Why is it that every time anybody utters the name New Jersey, people turn up their noses, laugh hysterically and utter exclamations of grossness such as “Ew“, “Yuck” or “Bleeh“?
Not only do they laugh at our stench but they laugh at our formerly gay governor, Pretty-Boy McGreevey, who only pretended to be straight, and is now living with his gay partner and studying to be a priest. Way to go, McGreevey!
When we come out of the closet in New Jersey, we go hard! Good for him, but I think he should have recognized this fact prior to marrying his wife and having children with her. When New Jersey F’s up, we do it big-time!
People often laugh at all of our corrupt politicians, but you New Yorkers can’t say a damned thing after Smelliot Spitzer’s high-priced hooker debacle.
Our neighboring New Yorkers laugh at the state of our state with their unmitigated gall. Yeah, we have our issues, our ridiculous portrayals on Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious and our stinkfest of a highway, but New York City doesn’t exactly smell like fresh-cut Spring flowers either.
Around these parts, we call New Jersey “The Garden State”, but I’ve heard people refer to it as “The Stinky State“, “The Smelly State” and “The Stenchy State“. Aw, come on! That’s not nice, people!
Our vacation motto is “Perfect Together: New Jersey and You“. Maybe we should change it to “We Don’t Pump Gas, We Pump Our Fists” or how about “New Jersey: Come See Our Malls, But Ignore Our Stench“.
Comedians make jokes about the place we call home. Most people that pass through our lovely state via the Turnpike can only seem to remember the industrial-strength stench that emanates for several miles. Yes, it stinks in that particular spot.
I remember being a little kid going on road trips with my parents. I’d be dead-sleep in the back seat of the car, but as soon as we got to that spot on the Turnpike near exit 13A, the Meadowlands and Newark Airport, I’d wake right up, wrinkle my nose and say, “We’re almost home!” That horrific stench that fluctuated between the scent of burning rubber, sulfur, boiled eggs and hot garbage let me know that I was almost home. Hooray!
During childhood, whenever we’d go visit family in other states, mostly Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and California, our cousins would introduce my siblings and I as “the cousins from New York“. They didn’t even want anybody to know that we were from New Jersey!
Our neighboring state, New York, the Big Apple, may find New Jersey amusing because they think we’re corny and they think they are so uber-cool, artsy-fartsy, haute couture and avante garde over there, but they have a heinous stench all their own in New York City. It often smells more like a rotting apples, urine, garbage and car exhaust. If you’ve ever had to ride the New York City subways on a really hot day, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
We have a joke in New Jersey about New York. When we have to spend a day in the city, especially if we ride the cabs and subways, we say, “I just got back from the city and now I have to take a shower and wash New York off“. I am not even going to mention the freaky, frolicking rats in the subways that run up and down the tracks at night. That’s like totally way gross. Gag me with a spoon!
New Jersey is sometimes referred to as “The Armpit of New York City“. If we’re the armpit, then I’d hate to think what part New York City would be if it were a body part. Ew!
Regardless of the stench, I love New Jersey and New York, too. I’ve lived here for most of my life; not far from the George Washington Bridge into New York City, but far enough to enjoy suburbia and far enough from the Turnpike stench, so that I don’t have to bask in its aroma.
As for the stench, there are many reasons why Northern New Jersey stinks. Southern and Central New Jersey smell pretty good, unless you’re in a cow farm area and then you get the joyous scent of cow poop wafting into your car windows. It’s said that the stinky part of New Jersey stinks because much of the that area was developed over land dumps and land fills. Developers leveled the dump sites and built over them and over the years, the stench of decay rose up and permeated the air.
They’ve attempted to cover over some of the areas with concrete to seal in the stench, but the stench still comes up through fissures or cracks in the concrete. There has been talk of using a controlled method of burning the stinky areas, but that’s not going to happen because it’s too built up now.
You can laugh all you want to because other than that little strip of Turnpike that smells like fire and brimstone, New Jersey was and is big fun and no, we do not all look like or act like the people on Jersey Shore, The Sopranos or Jerseylicious.
Check out my other New Jersey article:
New Jersey May Stink, But It Rocks: We Don’t Pump Gas, We Pump Our Fists