Lepore’s Burglarized and More News You Missed in Hoboken + Jersey City

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Happy Sunday! While we all sit indoors in the rain, let’s look over this past week’s biggest headlines. A state building in JC was evacuated, a Hoboken man who went viral for falling down the stairs has passed away, and Steven’s Institute is getting ready to break ground on its new, three-level University Center, and so much more. Read on to find out what you missed in Hoboken + Jersey City this week:

State Building in Jersey City Evacuated Due to “Suspicious” Package

crime scene

A state building in Jersey City was evacuated after a “suspicious backpack” was found on site. The office building, located on Summit Avenue in Journal Square, is home to the Motor Vehicle Commission office and other state offices, was evacuated and the surrounding roads were closed while authorities inspected the area. The Summit Avenue office building is also across the street from the Jersey City Municipal Court.

The backpack was reported at 4:00PM on March 22nd and prompted Jersey City police, an Emergency Services Unit, and firefighters to respond to the scene. The package was deemed not a threat by 5:20PM that evening.

Hoboken Man Known for Falling on Google Maps Has Died

google maps falling man hoboken

In a tragic turn of events, the Hoboken man known for falling while Google Maps’ satellite captured images, has died. The 67-year-old Irving de Jesus Espinal became a viral sensation in March and was dubbed locally as “the falling man of Hoboken.” But it appears there was more to the story than just a serendipitously caught fall.

Espinal died after battling terminal cancer {unrelated to the fall}. He died on November 26th, three months after the image was taken. Friends and neighbors of Espinal say they aren’t sure what caused him to fall that day, but felt confident that he had not been injured and got back up after the incident.

“He started to get sick and after a couple of weeks they put him in a nursing home and after that, he passed,” Cruz Rodriguez, a neighbor of de Jesus Espinal’s told News 12‘s Brian Donohue.

Espinal was originally from the Dominican Republic and emigrated to the United States as a young man. He was married, had one child, and lived with his wife at 725 Willow Avenue, where the fall was captured by a Google Streetview camera. His wife still lives there, News 12 reports.

“He was always asking me for fish because I’m a fisherman, so I used to give him fish,” says Anthony Punzo, a friend of Espinal’s. “Hell of a nice guy. He was the super of the building for years. Beautiful person, you know? He really was a beautiful man.”

Our condolences go out to Espinal’s family during this difficult time.

Grubbs Take Away in Hoboken On Its Way to Old JC McDonalds

mcdonalds

The former Mcdonald’s on Newark Avenue in Journal Square has been empty for a while. Now, the old Mickey D’s site has finally been leased. Hoboken’s own Grubbs Take Away — at 418 Washington Street —  is using the spot at 564 Newark to open up a second location.

Jersey City residents can expect “classic American food the old fashion way” from Grubbs, they say. If it’s anything like the Hoboken location, Grubbs JC will also serve wings, hot dogs, burgers, milkshakes, and more and be open for delivery late into the night {like 3:00AM late}.

Hoboken Girl Helps Formalwear Drive Raises $2400 for Suits/Dress for Success of Hudson County

hoboken girl helps formalwear drive

^Hoboken Girl Helps Volunteer Coordinator Joelle Hernandez, stylist Tiffany Piñero, Hoboken Girl founder Jennifer Tripucka, and co-coordinator Jordan Hernandez

Our Hoboken Girl Helps’ third annual Prom and Formalwear Dress Drive was quite the success thanks to our amazing community. The event took place on March 30th, 2019 at the Multi Service Center in Hoboken and raised over $2400 to the local Dress for Success of Hudson County non-profit, dedicated to helping men and women of our area get back on their feet and into the workforce. We collected over 800 dresses, suits, jewelry, and makeup {thanks to the amazing local businesses Jane Do, World of Wonder Daycare, Athleta Hoboken, Boutique Realty, Galatea, and West Side Realty for allowing residents to drop off at your spaces} — and raised the funds in 4 hours during the community-wide sale. Looking forward to next year! If interested in getting involved with more Hoboken Girl volunteering/charity events, email hobokengirlhelps@gmail.com.

Stevens Breaking Ground: Two Glass Towers and a University Center

stevens institute of technology university center hoboken 3

{Image rendering by Design Collective via Jersey Digs}

Stevens Institute is breaking ground on three new on-campus projects: two glass towers and a university center. Each of these projects will be constructed on a hilltop property owned by Stevens, south of the Howe Center. Before any new buildings can be constructed though, Jacobus and Hayden Halls must be demolished.

You may remember that HobokenGirl reported last year on the new University District zoning that allowed buildings to rise higher than the norm in certain parts of campus. The result of that zoning addendum will be the two glass towers and the University Center, a 75,000 square-foot building that reaches 222 feet, will be LEED Silver Certified, and will ultimately replace the current Hayden and Jacobus Halls.

The University Center will be multi-functional and feature many different types of spaces including student and faculty lounges, a conference room, a C-store, a new fitness center, spaces for student organizations, office, space, and a food service and dining venue. It will also have an outdoor area, a plaza facing the Manhattan skyline.

The aforementioned two glass towers will be 21- and 19-stories high and will sprout from the base of the University Center. The towers — which will serve as dormitories with more than 1,000 beds — will also be linked by a breezeway, which will allow for convenient inter-tower-travel for residents.

As things currently stand, the University Center and towers are slated for completion sometime during the school’s 2021-2022 academic school year.

City in Shock After Woman Jogging Found Dead Near Jersey City Park

woman jogging

This is tragic. A woman has been found dead in a Jersey City Park lake. People close to the woman say believe she went out for a jog in the park, where she was ultimately killed.

Carolina Cano’s body was found last Sunday in the lake at Lincoln Park in JC around 7:30AM. Video footage from surveillance cameras show Cano entering the park earlier that morning. Cano was a live-in nanny during the week and had a weekend home in Jersey City that she shared with a housemate.

“She’s coming from the other job and she’s running twice in the park and then she goes to church,” Cano’s housemate said. The housemate also told authorities that Cano was a frequent jogger who enjoyed running in Lincoln Park.

Since the incident, security patrols have been upped, but Hudson County Freeholder Bill O’Dea says that security has always been a priority. O’Dea maintained that there are 37 security cameras inside the park and said that when the weather is warmer, security generally increases.

But many locals are left shaken after the incident. A vigil on Friday was dedicated to Cano, patrols have been made a priority, and authorities will host a public meeting next Tuesday regarding safety concerns.

No one has been charged in relation to Cano’s death.

“She was a very nice lady, very sweet,” the housemate, who preferred to remain anonymous said. “I can’t believe this happened to her… I wish they found this monster because it’s horrendous,” the housemate added.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County prosecutor at 201-915-1345.

American Dream Mall Opening in East Rutherford This Summer

american dream mall

It’s been 16 years since the concept of the American Dream Mall was first introduced and now in summer 2019, it seems it’s finally becoming a reality. The American Dream Mall — opening up in East Rutherford — will be 3 million square feet and feature more than 18 acres of entertainment options. That includes North America’s largest indoor DreamWorks Water Park. Food options will also include the world’s only Munchie’s Food Hall.

With developers mum on the project since it was first delayed back in 2003, many had begun to lose hope that ADM would ever open its doors. But the developer, Triple Five Group — which also owns massive malls like Mall of America and Wes Edmonton Mall — weren’t deterred by the decade-long process. Initially, the project came up against financial issues and even received criticism from NFL teams.

Now, in late summer 2019, American Dream Mall will not just be a dream, but a reality.

Giorgio of Giorgio’s Pasticceria Has Passed Away — But Bakery Will Reopen April 3rd

giorgio passed

Giorgio Castiello of Giorgio’s Pasticceria at 1112 Washington Street has passed away. According to a note left on the door of the uptown Italian bakery, Giorgi passed away on March 17th.

“We are taking a little time to clear our heads and we will be re-opened on Wednesday, April 3rd,” the note reads. “Once again, my family extends our thanks to everyone for their love and support during this very difficult time {sic}.”

The Castiello family emigrated to the United States from the Naples region of Italy. Giorgio began working at 12 years old to help feed and support his family. As an adult, he spent some time working on cruise ships as a pastry chef. When Giorgio moved to the U.S., he began working at various food industry companies in Queens and Brooklyn.

Giorgio’s opened in April 1974. Giorgio and his wife Anna Marie lived in the apartment above the shop with their three children. In recent years, Giorgio’s daughter Mary Grace Castiello has kept up the family legacy, working at the bakery alongside her dad. The note on Giorgio’s is signed MG, for Mary Grace.

Our condolences go out to Giorgio’s family and we look forward to the Pasticceria re-opening in April.

Hoboken Native and MLB Catcher John ‘Honey’ Romano Dies at 84

baseball hoboken

Another sad death has rocked the Mile Square City this week. Major League Baseball player John “Honey” Romano of Hoboken has passed away at age 84. Romano is survived by his wife, three sons, six grandsons, and one granddaughter.

From 1958 to 1958 and 1965 to 1966, Romano was a catcher for the Chicago White Sox; he even played in the 1959 World Series. He also played for the Cleveland Indians from 1960 to 1964, where he earned the title of 4-time All-Star Catcher. In 1967, Romano played with the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. He had 129 home runs, 417 RBI’s, and his lifetime batting average was .255.

Romano’s family is asking for donations in his memory to be made to Rock Steady Boxing for Parkinson at the Marco Island YMCA.

Our condolences go out to Romano’s family.

Plan to Restore Neumann Leathers Complex Moving Forward

neumann leathers hoboken

Slowly, but surely. Back in 2017, plans were introduced to restore the Neumann Leathers complex at 300 Observer Highway. A 14-story residential building, which is currently a parking lot, was also proposed. While no ground has been broken and not much word about the project has gotten out, it appears that things are still trucking along, however slowly. Jersey Digs reports that the new building will feature 230 units, 21 of which will be distinguished as affordable housing. There will also be a rooftop pool for residents and on the ground floor, a retail space.

Plans to Revitalize an Old JC Warehouse Cause Local Outrage

development proposal 107 New York Avenue

{Image rendering by MVMK Architecture via Jersey Digs}

Not all revitalization plans are welcomed by locals. In fact, plans for a warehouse are causing quite a ruckus in Jersey City Heights. MJSMS LCC has introduced plans to renovate a warehouse at 107 New York Avenue, transforming it into a two-story industrial building that rises 28 feet and spans a city block over half an acre, according to Jersey Digs. The lot is adjacent to the main entrance into the Heights and many residents are outraged.

The initial proposal by MVMK Architecture, which is gearing up to be nine stories high, reimagined the warehouse as a new building with 128 residential units, 61 parking spaces, and 18 stories. At the floor-level, MVMK pitched a community center. At one point it was supposed to become a Boys and Girls Club, but that concept was ditched. As a response, the Riverview Neighborhood Association commented on their stance as “consistent and long-standing opposition to building high-rise structures in The Heights.”

Mayor Bhalla Enacts Anti-Mold Ordinance

hoboken mold ordinance

Hoboken is cracking down on mold {and dog poop, if you didn’t hear}. A new local ordinance is attempting to regulate mold in residential homes in the Mile Square. No other such ordinances or laws exist in the state of New Jersey; Hoboken is among one of the first municipalities to regulate mold.

“We want to make sure every resident is safe in their own home, especially children, and the new regulation will give the City the ability to regulate the unhealthy growth of mold,” Mayor Bhalla said in a statement. “This will allow any concerned resident to contact our Health Office, which can now help ensure tenants have mold-free living conditions.”

The ordinance comes in response to “dozens of [Hoboken] tenants” contacting Caroline Caufield, Chief of Constituent Affairs in Hoboken, expressing their concerns for public health. Many of the requests lamented that mold was an issue often ignored by landlords.

Unanimously passed by the City Council, the ordinance allows residents with a substantial mold issue that is not remediated by a landlord or property owner to request an inspection. Residents may call the Health Office at 201-420-2000 ext. 5205 to report a mold issue or through the Hoboken 311 website or by downloading the Hoboken 311 Mobile App.

Join Spring Fling Community Cleanup Day

hamilton park hoboken girl

It doesn’t need to be Earth Day in our to give back to our community and environment. Members of the community are invited to join the City of Hoboken’s third annual Spring Fling on Saturday, May 4th, 2019. From 10:00AM to 2:00PM, members of the Hoboken community will focus on cleaning up our parks and other public spaces.

Participants can register for the specific volunteer project they’d like most to take part in using VolunteerMatch. You can register as a group or as an individual here.

New this year: participants can register for the specific volunteer project that interests them most using VolunteerMatch. Participants can register as groups or individuals.

Community clean-up projects may include mulching tree pits, planting, weeding, painting benches, railings or other public amenities, removing debris from public property, and more.

More than 500 residents participated in 34 projects in last year’s Spring Fling.

Mile Square City’s “Central Park” Approved for Funding

hoboken northwest park

Look out, New York City, Hoboken is getting its own version of Central Park. Mayor Bhalla announced in an email that funds to finance the park’s construction have finally been authorized. The park, which will be named Northwest Park but nicknamed “Hoboken’s Central Park,” will start construction by the end of 2019. The park is set to feature an ice skating rink, multi-sport athletic field, an open lawn area, gardens, pavilion area, playgrounds, and much more.

JC Is Getting Street Sweepers

jersey city street sweepers

{Photo credit: Facebook}

Jersey City is making public cleanliness a priority. The City of Jersey City Official Government Page announced earlier this week that JC has acquired new street sweepers.

“Be on the lookout for the new street sweepers cleaning the City’s streets!” the official account wrote. “The state of the art sweepers will replace outdated vehicles and use a new, vacuum based technology to clean our streets.”

New Initiatives Seek to Reduce Dog Poo in Public

hoboken dog poop

{Photo credit: Twitter}

Well, this is as hysterical as it is probably necessary. The City of Hoboken announced a new initiative with the goal of reducing the amount of pet waste left in the sidewalks, in public parks, and on the streets. Like Hoboken police have in the past for their pedestrian and car safety initiatives, the City announced in a recent tweet that they will be undergoing undercover operations to catch poop-pertrators. Sorry, perpetrators.

The steps are as follows: leash your dog in public, pick up the street {or face a fine of up to $2,000}, dispose of it in a trash can, and license your pet by law. You can do the last step at http://hobokennj.gov/petlicense.

In a tweet with an abundance of emojis, the City wrote, “Hoboken is undertaking initiatives to reduce [poop emoji] on streets, sidewalks & in parks. The Dpt of Environmental Services & will soon begin undercover operations to issue summonses to [dog emoji] owners violating City ordinances, including those who do not pick up [poop emoji] after their [dog emoji].”

Check out the full HobokenGirl-approved guide to picking up your dog’s poop in public here.

Pick up your sh*t, people.

Department of Environmental Protection Provides Funding for 14 New Electric Car Charging Stations

electric car charging

Electric car charging stations are coming to Hoboken now that the project has been approved for funding. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will fund the addition of 14 electric car charging stations thanks to a nationwide settlement with Volkswagon. The NJDEP awarded Hoboken with a $70,000 grant that will go towards the purchasing, installing, and maintaining the stations. Hobokenites can expect to see the charging stations at public locations like city garages sometime in 2019.

Lepore’s Famous Chocolates Burglarized

lepores hoboken chocolate

Lepore’s Hoboken Famous Chocolates {located at 105 4th Street in Hoboken} was burglarized last weekend. Patrolling police officers first reported damage to the door of Lepore’s, citing it looked like it had been kicked in. Officers initially thought it was simple criminal mischief. But later in the week, the Lepore’s owner reported missing money. Now, Lepore’s is in the middle of an ongoing burglary investigation.

Mayor Bhalla Issues Update on Hotel Redevelopment Litigation

Hoboken City Hall

Mayor Bhalla issued a press release to announce the initial decision by a trial court judge to deny a motion by the City of Hoboken yesterday. The judge dismissed the motion filed by Hoboken to dismiss a lawsuit against the City of Hoboken and KMS, the developer of the downtown Hotel.

The litigation against the City and KMS was originally filed by “Hoboken Land Building, L.P.” and “Hoboken Holdings, L.P.” The City will aggressively pursue the next steps to defend its position on the merits and believes it will ultimately prevail in court.

“The hotel deal furthers the redevelopment of the City, provides the community with unprecedented benefits and continues to be a priority for my administration,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “We are confident that the City will ultimately prevail, our City will be revitalized and our community will realize all benefits agreed to in this deal.”

