Talk:Central Jersey

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Geographic center of New Jersey[edit]

First off, there is a ridiculous amount of discussion in this topic. Maybe it shoudn't be a Wikipedia topic.

Anyway, does the actual geographic center of New Jersey matter to anyone? Guess where it is, people... 5 miles SOUTHEAST OF TRENTON. Shocking, yes? Its right in... wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_centers_of_the_United_States

Based on a simple geographic division, central Jersey would be defined as the counties aligned with Mercer (i.e., Monmouth) and perhaps the next line north and south (Hunterdon/Somerset/Middlesex and Burlington/Ocean). The end. Famartin (talk) 07:46, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Remove Ocean County, perhaps Monmouth too[edit]

All this nonsense over Ocean County. Really? There are parts of Monmouth that are too far south to consider them in Central Jersey, ALL of Ocean is South. It's absurd to think of Manahawkin or Toms River as Central Jersey. Somerset, Middlesex are probably the epitomes of Central Jersey. Ocean, definitely South. C'mon people. 98.221.120.104 (talk) 00:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)


Southern Ocean County[edit]

Southern Ocean County is definitely South Jersey. I grew up in Manahawin, and Philadelphia influence dominates over NY, almost the polar opposite of Lakewood or Jackson. I'd go as far to say that Berkely TWP on south is not Central Jersey. If I recall correctly, Lacey HS, Barnegat HS, and Southern Regional are all in their respective South Jersey athletic groups. Heck, there's even a significant population of stereotypical South Jersey rednecks. My area code down here is 609 (the former definition of South Jersey), while in northern O.C. it was 732.

If anything, this article should mimic the South Jersey article and have a separate section regarding Ocean County. I've lived in both the Northern and Southern portions of the county, and there truly is a significant difference (sports, weather, news sources, food, attitude, etc.) ---6/29/09.

  • Whether or not you want to admit it, Ocean County is also in the Philadelphia market/area. Phillies games can be blacked out county wide (I believe), while Yankee and Met games can only be blacked out until Forked River.

Northern Ocean County[edit]

You gotta include northern Ocean County as part of 'Central Jersey'. If you include southern Monmouth County in central jersey, then so is the north part of Ocean County. Second, north Ocean is too north for most of South Jersey and too south for most of North Jersey, thus North Ocean is central Jersey. Third, North Ocean County is geographically in the center of the state. Forth, if you take all of the exits of the Parkway and divide by three- (North, Central, South) parts of Ocean County are clearly Central. Finally, it may look like that Ocean is South Jersey, but we're part of the NY market and area. Face it, Tom's River, Lakewood, Brick, Point Pleasant and Jackson are as Central Jersey as you can get. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.142.21.174 (talk) 03:25, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Monmouth County[edit]

You can write whatever Wiki articles you'd like, but I have lived in Monmouth County for 45 years and you won't be able to convince me I live in North Jersey. I propose that the articles on North Jersey, Central Jersey, and South Jersey all be deleted as they have no basis in fact.--Shortynj 17:59, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

ALL OF NEW JERSEY IS INFLUENCED BY BOTH NYC AND PHILLY You know, I think this first comment speaks volumes about our debate. I admit, being in North Jersey and formerly being in South Jersey, I had little knowledge of the complexity of the Shore. The debate really allowed me to divide the article in an appropriate way. However, here is the greater point. ALL OF NEW JERSEY IS INFLUENCED BY BOTH NEW YORK CITY AND PHILADELPHIA! The reason is simple. NYC and Philly are just 90 miles apart. As such, they share culture and feed off of on another. One of the primary mistakes made by the Monmouth posters here is the assumption that affiliation with a region is absolute. That is false. Just because Essex is closely affiliated with NYC and Camden is closely affiliated with Philadelphia does NOT mean that they are not affiliated with the other major city. Let me demonstrate this false assumption with an example.

Fallacy:

Person A: I love apples.

Person B: Then you must not eat oranges.

Here, the fallacy is simple. Just because Person A loves apples does not mean he doesn't eat oranges. Apples and oranges may be different from one another, but they are both fruits. Similarly, there may be differences between NYC and Philly, but they are both part of the same region and are separated by just 90 miles. As such, they share cultural characteristics with each other. Here is an example.

Giants Fan: I hate the Eagles, but I also hate the Cowboys.

Eagles Fan: I hate the Giants, but I also hate the Cowboys.

Notice both fans hate the Cowboys. They share a similar cultural characteristic. Why? Because Dallas is located in a completely different region of the country. Their fans don't see the differences between NYC and Philly. To them, they are both northern Yankee cities. The point here is simple. Closeness brings you together in the face of a common enemy. Here is another example.

Michigan Fan: I hate Ohio State, but I also hate the SEC.

Ohio State Fan: I hate Michigan, but I also hate the SEC.

Here, two rivals share a common enemy, the SEC. I am a huge college football fan, but for those of you who are not, allow me to explain. Michigan and Ohio State are both members of the Big Ten conference. Recently, the Big Ten has been criticized for being an uncompetitive conference. Principally, the charge is that the Big Ten cannot compete the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Since Michigan and Ohio State are the two most visible and successful members of the Big Ten, they are both criticized for their play. Thus, during this year's bowl games, where both Ohio State and Michigan drew SEC teams, Ohio State fans were vocally rooting for Michigan to defeat Florida, while Michigan fans were vocally rooting for Ohio State to defeat LSU in the national championship game. What is the lesson here? Regional rivalries may be fierce, but they take a backseat when faced with criticism from another area of the country. Again, closeness is culture is a major factor.

Where does this lead us? Simply put, NEW JERSEY IS INFLUENCED BY BOTH NYC AND PHILLY. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS ONE OF DEGREE, NOT ABSOLUTE SEPARATION. True, Bergen may be less influenced by Philly and more influenced by NYC. That's not the point. The point is that both cities influence ALL of NJ because both cities are separated by just 90 miles. So the key is not who your primary influence is, but the extent to which they influence you compared with the other city. Monmouth is right next to Mercer. To say that Monmouth is absolutely influenced by NYC when Mercer is divided is missing the point. There are no absolute influences. This is where the posters are wrong. To say without reproach that just because you are designated as part of the New York area, that somehow you are not influenced by another city, is absurd. Here is the example I am talking about.

Fallacy: Monmouth resident: I am in the NYC Metro area. Therefore, I am not at all influenced by Philadelphia.

Even if you say that Bergen is absolutely NYC and Monmouth is less so, you are still wrong. Bergen is influenced by Philadelphia, only not as much. Again, there is no absolute separation. There is no cataclysmic cultural shift. You do not magically drive from one culture to the next if your drive from Monmouth to its border with Burlington. There are no absolutes, unless two cities are far away. The following example is not a fallacy.

Not a Fallacy (unless you're talking international):

Monmouth resident: I live the northeast. Therefore, I am not at all influenced by San Francisco.

All of this applies to the northern suburbs of NYC as well. In particular, the north of NYC is generally considered to be part of NEW ENGLAND. The main city in New England is Boston. If you live in Fairfield County, CT, you theoretically live in New England. I am sure the same dynamic works there as well. Their primary affiliation is NYC, but they are also influenced by Boston.

