Friday, July 22, 2005

20 Great Things About New Jersey

1. Springsteen - Sorry, but no one has a rocker like the Boss, who is also just one of the guys. I have run into him several times and he will stop to chat. He frequents local businesses, too. Of course, the most important thing is that he is this generation's poet and voice, and speaks to New Jersey and America like nobody else can.

2. The Jersey Shore - From Sandy Hook to Cape May, the shore is fantastic. Forget all the problems of the late 80's, our coast is clean and fun. Whether you like baking in the sun, fishing, dining, or great music, there is no place like our shoreline.

3. The Music - Speaking of great music, and beyond Springsteen, New Jersey has some of the best rock and folk music in the country. Classic clubs like the Stone Pony and the Saint, and our many great coffeehouses are havens of top of the line music.

4. Ocean Grove - Visiting this quaint, little town is a pure joy. Again, that wonderful food and beach atmosphere, but combine it with 19th century nuances and an eclectic population that is found nowhere else.

5. The Pinelands - Despite business's attempts to eat into this area, it remains a pristine and beautiful home to nature and wildlife.


7. Jersey - Try abbreviating any other state and see if it sounds this cool.

8. Jenk's - In Point Pleasant; you've got the aquarium, a great club, good food, and a happening boardwalk.

9. Central Jersey - Publications consistently rank the Monmouth/Ocean County region as one of the best places to live in the country. Developing is taking its toll, but we still have open space and lots to offer. Plus, given the location, we get New York and Philly media.

10. Our parks system - The state is sprinkled with great parks in every region that offer fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and nature watching. My favorites are Turkey Swamp and Cheesequake.

11. Hoboken - Ok, so it takes a week and a half to park on the weekend, it is worth it. Tons of good restaurants and a cultural scene to match.

12. Our flea markets - Others states have these, too, I know, but just try Englishtown Flea Market and then talk to me.

13. The Papermill Playhouse - Shows the quality of Broadway at times and a lot less cost.

14. Everyone lives by an exit - No other place has its citizens describe where they live solely by what exit they live off on the Garden State Parkway.

15. Princeton - The campus is beautiful to walk through and the town is a mix of dining, shops, culture, curiosities.

16. Cape May - Great bed and breakfasts, whale watching and a calm that is unrivaled.

17. Our terminologies for invaders - Bennies and Shoobies, go home!

18. Newark Airport - It sucks so badly that Jersey folk appreciate vacations all the more, just for knowing we made it out of the freakin' airport!

19. Stuff Yer Face - There is nothing like a good boli. Of course, if you go to the original in New Brunswick, part of the experience is Thomas Sweet's Ice Cream for dessert next store.

20. The Garden State Art Center - A great place to hear music that is easily reached. It is an amphitheatre with lawn seats that only enhance the experience. Some of the best national acts perform there each summer.

Bonus Picks
21. Our boundary shape - Admit it, you think it's cool that our state looks like a man.

22. Diners - They are everywhere and they never close. There's nothing like a full meal at 2 A.M.

23. Jersey Freeze - In Freehold, they've got great lunches (especially the hot dogs and fries) and the ice cream hits the spot (Although Days in Ocean Grove is better).

G.D.'s influence Extra-Bonus Picks
24. Red Bank - The Count Basie Theater, the Clearview Cinema, The Jazz & Blues Festival, the Navesink River, and antiquing.

25. Golf Courses - Read the comments. I don't play, but the state has enough golf courses to spend a lifetime trying to play. Some of the best courses, including Baltusrol the home of this year's PGA.

26. Horses, horses everywhere - He's got me on this one. Read the comments.

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