Choc O Pain Hosting Art Reception Featuring Lou Carbone

choc o pain lou carbone

{Photo credit: COPArt}

CHOC∙O∙PAIN French Bakery + Café will host an art reception commencing the spring season with the works of local Hoboken artist Lou Carbone. A former professional illustrator, Carbone now uses paint and canvas as his medium. Carbone’s paintings display a merging of fact and fantasy that opens a window to animated yet mysterious places.

Carbone cites influences like cubism, surrealism, and Mexican muralists. His describes his paintings as a series of pictorial spaces “borne of personal experiences as filtered through dreams and illusions.”

CHOC∙O∙PAIN will offer light refreshments and bubbly/wine. The reception kicks off at 330-332 Palisade Avenue in Jersey City Heights on Wednesday, April 3rd from 6:00PM-8:00PM.

Heartwarming Hershey’s Commercial Takes Place in Hoboken

A commercial for Hershey’s chocolate bars was filmed in Hoboken and it’s warming hearts of locals and beyond. The commercial follows Ahmad and Mustafa as they walk around Pier A and the waterfront in Hoboken, distributing Hershey bars to strangers as random acts of kindness.

“Our mission has always been to just make people smile as much as we can. I just feel like the society we live in today has kind of created this culture where we’re kind of disconnected from everyone,” Mustafa says in the video. “Having that human interaction, creating something positive, making people smile can change someone’s day. You don’t know what someone’s going through,” he adds.

Man Charged With Groping Woman in Hoboken Parking Lot

hoboken police department

A Hoboken man was charged with groping a woman in a Hoboken parking garage. The sexual assault allegedly happened after the woman chased the man out of the garage.

Justin Rubio, 28, has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact, burglary, criminal restraint, criminal trespass, and resisting by flight, according to Hoboken Detective Sgt. Joseph Leonard. The female victim told police that Rubio grabbed her chest and attempted to kiss her.

Sgt. Nicholas Burke was near the scene and actually bore witness to Rubio fleeing, the woman chasing after him screaming for help. The incident occurred at the Midtown Garage at Fourth and Clinton around 8:00AM on the morning on March 22nd.

Burke pursued Rubio on foot. Rubio tried to hide inside of 333 Adams Street but two other police officers arrived at the scene. Officers Connor Milne and Christopher Barral apprehended Rubio, who was arrested and then transported to the Hudson County jail.

Michelin-Starred Restaurant DomoDomo Coming to JC

domodomo menu

{Photo credit: Instagram}

Word has it that DomoDomo a Bib Gourmand-awarded New York City restaurant is coming to downtown Jersey City at 200 Green Street. The restaurant will measure 2,657 square feet and be adjacent to the Harborside Light Rail Station. Back in January, construction permits for the site were posted but DomoDomo has not confirmed the news as of yet.

DomoDomo serves dinner, lunch, and also features a raw bar that has selections like oysters, seafood, and hand-rolled sushi. The Manhattan eatery describes its menu as Asian-inspired cuisine that serves “only the freshest ingredients along with specially harvested seaweed, housemade sauces, and our signature warm rice.”

That fancy “Bib Gourmand” distinction is actually a form of a Michelin star. The Bib Gourmand award is an extension of the Michelin Star, which denotes a “good quality, good value restaurant.”

PATH Gets New General Manager Who Loathes Her Commute, Too

clarelle degraffe PATH general manager

{Photo credit: Twitter}

The PATH has a new general manager: Haitian-born Clarelle DeGraffe. DeGraffe — the first-ever female general manager at PATH — has more than 30 years of engineering experience under her belt. Not only that, but she gets it  because, well, she’s a PATH commuter, too.

“I don’t just ride, I read the tweets,” DeGraffe said. “I’m a rider. I understand the frustration. The most important thing is reliability.”

With that in mind, DeGraffe gave her fellow PATH commuters a taste of the plan she has to make reliability more of a reality. DeGraffe wants to station mechanics at strategic locations along the line during rush hour so that they can attend to equipment, signal, and track issues more speedily. Currently, the mechanics’ home base is in Journal Square, Jersey City, which means quite a bit of travel time once a problem is reported.

DeGraffe also envisions replacing electrical substations that power the trains, rehabilitating the track and additional infrastructure, particularly in the tunnels between the World Trade Center and Jersey City line.

