#27: Stronger Than The Storm


It’s been just slightly under a year since Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore and inland counties, and although we’ve made remarkable progress in recovering, there’s still work to be done. Sandy caused almost $37 billion in damages, including major floods, property damage and, most notably, extreme destruction to the shore points. Everyone has seen the now infamous pictures of the roller coaster stranded at sea, or the destroyed boardwalk of Seaside Heights. However, as last June rolled around New Jersey faced a new challenge: how to save the shores in time for the upcoming tourist season.

The first challenge was helping displaced citizens—Sandy’s higher-than-13-feet storm surges caused over $10 billion in property damages. Along the shore line, homes were swept away to sea, sand dunes meant to protect the towns were destroyed and larger items such as boats were thrown across cities. In many shore towns, evacuations lasted for weeks after the storm while military crews worked to clean up the mess. Thousands of people were left without power.

As those repairs were underway, so began the repairs of the shore. Boardwalks were destroyed, beaches were narrower due to erosion, and sand was thrown on the streets of the beach towns, making them impossible to drive on or pass through. The Jersey Shore is imperative to our economy, so it was important that crews started working right away. And now, about 10 months later, while there’s still a lot of work to do, we have made great strides towards recovering. The shore towns are repaired and open for business, just in time for the summer season. So come plan a visit, and let us show you why we are undoubtedly stronger than the storm.

Until next time,
~Kristen

#25: Hurricane Sandy Response


Good afternoon, readers! I hope everybody is staying safe after Hurricane Sandy! As many of you probably know, she made landfall last night around 8:00 PM near Atlantic City, New Jersey. The flooding was historical, and she is the worst storm to make landfall since 1903. Over one million people in the Garden State are currently without power, and the majority of the shore is still evacuated and underwater.

In the midst of all the destruction and disaster, however, there is one bright spot—I was, and continue to be, very pleased with how the officials in New Jersey responded to the disaster. I felt that I was constantly informed of any danger that could result, all the appropriate evacuations were taken, and Governor Christie even offered to move Halloween to November 2nd to keep the children of New Jersey safe.

I believe we also owe a huge thank you to the newscasters who put themselves in danger to inform us and keep us posted. It’s an amazing feeling to know that when a natural disaster threatens the citizens of New Jersey, we have many people willing to inform us, help us, and guide us through the experience.

If you have any pictures of storm damage, please, feel free to post them in a comment or email them to me at kristenlovesnewjersey@gmail.com as long as you’re safe!
I hope everybody’s doing well!

Until next time,
~Kristen

Hurricane Sandy Is Approaching!


Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall between tomorrow and Tuesday, very close to where I live. I’m not going to lie, I am a bit nervous!
I hope you guys are all staying safe; this is a dangerous storm and I want you guys to be safe during and after!
I’ll be tweeting throughout the storm, provided the power doesn’t go out, @thenewnewjersey. So feel free to follow me there if you’d like updates!
I plan to also be writing some blog posts throughout the storm (the old fashioned way, with pen and paper of course!) so I’m excited to write and post them.
If your comments or emails don’t get approved or answered over the next few days, please understand I’m probably just in a place where it’d be near impossible to access the Internet. I’ll be thinking of you guys!
Until next time,
~Kristen

Twitter!


Hey guys! Sorry it’s been so long! I’ve been so busy with school, just getting adjusted and used to the schedule. I hope you all are doing well back at school or work! I plan on blogging a little more now that I’ve settled in, especially since this weekend is a four day weekend; I’ll be able to write a few posts.

In order to best connect with all of you as we all stay busy, I recently made a Twitter! I’m really excited to use it and Tweet on the go about things I’m doing. If you’d like to follow me, my name is @thenewnewjersey I’m really excited to talk to all of you on there! And don’t worry, I still plan on posting here!

Until next time,

~Kristen

#18: Bad Drivers?


