We won't lie, we were gutted when legendary Hoboken, NJ, spot Maxwell's shut its doors last year; the club was a home base for New Jersey faves Yo La Tengo and the Feelies. While the closing was a big loss for a city known for its frat-tastic nightlife, Hoboken still has a bunch of sweet options for culture-lovers, drinkers, strollers and shoppers alike. Bring on the Jersey gems!
Drink at a dive bar
Finding a watering hole here that isn’t packed to the gills with muscle-bound Jersey Shore wanna-bes (or their female counterparts) isn’t the easiest task. Fortunately, DC’s (505 8th St between Jefferson and Madison Sts; 201-792-5550, dcstavern.com) is exactly the kind of tiny, knickknack-adorned, off-the-main-drag place that can make you forget about that whole scene. Order a brew, pop some money into the rock- and punk-fueled jukebox (arguably the best in Hoboken), wait your turn for a game of pool and bask in the
lack of douchiness.
Stroll in the park and gawk at NYC’s skyline
Pier A Park offers breathtaking, postcardworthy views of downtown Manhattan and hosts “Movies Under the Stars” on Wednesday nights (9pm in June and July, 8–8:15pm in August; through Aug 21); up next is last year’s big winner, Argo (Wed 17). Maxwell Place Park (Sinatra Dr North at 11th St), also a prime waterfront location, has access to a rocky beach (no swimming allowed, though—as if you needed a reminder not to take a dip in the Hudson). And scenic Frank Sinatra Park features an outdoor amphitheater and is named after Hoboken’s favorite son, Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
Grab a slice
Benny Tudino’s (622 Washington St between 6th and 7th Sts; 201-792-4132, bennytudinos.com) calls itself “Home of the Largest Slice,” and you’ll hear no argument from us. A no-nonsense neighborhood mainstay since 1968, it specializes in gargantuan, 32-inch pies ($24) and ridiculously big regular slices ($3) that give you a lot of solid bang—maybe not the best bites, but still—for your buck.
Dig for vinyl
Audiophiles, take note: Tunes’s 1,700-square-foot digs (225 Washington St between 2nd and 3rd Sts; 201-653-3355, tunesonline.net) has had a vast selection of used and new CDs, DVDs and LPs—not to mention sweet rockist offerings like concert posters—since the ’90s.
Expand your literary horizons
Symposia (510 Washington St between 5th and 6th Sts; 201-963-0909, symposia.us) is a nonprofit used bookstore with a homey, relaxed atmosphere and a 4,000-book-strong collection. The whole catalog was accrued through donations, and the shop was only able to open for business thanks to a tax break from Hoboken’s former mayor David Roberts. Symposia also frequently hosts an array of open-to-the-public cultural events, from book signings and potlucks to Thursday-night guitar circles.