Or perhaps New Jersey is the MySpace of states? Any time I go to either MySpace or New Jersey, I find myself uncomfortable, disturbed, and wanting to leave.
Business travel recently had me flying into Newark. As we flew in, I saw the usual complement of ugly shipyards, depressing office buildings, and something new – fuel silos that appeared to have collapsed roofs. The last time I was in New Jersey, I had drove over from Philly, learned what a jughandle is, and then rushed back to PHILLY. And I don’t like Philly very much. But it was better than New Jersey.
Like MySpace’s obscenely noisy “You Must Be Logged-In to do That!” login screen (I swear that the first 20 times I saw this page, I didn’t even see the login box), so many things about both MySpace and NJ give me a visceral reaction of wanting to flee to anywhere else. Both places have so many major, highly-visible issues that I’m not sure how anybody can be proud to be associated with them. I mean, unless you’re Bon Jovi, Kevin Smith, or a stock-option millionaire, there’s not much to be proud of.
New Jersey left me with another great impression this last trip, a 45 minute wait after our plane left the gate before we took off. For some reason, Newark Liberty’s runway design (possibly designed by a UGA “graduate”) required us to wait in line to taxi across an active runway (how is this NOT a horrible idea?). It definitely helps me appreciate Atlanta’s runway design where, in a stroke of common sense, our FIVE runways all run parallel, and thus don’t intersect, and all have sensible means of using them that don’t involve the airline equivalent of walking across an interstate (or perhaps we just have air traffic controllers that don’t suck).