Ode to Jersey

I never realized what a negative reputation the state of New Jersey has until my sister moved there recently. When I mention this fact in conversation, I get responses ranging from, "Why?" to "What'd she DO?!" to "Willingly?".

Despite it's nickname as the "Garden State", I have been informed by various people that it is an ugly, unpleasant and foul smelling state. Hmm. New Jersey. Oil stain on the highway of life? Armpit of the east coast?

Recently, I read that the state of New Jersey has selected it's new advertising slogan: "New Jersey. Come see for yourself" This new moniker beat out such gems as: "New Jersey. What smells like feet?" and "New Jersey. Oooh. Livin' on a prayer" and "New Jersey. Now D'ya See?".

Poor New Jersey. Being known largely for your smokestacks and traffic jams, and being regarded by your fellow states as a dump, your self-esteem surely suffers. When you are famous (or infamous, rather) for the overwhelming graft and corruption that permeates every aspect of your government, it must be hard to hold your head high. Being tormented by overcrowdedness and high crime rates must weigh heavily on your shoulders.
Ridiculed as Manhattan's lower-class industrial cousin, New Jersey must have some redeeming qualities, right? Afterall, why would so many people live there if it was really that bad?

* New Jersey is the birthplace of bubble-wrap
* New Jersey has the most diners on earth and is known as the Diner Capital of the World
* The Sopranos…need I say more?
* The Jersey shore is the only place in the world where horseshoe crabs lay their eggs.
* The first dinosaur skeleton in North America was found in New Jersey.
* 15 minute train rides to Manhattan.
* New Jersey provides two-thirds of the world with it's eggplant crop!

Tough, gritty, diverse Jersey.
Rough around the edges Jersey.
Fast and sarcastic Jersey.
Sly eyes and gold smile Jersey.
Ghetto-fabulous Jersey.

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