Archive for the ‘State vs. State’ category

State vs. State: New Jersey and Long Island

April 18, 2014

It has now been a year since I left my home on the little slice of heaven known as the Jersey Shore to move to the gates of hell that is Long Island. So how do the two compare? Let’s see in this sort of revival of my long-forgotten State vs. State feature:

Roads

Perhaps the biggest difference is that Long Island allows you to make left turns instead of the jug handles for which New Jersey is so famous (or infamous). I definitely appreciate the ability to make a simple left instead of going around in circles, with many traffic lights having dedicated left turn signals. However, there is one disadvantage to this system – the red lights are looooong. At most intersections, each of the four roads will have it’s own dedicated green light AND it’s own special left turn arrow light, so the convenience of making a left turn comes at the expense of your time.

Drivers

New Jersey has quite a reputation for having bad drivers, but they are nothing compared to those in Long Island. In the past year, I have seen countless instances of drivers swerving from the left lane to make a right turn, and cutting off other drivers to make a left turn from the right lane. Moreover, no one seems to have mastered the use of the turn signal. While New Jersey drivers aren’t know for their politeness, I’d still prefer them over these crazy Long Island motorists.

People

New Jersey and Long Island alike both deal with negative reputations of their populations. And to stereotype the whole population one way or another is unfair. While I’ve met some really horrible people here, most are pleasant enough. But, I will say that the Lawn Guyland accent is pretty annoying. Then again, New Jersey isn’t immune to bad accents – from the New York-influenced speakers in North Jersey and the Philadelphia-inspired vernacular of South Jersey, to the strangely southern accents of Sussex County. (FYI – hailing from Central Jersey, I speak in a perfect, non-offensive accent – or so I think…)

Stores

New Jersey and Long Island both suffer from way too many highways adorned with way too many strip malls. But what’s in those stores differs greatly. One of the biggest differences is that you can buy beer and wine ANYWHERE. All grocery stores, convenience stores and drug stores have a wide selection of alcoholic beverages. The other major difference is that apparently Long Islanders can’t get enough frozen yogurt. There are at least 10 different chains and no matter where you are, there are at least three frozen yogurt shops somewhere nearby.

While this is just a basic overview, New Jersey clearly is the winner. Then again, I do have my bias – growing up in New Jersey, Long Island has always been a place of detestation. And, as I’ve learned, Long Islanders look down on the Armpit of America with the same level of abhorrence. Since neither can compete with the excitement of Manhattan or the beauty and open space of upstate New York, New Jersey and Long Island alike continue to bully each other. But there is one thing residents of both places can agree on: New Jersey and Long Island are both better than Staten Island!

 

 

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State vs. State: Idaho

May 7, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these State vs. State entries. For this one, I’m comparing New Jersey to the great mediocre state of Idaho! Though I had originally intended to start out with those states closest to the Armpit of America, I realized that strategy would leave me with a whole bunch of big, blocky, boring states out west. To prevent this from happening, I figured I might as well get a head start.  So I decided to go with the most boring of all.

"Esto Perpetua" - Latin for "This state sucks!"

Let’s start by discussing Idaho’s most famous, if not only, export. The potato. Everyone seems to make a big deal about Idaho potatoes, but are they really that much better than potatoes grown anywhere else? I highly doubt it. Besides, who would even be able to tell anyway? I mean, no one eats a potato straight up. We fry them, mash them, cover them with butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon. It doesn’t matter where a potato is grown; they just serve as a base for salt and grease.

New Jersey’s produce, on the other hand, is something special; we aren’t called the Garden State for nothing. Though people may mock the fact that such a disgusting state has a nickname like that, it is well deserved. New Jersey’s corn and tomatoes are legendary. And they can be eaten on their own, unlike those overrated and worthless Idaho potatoes. (more…)

State vs. State: Pennsylvania

February 9, 2010

After proving beyond any doubt how New Jersey is so much better than Delaware, I have my sights set on the Armpit of America’s western neighbor. While comparing Delaware to New Jersey was obviously pretty easy, proving that my state is better than Pennsylvania may be a little trickier. But let’s give it a try.

When one hears the word “Pennsylvania,” there are a few images that come to mind: the green patchwork of farmland, the quaint little towns, and the beautiful mountains and valleys. Well, newsflash: New Jersey has all these things too. Big deal, right? Well New Jersey is like one quarter the size of Pennsylvania, so all of our farmland, quaint towns, and mountains are all within an hour or so drive of each other. Compare that with the over 5 hours it takes to drive from one end of Pennsylvania to the other.

Which brings me to the next point. Just look at the two states on a map. New Jersey is shaped like a voluptuous woman, drawing you in like a siren. On top of that, the girlish figure of our state is all natural, for the most part. Aside from the northeastern border with New York, New Jersey’s boundaries are all formed by water. And how is Pennsylvania shaped? Like a boring rectangle with a misplaced wedge on top. What other state has a stupid wedge on top?? Only Pennsylvania.

They obviously didn't have enough room for Pennsylvania's official slogan: "Virtue, Liberty, Independence, and Stupid Wedges"

The story behind that odd wedge is yet another reason to make fun of the state. Originally, that sliver of land belonged to New York. Since it stretched all the way to Ohio, poor Pennsylvania didn’t have access to Lake Erie. So the crybaby people of that state did what they still do best: whine until they get their way. So they finally got their connection to the Great Lakes, but at the cost of having a misshapen wedge at the top of the state. (more…)

State vs. State: Delaware

December 16, 2009

I’m unveiling a new feature on the Armpit of America today: State vs. State. In these entries, I’ll be comparing New Jersey to another state in our great country to show you why New Jersey is better. While it may be difficult to convince you that New Jersey is better than some states, like Hawaii (which isn’t a real state anyway), others will be a lot easier, like Mississippi (who the hell would want to live there?).

For my first State vs. State entry, I’ll be comparing New Jersey to our frenemy to the south, Delaware.

I know some of you are already asking, “Dela-where?” This is completely understandable. For those unfamiliar, Delaware is a sliver of a state bordered on the north by Pennsylvania, the west and south by Maryland, and the east by Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. As a matter of fact, in 1787, Delaware became the first state to join the union, a fact that its residents can’t stop bragging about. Maybe if something – anything – interesting had happened in Delaware over the last 200 years, they would have something else to brag about.

In case you didn't know, DELAWARE WAS THE FIRST STATE!!!!

Say what you will about New Jersey, at least the state has an identity (albeit, the Armpit of America). Sure, people cringe when you tell them you’re from New Jersey. But I think it’s better for someone or something to have a bad reputation than no reputation at all. A common joke anyone from New Jersey is bound to hear when asked where they are from is, “You’re from New Jersey? Which exit?” Though playing on the assumption that the state is nothing but highway, at least this is a great conversation starter. When people hear that someone is from Delaware, that usually kills the conversation. (more…)