Recently in Whud Up Wid Dat? Category

Last Thursday, multiple bars in Hoboken were served punishments for Tavern Sheet violations in 2017. A Tavern Sheet is when a bar is written up by police for an infraction, like a demerit, for violating a rule by the ABC (Alcohol Beverage Control). Some examples would be like patrons fighting in a bar, exceeding maximum capacity, or serving someone underage. In years past the punishments were mostly fines. 

This year with Ravi taking office one of his goals was to be tougher on bars. According to a press release in 2017, there were 277 ABC violations by liquor license holders in Hoboken. Of the 133 liquor license holders, more than half received zero tavern sheets in 2017 and more than three-fourths received two or fewer tavern sheets. Half of all violations in 2017 were issued to just 11 establishments - they had 138 tavern sheets, or an average of 12.5 tavern sheets for the 11 "problematic" bars.

I'm not against fixing the problem. I'm all for Ravi's trying to get a problem under control. The issue I have is that the city announced they are getting tough on bars, and not giving the bars the chance to react. Let's say that NJ decided they wanted to get tougher on drunk drivers. They announce that going forward that they would increase penalities for first time DUI offenders to 90 days in jail. 

But then - NJ retroactively applies these stricter penalties to anyone caught with a DUI in the last 6 months.

1Republik, will be forced to close its doors for good. A 30-day suspension of their liquor license is to begin May 21 but the bar will then be forced to close permanently, pending the sale or transfer of its liquor license. The city cited a September 4th bar fight when a woman was struck in the head with a plate and a December 4th incident in which a bouncer pushed a patron who fell and hit his head, which left him with life-threatening injuries.

No one is crying for 1Republik. Right? It is one of the most popular bars in Hoboken, especially for people who do not live in Hoboken. So most people living here don't go to 1Republik, and to see them close isn't going to generate much sympathy.

Another example would be Hoboken Bar and Grill. They were issued an immediate 30-day suspension beginning Friday. Two police officers were injured and four people were arrested during an early morning brawl outside the Washington Street bar in November. As many as 40 people were involved in the 4 a.m. incident near the bar. Again, another bar in which not a lot of locals go there. It mostly attracts people from out of town. The attitude of Hoboken residents would mostly be unsympathetic. 

But look at the list of other bars:

  • Green Rock, was issued an immediate 30-day suspension beginning Friday.
  • Mills Tavern, was issued a 24-day suspension.
  • The Shannon, suspension for March 3 and March 4.
  • Turtle Club, 10-day suspension.
  • Hoboken Ultra Bar, 5-day suspension and a 5 day suspension held in abeyance.
  • Cadillac Cantina, 5-day suspension and a 5 day suspension held in abeyance.
  • Marty O'Brien's, 5-day suspension which includes at least two days being served.
  • Grand Vin, 5-day suspension.
  • The Ainsworth, 5-day suspension.

The only issue I have is that all the bars are getting swept up here. Problem bars I can understand. But there are some on this list that aren't perennial offenders - they are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Lashing out at good bars while trying to get tough on the other bars isn't the right move here. I know that Ravi wanted to make a statement, but in my opinion he went a bit too bar. You have people who have lives that are dependent upon these establishments. Even closing a bar for 10 days certainly hurts the bar owner, but likely hurts the employees even more. I don't think this was properly considered by the administration on the residual effects the closures would have. 

One of the key problems with Hoboken is that it is a dirty mess. We have public signs all over the place claiming that "street sweepers" are cleaning our streets every week, and if you stroll around town, I see garbage everywhere. 

I think a key reason why is that our city doesn't have a comprehensive plan for public garbage cans. A perfect example of this is looking at Newark Street. I count five public trash cans on the following cross streets: Washington, Park and Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and one on the little island between Newark and Observer Highway:


Ideally, it would be wonderful to have trash cans on every corner, but probably fiscally prohibitive. Since we can't do that - we should evenly place the trash cans every two blocks on Washington, Park, Grand, Jefferson and Monroe, and keep the trash can on the island between Newark and Observer Highway.

To me it is really a simple idea, but i'm sure it will take City Hall the next election cycle to figure it out. Like how Newark Street traffic became such an issue this year, even though I have been complaining about buses parked on our sidewalks since July 2014.

NJ Needs Self Serve Gas Now

| No Comments


With the price of gas jumping .23 cents a gallon today, maybe NJ needs to reconsider its laws on Self Serve gas. I'm not suggesting getting rid of Full Service, but why not allow Self Serve gas an an option, for a lower price?

Some critics have written why they like Full Service better, and the reasons are a joke.

 "Your hands don't get smelly." - really, are you pouring the gas on your hands? Otherwise, this isn't a real issue, just nit picking.

"You don't have to get out of the car when it's cold or raining." - ok, this is fair enough, but most modern gas stations today have cover over all the gas tanks to stop rain from falling on you. Also you can pump your gas and get back in your car to wait for the "click" that it's done.

"You can even get coffee from a drive-up window; why would you want to get out of the car and pump your own gas?!" - simple reason is that it is faster for me to pull up to a gas tank, insert my credit card, pump my own gas, get my recipt and leave. One of my biggest pet peeves, after living in PA and pumping my own gas, is how LONG it takes to get gas in NJ. When the gas station is busy and they have one attendant (two if you are lucky), it takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get in and out quickly.

