Garden State Date: Hoboken Italian Fest, Jersey City Fridays, Silver Jews at Maxwell’s

Each week, our man in Jersey offers a few good reasons to head across the Hudson

We got a little depressed leaving the beach in Asbury Park at the end of Labor Day, a holiday that signals, symbolically at least, the bittersweet end of summer. No more icy Coronas under the sun or blasting David Bowie with the car windows down en route to the Jersey Shore, we thought. Goodbye marathon barbecue sessions at our friends’ parents’ houses in the suburbs (especially the ones with in-ground swimming pools)! Sigh. But after we’d put our sandy beach chairs in the trunk of our Corolla for the last time, we remembered that there was still some summer fun yet to be had. In fact, how could we have almost forgotten about the annual Hoboken Italian Festival?!

It starts today and runs through Sunday evening, and you will find us there eating sausage sandwiches and throwing back bottles of Peroni inside the festival’s spacious alcohol pen that overlooks the Manhattan skyline. (Sometimes, you have to admit, it’s nicer to gaze upon the city than to be in it.) And when we need a break from boozing (ha-ha, as if! no, really), we’ll take a stroll to peruse what kinds of crucifixes are for sale, get some cheap thrills by watching the hazardous-looking D-rate carnival rides in action, and gawk at the alternately mesmerizing and nauseating cannoli eating contest, this year scheduled for Saturday night at 8:30, right before the fireworks. Also, Frank Sinatra was from Hoboken, and the Italian Festival takes place, appropriately, on a street called Frank Sinatra Drive, right on the Hudson River. What’s not to love? [Sept. 4-7, PATH train on 33rd Street line to Hoboken, approx. 15 min., hobokenitalianfestival.com]

On Friday there’s a city-wide quarterly arts festival in Jersey City, with most of the events and happenings taking place in the—for lack of a less tired-sounding phrase—"up and coming" downtown neighborhood. It’s called Jersey City Fridays, and it’s held on the first Friday of each season (though, per our rant above, remember that it’s technically still summer!). What you can expect: Lots of art openings and studio exhibits (some with free wine and cheese, natch), live music, restaurant tastings, theater performances, etc. etc. There are 40 venues participating in all, with stuff going on as early as 9 a.m. and as late 11 p.m. [Sept. 5, PATH train to Grove Street, approx. 15 minutes on the 33rd Street line, five minutes from World Trade Center, jcfridays.com]

Lastly, the indie rock is a-plenty these next few days at Maxwell’s. Tomorrow there’s a benefit for Schramms bassist and one-time Yo La Tengo member Terry Karydes—the impetus for the benefit is not clear, but it will feature performances by neighborhood fixtures Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo, as well as Glenn Mercer of the reunited Feelies, another iconic Hoboken band. And on Monday: Silver Jews, who have only toured once before, ever. Don’t miss your chance to see broken poet and frontman David Berman, as its never clear if you’ll have another. [Sept. 5 and Sept. 8, PATH train on 33rd Street line to Hoboken, approx. 15 minutes, and walk down Washington Street, maxwellsnj.com]

Garden State Date: Hoboken Italian Fest, Jersey City Fridays, Silver Jews at Maxwell’s