What does this all have to do with Central Jersey? Well, for one, Monmouth posters should stop trying to distinguish their area with Mercer and say that somehow they are fully affiliated with NYC. That is not true. You may be more influenced by NYC, but that doesn't mean you are somehow not influenced by Philadelphia. Any fool will realize that if your shores (Ocean residents) attract Philly residents, which they undoubtedly do, then you're influenced by their needs. So you can stop this charade of trying to define an absolute border between Monmouth/Mercer or Ocean/Burlington. That is meaningless. We are talking about degree.

Second, STOP ASSUMING THAT REGIONAL DIVISIONS ARE SOMEHOW METROPOLITAN DIVISIONS. In other words, just because all of Central Jersey is in the NYC metro area does not change this distinction. Central Jersey has a very strong local economy, unlike North Jersey. Therefore, Central Jersey is LESS DEPENDANT on NYC. However, consider this. North Jersey may be closely affiliated with NYC, but that does not mean they are not affiliated with Philadelphia. In many respects, the distance between NYC and Philadelphia makes it impossible for North Jersey to ignore Philadelphia. In the same respect, South Jersey may be closely affiliated with Philadelphia, but that does not mean that South Jersey is not also affiliated with NYC. South Jersey is affected by NYC, only less so that Philadelphia. Consider the following example.

Question to North Jersey resident: If NYC did not exist, which city would you most affiliate with?

Probable Answer from North Jersey resident: Philadelphia

Question to South Jersey resident: If Philadelphia did not exist, which city would you most affiliate with?

Probably Answer from South Jersey resident: New York City

This clearly shows that all of New Jersey is influenced by both cities.

Here is why I think the North/Central/South divisions are what they are. All three regions represent not geographical but population distributions. If there was no Central Jersey and you said North Jersey was anything above Burlington/Ocean, then North Jersey would be larger than South Jersey. This, of course, does not mean that South Jersey is small, underdeveloped and full of hicks. It simply means that NYC is slightly larger than Philadelphia. They are both large (New York is 1st while Philadelphia is 5th), but one is larger than the other. If the situation were reversed, you may very well see Central Jersey in Philadelphia's sphere as opposed to New York's sphere. The reason why Central is in New York's sphere is because NYC is larger than Philadelphia, not that Philadelphia is small.

These divisions, however, were not meant to capture primary city affiliation. Just because all of North and Central Jersey are primarily affiliated with NYC does not mean that regional divisions were meant to capture metropolitan affiliations. The fact that all of North/Central Jersey is part of NYC is pure coincidence. Far more informative is the real division between North and Central, namely that Central actually has NJ industries that are very successful (pharma, tech, etc...). That division is very much captured in the present article.

Now, onto South Jersey. As mentioned, Philadelphia is smaller than NYC, not that Philadelphia is in any way shape in form small. Therefore, Philadelphia's reach is smaller. Indeed, NYC's massive growth has actually resulted in some cultural shifts in PA. The Pocano region, for example, is now primarily affiliated with NYC. Even the Lehigh Valley is getting television from NYC. But that is besides the point. Being smaller, Philadelphia simply has less of a reach. Therefore, Philadelphia does not reach all of South Jersey. Instead, Philadelphia has less of an impact on the shore. The shore area, in my opinion is divided in a simple way. The Northern Jersey Shore does not depend on tourism. Quite frankly, no one wants to swim in NYC's trash! The Southern Jersey Shore, however, does depend exclusively on tourism. Since that industry, tourism, contributes to the overwhelming majority of the region's economy, and there is a paucity of commuters from either city, they are neither affiliated with New York or Philadelphia. Rather, they are their own region. Keep in mind, Jersey Shore is in no way diminished in the regional debate. Jersey Shore gets as much attention as North/South Jersey, and probably more than Central because some people don't think Central exists. Properly understood, Jersey Shore represents the region of New Jersey that depends almost exclusively on tourism. In other words, SOUTH JERSEY IS SUBDIVIDED INTO TWO REGIONS: THE EASTERN PHILADELPHIA SUBURBS AND THE TOURIST COMPONENT OF THE JERSEY SHORE. The division happens because Philadelphia is smaller than NYC, so it reaches fewer areas. Granted, most of the tourist towns affiliate primarily with Philadelphia, key word being PRIMARILY. And yes, there may even be a small swath in Northern Ocean that affiliates primarily with New York City. But that is irrelevant. Northern Ocean is still overwhelming dependent on tourism, not commuters. I don't see how you can dispute this. Point Pleasant Beach, Long Beach Island and Seaside are all tourist towns. Jackson is home to Six Flags Great Adventure. This is a tourist area. As such, Northern Ocean is part of South Jersey. But that doesn't mean Northern Ocean is primarily affiliated with Philadelphia. It simply means Northern Ocean is dependent on tourism, if it even says that.

So please, take THREE points from this long winded essay.

1. ALL OF NEW JERSEY IS INFLUENCED BY BOTH NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA. THE DIFFERENCE IS IN DEGREE. THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES.

2. CENTRAL JERSEY SERVES ONLY TO CORRECT AN IMBALANCE THAT MAY BE PRESENT IF NJ IS DIVIDED ONLY BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH. NORTH/SOUTH/CENTRAL IS NOT MEANT TO ABSOLUTELY IDENTIFY REGIONAL AFFILIATIONS. AGAIN, ALL OF NEW JERSEY IS INFLUENCED BY BOTH NEW YORK AND PHILADELPHIA, THE DIFFERENCE ONLY BEING A MATTER OF DEGREE DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU LIVE.

3. SINCE PHILADELPHIA IS SLIGHTLY SMALLER THAN NYC, ITS REACH DOES NOT EXTEND AS FAR AS NYC'S REACH. THEREFORE, SOUTH JERSEY IS DIVIDED BETWEEN PHILADELPHIA'S EASTERN SUBURBS AND THE TOURIST AREAS OF THE JERSEY SHORE. MOST OF THESE TOURIST AREAS IDENTIFY WITH PHILADELPHIA.

I hope this settles the issue once in for all. Jps57 (talk) 13:20, 15 March 2008 (UTC)jps57

Jersey Shore[edit]

I think we should start a new discussion about how to define areas of the "Jersey Shore" that are also part of Central Jersey. My proposal would be to separate the two once you hit resort towns. This is because resort towns are linked to the shore, so that is pretty much their only identity. I think this starts at Belmar and extends all the way down to Cape May. Any thoughts? Jps57 (talk) 16:47, 30 December 2007 (UTC)jps57

Ocean County is not "dependent on tourism not commuters". There are 520,000 people in the county with 57% of them working in Ocean County and most of the rest commuting to jobs in Monmouth or Middlesex County.
http://www.planning.co.ocean.nj.us/databook/59jtwfromoc.pdf —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.81.71.129 (talk) 06:39, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Union County[edit]

Can we talk about Union County? I don't think it belongs in Central Jersey. Look at any map. It's clearly in the North. It's so close to New York City and it's north of the Outercrossings Bridge.. Once you get past a certain point on the Parkway, where it intersects with the Turnpike, I believe you're clearly in North Jersey. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.44.4.16 (talk) 00:59, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Bayshore[edit]

