Introducing New Jersey
New Jersey gets a bad rap. While New Yorkers like to poke fun at it for being one big highway with some malls sprinkled in, it’s actually a bit more complex than first meets the eye. The tiny state is both a quarter farmland and the most densely populated state in the USA. It’s got 127 miles of beautiful beaches as well as two of New York’s greatest icons: the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. And then there are the diverse, fair-minded people, who inhabit many culturally-rich towns and cities. Even the courts are progressive: a domestic partnership law went into effect in late 2006, making New Jersey one of only four states which allow same-sex partners to have rights that are equivalent to those of a marriage.
Its gay former mayor did not fare so well − but that had more to do with Jim McGreevey’s lying, cheating ways (with both his wife and matters of the government) than with his scandalous coming-out on live TV. There’s been no rest for the weary voters since he stepped down, either: just over a year after Governor Jon Corzine took office in 2006, he was severely injured in a car accident − and he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, which made him a scofflaw that no one was about to let off the hook. He turned it around, though, mocking himself in a pro-seatbelt public service announcement shortly after his recovery. That’s NJ for you: dichotomous, quirky and strong willed.
Lots of great malls, too.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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