Sunday, January 16, 2005

Hoboken...Cool Hang or Yuppieville?

I've always had a love/hate relationship with Hoboken.

On the one hand, it's loaded with great little stores and restaurants and old-timers who tell stories about "the old days" and mob hits and Sinatra. It's also got some really great places to hang and drink and see music, most notably the famous Maxwell's on Washington Street. I've seen some amazing shows there in that little back room over the years, including Nirvana, Oasis, The Replacements, and scores more (Just last year I saw oldsters The Fall, The Cardigans, Johnny Marr and The Psychedelic Furs and newcomers like Franz Ferdinand, The Bravery, VHS or Beta, and The Mooney Suzuki).

On the other hand, you can't walk a city block without getting hit by a stroller pushed by some Powermom yapping on her Sidekick setting up a playdate convenient with getting her Audi tuned up. And then you should expect to get the "Hoboken Snarl" from her if you didn't jump out of her way quick enough.

And forget about finding a convenient parking spot to wherever you are going...they just don't exist.

I guess the good outweighs the bad, and that's why I find myself continuing to spend time there. One of the coolest things about Hoboken is my friend Jim's store on First Street, Guitar Bar. Just look at this place, which is in what used to be a flower store:

And dig these chandeliers!:

The store is not only loaded with some seriously beautiful instruments, but every nook and corner of the store is decorated with some sort of rock & roll tchochke. I was there this morning waiting for my wife to finish up some lessons when I noticed a Television - "Marquee Moon" 8-track tape on a shelf near the pedal and gadget case. Righteous.

Possibly the best reason to be in Hoboken, however, is its amazing views of Manhattan, especially at night. Here's what it looked like today shortly after Noon under the overcast sky:

Nice, right?

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