Last week, our exiting governor, Richard J. Codey, announced New Jersey’s new slogan. “New Jersey: You Got a Problem With That?” and “New Jersey: Because We’re Better Than Alabama” were defeated by “New Jersey: Come See For Yourself.”
Come see what? Trenton? I can only assume former Governor Codey was speaking about the New Jersey shore. This slogan turned out to be the winner among 11,227 telephone and online votes cast by Garden Staters. The other contenders were “Expect the Unexpected,” “The Best Kept Secret,” “The Real Deal,” and “Love at First Sight.”
The new catchphrase “should hint at our true beauty,” the governor said.
Then surely he must be talking about the beach, which is called “The Shore,” here, New Jersey being the only state in the union that refers to what everyone else in America calls “the beach” as “the shore.” What other alleged beauty could he be referring to?
The governor is hoping the new slogan will spruce up New Jersey’s image and lure vacation goers here. You can just hear these indecisive vacation goers now:
“Darling, shall we holiday at Martha’s Vineyard again or try something different? I heard that we should come see New Jersey for ourselves. What say you sweetie? What? Oh, more sherry, my love?”
As a resident of New Jersey who did not vote, I would like to plead with those considering the former governor’s invitation to not come and see anything. Please. For the love of God. Stay home. And here’s why.
Last July, we decided to take Anna to the beach. Yeah, that’s right. The beach. Gotta problem with that? It was a gorgeous, cloudless, sunny summer Sunday. 84 degrees. Around 10 a.m. we packed the kid, a beachball, a beachbag and a picnic lunch into Jeff the Honda (Jeff stands for Japanese Efficiency). We headed to Sandy Hook.
The highway was choked with traffic. The pit stops along the highway were choked with people. After navigating what appeared to be an exodus fleeing a hot urban core (and paying toll after toll), we approached our exit and were about 10 miles from our destination only to be informed by an electrical sign that the Sandy Hook beach was closed. The reason? It was full. It was 11 a.m. on a non-holiday Sunday and the beach had reached full capacity. Not a grain of sand to sit on.
Instead of paying more tolls to fight more traffic only to have the velvet rope choke us off again, we returned home. We were back at our place by 1 p.m. We spent a Sunday morning driving around New Jersey in a vain effort to find a tiny slice of shore to enjoy as a family.
We decided to try the beach in Maine instead and had more luck. It took a little longer to get there and when we did, there was plenty of beach for all to enjoy so we stayed a week. In fact, here’s Anna enjoying the quiet Maine coast. We haven’t attempted a second trip to The Shore since.
So please, if you’re looking to see something for yourself, go see Trenton or Camden or Paterson. No, it’s not The Shore, but you’ll have a New Jersey experience in any of these places that will be just as memorable.