on the road

the gadlfy in...

new jersey

gadfly homepage on the road home last contact: 8/2007 first contact: 7/2000

NJ Trip Stats (3/08):


Counties visited: 7

Last visited: 8/2007


Best county:   Atlantic Co.

Town visited most: Atlantic City

Most impressive town: Atlantic City

Least impressive town: Camden

Biggest town: Atlantic City

Most scenic area: woods of Pinelands Nat'l Reserve

Most scenic spot: Boardwalk along Atlantic City beach

Three words: lush, American, void

State Animal: huge seagulls

Tourist Trap: Boardwalk

Best Food: salt taffy, mmmm


Neighboring States: NY, PA, DE


Major Passes: passed state west to east from Camden to Atlantic City by light rail in July of 2000, reminded me of Wisconsin. In a depressed mood passed east to west along I-80 from New York City to the Poconos in the middle of the night in 8/2007.


Observations: This state does not deserve the off-putting reputation it has been given by snobbish New Yorkers who think their city is the center of the universe. Of course, I say this with only an afternoon's experience in Jersey.

First Contact: The only state on my list I have not driven in at all. I first entered New Jersey while crossing the wide Delaware River on a railroad car leaving Philly for Atlantic City in July of 2000 in Camden. The car was full of old ladies wearing t-shirts adorned with glittered dice. The ride was through thick woods soaked by recent rains. People wearing work boots got off at each stop, leaving just me and the old ladies at the beach. They had work to do that day... I didn't.

Camden Co. (7/2000)

Camden. A very rough neighborhood, undergoing some serious problems. A poor, desperate, and overlooked place. I was a bit upset because while I was attending the Republican Convention in Philly a political group was sponsoring bus tours of Camden as if urban blight was some sort of tourist attraction for suburban white liberals. Lindenwold.

Atlantic Co. (7/2000)

Hammonton. The verdant woods surrounding this city remind me of descriptions of the deep forests that once dominated America from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes. Egg Harbor City. Once colonists collected delicious gull eggs near here.  Absecon. Pleasantville. Inland swaps and waterways separate this working town from the outer islands. Atlantic City. The place where I first saw the Atlantic Ocean was on the Boardwalk. The rough neighborhoods inland are ignored by busloads of geezers from NYC & Philly who come to gamble. Beaches are beautiful and alive, filled with real people, not models and rich kids on break. The Boardwalk is America in a nutshell. Gluttonous gulls and hordes of beggars swarm waiting for a few bucks and errant French fries. You can get your fortune told, get mugged, eat a coney, buy a $5 t-shirt, and blow your life savings at Trump's gaudy casino. The circus atmosphere of the Steel Pier is America! I was feeling very patriotic here.

Bergen Co. (7/2007)

Coming soon!

Passiac Co. (7/2007)

Coming soon!

Essex Co. (7/2007)

Coming soon!

Morris Co. (7/2007)

Coming soon!

Warren Co. (7/2007)

Coming soon!

The famous beach at Atlantic City. (2000)

The Delaware River is the border between Philadelphia and Camden. (2000)


Photos (c) 2000-08 by S. Plencner. All rights reserved.