Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Morning in Hoboken: Breakfast at Pier A Park

Usually on Thursday mornings this spring semester, we teach two classes at fantastic Fordham University, but today is Holy Thursday so New York's Jesuit University gives us the day off. It was a perfect sunny morning for a quick ride to Hoboken

to join others with the great idea of having breakfast at beautiful Pier A Park between Sinatra Drive and the mighty Hudson River.

Our PATH train was almost empty except for a middle-aged Asian woman with shopping bags from the Union Square Whole Foods, this gum-chewing young lady who looked at her smartphone

and this guy who picked his nose quite aggressively during the entire ride. He was reading The New Yorker all the while.

We got provisions for breakfast at Chock Full o' Nuts Cafe on the corner of River and First Streets when we got out of the terminal. Across the street there's a Brooklyn Bread place which either is about to open or recently closed.

We love Chock Full o' Nuts -- everyone our age remembers "That Heavenly Feeling" jingle sung by Page Morton Black, the fabulous wife of the company founder --

and who can forget the cream cheese on datenut bread sandwiches you can't get anywhere else?

At the park, it was breezy -- okay, windy -- but not too cold. These guys were practicing soccer on the lawn they had to themselves.

Just outside the terminal is a statue of Sam Sloan, president of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad for 32 years. (He lived in Brooklyn, too.)

The trees were pretty bare at this point in spring. It is spring, right?

We enjoyed walking around the park anyway. It was not raining. We've been teaching Twelfth Night in three classes, and we keep thinking of Feste's final song and the line, "The rain, it raineth every day." Almost.

Some kids were here with their school.

The gazebo, right by the water, must be wonderful in the summer.

According to Wikipedia,
Many people witnessed the September 11, 2001 Attacks from Pier A because it had good views of the World Trade Center. On March 11, 2002 a memorial service was held on Pier A. On September 11, 2003 a section of land was created as a memorial for the September 11, 2001 victims (by planting trees).

Currently, there is a temporary memorial to victims in the form of a tear drop. A permanent memorial, called Hoboken Island, is planned to be built.

A park worker was cleaning up the memorial garden dedicated to the memory of Annette Illing, a Hoboken civic leader who worked on making this waterfront available to all the people, lobbied for open government and advocated for affordable housing in the city.

This is the World War I American Expeditionary Forces Memorial Boulder, honoring the three million troops who embarked from Hoboken to fight in Europe.

We're grateful we got such a nice morning off to have our iced tea and sandwich and walk around Pier A Park.

But it was time for us to get back to New York City. We'll be back in Hoboken when we can.

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