1. There Are Actually Four Jerseys
New Jersey is a small but deeply segregated state. There’s North Jersey, South Jersey and Central Jersey. No one really knows where Central Jersey is for sure except people who claim to live there, like those fancy Princetoners.
And then there is the The Shore, which is more like another world than a separate region.
2. South Jersey Loves It When You Call Us Big Poppa
Where you live makes a huge difference, but especially between North and South. Consider North Jersey Tupac and South Jersey Notorious B.I.G. There’s just not enough New Jersey room for the two of us.
And although both regions bring something to the state, everyone knows deep down, that Biggie was the true king.
3. We’re Well Aware That We’re The Armpit Of The Nation
We know the reputation Jersey has around the country. Some regions of the state don’t really care, but people in South Jersey tend to get rather defensive about it. That’s mainly because one hundred percent of the New Jersey stereotypes that are regurgitated ad nauseum come from North Jersey and have nothing to do with us. So, everyone ends up feeling like the dog that gets blamed for the bratty kid’s behavior.
4. We Get No Jersey Love, Either
Our PR issues aren’t just external. We have some serious internal PR issues, too. The North Jersey-South Jersey border wars go beyond friendly smack talk. North Jersey is inherently influenced by Manhattan.
They think of everyone in South Jersey as a bunch of tooth-pickin’, banjo-playin’ rednecks – and they tend to get the majority of the state funding and services, despite the fact that we have the capital.
5. There’s No “New” In New Jersey
Source: Meme Generator
Okay, there clearly is. We just don’t say it. New Hampshire is New Hampshire and New Mexico is New Mexico (obviously, since Mexico: Electric Boogaloo would be too long), but here in New Jersey, it’s just Jersey, regardless of your region. The only time anyone refers to South Jersey is when someone is specifically asking what part of Jersey you’re from.
6. “The Garden State” Is Not An Exaggeration
South Jersey rarely fits the mold of what people think of when they envision New Jersey. We’re filled with farms, parks and forests with very few truly urbanized areas - not factories, smog, concrete and Desperate Housewives. Tell anyone that Newark has the largest number of cherry blossom trees in the country and prepare to be called a liar. But that’s what Google is for.
7. We’re Down With Philly
South Jersey is right across the bridge from Philly, so we’ve adopted most of their influences. We cheer for the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, and The 76’ers (though basketball is probably the least popular sport.) We head there for most big shows and events.
And sometimes when we’re out of state, we tell people we’re from Philly just to make it easier. If you want an explanation about the Philly Phanatic, though, you’re going to have to ask them.
8. We’re Not So Down With New York
As basically a suburb of Philadelphia, that makes us rivals with New York. North Jersey always tries to steal The Giants, claiming them as their own football team, but seriously, New York can have them. And the Yankees? That’s a joke, right?
9. We’re So Sorry About “The Jersey Shore”
That trainwreck of a reality show on MTV that gave Jersey an even worse name is seriously not our fault. Not only is most of the cast not even from Jersey, but it’s all filmed in Seaside Heights in North Jersey and no one from South Jersey goes to the North Jersey beaches. We’re sorry, America.
10. But The Real Shore Is Everything
Summertime at the Jersey Shore is what the people here live for. It’s our haven, our escape, and there’s so much of it. Wildwood, Ocean City, Cape May, Sea Aisle, Long Beach Island… Seriously, so much shore. And it’s GTL-free.
11. What’s A Wawa?
Source: Flickr user poritsky
I’ll tell you what Wawa is. Wawa is EVERYTHING. It’s convenient gas. It’s the world’s best cup of coffee. It’s a delicious hoagie on the go. It’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at 2 a.m. Seriously, if you were to create a convenience store in your dreams, it would be Wawa. And someday, if they ever get around to utilizing a drive-thru system, they will rule the world. You read it here first.
12. The Importance Of Jersey Tomatoes
Source: Creamy Acres Facebook
You haven’t really experienced a tomato until you’ve had one in its prime from a Jersey farm. And if you don’t believe that, it’s only because you’ve never had one. Summertime in Jersey can never come fast enough and that’s because we want to get to the damn beach and eat all the tomatoes.
13. Just How Sweet Corn Can Really Be
The produce doesn’t stop at the tomatoes. Consider it one of the perks of living in The Garden State, where every farmer’s market and grocery store will literally be throwing giant cobs of corn at you. Okay, maybe not literally. But everyone is a fan of Jersey sweet corn and sometimes enthusiasm can make you do weird things.
14. Also, The Peaches
Source: Flickr user inajeep
Ridiculous peaches are one of Jersey’s best kept secrets. The tomatoes and the corn are delightful, of course. But we’re also spoiled rotten and have become used to having them around. The peaches are great because they’re so surprisingly good. Tack that onto the list of things no one believes about Jersey until they come here.
15. Respect The Left Lane
There’s nothing worse than seeing a Delaware license plate when you’re driving Jersey roads. And that’s because you know that they’re going to cruise in the left lane, probably under the speed limit, like they’re trying to transport the goddamn Mona Lisa or something. That might be okay where you come from, but not in Jersey. Save it for the right lane, grandma.
16. A Jughandle Has Nothing To Do With A Jug
Source: Wikipedia user Dough4872
Jersey is the land of confusing driving. Jughandles are one that if you’re not used to, they can be extremely frustrating. It took me about two years to remember I had to be in the right lane to turn left on certain highways. But once you get used to the system, you realize it’s surprisingly efficient and wonder why everywhere else doesn’t follow suit. But try to get used to them fast, otherwise you’re going to have a lot of annoyed motorists on your tail.
17. Driving Through A Circle
C’s are less confusing the than jughandles, but it seems like the only people who know how to properly navigate them have Jersey plates. Say it with me, people: there’s nothing to fear about the circle. The state has been getting rid of a lot of them in recent years so you won’t usually hit one, but when you do, there’s always that ONE driver who just can’t figure it out. This isn’t Nascar, you have to get off somewhere.
18. Full Service Gas Stations Rule, You Know Nothing
Source: Flickr user Christoph Warner
You’re legally not allowed to pump your own gas anywhere in Jersey. A lot of outsiders think this is a really dumb law. But you know what’s dumb? Standing outside while freezing rain is pelting your face as you watch the gas prick tick higher and higher when you could be filling up in the warmth of your car at a much cheaper and completely full service gas station in Jersey.
19. The Great Hoagie / Sub Conundrum
Source: Primo Hoagies Facebook
Some people call them heroes. Some people call them submarines or subs. In Philly, they’re unequivocally called hoagies. Because Philly has such a strong influence on the area, a lot of people in South Jersey call them hoagies but some people still call them subs. Both parties like to correct the other on the correct name. Of course, you could just say you’re ordering a Primo and everyone wins.
20. Absolutely No One Calls It “Joisey”
Source: Quick Meme
The stereotypical Jersey accent is, again, a colloquially North Jersey thing. The South Jersey accent is much closer to a Philly accent – (it’s a little nasal, youse guys). But even still, no one calls Jersey “Joisey.” I have no idea where that stereotype started, but it’s stupid and it’s definitely time for it to die.
21. The Jersey Devil Really Is Scary
Source: Flickr user David Fletcher
South Jersey might not be responsible for Snooki, but we did put something only slightly less terrifying into the world: The Jersey Devil. Legends of the Jersey Devil have haunted the area for centuries and, legend or not, a lot of people believe in it. Part kangaroo, part goat, part bat, part nightmare personified, the Jersey Devil supposedly hides in the shadows in The Pine Barrens, where you can hear him shrieking at night. As a kid, the stories and reported sightings can be downright frightening.
22. The Pine Barrens Are Even Scarier
Source: Flickr user Matt Swern
If you’ve never heard of The Pine Barrens, it’s a massive forest area stretching through South Jersey. If you have heard of it, then yes, it’s as creepy as everyone ever told you it is, as is prominently noted in Weird N.J. The Jersey Devil is said to haunt the woods, but legends aren’t all you have to be wary of here. Let’s just say that there are certain spots that have some extremely unique locals, better known as Pinies. There is no evidence to support the claim, but common belief is that they could make Deliverance feel like a day in Disney if you cross them the wrong way.
23. We’ll Make An Exception For The Sopranos
Source: The Sopranos Facebook
We normally try to distance ourselves from North Jersey because of how different we are. And even though South Jersey doesn’t have the mob-ties and the accents and view of Manhattan, we’ll make an exception for The Sopranos because who doesn’t love The Sopranos? Save for the finale, of course. We’ll blame that on North Jersey, like everything else.
24. Pork Roll Is, Too, Edible
Source: Pork Roll Facebook
And not only is it edible, but it’s delicious. Why some people turn their nose up to it remains a mystery. Sure, it’s a food “product.” A product of AWESOME. If it was called round bacon, would that make it any better? Of course it would. But it’s called pork roll. So, in the immortal words of Weird Al, just eat it.
25. Atlantic City Isn’t Just For Gambling
Source: Atlantic City New Jersey Facebook
No matter where you are in South Jersey, you’re probably no farther than an hour and a half away from Atlantic City at all times. With the opening of new casinos in Philly, gambling has become less of the attraction. You go to AC for the awesome outlets, all the fun on the Boardwalk, the awesome shows and concerts and for some, the free beaches.
26. The Waterfront Is The Only Time South Jersey Is Really Jersey
Source: Fans of Susquehanna Bank Center Facebook
The Susquehanna Bank Center changes more often than Gaga in a stage show. It was the Blockbuster-Sony, better known as the E Center in the Lalapalooza days. Then it was the Tweeter Center. Now it’s the Susquehanna. Which is why everyone just says they’re going to see a show at the Waterfront. Some of the biggest artists fill this half-indoor, half-outdoor venue for some amazing shows, but they always tend come out on stage thanking Philly. Most of the time, they will correct themselves and/or add in a little Jersey love. Usually, we don’t mind being associated with Philly. But at the Waterfront, we’re all Jersey.
27. Jersey Girls’ Love For Bon Jovi Can’t Really Be Explained
Source: Bon Jovi Facebook
I know this is supposed to be a list of explanations about South Jersey. But when it comes to how much the women in South Jersey fawn over Bon Jovi, there is none. The best I can do is say that it’s a formula based part in the fact that he’s a Jersey boy (although he’s from the elusive Central Jersey) and maybe a little has to do with sharing his love of hairspray. Maybe they just enjoy that he kind of resembles them? Who knows. But his career is more than likely completely based on the massive amount of Bon Jovi love here.
Feature Image Source: Wawa Facebook