Every corner of America has its own stereotypes – about the food, the weather, and the people who live there. South Jersey may have more stereotypes than most, but almost none of them are true. Let’s do some de-bunking, shall we?
Ok, let’s get this straight. We aren’t aggressive drivers; we’re confident drivers. We have the highest population density of any state in the country, and that means lots of cars, so we’re always thinking three steps ahead. We’re not cutting you off; we’re just putting ourselves in position for the next maneuver. Plus, we’ve got to be pretty heads-up when it comes to sign reading, since we have to turn right to go left (more on that later).
Hard nope. We’re Philly fans all the way. We love our Fightin’ Phils and our Broad Street Bullies, and whether we were 8 or 80 when it happened, a championship parade down Broad Street is one of our best memories. Oh, and repeat after me: E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES!
Philly fans get a bad rap, but we don’t always deserve it. Yes, we get pretty fired up about our teams. But when you’ve had to wait as long between championships as we have, that’s to be expected. And, ok, so we threw snowballs at Santa that one time but if we’re being honest, Santa kind of deserved it. There are plenty of great stories about Philly fans that go underreported, like the guy who carried his late wife’s ashes to the Eagles’ first ever Superbowl parade this year, and the young fans and police officers who banded together to show him a great time.
Whenever we’re far from home and we tell people where we’re from, someone inevitably says, “Oh! Joisey!” You could live in South Jersey all your life and never, ever, not even once, hear someone pronounce it like that. Not even those of us with a super strong accent. Speaking of which…
Yeah, this one’s true. It’s called Hoagiemouth (only we can call it that, it’s an insult when you say it), and unless you’re Tina Fey, you won’t be able to correctly mimic it, so don’t try. And please don’t laugh at us when we offer you a glass of wooder (water), or a beggel (bagel), or tell you we need to run to the Ack-a-me on Wens-dee (don’t worry about it).
Look, we don’t claim responsibility for anything Snooki, JWoww and “The Situation” did on MTV over the years. More than half the cast of that show isn’t even from Jersey, and they definitely aren’t representative of our beach towns, which, by the way, are consistently ranked among the best places in the country to take a family vacation.
Sure, we love our hometown rockstars, but those two aren’t our only claim to musical fame. We also gave the world Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Paul Simon, Dionne Warwick, My Chemical Romance, Karen O, Blues Traveler, The Sugarhill Gang, Faith Evans, the Fugees, The Four Seasons, Saves the Day, Thursday, 3LW, and the list goes on.
Alright, this one is sort of true. But think about how awful it is to get out of a warm, dry car in the middle of a snowstorm to pry open your gas tank. We never have to do that. If you see us struggling to work an out-of-state gas pump, please, show some pity and help us out.
This one’s accurate. But you try paving roads over sand dunes, and then let us know how many potholes you end up with! We can’t really make an excuse for those jughandles, though, which require you to take an exit on the right and loop around to make a left. Those are just plain weird.
Pshhhh, we’ll make quick work of this stereotype. All it takes is a visit to Stockton University’s Noyes Museum of Art, with locations in Atlantic City, Hammonton, and Galloway. Noyes celebrates local folk art with two museums – including the African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey – eight artist studios, galleries, and classroom space. If you’re still not convinced, take in a performance from Symphony in C, the critically-acclaimed symphony orchestra that performs on the campus of Rutgers University-Camden.
We get it. The Jersey you can see when you’re touching down at JFK isn’t exactly a lush agricultural paradise. But travel south a little, and you’ll see we’ve earned our state motto in spades (get it?). There are nearly 250,000 acres of preserved farmland in the state, and the vast majority of it is down here in South Jersey. The Pine Barrens – an internationally recognized biosphere and the country’s first National Reserve – makes up 22 percent of the state’s land area, and all those trees are in – you guessed it – South Jersey. Come see us in the summer, and we’ll make you a locally-sourced feast: blue claw crabs, sweet white corn, and perfect blueberry pie.