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!