Posted tagged ‘Jersey Turnpike’

Stuff

May 29, 2010

I meant to put up a new entry this week, but that didn’t pan out.  Instead, you can read my entry on the Jersey City pimp again!  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to update for another week, as I’m going on a much needed vacation today.  (However, there is a chance a guest blogger will post a new entry; stay tuned.)

Anyway, I’ll be heading out of state (shocking, I know).  But as much as I love New Jersey, it’s good to get away every now and then.  Although, whenever I’m in another state, I come appreciate the Armpit of America even more.  What makes California so special anyway, compared to New Jersey?  Well you can find out with a new State vs. State entry at some point after my return.

Now for some more self-promotion!  If you like what you read here, you can subscribe to this blog by putting your e-mail address in the box to the right.  As soon as I post new entries, you can read them in right in your e-mail.  Also, you can follow me on Twitter @armpitnj and visit my YouTube channel.

Well that’s it for today.  We’re about to head out on the Turnpike to go to Newark Liberty Airport.  Wish me luck – I’ll need it.

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My Trip to IKEA – The Slideshow

May 3, 2010

I just posted a new video on my YouTube channel!  It’s an audio slideshow of my recent trip to IKEA.  It might not be perfect, but I’m proud of it all the same.  So if you want to see pictures of the Armpit of America’s favorite Swedish home furnishings store (or if you just want hear what my voice sounds like), check it out!

What’s Worse Than Flying to Afghanistan?

April 25, 2010

The other day, CNN.com posted a fascinating story about a guy who traveled the world using the most dangerous methods of transportation possible.  Carl Hoffman went out of his way to fly on airlines with questionable safety records, like Cubana and Ariana (the national airlines of Cuba and Afghanistan, respectively).  He also went on crowded ferries in Asia, where the complimentary meal was a fish tail, and sat in crowded buses speeding around cliffs in South America.

Though Hoffman may sound like a daredevil, his reason for going on these death-defying journeys wasn’t for the thrill or the adrenaline rush.  His mission was to experience how people all over the world get from place to place.  Though we may wonder why anyone would want to ride on a crowded bus for 28 hours, for some people, that’s their only way to get around.

As interesting as this may be, you’re probably wondering why I would include such a story on a blog about New Jersey.   Well, that’s because of one of the answers Hoffman gave to CNN in his interview.  When asked how he felt flying with an airline with poor safety records, Hoffman responded as such:

“Even on really bad — statistically bad — airlines, the death rate is really much lower than, say, driving on the New Jersey Turnpike.”

Someone who made it his mission to travel the world in the most dangerous ways possible still had something bad to say about the Turnpike.  I would think that after experiencing the transportation methods of the third world, one would have a much better appreciation for the Turnpike.   Apparently, the opposite is true.  The national airline of Afghanistan is safer than the highways of the Armpit of America.

A Touch of Sweden on the Turnpike

April 20, 2010

It’s been said before, particularly by me, but the New Jersey Turnpike is horrible. Traffic. Cops. Tolls. Refineries. Litter. These are just a few of the nasty things you’ll see on that road. Among all of these horrible sights, though, is perhaps the one bright spot on the Turnpike: an IKEA! That’s right. Just off of Exit 13A in the shithole town of Elizabeth is the IKEA, which serves as a Swedish oasis in the otherwise barren landscape of the Armpit of America.

Upon exiting off the Turnpike, you’ll follow signs to get to the Swedish superstore. You’ll know you’re there when you see three giant poles bearing the flags of the United States, Sweden, and the greatest nation of all, New Jersey. Once you walk past the flagpoles and into the store, you’re welcomed by a sign advertising the store’s famous Swedish meatballs. Because when you need to go shopping for new furniture, you logically want to buy meatballs at the same time.

If you see this much blue and gold and it's too early for Chanukah, you're probably at an IKEA.

For the three people out there who have never been to an IKEA, it is a huge home furnishings store selling a whole bunch of stuff for your house (like meatballs). All of their goods are supposedly made in Sweden…or made to resemble stuff in Sweden? I don’t really know. But, based on the crowds of people that swarm in on the store each day, I guess that if it’s Swedish, it’s good. (more…)

Top 5 Bruce Songs About New Jersey

March 9, 2010
I wish my Jew-fro looked half as good as that...

Are we sure he's not Jewish?

