Rounding out our series is the Editor and Founder of “Earth Mother just means I’m Dusty” and popular “Mommy Poppins New Jersey” blogger Shari Simpson. She’s raising her brood in bustling Hoboken, but still has one foot firmly planted in Manhattan.
Why did you choose Hoboken—how did you find it and was it your first choice? Did you contemplate any other towns?
Well, in a sense, I didn’t choose Hoboken, Hoboken chose me. I was living in Manhattan and dating a guy who owned a house in the ‘boken. To be honest, at the time it was almost a deal breaker, because I was a rigid “I can live no other place than Manhattan” girl. But the charm of the Mile Square city (and the charm of my now-husband) won me over.
What was the most difficult part of adjusting to live in the suburbs?
The most difficult part when I moved (in 2000) was people’s perception of “Jersey”. My husband kept plying me with “Hoboken isn’t Jersey, Hoboken’s the really, really west side of Manhattan.” Of course, now Hoboken is really hip, so we got in on the ground floor of hipness.
How often do you come into the city, how far is the trip?
I come into the city two to four days a week and have a ton of options for transportation, PATH, bus, car. My family goes to church in Manhattan and we drive in on Sundays and it’s crazy fast, about fifteen minutes door to door. Even the bus and PATH are quite fast and reliable; as I say all the time, it’s faster for me to get to midtown from Hoboken than when I lived on the Upper East Side.
What makes your town special and unique?
I think Hoboken is a perfect small-large town and a perfect large-small town. What I mean by that is it’s sort of like a mini-Manhattan in its diversity and creative/artistic nature (minus the terrible traffic), and rather like Mayberry in its neighborhood-y feel (minus the back-woods moonshiners).
What is your favorite activity destination with the kids around town?
My favorite thing to do with the kids is walk down Washington Street with all the cute shops and then cut over to the waterfront, which is simply gorgeous.
Where do you head for the nightlife whether it’s out with friends or date night?
There is a ton of nightlife in Hoboken, of all kinds. There are the low-key neighborhood bars (we go to The Ale House on 11th and Willow, owned and run by a close friend); there’s also the expansive Pilsner Haus & Biergarten, which is huge and really fun. Then, of course, you have all the bars down by the PATH, which are kind of crazy on the weekends, but if that’s your kind of thing, have at it. For a girls’ night out, The Martini Lounge at 3Forty Grill—yes ma’am!