“You are really funny, you know that?”
“Oh, stop it. We definitely have to chill soon.”
“Yeah, we should, let’s grab lunch or a drink sometime.”
“Most definitely, there’s this cool bar near my place in Hoboken that you…”
“HOBOKEN! You live all the way in Jersey!”
Exhibit A is a typical dialogue from what I like to call the “I ain’t never left the city” snobs. Whether it’s a pride factor or a snobbish conceit, New Yorkers have developed the general stigma that NYC is the greatest city in the world. Without denying or agreeing with this statement, I would like to point out the fact that this pride blinds their sheer rational judgment for other areas outside of the immediate boroughs people have grown up in. It is this blindness that has led me to once and for all open up the eyes of all New Yorkers in hopes they use rationalization opposed to prideful judgment.
Through my conversations with friends who reside in many of the NYC boroughs as well as my friends from nearby Jersey neighborhoods, I have gathered a lot of this information on how many NYC people feel. Despite the relatively close proximity of both Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ to NYC, they are still deemed as being incredibly far from Manhattan. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Utilizing nothing more than Google Maps, it can be seen that in terms of miles, Brooklyn is, in fact, farther from Time Square (an unbiased central point in NYC) than Jersey City or Hoboken. This includes the most northern part of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, which is six miles from Times Square, while Hoboken is four miles away. Even Astoria is five miles away if you want to look at how far Queens is from midtown Manhattan. Long island City is also a comparable distance, as it is separated from Manhattan by a small body of water just as Hoboken and Jersey City are.
Despite this close proximity, these northern Jersey cities are looked at as being on the other side of the world due to ending in NJ as opposed to NY. Although I sympathize with New Yorkers that say, “it’s not the same as living in the city,” I don’t think it should be ousted as an unfathomable journey, especially for a person you find yourself particularly fond of. In questioning someone living “all the way
In questioning someone living “all the way in New Jersey,” it’s like they don’t understand the glaring benefits. For one, the obvious reason to live in Hoboken or Jersey City is the avoidance of NYC tax. The fact that it’s cheaper to buy almost anything as well as finding cheaper rent probably sums up why most people do it. Not only are you paying lower rent but you’re paying lower rent for more space. The only way you can duplicate this in Manhattan is to go farther away from the Manhattan attractions by moving deep into the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn. If you move deep into these boroughs, then, in the words of DJ Khaled, “congratulations you played yourself,” because you have just moved farther away from your job or attraction in Manhattan than you would have been in New Jersey.
I have watched people literally jump out of cab before going home with some because they lived in Hoboken and didn’t want to “go too far away.” That is mind boggling to me because the person lived in Manhattan and if the date had said Crown Heights they would have been okay just because that’s in NYC. Now, this is in no way or fashion telling people to go home with someone based on where they live. This is just saying don’t change an action in discrimination to an equivalent area. There was one person my friend from Jersey City used to date who, after a few dates, told him, “you should move.” He asked why and her response was mind-boggling to me.
“Because I don’t care how close it is, I’m not going to New Jersey anytime soon.” This led me to do more extensive research on the prejudice New Yorkers seem to carry against a neighboring state. There was an NYU Local article which stated, “Hoboken, New Jersey is closer to NYU than almost any neighborhood in New York City. It’s closer to Bobst Library than Bushwick, Astoria or Harlem, in measures of both distance and commute time. But tell people that you live in New Jersey as opposed to a NY neighborhood, and you’ll get glares worse than if you stole the last marble rye.” The examples are countless and create tension and missed opportunities which are easily avoidable.
Case and point is that New Jersey is not on the other side of the world and that you shouldn’t let foolish pride disrupt rationalization. Don’t let your future partner fall through your fingers because they happened to have a 973 area code. Tinder will still show them in your searches when you make your radius small and they can still have a comparable job or sense of humor. Don’t sweat it. And don’t be scared to save a few extra bucks by living a path trip away.
J.S. Martin is a writer, film producer and critic who is trying to navigate the world as a millennial in the NYC metro area. Hailing from the Maryland, he graduated college from Marist College with a degree in business. Enjoys playing basketball, creating films and expressing new ways to impact culture. Follow him on Twitter @jsmartinlive.