I guess every rock fan in Hoboken has some cute/obnoxious little run-in story about Yo La Tengo, our own local living and breathing rock Gods (and Goddess). My story has always been about taking the PATH train from Manhattan in the middle of the night with husband-and-wife band members Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley.
If I remember correctly, it was already quite a night for rock 'n roll, as I was on my way home from the Arcade Fire show in Central Park that featured a surprise appearance from Mr. David Bowie. Georgia and Ira were on the PATH with their bikes and I found myself standing right between them, arms distance away. Of course I never trust my instincts so for a second or two I wasn't entirely sure it was them, and neither, apparently, was some other guy on the train, leaning against the door with headphones on. I looked at him and our eyes met for an instant. "Yo La Tengo?" he mouthed to me. I smiled and nodded.
My other Yo La Tengo sighting was on a certain street in Hoboken, in front of a particular apartment building that will go unnamed. Again it was Ira and Georgia. They were sitting on the front steps. For a while, every time I passed this building I kept an eye out for them, assuming this was where they lived. Eventually, I moved to a new place and stopped passing the building on my way to work. And I basically forgot all about it.
Until last week.
Jen and I were out with a real estate agent looking at apartments (we were thinking about buying, but I think we've abandoned that for now) and, sure enough, she takes us to the Yo La Tengo building. Was Georgia coming out of the elevator? Was Ira in his bathrobe grabbing a copy of the Hoboken Reporter? Were we being shown THEIR apartment? No, none of that. But because I'm a freak, I just had to know if this was really their building. So when our real estate lady was busy talking to Jen and my parents, who were down for the occasion, I snuck into the little corner where the mailboxes are. Sure enough, there was a list of tenants' names on the wall.
One of them was "Kaplun".
With a "u".
With that, my little spying adventure ended, and I rejoined the group down the hall. The apartment was nice enough, but not exactly what we were looking for. So I'll probably never know if the tenant really is some schlub named "Kaplun" or if it's a spelling error. Oh well. Rock on.