• Hoboken Generations: Alyssa + Jamie Pasculli

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    Hoboken is a social place to live, there is no doubt about that. There is a sense of community that residents can’t hide from. There is a special way to become a “regular” at a local business + a special way to become fast friends with your neighbors, much more organically than it happens across the Hudson River. 

    Although there are still a substantial amount of residents who have grown up in Hoboken, it always seems like they’re a rare breed when you meet them. They have witnessed first-hand the development of the community, changes in architecture, the opening of the waterfront, and the constant revolving door of businesses down “The Avenue,” which is what any born-and-raised {BNR, as lifelong Hoboken residents affectionately call themselves} resident calls Washington Street. 

    These children, who are now adults, will know all the lyrics to Sinatra songs {not by choice, but by birthright} and also know all about how Hoboken is rooted in Maxwell Coffee, the Tootsie Roll, and other factories that once were. There are tried-and-true businesses still adored by them, pieces of the city that are missed and still mourned, but new beginnings that are warmly welcomed and embraced.

    What differentiates this group from long-time residents will always be a sense of home. Growing up and staying in most towns can stereotype someone as “townie,” which rarely ever denotes a positive thing for small towns. But in the “Hoboken-ism” dialect, it’s not really a term. To be from Hoboken and to decide to stay and raise your family here, that strings together a generational connection of “Born-and-Raised” residents and is a title worn with a badge of honor. Here, we’ll be sharing some local lifelong residents’ stories, detailing their lives growing up in Hoboken and how they view Hoboken then and now. Keep reading to meet Alyssa and Jamie, long-time Hoboken residents shedding light on how the Mile Square then compares to now {and check out our in-person interview with them coming to our Instagram, here}. 

    alyssa jamie generations

    ^ Alyssa, left, and Jamie, right! 

    Jamie + Alyssa, Hoboken BNR

    First at-bat, we’re sitting down with two sisters: Jamie and Alyssa Pasculli, who are both BNR  residents to learn more about what Hoboken was like growing up through their eyes. Without further ado, here they are:

    What was a typical summer day in the ’90s in Hoboken like? Where did you and your friends hang out the most?

    Jamie: We most likely walked down Washington Street, went to McDonald’s, or went to the Little League or 4th Street Park. We are lucky enough to have a house down the shore so we spent a lot of time at the beach during the summer. 

    lepores hoboken

    Alyssa: A typical summer day growing up in Hoboken was getting lunch at Filippo’s {now Pizza Republic} either hanging out at one of the local parks 4th Street {what we call Church Square Park}, Little League, North Park. A summer day wasn’t complete without stopping by Lepore’s {they were still on 6th street at the time} to get their Italian Ice flavor Yum Yum!

    Do you have a favorite holiday memory growing up in Hoboken?

    Jamie: Our whole family still lived in Hoboken when we were kids so I always remember everyone being together at our house or my Aunt’s house. My best memories are us being all together as a family and going to the movies, bowling, or just staying home playing some type of movie game because my cousin Anthony was {and still is} obsessed with movies. 

    Alyssa: New Year’s Eve! We would go to a family friends house on 6th and Garden where they would set fireworks off in the street. When I say fireworks, I really do mean fireworks. Like Macy’s 4th of July. It was the best! All of the neighbors would have their doors open and everyone would be in and out of everyone’s houses ringing in the New Year together!

    See More: From Oreos to Twinkies: Hoboken’s Sweet and Savory History 

    What were the Hoboken schools like growing up? 

    Jamie: My sister and I went to Catholic school so I can’t speak to the public school experience. When I was in college I worked as a substitute teacher during Christmas break and over the summer. I remember thinking how different it seemed from my experience. The schools where I subbed seemed a lot larger than my school, there were so many more kids/teachers. Overall it was a great learning experience, but ultimately teaching was not what I wanted to do. 

    Alyssa: My sister and I went to Catholic School growing up, but our dad was a Hoboken Public School teacher. All I can say is if you had Mr. Pasculli in either 3rd or 4th grade at Wallace School in the ‘90s and 2000s, you received a quality education. 

    {Note: Their father, Patrick Pasculli was also the 34th mayor of Hoboken!}

    hoboken mayor pasculli

    ^via Mayor Bhalla’s Twitter, a photo of four mayors of Hoboken having lunch

    — including Patrick Pasculli, Alyssa and Jamie’s dad

    What are some of your favorite businesses from childhood that are no longer here? 

    Jamie: Double Treats, the ice cream/fro-yo store on 6th and Washington, I also really miss the card/stationery store and the old movie theater on Hudson Street. 

    Alyssa: Biggies on Madison Street {RIP}, Schnackie’s, Lickety Splits for ice cream, Frozen Monkey Cafe, Piccininni {Italian deli on 5th and Park}, Cosmo’s Bakery {best apple turnovers, doughnuts, and St. Joseph zeppoles}, and Portofino. Says a lot that it’s mainly all food establishments!

    What are some of your favorite businesses from your childhood that are still in business today?

    east la

    Jamie: Leo’s, East LA, the Malibu. Sadly, it’s a lot of the restaurants that are left. Also, I have to give a shout out to Truglio’s even though [they have closed]. 

    benny tudinos

    Alyssa: Losurdo Brothers {but anyone that is born and raised knows them as Tonys!}, Benny Tudino’s, Piccolos, Leo’s, Dom’s Bakery, Lepore’s Chocolates, East LA …. again all food establishments! 

     

    How far back do you know of your family living in Hoboken?

    Jamie: Our great-grandfather arrived in Hoboken in 1915, so a bit over 100 years. 

    Alyssa: Yes, our roots are very deep here. 

    What is your favorite thing about Hoboken?

    Jamie: I love that I can walk anywhere in the city within 15-20 minutes. Hoboken is so convenient now. I don’t feel like I need to drive to a mall if I need a new outfit or makeup. Also, my commute to NYC is not terrible. 

    Alyssa: The diverse community. So many different people live here and I get a chance to see that every day. 

    Read More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Faye Brennan {of Cosmopolitan}

    When someone says “that’s so Hoboken” what is the first thing that comes to mind + what is your favorite “Hoboken-ism?”

    Jamie: People claim they still smell coffee when they drive over the Park Avenue/Willow Avenue bridge from the old Maxwell House plant. 

    Also, it’s not really an “ism” but I never get tired of people saying, “Oh I didn’t know people grew up in Hoboken!” We did. We exist.

    Alyssa: “Smarten up Cump,” means telling your friend to wise up. “You look like a Bompy,” means you look messy. Then there’s “Cup of coff,” that one doesn’t need an explanation. 

    Know a BNR resident around town, or happen to be one and want to share your story? 

    Let us know and you may just be the next Generations feature!


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    Joanna was born in New York City and proudly grew up in Hoboken above her family's butcher shop, Truglio's Meat Market. Although an Uptown Hoboken Girl at heart, she now lives in downtown Hoboken with her fiancé, Matthew. After graduating from Montclair State University, she began a career in Fashion Retail Marketing. Outside of her current role as Brand Marketing Manager at Ann Taylor, she loves to travel both near and far - yet always looking forward to coming back home to enjoy the institutional local gems of Hudson County, while discovering new ways to shop local along the way.


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