A few weeks ago, I created a list of what I consider the top 5 songs about the Armpit of America. Noticeably absent from that list were songs by Bruce Springsteen. Since the patron saint of New Jersey has written so many songs about the state, it would be impossible to pick just one. So I made this list of the top 5 Bruce Springsteen songs about New Jersey.

1. Born to Run – Perhaps the most famous of all Bruce’s songs, Born to Run takes us into a world of motorcycle-riding punks looking for love and a way to escape from this horrible state. Now you may be wondering why I would include a song that is so obviously about getting the fuck out of New Jersey (especially with lines like “Baby this town rips the bones from your back / It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap / We gotta get out while we’re young / ‘Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run“). But, as anyone who has ever lived in this state knows, wanting to get the hell out of here is part of the whole Jersey experience.

2. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – In this fun little song, Bruce sings about the trouble a guy has trying to get the girl of his desire to go out with him. Though he pleads and pleads to get her to come out (to meet up with characters like Jack the Rabbit, Weak Knees Willie, and Sloppy Sue) Rosalita refuses, since her parents don’t approve of her rock-n-rolling suitor. Our hero refuses to give up, though, and explains to the girl that a record company just gave him “a big advaaaancceeee!!!” At this point, the narrator forgets about convincing Rosie to hang out with local hooligans and, instead, he’s dead set on getting the fuck out of New Jersey. Especially since someone slashed his tires, rendering his car “a dud, stuck in the mud, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey.” Though we don’t know if he was successful in ever getting Rosalita out of her room, it sure is fun watching him try. (more…)

Book Review: Living on the Edge of the World

March 2, 2010

NJ is the edge of the world? More like center of Hell!

Time for another book review! Last time, I wrote about the bible of the Turnpike, Looking for America on the New Jersey Turnpike. For today, I’m reviewing Living on the Edge of the World, edited by Irina Reyn. This book is a collection of short stories all about life in New Jersey.

There are 19 stories total, including Reyn’s introduction, each by a different author who grew up in the state. Anyone from New Jersey will probably relate in one way or another to these stories. And anyone who isn’t from New Jersey can read this book to get an in-depth look of what our state is really like.

What’s great about the book is that each story can stand alone and still be a wonderful read. Whether the author loves or hates his or her native state, each story is equally passionate. Of course, people from New Jersey aren’t known for their subtlety.

Another cool thing about the book is how each story provides not just the name of the author, but also the town and exit number of where the story takes place. Though Reyn doesn’t point out whether the exit is on the Parkway or Turnpike, she doesn’t have to. Us New Jerseyans know instinctively.

Though each story is good, some stand out a little more than others. Here are just a few of my favorites. If these pique your interest, go read “Living on the Edge of the World” yourself. (more…)

Top 5 Songs About New Jersey

February 2, 2010

Is this Jon Bon Jovi or a Jersey girl? I sure can't tell...

When I first decided to create this list of the top songs about the Armpit of America, I thought it would be pretty easy. However, as I began assembling the list, it became more difficult. There are plenty of songs that mention New Jersey, but I didn’t think that a mere shout-out was enough to put a song on this list. Instead, I wanted to include songs that represent the true spirit of living in this state. I could have included a couple Bruce Springsteen songs, but that would have been too easy. (Though you can look forward to a future Top 5 list of Bruce’s best songs about New Jersey.)

Anyway, I did manage to create a list. I’m sure there are plenty of songs I’ve overlooked. I’m sure people will disagree with the ones I did list. Agree or not, these are the songs I came up with:

1. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi

Poor Jon Bon Jovi. As big as he and his conceitedly named band were, are, or will be, he’ll never grow out of his status as New Jersey’s second favorite son. But don’t feel too bad for him, his song goes first on my list! Though the lyrics don’t mention New Jersey by name, it is clear that his story about Tommy and Gina takes place right here. With references to the docks at Bayonne and the ubiquitous Jersey diner, the story can’t take place anywhere else.

Our protagonists might not have much, and it apparently doesn’t make a difference if they make it or not. However, they have each other, you see, and that’s a lot for love. So they decide to give it a shot. Though things may be rough for Tommy and Gina, they show the true grit and toughness New Jerseyans are known for. On top of that, this song is pretty much the unofficial anthem of New Jersey. You can’t go to any bar or club in the Garden State without hearing it. At least that’s one thing Bon Jovi can wave in Bruce’s face. (more…)