The summer is finally here!—well, almost here. Recently I’ve been thinking about some of my favorite things to do in the summer, and many of those things are specific to my home state of New Jersey. That’s right, I’m from what the rest of the country calls the armpit of America, but what I know to be the greatest state in the Union. I’m sure everybody in every part of the country has summers filled with pool parties and barbecues, but there are some things that only people from New Jersey will understand about going home.
The first thing I look forward to is the food. For one thing, we are serious about our Jersey pizza. New York pizza is pretty good, Chicago pizza isn’t really pizza, and who knows about the rest of the country. Pizza is the best way to grab a quick meal with friends and it’s quite inexpensive. Then there are our bagels– the perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, or snack for any occasion. A bagel with taylor ham, egg, and cheese is a classic and a staple for any road trip to the shore. Speaking of going down the shore (also known as “dts”), we all look forward to our subs from Wawa. Wawa is like a convenience store on steroids. It is a place where all of your snacking dreams come true. And again, in case you forgot, we do not drive to the beach, we go down the SHORE.
Okay, so enough on food. The main attraction of Jersey summer culture is boardwalks. There’s the beach not too far away (you can call it a beach when you are already at the shore), all the zeppoles you could want, arcades, rides, fortune tellers, everything. The boardwalk is a place for teenagers to cause trouble, couples to go on first dates, families to have a fun night out, and old friends to reminisce and create new memories.
The beautiful part about living in New Jersey is that going to the city or going to the shore are both easily possible. Of course, when I say the city, I mean THE city. New York City. Whatever I say regarding the city will probably fall short of its limitless possibilities. Literally everything is possible there, and that is why it’s such a great destination for people from Jersey, especially in the summer. So whether you want to lounge by the water and listen to Bruce Springsteen or go to a music festival in the city, New Jersey is the summer destination for you.
I hadn’t noticed until coming to Vassar that the lingo I use when referring to home is somewhat strange to the rest of the country. We New Jerseyians definitely have our own culture which sets us apart from the rest of the country. We’re loud and abrupt, but are genuinely good people to people who are good to us. We have no need for formal pleasantries which is likely why the rest of the country feels the way they do about us. Eh, it’s not a big deal because if you don’t like us, the feeling is likely mutual. There’s no place in which I would rather live because the experiences that I’ve grown up having are specific to the culture of New Jersey. The school year is just about over, and I’m just about ready to start my Jersey summer.