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New Jersey

Follow the $$

Cyburbian
Messages
126
Points
6
I have only visited New Jersey once (other than to the Newark Airport and transit to NY) when a friend took me to Sandy Hook Beach for the day. What a great beach! This is the only place I have ever witnessed actual SURF on the Atlantic. Beach bums take note.

I would like to visit the Pine Barrens someday.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,461
Points
29
tsc said:
I believe one thing some of have in common here is our passion for the land for which we live... and the land I love is New York... even where SGB and Downtown live.... ;)

[ot]Nice quote!

Sadly, I have no real passion for my hometown (Fort Wayne, Indiana) or my home region (the Midwest). I hate "real" winters-and I hate humidity more. I was a nerd in a very cliquey, snobby high school, never felt like I fit in the conservative Indiana ethos. I can certainly appreciate aspects of my hometown (the lovely parks, the cheap housing, the interesting older neighborhoods) but I doubt that I would enjoy living there.

Despite the manifold problems, many self-inflicted, I remain absolutely enthralled, after 14 years, with California. I love the landscape, the plants (name a cooler tree than a CALIFORNIA oak or a Redwood), the amazing diversity of landscapes (within one half-day's bike ride, you can see redwood forest, oak forest, valley vineyard, pine forest, grasslands, and chapparall!)

I hope I can stay here. My brother and sister have followed me out here, so I even have family in Northern California. [/ot]

As for New Jersey: Princeton is lovely, and so are the Hudson River towns :)
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,852
Points
47
Follow the $$ said:
I have only visited New Jersey once (other than to the Newark Airport and transit to NY) when a friend took me to Sandy Hook Beach for the day. What a great beach! This is the only place I have ever witnessed actual SURF on the Atlantic. Beach bums take note.

I would like to visit the Pine Barrens someday.

Many years ago, I was at Sandy Hook for the day with an old girlfriend. We were lounging on the shore when we heard this incredible rumble. Looking south we saw a British Airways Concorde coming in for a landing at JFK. We watched -- open mouthed -- as it flew right over the top of us, turned at the southern edge of Staten Island and landed at JFK. Absolutely incredible and astonishing. Just one of the privileges of being a Jersey boy. ;)

I second JNA's reply about the Pine Barrens. Just look out for the Jersey Devil :-o
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
I had never been to NJ before I met Karen, who grew up in the 'burbs, but with a family base in South Jersey. I find the South to be quite pleasant, although a bit crowded, with its combo of seashore and Pine Barrens, as well as the abundance of great seafood and produce. North Jersey is harder, although I have found it valuable for examples of high quality suburban development that are tucked here and there. And then there are the rather surprising mountains of North Jersey. The part of the state that really deserves the stereotypical reputation is can mostly be avoided.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
I grew up in NJ, at the Shore - then lived in South Jersey for 4 years before relocating to Philly.

On this whole - "split NJ thread"
People might "identify" with NYC or Philly but that's not any different than someone from Long Island or the PA suburbs. They're not from "the city" either.
While people might get sucked in by sports teams and media markets I think people really underestimate the strong NJ culture. We're not like Pennsylvanians or New Yorkers and we like to point it out to them.

I also can't understand why anyone would think that South Jerseyans would want to break away from North Jersey to join Pennsylvania. I think that's a hilarious proposition. Anyone in Camden or Burlington Counties will tell you that PA is full of rednecks and they'd rather take their chances with "North J". The 5 counties that make up the PA side of the Philly metro are a lot more like NJ than they are like the rest of Pennsylvania. If anything Philly and it's suburbs should break away from PA and join New Jersey.

NJ has more money per capita than NY or PA and is much wealthier in general. It has a better statewide transit system than either state. It's a lot more liberal than either state. It also has a much better economy than either state. In the end that's what makes NJ so attractive . . . and in the end is what may finally push me to move back across the river.
 

