New Jersey should be made fun of, since it has many odd characteristics. That’s not a put down – I live in Jersey and am fond of it. But I can certainly jab at it’s oddities and foibles.
New Jersey is the most densely populated state. It has the most cars and roads per capita. Yet, it has one of the lowest percentage of urban residencies (17%). And probably the highest percentage of suburban residencies. NJ is the land of suburban sprawl.
Most of New Jersey is the greater metropolitan area of either NYC or Philly. This makes it difficult to have its own unique culture. However, given the status of NYC culture and the vast amount of NYC transplants and NYC greater metropolitan influence, its easy to understand why many people think the NJ accent is the same as the NYC accent (mostly identified with Brooklyn’s accent – the accent of Bugs Bunny.)
NYC and Philly use NJ property for their landfills, oil refineries, and industrial parks (those creeps!). However, NJ has benefitted greatly financially because of that arrangement.
Beyond the suburban sprawl of NYC and Philly, you’ll find beautiful, low mountains (like the Poconos region); the Pine Barrens (a low, flat pine forest kept in pristine condition); and farmland (dairy, vegetable, blueberry, cranberry, corn). NJ was known as the Bread Basket of the original colonies and is still known as The Garden State (every NJ resident is growing or has grown tomatoes – it’s impossible not to grow tomatoes in NJ).
Oh, btw, manhattan, from where I live, the Arthur Kills land fill – the largest in the nation, located in NYC, is closer to me than the chromium dump in NJ.