Brainy Things to Do in Hoboken

Little City Books offers literary braininess.

You may have heard that according to a recent article over at NJ.com, Hoboken is the second-“brainiest” town in New Jersey, coming in right after Ho-Ho-Kus. Now, there are some flaws with how this honor was arrived at. For one thing, it’s based on the percentage of residents who have a Bachelor’s Degree or better—and as just about everyone who knows other human beings can attest, having a degree has nothing to do with intelligence. For another … Ho-Ho-Kus? Really? That by itself invalidates the premise.

Still, it’s nice to think of Hoboken as a hotbed of something other than binge drinking and great pizza, so we here at Hoboken Life are going to accept the title of Second Most Brainy City in New Jersey and run with it. And once you start thinking about it, there are actually quite a number of intellectual pursuits and activities you can enjoy in the city in case you need a break from bars that have 6,000 televisions. So here are the brainiest things you can do in Hoboken, in case you think you are actually pretty smart.

Brainy is as Brainy Does

Join a Book Club or Attend a Reading at Little City Books. Little City has a robust calendar of literary events, including many book clubs where people gather to discuss specific books, and readings featuring an impressive list of authors you’ve actually heard of. There’s no better way to establish your brainy cred than to show up and drop some literary knowledge on your neighbors.

Little City Books offers literary braininess.
Little City Books offers literary braininess.

Check Out a Gallery. Once you start paying attention, you realize that there are a lot of art galleries in Hoboken. Check out the Barsky Gallery, the Issyra Gallery, and the Hob’art Gallery in the Monroe Center for some usually free exposure to current, vibrant art that will inspire intellectual discussion and argument.

Barsky Gallery
Barsky Gallery

Head to the Library. The Hoboken Public Library is an amazing place. You can go and just spend some time reading, which is pretty brainy, but there are also plenty of classes and programs for adults, including book clubs, movie screenings and discussions, and workshops covering everything from health issues to cultural studies.

Hoboken Public Library
Hoboken Public Library

Learn to Cook. Cooking is part art, part science, which makes learning to cook an intellectual activity as much as a social or gastrointestinal experience. Hudson Table offers an endless series of classes that range from hands-on cooking lessons to less involved experiences—but all will leave you with a better understanding of the chemistry and physics of food prep and cooking.

Hudson Table
Hudson Table

Take on a Trivia Challenge. Pub trivia nights might not seem too brainy, but they are, aren’t they? Trivia requires a wide grasp of subject matter and the ability to think on your feet. Grab a brew and challenge yourself and your teammates to prove your intellectual superiority.

Learn to Play an Instrument. The Guitar Bar isn’t just the source for musical instruments in town, it’s also the best place to learn a bit of music theory and how to apply it to an instrument. They offer private lessons in a variety of instruments including guitar, drums, violin, and piano. You may never be Eric Clapton, but learning some music theory will increase you brainy quotient.

Jim at the Guitar Bar
Jim at the Guitar Bar

Those are just some suggestions—why not form a salon in your living room, invite over all your smartest friends, and come up with some other ideas?


Jeffrey Somers

Staff Writer • Jeff Somers (jeffreysomers.com) is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People (wearenotgoodpeople.com) and the publisher of The Inner Swine (innerswine.com). Jeff may be reach at [email protected] . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .



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