10 things only Latinos from New Jersey will understand


1. The sketchiest places always have the best food.

Sure that hole-in-the-wall Puerto Rican restaurant in Newark hasn’t been renovated since the 80s, but have you HAD their pernil?! If you’re from Jersey you know the best Latino food isn’t in a 5-star restaurant… It’s on the corner of that kind of shady street with a rickety sign over the door, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. Latinos and Italians have a special bond.

Our ancestors might be from different continents, but we’re really not that different. New Jersey has plenty of Italian-Americans, and our cultures have a lot in common. Whether it’s our love for good food, spending time with our familia, or being direct about what we want, it’s no wonder we get along so well. We might not be fluent in each other’s language, but we can have a conversation in our own languages and still understand each other. Now that’s deep.

3. Winters in Jersey are a serious struggle.

Remember that crazy storm that dropped 3 feet of snow on us in January? Some people in our state were stranded at home for nearly a week. Besides being completely traumatized, we were forced to stay inside and look at Facebook pictures of our extended family living in warm places like the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, while silently seething with envy. Thankfully a good cup of chocolate caliente pairs perfectly with FB stalking.

4. Even though the cold sucks, good food makes it all better—especially during Christmas.

A fine coquito is guaranteed to make it an extra feliz Navidad. And if you don’t have a bottle of it on hand already, there’s always a cousin, titi, or friend (or any combination of the three) who’s selling some for 15 bucks a pop. Sure it’s kind of expensive, but it’s so, so worth it. Plus that same titi’s cousin’s friend also knows how to make some banging flan and pasteles, so you always mentally prepare yourself (and your waistline) for Christmas time.

5. Summer cookouts are perfect for family bonding.

Your abuela brings arroz con gandules, your tio brings chicken for the grill, and your cousins bring the speakers. Family cookouts are a summer staple for Latino families all over Jersey. Whether you’re grilling in your backyard, sharing a potluck at the park, or lugging a heavy cooler to Lake Hopatcong or the shore, there’s nothing more exciting than having all or most of your extended family in one place for the whole day. And of course, no cookout is complete without a tiny, foldable table for the family to play dominoes on.

6. Jersey Latinas party in style.

Sure, our outfits can be a little flashy, but we like to keep it classy, too. No one can work a nude-colored crop top and pencil skirt combo like we can. And when it comes to the dance floor, there’s a reason our outfits have spandex in them. We’re not afraid to break a sweat when our favorite salsa or bachata jam is on. Bring it on, Romeo Santos.

7. NJ Latinos are extremely diverse—and it’s awesome.

Just because we’re Latino doesn’t mean we’re all the same. Some of us are Mexican, some of us are Cuban, and some of us are Ecuadorian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, mixed… The list goes on and on. Latinos from NJ represent so many different backgrounds and experiences, and it’s cool to see the various traditions our fellow Latinos have.

8. All that diversity means there’s always a good Latino pride parade just around the corner.

I’m talking about the Puerto Rican pride parades in Newark and Perth Amboy, the Cuban parade in Jersey City, and the Colombian and Dominican parades in Elizabeth—along with all the other Latino-centered celebrations across the state. And they’re a lot more than just confetti and a marching band!

9. Unless you live close to NYC or Philly, you spend a lot of time explaining your culture to your non-Latino friends.

It can be super tiring explaining that just because you’re Latino doesn’t mean you eat tacos and burritos all the time. Yes, that food is great, but being Latino doesn’t automatically mean we’re all Mexican! You love your friends, but being the token hispanic in your group can be frustrating sometimes.

10. We stick up for each other.

Unfortunately racism DOES exist in New Jersey, and when we see a fellow Latino being stereotyped or treated unfairly for speaking Spanish, we make sure we have each other’s backs! We understand the struggle our families have gone through to get us where we are today, and we believe everyone deserves fair treatment. The Latino community is stronger juntos!


8. She has to learn balance and discipline.

Passionate people tend to be full-force. Latinos are very passionate… particularly the women. This can lead to a culture of paradox extremes– a Latina women is either ridiculously fit, or struggling with obesity. She’s either top of her class in her career, or a stay at home mom focusing only on her family. She’s either only shows up to the Catholic parties or refuses to drink or dance in the name of Christ.

Travel has allowed me to understand my culture and my own identity.

By experiencing the world and removing myself from my norms, I am able to distinguish what I do and don’t like about my culture and why I act or feel a certain way about ideas, actions, and life.

Travel isn’t the only way to achieve this.

However, with any race, if you can wrap an understanding around how we are all different and can choose to reshape ourselves despite our norms, you’re going to be more mature and rounded than someone who doesn’t have this privilege.

We can choose which parts of our culture to embrace and which to reject.

Good thing that Latinas are great learners :) And great cooks, let’s keep that part up for sure!


There’s a lot the public doesn’t know about the Angels because they tend to be tight-lipped on their activities. According to Julian Sher, an investigative writer who has studied the gang since 2000, Angels have a strict policy of not talking to the media. "It's part of their secrecy and, to some degree, a part of their security," Sher explained.

If you’ve ever seen a group of Angels members riding down the street, you’ve likely noticed how organized they are. The bikers ride in a particular order, which signifies seniority. The president and road captain are typically at the front, while prospect are usually at the back of the formation.


10 Things Only Wives With Retired Husbands Would Understand

Getting used to retirement is a gradual process. And when one spouse retires and the other continues to work every day, it requires a readjustment by both parties. At times, one or both of you will think you have moved into the 9th Circle of Dante's Hell. Here are some things only a wife with a retired husband will understand.

1. His frugalness.
When they don't want to go out to eat, they are worrying about money. Fears about outliving your money kick into high gear almost immediately upon retirement. My own husband left his retirement party and drove six blocks out of his way to fill up the gas tank at a place where the gas was three-cents less per gallon.

2. His adeptness at finding sporting events on TV 24/7, 365 days a year.
When he starts to watch wrestling, it's time to pull the plug on the cable.

3. His boredom.
You will soon discover just how uncreative he can be about filling up his day. Women say that when their husbands retire, they sometimes turn to them to be their playmate. In many marriages, the wife is the social arranger, so to some extent, it makes sense. But if the wife is still working, this turns into a problem.

4. His resentment and grumpiness if his identity had been tied to his job/career.
Suggest he volunteer or work part-time as a consultant.

5. His changing bedtime.
He will stop going to bed when you do. He wants to stay up later at night since he no longer has to get up so early. While fine in theory, going to bed together is an important ritual. He can tape Fallon and watch it in the morning.

6. His lack of cooking skills.
You quickly realize that his abilities may never extend beyond the microwave.

7. His attempts to turn into Mr. Handyman.
Again, this comes back to financial insecurity. Hire the electrician, let the plumber come. Your husband has many skills but repairing the broken dishwasher is likely not among them. Taking out the trash cans, however, is entirely teachable.

8. The guilt you feel when going out with the girls.
Sure, he's been moping around the house all week. But that doesn't mean you should drop your book club, quit meeting your best friend for dinner, and going out with your friends without him. Girls' night is a sacred tradition. Keep it, for no other reason than your own mental health.

9. The realization that asking him to take over some of the family chores for you may not go well.
Watch for resentment -- passive or otherwise -- when you suggest that he start preparing dinners, pick up the clothes at the cleaners, or fold the laundry. You aren't trying to demean him, but he now likely has more free time than you do. This isn't a bad conversation to have before he retires.

10. His indecisiveness.
Some days he urges you to retire as well. Other days, he likes that you are bringing in the money. Retirement is a tricky deal. It takes time to get used to having extra time on your hands. And money tends to worry just about everyone. Don't be lured by a few nice trips. Once you step off the work treadmill, it's nearly impossible to step back on it.


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