Before the recent influx of singles and families, Hidelisa Mateo knew Hoboken had a lot to offer 40 years ago, when she moved into town to raise her family. While this mother of three may not live in Hoboken anymore, she still works in town and will always be a Hobokenite at heart.
Hidelisa remembers Hoboken as a nice, safe town where her kids grew up, got their education and graduated from Hoboken High. She notices that not much has changed over the years, although there are a few things she would like to bring back. For Hidelisa, a variety of stores was one of the great attractions of Hoboken. “There used to be a lot of stores you could go to shop- we need more again.” Hidelisa also believes that Hoboken needs their own public swimming pool, saying “We used to have a couple of them for kids. A pool would be a great addition to Hoboken”.
Even though Hidelisa recently moved to Bayonne, she still finds herself in Hoboken during the week when she takes the quick train ride into the city to work her job as a receptionist at Hoboken MRI. Hoboken is still a great place for this self-described “talkative and friendly” working woman. One of her favorite things about Hoboken (besides the easy commute) is meeting new people. She’s able to put her gift of gab to use when walking the pier on her lunch break- another thing she loves about Hoboken. She says, “My kids tell me, ‘you always have to talk to someone, you always have something to say!’”
Her kids may give her a hard time, but family is the most important thing to Hidelisa. She often finds herself in town on weekends visiting her son who still lives in his hometown. They bond over their shared love of food and cooking, something Hidelisa definitely passed along to her offspring. Hidelisa has many hobbies that include sewing and swimming, but she lights up the most when discussing her passion for cooking. “I’m a great cook! My favorite food to cook is Spanish food- arroz con andouille- I also like to do pastas. And bake!” I think it’s safe to say her children were well-fed growing up!
When she’s not busy spending time with her family, cooking, or tackling one of her many other hobbies, Hidelisa enjoys trying the overwhelming assortment of restaurants crammed into the square mile. “I love that there are plenty of places to eat and a variety of food to try. Saffron used to be my favorite restaurant before it closed. Seattle Cafe is one of my favorites now.” Seattle Cafe may be one of Hidelisa’s favorite eateries in town, but for her husband, nothing can hold a candle to Johnny Rockets. “He loves Johnny Rockets, he always wants to eat there. I told him he needs to buy their stock!”
For Hidelisa, Hoboken will always hold life-long memories of starting and raising a family. It’s a place she’ll remember as safe and bursting with opportunities. Even though she’s only here for work and occasional visits, Hoboken will always have something to offer her fun and smart personality.
Every week hMAG posts Faces articles featuring someone from the community because, after all, hMAG is all about the community.
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