Hoboken to the Hamptons

On October 15, 2020 I unpacked my boxes and unlocked the door to my Hoboken apartment. It symbolized change, opportunity, and, above all, freedom. A place entirely to myself. Well, one year later and that 750 square foot apartment has become much more than where I live— it’s become home, in every sense of the word. It’s where I feel safe and comfortable, a place that I miss when I’m gone. But it’s also where I built myself, something I didn’t anticipate when I initially signed the lease.

October 15, 2020

I arrived amid the pandemic, when the price was right but social distancing made crafting a social life from scratch near impossible. For my first six months as a Jersey resident, I felt isolated, despite my newfound sense of independence. I envisioned Hoboken as my future while simultaneously refusing to accept the Hamptons as my past. So, I attempted to sustain my Hamptons community while building a Hoboken one. Selfishly, I wanted to straddle the line of realities and make both places my own. And I did.

Today, as I walk the cobblestones of Court Street holding the latest issue of James Lane Post in hand, I’m reminded of all that I have built for myself since my move exactly one year ago. I’ve kayaked countless miles across the Hudson River with the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, celebrated City of Water Day with Fund for a Better Waterfront, went back to the 80s with the Hoboken Shelter, and tested my limits at the Hoboken City Challenge Race. Throughout that same duration, I wrote for and held a Weekly Wellness column with James Lane Post and AFLOAT USA, moderated a nutrition panel in East Hampton, and co-organized the inaugural Southampton Shop and Stroll to benefit the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. Somehow, someway, I kept the Hamptons close to my heart as I rooted myself in Hoboken’s mile-square city. 

Hoboken City Challenge Race

All the while, I transitioned out of a career as a traditional journalist and began my own business as a contract brand storyteller, working with clients from Hudson County to the Hamptons and everywhere in between (even down south to Virginia!). This has been my greatest achievement because it allowed me to connect communities through conversation, and it continues to fuel my passion for people every day.

with Thuyen Nguyen in East Hampton

When we look back on our lives it’s usually through rose colored glasses (psychologists refer to this as rosy retrospection). I’m not saying that this year didn’t come with its fair share of problems, or that I’m impervious to the realities of starting my own business. On the contrary, the initial struggles of my move propelled me forward and forced me to step out of my comfort zone, and I have grown in ways I may not even realize for months or years to come. 

So, cheers to me and my Hoboken-versary. May the next year bring even more memories and friendships, clients and community, from Hudson County to the Hamptons and everywhere in between. 

Sweet! Dessert Places That Deliver

It’s 8 PM and you just finished dinner. As you’re cleaning the kitchen, drying the dishes, suddenly, a craving hits. You recall strolling through New York City, or even Jersey City, and coming across that bakery. It was delicious, mouth-watering, and right now you wish you could be back in that moment again for one more bite. You’d give anything to satisfy your sweet tooth. The stomach wants what it wants. Sadly, your home is out of range for Uber Eats. So, you put the dishes away and turn on Netflix as another disappointing night without dessert goes by.

Well, there’s a solution for that. I’ve compiled a list of indulgences that do nationwide delivery, from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Jersey, to the Hamptons. Dessert brought directly to your door.

Milk Bar, recognized for its classic confectionary style, hit the dessert scene in 2008 when it opened its doors in the East Village. Since then, James Beard award-winning pastry chef Christina Tosi has expanded Milk Bar to 16 locations. Whether you’re craving a classic B’Day flavor or seasonal Pumpkin Dulce De Leche, it’ll arrive at your home when you order.

Baked In Color, located at 58th Street and 8th Avenue, is noted for its original rainbow chocolate chip cookies. They sell out so quickly that the website even suggests ordering in advance for those nearby. Not a worry, they do nationwide shipping on all tins, tubes, brownies, and cakes.

Gluten-free, and ready-to-eat cookie dough is a dream Willy Wonka would rave about. Kristen Tomlan is the mastermind behind serving of edible cookie dough in ice cream cups out of her flagship location in Greenwich Village. serves upward of 10 flavors, with new ideas churning out. Trade in the Pillsbury container and think outside the tin.

For a cookie with a doughy feel but cooked in classic form, there’s Gooey On The Inside. The brick and mortar store is on Chrystie Street, but with a Dunkaroo Cookie and molten cookie jars, it’s worth going to.

The bite-sized cupcake, which really only leads to more bites, delivers directly to your door thanks to Baked by Melissa. S’mores, cookie dough, peanut butter cup, tie-dye and more await.

But if you’re more of a go-big or go-home type and feeling like a full-sized cupcake, splurge on the popular Magnolia Bakery. Since opening its first location in 1996 in the West Village, Magnolia has proven to be a household name. Let a piece into your home.

Some names are synonymous with the streets of New York, like Carnegie Deli and Russ & Daughters. Maybe desserts aren’t the first thing you think of when you hear these classic names, but black and white cookies, rugelach, and chocolate babka make coming home all the sweeter. Explore offerings at www.goldbelly.com.

Over to Brooklyn, Oneg Bakery in Williamsburg has been voted “best babka in NYC,” an order that would make Elaine Benes and Jerry Seinfeld proud (season five, episode 13). Try it for yourself.

If chocolate isn’t your thing, then surely the world-famous Juniors Cheesecake can satisfy your craving. Since 1950, the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb has been filling bellies with its golden classic, and seasonal offerings like pumpkin, apple crumb, and more.

Hopping over the Hudson is a lesser known but large in flavor cookie shop. Bang Cookies, located in Jersey City, plans to open two new locations in the upcoming weeks at the American Dream Mall and another in Hoboken. With boozy cookies, Bourbon Walnut Toffee, Cinnamon Whiskey Crackle, classics like Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk, and so much more, it’s no surprise that this small shop is making big baking waves. Taste it for yourself.

After opening its doors in 2011, Carissa’s Bakery in the Hamptons enjoyed an expansion this past summer. Known for its breads and pastries, it’s no wonder it ships domestically every Thursday.

Levain Bakery was founded in 1994 with a headquartered shop on the Upper West Side, but luckily their summering in the Hamptons clientele brought them out east as well. Taste what everyone is talking about. And who could forget about Tate’s, the Southampton shop that made crispy cookies a craze. Go in yourself or order online at www.tatesbakeshop.com.


This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper here.