There is an ongoing dispute between those living in New Jersey. To residents of larger states, such as Texas and California, it might seem minute, even impossible, that such a debate exists. Yet it does. And the opinions are adamant, to say the least.
Be aware, anyone not born and raised in New Jersey has no claim to an opinion on this subject. In addition, take note that if born and raised residents of the furthest cardinal points of New Jersey were surveyed and asked this particular question, guaranteed, four completely different answers would emerge.
The question causing such a hard-nosed, uncompromising dispute?
Does Central Jersey exist?
If yes, where does it begin and end?
If no, where is the fine line where North and South Jersey meet?
While many go blue faced over arguing their point, there has only ever been one opinion I have clung to regardless of any kind of logic or insult hurled my way: I live in Central Jersey. My opinion was formed in the most logical of ways: I looked at the map of our beautiful state, and divided it into three clearly equal sized pieces in map height.* While part of my rather large county is nestled in South Jersey, the area where I live (closer to the top) is in Central Jersey.
*Note: This is not how all who agree of Central Jersey’s existence mark it out, hence the cause for disagreement.
Perhaps some biases regarding stereotypes of North and South Jersey have played into my decision, however, like any true Jersey girl, I have always remained stubborn and proud in my opinion of Central Jersey’s existence and location.
Believe it or not, this desire to split New Jersey up has been plaguing our lil’ state for years. Back when New Jersey was merely a province something called ‘The Quintipartite Deed’ split New Jersey into the Province of West Jersey and the Province of East Jersey. Google it. Even then the division was unevenly spread!
So I have decided on a completely new, completely fair (according to this Jersey Girl) layout for New Jersey.
But first, an explanation.
One might wonder, why on earth should a state 8,729 miles squared have cause to split into more than one specified area? My answer is this: a diversified population of 8,938,175 people (2014 census estimate) ranking eleventh out of our nation’s fifty states. Enough said.
But really? This North Jersey, Central Jersey, South Jersey dispute…it is all senseless, because in truth, it is completely based on opinion. Perhaps you’ve seen some of the more comical divisions of our state. I won’t share them, but if you Google “New Jersey Map Funny” you’ll see what I mean.
Instead, I have a better proposition:
I think this is the only fair solution.
Let’s start at the Top. Lance works an hour (50 miles) north of our home (our home, remember, in Central Jersey). To us, he works in North Jersey. To Jersey residents living North of where he works, he works in Central Jersey. Yet the location of his office is in the upper third of Jersey, above Staten Island, and 20 miles from New York City. Because it seems that most North Jersey residents must consider North Jersey to be literally the tippy tippy top of Jersey, the area I’ve given to Top of Jersey should suit them just fine.
Middle Jersey takes the place of Central Jersey. Because of adjustments due to the inclusion of Coastal Jersey, Middle Jersey is a little higher than Central’s original defined area, however, I would like to point out it still includes the top of my county. (You see that big county with a chunk at the bottom of Middle Jersey that stretches across Almost Bottom of Jersey and tips its toe into Coastal Jersey? Yeah, that’s my county. There’s no way it’s fair to say that entire county falls into South Jersey.
Coastal Jersey is an addition I feel highly necessary. Because, let’s be real, if you can see the ocean from where you live, you’re a whole different kind of Jersey than North, Central, or South.
Lastly, Almost Bottom of Jersey replaces South Jersey. If you have ever spent time in South Jersey (I spent three years of college there) you’ll understand it has nothing of the fast paced city lifestyle of North Jersey, and while it has a bit of a green thumb like Central Jersey, the lifestyle and mentality is drastically different in South Jersey.
The truth, as I hope you’ve learned today, is that though she may be little in size, New Jersey has a big personality worthy of distinction. Whether you spend time in the Top of Jersey, Middle Jersey, Almost Bottom of Jersey, or Coastal Jersey hopefully you’ll be able to discover what makes each area so distinct, unique, and worthy of their own specified title.