I don’t know for certain if Bruce cares if people make fun of New Jersey but I can tell you if it is a much different state than I had once thought. Little sister moved to New Jersey about 13 years ago so I have
been forced to had the opportunity to visit.
We didn’t find Tony Soprano or hang out at The Bada Bing but we learned to love jughandles and the way the state makes it impossible to make a normal left turn. Miss your turn and you might have to drive for several miles before you get another chance.
Spent time on 10 and 287 and traveled up down and around the state but still haven’t made it to the Shore or Atlantic City.
Trying to Be Untouristy
Technically I am still a visitor but I have been to see little sister enough to know my way from the airport to her place and how to get around town. And I know enough to not talk about the highways the way we do in Los Angeles
Back home you add “the” to every freeway. You are on The 405, The 5 or The 10. People notice when you eliminate “the” and if you are like me you prefer not to do that.
Got to Texas in February and did my best to learn how to get around and not look like some dude from California. I suppose the California plates made it more challenging to blend in at times, but I think I did.
Texas has been good to me in a million different ways and I am going to miss it.
In concept I am going home because that is what L.A. is…home and now so is Texas.
Sure I have complained about the drivers (they are terrible) and certainly noticed a number of other differences. They don’t have real delis in Fort Worth, the Mexican food isn’t as good as LA and neither is the sushi.
But there is an awful lot I do like and I am not just talking about gas or home prices.
Bloom Where You Are Planted
I don’t remember where I first heard that expression but I remember thinking about how very few places I had interest in living in besides LA.So I suppose I am saying it didn’t resonate with me the way it could have.
Several people have told me they thought it was brave for me to move to Texas by myself and suggested they couldn’t have done it. That didn’t resonate with me either because I never saw it as being brave.
It was something I had to do and during the age of technology it was easy to keep in touch. Long distance is free and so is Skype and Google Hangouts.
They might not be as good as in-person but they certainly make it easy to stay close with family and friends. My kids think I am kidding when I talk about having to be quiet because my folks were on “long distance.”
That is a generational thing now, “long distance” and probably something that sticks out like adding or not adding “the” to the highway you are on.
How Do You Bottle That Connection?
This feeling I have now is the kind of thing that every business needs to figure out to create, serve and bottle.
By this time tomorrow I will have moved out of my apartment and will be miles away from here. By this time tomorrow I’ll be lost in a mix of excitement at seeing my family and friends and saying goodbye to a place that has come to mean something to me.
It is that wistful, optimistic feeling that I’ll be back again because I left part of me behind.
I don’t know how to bottle that feeling and I have some untested ideas for how to create it. But what I do know is that places like Disney and performers like Bruce Springsteen are capitalizing upon it.
To me that suggests there is an opportunity for others to do the same. Maybe I’ll as Bruce if he would be willing to share some insight with us. He hasn’t ever commented on the blog, but maybe if I make fun of New Jersey…