Top 5: Reasons Belmar is Better Than New Brunswick
About three months ago, I moved out of my apartment in New Brunswick and into a new apartment in Belmar. And it was quite a drastic change. I essentially moved out of the armpit of the Armpit of America and into a more pleasant body part (I’ll let you pick which one). I’ve spent five years of my life living in New Brunswick, and, although I have fond memories of the city, there is plenty to hate about it.
With that, here are theTop 5 reasons why Belmar is better than New Brunswick:
1) Hippies – Both New Brunswick and Belmar are home to quite a few hippies. Still, they couldn’t be more different. The hippies in New Brunswick are mainly students of Rutgers University. Though they typically come from upper-middle class families, they like to pretend they’re poor and just getting by on their own. But don’t let those tattered tie-dye shirts, unkempt facial hair (on guys), and unshaven legs (on girls) fool you. They’re just miserable spoiled brats with Grateful Dead posters in their dorms who wake up every morning wishing they went to college 40 years ago.
Belmar’s hippies, on the other hand, are more grown up. Rather than playing their guitars and singing about imagined social injustices, these hippies have embraced capitalism. Instead of going out of their way to be part of some nonexistent, idyllic counter culture, these hippies actually contribute something to the real culture. They’ve opened establishments all over the town, like vegan restaurants, vintage clothing stores, and yoga studios. Still embracing their hippie roots, but earning a dollar at the same time. Who wouldn’t respect that?
2) Animal Life – There were many times where I’d be walking around New Brunswick at night and come scarily close to a skunk. No clue how a woodland creature like that ends up in a pretty urban area like New Brunswick, but I’m just lucky to never be sprayed by skunk juice. New Brunswick is also plagued by nasty squirrels. Fearless of humans, they generally hang out around garbage cans, hoping to get the last scraps of your Grease Truck sandwich.
While Belmar has some feisty squirrels, they don’t seem as mean as those in New Brunswick. Being on the beach, the town is full of seagulls. Sure, New Brunswick has seagulls too. But the ones in Belmar live at the sea, where they belong, and not in the parking lot of the ghetto Sears. Oh, and you know what other type of animal we have in Belmar? Dolphins. Yes, effin dolphins. In New Jersey.
3) Cleanliness – No fancy syntax or witticisms necessary: New Brunswick is dirty. From the highly polluted Raritan River, to the nasty Rutgers dorms, to the stench of deep fried crap from the Grease Trucks, nothing about New Brunswick is clean. You can’t walk down the street without some tumbletrash (thanks, EG!) rolling by. And despite the fact that the street sweepers come by twice a week, all the roads in New Brunswick are constantly covered in dust and filth.
Belmar, by comparison, is beautifully clean. The two surrounding bodies of water, the Shark River and the Atlantic Ocean, are a sparkling blue, nothing like that murky Raritan. The streets are always clean, and I have yet to see a street sweeper come by.
4) Safety – When comparing the levels of safety of New Brunswick and Belmar, it comes down to this: ghetto vs. guido. New Brunswick has long had a reputation for being a rough and gritty city. Very few days pass without some kind of horrible event – whether robbery, rape, car accidents, or skunk encounter.
As for Belmar, it’s as safe as can be. There’s very little crime and it’s actually safe to walk around at night. The only problem: guidos. You can’t go to a bar in Belmar without encountering at least a few tan, steroid-using, spiky-haired freaks. But as long as you avoid eye contact with them, you should be safe.
5) Traffic – New Brunswick is home to some legendary traffic. When I started college at Rutgers in 2001, the massive renovation of Route 18 had just started. Traffic was always horrendous. When they finally finished work on 18 (and, honestly, was all the trouble worth it?), the powers that be set to work on refurbishing both Route 1 and George Street. In another eight years, they’ll find yet another road in the city to unnecessarily reconstruct. And don’t get me started on the parking situation. I’ve never seen cops so eager to hand out tickets.
On the other hand, Belmar is just delightful in this regard. Traffic jams are almost unheard of, it’s easy to get around, and parking is copious. Of course, I moved here the beginning of September, after the summer craziness. I’m sure in nine months I’ll be longing for New Brunswick’s dirty, cop-filled, ghetto streets.