My father practiced optometry in Passaic, NJ for over 40 years, commuting home to the Bronx each night.
He got his optometry degree in Boston and was licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Jersey. For some reason, he never took the exam to get licensed in NY state.
When he and my mom got married, it would've made sense for them to move to New Jersey, but my mom was having none of it. And because my papa (then and now, 50 yrs later) worshiped my mother, they stayed in the Bronx.
Thank whatever gods there are to thank. Because I therefore missed being from that state and instead am a proud native New Yorker.
As a kid, New Jersey was where I went to go with my dad to his office and where we went for tax free shopping.
As an adult, it is the huge land mass that gets in my way going home to New York and coming back home here to Virginia. And if most of the state fell into the ocean tomorrow, there's only a few spots in it I'd mourn.
Which is why I HOWLED over this map today.
And if you've ever been stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike, you'll probably howl too.