Tuesday, August 28, 2007

RIP North and South . . .

My journey up to northwestern New Jersey was eye opening. More and more this line is not so much looking as North and South Jersey, but the old East/ West Jersey that was in place in colonial times. People in Phillipsburg, have more in common with Philadelphians than they do North Jerseyans. Drive a little east to Clinton or north to Belvidere and that influence disappears. The river towns from Mercer, through Hunterdon all the way up to southern Warren county all have a little more "South" Jersey to them than "North." I'll be at the Frenchtown River Fest this weekend to investigate further.

This project just got more interesting and more confusing:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Day at the Beach

We were at Ocean Gate, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant and Lakewood yesterday.

Ocean Gate is perhaps my new favorite town at the Beach. Hidden and beautiful . . . and best of all: friendly people.

Peter Smith was a very gracious tour guide to Seaside Heights and he has a lot of pride and knowledge on the history of the town.

Then we met with the guys at: Benny Go Home. Their mission has a lot more to it than I could have imagined. We talked to them for so long, I got my 7th parking ticket this month. I can't wait for August to end. Anyway, check out their website.

Finally, we were allowed to film at a Lakewood Blue Claws' game.

The Shore (or beach, whatever you want to call it) is truly one of New Jersey's jewels. Here is our video of highlights:



And here are rules that the guys at Benny Go Home feel like visitors to the beach should follow:



Also, check out our two "theory maps" below:

benny - shoobie


benny - shoobie
Originally uploaded by nsjersey


This is the dividing line of the North and South Shores based on the use of the terms: 'Benny' (in the North) and 'Shoobie' (in the South).

wawa


wawa
Originally uploaded by nsjersey


This is the dividing line of North and South Jersey based on the Wawa theory which states: when the Wawas end, you are in North Jersey. This map may be too specific and may be redrawn at a different time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Some interviews with officials

Here are some early highlights (finally getting everything uploaded) of some elected officials' interviews.

Thanks again to Mr. Lynch, Mr. Muller and Mr. Varano.

Jim Irwin made the maps.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A most excellent adventure . . . so far.

This has been very fun so far.

We have been to all counties in NJ and will definitely need to stop in more for longer. I still need to get at least 30 people in each county to draw their line on a map. We'll see how it goes.

Recapping our journey, We have had interviews with:

The mayors of:

Mantoloking
Plumsted Twp.
Berkeley Twp.
Manchester Twp.'s tax assessor

Freeholders from:

Hunterdon
Monmouth
& Ocean Counties

Bob from West Jersey.org

NJ's distinguished historian, John T. Cunningham

We filmed at the New Egypt Speedway and a Sussex Skyhawks' game and we also bumped into an Oscar winner, Joe Renzetti.

There have been many great restaurants, diners and pubs that we've filmed in and good people that we've met.

Coming up, we have interviews with:

The mayors of:

Lavallette
Lacey Twp.
Ocean Gate
Trenton
liaison to the mayor of Seaside Heights

The Bennygohome.com group

We will be filming at the parks of the Minor League Baseball teams:

Trenton Thunder
Somerset Patriots
Lakewood BlueClaws

and will have a lot of fun at the Cowtown Rodeo.

We'll also be at Chowder Fest

That's my blog update . . busy uploading more video now . . .in other news:

My parking ticket count is up to 5. The 1st two were easy mistakes, the next two were because I parked (and fed the meter) but I parked on street cleaning days in Hoboken. The signs should be more abundant. The city of Burlington tagged me while we were filming. If you know anyone in the Hoboken Police Dept. who would forgive my tickets, I'll be so happy!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainy days, busy week ahead

This weekend was quite eventful. We went from Trenton and headed south to Salem County, then drove Route 49 through Cumberland and Cape May counties to my Shore base in Somers Point, then up to Smithville.

Today was spent in Hoboken, New Brunswick and into the Hunterdon towns of Clinton and Frenchtown. It was rainy, but worth getting out to see these great places. Hunterdon is especially beautiful. Western Hunterdon county has a very strong PA influence (just simple geography), but also a NYC flavor as well because of its proximity to Interstate 78. The heavy rain mangled with our camera a little and we are working on fixing the technical glitches from today's shooting . . . I am so wishing we shot in HD. Anyway, here are some outtakes It is too late for me to do any real editing (again, I'm not getting much sleep lately), so enjoy it raw:




I am heading to Warren and Sussex counties tomorow, with a break at Drew University with NJ's famed historian, John T. Cunningham. Later on, we will film at a Sussex Skyhawks' game. Hope the weather holds off. I like wearing my cargo shorts because of all of the pocket room that holds my pens, cards, etc . . . Overall they make filming and interacting with people much easier with this. I am not liking the thought of having to wear long pants in August. Warm up weather!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Days 3 & 4

Again, I put this together in an hour's time and these are just outtakes; nothing official yet. But, I would love it if Lindsay Buckingham gave us permission to use "Holiday Road."

This video cuts off some people. PC curse. I don't know why I used my PC to do this . . . the MAC is so much better.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Right back where I started from . . .

OK,

The East is getting settled, the West is still wild.

Ocean County has become a lot clearer and I feel I could draw a line there. However, my hometown county, Mercer, and southern Hunterdon became murky. . . go figure.

