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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

New Jersey's Achilles Heel

What is your favorite thing about living in your home state? Least favorite?

Aside from living in LA for a few months as a young adult, I've been a resident of New Jersey my whole life. I'm quite happy this has been the case which makes picking one favorite thing difficult. The diversity of the people who live here, the fact that I can hike or ski on (admittedly small-ish) mountains as easily as I can get to the ocean, the great public schools, and the Pinelands top my long list.

Identifying a least favorite thing is much easier. The time I'm most reminded of New Jersey's Achilles heel is on the infrequent occasions when I'm driving somewhere on Sunday morning. When the roads are easy to navigate - as they are on Sunday morning - it's hard to avoid thinking how nice it would be to live without the stress of New Jersey traffic. I realize traffic goes with high population density, i.e. New Jersey. So sometimes when driving on Sunday morning I've fantasized about living in a state with low population density - Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming. I suspect even in the big cities of states like those, New Jersey's Sunday morning driving conditions are not an unusual occurrence.

The chances of me ever moving to any of the three I mentioned - as well as another two dozen "not on your life" states - are slim to none. Better than even money I'll remain in my beloved home state - traffic or not - unless my only child re-locates. If that happens, I could be persuaded to leave Jersey traffic behind. But, given my daughter's current vocation, her only other viable work market, aside from New York, is the Los Angeles area. I know from personal experience the traffic there can be as horrendous as New Jersey's. Is traffic my destiny? There are certainly worse things.  

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