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WATCH: The differences between north and south NJ (Part 2 of 5)

Only in New Jersey can you find residents claiming their own section of the state. In Part 2 of a week-long series, “New Jersey: A Divided State,” we discuss the cultural differences between residents in north Jersey and those in south Jersey.

(Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

To many Garden State residents, the northern and southern portions of New Jersey are two, completely different worlds. The regions are separated only by a quick ride on the Garden State Parkway or NJ Turnpike, but that short distance is enough to create a pile of minor discrepancies that everyone loves to debate.

At the Aztec Motel in Wildwood Crest, owner Adamo Pipitone said his decades in the business have made him notice stark differences between folks from the northern section of the state and those from the south.

“They just seem, when they arrive, a little bit more rushed,” Pipitone said about residents of north Jersey, which he considers Trenton and above. “It seems to be a little bit slower-paced south of Trenton.”

He was quick to note, though, that all New Jerseyans are “good people,” and he has repeat customers from Sussex County to Cape May County.

A menu in Point Pleasant lists both pork roll and Taylor ham. (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

The “speed barrier” was indicated by several residents we encountered on our trip across the state:

  • “North Jersey is very fast-paced. South is a little bit slower. It bothers me.” – Natalie Bodycomb, Rockaway
  • “Everything’s a little slower the further south you go.” – Joe Patella, Little Ferry
  • “Everything down this way is rush rush. Down there and down the shore area, it’s like slow as a snail.” – Starre Taormina, Saddle Brook
  • “Up north is too high-paced. I live there because I work there.” – Ben Giordano, Bergenfield

A difference in language can be spotted as well, especially at a restaurant. One customer’s pork roll, water ice and hoagie is another customer’s Taylor ham, Italian ice and sub.

Residents we spoke to also pointed to a difference in pizza and bagel quality, as well as sports team allegiances.

Click below to view the rest of our “NJ: A Divided State” series:

Part 1: Where is New Jersey’s dividing line?
Part 3: Is there a ‘central’ Jersey?
Part 4: Exploring New Jersey’s midpoint
Part 5: Roots of NJ’s ‘Border Wars’

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