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Jeff Deminski: Don’t Hate on the Garden State

I was born and raised in Union County, New Jersey. I’ve also lived in Ocean City, Yardville, and Plainsboro in Middlesex County. This summer I’m moving to Hillsborough in Somerset County. I think I know what I’m talking about when I say New Jersey is wonderful. Yet a recent Gallup poll shows 41% of New Jersey residents don’t want to be here, which is 8% points higher than the 50 state average. What’s up with the discontent? If it’s strictly economic, I get it. The burden of property taxes and damn near everything else is crushing. Yet somewhat offsetting the financial strain is the potential gain. Salaries here are going to be much higher than those in Arkansas for example.

Beyond the money though, people still have complaints. Yesterday when we took calls on this I heard the word boring. Really? You have two major cities, one that never sleeps, with a million things to do, whenever you want to go yet you’re not stuck living in the grime. You can have a suburban setting with the city life a short drive or train trip away. You have the Jersey shore. You have New York football teams that play here. You have mountains, hiking trails, farmers markets. You have places like Lambertville. You have some of the greatest shopping malls anywhere. For anyone who tells me it’s filthy here, dirty here, you’re only thinking of the first half of the opening credits of The Sopranos and just about nothing else. Every day when I drive to work I pass an unlikely site for the area our station is located. Yesterday I took a picture of it. Look at these beautiful creatures and tell me Jersey is nothing but oil tanks and smokestacks and ugliness. I look forward to seeing these two every day.

Jeff Deminski photo

So you can keep Hawaii and Montana (states that have the lowest percentage of folks who want to move away). Leave me to my folded Jersey slices at Three Brothers Pizza and my amazing bagels at Bagel Street Cafe and I’ll be just fine.

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