March 2011 Archives

The Best Restaurants Of Hoboken 2011

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Living up here for the last 16 or so years, there's a couple things I have learned. One of them is where to eat out in Hoboken. Often I talk to new Hoboken transplants and they ask me "Hey, where should I go for..." - and this is my opinion on where i'd send them. Enjoy!

Bagels: JP Bagel Express, 52 Newark Street.
Bar Food: Farside Tavern, 531 Washington Street
BBQ/Cajun: Oddfellows Rest, 80 River Street
Brunch: Elysian Cafe, 1001 Washington Street
Burger Joint: Five Guys Burger & Fries, 319 Washington Street
Chinese: Precious, 128 Washington Street
Indian:Karma Kafe, 505 Washington Street
Italian: Augustino's Restaurant, 1104 Washington Street
Italian Deli: Vitos Italian Deli, 806 Washington Street
Basic Pizza: Giovanni's Pizza, 603 Washington Street
Grandma's Pizza: Balbo's Pizza, 70 Hudson Street
Brick Oven Pizza: Grimaldi's Pizzeria, 133 Clinton Street
Sandwiches: Park & Sixth, 539 Park Avenue
Sushi: TIE! Maru, 219 Washington Street or Robongi 520 Washington Street

And a few that i'd list under "Special Occasions":

Where to bring Mom and Dad? Amanda's Restaurant, 908 Washington Street

One of the best in town: Anthony David's, 953 Bloomfield Street

Most overrated: Lua, 1300 Sinatra Dr

Most underrated: Court Street, 61 Sixth Street

Best First Date Place? Bin 14, 1314 Washington St

Best Second Date Place? Cafe Michelina, 423 Bloomfield Street

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Some other things we need to do in Hoboken:

1. Close all bars by 11pm. Why do we need them open so late? There's no reason for that. Maybe we can have an exception until 12am on Saturdays.

2. Stop the sale of alcohol on Sundays. The Blue Laws work!

3. End the Arts and Music Festival. It's just another excuse for people to get drunk.

4. End New Years Eve parties at 12:01am, so parents and children - THINK OF THE CHILDREN - should not be kept awake by the revelers.

5. Hoboken bars should ID all patrons and make sure only Hoboken residents drink at Hoboken bars on holidays. Anyone from out of town should get a permit to drink here.

6. City Hall should make vouchers for scared residents, most who hide out in their homes for two days, afraid to venture into our town, to stay in hotels in Weehawken.

7. The quality of life for the residents of Hoboken should come first! A few other things that need to be banned:
a. Dogs. They defecate on the sidewalks and scare children - THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
b. Music. In fact, any music should not be allowed to play from 7pm to 9am.
c. Bikes on sidewalks: Children have been terrorized by this for long enough.
d. Public Displays of Affection (PDA). Anything more than hand holding is pornographic.

8. Hoboken has long traditions, and these all need to end because more parents and children are living here now. We don't need outsiders coming in here with backpacks and suitcases on a Friday and holding our town hostage until Sunday! We need to review all the Hoboken Festivals and change the hours to make them more family friendly.

Yeah, you guessed it - satire! I lived here for 16 years. I'm half Irish. I don't sit there and cry about this parade. It was a booze fest in 1995. People were urinating on the streets and falling over themselves then, too. So, if you chose to buy here, you kind of knew what you were getting into, right?

People don't move into New Orleans and cry about Mardi Gras, do they? You don't have new residents of the Big Easy saying "Hey, we need Mardi Gras to be more CHILDREN FRIENDLY..."

It's the one time of the year that Hoboken has a big party. I was out this weekend from noon until 8pm and didn't see one issue while walking down the street. I read the police report, and have one simple statement:

Find me any parade or festival where there aren't alcohol-fueled incidents.

This isn't to marginalize what happened on the parade day. But when you have a city-wide festival, there's going to be problems. In New Orleans in 2009 there was a shooting on the parade route. Was the 2010 Mardi Gras parade cancelled? Did they change the times of the parade? Were there sub-committees formed and hang wringing from politicians?

Part of the responsibility should fall on residents. The building I live in is a 100 unit condo building. 10 days before the festival each resident was clearly warned about having obnoxious house parties, and that the police would be called for anyone breaking our rules. I also noticed that one multi-story condo building hired four private security guards to stand watch outside their steps on 9th and Adams.

If I were in charge here would be the serious changes that I would implement, and I think would keep the party fun and allow for a more family friendly atmosphere:

1. The parade starts at 11am. As a compromise, I wouldn't sell alcohol at bars until the parade was over at noon. This won't stop house parties or people from getting drunk, but at least the kids & parents who want to come out to watch the parade don't have to deal with someone who is falling down drunk at 11am because they started drinking at a local bar by 9am.

2. Every bar take a page from The Farside and start a countdown clock of three hours. Close the bar for 30 minutes. Clear everyone out. Allow the bar to reset and then let people back inside. This would limit the patrons who stay in one bar all day and get far too intoxicated.

3. I think each bar with a liquor license should pay a special tax on St. Patrick's Day. The money should go towards cleaning up after the parade and all the overtime that is worked by our police and fire fighters. I worked in a bar for 8 years. I know exactly how much money these bars make on parade day. Asking each bar to pay $5 per person occupancy limit (translation, a bar which has a capacity of 200 people pays $1,000). The bar will easily make that money back in about 1/2 hour.

I don't agree with killing the parade by moving it to a weekday. That's nonsense. If you moved into Hoboken, you knew about the parade. It's like moving into an apartment above a bar and then complaining about the noise every weekend. It's like moving next to a firehouse or an Emergency Room and complaining about the sirens. You knew this.

People complaining about public urination on the parade day should try to walk around Newark Street at 1am to 3am on a Friday or Saturday. My dog Rocco and I take late night walks and I catch people all the time going to the bathroom behind cars or on our building at least once a month. I see broken bottles every weekend. I watched a guy walk up 1st street a few weeks ago with a bottle of beer, and he was sly about it - but once he was done he stuck the empty beer into a snowbank and kept walking. This happens all over town, just is magnified by the parade.

Lastly, I find it is always the same people who complain. These are people who forget what it was like to be young and free. People who are concerned about mortgage payments, taxes and open space and not about America being the land of the free. Every once in a while we need to let our hair down and celebrate. No one is proposing that every weekend we have a St. Patrick's Day parade. It's once a year. For those who love statistics - it's only .002740% of the year!

Well it is one month later, and i'm done with my fundamentals classes.

When we started the class, I wrote about the "baseline" where we had to row 400 meters, do 15 air squats, 15 pushups, 15 situps...12 air squats, 12 pushups, 12 situps...9 air squats, 9 pushups, 9 situps...as fast as you can.

We did this in week 1, I saw it on paper and thought "No problem". I hadn't been to the gym in a few months, but lifted for four years at Club H. I wouldn't say I was buffed, but hardly felt like I was completely out of shape.

I completed the "baseline" in 9 minutes. Horrendous. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath that first week. I was literally collapsing when I got to the final pushups.

My final class I banged it out in 5:40. Not great, I wanted to be done in under 5 minutes, but hit my wall around the third round. I had to take a breather for 10 seconds and then pushed to finish everything.

Suffice to say, Crossfit is nothing like anything I ever experienced before.

Like I wrote, I lifted for years. Hats off to Tina for getting me into it, I used to laugh at people who were gym rats and were "so vain" about their bodies. Once I got into lifting, and started to get compliments on my appearance, it kind of gets addictive.

Plus, I was getting older, and when you are in your 20's it's easy to eat cheeseburgers and keep a trim figure - as I got older I found it was MUCH harder to shed some winter weight without starving myself.

Club H was the answer for me, and I have nothing necessarily against the gym itself, but I did find that some of the trainers there were cold and the fellow members really didn't interact much, if at all. I'm not expecting a social club, but I was always kind of put off by the types of people that Club H attracted - I would always say "Thank you" and "May I" when asking to use a machine or bench, and rarely get a nice reply in return.

Anyhow, Crossfit was like a breath of fresh air. First, truth be told, I do know some of the members there - like Meris, who is a trainer. She's part of the Philadelphia Eagles Club of Hoboken, and I have known her probably for 5 years now. But, for the fundamentals, she wasn't my trainer - I had Craig, and I didn't know anyone else I was training with in my class.

I think the best way to describe Crossfit would be like taking my Eagles club and combining it with a gym. There's really a sense of working together for a goal there, about being social and getting a kick ass workout. Everyone is friendly, meetings someone in your class and being helpful to each other is encouraged.

The only negatives I would say about Crossfit is that there's really no locker room, there's a changing room which is about 5x5 feet. I'm not looking for showers or a sauna, but I wouldn't mind something a bit better there. There's no benches or machines here. They have basic equipment for their training, but this wouldn't be something that you could join (like Club KO) where you can have the benefits of a gym along with your kickboxing. At Crossit, all the classes are instructor led. You can come to the gym during "free gym" times where the instructors won't be teaching and work on your form, using the free weights provided, and they can help you while working out.

The majority of the week there are classes which have the Workout of the Day (WoD), and are instructor led. They also have yoga on Saturday at 8:30 am. The Firebreathers class (higher intensity workout) and a Beginner's Class on Saturday at 10am (which is open to anyone interested in trying a workout at Crossfit). There's a mobility class which is taught once a week for improving flexibility. The classes are designed before work at 5:30am or 6:15 am or after work (5:15 pm, 6, 6:45, 7:30, 8:15), and are 45 minutes long.

Crossfit is designed to get you in, out, and tired from a good intensive workout.

But the fundamentals only taught me so much. I signed up for three months, and will see how the "normal" classes seem and keep you updated on what I think about it.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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