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    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2007
     
    I'm visiting Princeton this weekend and trying to let my friend do some insanely hard algorithim problem set, so I have time to jot down some impressions.

    First, I would like to say everything I have heard about driving in New Jersey is true. Yesterday, we encountered the most insane intersection/traffic circle combination ever. I almost suspect local car repair businesses of lobbying for ridiculous traffic planning to increase business. However, we did this on the way from the Princeton Record Exchange, which was cool if slightly overhyped, and on the way to a New Jersey Diner. The diner had one of the most extensive menus and selections of pastry which made up for the paltry selection of tea. I think I've been spoiled by living a mile away from a tea salon. Today, we climbed to the top Cleveland Tower, which is this narrow, spiral stone staircase that is poorly lit. You have to pretty much sign a waiver to get the key to do this, but it was fun. I also got to look at one of the graduate student housing complexes that looks amazingly like Hogwart's (including a stained glass dining hall with long, wooded tables and portraits on the walls), the Cathedral and loads of other really old and very decorative buildings. It's a stark contrast fifteen minutes outside of Princeton, where super-sized McMansion subdivision with nary a tree in site and vast, corporate campuses are the predominant features of the landscape. My overall impression is this is a nice place to visit, but I could never, ever live here.




    And this morning a neat French Canadian guy came over and made us fantastic crepes for breakfast. I've had a very nice mini vacation and I still have monday to laze about and enjoy the holiday.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2007
     
    Vacation? In New Jersey? And not at the shore? Huh.

    In all seriousness, I've only been to a handful of places in Jersey that aren't highways or the shore. I remember going to a mall that was sinking (the basement was off limits), and a few friends houses, but otherwise, I'm just driving through New Jersey to go somewhere else (i.e. New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island). The majority of my time in NJ has been spent on the Turnpike, which isn't all that scenic or beautiful, and since I'm often stuck in traffic, that doesn't exactly give a good impression of Jersey.

    As for traffic, my understanding is that they've actually gotten rid of the majority of circles, though they do still have a lot of jug handles... Still, it's annoying because everywhere else I've ever driven has neither of these things (Except Washington DC, which has several annoying circles).

    Anyway, glad you're enjoying it:)

    ~tallman
    •  
      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2007 edited
     
    Driving in Massamachussets still features traffic circles...if I were in marketing, I'd advertise them as "Driving in MA -- now with more pain!!"

    A friend of mine lives in MA, and now my brother lives there...and I've applied for a really good job up there...destiny is dragging me into the planet of awful driving...well, the state of it, anyway...

    My interview for that job is Friday...it's still at Staples, but it's a really good job, as a Senior Financial Analyst, which is a bit of a reach, since I've never been a regular or even junior Financial Analyst. But fuck it, I've got a goddam degree in Math, and I'm gonna use it for something, one way or another...plus, my boss at the current go-nowhere job used to run that department, and he's given me an awesome reference, so I have at least a slim chance...maybe...
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2007
     
    What the heck is a jug-handle? Weird.

    We don't have many traffic circles in Michigan, but we do have the infamous "Michigan Left." Which, honestly, I don't have a problem with, and don't understand why people find them so troubling. *shrug*
    •  
      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2007 edited
     
    I don't know what a "Michigan Left" is but I imagine it's some sort of required traffic maneuver to get a lot of places that involves tipping the car onto two wheels and driving like that for a good minute or so, then slamming the rest of the car down and getting into a shootout with renegade Canadians. Everyone has stereos blasting Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries" but they've all started at different times so it sounds a chaotic mess. In the thick of it all, as the flaming moose are launched through the streets, the driver makes a hard left turn, the chaos disappears as if nothing ever happened (aside from the flaming moose running about) and that's really the only way to get to certain places in the state.

    There's a lot traffic here but we don't really have many moose. I once had to swerve to avoid an opossum and it gave me this dirty look, like I was the asshole!

    I just realised foucault spelt Massachusetts "Massamachussets." Ha.

    I'm glad you're enjoying Jersey, Sov. I don't know much about the state. Do French Canadians just roam from house to house in the mornings, making people crepes? That's awesome.

    Oh, good luck with the job interview, foucault. The life of a financial analyst is one of fast cars, fast women, and even faster spreadsheets. Godspeed you black emperor!
    •  
      CommentAuthorSpencer
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd 2007
     
    NYT recently had an article about weird traffic configurations around the country.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/automobiles/04ROAD.html?ex=1328245200&en=48aae063cba659ec&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

    The article links to this website, http://attap.umd.edu/UAID.php, which has animations and more details.

    I've never experienced one firsthand, but jughandles sound especially frustrating. The Michigan Left doesn't seem that bad, and I think I've come across those here in Texas actually.
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2007
     
    Michigan Lefts are a god-send.

    Seriously.

    They make traffic flow so much nicer, and reduce that panicky moment where you're trying to make a left through a yellow/red light while a truck comes tearing ass through the intersection, and you're crossing two lanes, and the guy behind you is honking, and you're trying to avoid that stupid truck, and traffic is all backed up and you're just going to die, and... well, you get the idea.

    And DyRE- we don't have any moose around here. Deer? Sure. The occasional bear? Okay. Wolves? A few.
    Moose? Not so much.

