Did you know I meant New Jersey? Yep. I just returned from there with Richie Coldcuts. We were up there to see Richie’s parents and to attend our nephew’s middle school graduation party. A bonus was seeing Richie’s kids and going with them to Augustino’s in Hoboken. And Pier 13. FABULOUS!
New York / New Jersey are Richie’s old stomping grounds. But this Florida girl feels she’s entering a different planet every time we’re there. And it’s not just the accent. Or the traffic. Or the big hair(!) It’s a little bit of everything. Jersey women definitely have their own style (clothing, hair, nails). It’s not written down anywhere, and if you’re not from there, you probably won’t figure it out. But it’s the reason I can walk into any store (CVS, Shop-Rite, Kohl’s) and know immediately that I’m in Jersey. I always feel like a pale imitation when I’m up there. A black and white photo to their technicolor! And the accent is extreme. Example: When talking about a female, instead of ‘her’, they say ‘huh’. “Tell huh I said hello”. “I told huh we’d be late”. So funny.
Nearly anywhere you’re going in Jersey, you eventually end up on I-9. And the locals explain all directions by the Exit # off of I-9. Or the Parkway (which would be Garden State Parkway). “I live just off Exit 11”. “Just go south and get off on Exit 18”. I have no earthly idea what exit #’s I use on I-275 in St. Pete. I might know the cross street — 54th Avenue North, 22nd Avenue South, but not the Exit. And finally, as Richie originally complained when he moved to Florida — Jersey has the BEST delis. And they’re everywhere. Large, small, family-owned. Every little strip shopping center has some deli with amazing meats, cheeses, bagels, breadsticks, peppers (peppahs!) and more. No running across town to Mazzaro’s and fighting the crush of the hundreds of folks who relocated to Florida from the northeast and realized it was the only place to get their beloved pickings. Gotta love me a little Jersey. But — also gotta love coming home to the ‘burg!