Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The idea of leaving NJ behind is not a new one. Most of us who live here have likely, at one time or another, heard a friend, relative, or co-worker (or even ourselves) declare that they'd love to get the hell outta Jersey! Surely greener pastures must exist.

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways: High taxes, stifling traffic and ever present road rage, terrible roads with poorly placed signs, bad attitudes, rampant political corruption, as many brownfield toxic sites as actual gardens, sickening air quality, violent crime, and not even a single good buffet in the entire state!

And more recently, we can also add to the list: Housewives of NJ, the return of medical waste washing up on the shore, and the blight of all buildings/scourge of all sights/bane of Bauhaus architecture - yep, XANADU.

OK, enough NJ hate. I love NJ, and most people who want to leave do as well. It's close to so much: hiking, NYC, beaches, historic areas, cultural events, farms, etc. It is true that pretty much anything you could want to do can be done around here. It's rich in local lore, just pick up a copy of Weird NJ.

But, there comes a point when the love is overwhelmed by the bad. When the pro/con list becomes so badly weighted towards the 'cons', that the love just isn't enough anymore. This blog is to discuss just that conflict; to debate the pros and cons of NJ as well as why the grass just might very well be greener on the other side, be it Pennsylvania, California, Maine or Nebraska.

I invite those that have made the move elsewhere to discuss why they did so and to explain why where they are now is better (or possibly worse) than NJ. Folks who are considering leaving are welcome as well. It's never an easy decision to move, especially if you've lived here all of your life. And in general, I'd love to hear from those that live all over our country, to get a more complete idea of what life is like beyond the borders of NJ.

Finally, I'm hoping that we can break down and dismiss a great many stereotypes and assumptions that exist about other states in our country. Just as we Jerseyeans can be irritated by stereotypes of 'big hair' and 'Lawn Guyland accents', folks in other states share that sensitivity about their homeland. The middle of America is not all Walmart, inbreeding, NASCAR, and hunting.

I've heard plenty of asinine reasons for not wanting to move out of NJ to X or Y state, because 'militias are out there!' or 'don't they have meth labs out that way?!' So let me get this straight, we live in a state with some of the worst gang violence, and epidemic levels of heroin and crack on our streets, and you're worried about militias and meth labs? Seriously?

So without further ado, I welcome you to Escape from NJ.


  1. My family is considering a move too. We come out of North NORTH Nj; the very tip of Passaic, and though we have beautiful nature hikes and are geographically located higher than NYC, it's all becoming very stoic. We want to move to a more warm state, but are not sure how the south will handle us. We'd prefer to stay mainly east-coast, any suggestions?

    Email back at Notebookchen@aol.com, please

  2. What do you mean by being unsure about how the south would handle you?

    North Carolina, Maryland, and Virginia all come to mind as potential matches for what you are looking for.

  3. SAN DIEGO, California is a great place to ESCAPE. great weather, Poway School District is highly rated, beaches, mountains, deserts. Real Estate prices have never been better. Home to UCSD, SDSU, USD among others. Property Taxes are 1% of value thanks to Proposition 13. Come check us out. Our pizza ain't the best, taylor ham not found and Drake's cakes need to shipped in but ...

  4. Brian-

    San Diego is a beautiful area, at as I remember it from a visit many years ago. However, the cost of living, if I'm not mistaken, is quite high, probably comparable to that of New Jersey, correct?

    How is political corruption in the area? What about traffic, air quality, and crime?

    Thanks for the info.