Opinion: Transforming the garden state into the pipeline state

pipeline, energy, natural gas, new jersey

KIM KELLY / ALJAZEERA – Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, I tell them, “I’m from the most beautiful place you’ve never heard of – and it’s in New Jersey.” That usually elicits a puzzled look, since, despite its Garden State designation, Jersey isn’t exactly known for its natural beauty (at least not in the popular imagination). But once I explain that I was raised in the Pinelands, things fall into place. The Pinelands National Reserve is the first national reserve in the United States and spans 1.1 million acres (around 445,000 hectares) across seven counties.

It takes me about three hours to get from New York City’s Penn Station to my parents’ house, and the view on the way down is so intoxicatingly gorgeous, it’ll break your heart if you’re not used to it. You’ll travel through silent seas of scaly, blue-green pine trees and rattle down dirt roads the colour of bone china beneath the bluest sky imaginable; it’s so quiet you can hear deer crunching through the underbrush and crickets singing in the black tea-tinted cedar swamps …

Kim Kelly is an editor at Noisey, VICE’s music and culture channel.

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