Where is the center of New Jersey???

Steve Chernoski and Alena Kruchkova of CK Productions are seen filming their recent recent documentary film which asks, “Where is the dividing line between north and south Jersey?”

Recently, independent documentary filmmakers Steve Chernoski and Alena Kruchkova filmed in Lavallette and Seaside Heights, places they consider “border towns”, asking the question, “where is the dividing line between North and South Jersey?” Interviewed for the film was Lavallette Mayor Wally LaCicero and yours truly, Pete Smith, speaking as the Director of Public Relations for Seaside Heights. According to the filmmakers, Mayor LaCicero said he considered Lavallette to be in North Jersey. As for me, I couldn’t agree with Wally more, because I think that Seaside Heights is definitely smack in the center of New Jersey, making Lavallette, “up north”, so to speak. Others may disagree, but I think Seaside Heights is not only in the physical center of New Jersey, but it is also the psychological center as well. Seaside Heights attracts visitors from not just one or two, more than three major metropolitan areas: New York, Philadelphia and Trenton. Since its inception, Seaside Heights has been the playground for these geographic areas because its in perfect center to be easily accessible to all. It is no coincidence that Six Flags Great Adventure, one of the largest and most popular amusement parks in the country, is built in Ocean County. The reason is that large amounts of land were available in once-rural Jackson Township, near this junction of several major roads that link Ocean County to New York, Philadelphia, and Trenton. The reason the junctions are located in this area is because here is the center of the state, and here’s the road (Route 571) built as part of easy access to Seaside Heights during the first half of the 20th century. The filmmakers asked, by which major market were Ocean County residents most influenced : Philadelphia or New York. I answered that for me, it was a blend of both. I’ve watched both Philadelphia and New York channels interchangeably all my life. I feel equal with the influences of both cities. My New York/Philly equal influence was evident in all my answers. We were asked if we called it a “sub” (considered New York) or a “hoagie (consider Philly) “. I said sub, but also added that I was quite familiar with hoagie because of my large amount of Philadelphia-based aunts, uncles and cousins. We were asked if we preferred 7-11 (considered New York) or Wawa (considered Philly). I said that even though I grew up on mostly on the 7-11, I prefer Wawa. The documentary is slated to be finished in the Spring of 2008, and is planned to hit all of the major New Jersey film festivals. Steve is a middle school teacher, and Alena is a film student at Temple University.

THOSE INTERVIEWED for the documentary asking about where the dividing line is between North and South Jersey included Pete representing “border town” Seaside Heights, and…

‘KING WALLY’ LACICERO, Mayor of Lavallette.

2 Responses to “Where is the center of New Jersey???”

  1. Chris Says:

    i think this film will be very interseting. i grew up in Old Bridge and i didn’t think i was north or south jersey.. i was in the middle. i now live in New Egypt and these people are odd, they are soo South Jersey it isn’t funny. i have been living here for 7 years and still feel out of place. i moved because i got married. i can’t wait to move out of here.


  2. Jen Miller Says:

    I used to edit SJ Magazine, which was all about South Jersey, and we said that we covered anything south of Trenton — that’s what we considered the dividing line. NJ Monthly did an North vs. South issue I think in 2005 that considered Tom’s River South Jersey (and also said the only good restaurant in South Jersey was in Tom’s River, which is why I considered the entire issue bunk).

    I wrote a book about the South Jersey shore (it comes out in May 2008) and said that the border there was Atlantic City. I grew up in Bellmawr (the south one), and no one in our region went above Atlantic City when they went down the shore.

    Another way to make the call is if you’re an Eagles or a Jets fans. Interesting question.

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