Top of the Morning to Ya!

The emails were flying in to fast and furious on Wednesday afternoon, almost all with this flyer from attached:


Do You Love Hoboken ‘s St. Patrick’s Day Parade?
Your Opinoin Counts.
Hoboken’s City Council is proposing a bill that would force all liquor licensed establishments to open 5 hours later than the current law allows. This would cut back drastically on your rights to celebrate on Parade Day. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a part of Hoboken ‘s history. The Council will be voting on this new legislation tonight February 7th @ 6:30 at Town Hall. Please support our fight to potect Parade Day &a piece of Hoboken history by attending this Council meeting. Your presence alone will demonstrate how many people this day is important to.

Town Hall is located on Washington Street between 1st & Newark Streets

OK, so spell check wasn’t used before this warning was sent out (See: “Your Opinoin Counts” and “…to potect Parade Day”) but the hidden point of the panic was obvious: By making Hoboken St. Paddy’s Day an example of improving quality of life by moving back the time bars in town may open, it provides a precedent for lawmakers to alter other rules currently in place, such as the one that says all bars must shut their doors by 3:00 AM.
First it starts with Hoboken St. Patrick’s and then it moves to closing times every other night of the year…all in the name of zero tolerance for noise and improving the blurry image of a town that once was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most bars in a square mile.
If the dominoes continued to fall starting with the HSPD opening time for bars altered, eventually Hoboken could pave the way to being morphed into Sea Girt north. As some of you know, the Girt is a quaint Jersey Shore community where the place where dreams come true, the Parker House, calls home. But Parker has never seen a patron inside its magical walls past the stroke of midnight, as a Sea Girt ordnance states that it must close before 12:00 AM.

For Hoboken St. Paddy’s, the notion that the day will not result in even-sloppier-than-usual PDA, unburdening oneself of internal fluids in public places, or producing pavement pizza (others call it yawning in technicolor, chewing backwards, oral diarrhea, unswallowing, gutdumping, disgorgement, emesis, regurgitation, vomiting, heaving, airsickness, barfing, blowing your lunch, blue-cheese breath, bulimic symphony, doing some supermodel pushups, kaleidoscopic yodeling…you get the idea) is ludicrous.
Two things would have resulted if this resolution passed:

1) Eggs and Kegs- The bar may open at 11:00 AM, but apartments are potentially in business 24/7. Can you see the eVite server exploding from all of the invites sent out from people declaring anti-bars-opening-later-parties and the private affairs in the comforts of home beginning at 7:00 AM?

2) The mighty simply fall a bit later- An unscientific poll of HSPD participants shows that most who began their day in a bar at 9:00 or 10:00 AM usually last until 8:00 or 9:00 PM that evening (similar results were found for The Hunt). By moving the day back to an hour before noon for Hoboken saloons, those who could only last 11-12 hours will continue to do so, thereby only pushing the aforementioned unsavory behavior back 2-3 hours to a time when civilized and/or married Hoboken may be trying to fall asleep…around midnight and possibly beyond.

Is the notion of closing bars early the product of hysterical thinking? Not exactly, as one former Mayoral candidate once floated the idea of closing Hoboken’s bars at 1:00 AM in the name of improving the city’s quality of life. For those who really turn out the vote in town (See: older, non-binge-drinking residents), this kind of drastic measure of shutting down the bar two hours earlier would be seen as a positive…much the same way the smoking ban was received.

Hoboken police are understandably strained on HSPD, as the police chief broached during the council meeting on Wednesday night that the early opening of bars costs the city an additional $20,000. But for the reasons mentioned above, to penalize Hoboken bar owners from benefiting on its most profitable day of the year would be anti-capitalism, and given the rising rents paid by owners and costs of liquor licenses in town the highest in the state, they should not be forced to told how to operate their businesses, particularly when the end result of boorish behavior of some will not be altered much.
So after all of the posturing by local government, the talk of zero tolerance, and bar owner emails urging residents to make their voices heard to keep a Hoboken tradition on the first Saturday in March alive, we’re right back to where we always were: Long lines at 9:00 AM to start one of the most memorable days of the year…at least the parts that could be remembered.

Top of the morning to you?

More like sunrise, sausage and Sam Adams.

The more things try to change, the more they stay the same.