This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Hoboken

Blame whomever you please for the changes to Hoboken, one thing is for sure; spoiled-rotten drunken idiots will destroy good things.

Some heartless bonehead stole a flowerbed from my cafe

We’ve tried to make our li’l cafe a nice place — albeit funky and hodgepodge. My partner before I got here used to put flowers and plants outside. He stopped after a little while because the drunks on the weekends would tear them out and throw them around the street. That was several years ago. Recently, our chef decided it was time to try again. So he took it upon himself to create new flower and plant displays for outside the shop. After all, Hoboken has changed, right? It’s become more classy, right?


Upon opening the Cafe early Sunday morning, we noticed one of our new flowerbeds was missing. Sometimes our chef would take plants home if he felt they needed some nursing or he’d bring them inside if the weather was particularly bad. Neither was the case this time. Instead, someone decided at some point the night before to simply take it.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s just one in a long line of straws that is breaking my patience with this city.

There are people who say that arts & music need to leave Hoboken to make room for a “higher-class” of people buying up luxury housing. And we’ve heard the so-called “higher-class” of people in that luxury housing insist that it’s the riff-raff of Hoboken making it difficult to live a quality life. You know, all that loud music and whatnot. And sadly, there are members of our local government who agree and have been working hard to squeeze out every last drop of personality left in this city in the name of progress.

However, I am here to say that every single act of vandalism and neglect to property that I have personally been affected by in this town has come at the hands of the new “higher-class” of people moving in. Drunken, privileged, spoiled brats.

They walk the streets at night shouting and breaking things. Partly because they couldn’t get laid but mostly because they are spoiled brats who assume that they can get away with it and that someone will clean it up anyway. And it doesn’t end with the late night debauchery. The streets are lined with trash that I’ve seen tossed from SUV windows or simply dropped as people walk down the street.

And don’t even get me started on the dog shit!

I left Hoboken a few years ago to get away from the rich kids who treated the house I was in like their personal garbage dump. Broken glass, cigarettes and even sewage that they’d track in after a bad storm. All would be left for “someone else” to deal with. Oh but did they bother to contact anyone to at least tell them that a clean up was needed? Of course not. Why should they? After all, when they were at home mommy or the maid would do it. At school or work a janitor would do it.

So yes, I’m pissed. Probably more than some of you could understand. Why? Because I’m part of the arts community that has — over the past few decades — helped to make Hoboken a place for these new brats to want to live. Yet I’ve never treated Hoboken (or any other town I’ve lived in) with the level of disrespect that I see coming from this new influx of people. Neither did any of my crazy artist or musician friends because this was our home. Period. I don’t feel that kind of pride from these people.

I recently moved back to town just as the final drops of culture seem to be circling the drain. That same young man who gazed with wonder at the vibrant music scene all those years ago lives on in my older self. I’d still like to believe that there’s a place for soul-inspiring, good things to happen in Hoboken that do not involve reality television or chain stores or bland culture or Wall Street.

Look, I get it. Demographics change. But why can’t these newbies treat their new home with respect? I try my best to be a good neighbor and so should they. If finally in the end Hoboken is to become some filthy anarchic state for the wealthy, then that will signal my time to leave for good. For now however, I’ll keep fighting the good fight with art, music, food, words and more flowers.

See Also:
D’s Soul Full Cafe

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