On the eve of the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy (we’ve got an anniversary theme going on this week), I wanted to take some time to honor the people that were lost to that horrific storm, but also the homes that were washed away. Truly, a way of life was demolished when Hurricane Sandy came ashore.
Yet, in the same breath, I want to celebrate the lifestyle that New Jersey still harbors despite the many casualties we endured, such as our beloved shore.
The problem is that we are being told who we are. We are told that we are over-crowded, polluted, rude and most recently, “stronger than the storm.” And in some ways, as in all stereotypes, these monikers are true. Yet, the latter was only a clever marketing slogan at the outset. It conveyed to outsiders that we have ripped off the band-aid, and only bear a small scar in the place of Sandy’s destruction. However, in many cases, we are not fully healed. We will get there, we always do, but we haven’t yet.
So, here’s a reminder of who we are:
We are the “garden state.” When we say that our produce is “Jersey Fresh,” that denotes a standard unparalleled in any other state. We are the best of so many worlds. We are nestled in between some of the greatest places on the East Coast. We are densely packed, but we are neighborly. We are skyscrapers alongside mom and pop shops.
We are long stretches of highway, with the windows down. We are small cul-de-sacs, with children playing basketball at dusk. We are as mysterious as the Jersey Devil. We are as vast as the Atlantic Ocean. We are the sunny days at the shore. We are camping trips under the stars. We are loud and persistent because we know what we want. We are as warm and generous as a bowl of Campbell’s soup. We are a breed all our own. We won’t give up and we won’t give in. We are New Jersey. And we are getting somewhere.
I am proud to be from New Jersey.
Tell me in the comments what it means to from New Jersey to YOU!