Does Central Jersey Exist?

Does Central Jersey Exist?? That is probably one of the most asked questions that New Jerseyans discuss but will probably never find an answer to. I have asked a number of people from across the Garden State for their opinion on this matter to hopefully give a final conclusion to this debate…

Everyone knows that the North says “Taylor Ham”, “Subs”, “Sprinkles”, and means New York when they say “The City” just like everyone knows on the other hand that the South says “Pork Roll”, “Hoagies”, “Jimmies”, and means Philadelphia when they say “The City.” Now you’re probably thinking, “Okay! So, we just solved it then! If you say certain words listed above, then you’re from the respective half!” Hmm, maybe not…

I asked my freshman year roommate who lives in Point Pleasant Beach, Kristen, to give her side of this debate. She believes that she lives in Central Jersey, so she definitely feels that it exists. She told me, “When you split New Jersey in half...it has a center. That center has influences from both the North and the South. [For example], why I say pork roll but also why I enjoy decent bagels and call New York City, ‘The City’ not Philly.” (Sorry to South Jerseyans for the call-out on your bagels, but nothing compares to a North Jersey bagel!) Plus, “down the shore” is so much different from North and South Jersey culture, it really should be separated into its own thing.

I continued my journey to find a solid conclusion and asked my North Jersey friends. One of them said, “Yes, because I go to school at Rutgers New Brunswick which is in the middle of Jersey,” another friend said, “Yes, because at TCNJ, you can drive 10 minutes to Trenton and drive another 10 minutes and be in the middle of a farm. Central has both urban and rural areas,” and another said, “Yes, because what else would be in the middle of Jersey!”

So from my observations, it would seem it is a unanimous vote that there most certainly is a Central Jersey… until my friend who is from the east side of North Jersey answered my inquiry. Her rebuttal was simply, “[Nope], you’re either North or South. There is no in-between.” New Jerseyans, this one is up to you; does Central Jersey exist? 

The cultural and physical differences may be able to tell you where you are in NJ, but it is up to you whether you can label which part that you are in. All that truly matters is that we are all “Jersey Strong” and there is no other place like it!