Residents between Lawrence Harbor and Atlantic Highlands tend to think of themselves as living on the Bayshore. Keyport still calls itself the Pearl of the Bayshore. The North Jersey Coast Line leaves the Bayshore at Matawan and moves inland as it follows New Jersey Route 35, leaving all of the Bayshore towns from Keyport to Atlantic Highlands along New Jersey Route 36 without train service, according to this article. I think the North Jersey Coast might be the equivalent of the northern Jersey Shore -- the train line runs south to Bayhead Junction, just touching into Ocean County. I'm not sure where the Jersey Shore divides into north and south -- If it is south of Bayhead, then maybe at New Jersey Route 33, Lavalette and Toms River? --Pat (talk) 04:51, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that's a good reference point because the North Jersey Coast Line also services New York/New Jersey residents who want to go to the shore. In other words, there is a reverse flow in addition to the flow into New York City. You have to examine the local economy of Northern Ocean (and even Southeastern Monmouth) to see why the NJCL is not a good indicator of the border. Again, the train services tourists as well. Jps57 (talk) 11:49, 15 March 2008 (UTC)jps57

"Does the Raritan Valley exist?"[edit]

Honestly, this is a silly question. The Raritan River exists, and the area around it clearly exists. The Raritan River Valley is a topological question, not a demographic one. - Revolving Bugbear 17:13, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

One website suggests that you'd have to be from out of state not to know where the Raritan Valley is. The Raritan River has a large drainage or watershed and that would make up the valley. The river has no borders, so the valley isn't defined that way. Personally I think the valley is too extensive, goes too far north, to be entirely in Central Jersey. This insistence on whether something is true or not isn't per Wikipedia guidelines. If the article had sources this wouldn't be an issue. Where are the sources that say the Raritan Valley doesn't exist? Are they credible? --Pat (talk) 08:15, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Other Theories Section[edit]

I am not opposed to a section on other theories, but that section about Ocean County was ridiculous and patently false. First, commuting times are not much shorter for NYC than Philly. Go to mapquest or yahoo maps and see for yourself. They are both roughly the same as commuting times from Mercer. Just because Mercer may be slightly closer to Philly doesn't change the fact that commuters from both regions commute the SAME DISTANCE to NYC. There are many reasons to suppose more of them are heading to Mercer (see below). Also, the Garden State Parkway does not only service NYC. Rather, the Parkway is a way for North Jersey residents to head for the shore, which is what Ocean is really about. Furthermore, Ocean does get a tremendous amount of its television from Philly. This is true for the entire county, INCLUDING THE NORTH. I know that optimum reaches there, but that doesn't change the fact that most Philly stations consider ALL of Ocean to be part of their media zone. Even Optimum offers Philly channels for Ocean, the same channels as they offer to Mercer. The idea that somehow Northern Ocean is less divided than Mercer is laughably false. The secession article is hardly serious or relevant, and just because Northern Ocean insists on being part of NYC without division doesn't change the fact that you get television from both areas and you get a LOT of tourists from the Philadelphia area. You are more than welcome to present alternative theories, but you must present them with factual support. Even a sentence about how, in spite of these divisions, Northern Ocean somehow insists on being part of the NYC area, would suffice, but that seems to be appropriate in the Ocean County or South Jersey articles. You can't just expand Central Jersey's reach because of your false assumption that South Jersey automatically means Philadelphia (that's not true). Instead of desperately co-opting yourself with Central Jersey, did any of you Ocean residents ever stop to consider how the South Jersey article can be revised to include Ocean's division? Guess not, but the insecurity seems to run very deep, unfortunately.

Look, I don't want to be mean here, but there's another reality we all don't want to talk about. The way I look at it, Mercer is getting more influence from New York because it is simply a wealthier county and a more desirable place to live. Princeton, for instance, is the mecca of academia and has fine schools. There are other fine schools in the county such as Lawrenceville school that serve the Wall Street type children. I understand Ocean has Mantoloking, but keep in mind only 423 people live there, so that really shouldn't count. Obviously this is not a condemnation on Philadelphia, which has many fine suburbs, but a testament to the soaring costs of the New York area. Remember, the Raritan Valley counties are not cheaper simply because they're farther away from NYC. Quite the opposite, because of big pharma and big telecom, these areas are thriving economically while also accommodating NYC commuters. This has created a paradox where in many cases it is actually MORE EXPENSIVE to live in Somerset or Hunterdon than in Union or Bergen. The highest income stats bear this out. So the flow continues downward to the next most desirable stop. There is still plenty of room in Monmouth, so why move down to Northern Ocean? There are reasons why people move into certain areas, and I can tell you from my experience that Princeton's near universal appeal helps Mercer, along with all the snobby boarding schools located there.

Finally, the claims about how Mercer is divided between NYC and Philly sports teams is a pure fallacy. Just because the newspapers cover all the teams does not mean that Mercer somehow is less NYC or more Philly. Also, you need to be reminded that Northern Ocean newspapers cover Philly all the time, yet for this writer Ocean must somehow be only NYC and part of Central Jersey. That obviously doesn't make any sense. Northern Ocean is clearly divided in the sports front as well. Consider this, the Yankees have a minor league team in Trenton (Thunder) while the Phillies have a minor league team (Blueclaws) in Lakewood.

The entire section was written with the intent of differentiating Northern Ocean from Mercer when the opposite seems to be true given the current trends (Mercer more towards NYC, Northern Ocean stagnant with a division). I will not mention this, as the whole wealth disparity is obviously an issue. However, in the future, any person who posts in this section must be aware that any preemptive attempts to favor one side over another (Mercer v. Northern Ocean) will be swiftly revised. We are here not to satisfy the insecurities of individual posters, but to deliver an objective analysis. Jps57 (talk) 19:08, 13 March 2008 (UTC)jps57

Alternative Take[edit]

I was born and raised in Monmouth Co. and lived in Camden Co. for years. The east/west distinction is not only obvious but also accurate. The legal divide may have ended 300 years ago but it's still visible in the municipal boundaries and still a valid measure in terms of cultural shift. If you look for boundary between Ocean and Burlington Counties you'll see the old east/west boundary line continue through Mercer County as well as cutting off the southernmost town in Ocean County. If you insist on a north/south dichotomy the, at the very least, it should be user defined. You can find "central jersey" on craigslist and will have an easy time plotting the locations of the posters. The telephone system has also done a good job at demonstrating the orbit of family and commerce in where they place boundaries for area codes. That puts most, if not all of the 732/848 area code in Central Jersey. The 609 area code is broken into a northern and southern half (Calling Atlantic City from Trenton is a toll call). The northern half would also be in Central Jersey. The NYTimes published an article in advance of a recent Yankees/Redsox series that had a map plotted with the rough dividing line between the Boston and New York spheres of influence. It probably wouldn't be that hard to call a few retailers in Ocean and Burlington Counties to see where the New York influence ends and the Philadelphia influence begins. As a matter of opinion, everyone I ever knew from Monmouth or Ocean Co. considered crossing the Raritan River on the Parkway as crossing into North Jersey. I agree. Going south, south of Lacey Twp. was always considered South Jersey. Not only do those rough boundaries come close to dividing the state in equal 1/3 parts but it would also capture the sentiment of a majority of people living there if asked the question "do you live in North, South or Central Jersey?" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.81.71.129 (talk) 22:04, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, but the east/west divide is NOT accurate. The east/west divide makes no sense, and only serves the interests of Ocean residents desperately searching for a way to only consider themselves part of the New York area. East/West accomplishes nothing. It does not divide NYC and Philly, nor is the old map accurate. Morris and Sussex are left out, in spite of the obvious fact that they are both NYC counties with absolutely no Philly influence. East/West only seems to work for people who've lived in Monmouth and Ocean counties but have never ventured into North Jersey. ALL OF NORTH JERSEY IS NYC, SO SPLITTING THAT IN HALF IS RIDICULOUS. The North/South divide generally defines the NYC/Philly divide, but it is NOT definitive. WHY DOES EVERYONE ASSUME THAT NORTH/SOUTH IS MEANT IN ABSOLUTE TERMS WHEN THAT HAS NEVER BEEN THE CASE! Monmouth County is right next to Mercer, yet Monmouth is exclusively NYC while Mercer is divided because of its closer proximity to Philly. These distinctions are fleshed out in this article, yet I am disturbed by the sheer desperation at some of these posters. So I am absolutely against any mention of east/west in any article relating to the current NJ configuration. East/West is an excuse, and a pathetic one at that.
That being said, you do raise some good points about expanding the definition of Central Jersey. You do have a little more credibility because you realize you would have to bring Burlington into this if you include any portion of Ocean. That is a fair statement. However, the problem with mentioning any of this is that it would create an editing war. Where do these distinctions end? What towns are involved? Eventually, everyone will clamor to be part of NYC, to a point where Philadelphia will say they're NYC! You can't draw the line, so that is why this article works. At the very least, this article defines the regions objectively, eliminating personal biases.
As for your comments on sports loyalties, that depends. The Yankees are a national team with a following everywhere. The situation with Philly fans is made even easier since the Phillies play in the NL and the Yankees play in the AL. There is also the possibility of following the teams from both cities and being a front runner. Or you can be RedSoxs fan, like so many NYC area residents who hate the Yankees. Anyways, the bottom line here is simple. Cities in the Bos-Wash area are very close to one another. New York and Philadelphia are just 90 miles apart. The bottom line is that both NYC and Philadelphia are very similar and are part of the same region. Jps57 (talk) 00:06, 14 March 2008 (UTC)jps57
I'm truly surprised at your sweeping tone, jps. And I'm offended at your attitude towards others' opinions. You need to cool it with the "ridiculous" and "pathetic" comments, as well as the "never" and "absolutely" pronouncements. Few things are that crystal clear. Maybe you had a bad day? I'm over it. But be mindful that Wiki guidelines demand a fair hearing of ideas and I've not seen any unreasonable comments here to date but yours. A slight adjustment is required and we'll all be fine. Wiki is a collaborative work and requires considerable cooperation and patience. No one can hoist a flag over an article and claim it as their own territory.
I agree that the east/west divide of colonial Jersey was a strong influence on the early development of the regional lines and might have something to teach us about today's breakdown of the state. I think that we should be able to say that northern Ocean Co is part of Central Jersey without getting into too many specifics. Anyone who lives in Central NJ knows that the weather changes when you cross the Raritan river bridges in the Amboys. It can be raining in Woodbridge and sunny in Marlboro, or vice versa. I think God might even have a say in defining that line. The allocation of area codes over the years and how it hints at the division of the state could be a whole section of this article. I'm not sure sports teams help define Central NJ, because being a Phillies fan living in NJ could mean you are southern or central, no?
I think we can find common ground and work this out over time. I'm working on my thesis at the moment and can't get involved in this article in any major way until summer. Let's have fun with this. --Pat (talk) 03:17, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Let me start by saying that not "everyone is going to clamor to be a part of NYC". I live in Philly and no self-respecting Philadelphian cares two cents about being part of NYC nor does anyone across the river. You have no idea of the level of disdain that people in this metro have for NYC until you actually live here. The two cities are not similar or part of the same region by any stretch of the imagination. I've actually lived in both places and I can tell you that the only thing that the two places have in common are that they both have a lot of people. Philadelphia has a very strong influence in South Jersey. Ditto NYC in North Jersey. Central Jersey is that continuum in between. The culture isn't dominated by either city but it gets stronger as you move in the direction of either one. Looking at sports teams wouldn't define Central Jersey - it would simply demonstrate people's identification with a city/media market. The comparisons would obviously be between the Phils and the Mets or the Giants and the Eagles. Wherever that 50/50 line fell would be somewhere in the middle of Central Jersey. The east/west distinction is going to be the same. It's the dividing line between the NYC dominated north jersey culture and the Philly dominated south jersey culture. It doesn't define Central Jersey it simply shows where the middle probably is. My point is that Central Jersey is as much a cultural distinction as it is a matter of geography and this article, as written, shows a strong New York/North Jersey bias. While a good chunk of Middlesex, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties are probably in Central Jersey Union Co. is definitely not. Nor is all of Central Jersey in the New York metro. While the Census Bureau considers Mercer Co. to be a part of the NY Metro the USDOT considers it a part of the Philly metro and it's also part of the Philly media market. That goes the same for northern Burlington County. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.81.71.129 (talk) 06:24, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Take the High Road, Monmouth[edit]

Here's some advice for the Monmouth people. Do not listen to people who say you're too far south to be in NYC's sphere, that you're next to Mercer and so must at least be divided. That type of talk comes from ignorant and insecure people, and you should not stoop to their level by being equally ignorant. Look, some North Jersey residents say that anything south of Newark is South Jersey. They do this because they're constantly being criticized by New Yorkers, or Long Island and CT residents. They are deflecting their insecurity onto you. Fact is, there is little in North Jersey outside of NYC bedroom communities. Contrast this to the myriad of home-grown, NJ industries in Central Jersey. Instead of being as ignorant and insecure as some North Jersey residents, take the high road, understand that you are definitely in NYC's sphere and be content that you live in a region that doesn't depend solely on the city. Jps57 (talk) 00:07, 14 March 2008 (UTC)jps57

Northern Jersey Shore[edit]

There are no Google hits on Suburban Northern Jersey Shore except for this article. If you've got sourcing, you should include it. Otherwise, the section could be retitled Northern Jersey Shore and discuss its portion of Central Jersey. About New Jersey has a nice description of the division of the North Jersey Shore into four sections: Raritan Bay, the North Shore, the Barnegat Peninsula, and Long Beach Island. It even breaks down the shore towns into those same four categories. Admittedly it has a beach perspective and ignores nearby inland communities, but we've already accepted that the Jersey Shore, such as it is, and Central Jersey overlap. A Northern Jersey Shore section offers an opportunity to define that overlap area. About NJ ignores inland communities like Matawan, Holmdel, Eatontown, Red Bank, Rumson, Ocean, and Tom's River, but that's logical because they're not shore towns. They are surely the "suburban" aspect you are trying to develop for this section. It is up to you if you want to suggest that these inland areas consider themselves part of the shore. I found a wellness center in Eatontown that considers itself part of the Northern Jersey Shore. You'd have to come up with a workable definition of a shore town and be consistent. The fourth region of the About NJ paradigm consists of towns below Route 33 and doesn't belong in Central Jersey in my opinion. The About NJ article is valuable because it provides the Wiki-required documentation of an accepted region of the state. Additional online sources will surely provide other perspectives. --Pat (talk) 17:29, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Response to request for editor assistance[edit]

In response to Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests#Central Jersey, I've begun to investigate ways to resolve the difficulties that editors are experiencing with consensus on this article. To begin with, I've sifted through the article's lengthy and convoluted talk page, making some formatting changes (leaving content untouched) so that the past discussion is a bit more readable. I also archived some of the older talk page sections. Secondly, I'm addressing what I consider to be the article's most striking problem: it's unusual and unsourced claim that there is a significant controversy over the existence of one of New Jersey's geographic areas (Raritan Valley). I've added a fact template and an unreferencedsection template to these areas. If no sources are forthcoming in a week, we should delete these claims. I wonder if the claims aren't just awkwardly worded, confusing controversy over Raritan Valley's very existence with controversy surrounding how it is labelled as a region of the state (Central or Northern). In either case, the claims should be supported by verifiable sources or removed from the article according to Wikipedia's policies. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 15:32, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

One thing that seems apparent from the discussion on this talk page is that there are a variety of ways to define "Central Jersey": historically, geographically, economically, institutionally, culturally, by population, by metopolitan influence, by resident perception, etc. All of these dimensions could be explored in this article. Attempting to choose one particular dimension as the "correct" approach makes consensus among editors unnecessarily difficult and isn't beneficial to Wikipedia's readers. Instead, readers might be better served if the article were organized by presenting several of these dimensions in turn: i.e. Central Jersey as a geographic region, Central Jersey as a cultural region, etc. This organization even leaves room for controversial dimensions such as Central Jersey as no region (provided there's evidence to support it). All of this information combined would help give readers a broad perspective of what "Central Jersey" might, or might not, mean. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 16:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to remove claims of alleged controversy about Raritan Valley[edit]

There are some unusual statements in this article that claim there is some controversy over whether or not the Raritan Valley area of New Jersey exists.

  • In the introductory paragraph: Some think the Raritan Valley does not exist at all, and is part of North Jersey.
  • The section title Does the Raritan Valley Exist? and most of the statements in that same section.

There are currently no sources present in this article to back up this claim. I have not been able to locate any evidence that the claim is true. Unless we can locate some sources that indicate that there is a controversy over Raritan Valley's existence, I propose that, according to Wikipedia's verifiability policy, we remove such claims from this article. I've added a fact notation to the introductory sentence and a unreferenced banner to the other section. We should leave these notations in place until we discuss this here and arrive at a consensus on this talk page about whether or not the claim should be removed. Please indicate your support or opposition to removing the claims below. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 04:35, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

In general, we have to be careful to avoid creating original research. The best way to avoid this is to be diligent in sourcing statements in articles and ensuring that the statements in the article match the sources provided. We have a tremendous amount of details about the Raritan valley, but no explanation -- or more importantly, sources -- showing how the Raritan Valley is part of Central Jersey. We can't decide what Central Jersey is. We can only show variant definitions that are supported by sources. If the Raritan valley appears in these sources, great. If not, we may have an issue here. Alansohn (talk) 04:56, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, Alansohn. I agree that there is much unsourced material in this article, including, as you say, the idea that Raritan Valley is even a significant feature of what people call "Central Jersey". For now, I'd like to concentrate our discussion on whether to include unsourced claims in this article that there is a controversy over Raritan Valley's very existence because this is currently a particularly striking feature of this article. We can address larger issues such as how to define "Central Valley" after we've begun to develop consensus among editors on some more specific topics. Baby steps :) So, do you agree or disagree that there is some controversy regarding the existence of Raritan Valley? --Bryan H Bell (talk) 06:15, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi Bryan H. Bell. Thanks for your message. Also, thanks for introducing your proposal in a civil manner (unfortunately, as Alansohn can attest, that has not always been the case in discussions about this article). Regarding the Raritan Valley and its existence, I have no strong feelings one way or another. The original article on Central Jersey before I came, while filled with inaccuracies, did mention the demographic shift in Central Jersey and how that shift has led many to believe that Central Jersey simply does not exist. I am assuming that this refers to the Central Jersey counties bordering North Jersey, which is basically the Raritan Valley counties. I hesitated to remove the entire article because doing so might have resulted in editing wars stemming from the complete change of the original article. Despite this, I have substantially revised that original section. I added comments about how people in the Raritan Valley still think they're Central Jersey. I also came up with the suggestion of calling the Raritan Valley North/Central Jersey. The latter seems to be supported by evidence. There is a Realtors association using North Central, a family website devoted to North/Central and a reference by USA Today using North/Central. That is enough for me to propose that we keep the section. There certainly seems to be a push towards defining the area at least as the northern part of Central Jersey (a Forbes article uses this). Therefore, there is certainly a "northern" component to the area, which you can say is linked to North Jersey. There is also a geographic reality about the Raritan Valley counties because they are geographically north of the center of the state. All of this would appear to justify a small paragraph on the "northern" component of the Raritan Valley. I don't see this as "striking," because the section is supported by evidence. Jps57 (talk) 13:23, 5 May 2008 (UTC)jps57
Thanks for your input as well, Jps57. I notice that you've already removed the notations I had added to this article, despite the fact that I'd ask you not to remove them until we'd reached a consensus on this talk page about whether or not to remove the statements. It's generally considered bad form to remove dispute tags from articles while a dispute is still in progress. I have restored the tags. Please do not remove them again until we've agreed here to do so. For this issue, I think it would be better to carry out our discussion here on this talk page rather than though editing and edit summaries. Once we've resolved the issue here, then we can return to the article and employ the changes we've discussed. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 19:51, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Hello Bryan, I understand your concerns, but I see no reason not to remove the dispute because you haven't added anything to the discussion. If you would like to add something to the discussion by disputing or refuting my analysis, then you are more than welcome to do so. Furthermore, there are three cites in that section. I don't see how you can label that as disputed when citations are present. Also, the line in the beginning is simply a preview of the paragraph in question. No citation is necessary there because there are three citations in that section already. I don't see where you're going with this other than to prolong the time this section is considered "disputed." At least Alansohn raised an issue about his doubts that the Raritan Valley exists. I have refuted that presumption with sources. I have also refuted anticipated concerns about the other section by sourcing that section as well. You, on the other hand, haven't brought anything up. You have simply labeled a section as "disputed" for no reason. Delay is not an excuse. I do not mean to be rude, but you have to put up or shutup. Talk about the actual issue, and then we'll talk about changes. If you don't, you're just wasting time. Jps57 (talk) 20:24, 5 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

The comments in this section and the ones below have helped me understand the underlying issue here a bit. I think some misunderstanding may be occuring because of a misapplication of the term "exist". It seems the alleged controversy here isn't about whether or not there is a geographic area surrounded by the Raritan River in New Jersey. Instead, it seems the supposed controversy is about whether or not this area should be labelled as "Central Jersey". The latter certainly seems more plausible than the former. Even so, the issue remains that we don't have any sources to support the idea that even this milder controversy exists. While Jps57 has provided some references indicating that some people have referred to the area as "North Central Jersey", this still doesn't confirm that there is any prolonged public dispute over how to classify the area. How about if we reduce all the statements about the controversy over Raritan Valley's existence down to a single statement that some people describe the area as "North Central Jersey" (using Jps57's references)? --Bryan H Bell (talk) 20:29, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Hey Bryan, okay. I understand where you're coming from. If you have a problem with the work "exist," I will change that designation. Again, I don't feel strongly about this issue. The term "exist," however, is done in a context where it is hard to believe that the Raritan Valley ISN'T part of Central Jersey. The only issue is the Raritan Valley's dual identity with "north" Jersey. The same dynamic applies when you're talking about the Suburban Northern Jersey Shore. There, you see a dual identity between Central and Jersey Shore, though there are important distinctions (economy, bad water etc...). I think I have made that abundantly clear when I mentioned that a key distinguishing feature between the Raritan Valley and North Jersey was that the Raritan Valley had a lot of local industries. That being said, if you want me to eliminate this "controversy" (I don't see it as such), I will proceed to make the changes. But I don't think you can dismiss the fact that that there is a "northern" component to the Raritan Valley. Jps57 (talk) 20:53, 5 May 2008 (UTC)jps57
I'm glad we could find a compromise. In the future, I hope you'll give other editors such as myself the chance to make our case on the talk page about an issue before you remove dispute or other maintenance tags. When you see such tags, you should generally assume good faith and consider whether there might be some merit to them, even if it doesn't seem like it at first. Discussing the issue on the talk page first before removing the tags is a good practice. By the way, I wasn't requesting that you personally must make changes to the article regarding this issue. I just wanted all the editors here to come to an agreement about whether or not we should remove some unsourced claims. Any one of us can make the changes. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 21:15, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Center of Population[edit]

