So, by now you have probably seen that according to a poll by BestLife Magazine, New Jersey was voted “the most hated state” in the US. As a New Jersey native with roots in Brooklyn, and understanding everybody has the right to their views, I feel the need to share my perspective on the Garden State.
Let us start with the fact that New Jersey has charm, beauty, a rich history, and a picturesque coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Every beach town is its own unique experience. Spring Lake, Long Beach Island, and Cape May curate a historic and family atmosphere. Point Pleasant and Atlantic City have their boardwalks, entertainment, and nightlife.
Asbury, home of the famous Stone Pony has been redesigned and reimagined combining ultra-modern boutique hotels and condos. If you have the chance visit the Wooden Walls Project on the Asbury Park Boardwalk and view the murals. Being on the water proposes a unique perspective to the art, most of which is ocean themed. Remember that all these towns have exquisite beachfront property offering the best of both worlds, mostly within a day’s drive.
The state also has farmland for picking fresh fruits & veggies such as Alstede Farm in Chester, beautiful state parks, and the stunning New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood. I walked through the garden for hours just photographing and allowing my senses to take in every peaceful moment of its natural splendor.
Next are the mini cities including Hoboken, Jersey City, and the up and coming town of Hackensack. Their transportation systems allow people to live near NYC, but hopefully a little more affordably. These areas are filled with restaurants, nightlife, parks, and stores, but also supply a dose of quaintness within a small city.
Street art and murals can also be found throughout the state. Jersey City is a great place to begin, one of its most famous pieces is a tribute to David Bowie from Brazilian artist Eduaro Kobra, also cool is the Welcome to Jersey City mural by the renowned Queen Andrea. Garfield has a new mural from Kelsey Montague whose works can been seen throughout the world and continues the theme of her “what lifts you” message. In the suburbs of Bergen County, in Closter, Rudy’s Pizza commissioned a piece by uplifting artist Jason Naylor for their restaurant.
If you read my earlier article this year about Hackensack and the Union Street Park, it has now been festively updated for Halloween with wild style tags, pumpkins, and traditional visuals.
My humble opinion on a state that is multifaceted and unique. I hope this inspires you to explore New Jersey and keep an open mind.