History UsefulNotes / NewJersey

21st Oct '17 3:01:22 PM nombretomado
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* Creator/BruceWillis (born in Idar-Oberstein, WestGermany, but raised in Carneys Point Township)

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* Creator/BruceWillis (born in Idar-Oberstein, WestGermany, UsefulNotes/WestGermany, but raised in Carneys Point Township)
4th Oct '17 2:50:51 PM kquinn0830
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Despite being about 9% Jewish and having a sizable Muslim minority, ''and'' despite (or perhaps because) of its status as one of the New York area's premier shopping and retail centers, it is the last county in New Jersey, and one of the last counties in the nation, that still has blue laws on the books. All shops, with the exception of grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants, are closed on Sundays. Most people have opted to keep it not due to religion, but in order to protest commercialization and in order to have one day of peace and quiet per week. This is most pronounced in the town of Paramus, one of the largest shopping meccas in the country, home to the state's largest mall and sitting at the confluence of Routes 4 and 17 just ten miles from the George Washington Bridge. It has blue laws even more restrictive than the rest of the county, closing offices in addition to shops.

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Despite being about 9% Jewish and having a sizable Muslim minority, ''and'' despite (or perhaps because) of its status as one of the New York area's premier shopping and retail centers, it is the last county in New Jersey, and one of the last counties in the nation, that still has blue laws on the books. All shops, with the exception of grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants, are closed on Sundays. Most people have opted to keep it not due to religion, but in order to protest commercialization and in order to have one day of peace and quiet per week.week (because the amount of people who would drive to the shops combined with those who already drive to Giants and Jets home games in the fall would make traffic a nightmare). This is most pronounced in the town of Paramus, one of the largest shopping meccas in the country, home to the state's largest mall and sitting at the confluence of Routes 4 and 17 just ten miles from the George Washington Bridge. It has blue laws even more restrictive than the rest of the county, closing offices in addition to shops.
16th Sep '17 4:14:01 PM nombretomado
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* Also, ThomasEdison and UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein both adopted New Jersey as their homes: Einstein lived in Princeton, where he taught, and as for Edison? Well, there's a reason that the town just northeast of New Brunswick is called Edison (although he spent more time in West Orange)...

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* Also, ThomasEdison UsefulNotes/ThomasEdison and UsefulNotes/AlbertEinstein both adopted New Jersey as their homes: Einstein lived in Princeton, where he taught, and as for Edison? Well, there's a reason that the town just northeast of New Brunswick is called Edison (although he spent more time in West Orange)...
12th Sep '17 12:14:52 PM fashionabledeathwish
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** '''Middletown:''' The largest municipality in Monmouth County. It and its neighboring communities of Keansburg, Leonardo, Red Bank and Highlands are perhaps best known for their association with Creator/KevinSmith and Film/TheViewAskewniverse.

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** '''Middletown:''' The largest municipality in Monmouth County. It and its neighboring communities of Keansburg, Leonardo, Red Bank and Highlands are perhaps best known for their association with Creator/KevinSmith and Film/TheViewAskewniverse. Locals here do not have a specific name for tourists.
9th Sep '17 2:29:44 PM nombretomado
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*** Legally, the [[AmericanCourts Supreme Court]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_v._New_York held]] that by the terms of the various legal instruments defining the terms of ownership of Liberty Island and Ellis Island, the original islands themselves belong to New York and are thus in New York City, but the water around them and thus any land reclaimed therefrom (which on Ellis Island is substantial; the federal government, not caring who the land belonged to, merrily expanded Ellis and built buildings that the NJ-NY border runs through several times) is New Jersey territory and thus are in Jersey City. In technical terms, the original islands are exclaves of New York in New Jersey, and therefore are exclaves of New York City in Jersey City and enclaves of New Jersey (and thus of Jersey City) owned by New York; thus Jersey City ''surrounds'' the Statue of Liberty but does not ''contain'' it. Confusing. But true.

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*** Legally, the [[AmericanCourts [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCourts Supreme Court]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_v._New_York held]] that by the terms of the various legal instruments defining the terms of ownership of Liberty Island and Ellis Island, the original islands themselves belong to New York and are thus in New York City, but the water around them and thus any land reclaimed therefrom (which on Ellis Island is substantial; the federal government, not caring who the land belonged to, merrily expanded Ellis and built buildings that the NJ-NY border runs through several times) is New Jersey territory and thus are in Jersey City. In technical terms, the original islands are exclaves of New York in New Jersey, and therefore are exclaves of New York City in Jersey City and enclaves of New Jersey (and thus of Jersey City) owned by New York; thus Jersey City ''surrounds'' the Statue of Liberty but does not ''contain'' it. Confusing. But true.



New Jersey, being one of the original 13 states, has provided its fair share of [[AmericanCourts Supreme Court justices and other notable judges]].

