• Somewhere Over The Rainbow Road: Hoboken + Jersey City Pride Stories

    Written by:

    In Hoboken, it’s no doubt that #loveislove. And here at Hoboken Girl, we couldn’t be prouder of the fact that our town decided to commemorate Pride Month by painting rainbows at the crosswalks at 1st and Washington Streets. In honor of that amazing demonstration of support, we thought we’d share some of the stories of the Hoboken + Jersey City LGBTQ+ community. Keep reading to find out all about somewhere over the rainbow {crosswalk}, a series of Hoboken + Jersey City pride stories: 

    Ashley + Geisha

    hudson county pride couple

    Ashley and Geisha met two years ago through a mutual friend and the rest, as they say, is history.

    “We met through a mutual friend, in which we became friends then began dating months later. We have been with each other for two years. We are both Hudson natives. Ashley is a hospitality management travel + tourism student. She was born and raised in Jersey City NJ. I’m a dog walker/trainer and I’m from Hoboken, NJ.

    Growing up in Hoboken since I was a kid, it has always felt like a place of acceptance and equality,” says Geisha. “It was very touching to see a physical manifestation of that with this rainbow road.”

    Favorite Date Spot: Taqueria in Downtown JC

    See More: Hudson County Pride {2019} Celebrations

    Migdalia + Lisa

     

    hudson county pride couple

    Both natives to places along the Hudson River, Migdalia and Lisa were a match made in heaven.

    “I was born and raised in Hoboken, and am a proud graduate of the Hoboken public schools. My wife, Lisa was raised an hour up the Hudson River in lower Putnam County, NY {as I like to say, ‘the country’}. It’s cheesy, but we think of the different worlds we are from, having the Hudson River as this uniting backdrop. Lisa and I were married in 2011 in Belgium, before marriage was legal or recognized in New Jersey, and have been proudly together ever since.

    Thanks to Mayor Bhalla and the City, we had a commitment that for the first time, the crosswalk outside of City Hall would be painted in Pride colors. Lisa and I were determined to be a part of such a historic moment, and it was an emotional day. It took over eight hours starting at 6:00AM to paint, but it was well worth it. It was a surreal experience – we had friends {and strangers} come by to grab a paintbrush to help, answered the questions of children as to why we were painting a rainbow crosswalk, and were overwhelmed with support from so many people who were excited to celebrate Pride Month. As a couple, it was an act of love to work together and see the project through from start to finish.”

    Favorite Date Spot: Grimaldi’s + Rosario’s.

    Alejandro + Michael

    hudson county pride couple

    Eight years ago in Asbury Park, Alejandro and Michael met and they’ve been together ever since.

    “Alejandro and I met in Asbury Park eight years ago over Labor Day weekend. He had just finished his medical residency and I had recently been appointed as a Hoboken Zoning Board Commissioner,” says Michael. “Alejandro came walking into a BBQ wearing some terribly Jersey Shore sleeveless hoodie from Armani Exchange, which frankly was a huge turn-off, but his smile caught me off guard, so I said hello. We spoke about his love for medicine and how his goal was to sub-specialize in infectious diseases to help those suffering from AIDS/HIV. As a recent Guatemalan immigrant he was working  in underserved Hispanic neighborhoods to earn his green card and I was attracted to his passion and commitment to help the underserved and his ultimate goal of bringing medical justice to the LGBTQ community.”

    Now, I’m not usually one to be at a loss of words, but his intelligence, passion, and empathy were exactly what I was looking for and he really caught me off guard. I couldn’t put together a sentence and suddenly and awkwardly ended the conversation and actually ran away. I eventually regained some sort of composure and then invited him on a date two days later. We went to Sabor Latin Bistro in North Bergen and it’s still our favorite place until this day.

    I’ve been advocating for the sidewalks to be painted in prideful colors for years after seeing them in West Hollywood and Chicago and I’m happy that everyone came together to get it done!”

    Favorite Date Spot: Sabor Latin Bistro in North Bergen.

    Zach + Brian

    hudson county pride couple

    Believe it or not, Zach and Brian had a Tinder love story for the books.

    We met on Tinder four and a half years ago here in Hoboken and have been together ever since! I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA and Brian is originally from Wilmington, DE. We have lived in Hoboken for about five years. We met a couple of months just after I moved to Hoboken from Brooklyn.

