My son’s St. John Fisher lacrosse team recently played at Stevens Tech in Hoboken, New Jersey. My wife and I decided to head down to watch the game and enjoy the spring day.  I’ve got to be honest, we truly didn’t know what to expect from our first time visit to Hoboken. But you know what, who knew Hoboken was so hip and cool?

We were somewhat excited about checking out the famous Carlos’ Bakery, home of TLC’s Buddy the Cake Boss. However as we turned onto Hoboken’s main drag, Washington Street, we were amazed to see a line that wrapped around the corner to the bakery. We were told that the line was about a 90 minute wait. First thought- they’re just cupcakes and cookies. Time vs. pastries? Time won out, and we continued on. People willing to wait hours for Italian cookies, who knew?

Washington Street runs about 14 blocks from south to north, and is two blocks west of the Hudson River. And it is on the Hudson where you get a view of a lifetime. As I stood along the shore of the Hudson River, I looked across at a breathtaking view of Manhattan. The Stevens Tech campus is located along side the Hudson, and is an absolutely beautiful college setting. Imagine that? A classic college setting just a five-minute boat ride across from the ‘City that Never Sleeps’, who knew?

Back to Washington Street. Lined with classic brownstones, fresh flower markets, and immigrant delis, this street is a picture postcard of a traditional urban community. While Washington was home to a scattering of pubs and restaurants, along with general stores and boutiques, I couldn’t help notice the apparent large population of dentist offices. Yes, dentist offices? Maybe it’s because of all the sweets that people are willing to wait in line for. Who knew?

For lunch we asked around and two places kept coming up. Lisa’s Heroes (subs) just off Washington St. and Benny Tudino’s Pizzeria located smack-dab in the middle of the stretch. We ended up at Benny Tudino’s and were seated at a table along the street. The menu board stated that it was the “Home of the Largest Slice”, but never were we prepared to be served a delicious, single slice that was twice the size of our heads! Who knew? 

While making our way around the town of Hoboken I couldn’t get over the number of dog-walkers and stroller-pushers that filled the sidewalks. It all became clear when our waitress at Tudino’s explained to us that in the last fifteen years Hoboken has experienced a revival thanks to many young people choosing to make Hoboken home. It was then that I realized where the cool, relaxing vibe I had felt for most the day had come from. College kids, who knew?

So for an enjoyable day that is only minutes from New York City with an exciting feel, think about Hoboken, New Jersey. Hoboken, who knew?

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