Here’s is my second column, to be printed this Friday in Hoboken Progress.
My sis told me she knows how to embed pdf files, but then we forgot to hold a lesson due to bachelorette festivities we organized for a friend over the weekend. Those results will be posted, shortly.
Here, There’s Always Time For Recess
By Emily M. White
“You know you want one,” the passenger laughed, as he pulled a silver balloon out of his jeans pocket, only to fling it at his unsuspecting friend’s face. To his delight, his friend eagerly agreed and blew up the balloon, adding to an arrangement of 10 red, white, and silver already bopping around the PATH train car.
It was 3am on a Saturday morning, still Friday night for most of the passengers, and the car slowly started to resemble a child’s play-room full of plastic balls; a Chuck E. Cheese somewhere between the 23rd and 14th St. stations.
After a few volleys between giggling passengers and myself, I realized that this wasn’t the first time the Hoboken experience helped me feel about 20 years younger. Last summer, in my former apartment building, I made a habit of bumping into one of my neighbors on the stairs. Curious as to why I always saw him walking downstairs from above (he lived on the second floor, I lived on the fourth), I finally caught him one day carrying two buckets of water—while wearing swim trunks.
Apparently, without a waterspout on the roof, he was forced to do the next best thing—lug two buckets of water at a time, up three flights of stairs, to fill the baby pool he put on the roof, for himself. That day, he dropped about 30 years from his age. Thank God it wasn’t to slick a slip-n-slide, because that would have been dangerous.
As a 9-5er, sometimes I find it hard to believe I even live in Hoboken. My life in this town centers on the fact that most of my large cups of coffee and lunches are eaten at a desk in midtown Manhattan. The dance back and forth makes me feel like a dual citizen; I often have to remind myself which Park Avenue I’m crossing.
But what is unmistakably Hoboken is that sigh of relief I experience as I crawl out of the Path station. In this town, you hardly find people in a rush. New Yorkers have their own hurried minute; we Hobokenites allow for a little more breathing room. Speaking from the portion of town residents that commute to Manhattan everyday, when we return, it’s time to unwind, and we mean business. During the evenings and weekends, our residents fill the bars and restaurants along Washington St. with laughter and conversation, walk English bulldogs, Pomeranians and Labs along the Riverwalk, and recline on lawn chairs in the parks and pier to relax. Whenever I return home from work, I can’t help but feel as if I were in one big backyard, looking to play.
If this town wants to help me to forget I’m an adult every once in a while, I will let it. And, why shouldn’t I, when a ride home includes a stopover where a kid can be a kid?