Follow the $$

Cyburbian
Messages
126
Points
6
"I love the landscape, the plants (name a cooler tree than a CALIFORNIA oak or a Redwood)" How about a Manzanita?...Oh, that's from California, too! :)

JNA: Thanks for the John McPhee recommendation on the Pine Barrens. I really like his writing and didn't know he had written a book on the subject.
 
Messages
1,260
Points
22
I'm starting to like Jersey more now that I've adventured off the Turnpike a few times. I have friends who live on the Shore in Neptune and Red Bank. My brother-in-law lives in Union City. The Mrs...Star lived in Morris Plains and went to high school in Morristown. I really liked Red Bank and its downtown. I wished Maryland had the statewide transit system that New Jersey has. All of the cities in the central quarter of Maryland should be linked by rail not just Baltimore and DC.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,900
Points
23
Great photos! My grandparents lived in Belmar for a year or two. I love the Jersey shore...although Chadwick, where my other grandparents had a house isn't as nice as it was in the 70's... before every lot was built on.
 

jimi_d

Cyburbian
Messages
88
Points
4
jresta said:
I also can't understand why anyone would think that South Jerseyans would want to break away from North Jersey to join Pennsylvania. I think that's a hilarious proposition. Anyone in Camden or Burlington Counties will tell you that PA is full of rednecks and they'd rather take their chances with "North J". The 5 counties that make up the PA side of the Philly metro are a lot more like NJ than they are like the rest of Pennsylvania. If anything Philly and it's suburbs should break away from PA and join New Jersey.

Likewise NYC! It would be a lot easier explaining what transit means to a guy in Trenton than one in Smallbany.
 

jtmnkri

Cyburbian
Messages
106
Points
6
The reason people live in NJ

My wife and I didn't grow up in NJ, but we live here. The reason is NJ's job market is probably the best in the US and perhaps the best anywhere in the world. Many of those Turnpike chemical factories spawned the world's largest pharmaceutical companies. Today these companies have NJ world headquarters and pay very high wages. Much of New York City's financial industry has relocated to NJ since 2001. Plus, ultra-high compensation Manhattan jobs are within commuting distance of about half NJ's population.

I checked the census website and NJ has the country's highest family median income - $87,412. According to Rutgers University, if NJ seceded it would be the richest country in the world. After living 8 years in NJ, every other state except Connecticut feels impoverished.

My point is: if the state is so bad, why do so many rich people live here? It is economic opportunity, that's why.
 

jerseygirl

Member
Messages
35
Points
2
Something for everyone

For some reason, I feel drawn to this thread Hmmm. :-D

Reading these posts, and having spent the better part of twenty years here, I have to say I agree with you all. Jersey really is: crowded, polluted, tony, tacky, wealthy, impoverished, industrial, bucolic, historic and new. I have no statistics on this, but it must also be one of, if not the, most diverse areas in the whole country. (Take a weekend trip to the IKEA in Elizabeth if you need convincing.) In other words, it is a microcosm of America. Where else will you find so many varied and interesting towns? There's laid back Red Bank, aristocratic Haddonfield, soulful Asbury Park. There's the northwestern Skylands, which seem as though they've been lifted from the Virginia countryside, and the media and finance powerhouses of Bergen County. Something for everyone.

Finally, my town - Hoboken. The bankers replaced the longshoremen long ago, but no matter how many latte places open, this will always be river town. A river town that sizes up the competition across the Hudson and er...shrugs. Hey, the first organized baseball game in American history took place here, a few minutes walk from my apartment. Can Manhattan say that? ;)

Not too long ago, I was walking down our main drag, Washington St. when I saw a poster asking the townspeople - yes it addressed itself to the entire town - to audition as extras for an episode of the Sopranos. Right then and there I made a promise: wherever life takes me, this will always be home.
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
914
Points
21
My point is: if the state is so bad, why do so many rich people live here? It is economic opportunity, that's why.

