Inspired by the incredibly awesome book and blog “Humans of New York,” we took to the streets of South Jersey to capture the true identity of South Jersey people in both pictures and words.

 

 

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“This photo is not going on the internet, right? I’m wanted in three states. Just kidding. I do like to live off the grid. No social media. I have a small place in this building I?own and am renovating. I fix vintage motorcycles. I do get paid, but it’s more of a hobby than a business.”

 

 

 

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“I remember when I was a little girl, I wanted to wear this very summery dress in the winter. I think of that dress every time I have this one on. One day, I wore the dress under many sweaters and went to school. My mother didn’t know until the teacher saw it and told my mother. I got into trouble. My mother yelled, ‘You only wear this dress at home!’ Now I wear what I want and don’t care what other people say.”

 

 

 

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“This is a paying job, I’m working on someone’s car. Eventually I?want to work for Nascar, in the pit, specializing in racing motors. I want to make the cars go as fast as they can go.”

 

 

 

 

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“We’ve been friends since we met here at church. We go to plays; we love culture, art and nice restuarants. We are part of a book club that started over 20 years ago to help promote African-American writers. Not all of the authors are African-American. Right now we are reading Sue Monk Kidd’s ‘The Invention of Wings.’”

 

 

 

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“I?bought these sunglasses 15 years ago for $5. I’m on my way to cash in my wife’s scratch-off bingo card. She won $2.”

 

 

 

 

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“I’m on a weekend getaway with my wife and two other couples from my neighborhood. The men sat at the bar most of the day, and the women went to the spa and shopped. I’m a photographer. I work for Victoria’s Secret with the design team, shooting the models and the products. My wife doesn’t get jealous. She says, ‘As long as the check clears, it’s fine with me.’ I married a banker, not a model.”

 

 

 

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“My kids gave me a computer for my birthday. I’m 76. I don’t really know how to use it. I think it’s called a ‘labtop,’ and I want to learn how to plug it in to get on that ‘spacebook’ everyone is talking about.”

 

 

 

 

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“My name is Everette. I’m a dancer. Tonight I’m dancing at my best friend’s wedding.”

 

 

 

 

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“We have a breeder’s contract. We provide a humane home for Gracie rather than having her in a big kennel. She has two litters of puppies, and once they are ‘whelped’ we send the puppies back to the breeder. Whelped means they are weaned from their mother. There is no money involved. We get to keep this purebred Labradoodle, whose breed doesn’t shed, which is great since my wife is allergic.”

 

 

 

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“You can do more on a bike than a skateboard. I’m ‘airing out.’ In 2010 I broke my ankle. The doctor told me to tie a band around my foot and pull on it for therapy. I thought, that’s the same as pedaling, so I just rode my bike. I like the trick ‘toboggan air.’”

 

 

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“I was one of 10 children to a single mom. We didn’t have a lot of money, but she gave me a dream. She told me I?could be a chef. I work during the day taking care of senior citizens, and I?go to culinary school at night while trying to raise my daughter. I’m a breast cancer survivor but I’m more than that. I?have a strong desire to strive and keep thriving. I tried breast reconstructive surgery but it failed. I’ve been through 22 operations, and at times I’m really tired. But I?keep going for my mom, for my daugther and for my dream. I can envision more for myself now and I’m starting to see the progess of all my hard work. I’m never going to give up.”

 

 

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“I?like to read. My mom works here at the library putting books away. My dad has a sled just like that one. You just put a string on it and steer.”

 

 

 

 

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“I used to service these old machines in manufacturing shops or in wood- working class in schools. When Gov. Christie took office, the budgets were cut and woodshop was done away with in schools. I swooped in and bought up all these old machines for pennies on the dollar. What I?have now is a community workerspace. Anyone can come in and use these machines for a fee.”

 

 

 

 

“My girlfriend wanted a cowboy/cowgirl theme for her 50th birthday party. We are all dressed a little country. I’m about to turn 50 myself, and I’m thinking I’d like an ’80s themed party.”

 

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“The washing machine at my house is not working at the moment. I don’t mind coming to the laundromat; you see some new faces and interesting people. I’m sure someone thought they were seeing an interesting face a few minutes ago. A woman asked me for my autograph. She was embarrassed when I told her, ‘No, I’m not George Clooney.’”

 

 

 

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“This shirt is not my usual color scheme. A friend of mine told me, ‘I?think you should really get it.’ It kinda grows on you.”

 

 

 

 

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“We are on our ‘babymoon.’ We are due January 15. We like to come to the beach when it’s quiet and desolate. There are no screaming kids. We want to enjoy that while it lasts.”

 

 

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“This is Henry. The name Henry has been in our family for four generations. Henry has an older sibling, and it’s great to watch them interact and show affection toward each other. Henry likes to be held and bounced. Even after I put him down, I’m still bouncing.”

December 2015
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