Geographically Undesirable

The chemistry between Zach and Cindy was one of the ages.

“Good niiiight,” Zach sang again with a smile for the third time in three minutes, leaning in.

“Good niiiight,” Cindy sang back meeting him halfway.

Cindy wanted Zach to come inside to see the new carpet she had just bought for her living room. Hell, she wanted to devour him deep, deep, deep in the shag, but she knew how the game was played. Birthday suit showcase after one somewhat drunken meeting at a bar does not a boyfriend make. She really liked the idea of this one, and she wasn’t about to blow it (no pun intended) by capitulating to her hips instead of her head.

Zach understood this thought process and was never one to push matters in these instances. Of course, he too wanted her. Great ass, deep blue eyes, and her hair in pigtails to achieve that naughty but innocent farm girl look. Besides, Zach was getting all he could handle physically by his neighbor down a hall, who also happened to have an inattentive boyfriend with a propensity—or so she told him—for an apathetic unit.

And it was this situation that allowed him to be patient with the good girls…sex on the side can do that. Once he met the right girl, he figured, he could simply take his time until she practically begged him to run to CVS for eight-by-two glossies. It’s always better when the girl makes the suggestion anyway, he thought to himself.

As Zach left after the sixth rendition of good night, he quickly realized that he was absolutely NOWHERE near his apartment. Cindy lived on 14th and Clinton…Hoboken’s version of Oregon, while he called 1st and Hudson home. On cue, a steady rain began to fall as he ducked under an awning to call a cab.

For those who have experienced such a moment on a wet Friday night at 12:30 AM, being caught in this situation usually leads to a slight twinge in the shoulder from holding a cell phone up to an ear for 20 rings and not getting a pick-up from Travel or Indian Cab company on the other end. Oh, there’s somebody there, of course, and only an occasional busy signal between non pick-up calls indicates that. So without an umbrella and a throbbing blue third leg to contend with, Zach walked home, immediately regretting the decision not to go rug shopping that evening.

Twenty minutes later and soaked from head-to-toe, he arrived home and immediately jumped in the shower. Somewhere in between shampooing and scrubbing his ass, he came to a conclusion more people reach in a little city like Hoboken than you would think:

“I can’t date this girl,” he mumbled to himself. “She just lives to fucking far away.”

Right now there are those reading this that likely has endured cross-country or at least cross-state relationships that are chuckling at Zach’s decision. “Too far?” they scream at their screens, “It’s a mile-square town for Christ’s sake.”

Ah, but in a place with arguably the most precise prospectors in the country, these kind of thoughts aren’t so far-fetched.

They say all politics are local. The same can be said for dating in Hoboken, which should be called by the same title of Johnny Drama’s pilot, Five Towns on Entourage; we actually are five towns in this romance regard. It also applies largely to bars frequented, restaurants chosen, and gyms visited.

Think about it: When it’s time to order pizza, and you live on, say, 1st and Jefferson, are you going to wait for your favorite slice from Uptown Pizza? It may have saved your life after five-too-many at The Madison, but can you honestly hang on for an extra 20 minutes for the delivery to arrive. And when the delivery guy comes, do you really want to tip him that extra $2.00 for trekking across a roughly 20-block stretch?

Naaah…not worth it. Enzo’s isn’t that bad anyway, right?

How about a good sit-down dinner? If you live at 5th and Adams and crave sushi, are you really going to climb that one-block mountain from Bloomfield to Washington and trek all the way down to the PATH area to sit down at Teak?

Not bloody likely. You know, that greasy burger at Willie McBride’s suddenly sounds inviting.

And the same goes for men and women when they crave something other than raw fish. Is that girl two floors that I have no intention of actually seeing the light of day with a better option than the sweet-as-pie chick that can see Weehawken from her bedroom window? Well, maybe…especially when considering what Hobokenites lack most:


Yes, damn time. There’s never enough of it in a day. It’s all about getting up at 6:30 to be at work by 8:00 (not to parents that may be reading this: 9 to 5 was only a fictional movie starring the great Dabney Coleman…it absolutely DOES NOT EXIST in Manhattan. Get out of work by 7:00. Go to the gym (near the apartment, of course) until 9:00. Catch up DVR shows until 11:00. Check a few emails, go late-night food shopping. Have a beer, a glass of wine, fall asleep.

Some call this a circular lifestyle.

Hoboken residents call it Monday through Friday.

There are nights, primarily Thursday, when a workout can be avoided. Of course, that timeslot is filled nicely by Happy Hours or mundane acts like dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, polishing some dust in the apartment, or some kind of participation in a Hoboken-based sports league (softball, dodgeball, flag football, trivia, Golden Tee, soccer, darts…take your pick).

So the weekends are basically reserved for dating, hooking up, and/or traveling to the Jersey Shore. All of that said, if we do meet someone and have the kind of chemistry Zach and Cindy have, they damn well live within a six block radius of us. If they don’t, they damn, damn well better have a parking spot in their building to allow them to squire us about town and drop us off on a school morning. Because there’s something about peddling home on a bike in a wrinkled suit or for the girls, walking home in heels and disheveled hair a half hour earlier than needed to get up that is so, well, college.

And that’s why Hoboken is so incestuous.

Date someone in New York?

Are you sane?

Taking it one step further…

Someone in the Sky Club hanging out with a resident in the Shipyard?

Is that even legal?

No wonder why Corzine lent his girlfriend a half-mil for that apartment in the Tea Building…

Getting back to our budding couple, Zach still thought of Cindy days after that soggy slog home. He thought of how hard it is to actually meet someone you click with. Someone you can really respect.

He then decided to call her and propose a drinks date. If it ain’t broke, and “it” in this case is the fun experience he first had getting toasted with Cindy, why fix it?

“I’d love to,” Cindy replied. “How does Carpe Diem sound?”

“Is that in the city?” Zach asked.

“No, uh, that’s a block from my apartment,” Cindy replied.

“How about Sushi Lounge?” Zach volleyed back, just to test the waters.

“How about somewhere in the center of town?” Cindy laughed. “Will Farside work?”

“Yes, that’s fine,” Zach sighed, not really being a big fan of any of the midtown Washington Street bars, which all looked and felt the same. His mind then wandered to how hard it might be to her back to his place, to even entice her to go in the opposite direction on her apartment. He could always walk her back, he reasoned in a millisecond, but then he’s have to get up early, deal with the noisy roommate she had mentioned, and well, it was getting exhausting to even think about.

Cindy figured that she still wasn’t going to have attend a slumber party at Zach’s place until he actually took her somewhere other than a watering hole, so the neutral area was probably for the best. Still, she too thought about his not owning a car and, unlike Manhattan, there was no subway stop almost every five blocks…the options are either to walk or call a cab, which can be a hit-or-miss proposition in an kind of relatively extreme weather (heat, cold, rain).

So this is why, while Hoboken is only 1.3 square miles, that our dating options are shrunk even further. If you ask some Hoboken singles what their ultimate partner resume should look like, it would be the following (not necessarily in this order):

1) Same religion

2) Same race

3) Older men for women, younger women for guys

4) No detectable fat showing (men get a slight pass on this one)

5) Live within 1-6 blocks of their residence (geographically desirable)

6) No baggage

7) Non-smoker (socially is somewhat acceptable)

8) And, oh by the way, palpable chemistry and attraction

Our parents mostly married our high school sweethearts and almost all were tched by age 30.

Given the prerequisites we have in 2007, it’s no wonder why 40 is the new 30.