Delegating Denver #34 of 56: New Jersey

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New Jersey

Total Number of Delegates: 127 Pledged: 107 Unpledged: 20

How to Recognize a New Jersey Delegate: New Jersey is the only state in the union to have started out as a turnpike. It was built in 1776 by an organized-crime syndicate to take advantage of the British and American troops commuting between battles in "The City" (New Jerseyan name for New York City) and "Philly" (New Jerseyan name for Philadelphia). After the American Revolution, the teeming masses used the turnpike to flee the two crowded cities to build suburb after suburb until they eventually created the endless sprawl that has become America's most densely populated state. Since then, the Board of Chosen Freeholders has divided the state into such a confusing patchwork of boroughs, villages and townships that present-day residents just refer to turnpike exit numbers when referring to where they live. This is also the key to identifying the New Jersey delegate. South Jerseyans, who live below exit 8A, will be more mild-mannered, yet show clench-jawed disdain for North Jerseyans and New Yorkers by calling them "shoobies." They wear Philadelphia Eagles apparel at all times. North Jerseyans wear fake-designer-label clothing over spray-on tans and sport rather time-consuming hairstyles that need constant checking in front of mirrors and other reflective surfaces.

Famous New Jerseyans: Supreme Court justices William J. Brennan Jr. and Samuel Alito; writers Allen Ginsberg and Philip Roth; cartoonist Charles Addams; actors Meryl Streep, John Travolta and Jason Biggs; TV personalities Zach Braff, Patrick Warburton, Jason Alexander and Martha Stewart; funnywoman Janeane Garofalo; funnyman Jerry Lewis; unfunnymen Kevin Smith and Jason Mewews; chanteuses Sarah Vaughn, Whitney Houston and Lauryn Hill; crooner Frank Sinatra; rockers Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Pete Yorn; My Chemical Romancers Gerard and Mikey Way; rappers Queen Latifah and Redman; b-ballers Dennis Rodman and Shaquille O'Neal.

Famous New Jersey Democrats: 22nd and 24th president of the United States Grover Cleveland; 49th governor and former congressman Jim Florio; 52nd (and America's first and only openly gay) governor Jim McGreevey.

Famous New Jerseyans With Denver Connections: Disrespected explorer Zebulon M. Pike; Front Range photographer Robert Adams, CBS News4 general manager Walt DeHaven; CBS News4 reporters Paul Day and Cathy Walsh; 9News weatherboy Ashton Altieri; CW2 sports reporter Zubin Mehenti; former Princeton and current University of Denver basketball head coach Joe Scott; Denver Nugget J.R. Smith; Aurora rapper D.O. the Fabulous Drifter.

State Nickname: The Garden State, The Clam State (official); The Clam-up State, The Drive-thru State, The Armpit of America, The State You Love to Hate (unofficial). Population: 8,724,560 Racial Distribution: 61% white, 16% black, 7% Asian, 16% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $40,427 Unemployment: 6.3%


Most New Jerseyan Denver Neighborhood: North Capitol Hill

Most New Jerseyan Bar: The Horseshoe Bar 414 East 20th Avenue The perfect gathering place for all Jersey delegates, whether they are hair farmers from North Jersey, jaw-clenchers from South Jersey or car thieves from Central Jersey.

Most New Jerseyan Restaurant: Wazee Supper Club 1600 15th Street (at Wazee) The restaurant Tony Soprano would frequent if his employers transferred him to Denver.

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Best Day Trip: St. Elmo and Mt. Princeton Hot Springs

According to Rand McNally, the Garden State Parkway is 174 miles long. From Montvale in North Jersey to Cape May in South Jersey, the trip should take three hours to drive. The Centennial State doesn't offer any turnpike experiences, but the essential Colorado experience can be had in a three-hour drive to the ghost town of St. Elmo. Pack a coat and a swimsuit, and bring lots of snacks, as there aren't any service plazas here, and ghosts do not serve lunch. From the Inverness Hotel, take Interstate 25 north to exit 201 and turn left onto westbound U.S. Highway 285. This is not a turnpike, but a major throughway out of the city. It enters the foothills at Turkey Creek Canyon and passes through the bedroom communities of Aspen Park and Conifer. The highway enters Pike National Forest (named for New Jerseyan explorer Zebulon M. Pike) at Bailey and climbs to the 10,001-ft. summit of Kenosha Pass. Just beyond lies South Park, a wide valley famous for its scenery and foul-mouthed children, as featured on the TV cartoon of the same name. Follow the highway through Fairplay and Antero Junction. The eleven-mile stretch of U.S. 285 between Johnson Village and Forest Road 162 follows the eastern flank of the 14,197-ft. Mt. Princeton, the second-highest of the Collegiate Peak Range (223 feet shorter than Mt. Harvard, one foot taller than Mt. Yale) and named for the Ivy League school located in New Jersey. Turn left onto Forest Road 162. The graded dirt road was built on top of the rail bed that served the mining camp of St. Elmo. Today it is the state's best-preserved ghost town and reportedly haunted by "Dirty Annie," who ran the Stark Family Hotel (pictured above), roamed the town with a rifle and then died crazy in 1960. To wash the chill off your bones, stop at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs (turn left onto Forest Road 321 as you leave the canyon on your trip back to the highway). It’s no Jersey Shore, but sitting in hot water while keeping a cool head is the essential Colorado experience. -- Kenny Be

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