Where in Jersey are you from?
If you are a tried and true New Jersey guy or gal, you almost assuredly have a distinct answer for this question -- North, Central or South?
And, odds are, someone from each can easily list off the merits of their home region as well as the distinctions from those almost certainly less excellent other two.
But while those two points aren't in question, the boundaries of these unofficial cultural sections of the Garden State have never been set. In fact, it is often a contentious issue among New Jersey natives (The NJ Advance Media newsroom argues about it nearly weekly.)
Does North Jersey begin at Interstate 80 or 78, or at the Driscoll Bridge? Is Monmouth County in South Jersey or Central? Many from the North or the South don't even believe Central Jersey is a place.
"To me, it's predominantly a cultural map rather than a geographical one," said Steve Chernoski, a New Jersey teacher who examined the issue in a film he made called New Jersey: The Movie. "People are always going to define it differently and it's something that's always going to be changing as the state does."
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There are plenty of measures one could consider. Does South Jersey begin where a failed political attempt at secession drew the lines in the 20th century? Do sports affiliations or telephone area codes cover it? Is it as simple as Taylor ham or pork roll, subs or hoagies?
Well, it's time to settle this, and we want your help. N.J. Advance Media has created a quick three-question poll that allows readers to have their voice heard. It's as simple as this: Pick a county, pick a town and tell us what part of New Jersey it's in.
The survey will populate a map (below) that will reflect the voting of our readers for every municipality in New Jersey. You can vote for multiple towns or just try to sway the opinion of the masses in your own.
The map will update approximately every 10 minutes, with the colors of the latest results.
To give us a starting point, we asked Chernoski to give us his conception of the map. It's worth pointing out that after much research, Chernoski comes from an entirely different school of thought -- one that views the boundary as west vs. east -- but he played along for the purposes of our exercise.
His rationale? The expansion of the idea of "Central Jersey" is largely the result of the suburban sprawl from the state's northern urban core in the 80s and 90s. People moved to the suburbs and created their own identity, while folks in South Jersey maintained a distinctly different one of their own.
He also argues that cultural identity of Central Jersey was strengthened by the proliferation of reality televisions like the "Jersey Shore" and "Real Housewives of New Jersey."
"Everyone needed a defense, because when they travel, that's what people associate New Jersey with," he said. "So, someone could say 'oh, I'm from Central Jersey, they're northerners."
But now, we put it to you. Vote early and vote often. The pride of your respective kingdom of New Jersey is at stake.
This is an something of a social experiment, so we need your help. After several days of voting in this wholly unscientific exercise, we'll examine the results and how they compare to some historic, demographic and unofficial measures of state boundaries.
View the resultsDrag the map or use the zoom controls to look around. Click or tap on any town to see the current voting results of that municipality. The map will update approximately every 10 minutes.
Content gathered & updated by the Bergen Review Media team.