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New Jersey, being one of the original 13 states, has provided its fair share of [[AmericanCourts [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCourts Supreme Court justices and other notable judges]].
9th Sep '17 2:28:25 PM nombretomado
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The (in)famous "Jersey stench" has been [[http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-02-05/local/17916726_1_smell-new-jersey-turnpike-garbage-bags described]] by different people as smelling like burning rubber, rotten eggs, burnt coffee and "something that I don't know what it is, but it just stinks!" In reality, it isn't nearly as bad as New Yorkers like to pretend it is, especially after the Clean Air Act was passed and the capping of landfills became common practice. It's primarily found in one area of northeastern New Jersey where most of the state's industry is concentrated... which just so happens to be the part of the state that New Yorkers go through on their way in. It also doesn't help that [[AmericanCourts the Supreme Court]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Philadelphia_v._New_Jersey literally forbade New Jersey from doing anything about other states using it as a landfill]].[[note]]To add insult to injury, New Jersey's most prolific Supreme Court Justice and the only New Jerseyan on the Court at the time, Newarker William Brennan, was part of the majority. Ouch. The only two justices to oppose it? Chief Justice Burger and Justice Rehnquist--both from the Upper Midwest, funnily enough.[[/note]] West of the Watchung Mountains or south of Elizabeth, the only nasty thing you might smell on the road is dead skunk. Still, the smell of the Turnpike is well-known enough that an insurance company has launched a [[http://www.jerseydoesntstink.com/ "Jersey Doesn't Stink"]] campaign dedicated to combating negative stereotypes of the state.

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The (in)famous "Jersey stench" has been [[http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-02-05/local/17916726_1_smell-new-jersey-turnpike-garbage-bags described]] by different people as smelling like burning rubber, rotten eggs, burnt coffee and "something that I don't know what it is, but it just stinks!" In reality, it isn't nearly as bad as New Yorkers like to pretend it is, especially after the Clean Air Act was passed and the capping of landfills became common practice. It's primarily found in one area of northeastern New Jersey where most of the state's industry is concentrated... which just so happens to be the part of the state that New Yorkers go through on their way in. It also doesn't help that [[AmericanCourts [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCourts the Supreme Court]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_of_Philadelphia_v._New_Jersey literally forbade New Jersey from doing anything about other states using it as a landfill]].[[note]]To add insult to injury, New Jersey's most prolific Supreme Court Justice and the only New Jerseyan on the Court at the time, Newarker William Brennan, was part of the majority. Ouch. The only two justices to oppose it? Chief Justice Burger and Justice Rehnquist--both from the Upper Midwest, funnily enough.[[/note]] West of the Watchung Mountains or south of Elizabeth, the only nasty thing you might smell on the road is dead skunk. Still, the smell of the Turnpike is well-known enough that an insurance company has launched a [[http://www.jerseydoesntstink.com/ "Jersey Doesn't Stink"]] campaign dedicated to combating negative stereotypes of the state.
19th Aug '17 5:56:30 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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On the other hand, a major reason New Jersey's "urban" population seems small is that the state has a strong tradition, enshrined in state law, of local government: your average New Jersey municipality is only a few square miles in area. For an idea, Newark itself is only about 12 square miles, and Jersey City is a little over 14 square miles,[[note]]14 square miles of land, anyway. The 6 square miles of water shouldn't count.[[/note]] compared to the dozens or hundreds of square miles typically covered by major cities (for instance, UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity is 300 square miles and Chicago is about 230 square miles; even relatively small UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC, and Miami cover about 50 square miles of land each). If you mashed together the solid urban corridor running from Paterson in the north down through southern Bergen County and Hudson County to Newark and then Elizabeth, you would have a single municipality with a population of nearly 1.9 million and an area of about 180 square miles, or roughly equivalent to that of Queens--or more to the point, only a little bit larger than UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} in both land area and population.[[note]]It is also similar to Philly in layout--a relatively narrow band west of a body of water (the Delaware for Philly, the Hudson and Newark Bay for the North Jersey Corridor) about twenty miles from tip to tip.[[/note]] In other words--New Jersey is home to the second-largest and third-densest city on the East Coast, it's just that it's divided into four counties and something on the order of 20 separate municipalities...because Jersey likes "towns" and "local rule."

