Today's Times Metro section introduces us to the Carnival of the New Jersey Bloggers, a weekly, curated roundup of Jerseyana found on Garden State weblogs. This Carnival, argues Peter Applebome, makes perfect sense:
The state is small enough that whether you live in Bergen or Hunterdon you still have an opinion on the best pizza or sausage and pepper sandwich at the Jersey Shore, drive on the same turnpike, and both contribute to the Jersey Joke syndrome and bristle at it. The politics are so obviously dysfunctional everyone shares everyone else's pain. Everyone has an attitude. And over the past decades, almost without people realizing it, the pop culture New Jersey of Springsteen/"The Sopranos"/"Garden State," etc., has changed the way people think about their state.
Still, half of us is from New Jersey, and we're a little taken aback. First, the presence of Bell Labs notwithstanding, we've never thought of it as a particularly technologically advanced state. (Our hometown didn't even have cable until 1990.) We've also never though of it as a particularly coherent state: the top part thinks of itself as adjunct New Yorkers, the bottom part as adjunct Philadelphians, and neither wants to have anything to do with the folks in the middle.