Something New to like about New Jersey

New Jersey may get a bad rap due to it’s reputation for impoverished cities, airport congestion, pollution, and being the true home of the Statue of Liberty, but I’m not one to vilify it, no sirree!

Before Connecticut succumbed to built their two large casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, New Jersey’s Atlantic City was the place to go if you were East of the Mississippi and wanted to wager legally (Note I didn’t write “gamble”: Gambling is betting money when you don’t know the rules of the game, wagering is when you know the rules but bet anyway… yeah, I digressed). In my youth, I went a couple times a year to Atlantic City, so I’ve traveled through the Garden State enough times to develop some “likes”:

Some Things I like about New Jersey (in no particular order, and non-inclusive)
The Garden State Parkway Not the road per se [1] (although trucks can’t use it, which is nice), but rather the Exit Numbers: They represent the miles from the southernmost part of the state (ie: Cape May). Clever! Just beware of Exit 14A: Arguably the most notorious speed trap in the country.
Lucy the Elephant - Located just outside Atlantic City, this former house is the best-known example of zoomorphic architecture. So unique, it’s patented!
Coney Island - Although now just a shadow of it’s former self, it still has the Wonder Wheel (a Ferris wheel that, like Lucy, is so unique, it’s patented!), the legendary Cyclone roller coaster (where adjectives like “white-knuckle”, “bone-jarring”, and “uncomfortable” hardly describe it), and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs (best eaten after riding the Cyclone… and, be sure to load on the toppings!).
Cheesequake - I’m not talking about Diary Queen’s (delicious and Trademarked) ice cream treat, available since 2004: I’m talking old school New Jersey where it’s a Travel Plaza, a State Park, a School, and a Town! Admittedly, I’ve only been to the Travel Stop, but how can you not like that name? It’s better than “Shimmer“!
Six Flags Great Adventure
Sure, the park is large, the rides impressive, and they’ve got Warner Brothers Cartoon characters walking around the park. But that’s not what I like about it – It’s the place where I had the most perfectly-prepared Gyro in my entire life (honest!).

…and now, I’ve got something else to add to my impromptu list:

Joe Steinfeld’s Map of New Jersey - Unlike maps showing some egotistical city as the “center of the world“, this Jersey resident’s nicely drawn map portrays the Garden State in a presumeably accurate and unbelievably hilarious way! Be sure to check the comments on his page for even more side-splitting entertainment.

[1] I once worked with a lawyer who chided me almost every time I used the phrase “per se” when talking about something intrinsically by itself, eg: “His interpersonal skills per se are quite lacking…”. Oh well, Turpe est.

Thanks for reading!

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