"We pump fists, not pump gas!" - please don't have children.

Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states with laws prohibiting self serve at gas stations. Now that the tax has been raised to .23 cents more, lets give a break to people who are willing to pump their own gas. I say keep Full Serve as an option, and make it the same as the price of cash versus credit at gas stations - its a bit less expensive if you pay with cash, so make it a bit less expensive to fill up your own car.




I have worked in many roles in the restaurant business. At 14 I was a dishwasher in the Sindia restaurant in Ocean City. Then at 15 I was the busboy. Between 16 to 21 I was a waiter. Later in life, at 29, I became a part-time bartender. I understand the role of tipping and the incentive it provides. I have written before about how to tip properly and handle waiting on a drink.

Right now, the big thing is about restaurants banning tipping. It sounds sexy enough, with the clickbait headlines to ban tipping, but what most people keep forgetting is the increase in prices to offset the tip.

Instead of steak for $30, now the steak is $36, a 20% increase. Sure, everyone applauds the idea to do away with tipping, but you have to pay wait staff a fair wage which is comparable to what they made with tips based on profits. Good waiters, those that can sell well and "push" some extras to their customer, will do well. Then again, where is the incentive for speedy service and rapt attention if the customer isn't tipping you? Wait staff will do just enough to provide good service, but not great service. It's the great equalizer. It's the reason why communism doesn't actually work - the lazy people will keep being lazy and the hard workers won't have incentive to work harder than they need to.

Sure, we can talk about people getting fired for bad service, and that still is true.

What will happen is waiters will do "just enough". Just enough work to keep the customer from complaining to their bosses, but you won't see the same level of service you are used to. Perfect example is the Department of Motor Vehicles. At the DMV, the workers there know they won't get fired. Why speed up the lines? What incentive do they have for excellent service? None. If you stop at a McDonalds, the worker with the glazed look on their face says in a monotone, "Welcome to McDonalds how can I help you?" about 500 times a day. Where is their incentive to work harder? They are getting paid $15/hour now, do you think their service will improve, decline or stay the same. My money is on stay the same.

The only way it may work is to provide a incentive for people to work harder, via tipping. The other incentive is what all sales people know - comission. The harder you work, the more you sell, the more money you make. That seems pretty fair to me. Even if it was McDonalds, if you knew that selling $1000 per day would get you an extra bonus of $100, wouldn't everyone from the cashier to the cooks have an incentive to work quickly? Yes, that may mean the $1 burgers are now $1.50 burgers, but the service would improve.

The same is true for the no tipping policy.

The dirty secret is people do pay attention to how you tip. As a bartender, I do notice those that tip well and do try to help them out when they come back again to the bar. Maybe if the bar is busy, I will serve them first. Or, if there aren't any seats in the bar, I can try to find them ones from outside. Sometimes you can do "buybacks" and not charge them for every drink they order. Maybe you make them a large drink of Captain & Coke rather than the regular sized drink, and only charge them for a single. Sure, there are different ways to "take care of your customers", and any bartender who says they don't do this is lying or European.

At the bar, we have beer specials for the Eagles games. $3 pints of Bud Light and Yuengling. $10 pitchers (there are 4 pints in a pitcher, so getting a pitcher is only $2.50 a beer), or $14 buckets for 4 bottled beers. I had a guy the other day at the bar. He ordered from me 2 buckets of beer, which had 4 beers in each bucket. 8 beers total. It cost $28. He left me $4.88. I'm not exactly sure how he came up with that (technically it was .174286%), and maybe in his mind my service was good enough to give 17% tip but not quite 20%. Maybe he's thinking i'm throwing some beer into a bucket adding some ice and that's my job. Not to beat a dead horse, but there's a lot of prep work and post work that the customer doesn't see the bartender doing. Also, on another side note, I fight the owners of Mulligan's to get that special for Eagles fans - to help out the customers. $14 buckets for 4 beers is $3.50 a beer in a town where a bottle costs $5. I'm saving everyone $6 per bucket, excluding tip.

I thought about this, and thought about just increasing prices at the bar. Make pints $4. Pitchers can be $14. Buckets will be $18. Tell everyone don't tip. Work out a system with the owner that for every pint we sell we get $1. Every pitcher is $4. Every bucket is $4. No one needs to tip us anymore. It would be an interesting system, but the question is - how would the customers NOW react to the price changes? I'm instituting a system in which $1 per drink is given to the bartender, much like I suggested in my earlier post.

I guarantee you that the customers would howl in anger over it. Not so sexy now to get rid of tipping, is it? People kind of like to have that control over the waiter or bartender knowing that your performance hinges on a good tip. Something to think about.

Finally the city brings us a bike share. I personally think CitiBike would have been better for the city, but from what I was told CitiBike never submitted a proposal for Hoboken, and according to what I was also told - the city can't solicit CitiBike for the bike share. There is a RFP (Request for Proposal) process, and if CitiBike doesn't bid...well that is that. I am kind of surprised in this day and age someone didn't nudge CitiBike.

Anyhow, that is water under the bridge.

Now we have the new site map for the bike locations. Some make sense. And others...not so much. I especially love how a station is 1 block from the Mayor's house on Newark and Adams. Lots of these other locations are a bit of a joke, like a station right NEXT to the hospital? Are you riding a bike there with a broken arm? Yes, yes, I hear the liberal mommies screeching, "THINK OF THE CHILDREN VISITING THEIR SICK PARENTS!"

{insert eye roll here}

Someone in City Hall is going to say there was a grand poohbah who claimed these were the best locations for stations based on something, when clearly a lot of these station locations look "politically motivated" when they thought about where to place it.

Click pictures for a higher resolution.


I decided to take a look at the map, and I crudely edited where I think the stations should be. I think with 29 stations you can basically design a map in which you aren't more than a 3 block walk from just about any destination in Hoboken. I tried a more logical "grid" approach, with a few tweaks, like putting a station by the Jersey City and Weehawken borders. Here is my design (sorry my photoshop skills are limited to the paint application):


What do you think? Doesn't it make sense to have everything in a more grid like design?


I take the PATH train every day. A few years ago they rolled out their new subway trains, and I was personally thrilled that we were getting an updated, new design similar to the NYC subways which were rolled out only a couple of years prior. What struck me as odd is the design of the PATH subway seat. It is designed with a good intention - that each rider can get their own seat. Unfortunately, they were designed for a subway rider who were not a typical American. Every single day I ride the subway, the seats are "open", but as you can see my picture above - is someone going to squeeze themselves into the open seats?


As you can see above, the NYC subway bucket seats make much more sense. I find it surprising that the PATH didn't use the same design. Typical NJ. How many times do you take the PATH and see open seats?

Repost from the last three years, and will continue to repost it until the parade returns.

Often in my blog, I laud Mayor Zimmer. I think she's fantastic, and most everything she has done I have agreed with.

Most everything.

One of the hot topics where I disagree is the St. Patrick's Day parade. This isn't a simple issue. It's complex. There's certainly a lot of people affected by it, and the most obvious issue that critics point to is "quality of life".

Things that can't be disputed that on our parade day there are lots of people who come to Hoboken who could care less about a parade, and are simply looking for an excuse to drink. Considering that most of our fund raisers (Restore Our Shore at City Bistro or The Gala to Rebuild Hoboken) revolve around serving alcohol. You disagree? Try to have either of those events in a "family friendly" setting. Take away the bars from those fundraisers or any serving of alcohol & move those events to a Wednesday night. Think they would have the same turnout? You and I both know they wouldn't.

As for the issue of crime. Recently the city council discussed that last year crime was down compared to years past, and are using that as a reason why moving the parade to a Wednesday was a success. First off, there were far less people in town last year for the "LepreCon", even if 10,000 people online said they RSVP'd - a simple walk around town proved that there were far fewer people versus years past. Hence...less crime. Don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining. Of course if you have less people in town you will have less crime. That shouldn't be a reason to cancel this parade.

Here's the easy solutions that can bring the parade back to the weekends and make everyone happy:

1. Schedule it for a Sunday, not a Saturday. The argument from The Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Committee was that participants could not do a weekday parade because many of them are working. Saturday was the reason, but i'm sure most people will be able to make a Sunday parade. Plus, most younger adults can drink with wild abandon on a Saturday afternoon, whereas most younger adults may have a good time - but many of them have jobs on Monday and that will temper HOW drunk they get.

2. Move the Parade to Sinatra Drive. This is for multiple reasons. One, the argument from store owners is that they didn't like so many people blocking their store fronts. Two, this blocks major traffic on Washington Street. Three, people live along Washington Street & are affected by the quality of life. Let's move it to Sinatra Drive, where people can easily line up and watch the parade, with NYC as the backdrop. Have the parade begin at 11th Street and "end" at the Beer Garden, with Erie-Lackawanna Park and Hudson Place cars & taxis removed. People who want to watch the parade without having to listen to loud music & revelers along Washington Street can enjoy it without people bumping into them or making noise.

3. Create a Beer Garden for people to drink & charge them. We have similar tents for The St. Ann's Festival. Plus the St. Ann's Festival has live music. The Nerds played there last time. Why not do the same thing for the St. Patrick's Day event? We had Mumford & Sons play on Pier A last summer. I would do the same event, with live Irish Bands. This would do two things: 1. Less house parties and 2. Keep the drinkers in a place where they can be easily controlled.
It won't stop the house parties. It won't stop bars from having people drink. What it will do is diffuse those events by taking the 17,000 people who would normally be at a house party or a bar - and put them in front of the police. It will allow us to hire Class 2 police or, perhaps, a professional security company (like ones you see at other outdoor concerts) to patrol the "St. Patrick's Day Beer Garden", while "regular" police can patrol the city and respond to calls of disturbances. Visibly intoxicated people at the Beer Garden will be removed with zero tolerance.
Also, the money raised from this event can offset the clean up costs. Mumford & Sons attracted 17,000 people - and they sold beer at that event. Lets imagine to attend the Beer Garden you need a wristband to enter, each wristband is $5. Beer is $4 each, much like you would find at any bar in Hoboken. The wristbands alone would generate $85,000 (17,000 times $5). That's not including what the beer would generate, which I would hazard to say if everyone had 1 drink, that would be $51,000 (this includes beer costs, which would probably be $1 per drink, so expect $3 profile per beer). Also, I would hire for this event licensed Hoboken bartenders at $200 each - and there will be plenty of them available that aren't working the bar that day (trust me, as someone who bartended for 10+ years you can find free bartenders who want to make easy money pouring beer.

