If you live in the Garden State, you’re either from North Jersey, South Jersey or someplace in between that may or may not be Central Jersey. We’re not here to debate whether Central Jersey exists because yes, of course it does! Stephen Colbert raised the question with Gov. Phil Murphy (who lives in Middletown) and Jon Stewart (who grew up in Central Jersey) on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert back in 2018. Playing a Supreme Court justice, Stewart ruled it absolutely does exist. A Central Jerseyan himself, Murphy called it a mystical kingdom.
In 2019, Gov. Murphy took to Twitter to reaffirm the existence of Central Jersey. He says the state defines Central Jersey as Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset, Ocean and Union. Ocean and Union are sometimes left out of statutory definitions, but mainly included within the borders of Central Jersey.
While the boundaries of North and South Jersey are debatable, if you’re from Central Jersey, you know it. My family moved from New York to Edison when I was a freshman in high school and let me tell you, Edison is about as Central Jersey as it gets. But then there are the questionable parts of Union County (are Westfield and Cranford part of Central or North Jersey?) or Ocean County (is Toms River South or southern Central NJ)?
Arguing about the boundaries of where Central Jersey begins and ends will always be a thing but questioning the existence of the mid-section of the state needs to stop. If you love all things Jersey, you know Pete Genovese is the authority on food, places and fun in the Garden State. He said it better than anyone else when he revealed the truth on Twitter once and for all: “Anyone who says Central Jersey doesn’t exist doesn’t know jack about Jersey. Are we clear?”