    We both coincidentally work in Real Estate in Manhattan. Brian is the director of digital strategy for a residential real estate company and I am a construction project manager for a predominately Commercial real estate company.

    We have to admit, after seeing [the crosswalk] first on Hoboken Girl, we were pretty shocked to hear that Hoboken installed the rainbow crosswalks, especially for the entire month of June! We ran down to check it out and noticed a ton of people taking pictures and everything we heard was really positive. It’s very encouraging to see everyone {businesses included!} embracing Pride— we love living in a community that supports equality, inclusion, and diversity. One of the many reasons we love Hoboken!”

    Favorite Date Spot: Orale Mexican Kitchen

    Beth + Lauren

    hudson county pride couple

    Beth and Lauren are two “Tinderellas” who are watching their fairy tale unfold right here in Hoboken.

    ”Lauren and I have a ‘Tinderella’ story which is pretty common for the times. What wasn’t common was our fast bond, a similar sense of humor, and instant love for each other. We met outside Lauren’s house in Bloomfield, which was next to a graveyard, but none of that phased me because I had never felt so comfortable with anyone in my life. We went to a BYOB {always a favorite for us} Japanese restaurant and talked and laughed for hours. Since that day we have talked and laughed every day for the past four and a half years. Laughter is probably one of the most important parts of our relationship.
    Lauren and I both grew up in North Jersey so we shared similar experiences in our upbringing and even knew some people in common. I am from Livingston and Lauren is from Montville originally and moved to Kinnelon in high school. I have lived in Jersey City for nine years and in 2016, Lauren and I moved into an apartment together in Jersey City because after meeting me she also fell in love with the area. We recently got married in November and hope to start a family here!
    The rainbow crosswalk brings beauty to the city. Not just that it’s aesthetically beautiful but what it represents is beautiful as well. It’s a welcome sign, I think, not even just for the LGBTQ community but for everyone. It’s saying we are all accepted. And especially during these times, I think we all need that reminder.”
    Favorite Date Spot: GP’s for dinner,  Skinner’s Loft for brunch, and  Ed + Mary’s for cocktails.

    Elizabeth + Francheska

    hudson county pride couple

    A swipe right that went right,  Elizabeth and Francheska have been together for almost four years and have called Hudson County home ever since.

    We met online on a dating app of all places. In a sea of possibilities, we found each other, well more like Franny found Liz. Our first date was in Jersey City. Franny is originally from Clifton and I am from Princeton. We have been together for close to four years now and live in Hudson County. We are currently engaged and will be getting married in September!

    The rainbow crosswalk represents more than just the LGBTQ+ colors. It represents strength, growth, and complete visibility. This crosswalk makes us feel included in every way and shows that Hoboken is a city that supports and stands with the queer community. Hoboken is actually the first city in Hudson County to have a rainbow crosswalk and we believe they are a great leader in our county.”

    Favorite Date Spot: Liberty State Park.

    Paul + John

    hudson county pride couple

    Match.com made a match for the books when it brought Paul and John together back in 2011.

    “Paul and I met eight years ago {on April 29th, 2011} on match.com. The headline of my profile was ‘I just haven’t met you yet.’ Paul, having always been a huge Michael Bublé fan, clicked on my profile right away and we have been together ever since!  We had our first date at PJ Clarks in Lincoln Center in NY. We got engaged on the uptown pier in Hoboken in 2012. We had our wedding celebration on June 29th, 2013 at The Fig Tree in Hoboken on 3rd and Park, which sadly closed its doors a few years ago.

    Seeing Hoboken painting the crosswalk with the rainbow colors to celebrate pride month reminds us why we have made Hoboken our home. Hoboken’s emphasis on diversity and inclusivity makes it an incredible place to live!”

    Favorite Date Spot: Johnny Pepperoni.

    Read More: 5 Clutch First Date Ideas in Hoboken and Jersey City

    Ashley + Vanessa

    hudson county pride couple

    Ashley and Vanessa met while play softball in Hoboken and, needless to say, the couple hit a home run that day.

    “We met playing softball in Hoboken at the little league field. I am from jersey city and Vanessa is from Brooklyn. We have been together for three years and counting.

