Meet Natalie Morales: Hoboken Resident & NBC Today Show Anchor
Meet Natalie Morales: Hoboken Resident & NBC Today Show Anchor
Story by: Rory Chadwick of Hoboken, NJ
The other day as I was drinking an evening glass of wine at a local restaurant, I overheard the folks next to me talking all about the celebrities that live or are assumed to be living in the Mile Square city. I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop but I was fascinated by the topic and kept on nonchalantly listening. The couple next to me spoke of rumors that LL Cool J and 50 Cent all had places at the W. Then they went on to NFL, NHL and NBA stars in our community. Then came the actors and so on. The couple was explaining to each other how each celebrity probably felt about the town and truthfully I got a great laugh at some of their thoughts.
Then it clicked in my head! “I know a local celebrity, let me ask them what they think about our town and some of the local happenings and so on and make a story out of it.” I emailed my friend Natalie Morales, correspondent / anchor of The Today Show. Natalie was all thumbs up about my idea and recently spoke with me for my exclusive story for TheBokenOnline.com I asked Natalie the following questions and her responses are below.
RC: TheBokenOnline.com is a resourceful site within Hoboken that focuses on where to eat and drink and also focuses on Hoboken happenings. Have a look at it and please give me your impression about it? Do you think this is a site in Hoboken that people should use?
Natalie Morales: It is a great site. Just discovered it thanks to you, but so necessary too because I always am looking for something to do with the kids. I do think it’s a great resource for the neighborhood from all the news on local politics and happenings around town to even learning your favorite recipes from our local restaurants. I will be sure to check it out now that I know it’s there.
Natalie Morales: My father was in the military (Air Force, Retired now) and during the Vietnam War, he was based out of Taichun, Taiwan. It was such a beautiful place to live, he decided to move my family there. I was all of about a year old when I left Taichun, so I have no memory of it but I do have a lot of super 8 film documenting those first days of my life. It does seem like a beautiful place and someday I dream to go back and explore. As a military family we moved on average every 3 years. So after Taiwan my dad was stationed in New Jersey (McGuire AFB), followed by international assignments to Panama, then Brazil… then we moved stateside for 3 years to Dover, DE which was followed by Madrid, Spain. I lived in Madrid the longest and during my formative years (12-17) so I consider it the place I really grew up. Unfortunately, my father got transferred my senior year to Dover, DE again and that meant starting over with just a year left of high school, which was not an easy transition. That then led me to Rutgers, where my dad is also an alum.
Natalie Morales: I was a journalism major in college and had internships, but when it came to getting a job during the last recession in the 90′s… well, times were tough for journalism majors. So I decided partly to continue my education through a management training program at what was formerly Chemical Bank, which then merged with Chase Manhattan. It was a real-world lesson in economics, and not just professional but personally. I managed to save money during those 2 years and decided when the program was up that it was time to really make my move and find the job of my dreams, which was working in broadcast television and eventually reporting. From Chemical, I got a job at Court TV first in production and marketing, but that led to other things that eventually allowed me to launch my reporting career at News 12 The Bronx.
Natalie Morales: I moved to Hoboken from Connecticut after getting a job at MSNBC in 2002. I had been working in Hartford as the morning anchor at the NBC O&O, WVIT, but when I got the job at MSNBC I knew I would have to live closer to the city. We looked all over NY and NJ and having studied at Rutgers and spent time in Hoboken, I remembered it was a really cool little city that was the best of both worlds. We found a house we fell in love with at first sight, and next thing I knew I was becoming a Jersey Girl.
RC: What are your 3 favorite restaurants in Hoboken, NJ? And out of the 3 which one would be your favorite and your favorite restaurant what is your favorite dish?
Natalie Morales: My favorites are Cucharramama, Zafra, and The Dining Room by Anthony David. My tops would be Cucharramama. I love the authenticity of the South American cuisine. I recently had my birthday dinner there and had an incredible appetizer to start which was a small pepper filled with sweet potato puree and topped with a Manchego Cheese sauce. Amazing. The Chef from Cucharramama recently cooked at the White House for the Obamas, that’s how good it is. And Zafra is a close second because it was my first dining experience in Hoboken. In fact, based on that meal alone I knew Hoboken was going to be a great fit because it had the cultural diversity I was looking for as well as all the benefits of a great city, though with a more suburban feel. The Dining Room is also a favorite … I love the entire menu, and the fact it’s BYO is really a bonus.
Natalie Morales: Running through town along Frank Sinatra Drive and hanging in Hoboken’s parks with my kids. We also enjoy “stooping” with the neighbors — meaning a glass of wine, the kids playing, and all of us hanging out on our stoops.
RC: Being a correspondent on a nationally televised news show that starts early in the morning I have to assume you’re an early riser? Can you walk me through your day from start to end, ie when you get up, how do you get to work, is there a make up session every day, what happens during commercial breaks, how do you prepare for the stories you are going to speak about?
RC: Do you see yourself living in Hoboken in the near future, is this a place you will want to call home for years to come?
Natalie Morales: This is the longest I’ve lived anywhere, so I think I’m staying put for a few more years. It is just such a great neighborhood and my kids love being able to walk to anything. I would have a hard time commuting again too, so for now, we’re here.
RC: Do you go to the NJ shore in the summers on the weekends or do you prefer other beaches in other states?
RC: For those reading this story that want to pursue a career in Journalism, do you have any advice?