I have added a section in the beginning about New Jersey's center of population. As I has researching more about the boundaries of Central Jersey, I came across this interesting fact. If you look at the counties of Central Jersey, you will notice that they are much more clearly defined by center of population than by geographic center. In other words, most of Central Jersey is not in the geographic center of the state. If that were true, then an excellent argument can be made that Burlington County should be part of Central Jersey. Or, alternatively, the Raritan Valley counties should be part of North Jersey while Burlington should be part of South Jersey, leaving only Mercer and Monomouth counties as Central Jersey. Obviously, I don't think that restrictive definition really makes sense, or is supported by evidence. Rather, I think a far better explanation for Central Jersey's boundaries lies in the center of population of the state. East Brunswick is not only the geographic center of the state, but is also the geographic center of Central Jersey. I think this fact goes a long way to explaining the origins of Central Jersey as it is commonly known. Jps57 (talk) 13:35, 5 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

The Raritan Valley Certainly Exists[edit]

This is a message I sent to Alansohn about the Raritan Valley. I don't think you can make a legitimate argument and say the Raritan Valley does not exist. Just google "Raritan Valley" and see for yourself. A brief glimpse of the use of Raritan Valley follows.

The Raritan Valley Line - A train that runs in Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union Counties.

Raritan Valley Community College - A college in North Branch, NJ

Raritan Valley Disposals - A popular garbage disposal company in Hunterdon County.

Raritan Valley Road Runners - A running club based in Edison.

Raritan Valley Rowing Camp - A camp sponsored by Rutgers University

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity - A local chapter based in Bridgewater

Raritan Valley Conference - A pop warner sports league covering Somerset, Middlesex and Union Counties.

Raritan Valley Channel Lineup for Optimum Online Television Service - http://www.optimum.com/channel_lineups.jsp

The bottom line, the Raritan Valley exists. The four counties associated with the Raritan Valley are Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties.

We cannot require a source for every observation, every contention and every division. Here, there is clearly enough evidence to include the Raritan Valley. Too often, people come onto this site with an agenda, not realizing the fact that this article is already very airtight. There are no cultural references because doing so would probably cause an editing war (unfortunately). Presently, I think there seems to be an agenda from the shore residents to not mention the Raritan Valley, either because the Raritan Valley is wealthy or the fact that it is geographically north. Whatever your motivations are, you simply cannot make the argument that the Raritan Valley does not exist.

Hello Alansohn,

I saw your comment about the Raritan Valley. I agree with your contentions about the nebulous nature of defining Central Jersey. However, I think we should note that there is a clear division between the Raritan Valley and the Shore sections. First, there is an economic divide. As I have stated, the Raritan Valley counties have far more local industry than the shore sections, which appear (unless proven otherwise), to be solely a bedroom community for New York City commuters (with some tourism). I think this divide is important because it captures a distinction that divides the two regions. You could make the argument that the shore region is more closely identified with New York than the Raritan Valley because there are more commuters to New York. But that is besides the point. The point is that there is a clear division, and we need to understand that.

Second, the use of the term "Raritan Valley" is no more nebulous than the use of the word "Shore." I mean, is Union county part of the "Jersey Shore" because it is next to water? We really don't know. We're only talking about rough estimates here. I have used Raritan Valley because that is closest you can get to defining that region (mainly Union, Somerset, Middlesex and Hunterdon). There are certainly references to the Raritan Valley. For example, there is a Raritan Valley Community College in North Branch. There is a popular waste removal service called Raritan Valley Disposal in Hunterdon county. There is a Raritan Valley YMCA in East Brunswick. There is a Raritan Valley Train Line covering Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex and Union Counties. Just google "Raritan Valley" and see for yourself. There is certainly ample justification to divide the Raritan Valley from the shore. Like I said, there is a key economic difference between the two regions.

Too often, I think people who come onto the Central Jersey site have their own agendas, calling for citations for anything that does not advance their agenda. While I certainly value the need for sources, I also think that they can get out of control. We cannot source every sentence, every claim, every observation. That defeats the whole purpose of wikipedia. What we can do, however, is divide areas where a clear division exists and provide detailed explanations about a region's economic characters.

By the way, I have always thought about adding a cultural section to each area (suburban northern shore and Raritan Valley), but I have always hesitated to do that because I feared there would be editing wars. I can only include in the article economic references, because they are easily verifiable. I can only divide areas where a clear division exists. I have already been very conservative with the editing of Central Jersey. There is simply not as much controversy in other regions both in New Jersey and elsewhere. I think we are already being too careful because there are so many entrenched interests who will come on and try to pursue their agenda. That is really unfortunate, and I hope you understand where I'm coming from. Jps57 (talk) 14:20, 5 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

Opening[edit]

Bryan, let us begin our conversation here. I think your opening is very simple. You want to leave open the possibility of defining Central Jersey based on the geographic center of the state as opposed to the center of population. You want to at least leave that impression. That is fine. I respect that opinion. Unfortunately, that opinion is not supported by evidence. Allow me to demonstrate with a very simply hypothetical.

Suppose we were to define Central Jersey by the actual geographic center of the state (in Plumstead, or in your revision, in Hamilton). How would that work? Well, for starters, we must assume that Union, Somerset and Hunterdon counties are in Central Jersey, because the weight of evidence says they are. But keep in mind that if you include them, you would have to include counties SOUTH of the center of population. What would that entail? All of Burlington and Ocean County and if you include Union, there is an argument to be made about Camden County based on distance from the geographic center. This is where your argument fails. The fact is, no one would think that Burlington is Central Jersey. Why? Because Burlington is more closely associated with SOUTH JERSEY. Whether this has anything to do with Philadelphia is a matter for another day, but there is no evidence saying that Burlington is Central. There is also scant evidence suggestion Ocean is Central. Ocean is almost certainly Jersey Shore. And as for Camden, you just don't have a leg to stand on.