    “The road is very inspirational to me, especially being a nanny. Every time I see the rainbow road, I am reminded of how far the community has come, and how much it is accepted compared to past times. I feel grateful to live and work in an area that is so supportive.”
    Favorite Date Spot: Tally Ho.

    Brendan + Matt

    hudson county pride couple

    They met six years ago in Pennsylvania and fast-forward a few years, the two are getting engaged in the City of Lights, Paris.

    “We met at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove PA on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m originally from Chatham NJ and Matt grew up in Ho-Ho-Kus NJ. We’ve been together for six years, and last year we got engaged in Paris.

    We were ecstatic when we found out about the rainbow road. Representation is so important and to some, it may seem like just a fun sidewalk but to us, it represents equality, acceptance, and understanding, which is something that does not come so easily for the members LGBT community.”

    Favorite Date Spot: Tutta Pesca and Leo’s Grandevous.

    Jeremy + Joe

    hudson county pride couple

    This J-squared duo met 10 years ago and have been happily in love together ever since.

    “Joe and I have been together for 10 years this past February. We met while I was living in Jersey City and he was in Hoboken. We both grew up in the suburbs of NJ. Joe has been living in Hoboken since 2005 and I was living in JC since 2006 until I moved to Hoboken with Joe in 2011.

    It’s great to see the town celebrate diversity throughout the year which is what makes Hoboken a great place to live. The rainbow walk is a reflection of Hoboken’s diverse residents, community, and support people living their authentic selves and our town embracing that.”

    Favorite Date Spot: Walking their dog, Emmett, to get his favorite treats at Cornerstone Pets.

    Alicia + Pearl

    hudson county pride couple

    From Tokyo to Canada to Connecticut,  Alicia and Pearl’s romance has seen the globe and today calls Hoboken home.

    “We met on Tinder in Tokyo! Alicia is from Nova Scotia, Canada. I’m from Trumbull, Connecticut. We’ve been together for three years, and recently got married {May 18th}. We’ve been living in Hoboken for one full year now.

    The rainbow crosswalk is such a beautiful surprise for Pride month. We didn’t notice any rainbow flags in Hoboken last year aside from the town hall and CarePoint hospital. It’s so nice that the Mile Square town is showing their support for the LGBTQ community in such a visible way given the current political climate.”

    Favorite Date Spot: Tutta Pesca.

    Madison + Kristine

    hudson county pride couple

    Meeting back in college, Madison and Kristine’s relationship has withstood the test of time.

    “We lived a few doors down from each other [during] our freshman year of college at Stevens. I’m originally from Roseville, CA and Kristine is from Concord, NH, so it really was fate that we met and clicked the way we did. We’ve been together for just over three years.

    We really hope that Hoboken, both the city and local businesses, continue to work to make the area more accessible and welcoming to people in the LGBTQ+ community beyond Pride month. This is a step in the right direction, but rainbow capitalism and false allyship can be more harmful than helpful.”

    Favorite Date Spot: La Isla {uptown},  Jungle Juice, or Tosti.

    Sophie + Laura

    hudson county pride couple

    Their romance started in Hoboken and six months later, the couple is still going strong in the Mile Square.

    “We met at City Bistro. Laura was my server! For about two to three years every time I’d go to Bistro with my friends she would serve us.” says Sophie. “In the beginning, I still had a boyfriend. Fast forward to last summer, I had a girlfriend and she saw me kiss her at the bar at her restaurant. She was intrigued by me and inquired about me through my friend. She told my friend to tell me she thought I was cute. Within a few months my girlfriend and I broke up and I went back for a few drinks with a friend. Laura was serving and she struck up a conversation with me. From there we connected on Instagram and the rest is history. We’ve been together for six months!

    We just love Rainbow Road. It puts a smile on our face. There’s nothing like being supported and feeling accepted.”
    Favorite Date Spot: Antique Bar and Bakery.
    Do you love the rainbow crosswalk? Let us know in the comments! 

    Written by:

    Will Ferman is a Hoboken photographer and writer. After attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan for two years, Will decided to pursue his true passion of working with animals. He has spent the last nine years working with dogs both in the dog care industry & as an animal advocate with rescue organizations. He truly enjoys caring for & photographing dogs. In 2017 Will started PUPARAZZI, a dog centric media project. Will is honored to be able to contribute to HobokenGirl.com and excited to tell the stories of Hoboken's furry friends.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *