Hoboken is a city of about one square mile sandwiched between the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels. Once the butt of urban renewal jokes ("Hey, if it’s Hoboken, don’t fix it!"), the city has enjoyed a renaissance in the last quarter century as its proximity to Manhattan’s Financial District has attracted more affluent tenants, pumping money into the local economy and reviving what was once a depressed town.
Back in the Day
The town’s name, according to the Hoboken Historical Museum, is a corruption of the Dutch hoebuck, meaning "high bluff," or the Lenape Indian hopoghan hackigh, meaning, "Land of the Tobacco Pipe."
To date, Hoboken’s main claim to fame is being the birthplace of Frank Sinatra. The road that traces the Hudson River is named for him, as is a newly renovated park built on the piers across the river from Greenwich Village. The first floor of City Hall is an unofficial Sinatra museum. (That Sinatra disavowed all association with his hometown and had not set foot in the city for years prior to his death does not dim the ardor Hobokenites feel for Ol’ Blue Eyes.)
Other notables hailing from Hoboken include celebrated photographer Alfred Steiglitz, sex research pioneer Alfred Kinsey, and tennis player Michael Chang. Filmmaker John (Eight Men Out) Sayles is the town’s best-known current resident.