Hoboken is a strange and wondrous land, journeyed by newcomers, some transient, others visiting who insist on staying in ever greater numbers raising families and demanding decent government for their tax dollars.
When it comes to defining decency, it's a clash of cultures akin to full out culture shock. The Old Guard is blind to their malfeasance and are fond of saying "everyone does it." Then there's the sadder cynical line, "Don't hate the player, hate the game," as when imprisoned felon Peter Cammarano went down in flames. After his arrest, they fell silent but soon regrouped and moved on. (Enter Tim Occhipinti.)
Hoboken is divided. But it's not a divide between born and raised and newcomer as the Old Guard would have you believe. The divide is first and foremost, the past versus present with the dividing line being centuries as in which one should Hoboken be operating?
That separation is so strong and pervasive, it's about as different as black and white and color TV, forget digital versus analogue. It's the "On the Waterfront" versus a modern view of transparency courtesy of "the internets."
At the Clinton Social in October, one Old Guard adherent turned at the bar out of the blue, and said "Can I ask you a personal question?" Da Horsey replied, "Perhaps we should introduce ourselves first, I'm .... "I know who you are," came the reply.
Which led to a very amiable and friendly discussion on the past and the present. The former City worker did not differ with the divide as highlighted above but added that not everyone is able to make such a leap. There was no irony in his saying this even though many who participate in the old dark ways wouldn't know who Karl Mulden and Marlon Brando are in a movie that came out long before they were born.
And yes, "On the Waterfront," is a black and white film.
At the end of the discussion, it was noted after Cammarano was removed the new mayor walked into an armed camp. The Hobokenite felt this was unduly harsh but we relayed a rumored story on what the mayor faced in trying to get a printer set up in her office her second day in office and how a certain IT manager told her that wasn't possible. Not two weeks after this discussion, Patrick Ricciardi surrendered to the Feds in what may likely be a record for looting local government communications of senior elected officials.
Which leads to how some in Hoboken love to bend the rules to serve the few and there's this one little problem with something called the law. The Boys of Summer are back in town and before they are done, for many it's going to feel like they never left.
Talking Ed Note: This ZZ top classic song is dedicated to the FBI in Hoboken who have been working hard to show the Mile Square City the love and help the Old Guard find its way into the 21st century of acceptable governance. Many in town are awaiting the next shoe to drop but what happens around Christmas isn't the end of the matter.
Not by a long shot.