to have a good meal and not kill yourself with too many calories.

I am usually very careful on weeknights to limit my carb intake - so that I can enjoy Joeys, Lucky's, CBH, Taco Truck, Farside or Chicken Factory on weekends! Remember people the key word is MODERATION! I don't order those during the week, only on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Open Letter To City Hall

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Ian Sachs was kind enough to reply to my open letter the other day. If you haven't read his response, please see the website Mile Square View here.

It seems that my open letters are getting some attention, so here's another idea I have for City Hall.

One thing i'd like to see in City Hall is an online ticket system. At "Corporation X" we used BMC Remedy - in our office before creating our own proprietary one.

The job of a ticketing system is simple, you create a ticket and can use those tickets to follow up on open issues. For example:

1. When is the Boys and Girls club swimming pool opening?
2. There's a street light that is out - can you open a ticket with PSE&G? Can you keep this ticket open to follow up?
3. There's a pothole on 6th and Garden.
4. Revaluation Project - where do we stand on the tax maps?

One resident can open a ticket, and everyone can reference that ticket, online, for the answers and updates from City Hall? A master ticket can be created, and sub tickets created off the master ticket for sub-projects - for example the Reval Project has multiple issues that need to fall into place, like tax maps - we can create a sub-ticket for each issue and follow them.

Even more bold would be the ability to create tickets online by residents for requests. If there was an existing ticket open, the new ticket be consolidated into the old ticket.

This would provide more transparency, accountability and open city government. You can create metrics from those tickets, keep track on who OWNS the ticket in city hall, and the time it takes to complete. Those metrics can be measured and we can see who in city hall is going the extra mile to get work completed.

Why wouldn't City Hall look into creating an online ticket system for their residents?


The other night City Hall had a meeting about fixing issues along Newark Street. I think this is one of the key areas that has the most traffic. What they need to do is fix Newark between Washington and Hudson, adding a three lanes: a left hand turn, a straight lane and a right hand turn.

If the parking is a huge issue, then they should at least create a right hand turn lane. During high traffic hours, I have been at that light waiting for pedestrians to cross and would watch traffic get blocked from it.

Taco Truck Open!

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I was customer number one at the Taco Truck Store opening day. There was a line of people at the entrance and I was the first order.

What did I get? The "Seanito" of course.

Much like famous places like In-N-Out burger, who have their own "secret menus", the Taco Truck in Hoboken also has a secret menu.

The Seanito was designed by me, for people who like a rice bowl. The ingredients are: braised pork, cilantro, avocado, onions and their Mexican rice. It's great, trust me. Anyone can order it, just go up and ask.

Here's a few pictures I took of the event and I uploaded them here. Also Rocco, my wingman, was with me, so there's some pictures of him in there too. Enjoy!

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Boys and Girls Club Pool - Delayed?

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On Hoboken411 they reported that the Boys and Girls club pool was delayed in their opening. During that report, they had a quote from Tim Occupinti and "Hoboken parent Kylia Colon", which read more like a another way to make City Hall look bad rather than a news story. I like some of the things that Hoboken411 does, but think when it sounds like MSNBC attacking the Republicans or Fox News attacking the Democrats, that I roll my eyes - just report the news! Plus my comment on the thread caused 411 to now "moderate" all my future comments for approval before he posts on his site. Who does that? A 14 year old or a 41 year old? It isn't the first time that Hoboken411 has done this to me, and often I have to email him "asking" why my comments are moderated and he gives me some kind of bullshit answer.

Rather than seeking out quotes from people who clearly don't like the current administration, I wondered why wouldn't someone simply do 20 minutes of research to get the answers about how the pool is operated.


You can read it here: http://hoboken411.com/archives/45890

A few of the commenter's took exception to the article reading like another way to slam City Hall from a website that clearly loves to slam City Hall. Like many of the other people who asked - why not just make a phone call and ask why it is delayed.

Before doing that I did a quick bit of research on the web. Look what I found:

In 2009 the pool was opened because of fundraising work by trustees of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hudson County, and even then Mayoral candidate Cammarano used $1,000 of his own money (or was it from the $25,000 bribe money?) to open the pool. The pool was opened by the end of July.

In 2008, the pool was delayed which Director of Health and Human Services John Pope blamed on Hoboken's budget problems, and noted that in previous years the pool has opened July 1st.

