Hal Johnson

January 1, 1997

Post #725 – 19970101

I must say, Hoboken has more frat boys in it than one would be led to believe from reading your books. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if, ever since I wrote and told you, several months ago, that I was moving to Hoboken–if you have been laughing at me behind my back all this time, occasionally shaking you head in disbelief and muttering, “I can’t believe I tricked that nimrod into moving there.”

Frat boys regardless, Hoboken is a nice town, and it is true, as Norman says in _Atilla the Pun_, that you can furnish your apartment with items found on the street. I amuse myself by taking friends of mine on Pinkwater-Tours of Hoboken, the highlight of which is an exciting trip to the playground at which Henrietta learned to slide.

I was wondering if you would be willing to provide the approximate locations of the Magic Moscow (or the place that inspired it, should there be one) and your old Hoboken homestead. Surely the statute of limitations has expired, and you can no longer be held acountable for whatever acts fo depravity you committed there; the Cold War is over, and with it your need for secrecy. If I could point out “the old Pinkwater place” on my tours, I would no longer have to hear people say: “That’s it? A crummy slide?”

I would like to point out that I do not charge for these tours, and that I have never eaten a child of my own.

Daniel replies:

It must be 17 years since I last saw Hoboken--no, I tell a lie, it's only 13, (but that was just for as long as it took to slurp some clams, and then duck back to Manhattan). So, it's probably changed a lot since I made it up entirely out of whole cloth for those books.

When I lived there, my mental urban model was an amalgamation of Chicago and Los Angeles, with specific excerpts from New York, London, and Cincinnati, a shot of the White Castle in Cleveland at 2:00 AM, and a certain intersection in the old part of Nairobi. Since then it's changed a bit, and has some Poughkeepsie in it.

You actually live in Hoboken? I didn't know anybody did that any more.