HOBOKEN BRIEFS

"Michael Chang, Hoboken Hero,” painted by Ricardo Roig, was unveiled at Columbus Park last week. (See brief.)
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"Michael Chang, Hoboken Hero,” painted by Ricardo Roig, was unveiled at Columbus Park last week. (See brief.)

Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival is this Sunday

The 25th annual Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival is this Sunday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Washington Street from Observer Highway to Seventh Street.

More than 300 artisans, crafters, and musical performers will participate, and roughly 30,000 people are expected to attend.

The festival was scheduled for May 5 but was postponed due to rain. For more information read “Swing into Spring” at Hudsonreporter.com.

 Hoboken Memorial Day Parade announced

On Wednesday, May 22, Hoboken will host its annual Memorial Day Parade to honor the nation’s veterans.

The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. outside city hall and proceed north on Washington Street to the Hoboken Elks Lodge on 10th Street.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Jim Vance, a decorated Vietnam veteran who during the war was given command of a gunship fire team consisting of two UH-1 “Huey” helicopters outfitted with machine guns and rockets. Later he flew a Cobra, the world’s first fully deployed attack helicopter, during the Tet Offensive.

The NYNJ Port Authority Pipe & Drum Band, Hoboken High School Band, Weehawken High School Band, Union City High School Band, and others will be on hand.

Officials unveil new mural

Mayor Ravi Bhalla was joined by Freeholder Anthony Romano, and council members Jim Doyle and Emily Jabbour to unveil a new public art mural of professional tennis player Michael Chang, above the Columbus Park tennis courts.

The mural, created by local artist Ricardo Roig, depicts the Hoboken-born player and winner of the 1989 French Open.

The mural is the first piece of public art funded by last year’s executive order declaring 1 percent of all city bonds be provided for a public arts fund.

Mayor Bhalla also announced the launch of an advisory arts commission made up of residents and local artists, to help choose various public art projects to be funded through the new public arts fund.

“Michael Chang exemplifies Hoboken’s spirit of firsts, as the first Asian American to win a Grand Slam tournament,” Bhalla said. “His grit and determination on the tennis court is artfully depicted by Ricardo, whose work is a source of pride and inspiration for our city. I thank Ricardo for initiating this mural, and his contributions which reflect the diversity of our community. I am proud of the many talented artists in Hoboken, and look forward to working with the newly formed Arts Advisory Committee to further beautify our city.”

The tennis mural, officially named “Michael Chang, Hoboken Hero” was hand-cut and stencil spray-painted by Ricardo, a 35-year old professional fine artist from Hoboken. This is Ricardo’s second mural in Hoboken.

“Murals are big but not necessarily for their size; it’s in their spirit,” Roig said. “Murals are larger than us, larger than life. They transcend time and help to tell the stories. They inspire our daily life, and grow with our lives. As a solo artist who is normally working alone in a studio, murals help me to stretch out and work with others, like these wonderful individuals making policy better for our city, offering their time and talent to the greater good, energy and nourishment we need as humans from the power of art. This mural is big, not because of its four-story size, but because we did it together with teamwork and a common goal of sharing color, wonder, and Hoboken’s history.”

Thanks to the passage of the bond to fund the Northwest Park, more than $540,000 of funds are set aside for public art installations to help beautify the city, including $25,000 for the Michael Chang mural, which will be on the city council agenda Wednesday evening.

Any resident or artists interested in serving on the city’s arts committee is encouraged to apply by emailing a resume and letter of intent to Geri Fallo at gfallo@hobokennj.gov. Once officially formed by the city, the committee will accept proposals for public art and recommend projects to be funded through the public arts fund, with approval by the city council.

Free Fitness in the Park series began this week

Hoboken will host several free outdoor fitness, yoga, and meditation classes in various city parks this summer. Local studios and instructors will give the classes. Participants should wear sneakers and loose-fitting clothing, and bring water, towel, and a mat.

Classes began last Monday and will be Monday through Thursday from now until mid September.

For a list of available classes go to https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/fitness-and-yoga-in-the-park

“Exploring the Joy of Literature” event May 23
Professor and talk show host John Bredin will help re-imagine the book club
for the  21st century in this unique, literary event on May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Symposia Bookstore, 510 Washington St.
Unlike traditional book clubs that focus on one book, this no-homework-
assignment meeting will explore the rich variety of literature that gives our lives meaning: past, present, and future.
Recommended for book lovers, writers, and teachers.  Though free and open to the public, donations are appreciated.
Space is limited. RSVP at johnbredintv@gmail.com.

Adopt pet waste stations

To combat pet waste, Hoboken is launching an “adopt-a-pet waste station” program.

The stations, which will include a starter supply of pet waste bags, will be purchased and installed by the city free of charge for interested property owners or condominium associations pledging to maintain and refill the station with bags.

“My administration is committed to clean streets and sidewalks,” said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “I encourage property owners across Hoboken to help play a role and adopt free pet waste stations, which have been successful in reducing pet waste in other regions.”

Interested property owners are asked to fill out an “adopt-a-pet waste station” request form, which will be evaluated by the Department of Environmental Services. If accepted, the city will purchase and install a pet waste station with one pet waste bag dispenser, signage, and a starter supply of pet waste bags within one block of the property.

For more information and to apply, visit https://hoboken.seamlessdocs.com/f/foy65zcyz6fa and fill out the pet waste station request form.

Celebrate Pete Seeger at Hoboken Summer concert series

Elena Skye and Boo Reiners of the Demolition String Band will host a tribute concert to Pete Seeger in celebration of what would have been his 100th birthday at Frank Sinatra Park on Thursday, June 6. This will be the kickoff concert for Hoboken’s free Thursday night summer concert series.

The night will feature acoustic guitars, fiddles, banjos, mandolins, and many guest singers and musicians performing songs either written by or made famous by Pete Seeger. Guests include Richard Barone, Karyn Kuhl, Kate Jacobs, Jon & Deena of The Cucumbers and The Campfire Flies, Gene D. Plumber, Glenn Morrow, Tiphanie Douchet, Sean Kiely, and Nick Conte.

The Demolition String Band is a Hoboken-based country, folk, and bluegrass band that has released eight albums and toured the United States and Europe.

Pete Seeger, who died in 2014, wrote iconic folk songs such as “Turn Turn Turn,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” and “If I Had A Hammer” but also loved to perform songs by other great American songwriters like Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Malvina Reynolds and Elizabeth Cotton.

Guitar Bar to celebrate Woodstock at latest world record attempt

The Guitar Bar All-Stars, featuring Guitar Bar teachers from all three Hoboken and Jersey City locations, invites all acoustic guitarists or owners of other string instruments to join in the attempt to break the World Record for the world’s largest band.

The seventh annual play-along will take place on Thursday, July 25, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Sinatra Park.

This year participants will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival with songs that were performed at this historic three-day rock concert, including music by The Who, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and others.

Guitar Bar will post the song list with chords and other updates on the Guitar Bar Facebook page.