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On the other hand, a major reason New Jersey's "urban" population seems small is that the state has a strong tradition, enshrined in state law, of local government: your average New Jersey municipality is only a few square miles in area. For an idea, Newark itself is only about 12 square miles, and Jersey City is a little over 14 square miles,[[note]]14 square miles of land, anyway. The 6 square miles of water shouldn't count.[[/note]] compared to the dozens or hundreds of square miles typically covered by major cities (for instance, UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity is 300 square miles and Chicago is about 230 square miles; even relatively small UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC, and Miami cover about 50 square miles of land each). If you mashed together the solid urban corridor running from Paterson and Fort Lee in the north down through southern Bergen County to Bayonne and Hudson County to Newark and then Elizabeth, Elizabeth in the south, you would have a single municipality with a population of nearly 1.9 million and an area of about 180 square miles, or roughly equivalent to that of Queens--or more to the point, only a little bit larger than UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} in both land area and population.[[note]]It is also similar to Philly in layout--a relatively narrow band west of a body of water (the Delaware for Philly, the Hudson and Newark Bay for the North Jersey Corridor) about twenty miles from tip to tip.[[/note]] [[/note]]

In other words--New words, New Jersey is home to the second-largest and third-densest city on the East Coast, it's just that it's divided into four five counties and something on the order of 20 141 separate municipalities...municipalities... because Jersey likes "towns" and "local rule."
rule". This tradition goes back to the TheGayNineties, when the arrival of commuter rail led to the development of northern New Jersey's first suburbs, and conflict between new suburbanites and the "old guard" of farmers in the region (short version: the suburbanites wanted schools and infrastructure in their bedroom communities and local control over them, and the farmers didn't want to spend the tax dollars for it) led to the passage of new laws in 1894 that made it much easier for small communities to break away from townships and form "boroughs". Bergen County alone (where this trend was most concentrated) has seventy separate municipalities as a result of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boroughitis "boroughitis"]] that swept the state in 1894 and '95, and throughout the state, there exist many towns formed under the borough system that are completely surrounded by the townships they seceded from.



This suburban trend has long colored New Jersey's politics. In TheSeventies and TheEighties, New Jersey was a solidly Republican state, with the large and growing numbers of suburbanites voting against the largely Democratic cities that they had moved out of. UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan won New Jersey by a greater margin than he had won nationally during both of his [[LandslideElection electoral landslides]], taking 60% of the vote in 1984. In TheNineties, though, the state began to swing to the left, the pivotal year being 1992 when New Jersey served as a key swing state that ultimately went to the Democrats. Much of this has been attributed to the rise of the fiscally moderate, socially liberal "New Democrats" ''a la'' UsefulNotes/BillClinton within the Democratic Party, and to the growing dominance of the Christian Right within the Republican Party; New Jersey's conservatives had long been of the more center-right, business-oriented, "Rockefeller Republican" variety rather than the "movement conservatism" of the post-Reagan Republican Party.[[note]]An early sign of this was in 1980, when independent candidate John A. Anderson, running as [[TakeAThirdOption a moderate alternative]] to both the unpopular UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter and to the arch-conservative Reagan, won more than nine percent of the vote in New Jersey, far more than the 6.6% he had won nationally. Today, this can be seen in the state's current governor, Chris Christie, a leading moderate figure within the Republican Party whose career has been defined by compromise with the state's Democratic legislature. A good analogy to UsefulNotes/{{British politic|alSystem}}s would be that New Jersey would probably vote for the Lib Dems or New Labour if it were British.[[/note]] Today, New Jersey is a Democratic stronghold, especially in Presidential elections and in the "belt" running between UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}, though the northwest and the Shore (outside Atlantic City and Asbury Park) vote reliably Republican, and the state overall is willing to elect center-right moderates as their governor (two recent examples being Christine Todd Whitman and Chris Christie--although Christie's name has become mud even in Republican circles on account of the abuse-of-office scandals associated with his 2013 reelection campaign).

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This suburban trend has long colored New Jersey's politics. In TheSeventies and TheEighties, New Jersey was a solidly Republican state, with the large and growing numbers of suburbanites voting against the largely Democratic cities that they had moved out of. UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan won New Jersey by a greater margin than he had won nationally during both of his [[LandslideElection electoral landslides]], taking 60% of the vote in 1984. In TheNineties, though, the state began to swing to the left, the pivotal year being 1992 when New Jersey served as a key swing state that ultimately went to the Democrats. Much of this has been attributed to the rise of the fiscally moderate, socially liberal "New Democrats" ''a la'' UsefulNotes/BillClinton within the Democratic Party, and to the growing dominance of the Christian Right within the Republican Party; New Jersey's conservatives had long been of the more center-right, business-oriented, "Rockefeller Republican" variety rather than the "movement conservatism" of the post-Reagan Republican Party.[[note]]An early sign of this was in 1980, when independent candidate John A. B. Anderson, running as [[TakeAThirdOption a moderate alternative]] to both the unpopular UsefulNotes/JimmyCarter and to the arch-conservative Reagan, won more than nine percent 7.9% of the vote in New Jersey, far a fair bit more than the 6.6% he had won nationally. Today, this can be seen in the state's current governor, Chris Christie, a leading moderate figure within the Republican Party whose career has been defined by compromise with the state's Democratic legislature. A good analogy to UsefulNotes/{{British politic|alSystem}}s would be that New Jersey would probably vote for the Lib Dems or New Labour if it were British.[[/note]] Today, New Jersey is a Democratic stronghold, especially in Presidential elections and in the "belt" running between UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}, though the northwest and the Shore (outside Atlantic City and Asbury Park) vote reliably Republican, and the state overall is willing to elect center-right moderates as their governor (two recent examples being Christine Todd Whitman and Chris Christie--although Christie's name has become mud even in Republican circles on account of the abuse-of-office scandals associated with his 2013 reelection campaign).



Each half of the state has their own funnily-named 7-Eleven equivalent: The north has ''[=QuickChek=]'', the south has ''Wawa''. (Though the former still has significant stores in Central Jersey, and the latter has a few scattered locations in North Jersey; they're also not from here, they started out in the Philly suburbs.) And if you can't find either of them, you'll go to a ''Krauszer's'', a 7-Eleven (although compared to other places, they're somewhat uncommon), a local store/deli/bodega, or a gas station mini-mart (and again, depending on where you are, it might be an Amoco-turned-BP, or a Texaco-turned-Shell).

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Each half of the state has their own funnily-named 7-Eleven equivalent: The equivalent. As a general rule, the north has ''[=QuickChek=]'', [=QuickChek=] and the south has ''Wawa''. (Though the former still has significant stores in Central Jersey, and Wawa; the latter has a few scattered locations in North Jersey; they're also not from here, they started out store began in the Philly suburbs.) Philadelphia suburbs, but quickly crossed the river and became deeply entrenched in South Jersey. One popular definition of Central Jersey is that it's the part of the state where the two stores compete, with the southernmost [=QuickCheks=] being in Toms River and Trenton and Wawas commonly found as far north as Woodbridge and Bridgewater (though isolated Wawas can be spotted all the way in Lodi and Parsippany). And if you can't find either of them, you'll go to a ''Krauszer's'', Krauszer's, a 7-Eleven (although compared to other places, they're somewhat uncommon), a local store/deli/bodega, or a gas station mini-mart (and again, depending on where you are, it might be an Amoco-turned-BP, or a Texaco-turned-Shell).



* ''[=ShopRite=]'': A cooperative chain, started in the late 40s, and who have since grown to encompass stores from as far north as Connecticut and Upstate New York, as far west as the Poconos, and as far south as Baltimore; New Jersey is their headquarters and contains the largest amount of stores; due to the aforementioned co-op structure, [=ShopRites=] tend to not look alike and can be tiny and old, or huge and new. They're fairly common and their famous for their twice-a-year ''Can Can'' sales (where all canned products are on sale).

* ''Stop & Shop'': A New England-based chain; they were in the area back in the 70s, but left in 1980 (though their discount chain sister, Bradlees, managed to survive until 2000- after having gone ''[[EpicFail bankrupt twice]]''), but returned in 2000 in two fell swoops- first, parent company, Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, converted their area Edwards Super Food Stores to the S&S name[[note]]many of the Edwards stores started as Finast {also Ahold-owned} or even Safeways before that; after Finast they tended to be Mayfair Foodtowns {Foodtown being another co-op chain}, then became Edwards {this and an accounting scandal resulting in Foodtown now being far smaller}[[/note]]; they then bought out almost all area locations of ''Grand Union'' when they went into bankruptcy (having struggled for years); you can easily spot an S&S by their generic store designs and purple "fruit bowl" logo. They aren't in South Jersey, however.

* ''[[AcmeProducts Acme Markets]]'': Started in Philadelphia in 1891, they have mainly grown to encompass Philly, South Jersey and Delaware, but have been struggling in recent years thanks to repeated corporate mergers and sell-offs (resulting in bad management, poor treatment of stores and sky-high prices)- they've been trying to stabilize a bit since then, but it's been a bit shaky (including their reentry into North Jersey in 2015, after having slowly withdrawn from the area over the last few years); despite the name, they are not related to [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes the company Wile E. Coyote orders stuff from.]] Here's a blog dedicated to the chain and its' history called ''[[http://acmestyleblog.blogspot.com/ Acme Style]]'' (named for one of their mid-90s slogans).

* ''A&P'': One of the oldest grocery chains in the country- along with nameplates ''[=SuperFresh=]'', ''The Food Emporium'' and ''Pathmark''- was around before 2015; however, years of declining sales, poor upkeep, high prices and shoddy management led to their demise that year; many of their stores went to Acme (marking their re-expansion into North Jersey), and other operators have since bought the [=SuperFresh=], Food Emporium and Pathmark names[[note]]Pathmark itself was a separate chain that A&P bought in 2007; it began as a group of [=ShopRites=] that broke away from the co-op in 1968, and subsequently became one of the NY metro area's leading grocers, but eventually began falling on hard times; they were famous for their ads featuring spokesman James Karen, often just called the "Pathmark Guy"[[/note]].

