Aside from my grad school years in San Fran in the mid-90s, this is the first time I've spent Thanksgiving away from my family in Texas.
Interesting to notice that most everything was still open here on Thanksgiving, whereas in Texas, almost all stores shut down. The huge Pathmark grocery store, for instance, was busy. I had nothing to do Thanksgiving day, so walked over there, expecting it to be closed, but no... So I ended up buying some stupid non-Thanksgiving stuff, like Coke and frozen pizza! :)
While Austin (my home-town) has a big Hispanic population, the Hispanics are "Tex-Mex" and Americanized, fully participating in American holidays like Thanksgiving. Here, though, the Hispanic population is primarily Dominican, and they're on their own schedule. While the nearby Burger King and Blimpie's were closed, the McDonald's was open, as was my nearby Dominican-owned beer store and sandwich place, as well as most of the "Bergenline" (nearby street) strip of shops. It was interesting to be able to walk around on THANKSGIVING and to find a bunch of stuff open, which had never been my experience before. (Aside from the Dominicans, this whole area is so international in general that I guess it doesn't make sense for store-owners to close down just 'cause a few Americans are home for the holidays. I can't decide if that's nice or not...)
While walking around on a Weehawken sidewalk late-Thanksgiving afternoon, I also came across a couple of 20-something NY JETS fans, all decked out in their green Jets regalia and saying, "It's almost kickoff! We're going to kick the Cowboys' ass!" WHOA, there, boys! I had to turn around and say "GO COWBOYS!!" and then explain that I was from Texas, et al...! (For non-football fans: The NY Jets played the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys ultimately kicked their ass.) The two boys were cute and flirty: "Well, your eyes are green like the Jets colors, so we know who you're really for!" ---- That's really a good line! And these guys were only about 20