Ok ok there IS a Central Jersey, but…
The state's official twitter account tweeted out last week that "Central Jersey is real". And I'm here to tell you it is real...in the minds of people who live there. Where is "there"? You get many definitions and boundaries. Some say it starts south of the Driscoll Bridge on the Parkway (exit 124).
Some people also say that's where South Jersey begins. Hahaha! Nobody in real South Jersey ever heard of the Driscoll Bridge or even knows the parkway goes up that high in numbers. There's no real way to define it precisely geographically, but that doesn't matter. Central Jersey is like the Roman Empire or America in that they may have had varying borders over time, but it's the idea of Central Jersey that is most important.
Central Jersey residents don't want to be lumped into the North Jersey crowd which includes the Essex, Hudson and Bergen County folks that they don't feel any kinship with. Those people are practically New Yorkers and may still even have a New Yorkish accent. Central Jerseyans certainly don't want to be associated with us in South Jersey. They don't want to call a sub a hoagie or root for Philadelphia sports teams and they absolutely don't speak with a Philly accent.
BUT, and this has been the main point in this debate from the beginning, they are geographically and philosophically a part of North Jersey. It's the media markets that divides the state into TWO parts. They are north of a line that runs basically from Trenton to a point at the shore at the northern tip of LBI. South of that they know Philly sports and personalities and north of that they know the same of New York.
When we discussed the topic yet again on the air on Tuesday, people were pretty passionate about its existence. Some even claimed that Warren and Sussex Counties were "West Jersey". In fact, before New Jersey became a state there was a West Jersey and East Jersey. There apparently have always been great differences on how we feel about our neighbors in any direction of us. So there IS a Central Jersey. It just happens to be in the northern half of the TWO parts of New Jersey. It's more of a state of mind than a geographically bounded territory. But it IS real and don't tell anyone from Central Jersey that it isn't!
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