Also in play are various chains that target the affluent or organic crowds, including ''Kings'', Whole Foods, and ''Wegmans'' (which originated in UsefulNotes/{{Rochester}}, NY, and have a massive following of loyal customers).

And god forbid you buy groceries at Walmart- you're just ''asking'' for trouble.

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* ''[=ShopRite=]'': '''[=ShopRite=]:''' A cooperative chain, chain started in the late 40s, '40s, and who have since grown to encompass stores from as far north as Connecticut and Upstate New York, as far west as the Poconos, and as far south as Baltimore; Baltimore, though New Jersey is their headquarters and contains the largest amount of stores; due stores. Due to the aforementioned co-op structure, [=ShopRites=] tend to not look alike and can be tiny and old, or huge and new. They're fairly common and their famous for their twice-a-year ''Can Can'' sales (where all canned products are on sale).

sale).
* ''Stop '''Stop & Shop'': Shop:''': A New England-based chain; they were chain that was in the area back in the 70s, but '70s, left in 1980 (though their discount chain sister, Bradlees, managed to survive until 2000- 2000 -- after having gone bankrupt ''[[EpicFail bankrupt twice]]''), but and returned in 2000 in two fell swoops- swoops -- first, their parent company, Netherlands-based Royal Ahold, converted their area Edwards Super Food Stores to the S&S name[[note]]many of the Edwards stores started as Finast {also Ahold-owned} or even Safeways before that; after Finast they tended to be Mayfair Foodtowns {Foodtown being another co-op chain}, then became Edwards {this and an accounting scandal resulting in Foodtown now being far smaller}[[/note]]; smaller}[[/note]], and then they then bought out almost all area locations of ''Grand Union'' Grand Union when they went into bankruptcy (having struggled for years); you years). You can easily spot an S&S by their generic store designs and purple "fruit bowl" logo. They aren't in South Jersey, however.

however.
* ''[[AcmeProducts '''[[AcmeProducts Acme Markets]]'': Markets]]:''' Started in Philadelphia in 1891, they have mainly grown to encompass Philly, South Jersey Jersey, and Delaware, but have been struggling in recent years thanks to repeated corporate mergers and sell-offs (resulting in bad management, poor treatment of stores stores, and sky-high prices)- they've prices). They've been trying to stabilize a bit since then, but it's been a bit shaky (including their reentry into North Jersey in 2015, after having slowly withdrawn from the area over the last few years); despite years). Despite the name, they are not related to [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes the company Wile E. Coyote orders stuff from.]] Here's a blog dedicated to the chain and its' its history called ''[[http://acmestyleblog.blogspot.com/ Acme Style]]'' (named for one of their mid-90s slogans).

mid-'90s slogans).
* ''A&P'': '''A&P:''' One of the oldest grocery chains in the country- country, along with nameplates ''[=SuperFresh=]'', ''The [=SuperFresh=], The Food Emporium'' Emporium, and ''Pathmark''- Pathmark. It was around before 2015; however, until 2015, when years of declining sales, poor upkeep, high prices prices, and shoddy management led to their demise that year; demise; many of their stores went to Acme (marking their re-expansion into North Jersey), and other operators have since bought the [=SuperFresh=], Food Emporium Emporium, and Pathmark names[[note]]Pathmark itself was a separate chain that A&P bought in 2007; it began as a group of [=ShopRites=] that broke away from the co-op in 1968, and subsequently became one of the NY metro area's leading grocers, but eventually began falling on hard times; they times. They were famous for their ads featuring spokesman James Karen, often just called the "Pathmark Guy"[[/note]].

Also in play are various chains that target the affluent or organic crowds, including ''Kings'', Kings, Whole Foods, and ''Wegmans'' Wegmans (which originated in UsefulNotes/{{Rochester}}, NY, and have a massive following of loyal customers).

And god God forbid you buy groceries at Walmart- UsefulNotes/{{Walmart}} -- you're just ''asking'' for trouble.



