Saturday, July 12, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Garden State geo-graphic goes viral

One Rutgers grad's version/vision of New Jersey

Garden State geo-graphic goes viral

My part of Camden County, NJ is a land of “happy white families” sandwiched between “worse than Detroit” and “huge houses and country clubs.”

That’s according to amateur satirist/cartographer Joe Steinfeld of New Brunswick, whose Garden State geo-graphic has gone viral.

The 22-year-old Rutgers grad tells MyCentralJersey.com he was inspired by similar maps of Pittsburgh and Vancouver.

No surprise: His work is so derivative, calling it a caricature would be a compliment.

It’s not particularly funny, either.

Painted with a broad brush soaked in shtick, the map does manage a couple of clever bits (northern Monmouth County is labeled “Where they filmed Clerks;” Cumberland County, “Pretty much Alabama”).

But everywhere else on Steinfeld’s map of New Jersey is rendered in recycled jokes.

Salem County is “swamps and toxic waste;” Cape May, “Canadians and Philly trash;” and the Pinelands, “Pineys, Pineys Everywhere.”

So funny, I forgot to laugh!

Meanwhile, the ethnic labeling that isn’t merely dull -- “Jews,” “Indians,” “Friendly White Families” -- borders on the offensive.

White people who aren’t all “happy” or “friendly” inhabit regions for “Rednecks” and “Hill People”, and African Americans show up on the map only as “sad black people” (Atlantic City), or “sad black people and corruption” (Trenton).

Hmmm.

Let's label this map what it is.

“Land 'O Lame.”

And for a far funnier take on the Garden State, check out Chunky Pam’s classic video below.

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