One of the best ways to get a vibe on a town is to read the Letters to the Editor in the local newspaper (at least while newspapers still exist). Some of today’s posts in the Hoboken Reporter cracked me up.

First we have a guy who visited Hoboken from out of town, apparently got a parking ticket and a boot, and got squared away $195 later. He likens Hoboken’s parking laws to making money off people the way “Bernie Madoff has done to his investors.” Priceless.

Then we have a guy comparing those opposed to the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day parade and ensuing “celebration” to Nazis. He contends they’re just disguising their prejudice against the Irish by focusing on those who behave badly. And he doesn’t even live in Hoboken.

Not so sure about that one, sir. While the parade and activities that surround it bring lots of revenue into our local businesses from out-of-towners, it’s become a scary scene. Last weekend, on the day of the St. Pat’s parade, I left town for a baby shower for a dear Irish-American friend. I told her I wouldn’t celebrate her by puking up green on the sidewalk. I came back at 8 p.m. to a scene of drunk, dazed, staggering, shouting, belligerent, passed out young folks in a sea of green. Please, give me some corned beef and cabbage, read me some James Joyce, play some U2 on the stereo and call that a celebration of the Irish.

Meanwhile, we have a mayoral election heating up and the old guard is trying to hold on while the newbies attempt to put a fresh face on things. More entertaining letters to come …