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Tag: New Jersey

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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Appreciating Silk and Reportage

I recently attended a talk in Hoboken by investigative reporter and author Diana Henriques. As part of her presentation, she told an audience at Little City Books about how gratifying it was to have her publisher, Henry Holt, exhibit patience in the reporting and writing process when she was working on The Wizard of Lies, her bestselling book about Bernie Madoff. In other words, even as other books were rushed to publication, her project wasn’t all about the instant gratification window around the sensational Madoff story. It was about putting in play her decades of experience in investigative reporting...

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On the Emotions of Erecting Walls

No matter how beautiful the weather, no matter the sweet endorphins that kick in, no matter the jaunty music coming from my iPod, there is only one word to describe my recent walks along the oceanfront promenade in Lavallette, New Jersey: Sad. One foot in front of the other, it’s like walking through someone’s broken heart. With dunes taller than me (I’m 5-foot-4) piled along the entire length of the 24-block walkway, there is no ocean view as you stroll. The sound of the waves hitting the shore is tantalizingly close. The Atlantic Ocean, the very reason this community and...

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Jersey Girl’s Take on ‘Jersey Boys’

I saw the Jersey Boys movie  with my mother this week. I had seen the play with her and so when she said she “desperately” wanted to see it on the big screen, we made a date. On the way to the theater I played a Four Seasons CD and we sang along all the way there. “She-e-rry, Sherry baby …” “Oh, what a night, late December back in ’63 …” See, my life as an Italian-American who grew up in New Jersey is very much about this kind of connector. Be it Frank Sinatra or Frankie Valli (or...

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The Bipartisan Ship Has Sailed

I begin the year 2014 disappointed. It’s become clear that, for the most part, we really aren’t ever going to be able to go back to judging people and occurrences with any semblance of an objective eye. The ability to pull back and see something from a reasoned place, well, we’re not even striving for that anymore. At least not the majority. Now, if someone says the sky is blue, we decide whether to believe him based on whether he’s a conservative or a liberal. Every time someone stubs a toe, someone else attaches a cause to it. When...

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