Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hoboken Resident: Petition Fraud is an outrage

Actual photo taken by Mr. Paulson.  The petition states "We demand the repeal of Ordinance..."  On Saturday, the City Council will vote on that request.

Signature Hustle

On Thursday August 11th my friend and I were walking down 1st street and were approached by two young men wanting us to sign a petition. That morning, word had come that the Port Authority might raise Path fares to $2.75 and the news cycle was saturated with discussion about the pending hikes. The two young men who had come towards us seemed earnest, telling my friend and I that they were circulating a petition to stop the fare hike. With little hesitation I volunteered my signature. I found it puzzling however that they didn’t need my street address – just a name and a signature please.

They also asked my friend visiting from Queens to sign as well, insisting that her signature would count. I signed quickly, finding the plea unobjectionable. As I prepared to go I checked myself, thinking it prudent to take a closer look at the petition that I had so precipitously signed.

The document said nothing about Path hikes, nothing about tolls, nothing at all about what these young men were talking about. It was something entirely different; a petition about changing election dates in Hoboken. I scratched out my signature and demanded an explanation. In spite of the evidence on the page these young men insisted the petition was ‘related’ to the Path hike. There was nothing, not one word in that petition that had anything to do with the pending hikes. I told these young men that they were being completely dishonest. They were, and were also completely unembarrassed about it.

It is possible that the petition these young men presented us was a legitimate one but they framed it at something completely different. After all, not many Hobokenites relish a Path hike. The document they were asking us to sign was not at all what they claimed it to be; they outright lied about its contents. It was total dissimulation, a pathetic ruse, albeit an effective one. This is no way to get things done. This abuse of the citizenry’s good faith ought to be censured. At the very least it ought to be recognized and reprimanded for the shameful practice that it is. I suspect more than a few people coming home lent their signatures to what they thought was a protest against Path and Toll hikes.

Outrage is an appropriate reaction.

Paul Paulson
Hoboken Resident

Talking Ed Note: Mr. Paulson submitted this letter originally to the Hudson Reporter and received no response last month.  He and his wife are Hoboken residents.

Ibby's Falafel comes to Hoboken! First Review!!

Hoboken is holding its Spaghetti Dinner tonight but the big food news is the new falafel store in town: Ibby's Falafel. Yes, they're here!

Now open and replacing the sandwich shop Dino's on Washington between 6th and 7th, the restaurant is looking forward to competing with everyone including family relation down the block, Mamoun's.

Owners Adnan and Firas Kwara opened the first falafel place in Hudson County 17 years ago in Jersey City. That establishment has seen a total overhaul too but Hoboken has been in their sights for a long time and they are very happy to be here.

"The City was excellent to us," Adnan said about their effort to get up and running. "It's the contractors, the time and money that kept us from Hoboken sooner."

The real deal: Ibby's decked out falafel.
The hot sauce is flaming perfect just like at Mamoun's

So what about all the competition? There's now four falafel places in Hoboken: Hummus Bar right up the block, the uncle with Mamoun's down the next block on Washington and Maoz, positioned further downtown on Washington Street.

"Competition is great. You see Starbucks, Home Depot and other stores opening competing with stores near each other all the time," Adnan said. As far as the family relation of a competing restaurant with uncle "Mamoun's," Adnan saw no problem there either. "There's no bad blood. Blood is thicker than water. There's enough business for everyone."

Now what about the falafel? Da Horsey can not live on organic carrots alone and has become addicted to Mamoun's just a block south.

The authenticity of Ibby's falafel is nothing short of surreal with the murals of the Middle East on the wall and the music playing in the background but it's the little touches that distinguish this falafel from the others. That and a secret recipe.

First, the size of the falafel itself exceeds all the others in town. It's not small balls but more patty shaped so less crusty than the others. If you pinched us, we'd not be able to tell you the difference in the sauces from Mamoun's, both the tahini and the hot sauce, are first rate.

Ibby's falafel features murals on the wall transporting its patrons to Middle Eastern venues.
Seating is available indoors and outdoors.

But down to the essence the flavor. There's a more earthy quality to Ibby's falafel and in addition there's more zest with varied spices. The owner Adnan insists it's been an evolving recipe he keeps "in the vault." He spoke of it with great pride and thinks of himself as someone who loves cooking. "My wife will tell you how much I love cooking," he says proudly.

In the competition, Ibby's is also bringing a broader menu and featuring cafe options such as coffee to go with some original home baked spinach pies and other authentic cuisine making this falafel restaurant the most varied in town too:

Famous Shawarma							
Layers of fresh seasoned lamb meat, cooked to perfection
Chicken Shawarma
Layers of fresh marinated chicken breast with our famous spices,cooked to perfection
Shish Kabob									
Delicious cubed lamb, seasoned and grilled
Kafte Kabob
Ground lamb meat seasoned and grilled with fresh parsley and onions
Famous Chicken Kabob

Talking Ed Note: There's a rumor of a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony. Who will show up, well since it's unconfirmed we won't say but the latest falafel addition will surely be receiving a warm welcome from Hoboken.

Ibby's Falafel
614 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030

Details and full menu: