Garden State of Mind


Without fail, no matter how many years it’s been since I’ve lived here (22 years, but who’s counting?), every time I find myself sitting in traffic on Route 17 in Bergen County, NJ, my entire body sighs, and thinks: “Home.”

I’m home.

“Home is not where you live but where they understand you.” -Christian Morgenstern

I wasn’t even born in Jersey, and I haven’t lived there in over two decades. But when I come to see family several times a year, I know I’m home. There are many things I lamented when I was growing up here–the traffic, the sheer fact that it was New Jersey, the traffic…But the second I moved to New Jersey, I knew I was home. There’s something about the pace and feel of life here that resonates with me. Something about how it’s a bit tacky, a bit scrappy, a bit rough around the edges. They understand me. You can take the girl outta Jersey, but you definitely can’t take the Jersey outta the girl.

Where do you call Home?

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4 Responses to Garden State of Mind

  1. Where do I call home? Well since I don’t have a cell phone, it’s usually from a phone booth at what used to be called J&J’s, about 45 miles down the Trans Canada highway – it used to be one of the ten best truck stops in the country, great food and incredible coffee. It was so good that the locals would hang out there all day.

    I’m not kidding here. They had a policy on this coffee. Refills were free, except for the fifth, then that one cost about $1.50. That was always on the board, right under the daily special.

    Since I now I live alone though, I just stopped calling! Or perhaps it was the night large Marge showed up, on a night like this very night . . .

    Now, are you glad you asked? 🙂


    • Love this, and yes, I AM glad I asked! And thank you for sharing! I love both the throwback to Large Marge but also the truck stop! Home indeed, where people know your story and understand you. Cheap, good coffee can’t be beat too 🙂


  2. Love this! I completely understand. I’m a Jersey native myself (Passaic county) but home to me is across the river at Staten Island and I blog about at


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