4. Create a "Family Friendly" area at the Hoboken Little League field. Its a large open space which is close to the parade & allows for kids and adults to watch the parade pass by on Sinatra Drive - with a fenced in area so its easy to watch your kids!

5. Work with the bar community. I know more than this than the average citizen. I happen to be friends with many bar owners. You know what they all say - they didn't like the parade. Yes, it increases revenue. But the headache of dealing with drunks on that day - by hiring more security and dealing with drunks really doesn't make it "worth it". An interesting idea would be the following: Bar owners agree that patrons need to buy wristbands to enter their bars - just like the beer garden. The wristbands are a $5 charge, and proceeds will go towards the city. Bars need to "buy" them from the city before the parade.
So, for example, Bar XYZ buys 1,000 wrist bands for that day or $5,000 which they resell. Now, no one is stopping Bar XYZ from selling those at a fair market value. They could sell them at $5....or $20. We all know that bars have a cover on parade days - plus people can then go to the bar or the Beer Garden. Say someone wants to do a few hours at the Beer Garden, and then join their friends at a bar - they can flash their wristband and don't have to pay a cover. People will say "Why should I pay for a $20 wristband at Bar XYZ, when its only $5 at the Beer Garden". Simple, supply and demand and the bars choice on what they price.
Also if someone leaves the bar for a smoke or whatever and they return with a wristband - then they aren't charged a cover again. The bar is "asked" to buy the number of wristbands equal to their occupancy. So, if Bar XYZ has 300 capacity, they buy $1500 worth of wristbands (if not more), which they make their money back by selling to people at $5 each - or maybe even giving those wristbands for free to their "regulars" (the bar eats the cost of $5, like a buyback). This is the easy way to create a Parade Tax, and if you figure we have 80 bars in town and even 40 of those bars get on board and buy on average 200 wristbands, that is $40,000 that the bars just generated for the city - if not more. Its more money than the ill-planned "fund" that Mayor Zimmer tried in 2009. Plus, my idea is $5 for a wristband. You could make them $10 each.

Use the parade to our advantage. My ideas would absolutely work, generate revenue for clean up costs and security costs - I hazard to say the city could generate $175,000+ on parade day (and that's a conservative estimate). It would satisfy the parade committee and if not keep all the curmudgeon homeowners happy, it would satisfy most of them except for the vocal NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) types who will never be happy.

The other day I wrote about how people are going around the barricade at Newark & Madison.

Yesterday I was walking to Crossfit Hoboken, and what did I see? I cruiser parked on Newark between Madison & Monroe, waiting. I walk up to the police officer and ask him to roll down his window. I said, "Too bad you are in a marked car - if you had an undercover car you would be catching a lot of people!"

He replied, "Already caught two people going around the barricade."

Good. Its the first time in THREE years that I ever saw a police car parked there nabbing people. We have some fanatics who cry about everything in this town, but that's where I want my tax dollars spent - safety. News just came out today that the police caught a suspect who has been plaguing our town stealing packages.

Hats off to the Hoboken Police. Great job! I like seeing more proactive police work rather than just reacting to a 911 phone call. Keep up the good work. Now, if someone is reading this at City Hall, can I talk to you about re-painting the crosswalks along Newark Street? Also would love to see a stop sign at Newark and Clinton, on the Eastbound side, while we are at it.


I walk by Newark St and Madison St every day on my way to Crossfit.

I like Hoboken, but one of our biggest issues I see is lack of a strong police presence. I have addressed this multiple times, and this isn't about blaming police, I simply think our police in Hoboken are reacting to problems rather than being proactive. I wrote before that Hoboken should establish a force of police who simply are about proactively combating traffic related issues (Hoboken Roadway Patrol), which leaves the current police force to react to actual crime.

A prime target would be Newark St & Madison St and catching cars that circumvent the orange street bollards there. All traffic on Madison needs to turn right on to Newark. Every single day I see cars that simply go around them. I would stick a Hoboken Roadway Patrol cop there during rush hour, along with a digital video camera. Catch the cars, note the time on the ticket and save the digital camera tape for the judge to decide.

Police will say they don't have the manpower and hire more cops. I say you just useClass II police to do this job.

I saw this update on

WindMill Hot Dogs Hoboken has closed! "The WindMill of Hoboken was off to a running start and then BAMM..... Hurricane Sandy hit! Although the restaurant itself did not sustain damage, the Path Station was severely affected, as were many neighboring homes and businesses. Due to flooding and the closure of the Path Station, locals had to find alternative ways into NYC. The commuters stopped coming and pedestrian traffic in front of the once busy location thinned daily. As a result, The WindMill of Hoboken's steadily growing business began to shrink more and more each day. Simply put, after Hurricane Sandy, things were just never the same."

I don't understand how people with money to open businesses don't see what we need now. Hot Dogs? Really? The demographics of Hoboken have shifted. This may have worked in 2003, but 10 years later you have people buying $800,000+ condos and raising their kids here. #1 thing that 'downtown' Hoboken needs is a Wine Bar like Bin 14 or a craft beer bar like The Jeffrey:

For example the owners at Biggie's who are scratching their collective heads and wondering why they are dead on a weeknight should simply look around and see what this city needs, and not more of "Deep Fried food and Bud Light/Guinness/Blue Moon/Stella on tap" and think the crowd is going to come running. Open a great wine bar with small plates to nosh on, with comfortable seats and low lighting, soft music that caters to first dates or groups looking to try new wines picked by a in-house sommelier and hire a chef that graduated from an accredited institution. After working as a bartender for 10+ years in town, I know who cooks our food and often they are just hard working guys from Third World countries that make chicken wings, quesadillas, hamburgers and other basic "American" things.

Recently I have been on a wine bar binge in the West Village. I wrote about Anfora, Vin Sur Vingt Lelabar and Gottino. They are, in a word all fantastic. Each have different characteristics, like Anfora has some ridiculously good crostini. To a point where even writing about it now, I find myself thinking to find an excuse to take someone there to have some more of it.

I walk around town and see clone after clone of everything when it comes to restaurants. Why is that?

I can give you one easy reason. I forget which year it was, but I think it was 2006 Dave Roberts was mayor and decided that, for quality of life issues, that the City of Hoboken would no longer issue "new" liquor licenses. The only way to obtain a liquor license was to buy an existing license. Now, what do you think this did to supply and demand?

The original cost of a liquor license in Hoboken wasn't expensive. After they enacted the law, the cost jumped to over $500,000. Question - do you THINK that someone like Dave Roberts, who from what I understand owned Amanda's and Cafe Elysian would profit from this change in the law?

Second - how difficult would it be for someone to open a new restaurant in town. The law's rule is you can't open a new bar within 500 feet of an existing bar with a liquor license. So basically the same old crappy bars and keep selling the same old crappy food because they have no incentive to work harder. Where is the competition? You need people who have a million dollars or more to open new restaurants in Hoboken. Its certainly not impossible, if you look at how well Little Town NJ has been doing.

My solution would be simple. Create a new Class of liquor license that allows for sale of wine & beer, but not hard liquor - and can be opened near existing establishments. At least that would allow craft beer or craft wine restaurants to compete a bit with the existing bars and restaurants in town. I'm sure every bar owner will gnash their teeth and such a suggestion, but i'm not a fan of suppressing free enterprise. Don't we have enough nail salons, real estate offices and sushi restaurants?

Seriously, if I had a million dollars I could make a million more by opening up a craft beer or wine bar in downtown Hoboken. Man, do I need to win the lottery.

I was reading this article today.

"At some point, we will become a gun-safe, and then a gun-sane, and finally a gun-free society."

Jefferson wrote: "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?"

The problem we run into is if you take all the guns away from the citizens what would stop a government from, in the future, slowly stripping away other rights until the day comes in which it is no longer a Democratic institution but a benevolent Oligarchy? It no longer fears the people could rise up and revolt, because they no longer have guns. "We can protest" people will say, and they will roll tanks into the squares to crush the opposition.

Absurd, right?

Tell that to the Chinese and the Tienanmen Square revolt for Democracy that didn't go so well. Tell that to the Syrians who are being slaughtered by a government that out guns them. We were a country born of revolt from a King that sought to oppress us.

The 2nd amendment is read like this:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

It means nothing about militia owning guns. It uses the militia as context here. Its recognizing that a militia is important FOR a free state, and the key is the COMMA - the pause to say "Hey we know militias are important BUT..."

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed.

That's it. We can squabble about what exactly the arms the forefathers envisioned, but at the time people could own the same guns that were given to military troops. Re-read what I wrote about Jefferson and keeping the government in check.

You give the government all the power - be careful what you wish for.

JWOWW & Snooki's New Jersey City Home

| No Comments

Not confirmed, but rumor has it they are moving into Grove & Mercer in Jersey City. Here's is a picture from Google Street View of "The Fortress of STDs":

View Larger Map

Looks like they are right behind City Hall and only a few blocks from Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden. has photos of the place from 2008 here.


What gets me riled up over the last few months is the joke many media companies have become. I'm not going to point out specifics, but here's my basic rules to media:

1. They want as many viewers as possible, and high ratings.
2. In order to do this, they need as much sensationalism as possible.
3. Rather than report the news and offer value based commentary, they find the most absurd "fringe" Republican candidates to talk about, and find ANYTHING they can to poke holes in them.

This isn't new, but to me it seems like we have reached a new height to it. In a society where the Kardashians are lauded for doing nothing of value, so the same is true for our media. Rather than finding good and interesting stories to write about, they focus their attention on one candidate as the media darling, and write ad nauseum about them until they find someone new to write about. Here's my examples this year:

1. Donald Trump: Remember him? Up until May 2011 he was playing the media like a fiddle, with his "will he, won't he" run for President. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released in March 2011 found Donald Trump leading among potential contenders for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, one point ahead of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. In the end, he did a great job to promote himself and his media empire.

Take a note of these so-called "polls" because they are an interesting tactic of the media over the last year as their justification to cover these fringe Republicans.

2. Sarah Palin: No sooner than Darling Donald was over that the summer was all about Sarah. In November 2009, Palin released her memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, and had been busy in 2010 promoting it and making millions. What better way to keep that money train rolling but by claiming she was interested in being President? What a joke. But the media lapped it up, because it's like Jay Leno's bit he does on his show "Jay Walking" in which he interviews people on the street to test their IQ. Basically the media is doing the same thing with Sarah, they can't wait for her to say something stupid and it becomes the weekly sensation. She laughs all the way to the bank. Again, another candidate who plays up to the media while making millions in exposure.

