FEEL LIKE FUNKIN’ IT UP: How to Celebrate Hoboken’s New Orleans Connections on Mardi Gras
“There is a New Orleans city accent…that is hard to distinguish from the accent of Hoboken, Jersey City and Astoria, where the Al Smith inflection, extinct in Manhattan, has taken refuge. The reason, as you might expect, is that the same stocks that brought the accent to Manhattan imposed it on New Orleans.”
Taken from the preface to A Confederacy of Dunces, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that has been embraced as an emblematic tale of New Orleans’ character and distinctiveness, author John Kennedy Toole later refers to Mrs. Reilly’s manner of speech as “that accent that occurs south of New Jersey only in New Orleans, that Hoboken near the Gulf of Mexico.”
Add in the fact that both Hoboken and New Orleans were dockworker towns at or below sea level—neither of which do too well in a hurricane—and we have a lot in common.
Of course this time of year reminds us just how much we miss Hoboken’s Oddfellows Rest (80 River Street), who used to throw one of the biggest Mardi Gras festivals in the entire NY Metro Area. It was Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day packed into one tight room—complete with beads, bands, gumbo… and Hurricanes, of course (LIMIT: TWO).
Alas, they turned out the Hurricane Lamps in Oddfellows back in 2013, but there is still plenty to be found around town…
–Antique Bar & Bakery‘s Chef Paul Gerard spent some time in the Big Easy… “We run our always delicious Chicken Fish & Steak,” says Gerard, “but one and all can ‘Smother it!’ with a shrimp etouffé that would have Paul Prudhome in tears!
–Del Frisco’s Grill Hoboken offers a delectable Jumbo Lump Crabcake with Cajun Lobster Sauce.
–Halifax Hoboken has phenomenal seafood, with a menu that focuses on the Cajuns’ true Acadian roots. Plus their cocktail list says “Laissez les bons temps rouler…”
-Hit Biggie’s Clam Bar for their Po’ Boy, plus plenty of seafood options.
-Stop by Vito’s Deli for their Muffaletta—a New Orleans specialty with ham, salami, provolone and olive salad.
-Can’t go wrong with oysters on Fat Tuesday. Check out some to the best Raw Bars in town at The Madison Bar & Grill and The Stingray Lounge.
–Texas, Louisiana’s neighbor, also does some mighty fine cooking. Stop by House of ‘Que to fatten up this Tuesday before fasting on Ash Wednesday.
See y’all in Church tomorrow…