Written by Peta Arthurson
See why moving to Hoboken was a winner with former AWNY Vice President Peta Arthurson.
My husband and I stumbled upon the neighborhood of Hoboken and at first we completely freaked out. We had never planned on moving to NEW JERSEY!!! That’s a whole different state, and train system! But, if you read along with me you will see why I think its been our best neighborhood so far!
Upon recently expanding my family to include our new baby girl Matilda, my husband and I knew we wanted a little more space at but with affordable rent, and non- negotiable outdoor space for our dog (there was no way could I walk him at night in the dead of winter with a newborn if my hubby was away for work!) And of course we wanted all of this without moving to Westchester or some other upstate NY or Long Island location. I’m pleased to report we found it in Hoboken, New Jersey, just a short distance from Manhattan.
Where is Hoboken?
Hoboken, New Jersey is right across the Hudson river and is bordered by Weehawken to the North and Jersey City to the South & West. The streets are on a grid similar to Manhattan with the cross streets being numbered from 1st (downtown) to 14th (uptown) and some president’s names like Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe.
Transport in Hoboken
Hoboken is essentially in line with Houston and 23rd streets of Manhattan and getting into the city is quick and easy. The PATH train runs regularly from 33rd street to Hoboken and the ferry runs to 42nd and World Trade Center. In fact, if you work downtown, the ferry takes only 5 minutes. There are also buses, with NJ Transit operating between the Hoboken Bus Terminal and Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. We also have a light rail system connecting Jersey City to Weehawken and beyond.
The Vibe in Hoboken
Hoboken is a delightful mix of families, college students (Stevens Institute of Technology is in town) and young professionals who are starting their NYC Careers.
During the week, the stroller Moms/Mums take over the town! Incredibly family friendly, there is a Facebook group called Hoboken Mommies and at over 4000 members, there isn’t anything they don’t know! They know all the best places to take the little ones, which schools and play gyms are the best, where to get the best massages, hair highlights, pizza, you name it, they know it! Businesses do have to be careful here, if they upset a Mommy, the Mommy Mafia can blacklist your business! Baby Gap recently stopped allowing children from using their bathrooms and wowser – they knew about that! There are even so many Moms in town there are even smaller subgroups. I am part of a wonderful group of mom’s that had babies between July-December last year so our bubs are close in age.
Then there is an Aussie group as well! There are about 25 of us (that we know of so far) in the area and we regularly meet for lunch / coffee etc. Find us on Facebook at Aussies in Hoboken / Jersey City.
On the weekends, there is a slight shift in the vibe. There are a ton of pubs and bars in town and during football season these places are PACKED! The college / 20 somethings know how to party in this town! Also we have Santa Con and more recently the famed LepreCon for St Paddys day. A day so renowned, it happens a full week before the real St Paddys day! There are lines outside every pub from 9am and you can even buy fast pass tickets to get inside sooner.
Cobblestone Streets and Brownstones make for some wonderful walks around town if you are into architecture. The brownstone streets decorate the most beautiful stoops during Halloween and Christmas. During Halloween all of the brownstones on Bloomfield Street have people giving out candy and the families come out in droves. Its so fun and beautiful to see.
The waterfront of Hoboken is spectacular and I am looking forward to more walks along it in Summer. There is free Kayaking at the Hoboken Cove boathouse. Pier 13 is a family friendly beer garden with food trucks and water activities.
There are a ton of parks for the little ones scattered all around town. Pier C Park literally is built out over the water. Elysian Park is a family favorite uptown as is Church Park in Midtown. Pier A is great and is more of a lawn that you will see people use like a beach when the sun comes out!
Some quirky Hoboken facts:
- The first officially recorded baseball game was played here in 1846, although this is controversial
- Hoboken is the birthplace of Frank Sinatra, and you can even do a blue eyes walking tour and eat at the Blue Eyes restaurant right on the water offering some of the best views of Manhattan.
- It is known as the Mile Square City so it is easy to walk from one end to the other.
- Carlos Bakery of TV’s Cake Boss is located on Washington Street and is delicious! (see below)
Hoboken: Uptown or Downtown?
When you meet someone in Hoboken, one of the 1st questions you will be asked is “Where do you live?” So although it is a small walkable village, you will find yourself making friends who live near you.
Uptown is a newer area with the large amenity buildings on the waterfront. There are less restaurants and shops uptown compared to downtown and you have a longer walk to the PATH if you need it.
Downtown has a bit more of a vibe with the pubs etc and the transport is very quick on the PATH train. I personally live downtown and am very happy with that choice!
You can also always sit on the fence and live literally in the middle known as midtown.
Shopping in Hoboken
There are a bunch of gorgeous little shops in Hoboken, from the many boutiques to bigger stores like Baby Gap, Anthropologie and Athleta. We have a number of grocery stores, the smaller ones Kings and Aspen Market are more expensive but very convenient and the larger stores like ShopRite are much cheaper. Just over the bridge in Newport, Jersey City we have a proper shopping mall, just like home! The mall can be reached by foot or the light rail. There is also Target, Staples, Home Depot, Pier 1, and more in the strip malls just outside the mall.
Eating Out in Hoboken
The food in Hoboken is fantastic! We have the regular chains like Panera, Starbucks and McDonalds. But we also have a lot of small restaurants in a variety of cuisines. My favorites include:
- Choc O Pain a French bakery who do a mean passionfruit tart in summer and amazing croissants.
- GFG Greek is fantastic for Greek pastries and very accommodating to strollers.
- Anthony David’s does a great brunch and lunch.
- Turning Point is fantastic for breakfast.
- For those looking for great Thai food T Thai is cheap, cheerful and good.
- Del Friscos does great steak.
- Halifax at the W Hotel is great for a boozy weekend brunch!
There are so many more great options, too many to name.
Oh and did I mention you don’t have to pay NYC City Tax and Sales tax is 7% instead of 8.875%
So come check out Hoboken! You will be surprised how much you will love it!