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Category: Hoboken

Feeling Our Way in New York City

The first day of our New York City tour, I am on the top deck of a bus driving down Fifth Avenue past the Flatiron building when I remember there is a Kate Spade store coming up on the left. I pause for a moment to stare down from my high perch. Its founder has just died by her own hand two days before and it is still raw in our national psyche. I turn to Mirna, my tour companion for two days, and nod toward the store, taking a deep breath. Moments before we had been sitting at a traffic light, moving easily to Alicia Keys and Jay Z and their catchy ode to New York. It’s part of the soundtrack pumping into our ears. The next day our bus is crawling through Times Square at dusk. With so much stimulation in every direction at this iconic place, my eyes look right and fix on the marquis at the Hard Rock Café – “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Anthony Bourdain. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. We will forever miss his love for great food and travel.” Yes, that very morning he had been found after taking his own life. I first heard it on the radio. Just hours later I was on a bus riding past CNN and thinking about all the...

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Love Trumps Hate in Hoboken? Barf

The post-election Tweets about my town are positively orgasmic. Hashtag Hoboken. Town elects Sikh mayor. Love triumphs over hate. Rinse. Repeat. Yes, Hoboken elected Ravi Bhalla as its new mayor. He’s a pleasant person. He’s more than qualified. He was endorsed by our current mayor, who has set our town on a new course. I am aligned with him on some things, wish he was more engaged in others. But I can’t help but wonder if one person outside of Hoboken who is giddily Tweeting about this win has any clue about his positions on the issues. Do they know where he stands on infrastructure? Residential development? Affordable housing and displacement? Did they ever hear him give a speech? Further, do they have any idea what positions his opponents hold? Where they disagreed? Where they were aligned? I’m betting the answer is no. All the fawning seems proof that there’s one knock on liberals that’s often legitimate – we are way too entrenched in identity politics. I am a big fan of diversity, aware of the marginalized, cognizant of our need to represent everyone in government. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from the past few months of our mayoral race, it’s that parsing by race, gender, religion, political party, or sexual orientation isn’t the answer. I must deconstruct the now infamous events of a despicable flyer that was...

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My 2016 Highlight: Birthing a Book

The colorful image that is to be my book cover is on my screen. I’m opening Photoshop because it needs to be squeezed into a template and I haven’t a clue how to do that. I’m going to try to teach myself. I play with cropping and save the new image. Still too big. I tinker with other tools. Save. Again. And again. Fourteen images later, it’s a fit. A friend helps to fine-tune it. Victory. Yes, I’m self-publishing my first book, a memoir that took 10 years to write. This marks 30 years (mostly) making a living as a writer for me, a trained journalist. It’s always been a passion. I was obsessively clipping columns from my local newspaper in New Jersey when I was 12. Who is this woman, I wondered, who gets her picture next to her article? Now I’m a purist in a field that hardly resembles the one I trained for and worked in. Once I found my way after a rocky start in college, fully paying my own way, I spent 15 years as a sports writer/columnist at two newspapers. I’ve mostly moved with the times, making the switch from print to web in 1998 with a job at I’m no dinosaur. But when it came time to publish my book, my writer snob came out in full force. You are going...

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Jesus on a Bicycle

The other day, the first of the Republican National Convention, I started having a little snarkfest on Facebook. Sometimes I love snark. It’s smart, makes me laugh. It’s particularly gratifying when my creations bring out the laughter. But as the day wore on, something shifted in me. Posts I wholeheartedly agreed with by people I think are terrific started seeming petty. They were coming at me at such a rapid rate I had to step away from my computer. I even deleted my own sarcastic post about Antonio Sabato Jr. in a flurry of remorse. What? Hadn’t I just been participating in this? Am I a hypocrite? Actually, what I am is awakened about 90 percent of the time. The other 10 I fall into that abyss where I join in a (mostly) subconscious superiority one-off like it’s sport. I’m a dichotomy. There’s the side a dear friend calls my “girl gang” side and then there’s the one who thrives in the meaningful. Nancy in all her glory, I suppose. Today I was sitting by the water contemplating writing about this, forming some of the very words you’re reading now. I was thinking about New Thought teachings I’d learned and about vibrating at a higher level and how I strive to do that. Then this happened. A guy on a bicycle stopped in front of the bench where I...

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A Writer Grows in Hoboken

Last week on a date a gentleman asked me when I decided to become a writer. I answered without hesitation. “I never decided to become a writer,” I said. “Writing picked me.” That’s the best I can explain it. One day I was reading Nancy Drew books, the next I was making up my own Nancy Drew-like character and writing a book of my own. An amateur effort, unquestionably, but I was maybe 11 years old. From there it was simply me paying attention to my strengths and to what made my heart soar. Grammar, spelling, reading, writing. Being...

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