The Story of Hoboken Happy Hour Group
For those of you who I haven't met, My name is Tiffany Shenman, a Hoboken resident of 13 years, and I co-created the Hoboken Happy Hour Group. I am a teacher, real estate agent, field hockey and softball coach, and also run this group. One of the most popular questions I am asked at events is, "How did you start this group?" Well...here's the story...
I moved here in 1998, straight out of college, because I wanted to move to this great town called Hoboken. None of my college friends chose to move here, so I did it on my own. I was 23 and didn't know a soul in this town. I remember thinking, "I'm fun..I want to go out..but with who?!?" I wished I had a circle of friends to go out with. Back in the day when it was "weird and dangerous" to meet people online at all, I answered a friends personal ad on Hobokeni and a group formed of 20 people who would never have met under any other circumstances. I went from having nothing to do to having people to get together with 7 days a week if I wanted...and yes we drank for the first 3 weeks straight upon meeting! No cell phones needed, we were at Rogos on Tuesdays, Hobsons Fridays and Miss Kittys Saturdays. This group served its purpose, and I remain friends with some of those people today. The only problem...it never grew, and after a while people started going their seperate ways.
One of my friends who I met from that group was Brent Moss. One lovely happy hour afternoon, Brent and I were chilling out at Hobsons having many beers talking about people and life. His exact words, "We need to meet new people!" He suggested starting a new group, but having it always grow so new people were always in the mix. "Let's call it the Hoboken Happy Hour Group," he suggested. I agreed, and then it was born. Back then, fancy emails did not take place...emails were sent via boring typed email saying "Hey everyone.. we'll be at this bar at this time..be there!" Word of mouth and another ad on Hobokeni helped spread the word. Bars didn't know about us..we just showed up, and strangers who quickly became friends did too.
I remeber when the group had 2 members, then 25, then it hit 100!
I was emailing everyone from my aol account until one day I got a call from my dad, then master screenname on the account who was furious that our account had been shut down because AOL called my mass emails "Spam!" Then I knew I needed something larger. Along the way, friends lent me their server mailing system so I could have people subscribe on a link, etc...This group was growing and I couldn't believe how many great people there were out there who also were in the same boat I was at 23. New people would show up, and within minutes they were at ease and immediately had 10-15 new friends in Hoboken.
Randomly one week I had the idea to throw a singles event at the Goldhawk without much planning and 3 days notice. Everyone came out of the woodwork and I packed the place! We hadn't even told them we were coming! That event sparked the idea to throw larger events, and we have had probably 8 or 9 huge singles events over the years, Pub Crawls, Sports Teams in local leagues..and after six years of acclimating people to new bars and introducing them to new people in town...this group found its was up to 1100+ people on my mailing list, including another 800 on myspace, and 350 on Facebook.
Bars know about HHH now and have been generous in having us host events at their establishments. We established a website and mailing system, and have made partnerships with several establishments in town.
I always think back to when I was new and didn't know anyone, and I really try to make people feel comfortable at my events. Everyone is welcome and if you keep coming out, you'll start to really get to know many of my friends I have made through HHH. Everyone always says they have been on the list for a while and were nervous to come out...after they do, they seem happy they finally bit the bullet! I don't charge a membership fee for this group because this desire to make friends and meet new people came from a very real place and desire to help people. All I hope is that people have a good time, meet great people, and return their appreciation by continuing to come out. I have enjoyed seeing my own friends become acclimated with each other via this group and my efforts. It makes me happy knowing I created something that does something positive for a community of people and allows paths to be crossed for those who would never have met.
Over the years other friends of mine have also helped led this crusade. Thanks to Tom Ritter who gave me the vision to talk to bars and make this group bigger, Joe Magee who did the same and added his musical talents with The Tim & Joe Show, and Krysten Mack whose creativity meshed with mine as we shared the same brain for perfecting our events and making them as creative as possible. I thank Krysten for the launch of our website, and Michaela Murray-Nolan for keeping it going. Jen Levine graciously helps out with providing me lovely glossy flyers we hang up around town and at bars to promote our events. This is a true team, all of whom are HHH regulars.
On a sad note, my good friend Brent, co-founder of HHH, didn't get to see where this group was going, as he unexpectedly passed away in January of 2006. I would like to dedicate April 18th's 6th Year Spring Fling Bash to the person who named it and helped create it, Brent Moss.
Kysten Mack helped the HHH team in 2011 and we have been working diligently to put together some creative and amazing events for you! This group is perfect for people who live in the area and are looking to make new friends and break into a different social circle. We love meeting new people and introducing you to new bars, restaurants, and friends in Hoboken!
I hope you'll decide to come out and support us and have a blast!
The behind the scenes work that goes into an event like this is tremendous.. it's all for you guys so please come out to enjoy it! Everyone is welcome so feel free to bring your friends! Hope to see you soon!
Hoboken Happy Hour Group