Jersey Strong

One of my Reveille/Between the Lakes readers, knowing I was from New Jersey, sent me the following information. If you live/lived in New Jersey, you will appreciate the wealth of useful and not so useful information, walk down Memory Lane a little and generally be amused. One thing about Jersey folk … we’re proud of our roots.

I haven’t checked the full validity of these statements, but it doesn’t matter. We’re from Jersey and urban legends still reign.

So, here goes …

New Jersey has the second highest per capita income in the U.S.

New Jersey has three counties in the top 10 U.S. counties by income.

New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights (Nov. 20,1789)

New Jersey is a peninsula.

New Jersey is the only state where all of its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.

New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.

New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq mi.) than Havana, Cuba.

New Jersey has the densest system of highways and railroads in the US.

New Jersey has the highest cost of living.

New Jersey has the highest cost of auto insurance.

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation.

New Jersey has the highest population density in the U.S

Cartoonist Thomas Nast (Morristown) created the popular image of Santa Claus.

New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the “Diner Capital of the World.”

New Jersey is home to the less mysterious but the best Italian hot dogs and Italian sausage w/peppers and onions. {I can personally vouch for that one!}

North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius.

New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland.

New Jersey has 50+ resort cities and towns. Some of the nation’s most famous are Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Long Branch, Cape May.

New Jersey was home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City.

The game Monopoly, played all over the world, named the streets on its playing board after the actual streets in Atlantic City.

And, Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world … not to mention salt water taffy.

New Jersey has the most stringent testing along its coastline for water quality control than any other seaboard state in the entire country.

The “Trial of the 20th Century” (the Lindberg baby kidnapping) was held in Flemington.

New Jersey is a leading technology and industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.

Jersey tomatoes are known the world over as being the best you can buy.

You haven’t lived until you have eaten New Jersey sweet corn.

New Jersey is a leader in blueberry and cranberry production.

In 1642, the first brewery in America opened in Hoboken.

New Jersey rocks! The famous Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, in 1940.

New Jersey is a major seaport state with the largest seaport in the U.S. located in Elizabeth. Nearly 80% of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.

New Jersey is home to one of the nation’s busiest airports,  Liberty International (in Newark).

George Washington slept here … actually everywhere in the state. Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil led by  General Washington. On Christmas Eve 1776 he crossed the Delaware to attack the Hessian troops at Trenton.

The light bulb, phonograph (record player) and motion picture projector were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park laboratory.

New Jersey also boasts the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs.

The first movie studio was in West Orange.

The first western was filmed by Edison in the hills of West Orange — The Great Train Robbery.

New Jersey is home of the U.S. Olympic equestrian team.

New Jersey is home to the United States Golf Association (Far Hills)

The transistor was invented by Bell Labs in New Jersey.

The telephone was invented in New Jersey.

Samuel Morse’s code machine was built in New Jersey (Morris Plains).

The first seaplane was built in Keyport.

The first airmail (to Chicago) was started from Keyport.

The first phonograph records were made in Camden.

New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East countries.

New Jersey has the tallest water tower in the world (Union).

New Jersey had the first medical center, in Jersey City.

The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway highway.

New Jersey built the first tunnel under a river, the Hudson (Holland Tunnel).

The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, which is also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.

The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 (Rutgers played Princeton).

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden (but they’re all gone now!).

New Jersey is home to both of “New York City’s” pro football teams.

The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine by Major Thomas Armstrong.

The Great Falls in Paterson, on the Passaic River, is the second highest waterfall on the East Coast of the U.S. In 1778, Alexander Hamilton visited the falls and was impressed by its potential for industry. Later as the nation’s first Secretary of Treasury, he selected the site as the nation’s first planned industrial city.

A partial list of New Jersey natives (actually born, raised 0r settled) includes Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Jason Alexander, Derek Jeter Queen Latifah, Susan Sarandon, Connie Francis, Shaq, Judy Blume, Aaron Burr, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn,  Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, the Jonas Brothers, Alan Ginsberg, Yogi Berra, Larry Doby, Norman Mailer, Marilynn McCoo, Flip Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Edison, Frankie Valli, Charles Lindbergh, Whitney Houston, Eddie Money, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Walt Whitman, Jerry Lewis, Tom Cruise, Joyce Kilmer, Bruce Willis, Caesar Romero, Ice-T, Nick Adams, Nathan Lane, Sandra Dee, Danny DeVito, Richard Conti, Joe Pesci, Joe Piscopo, Fanny Brice, Annie Oakley, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Robert Blake, John Forsythe, Meryl Streep, Loretta Swit, Norman Lloyd, Paul Simon, Jerry Herman, Gordon McRae, Kevin Spacey, John Travolta, Phyllis Newman, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Eva Marie Saint, Elisabeth Shue,  James Fennimore Cooper, Admiral William Halsey Jr., Dave Thomas (Wendy’s), William Carlos Williams, Sammy Williams, Ray Liotta, Robert Wuhl, Paul Robeson, Ernie Kovacs, Joseph Macchia, Brian Williams, Charles Gibson, Martha Stewart, Andrew Fastow, Francis Albert Sinatra … and, of course, me, my wife and three of our children.

You know you’re from Jersey when  you don’t think of fruit when people mention “The Oranges.”

You know it’s called Great Adventure, not Six Flags.

You don’t put pineapple on your pizza. And, you don’t buy pizza at a national pizza franchise.

You’ve known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven (and that’s the truth, pthhh}.

You know the state isn’t one big oil refinery.

At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen, and you know the town Jon Bon Jovi is from.

You know what a “jug handle” is.

You know WaWa is a convenience store.

You know the state isn’t all farmland.

You know there are no “beaches” in New Jersey — there’s the shore — and you don’t go “to the shore,” you go “down the shore.” And when you are there, you’re not “at the shore,” you are “down the shore.”

You know how to properly negotiate a circle.

You knew the last sentence had to do with driving.

You know this is the only “New” state that doesn’t require “New” to identify it (try … Mexico … York … Hampshire — doesn’t work, does it?).

You consider putting mayo on a corned beef sandwich a sacrilege … or ketchup on a hot dog.

You don’t think “What exit?” is very funny.

You know people from the 609 area code are “a little different.”

You know no respectable New Jerseyan goes to Princeton — that’s for out-of-staters.

The Jets-Giants game has started fights at your school or local bar.

You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls.

You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers.

Every year you have at least one kid in your class named Tony.

You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits.

You’ve gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of the mall.

You know that people from North Jersey go to Seaside Heights, and people from Central Jersey go to Belmar, and people from South Jersey go to Wildwood. It can be no other way.

You weren’t raised in New Jersey–you were raised in either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey.

You don’t consider Newark or Camden to actually be part of the state.

You remember the stores Korvette’s, Two Guys, Rickel’s, Channel, Bamberger’s and Orbach’s.

You also remember Palisades Amusement Park and Olympic Park.

You’ve had a boardwalk cheese steak and vinegar fries.

You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.

And finally … You’ve NEVER, EVER pumped your own gas!

Thanks, Don, for sharing.

I hope you enjoyed a trip back to your roots or at least understand where we’re coming from when we say we’re from Jersey.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Librarians are novel lovers.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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2 Responses to Jersey Strong

  1. Catherine Marcuccilli says:

    This was soooo good for a smile. Thanks for sharing. Still miss North Jersey and was there for 13 years. Am truly aware of the regional differences. Now, I can better make my points to the next PA native who says that Warren county represents NJ – ugh!

    Especially liked the shore differences – a more knowledgeable PA resident just explained recently that PA residents go to Wildwood – makes sense that they’re with South Jersey 🙂 Cathy


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