As reported in the New York Post newspaper today, a top manager for design house Elie Tahari (no, I’d never heard of them either) sued his bosses for $2 million. And the reason? Apparently, he claimed that he was snubbed for raises and promotions because he is Polish and definitely not Jewish (now there’s an oddity!). His complaints got him exiled to Tahari's in-store boutiques at the Hackensack branches of Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's, and at Neiman Marcus in Paramus.
"It was the smog. It was depressing driving to Jersey," said Thomas Horodecki, 36. "The traffic was horrendous on Route 4, and they are pretty bad drivers. The stores are kind of cheesy for the most part. "New York City has everything when it comes to fashion, especially Saks. And when it comes to styling, let's just say Jersey is difficult. Fashion it is not!" Mentally, I just started going crazy. I had a breakdown. I was crying to my partner," he said. "Depression set in. I couldn't go to work anymore. I'm presently seeing a psychologist and [I'm] on Zoloft." Going to New Jersey was worse than wearing white after Labor Day.
Does he have a point you ask? Possibly. Certainly New Jersey has its debits and credits. On the plus side of the ledger, credits would include the Jersey Shore stretch of the coastline. No, not the truly awful “Reality” TV show of the same name but one of New York’s local beach areas, second houses and the like. A poor man’s Hamptons if you will. We can also point to the tomatoes in summer which are well worth purchasing for your Caprese Salad, along with the blueberries and peaches for your fruit salad.
Let’s take the Lincoln tunnel for instance and as we disgorge into the bright sunlight (on a good day, for we are now in New Jersey) you may notice a certain tang in the air. And as we barrel south on I95 we zoom past the mudflats, tank farms, chemical plants, Newark Airport and container ports that represent picturesque New Jersey-by-sea. Perhaps this is what country folk call “fresh air”. Nope, this is the defining nature of New Jersey, not for nothing is it nicknamed the “Armpit of the Americas”.
In 2005, according to the New York Times, the “Garden State” as it likes to call itself, flattering to deceive, held a competition to consider a new tag-line. Many entries were received, one of them being “New Jersey what’s that smell”! Wonderful, but perhaps not what was required. There’s nothing like a little self-deprecating humor to get the eyeballs rolling. Alright, if you insist, here are some of the other gems. “We've Got Three Really, Really Big Roads" apparently failed to capture the joys of driving to Atlantic City and would "New Jersey: You Got a Problem with That?" really attract tourists? Acting Governor Richard J. Codey officially rejected such slogans. Two of the suggested seemed to tilt toward romance - "New Jersey: Love at First Sight" and "New Jersey: The Real Deal." Mr. Codey said he wanted the finalists to reflect the state's "big heart" and "passion for life." "If nothing else," he added, "it should get us a second date." Yes, I quite agree, anything to avoid comparisons with Soprano characters or dodgy politicians. So my own favorite suggestion “The F**k Yous State” probably wouldn’t have got a look in. Ideally, if menacingly, illustrated whilst driving along with left clenched fist out the window, middle finger suitable erect. Way to go New Jersey.