This letter is in response to David Alexander's letter titled "Stop race-baiting, stop anti-newcomer comments, wake up and smell the diversity" which appeared in the July 30 issue of the Reporter.Let me start this letter by saying that although I was not born in Hoboken, I was certainly raised here. I am 22 years ago, but I have lived here for 13 years. However, my mother was born and raised here, as was her mother before her. My father grew up in Bayonne, though many of his friends (whom I largely consider to be my friends, too) are lifelong Hobokenites. Much of my family was brought up in Hoboken, as were most of my friends. Therefore, I consider myself to be "born and raised" here.
The actions of the two people you mention in your letter were extremely rude, boorish and obnoxious. There's no question about that. But tell me this: do you really think that two people really account for the attitudes of the entire "old timers" community in Hoboken? That's just a foolish assumption.
Secondly, how do you know for sure that the Puerto Rican man you met at the post office who was screaming expletives while cutting the line was a lifelong Hobokenite? Did you just assume that because he was a minority? Did you just assume that he must have been from the "downtown area" of Hoboken that you probably haven't dared set foot in because there are no trendy boutiques and restaurants there? Or did you just figure that he must have been a local because he wasn't a suit-and-tie-wearing, briefcase-toting, double-decaf-moccachino-drinking yuppie? I think maybe you have some racial profiling issues of your own to deal with. But what really got to me about your letter was this comment: "Who cares how the old timers feel? They are on their way out. Their departure can only be seen as an asset to this lovely town."
Now, I know you didn't mean the old timers were moving out of town. Tell me Mr. Alexander, do you take pleasure in senior citizens passing away? Because if you do, that makes you less of a human being than the idiot you ran into at the post office.
Mr. Alexander, the old timers are not all like the two you had the unfortunate luck of coming across, believe me. The old timers of this great town built the foundation for the wonderful place Hoboken is today with lots of hard work and sweat. No matter how many old factories get torn down and are replaced by luxury condos, the legacy of the old timers will still line these streets for years to come. Yes, they may soon pass on, but realize this, they all raised children here, and those children raised children here, which would bring us up to my generation. And believe me, a lot of my friends here plan on raising their families in Hoboken too. For the most part, we all have the same basic ideals and values as our parents and grandparents. I suggest you learn to live with it. You might think this is a bad thing, a new generation living in Hoboken with the same values as the "old timers." I think it's wonderful. I have welcomed all of the changes that Hoboken has undergone over the years, both physically and culturally with open arms. I remember what this town was like 13 years ago, and believe me I like it better now. I have no problem with the many different people that have moved here within the last decade. The more diverse, the better.
Although you may not think so, a lot of people who were born and raised here share my sentiments. If you actually got to know some of us, you might be able to see what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, if most newcomers to this town share the same feelings toward us as you do, then this social wall that exists between newcomers and lifelong Hobokenites will remain standing.