I moved to Hoboken right after college. It was my first real adult home, if you will. I had rent and bills to pay, meals to cook, bathrooms to clean and all the requisite things that come with adulting. And I honestly don’t think I could have picked a better place to do it. Hoboken is known as the Mile Square City, because it literally covers a square mile, but is packed with over 50,000 people. Even so, it never felt crowded like it sometimes felt walking down 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Instead, it felt like everything was mine, and like everyone was there for me—my chai latte before work (I miss you already, Bwe!), my egg sandwich on a Saturday morning (I don’t think I’ll ever find a bagel place with bigger, doughier bagels that Bagels on the Hudson), my vodka pizza topped with tiny meatballs (you’ll be my favorite forever, Napoli’s), my refreshing sangria in the middle of the Hudson (you’re one of a kind, Pier 13).
Hoboken truly felt like home, especially on the days when we ventured across the Hudson into bustling Manhattan. I fully accept that there are people who love living in the Big Apple—I’m related to some of them—but I’ll admit, it wasn’t for me. And I felt blessed to know that after a fancy press event or a long night out I would be returning to my little apartment in a brownstone on a (relatively) quiet street in Hoboken. That sense of sanctuary is something I think can’t be overvalued, and I’m glad I had it there.
Sure, there are parts I won’t miss—the 4 AM garbage pickups, the street parking nightmare, the occasional critter in our kitchen (I know, gross)—but I’m thankful for the time I spent there. I learned how to stand on my own two feet in Hoboken, and I’ll take those lessons with me as I move forward in life.