12 May 2008

Is "Central Jersey" a Myth?

What is Central New Jersey? The Gannett editors running the MyCentralJersey.com would probably define it as any place they can sell the Courier News or Home News Tribune!

That is probably as good a definition as any - and would include Somerset, Middlesex, and Union Counties, as well as portions of Monmouth, Mercer, and Hunterdon.

The creators of the upcoming "New Jersey: The Movie" have made the dividing line between North Jersey and South Jersey one of the central issues of their film. They have also tackled the topic of Central Jersey in their blog, which also contains many interesting theories and maps as to the dividing lines between North, Central, and South Jersey.

When I was a kid growing up in Monmouth County, many of us believed we lived in South Jersey. Once you went over the Driscoll Bridge driving south on the Garden State Parkway, you were in South Jersey! Of course we had heard rumors of people living in Ocean County and even further south, but once you got past Point Pleasant or Great Adventure, it was all a mystery!

So I'll open this up to the readers. What and where is Central Jersey? Can it be defined geographically or culturally the way North and South Jersey have been defined?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Greg, there is a Central Jersey. It lives in the hearts and minds of those who have been raised here and, maybe, take it for granted and those who were lucky enough to have moved here later in life and developed an appreciation for it.

    It may be more of an attitude - sort of 40s, 50s, 60s suburban. Central Jersey is definitely a cultural thing, but the geographical is hard.

    It's difficult to narrow down the geographical edges: Hunterdon County, Somerset County Middlesex County, Union County...Morris, hmm, maybe. It extends up to somewhere near Morristown (where all Central Jersey school kids went for school trips to Ford Mansion and Jockey Hollow) and down to near Trenton.

    Should Trenton be included? I don't know. Capital cities with their political atmospheres never seem to exactly fit [which may be one of the problems with politics and politicians..but that's a question for another day].

    And the Jersey Shore, should any part of that be part of Central Jersey? Since I would include Elizabethport I guess some of it must count, like Sandy Hook.

    Monmouth County? Yeah, south. My sister went to Monmouth College and we always thought of that as South Jersey.