#New Jersey has always been a major trading state - it's square in the middle of the original 13 colonies, it is wedged between UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} and UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, and even today is home to one of the largest ports[[note]]Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, which has all but eaten up New York's former role as the prime port of the Northeast[[/note]] and airports[[note]]Newark Liberty International[[/note]] in the US, plus quite a few smaller ones. Because of all that money changing hands, you can expect crime and corruption.
#Because of the love of "local rule" and "towns," there are a ''plethora'' (585 municipalities in 21 counties, to be exact; and that's not counting the scads of school districts, fire districts, sewer districts, and other such institutions) of local governments across the state, each one handing out contracts. This creates a lot of opportunity for corruption, since small local governments can't afford oversight and don't have the press going after them in the same way that a big-city pol might.
#The state government in Trenton. Although the central government of the State of New Jersey is actually surprisingly clean and exercises a surprising amount of oversight over local government (through its [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Department_of_Community_Affairs Department of Community Affairs]], tasked with enforcing New Jersey's incredibly complex--even arcane--web of laws relating to municipal government), it can't catch everything, and often has more important business anyway, especially given the way funding priorities work. Moreover, although graft and bribery of state officials[[note]]Crooked judges aside; there are fewer of these since the 80s, anyway[[/note]] is actually rather rare, other, more sophisticated shady dealings at the highest level of the government--often involving the governor, his staff, and the senior leadership of the Legislature--are depressingly common. This is in large part a function of the government being in Trenton: Trenton, a small city on the boundary between the New York and Philadelphia spheres of influence (to give you an idea, the United States Census Bureau considers Trenton part of the New York Metropolitan Statistical Area, based on the volume of economic interconnections, but the Federal Communications Commission considers Trenton part of the Philadelphia media market, based on geographic proximity and what big-city papers and broadcasts[[note]]The first thing you see when you walk out of the main entrance to the train station in Trenton is the local studios of WPVI-TV--''Philadelphia''[='s=] Creator/{{ABC}} affiliate[[/note]] you can get), is not big enough to warrant a serious media market of its own that would go after the pols, and too far away from the big cities to warrant serious coverage by their news outlets.
#Combining the above, historically, was a lack of prohibition on "double dipping" among politicians, that is, holding more than one elected office (what the [[UsefulNotes/FrenchPoliticalSystem French]]--who are most famous for it--call ''cumul des mandats''). Many members of the state legislature were also municipal officials; many were mayors. This ed to them having the power to influence state funding to go to their towns, which they then can use to reward patronage jobs and favorable deals for political donors. However, in 2007, Governor Jon Corzine signed legislation banning the practice in no uncertain terms, albeit with a GrandfatherClause for the 19 officials who held two offices at that time; as of 2015, only four remain.
#New Jersey is home to TheMafia. If ''Series/TheSopranos'' and ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' aren't enough to convince you of the state's long and rich history of mob hits and "legitimate buss-a-ness," just ask New Jersey residents themselves. It's a well-known secret that the mob exists more plentifully in New Jersey than any other state these days; it's just an accepted fact of life. They've been there since TheRoaringTwenties and just never left, outlasting the mob in UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} and UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. Ask any New Jersey resident, and they'll tell you Jimmy Hoffa is buried in the Pine Barrens, duh.
#Even before the glory days of organized crime, there was rampant corruption through the Garden State. Money has been passed around in the world of New Jersey politics more freely than a cold since the time of Lincoln. It was home to ThomasEdison, quite easily one of the most brilliant, and most shining examples of a CorruptCorporateExecutive to ever grace the US.