So, is there a delay? I did some further research by first calling the Boys and Girls Club in Hoboken. I spoke to a very nice person at the other end of the phone who informed me that the pool is owned and operated by the City of Hoboken Recreation Division. They told me that they had other people trying to find out what the delay was all about - and thought it was due to the budget.

I called The Recreation Division and spoke to the person who first picked up the phone. They assured me it would be open by July 19th. I asked why it was delayed, and who was responsible for that. They told me it was the responsibility of Ed Miller. I asked to speak to Ed. Ed was on a call, but would call me back and I left my phone #.

Ten minutes later I was able speak to Ed (Eddie) Miller. Here's what he told me:

1. The pool is delayed because the summer fun program has six different programs: Gymnastics, Tennis, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer and the Pool. By pushing the pool opening towards the end of the month it gave his department more time to focus on four of the six programs (gymnastics, tennis, baseball and basketball) which open at the beginning of the month.

2. There's only $10,000 budgeted towards the pool. This gives the city the ability to keep the pool open for 6 weeks due to administrative costs. By opening at July 19th, it gives the City the ability to keep the pool open for 1/2 of July and four weeks in August.

3. They have three lifeguards and pool aide (to help kids walk to the bathroom, for example) and a pool operator (who comes in the morning to check the pool & and the end of the day to clean the pool). That's the where the majority of those funds are allocated - the cost to have people operate the pool in a safe manner.

It comes down to money & budget. Our city is in a fiscal crisis, and even funding $10,000 towards the pool may not sound like a lot - it still gives those kids six solid weeks to use the pool. With the current heat wave, it certainly drew more attention to the pool and why in the past it was open by July 1st, yet this year is July 19th. My guess is that in years past the $10,000 that was funded could keep the pool open longer. Costs go up and the $10,000 we have allocated in 2010 only lasts six weeks, according to Ed Miller.

If the taxpayers out there want the pool opened earlier, we have to fund more money to the pool, because the money we have only allows the city to operate the pool for six weeks. If they did open the pool by July 1st, then they would have to close the pool six weeks later...by around August 16th, because they are budgeted for $10,000.

All of this information was given to me by Ed Miller, who I think was very forthcoming and very professional. Anyone, including Hoboken411, could easily call him through the phone number available on city of Hoboken's website.

Whud Up Wid Dat: The Blame Game

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I was on my way to work the other day and walking at Newark and Hudson Street.

It is a very busy street corner at 8:30 am, with cars moving along a one-way street and pedestrians on corners, some that patiently wait and others that clearly jaywalk. I was on the crosswalk, waiting, looking in the direction of cars coming from the north.

From the south, a jogger was running in the road, between the cars and the sidewalk. She was very fit, in her late 20's or early 30's, and wore a Lycra tank top and runners shorts. With the weather so hot and humid, she was drenched in sweat from a long morning of running.

She ran past me, and some other pedestrians on the crosswalk, and tried to cut across traffic in the middle of the street, between a break of a car and a taxi. Another pedestrian had the same idea - to jaywalk in front of a car that was about 15 feet away.

Well the result was expected. The pedestrian was looking north. The runner was coming from the south and tried to jaywalk across the traffic. She tripped over his feet and completely, and utterly ate pavement only 8 feet away from being hit from a taxi who jammed on their breaks.

She was in the middle of the intersection of Newark and Hudson, lying on the ground after landing hard on her hip and wrist which broke her fall. She looked up at the guy who accidentally tripped her with unmasked anger. She looked back at her, with concern and offered to help her up. She got up on her own after about 10 seconds, holding her hip grimacing in pain.

I waited there, in case someone needed a witness to what happened. But the two didn't even talk or cross words. She huffed away, still angry to what happened.

I'm sure when she tells the tale, it will be a story about a stupid guy who tripped her. Because something I have noticed in our society, especially with everyone my generation and younger - is the constant theme of "YOU WERE WRONG NOT ME".

Ever notice that? I do. It seems that no one in our society will ever take blame. It is all about deflecting blame to others. For example, if someone cuts you off on the highway and they are the idiot - you aren't the idiot for driving 55 mph in the left hand lane. Or if someone in Hoboken nearly runs you down with a car - to them you are the idiot jaywalking and to them you are the idiot driving your car too fast in town.

Maybe the girl who got hit was just angry about hurting herself and not angry at the guy. But I get the feeling that isn't the case. It seems to me that there isn't enough empathy in the world anymore, and strangely enough I read an article about this just the other day:
Today's students scored 40 percent lower on a measure of empathy than their elders did.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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