829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Nothing New about it

No matter where I go, if I'm asked where I live, the response to my
answer is often, "oh, you're from Jersey."  If I had said the Granite
State, or the Empire State, or the Land of Enchantment, they would
not have said, "oh, you're from Hampshire, or York, or even Mexico."
Out of the "New" states, Jersey is the only one that can be said
without "New."  The Provolone stands alone.
"What exit?" they also often ask, which only means which exit
off of the Garden State Parkway do you live.  What if you
don't live near the Parkway?  Exit 98, I've said a million times.
You live downtha shore!  Who else in the nation other than people in
 the NY, NJ, and Pennsylvania area call the coast downtha shore?
And when you stop for gas in Jersey, just roll down your window.
Beside Oregon, we're the only other state to still have real service
stations where the gas attendant politely comes up to your window
and says "Hi! May I help you?"  I'm not afraid to pump my own
gas, but when there's someone there to do it for you?
Call me old-fashioned.  


  1. You'd be surprised how many people drop the "New" from "New Mexico" and think I'm south of the border. New Mexico Magazine has a monthly back-page feature called "One of Our Fifty is Missing," documenting humorous instances of people who misplace the state.

    I have talked to telemarketers on the phone who complimented me on how good my English was. I have had an insurance company refuse to quote a rate to insure my boat because the company covered boats "only in the United States." I have had people ask about passports and visas and money exchange rates and whether their mobile phones will work.

    In the Garden State, however, I bet you seldom encounter people who think you're on an island in the United Kingdom.

  2. Ah yes, no need for drugs, we're high on the real things in life: a clean windshield and a full tank of gas!

    You can ask Bonnie about this, but in Hawaii I always thought it very odd that Oahu has three "interstate" highways.

  3. The real Jersey is one of the Channel Islands. It is a British Crown Dependency but it is not part of the United Kingdom.

  4. I guess that's why they say "Jersey girls don't pump gas" - never learned how and don't want to now!

  5. It is quite logical that people call your state Jersey rather than New Jersey because it is by far the oldest of the 4 US states called New Something. New Jersey became a state on Dec. 18 1787 but those laggards in New York and New Hampshire didn't get around to deciding to become states until many months later. New Mexico wasn't even a twinkle in Thomas Jefferson's eye at this time.

  6. You must give credit to New Mexicans for having chutzpah, though.

    I don't think it would occur to anyone in New Jersey to call their state the 'Land of Enchantment'.

    And this is even more impressive since chutzpah is not native to New Mexico. It was imported from New Jersey.

  7. Chutzpah! Calling New Jersey the Garden State is chutzpah.

  8. It may also reflect the sense of terroir (to use a New Mexican mot)that some residents of the state express as their geographic identity.

    If you ask a fellow who grew up in Ocean City (like our friend in Princeton, Baydog) where he's from, the answer will be South Jersey...

    ... not southern New Jersey.

    But for some reason, residents of lesser terroir are not as quick to identify themselves as from Mid Jersey, or North Jersey.

    And then there are the gentlefolk of Bernardsville and Basking Ridge, who believe they're actually living somewhere in Virginia.

    Ironically, I always thought that former Governor Kean had a strangely foreign way of pronouncing New Jersey

  9. When people asked me where I was from and I said, "New Jersey," they always looked at me rather strangely. So I quickly explained that my unusual accent was because I was from "North Jersey."

  10. not pumping the gas myself was just awkward. we spent a day at the beach in Atlantic City with the boys a few years back, but skipped the casinos.

    it was cool to see the sunrise on the ocean - I see great sunsets on Lake Michigan all the time, but rarely see the sun rise over the water.