A rare special issue from 2003!
The saying “It’s not the destination, but the journey that counts” is what this special issue is all about. There have been many books written about New Jersey’s roadside attractions and highway hangouts, but we’ve found that there is another roadside subculture bubbling just beneath the surface that nobody has ever fully explored, or cared to write about...until we came along.
In each issue of Weird NJ, we feature a “Roadside” section devoted to things that you see in your daily travels that just make you want to scratch your head and ask yourself, “What the heck is that all about anyway?” While some aren’t around long enough to be recorded, many have gone unappreciated for years, and have slowly withered away, ravaged by time and the elements. We believe that such things are worthy of documentation.
This special issue is devoted to strange sites past and present, that have graced New Jersey’s byways, and are very much a part of our fast moving culture. Not all of them are weird, but all of them are unique in some way. Some sites featured here may rekindle a memory, while others might make you want to jump into your car and seek them out while they are still around. We decided to publish this special publication devoted to our state’s great weird roadside oddities. It is a scrapbook of sorts, a moment in time, and a peek into the curious and sometimes bizarre world of New Jersey’s roadside culture.
As we all know, our state is more than just traffic jams, oil refineries and mysterious smells along the Raritan River. It is a unique and complex amalgam of many parts. Architecturally odd, eccentrically innovative and downright gutsy in its ability to survive between its two armpits; Philadelphia and New York. The Garden State has developed an identity all its own. How it expresses this individuality is often reflected in those things which line our roadways.
We will not be dealing in dry history lessons here, but rather first person accounts of life along the neighborhood streets, country backroads and congested highways of New Jersey. This issue is dedicated to everyone who has shared their travels with us and has played a part in creating a new chapter of Weird Jerseyana.