If you were to google "North Jersey" or "South Jersey" you can find many quizzes or other lists that start like . . . . "You know you're from North/South Jersey when . ."
There are others that say, "You know you're from New Jersey when . . . ." also.
But I have yet to find one that says "You know you're from Central Jersey when . . ."
Now if some of you think it is hard to convince me there is a Central Jersey, let me tell you that with one of our consultants; it is even harder. This person asked me today, "What is Central Jersey culture? If it is just a mish-mash of the two (North and South). . then I don't call that culture."
OK, and this has no bearing on our line and could be attributed to my native Mercer county pride, but I countered this person and told them that there is no bigger cultural difference in New Jersey than going from Mercer to Burlington. The cable changes, the sports loyalties go from mixed to solid Philly and the newspapers change (somewhat . . still Trenton papers, but the Star Ledger and Philadelphia Inquirer seem to flip flop) and even some voting patterns change.
But my consultant brought up a good point. What IS Central Jersey culture? I have written here before that Monmouth and Mercer county have little in common. I mentioned Kevin Smith (a Monmouth native) in my last posting. And when Clerks came out in 1994 - that movie might have well been set in a foreign country. I didn't know people who tawlked like that and really couldn't call it my Jersey (though I did love the street hockey on the roof). Chasing Amy (a movie I LOVED) also was different. Smith made it seem like every New Jerseyan just hops into "The City" easily; but during my college summers, I was much more likely to go to Philly than New York.
Hence my confusion and feeling like the South Jersey people were never fairly represented when people spoke of New Jersey.
Then, I moved to Margate City after graduating and had people tell me I was from North Jersey. When I argued, they cited the the fact I was an NJ Devils' fan and noted "those long-winded politicians in Trenton." Alas, I had to agree there was a faster pace of life in Mercer compared to Atlantic and even Burlington (that I mentioned earlier) . . .
So, after all of this rambling - the question still remains. What is Central Jersey culture? I challenge readers to come up with a quiz or posting . . . to answer this.
PS - It is acceptable to also say that there is no Central Jersey.