• Hoboken Resident Starts Holland Tunnel Decor Petition + More News You Missed This Week

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    With the holidays in full swing, you might have been too busy earlier in the week to keep up with all that’s going on locally in Hoboken and Jersey City. Luckily, Hoboken Girl is here to lay everything out for you now that you have some time to chill out and read up on the top headlines of the week. Hotel workers at the W Hotel signed a new union contract as part of an agreement with the Hilton Hotel and Jersey City announced its city-wide ban on single-use plastic bags in stores. Keep reading for more Jersey City and Hoboken headlines you missed this week!

    Hotel Workers at Hotel Union Sign New Contract

    w hotel view hoboken instagram

    The W Hotel is the only hotel in Hoboken and the workers officially approved their first union contract earlier this week. Mayor Bhalla was there on Monday, December 10 as the contract was signed.

    The contract includes benefits such as increases in wages and benefits, paid time off for voting on election days, panic buttons for housekeepers in distress, and protections for immigrant workers.

    The first union contract signing comes as a direct result of Hoboken City Council approving plans for the construction of a new Hilton Hotel at River Street, several blocks south of the W. The Hilton’s developer, KMS Development Partners, signed a labor harmony agreement with Hotel Trades Council. The harmony agreement stipulates “positive labor relations” with hotel workers.

    “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to the employees at the W Hoboken for winning a contract that offers them the wages and benefits they deserve,” Bhalla said in a press release. “As employees of Hoboken’s only hotel, they are our ambassadors and the City of Hoboken truly appreciates the hard work they do every day. It’s gratifying to see our city’s hotel workers set this standard, especially at a time of heightened interest from developers in building new hotels in our city. We want not only new hotels but also quality jobs for Hoboken’s workforce. I want to thank the Hotel Trades Council for their hard work and success in advocating for Hoboken’s hospitality workers.”

    Annual Jingle Bell 5K Raises Funds for New Ambulance

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    {Photo credit: Pexels}

    The annual Hoboken Jingle Bell 5K partnered with the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps to raise funds for a new ambulance. The ambulance will cost $250,000 and participants in the 5K are hoping to raise enough to help with a portion of the fundraising. The race kicked off on December 15th at Pier A Park.

    Manhattan SantaCon Organizers Diss Hoboken ‘Sleighshow’

    santa christmas new jersey

    The founders of New York City SantaCon aren’t afraid to diss Hoboken’s interpretation of the holiday-themed bar crawl. In an email to The Gothamist, the SantaCon organizers bashed Hoboken, writing, “We believe in the right of people to put on a Santa Suit and have a few drinks. The very last thing we want is for SantaCon NYC to turn into the sleighshow that happens in Hoboken each year.”

    The gauntlet has been thrown down. JK, they’re totally right.

    Mayor Bhalla Gives a Union Dry Dock Update After Meeting With Governor Murphy

    hoboken lackawanna station

    As the Union Dry Dock situation in Hoboken develops, Hoboken Girl continues to bring the latest updates to readers. Most recently, Mayor Bhalla prepared a letter to Hoboken residents, offering an update.

    “Given the importance of this waterfront property and recent developments, I believe it is important to maintain a high level of transparency so residents are fully informed,” Bhalla wrote in an email. “On Monday, I met with members of Governor Phil Murphy’s administration and restated my position that a refueling depot at Union Dry Dock would be unacceptable to the residents of Hoboken. Yesterday, I sent a letter to Governor Murphy’s staff that includes a thorough overview of actions taken to date and recent updates.”

    You can read the full letter from Mayor Bhalla to Governor Murphy’s office here.

