New Jersey Rocks
Bruce Springsteen Live: brucespringsteen.net
"Manhattan is a narrow island off the coast of New Jersey devoted to the pursuit of lunch." Raymond Sokolov
A New Jersey triviafest showed up in my inbox recently. It exists in different forms on a variety of websites. A lot of the Facts and Firsts might surprise you as they did me. But You know you're from Jersey when... will resonate, especially if you're from Philly--or New York--because we consider New Jersey sort of our 'stepstate.'
In fact to most Philadelphians New Jersey is less a state than a state of mind -- especially in the summer or at a Springsteen concert. For some of us Jersey is part of our daily lives, for others a window to our past.
Natives of New Jersey, New York and Philly will relate, smile, remember, cheer. Those who live anywhere else will find this enlightening. And might even feel a little, you know ... jealous.
New Jersey Facts
The entire state of New Jersey is a peninsula.
Newark's Liberty International airport is the nation's third busiest, following O'Hare and JFK.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are in fact located in New Jersey.
Highlands, NJ has the highest elevation on the entire eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida.
Elizabeth, NJ is the largest seaport in the US -- nearly 80% of our nation's imports come through Elizabeth Seaport first.
New Jersey is the only state where all counties are classified as metropolitan areas.
New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.
New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq. mi.) than Havana, Cuba.
New Jersey has the densest system of highways and railroads in the US.
New Jersey has the highest cost of living, the highest cost of auto insurance and the highest property taxes in the nation.
North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major malls in a 25 square mile radius.
New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the "Diner Capital of the World."
Union, NJ has the tallest water-tower in the world.
Atlantic City has the longest boardwalk in the world. Not to mention salt water taffy.
New Jersey is the largest chemical producing state in the nation, when including pharmaceuticals.
New Jersey has the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East.
New Jersey has the most stringent testing for water quality control along its coastline than any seaboard state in the country.
New Jersey is the world leader in blueberry and cranberry production (and you thought Massachusetts?)
Jersey tomatoes are the best you can buy.
New Jersey Firsts
In 1642, the first brewery in America opened in Hoboken, NJ. (Hey, what's more important than that?)
The light bulb, phonograph and motion picture projector were invented by Thomas Edison in Menlo Park, NJ, the first town ever lit by incandescent bulbs. The first phonograph records (aka "vinal")were made in Camden, NJ.
Les Paul invented the first solid body electric guitar in Mahwah, NJ.
The first AM radio station and broadcast was in Paterson, NJ. The first FM radio broadcast was made from Alpine, NJ, by Maj. Thomas Armstrong.
The first seaplane was built in Keyport, NJ. The first airmail--to Chicago--was started from Keyport, NJ.
New Jersey was home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City for 85 years (moved to Las Vegas in 2005).
The internationally played game Monopoly features streets named for actual streets in Atlantic City.
Jersey City had the nation's first medical center.
The Pulaski Sky Way, from Jersey City to Newark, was the first skyway highway.
New Jersey built the first underwater tunnel -- the Holland Tunnel, under the Hudson River.
The first baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ -- also the birthplace of Frank Sinatra.
The first intercollegiate football game was played in New Brunswick in 1889 (Rutgers College Vs. Princeton).
The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden, NJ.
The first Indian reservation was in New Jersey's Watchung Mountains.
You know you're from New Jersey when. . .
At least three generations in your family love Bruce Springsteen, and you know Jon Bon Jovi's hometown.
You don't think of fruit when people mention "The Oranges."
You refer to Great Adventure, not Six Flags.
You know there aren't 'beaches' in New Jersey -- there's the shore. And you don't go to the shore, you go down the shore.
Wherever you park, there's a Camaro within three spots of you.
A good, quick breakfast is a hard roll with butter.
You've known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven.
In the 80's you wore your hair REALLY high.
You've eaten at a diner when you were stoned or drunk at 3 A.M.
You know what a "jug handle" is.
You know that WaWa is a convenience store.
You know how to properly negotiate a circle. (Which you also know has to do with driving.)
You know that Jersey is the only "New" state that doesn't require "New" to identify it (try . . . Mexico . . . York . . . Hampshire -- doesn't work, does it?)
You know that a "White Castle" is the name of BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich.
You consider putting mayo on a corned beef sandwich a sacrilege.
You don't think "What exit do you live near?" is funny.
You know that people from the 609 area code are "a little different." Yes, they are.
You know that no respectable New Jerseyan goes to Princeton -- that's for out-of-staters.
The Jets-Giants game has started fights at your school or local bar.
You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls.
You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers.
Every year you've had at least one kid in your class named Tony.
You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits.
You've gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of the mall.
You know that people from North Jersey go to Seaside Heights, people from Central Jersey go to Belmar, people from South Jersey go to Wildwood and people from Philly go to Ocean City or Cape May.
You weren't raised in New Jersey -- you were raised in either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey.
You don't consider Newark or Camden to really be part of the state.
You remember the stores Korvette's, Two Guys, Rickel's, Channel, Bamberger's and Orbach's.
You also remember Palisades Amusement Park.
You've had a boardwalk cheesesteak and vinegar fries.
You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.
And you've NEVER, EVER pumped your own gas.
New Jersey Natives
Nick Adams, Jason Alexander, Budd Abbott, Robert Blake, Judy Blume, Jon Bon Jovi, Aaron Burr, Grover Cleveland, James Fennimore Cooper, Richard Conti, Lou Costello, Tom Cruise, Sandra Dee, Danny DeVito, John Forsythe, Connie Francis, Alan Ginsberg, Admiral Wm. Halsey, Jr., Alexander Hamilton, Jerry Herman, Lauryn Hill, Whitney Houston.
Ice-T, Joyce Kilmer, Ernie Kovacs, Nathan Lane, Queen Latifah, Jerry Lewis, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Ray Liotta, Norman Mailer, Marilynn McCoo, Gorden McCrae, Linda McElroy, Eddie Money, Jack Nicholson, Shaqille O'Neal, Joe Pesci, Zebulon Pike, Joe Piscopo.
Kelly Ripa, Paul Robeson, Caesar Romero, Eva Marie Saint, Susan Sarandon, Elisabeth Shue, Paul Simon, Frank Sinatra, Kevin Spacey, Bruce Springsteen, Meryl Streep, Loretta Swit, John Travolta, Dave Thomas (Wendy's), Sarah Vaughn, Dionne Warwick, Walt Whitman, Bruce Willis, Flip Wilson, Woodrow Wilson, William Carlos Williams, Robert Wuhl.
New Jersey is home to both NEW YORK pro football teams!