3. Michelle Bachman: While the summer was all about Sarah, her star was fading and who lands on the scene thanks to a nice new poll? Well, it's Michelle Bachman, who on August 13, 2011, she won the Ames Straw Poll hosted by the Iowa GOP.


Anyone else seeing this yet? Anyone else seeing the trend here?

4. Rick Perry: Bachman's surge was short lived when the Texas darling threw his 10 gallon hat into the ring in mid-August. The media machine loves it - Texas is a HUGE state, lots of ratings there! Plus they have a field day with Perry and his gaffes. It's like the Republican version of Joe Biden with his miscues. Nom nom nom, the media loves Perry for a few weeks until...

5. Herman Cain: In December 2010, Cain was the "surprise choice" for 2012 GOP nominee in a reader poll. I could hear the media squealing over him like the Beatles just landed at JFK. He was a rockstar. 9-9-9 and debate showmanship made him the media darling of the fall. It was Cainmania! Was I the only Republican watching all this shaking his head - there wasn't the SNOWBALLEST CHANCE IN HELL this guy was getting elected but the media was dancing around throwing roses at the feet of this idiot. But you have to admit, he was a show man. He did a great job at not only talking about his 9-9-9 plan, but I bet sales have been through the roof at his Godfather Pizza chain which no one in the Northeast has ever heard of until Herman Cain showed up.

6. Newt! Newt! Newt Ginrich! Really? I am at a loss for words, but yes, Newt was the man of the moment for about two weeks in November, but he made far too much sense, was smart about what he said, and wasn't as far as interesting as Ron Paul.

7. Ron Paul: Herman had the best run out of all of them - and then the media was really only down to Romney (snore!), Perry (snore!), and...WAIT A MOMENT! Ron Paul is their ace in the hole! He's been flapping his arms and saying all sorts of crazy shit for the last year, why didn't we take a better look at him! If you ask me, I think Ron Paul makes a lot of sense on what he suggests with regard to reform, but what he lacks is what the Trumps and Cains of the world have - TV charisma. Ron Paul looks like that crazy science teacher you had in high school, not the next leader of the free world. Once Herman Cain was out, the media went bonkers for Ron Paul for about three weeks, until...

8. Rick Santorum! GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE. Seriously? Rick God-Damn-Santorum?? What the fuck. I'm sorry to my underage readers here, but holy shit. I'm ready to throw my TV out the window. The media reports, once again, lets all sing this phrase together "RICK IS SURGING IN THE POLLS!"

Do you see the trend here? How many straw polls, online polls, media darlings that has basically been the theme for 2011. It's almost like the media focused on one candidate for as long as they could and they swung their cameras and microphones to the next crazy Republican they could cover. The media has done a masterful job at basically ignoring Mitt Romney. Why?

Oh, he's next.

I fully expect that Mitt will win the Republican nomination. But remember folks what I said earlier. If the media spent 2011 talking about Mitt, then they would have no ratings. They would have nothing to write about when he gets the Republican nomination. It's a million times easier to grab headlines and fill sound bites with people like Palin, Perry and Paul with their half-assed ideas.

When Mitt gets the nomination it's going to be "All Mitt All The Time" until November.

The Iowa poll is upon us today and don't care who wins. Even if Santorum or Paul pulls off some crazy victory, the bottom line is that Romney is going to get the nomination. He's the only one that makes sense if you are the GOP. You want someone that's going to capture the conservatives and the liberals. I mean as much as the Christian Coalition may not like the fact they are voting for a MORMON, they would vote for Mitt before they would vote for Obama. The GOP knows this and that's why Mitt will get the nod.

You heard it here first.

P.S. I didn't forget about Huntsman, but the media never really got hyped on him - maybe they are waiting on his New Hampshire victory to pick him apart...?


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!

Hey! It's A Top 5 Random Stuff!

| No Comments

I didn't have any great, major "events" to write one post about, so this will be a few quick stories to chew the fat on...but each one is mildly interesting...

1. Beer: Pacifico is dead, all hail Leinenkugel! Yes, it's true. I was out with friends the other night, and we are at the Cigar Store in Hoboken. Great thing about the Cigar Store is that you can smoke in the store, bring your own beer or liquor, and watch TV on their flat screen TVs. So, the other Saturday night i'm there with Jason, Chris and Keith - and Keith whips out a 6 pack of Leinenkugel. Leinenkugel? I never heard of that beer before. I scoffed it off, and drank my Pacifico.

The next night, my buddy Matt is watching his son, and his wife had a night out on the town with her friends, so he invites me over. I figure, hey, why not grab a 6 pack of Leinenkugel, and we can watch some NBA games. Bottom line? Buy Leinenkugel. Buy it now. This beer was so popular that on Super Bowl Sunday I went to Hoboken Vine, my favorite beer store in Hoboken, to buy Leinenkugel - and they were sold out. FUCK.