    “We must do all we can to preserve our waterfront, and not add a heavy refueling depot that would ravage our local environment. I look forward to continuing our conservation with Governor Murphy and his team, and will keep you updated on our efforts,” the email concluded.

    beGlammed Beauty Service App Launches in Hoboken & Jersey City

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    {Photo credit: Instagram}

    After launching in 28 other cities across the US, beGlammed, a beauty services app, has officially launched in Hoboken and Jersey City. Clients in these cities can now book hairstylists and makeup artists straight from the mobile app. And what’s more? Clients don’t have to leave the comfort of their own homes; services come straight to you!

    beGlammed was founded back in 2014 by Maile Pacheco, a beauty veteran with over 10 years of experience working for MAC cosmetics. Pacheco created the online platform after becoming frustrated with always having to travel to a salon or retailer for a cosmetic service.

    Hoboken Resident Starts Petition to Change Holland Tunnel Decorations — AND WINS.

    holland tunnel decorations

    A former Hoboken resident had made it his mission to change the Holland Tunnel decorations as they currently stand. The plaintiff,  Cory Windelspecht says a tree covering the letter “N” in the Holland Tunnel sign would look better over the letter “A.”

    “I understand it’s a petty thing — people have real problems but this is something that bugs me and it bugs a lot of people every day,” Windelspecht says.

    The tree, Windelspecht reasons, is the same shape as the “A” in the Holland Tunnel sign and therefore, would look much better covering the “A.” Windelspecht started a petition asking Port Authority to move the tree so that it covers the “A.”

    The petition currently has 599 signatures. Windelspecht says he plans on making his argument before the Port Authority Board of Commissioners meeting.

    Update as of 12/18/18: In a surprisingly swift {for NJ Transit/Port Authority ESP} turn of events, The Holland Tunnel decor debate has been closed {and updated to Windelspecht’s preferences}. Click here to see the new decor!

    Homelessness Task Force Debuts Donation Meters in 8 Locations

    Mayor Bhalla joined the Hoboken Homelessness Task Force to debut the new homelessness donation meters around the Mile Square City. Homeless donation meters can now be found in eight locations throughout town.

    “Today, I joined the Hoboken Homelessness Task Force & ‘Super Satya’ to unveil new homelessness donation meters located in 8 locations, which will benefit Hoboken homeless initiatives (including the @hobokenshelter.) Thank you to the task force for your advocacy for this critical issue (sic),” Mayor Bhalla tweeted.

    Revised Draft of NJ Transit Reform Bill On Its Way

    nj transit

    A New Jersey Transit reform bill was first introduced about a year ago, but after some revisions, the bill is finally ready to be put in front of Governor Phil Murphy. The latest version was recently advanced by a legislative committee in Trenton earlier this week, therefore putting the bill back on track to approval by the end of the year.

    Updates to the reform bill include expanding NJ Transit’s governing body in order to provide commuters and transportation-policy experts more bandwidth. The mass-transit agency would also be required to hold public hearings before implementing important changes — like increases to fare and major service changes. The bill also stipulates that a “customer advocate” position would be created.

    Original drafts of the bill spurred intense negotiations with Murphy’s office. After a comprehensive audit of NJ Transit operations was released by Murphy’s administration, lawmakers took a period of nearly six months to make the necessary amendments.

    “We have worked very hard with the governor’s office and we think that this is a fine agreement,” Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) said. “We are reforming New Jersey Transit’s structure, which we hope will help to lead to a better New Jersey Transit service.”

    Central Bistro Opens in Jersey City Heights

    Central Bistro Restaurant is the newest BYOB brunch spot to open up in Jersey City Heights. Open seven days a week, Central Bistro also serves dinner and is located at 403 Central Avenue, the former Cinco De Mayo Deli. The space is decorated with wood paneling, large windows, and a mounted deer head. Offering brunch seven days a week, Central Bistro’s morning menu features Latin-inspired dishes like huevos vaqueros and brunch burritos, as well as several sandwich options. For dinner, the menu takes more of an Italian-inspired spin, with options like chicken Francaise and gnocchi pasta.

    The restaurant is open Saturday through Monday from 9AM to 10PM and Tuesday through Friday from 10AM to 10PM.

