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Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-06-2011, 06:06 PM
I'm considering a work set in 1922 New Brunswick. Those of you from around that area know exactly what I'm thinking of.

Being a native Texan, and having lived in the Midwest and Canada, I need some help with linguistic differences, local flora and fauna, and things you love about your state. Are there gorgeous trees leafing out in the spring? What kind? Did they invent the egg cream at a local business? Any other local products that have been around for years that might have been in use at the time? What the heck is a WaWa, anyway? I've done a little looking online, so have picked up a bit, but would like more guidance.

I don't want my characters to come off as bad parodies, sounding like something out of The Sopranos or Jersey Shore, but I want to get it right. I know you stand ON line there, and you don't go to the beach, you go down the shore. Are there any other subtleties you've noticed that we don't have elsewhere? (For instance, water fountains in Milwaukee are bubblers. That type of thing.)

Thanks for the help, everybody.

Snick
11-06-2011, 09:31 PM
You might take a trip there. I have been there, and I have relatives in that area, but I don't know what is peculiar to the area, except that Rutgers University is there.

PorterStarrByrd
11-06-2011, 10:20 PM
I'm considering a work set in 1922 New Brunswick. Those of you from around that area know exactly what I'm thinking of.

Being a native Texan, and having lived in the Midwest and Canada, I need some help with linguistic differences, local flora and fauna, and things you love about your state. Are there gorgeous trees leafing out in the spring? What kind? Did they invent the egg cream at a local business? Any other local products that have been around for years that might have been in use at the time? What the heck is a WaWa, anyway? I've done a little looking online, so have picked up a bit, but would like more guidance.

I don't want my characters to come off as bad parodies, sounding like something out of The Sopranos or Jersey Shore, but I want to get it right. I know you stand ON line there, and you don't go to the beach, you go down the shore. Are there any other subtleties you've noticed that we don't have elsewhere? (For instance, water fountains in Milwaukee are bubblers. That type of thing.)

Thanks for the help, everybody.

If you don't already know what salt water taffy is .. google it. Cheese Steaks, and Hogies (not subs, torpedos, or grinders, or even poor boys) were also local favorites. Some of the names probably varied in other parts of the stae but in NB a Hogie was what it was. Probably also got a little Italian water Ice once in a while.

I lived in South Jersey for a dozen years or so I can view it both as as an outsider and a denizen.

WaWa's are newer than casino's (might as well say 7-11 of CircleK)
They drink soda, not pop
The culture really varies from place to place..even in a state that small. People generally do NOT get out and drive very far very often. MANY residents, especially in the era you speak of, never left the state except to go to New York, Philly or perhaps go on a class trip to Washington DC. Anything else was a once in a lifetime occasion.
Where I grew up .. (HS grad in 66 not far from Philadelphia, not far south of New Brunswick, but I don't anybody who lived there in the 20's) I never heard of a Taco until I was out of the state and in the navy in Southern Cal. Chili was more like mildly chili falvored hamburger soup. They liked their pizza with a thin crust and not much besides peperoni and cheese on it. The adventuresome ones might sprikle a little hot peppers on them.
You were going to know whether they were Catholic or Jewish (if they were) in somewhat south of 24 hours.
Hate to be too generalsitic but people in that neck of the woods kind of moved around in their own private "cone of silence" world .. UNTIL they got to know you. Talking to a cashier about anything other than your purchase bordered on invasion of privacy
Been back recently and thngs have lightened up quite a bit in that regard. They have Taco Bell's, and a whole lot more.

You might want to check out the Lakehurst blimp hnagars

The area will also display some of the remants of the Society of Friends (Quakers) influences. If there were any Indians (though the area was a hot bed of Native American presence in Colonial times) I never knew any or where there might be any living. "Indians" were out west and carried tomohawks in those day.

Hey Yo! and Youze Guys spun though the air but the JOISY thing was strictly up north. (actually North east, near NYC) Traffic Circles were another specialty too often employed to join five or more roads. You might have gotten some good experience with the merry go round as a kid but it still took a bit a daring to get through one and end up where you wanted to be the first time around.

Probably have a whole lot more info for you if prompted by more specific questions, but that ought to do for a start. PM me if you have questions. I am not a Jersey basher. It pretty much like Texas .. it takes some getting use to. :)

Jersey Chick
11-06-2011, 10:41 PM
I'm born and raised in Central Jersey and went to Rutgers University - which has campuses (campi??) in New Brunswick.

Send me any questions and I'll answer them the best I can. :D

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-07-2011, 12:05 AM
Thanks Porter and JC! These are fabulous.

Porter, since New Brunswick is closer to NYC, what I've found online so far says that they are more akin to NY speak than Philly speak, and that the two halves of the state sort of identify with one or the other, so I suppose NB identifies itself as more "North Jersey."

Obviously, I don't expect anyone here to "remember" back that far ;), but I have lots of historical fiction and non-fiction on various topics, so am hoping to complement that with data from natives. This is great. Thanks so much!

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-07-2011, 12:07 AM
Snick, I wish I could visit, but it's out of the question for another year or 2. 2012 we're going to BC so I can do genealogy, 2013 I've planned another visit to the Midwest (hoping to wrap up the family history I've been working on for over a decade).

I'm eyeing 2014 for a NY/New Jersey trip if possible.

Jersey Chick
11-07-2011, 12:16 AM
Oh... come in January 2014 and catch the Super Bowl at Giants Stadium (yes, I know it's MetLife Stadium, but I refuse to call it that. It will always be Giants Stadium to me. :D Oh, and the arena next to it? Always Brendan Byrne Arena.)

PorterStarrByrd
11-07-2011, 06:27 AM
Snick, I wish I could visit, but it's out of the question for another year or 2. 2012 we're going to BC so I can do genealogy, 2013 I've planned another visit to the Midwest (hoping to wrap up the family history I've been working on for over a decade).

I'm eyeing 2014 for a NY/New Jersey trip if possible.


* giggles *
How big do you tink NJ is ... you could slide it in between Houton and Dallas without bumping edges or hide it on the King Ranch.

Yes it is closer to NYC than I remembered, about a half hour drive closer and they probably go to NYC more often than they do Philly, especially for sports. I ran some X country races up that way.

Can't recall that I ever heard that much of the real Joisy dialect, just the usual jersey accent. There probably is more of a mix and I didn't get to the right places to run into it.

By the way .. I've been doing genealogy (Ten Eyck) for thirty some years and have a LOT of NJ stuff, depending on how far back you go. (my TE data base is about 144K properly place descendants of Coenradt TE 1648 New Amsterdam) Will to share anything you are interested in.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-07-2011, 08:16 AM
Generous offer on the genealogy, but I don't have any there.

Mine started in PA, moved to the Finger Lakes, NY, and then branches spread out to Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and other parts west (including Alberta, where I am now).

I've hit quite a few pockets where the cousins settled, and have met with oodles to get photos and family stories, etc. I have around 1600 pages to this monster, and I've been working on it for over a decade, so I'm ready to wrap it up. I'm tired, and I'd like to concentrate on my writing now. But I just found one branch this past January, so I'm playing catch up on it now, thus my trip to the Midwest year after next. And the one to BC is a belated 10-year anniversary trip for my husband and me, where I can also squeeze in some genealogy with all my cousins in Vancouver and Victoria.

I've been wanting to see NY for awhile. I have another story I've been working on with the Ziegfeld Follies in it, and one more with much of it occurring in Westchester County and in New Rochelle. Throw in Jersey, and I have a full fledged vacation. :) And yes, the concept of states that small is really foreign to Texans. I'm used to driving for days and still being in the same state, not crossing 3 in one day like I did when I drive from Milwaukee to Ithaca a few years ago!

brainstrains
11-07-2011, 09:46 PM
I also went to Rutgers and grew up 10 minutes from New Brunswick. I am also married to a history major who went to Rutgers, too. So feel free to ask me any questions you have!

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-08-2011, 04:02 PM
I also went to Rutgers and grew up 10 minutes from New Brunswick. I am also married to a history major who went to Rutgers, too. So feel free to ask me any questions you have!

Awesome, Brains!

I guess my first question would be: in the lore of the town (I know Austin and Dallas have a lot like this, so I'm figuring NB would too).

Do you know where DeRussey's Lane would have been if I look at a modern day version of an NB map? In the book I have, there's a small map, with the river above the crime scene, but it's kind of hard to tell where around the town it occurred. And evidently, they did not keep the original name of the road (after all the notoriety it received for the case, it's probably no wonder!)

brainstrains
11-08-2011, 04:58 PM
Franklin Township, which is right outside of New Brunswick... unforunately not MY side, or else I would know more about it! But I know Derussey's Lane is now Franklin Boulevard,which is a pretty main street, so I am not sure how helpful that is.

I confess I didn't know a whole lot about the case, I'd just heard it mentioned here and there. Sounds like a great topic for a book. :)

stormie
11-08-2011, 05:08 PM
Born and raised here in NJ. Most of what constitutes "the Jersey shore" is definitely not like what you see on TV. Seaside Heights is family-friendly during the day, and most of the shoreline is quiet and very pretty. Boardwalks began in Atlantic City back at the turn of the last century to keep the sand out of the hotels when patrons went from the beach to their rooms. Even back at the turn of the last century, people born and raised along the shore were (and still are) called clamdiggers (one word).

The beach towns pretty much closed down from September to the end of May, and if a person went west only about five miles back then, it was mostly rural. Most of the population was in northeast NJ (as it is still).

There are 130 miles of coastline, the pine barrens are approx. 1 million acres in southern NJ.

The first circle (roundabout/ rotary) for cars was in NJ around 1925.

There was an extensive railroad system in NJ back in the '20s.

This site below is excellent for you to get an idea of what NJ looked like around the 1920s (and other time periods)http://mapmaker.rutgers.edu/MAPS.html

Here's a historical postcard site that will help you also (courtesy of an AWer here, donroc). http://www.usgwarchives.org/nj/ppcs-nj.html

ETA: Anyone mention Taylor Pork Roll?! It was first introduced around the late 1800s in Trenton by a guy whose last name was Taylor. It's like ham, but so much better!

And of course there was prohibition, where the houses along the shoreline were used to store bootleg, brought in by small fishing boats from the larger ones out at sea. My house had a small brick room in the back of one of the closets, with a phone line. And bottles were found in the basement.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-09-2011, 03:56 PM
EXCELLENT!

brains and Stormie, these are some fabulous details. Thanks! I'm still trying to wrap up my latest WIP so I can get it into beta mode, but as soon as I can start concentrating on this one full time, this will be amazing.

thank you, thank you!
HH

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
11-09-2011, 03:57 PM
And I love the Penny Postcard site...been using it for years for various locales. :)