1. Let's start with the Holy Trinity: Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Frank Sinatra. I could end the list right here. But I won't...
2. Lots of A-list celebs hail from the Garden State: Tom Cruise, Eddie Murphy, Martha Stewart, Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, Queen Latifah, Whitney Houston, Kevin Spacey, Meryl Streep, John Travolta.
3. Newark Airport is really nice.
4. NJ is the most densely populated state with 1,174 residents per square mile, 13x the nation's average. Could all those people be wrong?
5. It has one of the best public school systems in the country, with 10% of all perfect SAT scores coming from NJ students.
6. The first baseball game ever recorded was played in Hoboken.
7. Hoboken is also home to the first American brewery, opened in 1642, and today has more bars/restaurants per square mile than any other city (140).
8. NJ became the birthplace of collegiate football when Rutgers played Princeton waaay back in 1869 (Rutgers won).
9. Lots of cool things were invented here, like the FM radio, the motion picture camera, the phonograph, the light bulb, the electric train, the drive-in movie, the zipper, the postcard, seedless watermelons, frozen food, and the ice cream cone.
10. The properties in Monopoly are named for places in Atlantic City (and its boardwalk was the world's first, and is still the longest).
11. Jaws was inspired by real-life attacks that took place on the Jersey Shore.
12. There are more diners in Jersey than any other place in the world (over 600!).
13. It is 1 of only 2 states in the country where self-service gas stations are prohibited (pumping your own gas is positively barbaric).
14. As of 2008, NJ has more millionaire residents than any other state.
15. North Jersey has the most shopping malls of anyplace in the world, with 7 major malls in a 25 square mile radius (Willowbrook, Short Hills, Livingston, Rockaway, Paramus, Garden State Plaza, -- what's the 7th? Bridgewater Commons?)
16. Are you there God, it's me, Jersey -- Judy Blume is from Elizabeth!
So, what else is great about the Garden State? List your faves below.
And don't bother with the fact that it has the most toxic waste dumps (108) and is the car-jacking capital of the world (thanks, Newark!). That's just propaganda to keep the losers out.