Whenever I have a day like today discovering (or re-discovering) a part of New Jersey I treasure, I'm honestly grateful for all the jokes made at the expense of this State.
Why grateful? Because every time comics and others use NJ as the butt of their jokes, I'm guessing there are people who will believe the stereotypes. And as long as that continues to be so, those believers will likely not be tempted to move here. Perhaps, they'll even spread the word to family and friends. Great -more of NJ for me and mine.
My wife and I spent the afternoon today in the Pinelands National Reserve, a beautiful quiet expanse that includes five State forests and makes up 22% of the State. It took us an hour to get there from where we live - 1 mile from the Atlantic Ocean. There's a good reason people from New York travel to the fabulous NJ beaches, not to mention all those Pennsylvania residents who come here daily because they have no ocean at all. And Kansas (etc.)? Good luck with that ocean thing. Lakes? We passed several on the way to the Pinelands; lots more in North Jersey. Skiing? Check. Hiking? Double check. Ethnic food and diversity? Well, yeah. Easy proximity to at least a half dozen great cities, including the greatest of all? No brainer.
Though I was born in NJ and have lived here most of my life, I've been fortunate to have seen a good bit of 45 of the 49 other States; there are numerous things to recommend about many of those States. But for the forseeable future, I'm staying put. At the same time, I'm hoping every out-of-state comic gets stuck soon in a genuine Jersey traffic jam and that all the disc jockeys keep talking about ugly highways and corrupt politicians and the journalists continue to write articles about high property taxes. The less the merrier.