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Greetings From Springsteen Country

What makes New Jersey great (besides the pizza, bagels, diners, and pork roll) is the fact that we are one of the most self loathing states in the Union. For as much “Jersey Pride” is felt by any given person, I am fairly certain they have at least a few jokes in their repertoire that poke fun of their town/county/area of the state. 

New Jersey
Map of New Jersey created by Joe Steinfeld

With that all being said, some while back I was logging my daily hundred hours on Facebook when I saw this map cross my news feed. I thought it was funny and did my due diligence of reposting it, and then moved on.

What shocked me however was that no more than a day later, this very same image was being posted by dozens of my in-state friends (and even a few Jersey ex-pats). Now, I’ve seen hundreds of images poking fun of New Jersey (you can thank the Jersey Shore for helping propel us into the spotlight) but something about this is resonated with locals in a way a photoshop of Snooki has yet to do.

Now it’s obvious the map is an exaggeration that pokes fun of the different “personalities” of the state. However while it does play to some stereotypes and generalizations (according to the map my home town falls under “Old People and Asians”, which last time I checked I am neither), but what makes this particular map so great is twofold: there’s certainly an element of truth to each description, and it pulls no punches making sure everyone get’s their due ribbing.

I think one of the reasons the map really caught on however is that it truly feels that it was designed by someone who is a resident of New Jersey. I can personally tell you that while I had to explain to people I have met out of state that we aren’t all the orange party monsters you see on MTV, the difficult part was explaining that some of the characters you meet throughout the state are sometimes even funnier than anything Vinny or The Situation could ever dream up.

Sometimes jokes hit hardest because they are brutally honest, but every good joke should have a piece of love behind it. I think what gave this map it’s “love” is the fact that it acknowledges we really are the most diverse state in America and that is what makes New Jersey special.

After all where else can go from “Springsteen Country” to “Hipsters” in under an hour drive and still manage to get some Fat Sandwiches with some “Drunk Rutgers Students” along the way.

What do you think? Are you offended by the map or do you think it’s funny? Post your comment below.

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