With all the spectacle and pageantry of the holiday season comes the time of year when Hoboken residents hit the streets and the stores to do some shopping. Washington Street and Hoboken's business districts will be packed for the next couple of weeks with gift-seekers searching for the perfect presents for the holidays.
"This is always and exciting time of year in Hoboken," said Chamber of Commerce President John Parchinsky Wednesday. He added that the city's main business district has become so successful that residents and visitors alike can skip the hustle and bustle of impersonal and cramped malls. "You can now get almost anything you want here," he said, "from gift baskets to high-end furniture."
Joe Falzarano of Big Fun Toys said Thursday, "This is the sweet time of year. It's what we all wait for. It's is when we are truly Santa's elves."
He said one advantage to shopping in Hoboken is that the stores aren't mass retailers, so shoppers are more likely to find unique items. "We have the type of items that are really going to stand out under the Christmas tree," he said.
Michael Garcia, a partner a Sparrow Wine and Liquor, said that while a slow economy maybe having an effect on the number of larger orders and company orders his store fills, the fact that Hoboken is growing as a community keeps his store full, especially during the holiday season. "Hoboken is still growing, which seems to balance things out," said Garcia. He added that he has gotten a lot of walk-in customers who come looking for gift baskets and holiday gifts.
Free parking and shuttle
The Chamber of Commerce and the municipal government are sponsoring free parking at the Hoboken Parking Authority's Garage B, located on Second Street between Hudson and River streets. Those wishing to take advantage of the service can receive parking validation from most of the Chamber of Commerce's member stores and several other local businesses. The offer is available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays starting Saturday, Dec. 7 and will run through the last weekend before Christmas.
The free "Shop Hoboken" shuttle bus is an effort to assist shoppers and residents in patronizing the city's main retail district without taking their cars. The program will utilize one of the city's buses, with the city paying for gas and maintenance and the Chamber of Commerce paying for the driver.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, the bus will follow a continuous route beginning at Second and Washington streets, heading north to 14th Street, turning left onto Willow Avenue and riding down to 11th Street. The bus will then turn onto Washington Street, ride down to Third Street and turn left toward Hudson Street, where it will finally turn right to the public parking garages, completing the 20-minute route.
The bus will stop at all the designated points and run every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the rest of the month.