Coincidentally, I moved to Hoboken 25 years ago when the book “Yuppies Invade My House at Dinnertime” was published. I was working at the Hoboken Reporter in the evenings as a telemarketing supervisor for the classified ads as one of three jobs I needed to live in my apartment without a roommate, and I remember seeing several copies of the book at the Reporter’s offices and wondered about the title. The divisions of types of residents were very much a part of Hoboken and everyone knew their place. I did not even know what constituted a “yuppie” and at first I thought I fell in that category since I was not a native of Hoboken. I eventually figured out that there were three types of people that lived in Hoboken in 1987: the born and reared (I refuse to use the term “raised” since it is grammatically wrong – chickens are raised, people are reared), the newcomer called the “yuppie” and the artists/creative types. With my overall bohemian nature and my (low-paying) profession in the creative sector, I fell into the last group of artists.
I remember that the old Gold Coast Bar on 10th was a yuppie hangout and I felt very out of place in there when I was with my writer friend. Yuppies and I were definitely on different wavelengths since there wasn’t any common ground. They were childless, yes, but they all seemed to follow a uniformity in manner and dress that displayed no originality. At the time, I felt they were a bit soulless since their main concern in life seemed to be to make as much money as they could. Being a creative person, I found that a bit shallow, so I could not relate. That fall, in October of 1987, the market crashed and that decimated much of the yuppie wealth that existed in Hoboken and they had to sell their condos and the Hoboken real estate market took a dive.
Consequently, I entered Hoboken all those years ago never fitting in. I was not a B&R or an up-and-coming yuppie since these were basically the two types of people that really were at a cultural war with each other. Today the labels have somewhat changed, but it still is an old-timer against a new-comer battle of acceptance in town. Today I am considered a long-time resident and have been accepted by many of the old timers and newcomers who have become involved in the town. They realize that we are all neighbors and Hoboken is our home.
Despite the divisions between the classes of people here, I try to treat everyone with courtesy and respect and only hope that they will do the same for me. Hoboken has always drawn different people from different circumstances to live here. Anyone who chooses to live here has the right to do so and should freely enjoy that right without any fear of being pushed out. No one group is better than the other. We all are part of the community.