Hoboken, the real Sinatra town
Chicago was his kind of town, L.A. was his lady and South Philly is filled, to this day, with somebodies who love him. But despite a rocky relationship between hero and hometown, Hoboken will always be the city where Frank Sinatra was born.
(Associated Press) - Chicago was his kind of town, L.A. was his lady and South Philly is filled, to this day, with somebodies who love him. But despite a rocky relationship between hero and hometown, Hoboken will always be the city where Frank Sinatra was born.
That hardscrabble New Jersey city is finding the centennial of its native son's birth to be a very good year.
Throughout 2015, Hoboken has commemorated Sinatra, who died in 1998 at age 82. They've held outdoor screenings of his movies, a "Sinatra Idol" competition and a series of concerts.
It will all be capped by a centennial birthday bash on Dec. 12 at the Stevens Institute of Technology, which awarded the high school dropout an honorary degree, in 1985.
The Hoboken Historical Museum has seen a 300 percent jump in visitors since opening a Sinatra exhibit in early August and has hired extra staff, director Robert Foster said.
The city has a plaque at 415 Monroe St. to mark the site where Sinatra was born, in 1915, to middle-class parents. And never mind that Sinatra at one point called his hometown a sewer.
The icy relationship began to thaw in 1979 when the city changed River Road to Sinatra Drive. A park and the city's main post office would also come to bear his name.
"People unfamiliar with Hoboken seem to think of it as a dumpy small Jersey town, filled with people who really want to live in New York City," said Greta Wilson, 68, who was born and raised there.
"Frank helped put Hoboken on the map," she said, "and people still come there to this day just see 'his town.' "