Monday, June 21, 2004

If you've spent a little bit of time around me, you might have noticed that I like talking about New Jersey. Besides being the birthplace of yours truly, it's brought us some of life's other wonderful perks, like lightbulbs, Bruce Springsteen, and Valium.

So, you might have asked yourself, "Self, if Nicole likes New Jersey so much, why, when given the opportunity to live there for two months, why did she choose to live in Manhattan? Has Nicole changed her mind?"

Rest assured, I still think New Jersey is awesomely weird and wonderful. But I just felt it's time to give the city a chance. And, admittedly, living in Manhattan is pretty damn fun, and convenient. This point was driven home (and bussed home, and trained home) this weekend, when I spent a good amount of time underground dealing with the evil, evil PATH in order to visit the 'rents on Dad's Day. After living here for one week, I can already see why one might never, ever want to leave the island.

Still, I maintain that New Jersey gets much worse of a rap than it deserves. I won't go into my "Famous and From NJ" schpiel, but the state's got tons of kitsch and character, and a great magazine that chronicles and embraces it, to boot. Also, we do in fact have great beaches, mountains, and farmlands. I didn't grow up near any of those places, but they're there!

And although I often feel like I just "ended up" living in the South, now that I've been living there for eight (ohmygod) years, I've been thinking that which draws me to liking Jersey is what also has drawn me into appreciating aspects of life below the Mason-Dixon line. It's the underdog factor, sort of. Living in Jersey, you constantly get crap from New Yorkers. Living in the south, you get constantly get crap from the rest of the country. But if you can look past the mullets and Iroc-Zs, these are likeable, liveable places.

And now, I've got to grab some wine and meet up with folks for movies in the park.


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