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#New Jersey has always been a major trading state - -- it's square in the middle of the original 13 colonies, it is wedged between UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} and UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, and even today is home to one of the largest ports[[note]]Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, which has all but eaten up New York's former role as the prime port of the Northeast[[/note]] and airports[[note]]Newark Liberty International[[/note]] in the US, plus quite a few smaller ones. Because of all that money changing hands, you can expect crime and corruption.
#Because of the love of "local rule" and "towns," there are a ''plethora'' of local governments across the state (585 municipalities in 21 counties, to be exact; exact, and that's not counting the scads of school districts, fire districts, sewer districts, and other such institutions) of local governments across the state, institutions), each one handing out contracts. This creates a lot of opportunity for corruption, since small local governments can't afford oversight and don't have the press going after them in the same way that a big-city pol might.
#The state government in Trenton. Although the central government of the State of New Jersey is actually surprisingly clean and exercises a surprising amount of oversight over local government (through its [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_Department_of_Community_Affairs Department of Community Affairs]], tasked with enforcing New Jersey's incredibly complex--even arcane--web of laws relating to municipal government), it can't catch everything, and often has more important business anyway, especially given the way funding priorities work. Moreover, although graft and bribery of state officials[[note]]Crooked judges aside; there are fewer of these since the 80s, anyway[[/note]] is actually rather rare, other, more sophisticated shady dealings at the highest level of the government--often involving the governor, his staff, and the senior leadership of the Legislature--are depressingly common. This is in large part a function of the government being in Trenton: Trenton, a small city on the boundary between the New York and Philadelphia spheres of influence (to influence[[note]]To give you an idea, the United States Census Bureau considers Trenton part of the New York Metropolitan Statistical Area, based on the volume of economic interconnections, but the Federal Communications Commission considers Trenton part of the Philadelphia media market, based on geographic proximity and what big-city papers and broadcasts[[note]]The broadcasts you can get. The first thing you see when you walk out of the main entrance to the train station in Trenton is the local studios of WPVI-TV--''Philadelphia''[='s=] Creator/{{ABC}} affiliate[[/note]] you can get), affiliate.[[/note]], is not big enough to warrant a serious media market of its own that would go after the pols, and too far away from the big cities to warrant serious coverage by their news outlets.
#Combining the above, historically, was a lack of prohibition on "double dipping" among politicians, that is, holding more than one elected office (what the [[UsefulNotes/FrenchPoliticalSystem French]]--who are most famous for it--call ''cumul des mandats''). Many members of the state legislature were also municipal officials; many were mayors. This ed 'ed to them having the power and motive to influence state funding to go to their towns, which they then can use to reward patronage jobs and favorable deals for political donors. However, in 2007, Governor Jon Corzine signed legislation banning the practice in no uncertain terms, albeit with a GrandfatherClause for the 19 officials who held two offices at that time; as of 2015, only four remain.
#New Jersey is home to TheMafia. If ''Series/TheSopranos'' and ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' aren't enough to convince you of the state's long and rich history of mob hits and "legitimate buss-a-ness," just ask New Jersey residents themselves. It's a well-known secret that the mob exists more plentifully in New Jersey than any other state these days; it's just an accepted fact of life. They've been there since TheRoaringTwenties and just never left, outlasting the mob in UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} and UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity. Ask any New Jersey resident, and they'll tell you Jimmy Hoffa is buried in the Pine Barrens, duh.
duh -- and if he's not there, then he was buried underneath the stands of the old Giants Stadium.
#Even before the glory days of organized crime, there was rampant corruption through the Garden State. Money has been passed around in the world of New Jersey politics more freely than a cold since the time of Lincoln. It was home to ThomasEdison, UsefulNotes/ThomasEdison, quite easily one of the most brilliant, brilliant and most shining examples of a CorruptCorporateExecutive to ever grace the US.



Just as [[OnlyInFlorida Florida is famous for "news of the weird" stories]], New Jersey has been host to some of the most outlandish, absurd, and downright [[MagnificentBastard magnificent]] acts of corruption and anti-corruption stings to ever grace US shores:

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Just as [[OnlyInFlorida Florida is famous for "news of the weird" stories]], New Jersey has been host to some of the most outlandish, absurd, and downright [[MagnificentBastard magnificent]] acts of corruption and anti-corruption stings to ever grace US shores:shores.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' is based on the life of Nucky Johnson, who really was the Treasurer of Atlantic City and one of the more influential mobsters during Prohibition, though not nearly as overt as UsefulNotes/AlCapone. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
* ''Film/AmericanHustle'' is based on real-life events that transpired in New Jersey in the late '70s, and ended up with the conviction of, among others, an NJ state senator and the mayor of [[WretchedHive Camden]].



* In 2009, the mayors of three New Jersey cities, the deputy mayor of Jersey City, two NJ state assemblymen, and five rabbis, among many others, were found guilty of running a black-market kidney trafficking ring. (Don't worry ''too'' much, it wasn't kidney ''[[OrganTheft stealing]]''; legitimately donated kidneys were sent to Israel to be sold on the black market--the price for organs in Israel is high for reasons too complicated to explain here.)
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' is based on the life of Nucky Johnson, who really was the Treasurer of Atlantic City and one of the more influential mobsters during Prohibition, though not nearly as overt as UsefulNotes/AlCapone. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
* ''Film/AmericanHustle'' is based on real-life events that transpired in New Jersey in the late '70s, and ended up with the conviction of, among others, an NJ state senator and the mayor of [[WretchedHive Camden]].

to:

* In 2009, the mayors of three New Jersey cities, the deputy mayor of Jersey City, two NJ state assemblymen, and five rabbis, among many others, were found guilty of running a black-market kidney trafficking ring. (Don't worry ''too'' much, it wasn't kidney ''[[OrganTheft stealing]]''; they weren't [[OrganTheft leaving anybody in bathtubs full of ice]]; legitimately donated kidneys were stolen and sent to Israel to be sold on the black market--the market. The price for organs in Israel is high for reasons too complicated to explain here.)
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'' is based on the life of Nucky Johnson, who really was the Treasurer of Atlantic City and one of the more influential mobsters during Prohibition, though not nearly as overt as UsefulNotes/AlCapone. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
* ''Film/AmericanHustle'' is based on real-life events that transpired in New Jersey in the late '70s, and ended up with the conviction of, among others, an NJ state senator and the mayor of [[WretchedHive Camden]].
)



Okay, seriously, it probably has something to do with the fact that the state sits right across the Hudson from UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, the second-largest film production center on the continent and the capital of the American TV industry, as well as a major center of the music, fashion, art and advertising worlds. It's a very large and accessible pool of talent to draw from, not to mention that many people who work in New York have homes in the suburbs to commute from.

