06 April 2009

That's So Jersey! Going Down to the Shore

As the weather grows increasingly warmer, citizens of the Tri-state area (New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey) begin to plan trips to visit the Jersey Shore. Having spent most of my life living in Central New Jersey, within close proximity to Seaside Heights and Great Adventure, I am well acquainted with tension that exists between shore locals and tourists. As a teenager, I worked as a costumed character at Great Adventure, which helped me to develop my unique relationship with Shore tourists.

One on hand, as a "reformed" sorority girl, I can relate to people wanting to claim their "right to party". On the other hand, I have first hand experience in the visitor take all attitude that often accompanies shore tourists. Like anything, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. Locals develop this sense that everyone who travels to the shore is a meat head character from an Mtv documentary. The guys portrayed in the "Jersey Shore Time Share" episode depict the stereotype that many Americans have of New Jersey. Check out a clip, after the jump, of the guys who give Jersey "a bad name".

After spending time as a resident of Middlesex (and soon) Somerset Counties, I have worked and played with many of the people I would have once mocked. Residents of Northern New Jersey aren't bad people; they have just been stereotyped that way. When my co-workers state that they will be visiting "Bar A" or Jenkinson's, I just give a little smile. What they don't know is that while they will be in Belmar or Pt. Pleasant, I will be enjoying a cocktail at a bar in Asbury Park (far away from funnel cake). However, during my time spent in New Brunswick, I have learned one important lesson. When the day is over, we are all still from New Jersey. Perhaps, Rodney King said it best: can't we all just get along!

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