    We do have specially designed ramps all over the place to help get the car up on two wheels, though. Good times.
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2007
     
    French Canadians apparently only roam to the houses of people who used to live in Canada. I would have never picked Jersey as a destination for anything, but my college roomate finished her third degree in Canada last year and is currently working on degrees number 4 and 5 at Princeton.

    The only thing scarier than the traffic circle/intersection was driving to the airport to go back home. Instead of having two seperate ramps for arriving and departing flights, they made it necessary for the ramps to merge and we were inches away from being rammed by cabbie trying to cross through the line of departing fights to get over to the arrival lane.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2007
     
    The Canadians have the moose and they bring it, set it aflame, and launch it at you.

    As I understand it.
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2007
     
    You must be reading old news. Now that we, in Detroit at least, have managed to completely pollute the riverway between ourselves and the dirty Canucks, we've entered phase 2. We're well into phase 2, actually, and the flaming-moose launchers have already been destroyed by the airborn badger brigades.

    When we send in the bees, it will be as though the gates of hell have opened and the Devil has swallowed Windsor whole.

    Suck it, Canada! Michigan is coming for you.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2007
     
    Ah, see, I'm not up-to-date on this whole Michigan/Canada war. The frozen north is clearly a place of intense hatred and dead moosae. If I were Canadian, I would surely fear the dreaded southern handstate.
  1.  
    I am at a loss......What is the southern handstand?
    •  
      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2007
     
    A møøse bit my sister once.































    No realli! She was Karving her initials on the møøse
    with the sharpened end of an interspace tøøthbrush given
    her by Svenge - her brother-in-law - an Oslo dentist and
    star of many Norwegian møvies: "The Høt Hands of an Oslo
    Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge Mølars of Horst
    Nordfink"...
    •  
      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2007
     
    Dammit, tallman, now I want to watch that again, and I don't own it.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2007
     
    Apparently if you ask people from Michigan where in the state they're from, they can show you on their hand. Like... Michigan looks like a hand... which I had explained to me once, I got it and all, but... I don't really remember exactly. I think you have to turn your hand sideways and bend it a bit. So it's the handstate, and it's southern because it's further south than Canada. I think the most terrifying aspect of it is that IT'S SPLIT IN TWO AND STILL ALIVE!
    •  
      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2007
     
    I think the most terrifying aspect of it is that IT'S SPLIT IN TWO AND STILL ALIVE!

    But it's joined by the Mackinac bridge (pronounced "Mack-in-NAW," because folks from Mishigin can't spell so good). I watched a Nova episode about the building of that bridge. I think that everything I actually know about Michigan comes from that Nova episode...the rest I just made up. Things like: Michigan actually fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. David Bowie was born in Michigan (in Dearborn, if I recall correctly). The first wishing well was built on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in 1886. People from Michigan often confuse the numbers 6 and 7.
  2.  
    OMG sooo embarrasing!!! Southern handstate not handstand....ooops! Eitherway thanks, I just looked at a map of Michigan and I kinda get it!
    • CommentAuthorSamael
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2007
     
    Woah. I leave for a few days, and I see dirty lies and half-truths about my lovely home state!

    It's totally true. If you ask someone from the lower peninsula where they're from, they're likely to hold up their hand and point, because the LP is shaped like a mitten. Usually, one holds up the left hand and points at the back of the hand. You don't have to turn your hand or anything like that. The upper peninsula does *not*, in fact, look like a hand.
    At all.

    We do not confuse the numbers "6" and "7" that I've ever noticed.

    There are many famous musicians/groups from Michigan: Madonna, Kid Rock, Eminem, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Alice Cooper, Anthony Kiedis, Sonny Bono, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Ted Nugent, Iggy Pop, the White Stripes, the Von Bondies, Sufjan Stevens, Bob Seger, and even James Maynard Keenan.

    Not, however, David Bowie. =P

    We were the home of the infamous Purple Gang.

    Sid Meier was originally from Michigan.

    People living in the UP are called Yoopers. People living in the LP are derisively called "trolls" (because we live "under the bridge").

    We have more lighthouses than any other state.

    Mackinac is actually pronounced "MACK-in-awe" or "MACK-in-naw", but the stress is definitely on the first syllable. It was, like many places and things in Michigan, named after a Native American term- Michilimackinac.

    Despite being called "The Wolverine State," wolverines are not indigenous to Michigan.

    Most people who are native to Michigan are under the seriously mistaken belief that we do not have an accent. In fact, we're taught that our accent is considered the standard for television and radio personalities. People in Michigan tend to: speak quickly, run words together, and clip hard consonants at the ends of words. This is completely unconcious, though, and most Michiganders would deny that they do this, but they do. We also pronounce the "t" sound like a "d" if it comes in the middle of a word, or dropped completely. Example: "bottle" becomes "boddle" and "cantalope" becomes "canalope." Along the same line, we turn the "s" sound into a "z" sound in most words. "Clothes" become "cloze" and "cities" becomes "sit-eez."

    Most people in Michigan refer to places as possessives- especially stores. In other states, people might say "I'm going to Walmart." In Michigan, we say "I'm going to Walmart's."

    Here is an amusing sample of Michigan of Michigan slang/words, and pronounciations.. I don't agree with all of those, but there are enough of them that are completely true there to give you the basic idea.