I’ve seen a good deal of the the United States (and more than a bit of Europe), but I’ve lived in New Jersey all my life, except for a couple of years, courtesy of Uncle Sam. While there is much about New Jersey that is positively infuriating, I’ve come to terms with the reality that I am a New Jersey Guy and will always be a New Jersey Guy. Yes, we have jackass senators, wholesale political corruption, freezing cold winters and hot-as-hell summers, but I doubt that I could live anywhere else.
I recently received an email from a fellow in my high school graduating class, which contained a bunch of interesting New Jersey Factoids. I’ve been at this blogging thing for almost ten years, and I know that I have posted many of these items before, but I’m too lazy to check. Here they are, with an occasional editorial comment:
New Jersey is a peninsula.
Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida.
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 most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the “Diner Capital of the World.”
New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts Club (no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll.
Home to the less mysterious but the best Italian hot dogs and Italian sausage w/peppers and onions.
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. [Some dooshbag New Yorkers still dispute this. – ed.]
The Passaic River was the site of the first submarine ride by inventor John P. Holland .
New Jersey has 50+ resort cities & towns; some of the nation’s most famous: Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights [“Snookie” is
NOT from New Jersey – ed.], Long Branch, Cape May.
New Jersey has the most stringent testing along our coastline for water quality control than any other seaboard state in the entire country. [Farting in the ocean can get you jail time. – ed.]
New Jersey is a leading technology & 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.
New Jersey is a world leader in blueberry and cranberry production.
Here’s to New Jersey – the toast of the country! 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 US,located in Elizabeth. Nearly 80 percent of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.
New Jersey is home to one of the nation’s busiest airports (in Newark), Liberty International.
George Washington slept here. Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington.
The light bulb, phonograph (record player), and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ, laboratory.
We also boast the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs.
The first seaplane was built in Keyport , NJ.
The first airmail (to Chicago) was started from Keyport, NJ.
The first phonograph records were made in Camden, NJ
New Jersey was home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City.
Speaking of Atlantic City, the game Monopoly, played all over the world, named the streets on its playing board after the actual streets in
And, Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world, not to mention salt water taffy [and lots and lots of casinos – ed.].
New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East countries.
The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey, in the Watchung Mountains.
New Jersey has the tallest water-tower in the world. (Union, NJ!!!) [I know it well – ed.]
New Jersey had the first medical center, in Jersey City.
The Pulaski SkyWay, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway highway.
NJ built the first tunnel under a river, the Hudson (Holland Tunnel).
The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ, which is also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra. [In Jersey, we bow our heads and just say “Sinatra” – ed.]
The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 (Rutgers College played Princeton) [Rutgers won. – ed.]
The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden, NJ.
New Jersey is home to both of “NEW YORK’S” pro football teams.
The first radio station and broadcast was in Paterson, NJ .
The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj.. Thomas Armstrong.
All New Jersey natives: Sal Martorano, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Jason Alexander, Queen Latifah, Susan Sarandon, Connie Francis, Shaq, Judy Blume, Aaron Burr, Joan Robertson, Ken Kross, Dionne Warwick, Sarah Vaughn, Budd Abbott, Lou Costello, Alan Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Marilynn McCoo, Flip Wilson, Alexander Hamilton, Zack Braff Whitney Houston, Eddie Money, Linda McElroy, Eileen Donnelly, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Walt Whitman, Jerry Lewis, Tom Cruise, Joyce Kilmer, Bruce Willis, Caesar Romero, Lauryn Hill, Ice-T, Nick Adams, Nathan Lane, Sandra Dee, Danny DeVito, Richard Conti, Joe Pesci, Joe Piscopo, Joe DePasquale, Robert Blake, John Forsythe, Meryl Stree p, Loretta Swit, Norman Lloyd, Paul Simon, Bill Muehleisen, Jerry Herman , Gorden McCrae, Kevin Spacey, John Travolta, Phyllis Newman, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Eva Marie Saint, Elisabeth Shue, Zebulon Pike, Natalie Muehleisen, James Fennimore Cooper, Admiral Wm.Halsey Jr. Norman Schwarzkopf, Dave Thomas (Wendy’s), William Carlos Williams, Ray Liotta, Robert Wuhl, Bob Reyers, Paul Robeson, Ernie Kovacs, Joseph Macchia, Kelly Ripa, and, of course, Francis Albert Sinatra and “Uncle Floyd” Vivino,
and of course the great Irene Taras.
The Great Falls in Paterson, on the Passaic River, is the 2nd highest waterfall on the East Coast of the US.
You know you’re from Jersey when . .
You don’t think of fruit when people mention “The Oranges.” [We have Orange, East Orange, West Orange and South Orange – ed.]
You know that it’s called Great Adventure, not Six Flags.
A good, quick breakfast is a hard roll with butter. [If you ask for a “Kaiser Roll” in New Jersey, people will think you are some kind of nut. – ed.]
You’ve known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven.
You’ve eaten at a diner, when you were stoned or drunk, at 3 A.M. [Arlington Diner, North Arlington, NJ, the best cherry cheese cake on the planet. – ed.]
You know that the state isn’t one big oil refinery.
At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen [I am not such a person. – ed.], and you know the town Jon Bon Jovi is from.
You know what a “jug handle” is. [We turn left from the right-hand lane. – ed.]
You know that WaWa is a convenience store.
You know that 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 that the previous sentence had to do with driving.
You know that this is the only “New” state that doesn’t require “New” to identify it (try . . Mexico . . . York …! . . Hampshire– doesn’t work, does it?).
You know that a “White Castle” is the name of BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich.
You consider putting mayo on a corned beef sandwich a sacrilege.
You don’t think “What exit?” is very funny. [We know our Exits and are farookin’ proud of it. – ed.]
You know that people from the 609 area code are “a little different.” Yes they are! [That’s changing now that I’m here. – ed.]
You know that 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. [Many, many times. – ed.]
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.
You’ve had a boardwalk cheese steak and vinegar fries.
You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.
And finally . .
You’ve NEVER, NEVER NEVER, EVER pumped your own gas.
Thanks to Rich P. a Kearny High School alum