Ever since the Jersey Shore hit MTV, New Jersey has gotten a bit of a bad rap. But as New York City prices skyrocket, more people are heading across the river to Hoboken, N.J. This city is just a stone's throw away from Manhattan but has a great quality of life. Recent transplants are discovering that there’s a lot more to do in the city than GTL (gym, tan and laundry).
For those of you considering moving to Hoboken, we’ve provided some helpful insight into what you can expect. To get the real story, we reached out to Jeff Somers, a writer for LifeInHoboken.com who has lived in the city for 15 years.
Here are a few things about life in Hoboken that you should know:
It’s a Family-Oriented Community
While you can still find the occasional partier, this city is all about the family. Somers describes it as a “self-contained community” where you are likely to encounter a nanny, a baby carriage or a family walking their dog on every street. “You see the same people running or out at dinner. You run into the local chefs and store owners all the time,” Somers says. “You even run into the mayor a lot. It’s 10 minutes from New York, but it has a small-town feel to it.”
Despite the Small Size, There’s Plenty to Do
From art galleries and live concerts to beer gardens and wine bars, you’ll never be bored in Hoboken. This small city packs a big punch when it comes to culture and entertainment. Every summer folks head to the pier for Movies Under the Stars where they can watch the latest flicks against a gorgeous backdrop. Or, if you are looking for some live music, Somers recommends Maxwell’s Tavern, which supplies a steady stream of fresh talent.
You’ll Learn to Leave the Car at Home
Somers raves about how easy it is to get around in the city. “It is, in fact, literally one of the most walkable cities in the country – while most people do have cars in town, you 100 percent do not need a car to live here.” Somers explains that he lives across the street from a major grocery store and restaurant/bar, and that he can easily get into Manhattan by the PATH or bus system.
It’s Got Some Really Great Food
No, we aren’t talking about the kind of food that 20-somethings crave at 2 a.m. after a night of drinking. This city delivers a range of cuisines that could leave many of the New York foodies with their mouths watering. Among the many great restaurants in town, Somers recommends that transplants check out La Isla, a Cuban restaurant that’s been featured on the Food Network, as well as Dino & Harry’s, a steakhouse joint housed in a 19th century saloon.
It Can Be a Tad Expensive
While Hoboken may be a step down from Manhattan, it still isn’t exactly cheap. Rent and mortgages can fetch a fairly high price tag, Somers explains. One-bedroom apartments can run a tenant anywhere from $2,300 to $3,000 a month. And if you are looking to purchase, two-bedroom condominiums can reach well over $500,000. And the property taxes are a bit of a nightmare, Somers says.
But It’s Totally Worth It
Despite the high cost, there’s no other city quite like Hoboken. This New Jersey town offers unparalleled views of the New York skyline and Hudson River, top-notch entertainment and cuisine that rivals anything found in the big city. It’s about the only place where you can reach New York City by bus, yet still feel like you are part of a community.