If you are under the age of 30 and live somewhere in the surrounding NYC area, there was probably an 87% chance you made it to Hoboken St. Paddy’s Day yesterday. After college there seem to be fewer socially acceptable excuses for day drinking outside of football tailgating, which probably explains why there is such enthusiasm to journey over to Jers’ for this annual parade. For those not familiar with this bash, each year the fine city of Hoboken, New Jersey (a small town across from Manhattan accessible by a train called the PATH) hosts a parade that falls one week before St. Patrick’s Day, presumably so that it doesn’t compete with Manhattan’s Irish festivities on the real day.
All events of this nature sound incredibly fun in theory, but as my friends and I discovered, there are a few common rookie mistakes that can be quite a Debbie Downer on your day.
1. Transportation. Traveling in and out of Manhattan on the weekend is not without its normal host of problems, but when millions of people are trying to get on the same train a whoel new set of issues arise. Unlimited Metro cards cannot be used for the PATH train, meaning you must have a single-ride Metro card with enough money to get you to Hobo and back, otherwise you will have a “swiper-no-swiping” issue on your hands and find yourself waiting in a 45 minute line to load the card. Or if you have entrepreneurial foresight, you can load up a Metro card and sell it to some chump for $50 that is desperate to get home.
2. Just because you are over 21 doesn’t mean the police will leave you alone. One of my friends was kind enough to host a house party at his apartment on Washington St., which happens along the parade route. Two friends ended up with tickets at $2,000 a pop for no discernable reasons. One was singing a song out the window to a crowd below that was thoroughly enjoying his antics, and received a fine for public disturbance. In addition, the owners of the apartment also received fines because randoms were partying on their rooftop (mind you, they share the building with four other apartment units). The police then proceeded to kick everyone out of the apartment so that they could go drink publicly along the parade route in a less-civilized manner- now that’s what I call a “zero tolerance” policy.
3. Leave when you get tired. This seems pretty simple on the surface, but intoxicated people were passed out in every crevice in Hoboken: alleyways, bars, the PATH station, the PATH train, you name it. Luckily, a friend encouraged us to leave at a decent hour and we still had enough energy to have a pull-up contest on our train-ride home. Not all were so fortunate, as I heard horror stories of people paying cabbies $75 per person to get back to Manhattan. That is $300 for a car of four people to go less than two miles. You can go all the way to L.A. for that amount of cash!
In the end, the day was a successful college throwback and I made it out remarkably unscathed. I hope with all the money the city of Hobo made from tickets yesterday that they were able to bring in some intense clean-up crews because Washington St. was in a sorry state as we left!