    Plastic Bags Banned in Jersey City as of June 2019

    jersey city plastic bag ban

    {Photo credit: reddit}

    Jersey City will follow in Hoboken’s footsteps and ban plastic bags in the upcoming year. According to signage found in a public space in Jersey City, the city will enforce a ban on single-use, carry-out plastic bags starting as early as June 28, 2019. The ban comes from Ordinance 19-065, which will prohibit retailers from providing single-use plastic carry-out bags and non-recyclable paper bags to customers. Customers can either bring their own reusable bags or use an alternative bag provided by the retailer.

    Hoboken Featured on Apartment Therapy

    The Hoboken neighborhood was featured in a video by Apartment Therapy earlier this month. In the YouTube clip, Apartment Therapy’s video editor, Anne, shows viewers around town, discusses the median rent prices of Hoboken apartments, and brings viewers to some of her favorite spots.

    “I moved to Hoboken, N.J. after college because I’d heard it was a great place for young people to live when looking for a job in Manhattan if you couldn’t yet afford Manhattan prices,” the video caption reads.

    The full article on AT names the best local bookstore, coffee shop {bwe cafe, obviously}, bar, and local food. You can check out Apartment Therapy’s full guide to Hoboken here.

    Jersey City Police Department Now Deploying Package Theft Systems

    Jersey City Police Department is extending its efforts to reduce the number of thefts in JC. Part of this initiative includes the Package Theft systems, Michael J. Kelly, JCPD Chief of Police announced on Twitter.

    “#JCPD has deployed its Package Theft systems in all parts of #JerseyCity with real packages. Volunteers have agreed to help us monitor activity with Ring Cameras & GPS devices. We are also watching delivery trucks to prevent crimes of opportunity. We want to DETER by announcing,” Kelly added.

    5 Jersey City Eateries Featured in Yelp’s Top 50 Places to Eat in NJ

    korai kitchen

    {Photo credit: Instagram}

    Yelp released its “Top 50 Places to Eat in New Jersey 2018,” and five Jersey City locations have made the cut. First on the list? Korai Kitchen, an authentic Bangladeshi restaurant located at 576 Summit Ave, nabbed the top spot. Other Jersey City locations to make the list include Griot Cafe, which came in at #5, Pinwheel Garden Dumpling & Noodle Bar at #7, Hooked JC, which came in at #17, Square 1 at #29.

    Over 1,900 Family Members Receive Gifts in Christmas Exchange

    christmas exchange

    {Photo courtesy of Hoboken Grace Photo Team}

    This year’s Hoboken Christmas Exchange was a success, with over 3,400 people participating in the holiday event designed to help families and children in need.

    “The Hoboken Christmas Exchange is an amazing demonstration of community coming together. This event would not be possible without the donors and volunteers who come out to love their neighbors. It is a testament to this community and to peoples’ desires to be part of something significant,” says James Sproule, Community Impact Director at Hoboken Grace.

    Over 600 people signed up to “adopt” families to give presents to and 276 people volunteered as “elves,” delivering the gifts. Everyone who participated ensured that 1,900 family members and children received gifts at the Hoboken Christmas Exchange this year.

    Cork Wine & Spirits Hosts Pop-Up Shop Saturdays in December

    cork pointsettias

    {Photo courtesy of Cork Wine & Spirits}

    Cork Wine & Spirits is hosting Pop-Up Shop Saturdays. Yesterday, the pop-up included appearances by Hoboken Candle, Little Sister Studio, India Hicks, Ciao Bambina, Katherine’s Confections, and M2. Poinsettia arrangements were also available for purchase. Cork Wine & Spirits will continue hosting Pop-Up Shop Saturdays each Saturday up until December 22 — so make sure to pop over ASAP!

    Have any news tips? Email hello@hobokengirl.com to let us know — we appreciate it.

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    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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