OK…so we’re out in Hoboken freezing our asses off this morning and I decide to do a quick portrait of the guy I was shooting on the sidewalk outside of his building…and yes, I knew that maybe I would need a permit, but we were only gonna be out there for fifteen stinking minutes and besides, it wasn’t like we had a twenty-person crew and motor homes and generators….but of course, just as we were ready to get going a cop pulls up and barks out, “You gotta permit for this?!!”…”No”, says I, pleading blissful ignorance of the complex photography laws of the fine State of New Jersey (insert all the sarcasm you can muster), “…but do you think you could let us slide?”. You already know the answer to that one, and he tells me I have to go Police Headquarters and fill out an application…

Off I go, meandering through the pothole-ravaged roads of the square-mile hamlet only known because Sinatra was born here, but when I get to the Cop Shop they say I’m in the wrong place…I hafta go to City Hall! OK…I walk the two blocks to City Hall, but once there and after waiting fifteen minutes in line, the Town Clerk (a snottier jerkoff you will never meet!) tells me it’s the Police who approve all film permits and besides, it takes three days and there is a $700 fee!!! I explain my situation and that I’m not shooting a ‘Film’ and that I’m working for a magazine, not Dreamworks, but he could give a rat’s ass…he ain’t budging. So one more trip back to Cops where, you guessed it, they shoot me down in flames!

So the photo of Bo that sits at the top of this post is all I have to show of the dump beautiful town that is Hoboken!!! I suppose that if that asshole Town Clerk sees this, I just might get a bill for $700 since, technically, I did shoot there, but I’ll take my chances and simply avoid Hoboken for the rest of my time on Earth!


16 thoughts on “FUCK HOBOKEN !!!

  1. I totally feel your pain… couple of months ago was meant to photograph a guy in front of Fanueil Hall — rumored to be one of the seats of LIBERTY and FREEDOM for our nascent country back in the day. Went inside and alerted the guards who nodded and said no problem, set up one light and sat in the frigid weather for about a half hour waiting for our subject only to have Johnny Law show up five minutes before the subject to inform me that “You can’t be here.” — I ignored the existential argument that immediately sprang to mind.

    I asked who I had to speak with and it turned out that little patch of granite cobblestones was under the jurisdiction of some property management company. I’d need to apply for a permit in writing – three day turnaround, pay a fee (can’t recall the amount) AND hire an officer to stand guard ($400) for the pleasure of photographing for 10 minutes on a public way…

  2. Humh? As long as you shooting on public walkway and not obstructing much of traffic – they should not have any ground to shut you, unless of course you happened to shoot building of “strategical value”, b/c of course whoever needs shots of those would do it with lights and sticking a person in front of lenses..

  3. This story is the opposite story I was given from the Police dept when I called them asking if permits were required..

    Perhaps the difference was I was asking for wedding photos?

    But I do engagement photos there ALL the time and have never had a cop ask me for a permit.


  4. Only in America!
    If a cop stops me in the UK I have to remind him of my RIGHT to freely take images in public places. Unless I do something suspicious or dangerous the coppers can’t do a thing!

  5. Not that you haven’t noticed already but Hudson County, where Hobotown sits is allegedly the most corrupt county in the country. I can’t say I’m surprised you got harassed.

    And they wonder why no one wants to do business in these areas.

  6. Since they can’t stop freedom of the press, all you have to say is that you are shooting an editorial spread for (insert local magazine or newspaper here). You may still get harassed, but the First Amendment is more clear than the Hoboken city bylaws.

    I had the same situation happen here in California and saying that I’m shooting editorial (as opposed to commercial) usually gets me in the clear.

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