It’s apparently well known that New Jersey drivers are terrible drivers. We’re the butt of many jokes concerning driving. A few of my favorites include “Why pass on the left when you can pass on the right and scare the oncoming traffic?” “Speed limits are suggestions not meant to be followed” “New Jersey drivers brake as late as possible to get a foot massage from their ABS” and finally, “Turn signals are clues to your next move in a road battle so never use them.” But is this fact or just another over hyped stereotype?

The answer is not…and yes. I should probably start off with a disclaimer: I can already tell under normal circumstances it’d be difficult to subjectively look at this topic. However, I have an added impediment—I’m a new driver. I just got my permit about six months ago, so any driving experience I have has been tainted by the fact that I’m scared to go above 45 mph and still don’t know how far away I should be when I put my turn signal on. Any knowledge I have has to come from driving with my parents.

Let’s talk about the ‘no’ part first, shall we? New Jersey drivers are fast, I’ll admit that much. I wouldn’t say we’re aggressive with our driving though—we just don’t deal with slow people. If you’ve ever gone to Pennsylvania, they drive much worse than New Jerseyans (No offense to my Pennsylvanian readers, I love the state and people!). They drive slow, and in the left lane no less. It’s really not their fault, because the left lane can be used as a fast lane there whereas in New Jersey it’s a keep-right-except-to-pass kind of deal. I’ve noticed that if a lane is backed up, you can almost bet money that there’s a Pennsylvania driver in the mix—or a New Yorker. Once again, I love New York and the people in it; it’s just that their driving skills could use work. Now that’s an aggressive driving state. So no, we’re not bad per say, we’re just…not like other states. We’re different, I guess.

But remember that other part I mentioned, where I said yeah, we kind of are bad drivers? Well, while it’s true we’re not aggressive with our driving, we’re aggressive with our words and actions. A little road rage is not at all uncommon. Nothing abnormal really, just…verbal with our emotions really. People are traditionally scared to drive in New Jersey which honestly shocks me. Don’t be scared, we’re really pretty good drivers!

So I guess at the end, what I’m really trying to say is that New Jerseyans aren’t bad drivers. We may have different driving habits than your state, but that doesn’t make us bad! Let me know what you think in the comments below :>

Until next time,

~Kristen

#16: Beach Tags: Good or bad?


Hey guys! Yesterday was another great day down the shore at Atlantic City. It’s a little sad to think it might be our last time down there all summer. Although I do love Atlantic City, I have to admit it’s not the most family-friendly beach destination. On one end of the beach, you can constantly hear the roar of helicopters taking people on tours. On the end where we were, closer to the casinos, you can constantly hear the music thumping. I think the reason so many people love it, aside from the casinos, is that you don’t have to buy beach tags. Which got me thinking—are beach tags, essentially charging to get on the beach, really fair?

Atlantic City, Wildwood and Strathmere are the only beaches that don’t require a purchased beach tag to enter. As for the price, that varies by location—Ocean City charges only $25 for a seasonal pass while Avon charges $90. Daily tags are generally between $5 and $10. The reasons cited for the charge actually do make sense—they help pay for the cost of lifeguards, trash removal, public facilities and other amenities. This, of course, has to raise the question if Jersey Shores are really worth $8 a day.

I’m willing to admit that the beaches you have to pay for are generally nicer—Ocean City seems cleaner; Surf City seems less crowded. And it is logical that to go on a beach and have services provided to, by which I mean lifeguards and general beach patrolling, you should have to pay a small fee. The only thing that bothers me is that as a New Jersey resident, my taxes are going to the government to keep our state clean and then I have to pay again to go on my beach. I feel that as a New Jersey resident, as a resident of a state on a shoreline, it should be the government’s responsibility to provide clean beaches to its citizens. That’s why I think New Jersey residents should be exempt from paying for beach tags.

Now it may seem unfair to charge only people from out-of-state. And don’t get me wrong, tourism is such a huge part of the Jersey Shore industry and I’m happy to have them here. But they’re not paying taxes. They’re not already giving money to the government. They’re coming here and using our services, and while we welcome them, they’re obligated to pay for it.

I know that this has been a controversial topic, so I’d love to hear your opinion. In the meantime, here are some pictures of our trip!

Until next time,

~Kristen