“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.”
This passage was 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.
In the first chapter, author John Kennedy Toole 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.
Gone are the good ol’ days of tearing it up at 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).
But there is still plenty to be found around town…
-Hit Biggie’s Clam Bar for their Po’ Boy, plus their Tuesday specials—which include 50% off the raw bar for hMAG.com readers.
-You could stop by Smokin’ Barrel for Two-for-Tuesday (2 for 1) specials on slow cooked, Southern style BBQ.
-Finally, there’s the music. Maxwell’s has you covered with Tuesday Night Jazz, featuring the Billy Carrion Jr. Wartet tonight at 8:00. NO COVER.
Laissez les bons temps rouler, Hoboken!!!
See you in church tomorrow…