Mayor Bhalla and His Wife Navneet Honored With Sikh Image Award

mayor bhalla navneet bhalla leadership award

{Photo credit: Facebook}

Congratulations, Mayor. Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S. Bhalla and his wife, Navneet Bindya Bhalla, executive director of Manavi, are to be honored with the Sikh Image Award at the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s 2019 gala. This year’s gala will be held on April 6th in Tysons, Virginia.

According to a press release from SALDEF, “Ravinder and Navneet Bhalla have been pillars in their community and personify the Sikh values of seva, chardi kala, selflessness, hard-work and standing up to empower their neighbors.” It continued, “Being in public service, they both display their values with grace and dignity, and have been role models for Sikh Americans, and shown all Americans what it means to be Sikh.”

Navneet is a human rights advocate and lawyer, who currently serves as the executive director of a women’s rights organization in New Jersey. Called Manavi, the goal of the organization is to end all violence and exploitation against South Asian women in the U.S. In Sanskrit, “Manavi” means “woman.”

At the time of its inception —1985 — Manavi was the first organization of its kind. Navneet has dedicated her life to improving living conditions for South Asian women and has also worked with South Asians Leading Together and International Rescue Committee, championing advocacy for South Asain American communities.

Local Writer Publishes First Issue of Comic Ithaqa

ithaqa

{Photo courtesy of Michael Watson}

Local Hoboken writer Michael Watson has launched the first issue of his new comic series, IthaqaIthaqa is a 1920’s horror comic, a comedy-turned-Lovecraftian story that will appeal to readers who enjoy HBO’s True Detective. Watson is using Kickstarter to generate funding for the creative project and just 24 hours after the launch, he’s already received the full funds he needs to keep producing the comic. This first issue of Ithaqa premieres its digital version on Steemit.com, a crypto-currency backed blogging platform. If you’re interested in supporting Ithaqa, you can check out the Kickstarter campaign.

“If I was in a comic shop, I wouldn’t buy a book without picking it up and flipping through the pages,” Watson said in a press release. “I needed to give potential backers a way to preview the story and decide if Ithaqa is for them.”

Ithaqa follows five investigators — Mookie Smitts, Hazel, Margaret Murphy, Ruth Addler, and Harvey Bolton — as these unlikely friends find their paths crossing in the city of Ithaca, New York. A real estate tycoon seeks to quell the rumors that his recently acquired lands are haunted, which brings this band of characters together.

The comic is illustrated by Theresa Chiechi, a graduate of The School of Visual Arts in NYC and is lettered by Lucas Gattoni of SalvationKinetic, and Message Sent. Issue 1 — which is 36 pages long — will kick off an eight-issue story arc. Watson hopes to receive all the funding necessary to support this eight issue endeavor.

As a special treat for Hoboken and Jersey City residents, Watson is offering a free download of the inaugural issue. You can snag a PDF copy here.

Hoboken Residents Spearheading Petition Against Union Dry Dock

union dry dock stop work

In the wake of the drama with the Hoboken’s Union Dry Dock, locals are trying to bring more attention to the Monarch site on the north end of town at 15th Street Pier. One reader wrote into HobokenGirl to let us know of some residents’ efforts to draw more attention to what’s going on at Monarch.

Shipyard Associates built a 1,160 residential unit on the waterfront — called The Shipyard Complex. The plan was approved by the City because Shipyard Associates struck a deal, promising to provide the public with open space at 15th Street Pier, the HobokenGirl reader says. But the developer went back on the deal and instead of following through with the park, found a loophole in the agreement and moved forward with building condos there instead.

Now, a group of Hoboken residents are taking action, requesting signatures on a petition to have the developer strike a deal with the City of Hoboken and in turn, return Pier 15 back to the City. The petition needs 2,000 signatures of residents in order for the City to move forward with a deal.

If you’re interested in signing, you can do so here. The creators of the petition respectfully ask everyone to share with their local friends and family members.

A New IV Spot Opens in Hoboken

iv hoboken

A new IV locale called IV Elements has opened in Hoboken. Located on 89 Hudson Street, the new place will invite guests to drop by to hydrate, energize, detoxify, and more. They’ll be at our wellness crawl, so make sure you buy tickets here.

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

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Written by:

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.