That is why the center of population is the standard used. You cannot use the geographic center because it is simply untenable. Perhaps you are attempted to co-opt some towns into Central, but keep in mind we are talking about geographic CENTER. Center means that for every mile you include north of the geographic center, you must include a mile south of the geographic center. This is where your argument falls apart. The placement of the geographic center was simply a point of reference. It should not be meant to imply anything other than that, for the reasons given. Jps57 (talk) 01:52, 6 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

My main reason for editing the introduction to this article is that I feel it portrayed the "Raritan Valley/Suburban Northern Jersey Shore" definition of Central Jersey as if it were fact, not opinion, as if it were the only correct perspective on what constitutes Central Jersey. I don't have a particular view myself on what constitutes the region, but I see much disagreement among the other editors here with this interpretation, and to be frank, I don't see you permitting them much opportunity to add their input to the article. Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia. One should be careful not to get too possesive about the content of any article. See Wikipedia:Ownership of articles for more on this. My edit was intended to open up some space for other editors to put forth well-supported definitions of Central Jersey. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 02:26, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Bryan, we have a love hate relationship. The opening is not fact. In fact, the ENTIRE FIRST SENTENCE HEDGES LIKE CRAZY. The opening to the two region divide starts with "Generally speaking," keyword being GENERALLY. You are more than free to add an alternative version of Central Jersey. Yes, wikipedia is a collaborate effort, but you must also support your contentions with evidence. An alternative version must have evidence. Where is the evidence showing that Burlington and Camden counties are part of Central Jersey? And you have to include ALL of Burlington and Ocean because right now it is an inescapable fact that Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon are in Central Jersey. You can't dispute that.
Perhaps you can say that Central Jersey is very small, that there isn't much movement from the geographic center (only Mercer, part Monmouth, part Ocean, part Burlington), but even that is problematic because then you are saying that Somerset, Union, Hunterdon and Middlesex are in North Jersey. However, there is not enough evidence to say that those counties are in North Jersey, except for Union. What we can only say is that those areas are "North-Central" Jersey.
You seem to have a schizophrenic attitude Bryan. First, you come on and attack the Raritan Valley as North Jersey complex. Now, the only conceivable way you change this article is if you reasonably prove that the Raritan Valley counties are not Central and are instead North. If you can do that, then I will be open for change. Jps57 (talk) 02:34, 6 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

Bottom Line[edit]

This is a message to all potential editors. I hope you read this before editing.

First, I am not here to push my agenda. I am open to compromise. Criticism makes us better. The article is cleaner now. While I still don't like the fact that you have to cite every conceivable statement, what we cannot dispute is that the article is airtight now. Please note, however, that editing must be substantiated with evidence. Here is what I mean.

1. If you make a statement, there has to be some justification. For example, you cannot say that Ocean County is all New York and Mercer is divided. That is a bald statement based on personal preferences and biases.

2. Second, no analysis of any potential part of Central Jersey is complete without a through description of that region. If you say southern Monmouth, tell me more about southern Monmouth. A short, bald statement is not enough. You must tell the reader about this region. You must talk about its economy, its inhabitants, what they do etc... Short statements made to suit agendas such as hiding the wealth of the Raritan Valley is impermissible. It is simply a personal agenda. I had a section on Northern Ocean, and I described Northern Ocean. People didn't like that so now it's out. There is nothing free in life, people. If you don't want to talk about Northern Ocean and its relative lack of wealth, then you don't deserve a voice in the article. Only regions that are described should be included. Speculation is cheap. So is lack of detail. The nebulous nature of the term "Central Jersey" absolutely requires a complete, through and accurate description of each region. That is how you write a good article in any encyclopedia. We are here to inform, not to satisfy personal desires.

3. Third, my experience here so far tells me that being restrictive is the best approach. Once you open the door even a little bit, people jump in and make wild statements unsupported by evidence. They see something they don't like (Raritan Valley's wealth, north-central) and try to change it through a combination of bald revision, clever manipulation and speculative writing. Put yourself out there. It's just like dating. If you don't think you're good enough for him/her, then stop wallowing in self-pity and move on. Don't hide. I am sorry, but this experience editing central jersey has really made me more cynical about life. Jps57 (talk) 03:06, 6 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

Looking over the history of changes to this article, I realize to my shame that I've been just as guilty as Jps57 of engaging in edit wars over the content of this article. As I said above, I originally visited this article in response to a request posted at Wikipedia:Editor assistance/Requests#Central Jersey. The editor who posted there requested help in dealing with a pattern of uncollaborative behavior on the part of the most active editor here. My approach was to work on some issues with the article while encouraging more collaborative behavior from the problematic editor. In my attempts, I ended up getting sucked down into edit warring and have probably only succeeded in steeling the editor's resolve to rule this article with an iron fist. So, I blew it and I apologize for that to all the editors of this article. I'm not really sure how to make it up to you, except to stay away from this article so I don't make the issue with this editor worse than I already have. I'll also add a notation to the Editor Assistance page so that hopefully an editor better qualified than I will visit here and help resolve the issue. Adieu. --Bryan H Bell (talk) 11:42, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Bryan, I do not appreciate your accusation that I am somehow "authoritarian" in my approach. The better word would be that I'm honest. Whenever you make a change, especially in a sensitive article such as this one, you need to back it up. I disagree that this should always be done with sources. If you look at commercial encyclopedias, this is almost never the case. However, simple claims, made with the clear intent of pursing self-interest, is very damaging and unproductive. I am not here to make anyone happy. I am here to write good articles. This is my approach to all the changes I make. Indeed, the North Jersey articles about towns/places are all relatively well written. They are supported when necessary and are just the right length for encyclopedias. I have not had this experience with Central Jersey articles. What I have found instead is attempts by poorer towns to co-opt themselves with richer towns nearby, poorer regions attempting to co-opt themselves with neighboring regions, blaming others for being too close to Philadelphia and just general insecurity. Maybe what I am witnessing is a trend, and that trend is that New York City is increasingly influential. The editing of the Delaware Valley (Philadelphia region) reflected the insecurity on the other side, the other side knowing that they are increasingly losing their influence. One important point to make is that most Philadelphia people are not interested at all in becoming part of the New York Metropolitan Region. They chafe at that idea, believing instead that they are large themselves. They do not want to become the Baltimore of the Baltimore-Washington region. But it is becoming increasingly likely that this is precisely what will happen, if not in 2010 then certainly possible in 2020 and beyond. That seems to be a sociological trend I am seeing. Another regrettable trend is the idea of trying to define wealth. People should know that true happiness does not stem from wealth (there are studies to back this up, btw). Many in the "disputed" Central Jersey areas (Trenton-Ewing, Southern Monmouth, Northern Ocean) commute long ways to NYC and moved down there at least with the unconscious motive to escape diverse communities in my opinion. To be more blunt, they just didn't want to be around Black and Brown people. In Middlesex county, they don't want to be around Yellow (Asian) people. "White flight" is alive and well. And we see the ill effects of white flight when people measure their entire existence based on wealth and regional affiliation. These persistent trends have made me very cynical about Central Jersey generally, and increasingly likely as a political moderate to go for Obama, just to shut these fears up. But I am rambling. I just wanted to post this because I think I've touched a lot of nerves while I've been editing this article. Jps57 (talk) 17:45, 7 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

Director's thoughts[edit]

