This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Why Is New Jersey the Nation's Problem?

New Jersey is humblebragging its way through these latest brushes with notoriety if only because they offer a rare opportunity to control the message. The Super Bowl and even Christie -- for better or worse -- are matters of national import that New Jerseyans had a say in and had a means of either benefitting from or directly influencing. The same can't be said for the state's somewhat unflattering roles in HBO's The Sopranos or Boardwalk Empire, which cast it as a fertile ground for mob activity, violence and corruption. New Jersey also didn't get much of a voice in Bravo's The Real Housewives of New Jersey or MTV's Jersey Shore, which turned the state into a backdrop for loudmouthed, anger-prone, hyper-aggressive social outliers and made it look like a booze-and-rage-filled playpen for the overtanned nouveau riche.

None of that is necessarily wrong, mind you. For a small state, New Jersey produces more than its share of outsized personalities from its densely packed environs. While it's the state of Philip Roth's Nathan Zuckerman and Junot Diaz's Oscar Wao, it was also the state of the Oxygen Network's Jersey Couture, the now-defunct Style network's Jerseylicious and, yes, The Cake Boss. When Hoboken indie rock club Maxwell's closed last year, club co-owner Todd Abramson lamented to The Star-Ledger that The Cake Boss, JWoww, Snooki and various cast members of The Real Housewives of New Jersey have turned the town's nightlife into a sea of LED screens and cheap cocktails. In short, it lost control of the message:

"The culture in Hoboken is driven by TV now," Abramson continued. "A lot of the bars downtown are fighting with each other for who has the most giant TVs. That's what Hoboken nightlife has become."

The rest of the nation, meanwhile, is starting to tune all of it out. Of that slew of aforementioned Jersey-based reality television shows only Cake Boss and Housewives remain. Each is losing traction, ratings and the coveted 18 to 49 demographic -- with recent airing of Cake Boss dipping below 1 million viewers, more than half of whom are 50 or older. With U.S. viewers shifting their gaze to Louisiana and a family of duck-call makers, New Jersey is slowly sliding out of reality television's picture.

Must Read: 7 tax mistakes you don't know you're making

That makes the present day Peak Jersey. By Feb. 4, the Super Bowl will have cleared out of town with a massive hangover and an ill-advised late-night hot dog run to Rutt's Hutt still rumbling in its belly. By March, Season 6 of Cake Boss will be wrapped up -- though Carlo's baker Buddy Valastro's spinoff shows Bakery Boss and Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker will muddle on. The Olympics, midterm election coverage or some other distraction will inevitably kick Christie and "BridgeGate" out of the headlines.

In the meantime, we as a nation are stuck with Jersey. For a state that's spent much of its modern existence advising the rest of the nation to fugheddaboudit, the Garden State is making it painfully difficult to do so.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
3 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
VIA.B $0.00 0.00%
CMCSA $60.76 0.00%
DISCB $28.07 0.00%
DISCA $27.31 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs