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The Jersey I Know
September 12, 2011 6:55 AM   Subscribe

"Driving Jersey represents and reflects the most misunderstood and misrepresented place and people in all of America." In this series of calmly paced, short documentaries featuring profiles, atmosphere, landscape, and interviews, filmmakers Steve Rogers and Ryan Bott travel 21 counties to capture some of the true character and cultural nuance of the Garden State.

Steve Rogers was nominated for an Emmy for his work on this series.
posted by Miko (54 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Please turn your speakers all the way up and press play
posted by The Whelk at 7:00 AM on September 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Also, Hi Lord Whimsy)
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM on September 12, 2011


Captain America is real?!
posted by mkb at 7:20 AM on September 12, 2011


Please turn your speakers all the way up and press play

I love it. But I was totally expecting this gem of a song.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:52 AM on September 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Exit 11! Represent!
Must… fight… urge… to use… <blink>…

Although we moved away when I was just a kid. So I still say "caw-fee" but I can also use "fixin' to", "y'all", and "all y'all" correctly in a sentence.

I spent a few summers in Seaside Park visiting my relations. I stared out the window there on the bay end of 'O' Street long enough that when I saw a promotion for a new MTV program showing the Seaside Heights water tower with some dude superimposed over it I instantly recognized the water tower. I was pretty disappointed that the show didn't really capture the essence of either New Jersey in general or the Heights in particular. Not to mention that only two of them are New Jerseyans anyway.

Also, thanks for those songs, y'all. I sent both of them on to my Old Man who collects songs like that.

These videos remind me that I really need to get up to the Shore one summer soon.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:27 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exit 2. Yes, there is an Exit 2.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:29 AM on September 12, 2011


....Exit 11 as well.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 AM on September 12, 2011


although I could equally claim Exit 9
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on September 12, 2011


I supposed I could equally claim Exit 10 since that's where I'd get off the Turnpike to get to my hometown if I was headed north.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:44 AM on September 12, 2011


You have to specify Parkway or Turnpike Exit. I'm a 109 on the Parkway but a...what is it, 9? on the Turnpike.
posted by Miko at 8:48 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who takes the Parkway?
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on September 12, 2011


People who live along the Parkway. Or who want to go to the beach.
posted by Miko at 9:02 AM on September 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


You have to specify Parkway or Turnpike Exit.

Nah, not usually. You can tell by the number which highway someone is talking about. And in my neck of the woods, you can usually tell if they're referring to 295, too.
posted by amro at 9:04 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can tell by the exit number
posted by amro at 9:05 AM on September 12, 2011


Nah, not usually. You can tell by the number which highway someone is talking about. And in my neck of the woods, you can usually tell if they're referring to 295, too.

You can only tell that, though, if the number is above 15. If you ask someone "what exit?" and they just say "5", they could be referring to Turnpike Exit 6 - farmville - or to the Wildwood area in NJ. It's confusing enough. The Parkway is much more specific, having as it does so many more exits.
posted by Miko at 9:07 AM on September 12, 2011


6. If they just say "6."
posted by Miko at 9:08 AM on September 12, 2011


True. If it's a low number, I always assume (perhaps not always correctly) turnpike.
posted by amro at 9:08 AM on September 12, 2011


And I just moved and I'm not really sure of my turnpike exit now. But I grew up in the Exit 4 'hood.
posted by amro at 9:09 AM on September 12, 2011


I guess I do the same in practice.
posted by Miko at 9:13 AM on September 12, 2011


..asking for clarification if it's low.
posted by Miko at 9:13 AM on September 12, 2011


Soon enough instead of naming exits, we'll be able to name reality tv locales (I hail from the real housewives wastes). That's sad, because we're so much more than shouty people with questionable sartorial choices. I moved out at 18 because it seemed like a shitty place to be a young adult and poor. NYC looms as an oppressive cultural drain serving the super rich, driving up rental prices so much that you pretty much have to live with your parents until financial adulthood. However the longer I'm gone the more I appreciate the beauty of that state whenever I visit. The ruins of former glory are everywhere, (like mini detroits!), people have some of the worst tattoos I've ever seen (there must be some meaning to skeletal jesters I don't get), and there's a sense of family and loyalty I sorely miss. I used to say I love that place but I'm glad to be gone, but the longer I stay away the more I feel my home's strings tugging at me, and the more Springsteen's portrayal of a place that stifles you so much yet you can't unhinge yourself from rings true.


I am jealous of people that grew up in more interesting parts of new jersey, my area was rich, racist, and bland.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 9:16 AM on September 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


Exit 11! Or 135 on the parkway. Though I really feel that 153B is "my" exit--all those years commuting to Willy P for college burned an image of route 46 on my soul.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:24 AM on September 12, 2011


Interesting how New Brunswick is the exact breaking point if you tend to be facing NYC or Philadelphia.
posted by The Whelk at 9:24 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


More Central NJ-ians, we're coming to your town to eat all your Taylor-ham based products!
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 AM on September 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


Betty_effin_White, really well put. I was lucky to grow up in a great multicultural, middle-class NJ town, but it's changed a lot due to commuter wealth. But I still really miss so much about the people and the culture.
posted by Miko at 9:28 AM on September 12, 2011


I'm pretty sure there's no exit 2 on the Parkway. (Actually, I think mile 2 of the Parkway is so far south that there are things like traffic lights that you have to stop at.)
posted by madcaptenor at 9:32 AM on September 12, 2011


The Parkway goes right on down to Cape May County. It merges at Exit 4 onto 9/109. Even though it goes down to 4 lanes sometime in the 50s, and then 2 at the very end, it's not a sleepy unpopulated road. It's the main route to and from the southern Shore - Ocean City, Wildwood, Cape May, etc.

There is a place or two where another major road crosses and there is a traffic light.
posted by Miko at 9:41 AM on September 12, 2011


The Whelk: "More Central NJ-ians, we're coming to your town to eat all your Taylor-ham based products!"

Oh, man. I could so go for a pork roll sandwich on a hard roll right now.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:47 AM on September 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


151, like the rum.
posted by ego at 9:49 AM on September 12, 2011


Daily, after 4:30 PM, going south, once you get around Exit 145 we call it the Garden State Parking Lot.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 9:50 AM on September 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I still say "caw-fee" but I can also use "fixin' to", "y'all", and "all y'all" correctly in a sentence.

My wife, who is way more country that I am, mocks me for using the term "fixin to" as a synonym for "about to". I have always loved the Beverly Hillbillies use of the term "commence" as well. Wifey be damned....
posted by Billiken at 10:18 AM on September 12, 2011


Pork roll, egg and cheese, if you please, on a kaiser bun

Great, now I'm basing my lunch choices on a Ween song.
posted by mollweide at 10:26 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time it was 91, 98 if you knew the back way. These days I'm a 287 girl.
posted by booksherpa at 10:48 AM on September 12, 2011


There was a "band" in my high school called '22 West', that 4-lane strip that parallels 78 out to Phillipsburg and Allentown beyond. 22 was a great road, the band not so much.
posted by joecacti at 11:02 AM on September 12, 2011


I grew up on 22! It's my highway.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:19 AM on September 12, 2011


As far as my (rural) New Jersey family was concerned, the Turnpike and Parkway were for people from out-of-state who couldn't drive. 95 was viewed with skepticism. 295 was considered acceptable, but largely undesirable, and would be shunned in favor of any reasonably direct county road wherever possible. Consequently, if pressed, I could probably take you three different backroads ways to either of my grandparents' homes, but would be lost trying to get there from a highway (and in looking at Google Maps to see how I might go about doing it, I found this little gem). And I love the look of complete incomprehension I get from the "Which exit?" jokers when I say, quite honestly, "I don't know."
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:25 AM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm exit 157. Which I just confirmed via this little gem of an exit list.
posted by bberchant at 12:28 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exit 9, baby.

Grab me some Hoagie Haven on the way down.
posted by pianoboy at 12:34 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who takes the Parkway?

Wikipedia: The Parkway has been ranked as the busiest toll highway in the country based on the number of toll transactions.
posted by tremspeed at 2:19 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who takes the Parkway?

Wikipedia: The Parkway has been ranked as the busiest toll highway in the country based on the number of toll transactions.


You can't really compare the Parkway with the Turnpike on this basis, though, because many trips on the Parkway require more than one "toll transaction".
posted by madcaptenor at 3:50 PM on September 12, 2011


Its pretty bizarre. I was born in New Jersey, and growing up the rest of my family made fun of me for it. Now that I'm in a different country and getting into a certain kind of music I'm planning on capitalizing on the Jersey thing for my band/poetry to try and convince people I'm like Springsteen/Brian Fallon/Titus Andronicus....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:53 PM on September 12, 2011


Exit 7A, baby. Horse farms and Great Adventure represent!
posted by obeetaybee at 5:30 PM on September 12, 2011


just reading the phrase 'Exit 7A" makes want a cherry coke
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 PM on September 12, 2011


Its pretty bizarre. I was born in New Jersey, and growing up the rest of my family made fun of me for it. Now that I'm in a different country and getting into a certain kind of music I'm planning on capitalizing on the Jersey thing for my band/poetry to try and convince people I'm like Springsteen/Brian Fallon/Titus Andronicus....

. . . please don't do that. Jerseyans can spot a faker a mile away.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:38 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]




Its pretty bizarre. I was born in New Jersey, and growing up the rest of my family made fun of me for it. Now that I'm in a different country and getting into a certain kind of music I'm planning on capitalizing on the Jersey thing for my band/poetry to try and convince people I'm like Springsteen/Brian Fallon/Titus Andronicus....

. . . please don't do that. Jerseyans can spot a faker a mile away.


Yeah after posting that I felt like a total asshole.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:15 PM on September 12, 2011


I am jealous of people that grew up in more interesting parts of new jersey, my area was rich, racist, and bland.

Same here, except for the jealous part.
Exit 163, represent!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:55 PM on September 12, 2011


If you bad mouth jersey, I'll break your face.
posted by digsrus at 7:09 PM on September 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think back roads are a total NJ thing too, Eva Destructin, precisely because the big roads are so busy. I recall when I was learning to drive and, consequently, learning to get around, and old-timers would be all "Take the Popney Road extension to Route 72, then pick up 117 and take it all the way to 9"...when I visit I still have some back-road combos I use to get from destinations in South Jersey to north, and of course East-West across Monmouth County.
posted by Miko at 7:46 PM on September 12, 2011


Miko: "I think back roads are a total NJ thing"

I learned to drive from my Old Man 25 years ago, and of course rode in the car with him for years before that. Most of my driving has been done here near my adopted home and not in my native New Jersey. I never realized until right now that my obsession with finding back ways was probably passed down to me from my father, who learned it from his father, because back roads are a Jersey thing and we were all three born in the same small town in New Jersey.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Though I really feel that 153B is "my" exit--all those years commuting to Willy P for college burned an image of route 46 on my soul.

~FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE NEVAR FORGET~
posted by mintcake! at 11:16 PM on September 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always thought it was weird that there so few college towns in north bergen/passaic Jersey. Willy P seems to barely alter Wayne.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 12:30 AM on September 13, 2011


You can't really compare the Parkway with the Turnpike on this basis, though, because many trips on the Parkway require more than one "toll transaction".

Yeah, but you could also get away with not paying any tolls on the Parkway for short trips. I know GPS had me do toll free jaunts on the parkway fairly often. I have to say though, never having had it as part of my regular commute, it sure does feel like America's busiest toll road. Though that Katy Freeway.... damn dude.
posted by tremspeed at 6:44 PM on September 13, 2011


The tolls have been reconfigured and now there are very few, end-to-end. Since most trips on the Parkway are shorter trips than most trips on the turnpike, it works out to be a fairer system on those who use it every day.
posted by Miko at 7:44 PM on September 13, 2011


I always thought it was weird that there so few college towns in north bergen/passaic Jersey. Willy P seems to barely alter Wayne.

That's because it's actually closer to North Haledon and Paterson, the Hamburg Turnpike isolates resident students (many of whom don't have cars) from the rest of Wayne, and only something like 30% of students live there at all. It's mostly a commuter school.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:17 AM on September 14, 2011


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