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Hoboken NJ - The Mile Square City and Home of the Zipper

Updated on April 20, 2017

Frank Sinatra Park, Hoboken

Hoboken once covered one square mile, but today it covers two square miles.
Hoboken once covered one square mile, but today it covers two square miles. | Source

Across the Hudson River

Hoboken, the "Mile Square City", is the fastest growing city in New Jersey, according to BusinessWeek since early 2010. Across the Hudson river from New York, Hoboken remains a fast growing city and benefits from the increasing numbers of jobs in NYC.

The number of Hoboken households increased 28% in the decade of the 2000s and average household income increased 15%.These increase trends continue.

The city offers a less stressful lifestyle just across a bridge from the hectic, more expensive Manhattan and is a quick commute. Transportation is abundant and access across the river is effective, despite some rush hour tie-ups.

Many students from the Stevens Institute of Technology live in Hoboken and commute similar to other residents. Hoboken residents often work in Manhattan and the other boroughs of NYC. The nearby locations that offer the largest numbers of job listings accessible to Hoboken are:

  • New York City - Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx;
  • New Jersey - Jersey City, Newark, Parsippany, and Edison.

Hoboken Metro Area


A Few of Hoboken's "Firsts"

Hoboken has been a city of inventions; just a few include:

  • America's First Brewery. In the winter of 1663, Mr. Nicholas Varlett obtained the patent for the first American brewery, on Castle Point ("Hoebuk" or "High Bluff"), from then-governor Peter Stuyvesant.
  • Baseball. Contrary to what Star Treks® Lt. Chekov® said, baseball was not invented in Russia. In June of 1846, the first recorded official game of baseball occurred in Elysian Fields between the New York Base Ball Club (the winners) and the Knickerbockers 23-1. The field is located at 11th and Washington Streets in Hoboken, owned in part by a descendant of the inventor of the Steam Ferry.
  • Central Air Condition – The Hoboken DL&W Railroad Terminal was the first building to have central air.
  • Electric Trains. The first one was driven by Thomas Edison from the Hoboken DL&W Railroad Terminal to Montclair, New Jersey.

  • Steam Ferries – Invented by Col. John Stevens.
  • Steam Locomotive – Invented by Col. John Stevens, along with the T-rail used into the 21st Century.
  • Wireless Phone - The first wireless telephone worked between Hoboken and Manhattan, from the Hoboken train terminal.
  • Zippers. Produced first by the Automatic Hook & Eye Co. Dr. Robert Friedel's wrote a book about the process and invention, called Zipper.

On the Waterfront

What Is Hoboken?

A number of theories exist about the naming of Hoboken and what the name means, but the name may have originated with Indigenous peoples or with the Dutch Language. In Dutch, the name means approximately "place of high bluffs."

Explorer Henry Hudson found the Lenni Lenape Nation (later called Delaware Nation) camped on the island at what became Manhattan, New York City in 1609. In 1658 Gov. Peter Stuyvesant bought the land that lay between the Hackensack and the Hudson Rivers from Indigenous Nation for an amount of wampum, cloth, kettles, a few guns, and a couple of blankets; and perhaps some beer. The land went to a Tory during the American Revolution and was then purchased in 1784 by the American serviceman and inventor, Col. John Stevens, who named it Hoboken. Stevens' descendant, John Stevens III owns part of Elysian Fields in Hoboekn now.

The first Stevens made the city into a resort for New Yorkers, even at that early date.

The Colonel built a river walk and a park, among other attractions that drew 20,000 people on weekends. This included important members of the federal government. Stevens helped develop the railroad system locally and because ofincreased trasportation access, additional well known persons went to live in Hoboken, drawing new business and even more residents.

The Hoboken waterfront became a railroading and water transport center especially useful not only in industry, but in shipping troops for World War I.

On the Waterfront is a film that is likely about Hoboken and its waterfront shipping industry. After the decline of shipping, Hoboken developed its Downtown Area for residential and entertainment venues, and continued to grow as a suburb of NYC. Its business specialties include Dining, Healthcare, Retail, Finance, and others.

Frank Sinatra was well known in Joboken and entered Major Bow's talent show with The Hoboken Four.
Frank Sinatra was well known in Joboken and entered Major Bow's talent show with The Hoboken Four.

Sinatra and the Hoboken Four in 1935 Talent Contest

Top 10 Employers

Employers locally with the largest employee groups include:

  1. Hoboken University Medical Ctr
  2. United States Postal Service
  3. Jersey City Medical Center Inc.
  4. Marsh USA INC.
  5. Bayonne Hospital
  6. NJ Transit Corp
  7. IPC Acquisition Corp.
  8. Lord Abbett & Company
  9. John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  10. Stevens Institute of Technology

High Demand Jobs More Than Double in 2.5 Years

Approximately 175,000 jobs were listed dujring 2nd QTR 2010 within 25 miles of Hoboken's center city. However, during 4th QTR 2013, this number increased to over 442,000 open jobs.

