Tuesday, July 1, 2008

What is Central Jersey culture?

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.


Laurynn said...

You know you're from central jersey when:

You don't even need the parkway to get to the shore.

You've eaten at Pete&Elda's and have a 2XL Tshirt to show for it.

You know the only two shorelines worth going to are Belmar and anything along Ocean Blvd.

You know what a Windmill hotdog is.

You knew someone who went to a votech school.

A town near you has to bring in substitute teachers every 3 years when the teachers go on strike.

The only decent place to get a sub is Jersey Mike's.

You know that pizza chains suck when compared to ANY family owned restraunt&pizzera near you.

The only malls worth worrying about are Monmouth and Freehold

You know where all of the scenes from Clerks and ClerksII are and have met either Jay and/or Silent Bob.

You don't actually pronounce the 't' in the middle of words... ex. water is said like 'wader';

you know it's a sub, not a hoagie or a hero like in n/s jersey..

You write "go home bennys" on your car every summer

You know where the scary clown is on HWY35

You know where Jay&Silent Bob's secret stash is, and enjoy browsing even though you don't like comic books

You know that the Starbucks in Redbank is only for whiney wannabe emo kids who have too much of their parent's money to spend

You know where most of the sites from Weird NJ are, and have sat in front of the dancing Jesus statue with your headlights on waiting...

You know that 609s are a little weird, and the 973s should been ceeded to NY

Route 9 blows especially at rush hour during construction the first time you've ever tried driving a stickshift
(true story)

kind of lame list... but from a facebook group..

Steve said...

Thanks for answering the challenge - but this is all about Monmouth County . . what about the rest?

I have asked a Monmouth County person to give me a personal tour of a Windmill hotdog stand, but have had no takers. . . it is a solo Monmouth County thing (though there are 2 outside of it - one in Union County and one in northern Ocean county).

Perhaps someone can do a Windmill tour and put it up on youtube?

But this is still about Monmouth - not sure a Middlesex, Mercer, Hunterdon or Somerset person could relate.