I like the article, but I will subscribe to the approach that the author has been "authoritarian." I don't exactly know who, but I could tell someone is just trying to push their own views while crowding out others. I was the one who originally posted the "Other theories" section about Mercer and Northern Ocean. It got deleted, OK, I'll live. So then I just included a sentence in the opening about Plumsted Township as a possible geographic central town (and cited a source on the subject . . as the town's official papers call it "the State's Center"). I've even interviewed the town's mayor on this. There are debates where the actual state's center is, (some stats place it in Mercer, 5 miles SE of Trenton - one even puts it in Northern Burlington) but regardless - my submissions have been rapidly deleted. This requires more attention - this article should be inclusive to "other theories" not just delete them because the authors don't agree. But again, this has been my fun journey traveling the state - getting people's opinions, etc. Because I KNOW WE NEVER AGREE. The fact that there is such a dispute on this page makes me smile. I wonder if Californians have this problem? But I love the debate and will possibly post this on my blog. Because it reinforces why I set out ot make a movie about New Jersey in the first place. . . we CAN'T AGREE. One may say, why not just merge this whole page into the North Jersey section? Because this would be North Jersey to someone in Cape May or Gloucester counties anyway. I know because I spent the past year asking them. It means that there should be more opening for debate . . . like the fact that South Jersey Magazine doesn't include LBI as South Jersey . . neither does Jen A. Miller's book on the South Jersey Shore. The people on the blog of the philly news don't either . . because they claim "too many New Yorkers" go there. So by these definitions LBI isn't South Jersey - so would it not then be Central? . . I am not subscribing to these theories, just throwing that out there Steve Chernoski (talk) ,director of New Jersey: the Movie Sjcherno (talk) 17:43, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Steve, your thoughts don't put a neat, humorous cap on this issue. They really don't address the issue at all. This is a problem well recognized by Wikipedia: one editor feels he or she owns the article and defends it against other editors "meddling". It happens from time to time and its a real shame. Wikipedia is based on collaboration and compromise. I've seen none of that here. I appreciate your thoughts, but this situation doesn't make me smile at all. --Pat (talk) 05:58, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, this whole board is what made me make a film. . . . but I deleted the sentence about Lakewood being farther from NYC than Trenton . . . because, though it is true, its purpose is not served . . . because towns south of Lakewood, like Toms River and Bayville are closer to NYC than to Philly in driving time - because of their proximity to the Parkway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sjcherno (talkcontribs) 03:24, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Consensus and Dispute resolution[edit]

WP:CONSENSUS says, "Consensus is Wikipedia's fundamental model for editorial decision-making." If you can't reach consensus though discussion here then often there is a "dispute". WP:Dispute Resolution shows ways to work with a dispute to reach consensus. My first take is that WP:MEDCAB would be a good place to start resolving disputes that persist here. Remember that WP is formed by consensus and that opening discusions up to the wider community can help. MedCab is often a good place to do this. SmithBlue (talk) 05:18, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Consensus? Let me know when this article operates like the rest of Wiki. I recognize that the editor has strong views on sources and proofs, but this article is way too heavy on proving and disproving instead of serving as a guide to the region it discusses. The discussion of Raritan Valley should be a separate article. Defining it and its economy, etc, does not belong here. Northern Ocean County belongs here. Monmouth County doesn't deserve a discussion of how pollution excludes it from the tourism trade, something that isn't true and seems mean-spirited. There are so many things that are wrong about this, yet the predominant editor made over a dozen edits in the past half day to overwrite everything I wrote. I could argue point by point, but there's no point anymore. I'm gone until there's a change. --Pat (talk) 02:47, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Northern Ocean[edit]

Okay, I have resigned to the fact that Northern Ocean is going to be mentioned here. However, you cannot simply include Northern Ocean in Central and set off Mercer County. Actually, Northern Ocean is NOT SIMPLY CENTRAL, AND THERE IS A DAMN GOOD ARGUMENT TO BE MADE THAT IT IS BETTER CHARACTERIZED AS JERSEY SHORE. This is the guideline you must follow because it's a divided region. That is why I set off Mercer County. The Southern Monmouth/Northern Ocean section is very similar to the Trenton-Ewing MSA region of Mercer County. There is also evidence supporting the fact that Southern Monmouth/Northern Ocean is a main artery of the Jersey Shore. There is additional evidence suggesting Northern Ocean is part of South Jersey. You cannot brush aside these dual identities and simply co-opt Northern Ocean without explanation or evidence. Nothing in life is free. You must properly describe the area using the three main division I have laid out in the map. Otherwise, I will be inclined to remove Northern Ocean simply because we don't know what the boundaries area. Unlike Mercer County, only a small portion of Ocean should even be considered Central. Jps57 (talk) 18:13, 8 May 2008 (UTC)jps57

I agree that we're dealing with divided and overlapping regions, which is why I mentioned in the opening paragraph that the region ignores most of the recognized boundaries (county lines, census zones, shore towns versus inland towns, etc). I think there is sufficient evidence that Six Flags Great Adventure, which is in northern Ocean County, is in central Jersey. I found over 10,000 hits when I Googled "six flags great adventure" "central jersey." Hits included this Chicago Tribune article and Gateway New Jersey Guide. Toms River is definitely a Jersey Shore town, but a search for "toms river" "central jersey" reveals many thousands of hits as well, including the Toms River East High School, which plays in Central Jersey sports divisions, Central Jersey Youth Soccer Assn, which includes a team from Toms River, and Game & Fish, which suggests that Mantoloking, Toms River, and Barnegat Bay have Central Jersey's flounder bounty. If we can agree that overlapping boundaries exist and that Central Jersey pretty much ignores most of them, we can use all of the boundaries as a rough guide and include reasonable candidates and stop posing the argument for and against inclusion so starkly.
I'm not sure what to make of Mercer County just yet. It used to be part of my congressional district in Matawan, oddly enough, through gerrymandering of the district. If the northern portion can be claimed by Central Jersey, I agree that it shouldn't be held in a separate section in the article. I just didn't have an opinion on the issue, so I left it alone for now. Maybe more research is necessary, or someone with local experience can assist? I know that the Route 1 corridor and the Northeast Corridor train service both bring Princeton into New York's orbit, so maybe people who commute to NYC from Princeton consider themselves in central Jersey? Consider it a work in progress. --Pat (talk) 20:31, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Why no Mercer?[edit]

Can someone tell me why Mercer was left out? Ask any resident of Mercer and they'll say "Central Jersey." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sjcherno (talkcontribs) 02:25, 7 September 2008 (UTC)


I added Mercer on the map, because unless someone can give me ample evidence, besides that it is its own MSA, even the state classifies it as Central . . and pretty much every local resident refers to themselves as "Central Jersey." Sjcherno (talkcontribs) 07:27, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Maps[edit]

This comparison would suggest the statement in history section about Central Jersey and East Jersey would be misleading.

The original provinces of West and East Jersey are shown in yellow and green respectively. The Keith Line is shown in red, and the Coxe and Barclay line is shown in orange
Map highlights the Central Jersey portion of the State of New Jersey.


Inconsistent, Can we make it less absolute?[edit]

I know there's a lot of question about what belongs in what area of NJ, but therefore it seems to me the article & map should be less absolute. When the facts are undecided, it seems appropriate to say 'such-and-such are sometimes considered part of central jersey'. And the map should maybe have a striped pattern for the 'maybe areas' (which would include at Union and parts of Somerset & Hunterdon).

At the moment this article, as written, is inconsistent with the North Jersey article, which also takes ownership of Union.

I'd be happy to make these changes, but don't want to do so inappropriately, so I'm looking for agreement/consensus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fredct (talkcontribs) 14:21, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

New map[edit]

I've added a new map that I adopted from a blank county map. To show the disputed status of Ocean County, it is shaded a lighter color than the others. I hope this can provide some graphics to the article without being too controversial, but I'm sure some people will be displeased. I am open to suggestions and I understand if the community deems the map inappropriate. - Legalskeptic (talk) 19:45, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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