Highest Demand Jobs in and Near Hoboken NJ:

  1. JP Morgan Chase - IT Managers, Administrative Assistants, Other.
  2. Trip Advisor LLC is offering multitudes of sales jobs in an effort to build the Travel and Tourism Industry.
  3. Business Analysts
  4. Risk Analysts
  5. Project Managers
  6. Loan Officers
  7. Financial Advisors
  8. Research related jobs and Technicians
  9. Physical Therapists
  10. Occupational Therapists
  11. Java Developers
  12. Administrative Assistants
  13. Account Executives
  14. Senior Accountants
  15. Sales Representatives
  16. Financial Analysts
  17. Registered Nurses (RNs)
  18. Executive Assistants
  19. Sales Managers
  20. Staff Accountants

Top Job Listers

The top companies that are frequent Jobs Listers for the Hoboken area appear in the following list, with Financial Products and Services comapniesleading.

  1. JP Morgan Chase
  2. Bank Of America
  3. University of Columbia
  4. CitiGroup - banking and financial services
  5. Deloitte
  6. Swift Transportation - Trucking and Freight
  7. Prudential
  8. BNY Mellon
  9. TekSystems - Healthcare systems
  10. Mitchell/Martin Inc. (MMI) - Professional Staffing Specialists since 1984. IT, Allied Health and Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical positions
  11. Robert Half Finance & Accounting US
  12. ExecuSearch
  13. PricewaterhouseCoopers
  14. Morgan Stanley
  15. Telereach - Tellemarketing

Stevens Institute of Technology

Stevens Institute of Technology and Downtown Hoboken (public domain).
Stevens Institute of Technology and Downtown Hoboken (public domain).

Higher Education

  • Stevens Institute of Technology -
  • Cooper Union-Advancement Art -
  • Borough of Manhattan Community College: Tribeca Performing Arts Center -
  • Hudson County Community College
  • Hoboken University Medical Center – St. Mary’s Hospital

Carlo's Bakery

A Visit to Cake Boss

Night Life and Live Music

Italy came to New Jersey and NYC in the 1850s and stayed and kept its musical traditions alive. (See Italian Immigration to America - 1850s.)

Hoboken has a lively Italian sector and the city holds the Hoboken Italian Festival each autumn. Music is a big part of this celebration as well, along with games and raffles, children's activities, and an abundance of Italian and Italian American and food.

Hoboken is also home to the Arts & Music Festival, which brings hundreds of artists, photographers, and handcrafters gathering to share and sell their work. Festival goers will enjoy art exhibits and demonstrations, live music, an abundance of great food and many children's and family activities at the yearly festival.

Clubs and taverns in Hoboken offer music on nights and weekends around the city. Maxwell's is a bar and grill in North Hoboken that features a private stage area for music. Bands of several types perform nightly and tickets are sold ahead of time. Other local clubs feature live music during various nights and weekend evenings as well.

Italian Bakeries and TV

When Italians came to Hoboken from the Old Country, they often baked a variety of breads in their tenements and sold them out on the streets. Today, the city is known in New Jersy and New York for its Italian bakeries that offer a full line of baked goods. Some even have their own television programs!

For example, the TLC networks hosts the Cake Boss in his own Carlo's Bake Shop. Carlo's Bakery is the most famous and popular in Hoboken.

Famous for specialty cakes like those of Baltimore's Charm City Cakes on Food Network's Ace of Cakes, Carlo's difference is that the bakery also sells a range of fine cookies, cupcakes, and assorted pastries to a line of customers out the door and around the block.

International Foods

Located so close to the multicultural New York City, Hoboken supports a multitude of restaurants knwon throughout the Northeastern US. Aside from the Italian, the city has German, Japanese, Korean, Cuban, Spanish and many other international food places. The main street through town, Washington Street, is lined wih taverns, restaurants, bars and grills, pizzerias, coffee shops, bakeries, ice cream stores, and taco stands. New Yorlers can travel across the Hudson for pleasant meal and less hectic evening, while residents of Hoboken can come home from NYC jobs an stay for an exciting night out close to home.

The Cupcake Boss

Comments and Additions

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Susan, you grew up in New Jersey! A friend here did as well and he says that for the last 15 years, each time he has returned to the Jersey shore area, he can notice the erosion of the coastlines. Hoboken has a lot of neat places now - I wonder how long the TV show will last?

    • profile image

      Susan 7 years ago

      Pattty, it's been ages since I was born in and left New Jersey, the "Garden State" and from some of the pictures you posted looks like many changes took place. Hoboken, as I remember it as a child, was a quiet suburb and not much going on. Wow, what a difference time makes. Patty, thanks for posting this hub, I enjoyed reading it.

    • DragonOZ profile image

      DragonOZ 7 years ago from Australia

      Very well put together Hub. well done.

    • pisean282311 profile image

      pisean282311 7 years ago

      well researched..good job..

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for your informative hub. It was a great read.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Michael Shane - Thank you very much! There's a lot happening in Hoboken.

      Michael Jay - Thanks for reading and posting a comment! There is so much to enjoy in Hoboken, no wonder it's the fastest growing NJ city. I think it's a lot of fun to have so many types of ethnic cuisine along the major streets, and also a bit out of the way. Keeps it interesting. Carlo's Bakery folks seem very nice and welcoming.

    • Michael Jay profile image

      Michael Jay 7 years ago

      Wow! This is a very amazing hub! The way you put all the information was really great! This is very informative.Two thumbs up!

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Very informative! Great Job!