Yes, there is a lot of wealth here in NJ, but I often feel the COMMONWEALTH leaves a few things to be desired. We have hundreds of hideous commercial strips and clogged highways. Poor air quality. A friend of mine who has traveled a lot thinks we have the ugliest state capitol. I've seen Annapolis, Albany, Monpelier, Harrisburg, Hartford, and Baton Rouge, and Trenton probably is the ugliest of those, though Baton Rouge is close behind. Annapolis is the nicest I've seen.

I've read that the state will be, for all practical purposes, BUILT OUT in a decade. That means there wont be much economic opportunity for those in the construction sector. That is one reason I am considering leaving the state of my birth, the state where most of my ancestors are buried. Other reasons I would include are overly aggressive and rude people and conservative tastes in design. The conservative tastes in home design don't seem to apply to most of the shore towns though. That is something that always makes a trip to the shore more interesting. The wealthy seem to feel more free with 2nd homes.

I also find it troubling that one of the country's most depressed cities is located in the wealthiest state. I am referring of course, to Camden. It is troubling that nearly 30 years after Mt. Laurel legislation for affordable housing, the wealthy towns have been able to shirk their responsibility as defined in the law. The poor are largely confined to decaying inner cities, trapped in a cycle of poverty and crime.

Yes, I may be simplifying a bit, but I don't have the time or bibliography to go into it in detail here.
 
Messages
48
Points
2
I am from New Jersey and NJ can be summed up in a phrase: rich suburbs, really poor cities. However, I'd argue that most of the New Jersey cities are beginning to gentrify and revitalize. I live about 10 minutes from Rutgers and New Brunswick in about 10 - 15 years will become the next Austin, TX. New Brunswick is quickly becoming a very yuppie and cultured city. They have pumped billions upon billions of dollars into it. It has enormous potential, bceause Rutgers is situated there, the largest medical school in the country (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) is there, Johnson and Johnson is headquartered there, and it has a thriving arts scene. Check out http://oldnewbrunswick.rutgers.edu/ ...it will show you old pictures of New Brsunwick (which was very poor and notorious for crime) to the more modern downtown New Brunswick. You'll see a world of difference.
 

bocian

Cyburbian
Messages
212
Points
9
I have come to love two great Delaware river towns in New Jersey lately:
Burlington + Lawrenceville -- do check them out!!!
 

jmello

Cyburbian
Messages
2,580
Points
22
Follow the $$ said:
This is the only place I have ever witnessed actual SURF on the Atlantic. Beach bums take note.

Visit Rhode Island (Sachuest Beach) some day.

Follow the $$ said:
I would like to visit the Pine Barrens someday.

It looks just like the coastal Southeast. Nothing special. Flat with pine trees.
 

jmello

Cyburbian
Messages
2,580
Points
22
boilerplater said:
Annapolis is the nicest I've seen.

Boston, Denver and Providence are even better. Trenton is tied with Harrisburg, Albany and Hartford as the worst I have seen.
 

Charliesch

Cyburbian
Messages
43
Points
2
NW New Jersey is another world

Northwest New Jersey is another world. Is is still mostly rural with farms, wooded mountains and large estates. A large part of the area along the Delaware River is in public ownership.

Many of the townships in northwest New Jersey have established 15 and 25 acre minimum lot sizes in their zoning. As a result, most of the growth has jumped across the river into eastern PA. The commute into North Jersey on I-80 and I-78 used to be easy, but now it is horrible.

Downtown Trenton is one of the uglier downtowns I have seen.

Camden has great activity on the waterfront across from Center City Philadelphia, but overall it remains one of the poorest cities in the country.
 

hilldweller

Cyburbian
Messages
3,863
Points
23
jmello said:
Boston, Denver and Providence are even better. Trenton is tied with Harrisburg, Albany and Hartford as the worst I have seen.

Albany is really underrated IMO. The Washington Park/Dove St. area is cool and has some great history to it. Of course there is the ugly monstrosity that is this (avert your eyes):


albany200304_1.jpg
 
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