I interviewed today in Manchester Twp. and Berkeley Twp.. And I also stopped in Jackson as well . . . all in Ocean County.

Then, I interviewed with a County Freeholder from Hunterdon County in Flemington at the historic courtroom where the Lindbergh kidnapping trial took place. I went to the Union Hotel and asked the ghosts if this was North or South Jersey. No response.

Then, I drove down Route 31 from there and went to Yardville, southern Mercer County. At the Yardville Tavern, the Mets' replay was on and they were listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on the Yes! Network on another TV. And I expected to see all Philadelphia stuff adorn the walls. . . more confusing.

But, they do fly out of Philadelphia airport and not Newark. More to come. We will be taking the River Line down: Burlington and Camden counties tomorrow and the hitting the southern counties the rest of the weekend.

Peace,

Steve

At the New Egypt Speedway . . .

OK, it's after midnight and I will be staying at my South Jersey base for the next 3 nights, so who knows how my blogging will be? Wish I could post video now, but I can barely keep my eyes open. My bed is calling.

I was at the New Egypt Speedway and got the feeling, though the word, "Central" came out a lot, that "South" definitely was used more. New Egypt (northern Ocean County) is definitely Southern NJ. I interview with the mayor there next week and maybe he'll change my mind. . . it is right near the geographic center of NJ and if you were to look that up, you'd find it and the residents are quite aware of this.

Then, I drove down to (again) Allentown in western Monmouth county and though it was my second time there, I still couldn't get a feeling, but if I had to, I would lean toward Southern NJ again. I'm returning for their Fall Fest, to get more people's opinions in October. It's too nice of a town and too questionable of a place to overlook.

I have many interviews tomorrow, but don't quite know where. Too much going on. I'm going to bed and will wake up early to double check . . . . but I think I will be in Ocean and Hunterdon tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Surfing in "Central" Jersey . . .

If you are from an organization that has been contacted for permission to film, you can click here to get an overview of the project.

Here is my vlog from today. Short, but time is not a luxury right now:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Some numbers for you . . . .

If you are from an organization that has been contacted for permission to film, you can click here to get an overview of the project.

The results as completed by residents of Morris and Bergen counties are as follows. We interviewed 30 people each in both counties. I did not have time to convert the Excel table to a picture file using Photoshop, but will do so soon.

Percentage of people in Morris County that thought this NJ town was SOUTHERN Jersey:

Somerville . . . . .13%
Trenton . . . . . . .70%
Princeton . . . . . .47%
New Brunswick . .20%
Perth Amboy . . . 17%
Sayreville . . . . . .30%
Red Bank . . . . . . 63%
Belmar . . . . . . . .83%
Point Pleasant . . .90%

Bergen County

Somerville . . . . .10%
Trenton . . . . . . .73%
Princeton . . . . . .47%
New Brunswick . .20%
Perth Amboy . . . 17%
Sayreville . . . . . .30%
Red Bank . . . . . . 50%
Belmar . . . . . . . .87%
Point Pleasant . . .93%

What was surprising to me was that many people ranked Princeton North over Red Bank. Many residents also held the Raritan river theory strongly, which everything south of it, is Southern NJ. This is why Perth Amboy shows a stronger North percentage than Sayreville, even though they're pretty close to each other. However, what I cannot explain and was surpised by, was Princeton's elevation to the North by mostly half. This could be the pride of putting the elite city in one's own quarters, who knows? We'll have to see what the Southern New Jerseyans say.

I was also in Passaic too today, but had trouble finding a centralized population. If you know of some good towns to film in, let me know. I was in Paterson, but as one native to Paterson told me, "This town is a melting pot with a lot of rather new immigrants. They will be very unfamiliar with your question." But I did enjoy the town, especially the Passaic Falls, the second largest falls east of the Mississippi behind Niagra. I have video that I will post soon.

I'm heading down to Ocean and Monmouth today and that will only be the first of many visits and then to the New Egypt Speedway on Wednesday. Then, I'll have full crew by Thursday throughout the very busy weekend for us.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

North Jersey trekking

First of all, if you are from an organization that has been contacted for permission to film, you can click here to get an overview of the project.

On Monday August 13th, we will be filming in Morristown, Newark, Millburn, Hackensack and Closter. We will begin vlogging then and should have video up by that Tuesday. Stay tuned.

-Steve

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Ocean County abuzz

First of all, if you are from an organization that has been contacted for permission to film, you can click here to get an overview of the project.

In latest news, by far the abundance of our responses has come from Ocean County.

We have over 10 mayors from the towns in this county scheduled to interview and had very interesting thoughts shared by a County Executive as well. We will also be filming at a Lakewood BlueClaws' game on August 25th.

If you see this post about our theories, Ocean County gets really interesting.

1) It seems to be where the term Benny and Shoobie collide.

2) Sports' loyalties are divided: The North Part - toward Point Pleasant all NJ/ NY fans, except if you go west into Plumsted Twp. . . . many Philly fans there. LBI territory is divided as well, but if you go further south to Little Egg Harbor Twp. it is all Philly.

3) Cable TV gets murky there. The New York and Philadelphia affiliates are shared by most.

There is much more, and I have a feeling that we will be spending a majority of our time there. . . at least in the East part of the state . . . but one thing is for sure:

This line is not straight and it is not clear . . . but a focus is coming.