Recently, I was hired to location scout in Hoboken, NJ for an upcoming UK tv program
and it was an opportunity for me to explore an interesting city I have lived within 20 minutes or so of for about 15 years but never really spent much time in, other than to pass thru on the NJ Transit train to get to the PATH train, (which runs under the Hudson River) to travel into New York City.
Besides being chock full of local NYC area history and home and birthplace to many interesting people (including Frank Sinatra), Hoboken has somewhat recently morphed from a gritty harbor town into an elegant urban enclave- but with enough of the gritty edges left over to maintain a contrast of lifestyles and visual texture.
A few interesting facts about Hoboken (with a little help and thanks to The Hoboken Museum, Wikipedia, IMDB and other resources):
The name Hoboken is derived from the Dutch word, “Hoebuck,” meaning “high bluff.”
Hoboken is known as the “Mile Square Town”; if you look at a map of the town you will see that it is laid out pretty much in a neat square shape. BTW, here’s another map of Hoboken.
Hoboken’s institute of higher learning, Stevens Institute of Technology, is named after patriot Colonel John Stevens, Colonial Treasurer of New Jersey and later innovative inventor. The college is located on the bluff which rises sharply up from the Hudson River’s edge, and is one of the many bluffs in the area from which the town name was derived.
The Academy Award-winning movie, “On The Waterfront“, starring Marlon Brando and directed by Elia Kazan and which premiered in 1954, was filmed in Hoboken.
American baseball was “born” in Hoboken! this from the Hoboken Baseball website:
On 19 June 1846, the first officially recorded, organized baseball match was played under Alexander Joy Cartwright’s rules on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. Cartwright umpired.