Getting to know you: Community holds monthly dinners to meet neighbors

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HOBOKEN -

A group of Hoboken residents say that they were fed up with not knowing their neighbors so they decided to host a monthly dinner for everyone to get to know one another.

The group says that they came up with the idea after a murder happened inside an apartment building on Jackson Street. At a community meeting that followed soon after, many realized that they did know who lived around them. The result is a monthly potluck dinner.

Hoboken has seen dramatic changes over the past few decades. The city was once a working-class waterfront town before it was transformed by an influx of young professionals and new development. The social rift between “old Hoboken” and the "yuppies" was real and palpable.

Many of the residents of the apartment building have lived there for 40 to 60 years. Grant Sahag says he moved in across the street just five years ago.

“I last year spent several times playing bingo with 65-year-old women,” he says. “When would I have ever done that if not for sharing a meal with people that were super different from me?”

Many of the other attendees agree and say that the dinner is a great way to learn about different lifestyles.

“I don’t have a problem with [the yuppies]. A lot of people do. And that's what this dinner represents. So that people can get to know people without just looking at them at face value,” says resident Linda Pizarro. “They can get to know them in depth. And really know that this person is not the person that I thought they were. They're real people just like me.”

The idea of the neighborhood potluck dinner is spreading. The Hoboken High School principal tell News 12 New Jersey that another monthly dinner will be held at the school in the near future.

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