Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Litany #2: NJ's Got Character!

This is another common statement I hear when discussing life in NJ versus elsewhere in the U.S.

I take it to mean one of two things:

1) NJ has a particular type of character, unique unto itself (TRUE!)
2) Everywhere else lacks character (FALSE!)

Now #1 I can't argue. NJ (like most places) has a vibe and feel that is all it's own. We could discuss for days if not weeks what it entails, but there is no doubt that NJ does have a very strong and unique character.

But #2, though perhaps somewhat based on opinion, seems to me to be more often than not, a statement of ignorance.

Consider the following cities, all well regarded for their character: Savannah, New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Providence, Boston, Philadelphia, Austin....I could go on and on. Please note that I don't just mean the city proper either, but the surrounding metropolitan areas as well, and on into the suburbs.

The folks that argue #2, seem to have this view that once you get outside the NYC/NJ area, that the rest of the country is dull, flavorless, flat, boring, and made up of homogeneous neighborhoods with no trees and no soul. (Wait a minute, that sounds an awful lot like the many Gardens of McMansions that sprang up on manufactured cul de sacs in NJ over the past decade!)

But I digress, almost every part of the U.S. is rich in history, culture, and flavor. It's all a matter of what flavor you like. Read, travel, talk to people that live in other parts of the country. Get a true sense of life outside of NJ, don't just go by what you see on sitcoms and in movies.


  1. I am leaving the Garden State 1.5 months from now God Willing......I will never look back at this place because it is nothing but garbage.