New Jersey is my home. I was born here, raised here, made friends here, live here, you get the picture. The Garden State has been my home for 93.5% of my life (I did the math) and even during that two year hiatus, I was never too far removed from what makes me, me! I have and always will be one of its staunchest defenders, fielding and rebutting “Jersey” jokes while traveling for work or school. How many times do you think we, as New Jerseyans, have heard “Oh do you want some cawwwwffeeee??” First off, obviously (if you’re offering) but second, let’s be real, the people who hate are most often the most jealous.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “jealous of New Jersey?” Yes. That is what I am saying. How many other places in the world can you wake up, grab that cup of cawfee and a taylor ham, egg, and cheese (yeah, I am a North Jersey guy and I know it’s technically pork roll), head to a beautiful beach right on the Atlantic Ocean, go for an afternoon hike in a New Jersey state park or any number of enchanting hiking trails around the state, and stop in for dinner at a restaurant in any of our cities for quite possibly the best food you have ever had this side of that same ocean? Oh did I mention you can do all this in a day? A full day mind you, but that is what New Jersey has to offer. It has it all.
When I first took to the podcast airwaves in 2020, it was out of necessity. My day job requires me to go out and meet people. Unless you were living under a rock for the last couple of years, you are aware that was not possible for a while. Thus, The Morning Spotlight podcast was born. We talk with real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, Super Bowl winners, Olympic athletes, artists, and anyone else that has a story to share from around the world. While that is a fun show and I love doing it, it’s mostly for work and, by extension, can feel like a job at times.
I enjoy podcasting and wanted to start a second show on a topic I was passionate about. If you are still reading this, you can probably deduce the topic I landed on was the Garden State. Then it came down to ironing out how the show was going to be structured. Who were we going to talk to?
Comedian Chris Gethard has a great podcast called “New Jersey is the World” which dives into broad topics about New Jersey, such as New Jersey politics, malls, or the Jersey shore. It’s interesting, educational, and definitely funny. But I wanted to dig deeper and what better way to learn about what makes the Garden State tick than to talk directly to the people that make up its communities.
So it was settled. We would set out and talk to people who owned local businesses, ran non-profits, were passionate or had ample knowledge about a destination. What resulted is an eclectic mix of personalities, backgrounds, experiences, and stories. Some own restaurants, some own gyms, some save farm animals, others love camping in 20 degree weather in a New Jersey state park. When you listen to this podcast my hope is that you learn about these people, who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Some of these spots you have surely visited, others are hidden gems that are, in some cases, right in your backyard.
So sit back, relax, and turn Greetings From the Garden State up wherever you listen to podcasts because odds are you are stuck in traffic on the Parkway, or the Turnpike, or 80, or 287, or 78…..ok I’ll stop. We will do the driving, the talking, the tasting, the experiencing (the CrossFit gym is kicking my butt but I love it) so you know exactly where your next stop in New Jersey should be and why you are going there. Anthony Bourdain once said, “to know New Jersey is to love her.” I sure do, I think you do because you read this, and I am confident you are going to love this show and our guests!