2. Whud Up Wid Dat? My "Whud Up Wid Dat" moment was the next day after #1 I woke up pretty tired on Saturday, cigars and alcohol gave me a wicked hangover, so I took a tylenol (which I normally don't do) because I had a massage scheduled at Body Balance for 10am - I didn't want a massage while my head was pounding. I took Rocco for a walk and nearly got into a fight.
There was a guy who parked his delivery truck in our condo driveway, effectively cutting off the sidewalk because of the large snowdrifts and the angle of his truck. His truck was wedged in such a way that there was no getting around him, I would have had to pick up Rocco, walk into the street around the back of his truck, through a puddle of slush & water. This delivery guy was working for the new construction at the Jefferson Trust Bank, and from Day 1, this new construction has been a pain in our ass at the condo. The developer has been rude and inconsiderate of the tenants living on the block. His car, and the cars of others are double parked along the street every weekend. It was just another aggravating instance, and with my hangover, my fuse was short to begin with.

I look around, and see a few construction guys milling around the outside of the building and say "Who's truck is this?", they all shrug their shoulders. I can see through the tinted window of the truck that there's a driver sitting there. I yelled at the window: "MOOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE". The driver rolled down the window, with an angry look on his face and snapped back: "Bro, who do YOU think you're talking to? F*ck you, bro."

Well, i'm not one to back down - so we had a good 1 minute "Fuck you, no FUCK YOU" fest. I 'm telling him he's on our easement and it's our private property and he's telling me he's on the sidewalk, not the driveway. He's refusing to moving and snarls, "Go fuck yourself, I would have moved if you asked me NICELY." Fuck that. He's a fucking delivery guy driving a van, and thinks that *I* need to ask him all nice to move his fucking van from blocking the entire sidewalk??

It was getting to a point where either a fistfight starts or I call the cops. The delivery guy simply refusing to move and me being stubborn about walking AROUND his truck, I just called the Hoboken cops to report the guy blocking our driveway. A minute after I hung up the phone, a police cruiser was driving by with his window down. "Officer!" I yell. The police cruiser stops. "I called the front desk about this truck blocking our sidewalk...", I began. The police officer says, "OK, you called the front desk? Someone will be down to help you..." and drives off without saying why he couldn't take two minutes to help me.

His sirens weren't on. He was just rolling down the street. Maybe he had another call to go on - but I didn't get that impression. I got the impression he didn't want to deal with it.
The next cruiser shows up about 5 minutes later, but the guy driving the truck left by then.

3. Gambling: Every year I do a Super Bowl box. A friend of Chris's does a Super Bowl box, and it's $300 a box. $30,000 in the kitty. Well, wouldn't you know that we pull GB 1 and Pitt 7. Not bad numbers. NOT BAD AT ALL. Turns out we hit in the 3rd quarter on Sunday night, and won a cool $2,000 each. Huge win for a $150 investment. Although, i'm sure after all the years gambling on Super Bowl boxes i'm only up $500.

4. Online Dating: I really have to write a new and improved Dissecting A Personal Ad, after reading all the online dating personal ads - seems like not much has changed. I haven't used the site for a date, i'm kind of curious about it, and figure what the hell, may as well look around. I was out at Mulligan's last Saturday night, and the age range of women was 22-26 years old. Sorry, a bit too old for that age range & I detest the Manhattan bar scene.

5. Crossfit & Diet: Crossfit starts Tuesday & Thursday nights. Got a lot of email about that, and will write up my experience on it in a few weeks. I have been good about my diet. I have been strict during my work-week, cooking up my protein the night before, baking sweet potatoes on Sunday and refrigerating them, and steaming my vegetables (broccolini or asparagus) while I get ready in the morning. I pack it all in a tupperware container, and bring it into work. So far, I have had a few "cheat" meals, but if I eat maybe 20 times a week, I'd say I had 3 times where I ate something off the diet. 15% isn't bad. I lost about 10 pounds, and i'm back in my old jeans again. I still have a bit more to go, and hoping with Crossfit that it accelerates the process.

I have Pierre Thomas in fantasy football. I also have some other RB options, like Ladell Betts (his backup) and Brandon Jacobs (up until week 12 was the #2 RB on the Giants).

Yahoo, ESPN or CBS Sportsline needs to implement this feature: Injury Swaps.

How it works is simple. Lets say you have someone who is on the NFL injury list, but "questionable". They are a gametime decision, and someone you expect to play. I figured after the bye week that Pierre Thomas would be good to go. I worked until 7am Sunday morning, fell asleep when I got home at 8am, and woke up after the games started.

I have Ladell Betts and Brandon Jacobs on my bench, but had Pierre Thomas in my lineup.

Spare me the armchair coaches who will say "Well that's COACHING. You should have put in a backup manually and should be watching the report 1 hour before gametime."

No. Bullshit. I was working until 7am that night, and i'm sure there are thousands of other owners who get screwed due to real-life issues like I do. We have the technology, we should make fantasy football management smarter.

I had the healthy RB to use on the Saints - Betts. They should make a simple option that works as the following:

If healthy player is scratched from the game at 1pm, then there is an autoswitch option to replace the injured player with one player from your bench. Sort of the same way that auto-draft works in the draft room.

For example, Pierre Thomas sat out Week 11, then the RBs on my bench are tagged in some kind of ranking:
1. Brandon Jacobs
2. Ladell Betts.

Brandon Jacobs would get substituted in if their game hasn't started before Pierre Thomas. If Brandon's game was over, then Ladell Betts should play in place of Pierre Thomas.

I know that some of the traditional fantasy football owners would bristle at my idea, but it is something that needed to be fixed a long time ago. I got 0 points for Pierre Thomas, and Betts & Jacobs weren't fantasy studs, but if I had their 3.5 or 4.5 points I would have won my fantasy matchup for Week 12.

Sour grapes? Sure. But still a good idea.

I went to the Wicked Wolf on Saturday night, a new bar that opened up on the corner of 2nd and Sinatra Drive.

What's there to say? It's new. Has lots of TVs and seating. A good beer selection. A big crowd was there.

It was the latest "Popular Bar Of The Moment" in Hoboken.

After living here 16 years, and missing my "You need to move out of Hoboken and raise a family" expiration date, I have seen bars like this rise and fall. Here's my quick primer, and please note that my order may not be 100% correct, i'm doing this from memory...also i'm just talking about bars that were HUGELY popular, not every bar in town...

O'Donohughes: This was the #1 bar back in the mid 90's. Raising Cain was the best band. Sure, the place smelled like old beer and looked like it was decorated by a local frat house. People didn't care, it's where all the hot girls were and there really wasn't many other good bars to go to besides Moran's or Stinky Sullivan's.

10th and Willow: During OD's reign, 10th and Willow became the cool place to go dance in 1998. Now most guys couldn't give a shit about dancing - but since all the girls would freak the fuck out and go to 10th and Willow, most of the guys would just go there. I remember this bar being beyond insane with the lines out the door, down the street and people dancing in every room. It was about as close to a "club" that Hoboken had back in the day.

Black Bear: OD's was supplanted by this new upstart, and their all-black clad bartending staff. With a great DJ, two floors and lots of open space, Black Bear set the bar to how the evolution of the bar scene was starting. Before Black Bear a local hole in the wall pub like Rogo's and their $1 draft night would get a line out the door for thirsty Stevens kids...but Black Bear said "fuck that" and just made a great bar which became the Go-to place in 1999. Technically The Whiskey Bar should get a good nod here, but I don't remember it being as popular as The Black Bear. Don't get me wrong The Whiskey Bar was insane, but I just remember more of my friends saying how they were going to Black Bear all the time.

The Madison: If you can imagine, this used to be a lonely boring sports bar on the corner of 14th street. There wasn't any of the new construction. The Tea Building was just renovated when The Madison opened up with a bang. Hoboken went from the days of where all the reigning bars were Irish Pubs to the "Everyone wears black and we have velvet ropes" phase. The Madison was the first bar in town to successfully gather all the local douchebags and the women who loved them into one place. This was (I think) around 2000.

Green Rock: Before Green Rock opened, this was a bunch of failed bars that couldn't do anything right, one even had the name of "The Screaming Viking" - which was a reference to the TV show Cheers. This bar opened in 2002 and even today is probably still one of the most popular bars in town, with lines outside the bar for the idiots who are too stupid to find another bar.

The Waterfront Bars: To name just one wouldn't be fair. It seemed that new bars were opening up at a frantic pace. Each one listed became the "Popular Bar Of The Moment" for about 6 months starting with 3 Forty Grill in 2003. Then Trinity. Then The Quays. Don't forget Lua, uptown! This was the first documented appearance of The Man Suit - the tried and true uniform of every Hoboken man!

The Shannon: A very old bar, that got smart and renovated. Before the renovation it was filled with locals and was about as popular as The Wilton House. After the renovation, they became the #1 stop for every frat boy and the women who love them.

It seems to me that Hoboken has a big history of those Popular Bars Of The Moment. I hereby announce that Wicked Wolf is our current champion. Enjoy it while it lasts, boys, because I bet that The Pour House and One Republic are waiting to take over.


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.

Whud Up Wid Dat: The Blame Game

| No Comments

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.

Kia Soul Commercial: Black Sheep

| No Comments

Owning a Tivo I rarely watch commercials anymore. But this is what you need to do - make CREATIVE and INTERESTING commercials to grab the attention of the viewer - and they will watch. Excellent job by the team at Kia's ad agency David & Goliath.

Whud Up Wid Dat: Parking On Sidewalk

| No Comments

A new category called "Whud Up Wid Dat". Basically when I see things around Hoboken that make no sense, i'll try to take a picture and explain what i'm thinking about.

View Larger Map

Living in my new 'hood over the last two years, I noticed that over by the municipal garage at the corner of Observer and Willow that cars are parked on the sidewalk. Whud Up Wid Dat?

It's always the SAME cars, every day. So much so that if you walked there today you would see the same white car in the picture...and it's on Google Maps!!

Lets call it like we see it. Who can get away with parking on sidewalks in Hoboken by a MUNICIPAL GARAGE?

City Employees? No. No way! Can't be.

Look, i'm sure someone who works there is going to whine about not being able to find parking. I agree, parking is a bitch. But I see these cars parked when i'm going to work at 7am. I'm sure they can find street parking on Observer Highway or in the neighborhood at that time.

This is a classic example of Hoboken for you. The police won't do anything about it, because the feeling I get from them is that it is beneath them. There is an "above the law" mentality that city employees have here, which means if you work for the city you can do whatever you want. But, with great websites like Hoboken411, Hoboken Now & Hoboken Journal putting a spotlight on the going's on around here - things have been changing.

I hope someone does something about this illegal parking & soon.

Also for your enjoyment, a story about New Years Eve a few years back: Read It Here.

Monthly Archives


Powered by Movable Type 5.2.7

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Whud Up Wid Dat? category.

Top 5 is the previous category.

Wines is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Join Zipcar and get $25 in free driving!