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Okay, seriously, it probably has something to do with the fact that the state sits right across the Hudson from UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, the second-largest film production center on the continent and the capital of the American TV industry, as well as a major center of the music, fashion, art art, and advertising worlds.worlds. If that wasn't enough, UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} is another major city whose suburbs sprawl across the other side of the state. It's a very large and accessible pool of talent to draw from, not to mention that many people who work in New York have homes in the suburbs to commute from.
31st Jul '17 9:25:58 PM karstovich2
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* Kim Guadagno (born in Iowa, moved to Monmouth Beach after marrying her husband; first Lieutenant Governor of N.J. after the whole [=McGreevey=] debacle convinced everyone that having the Senate President take over as governor was just confusing; other than that, mostly notable for being the Republican sacrificial lamb in the 2017 gubernatorial election and for the [[http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/read_the_note_michael_guadagno_sent_to_lieutenant.html cute letter]] her husband (a respected jurist on the state Superior Court, Appellate Division) sent her when he reached his mandatory retirement at age 70.)

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* Kim Guadagno (born in Iowa, moved to Monmouth Beach after marrying her husband; first Lieutenant Governor of N.J. after the whole [=McGreevey=] debacle convinced everyone that having the Senate President take over as governor was just confusing; other than that, mostly notable for being the Republican sacrificial lamb in the 2017 gubernatorial election and for the [[http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/read_the_note_michael_guadagno_sent_to_lieutenant.html cute letter]] her husband (a respected jurist on the state Superior Court, Appellate Division) sent her when he reached his mandatory retirement at age 70.)
31st Jul '17 9:24:48 PM karstovich2
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* Richard Codey (born in Orange, but raised in West Orange, where a hockey arena is named for him; currently lives in Roseland)
* Jon Corzine (born in Illinois, raised id Hoboken)

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* Richard Codey (born in Orange, but raised in West Orange, where a hockey arena is named for him; currently lives in Roseland)
* Jon Corzine (born in Illinois, raised id in Hoboken)



* [[CaughtWithYourPantsDown Jim McGreevey]] (Jersey City, then Metuchen)

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* [[CaughtWithYourPantsDown Jim McGreevey]] (Jersey City, then Metuchen)Metuchen: Notable for having come out as gay in the same speech in which he admitted that the clearly-unqualified Israeli man he had appointed as his homeland-security advisor was his lover and also declared that he would be resigning the governorship, all while [[TheBeard his wife]] stood beside him in shock)
* Richard Codey (born in Orange, but raised in West Orange, where a hockey arena is named for him; currently lives in Roseland; long-time State Senate President notable mostly for having been Governor after Jim [=McGreevey=] resigned, after which he wrote a political memoir entitled ''[[SelfDeprecation Me, Governor?]]'')
* Kim Guadagno (born in Iowa, moved to Monmouth Beach after marrying her husband; first Lieutenant Governor of N.J. after the whole [=McGreevey=] debacle convinced everyone that having the Senate President take over as governor was just confusing; other than that, mostly notable for being the Republican sacrificial lamb in the 2017 gubernatorial election and for the [[http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/read_the_note_michael_guadagno_sent_to_lieutenant.html cute letter]] her husband (a respected jurist on the state Superior Court, Appellate Division) sent her when he reached his mandatory retirement at age 70.)
30th Jul '17 9:31:40 PM karstovich2
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Residents are known to react even worse to the standard New Jersey jokes. The Turnpike has very few exits to the southern half of the state (and the Parkway has none outside of the Shore), and the near-absence of chemical and industrial plants outside of the immediate vicinity of Philadelphia results in little pollution. Plus, there are still many, many thriving farms in the area (it's home to the regionally-famous Jersey tomato, much if not most of New Jersey's large cranberry industry, and a substantial blueberry crop, as well as a number of decent wineries), as it is relatively undeveloped outside of the Shore and the Delaware Valley, lending some credence to the state nickname that so many seem to think is ironic -- "The Garden State."\\

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Residents are known to react even worse to the standard New Jersey jokes. The Turnpike has very few exits to the southern half of the state (and the Parkway has none outside of the Shore), and the near-absence of chemical and industrial plants outside of the immediate vicinity of Philadelphia results in little pollution. Plus, there are still many, many thriving farms in the area (it's home to the regionally-famous Jersey tomato, the also-regionally-famous Jersey asparagus, much if not most of New Jersey's large cranberry industry, and a substantial blueberry crop, as well as a number of decent wineries), as it is relatively undeveloped outside of the Shore and the Delaware Valley, lending some credence to the state nickname that so many seem to think is ironic -- "The Garden State."\\
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