Seriously - we need help!
New Jersey is often referred to as the Garden
State; this might of been a reasonably accurate description when it
was first coined back in the 18th century, when the fertility of the
soil in NJ was a celebrated characteristic of the state, but it
certainly isn't now! Fair enough, the southeast has retained huge
acreages of pine forest, the South Central region has gently rolling
hills and lush vegetation, and the North West is still fairly barren
hill country but to the North-East is urban sprawl, industrial decay
and slums with the associated health problems, pollution and overall
congestion. Indeed, the state of New Jersey is one of the most over
populated states in the country despite the presence of the
ever-popular seaside resorts along the Atlantic Coast, including the
famous Atlantic City.
It is very difficult to characterise New
Jersey because although industry is very important it could really
be described as a dormitory region for the cities of Pennsylvania
and New York, both of which lies just outside its boundaries.
Indeed, a huge number, several hundreds of thousands of residents,
commute every day to work in these cities, travelling out through
huge traffic jams, and travelling back the same way and in many ways
a lot of them almost feel like New Yorkers or Philadelphians, not NJ
residents at all! This lack of a community feel to the state may
have been at least partly responsible for much of the organised
crime and political corruption that have both blighted the region.
Another potent cause has probably been the ethnical mix; the main
ethnic groups are Italian Americans, Blacks and Puerto Ricans, and
it will be quite incorrect to claim that racial tensions do not
exist. Furthermore, the phenomenon known as White Flight is sending
the white population out to the suburbs, along with business and
commerce, as the Black population moves in to take up the spaces in
the poorer quality housing of the cities.
We have the recipe in place for a huge problem
as the cities becomes more and more run down and the residents get
poorer and poorer.
It is difficult to believe that New Jersey was
originally named after the island of New Jersey just off the English
coast; two regions with so little in common would be very difficult
Copyright totallynj.com 2009