Hey Garden Staters, we trust that you’re enjoying a blissful holiday season and expecting a great 2008. On behalf of the editors at New Jersey Monthly, I am reminding you that we’re trying to figure out new ways to give you more news, entertainment, hot tips and cool trends from your home state. So we’re jumping into the 21st century with a new newjerseymonthly.com

We’ve got a bunch of new tools in the garage that we’ll use to give you info on restaurants, bars, bands, things to do, places to go, people to know, and ideas to share. We want to make this website the at-your-fingertips resource for all that you need to function in our fair state. You will be able to call up stories from past issues of New Jersey Monthly, get restaurant reviews and directions to the eateries you feel like trying out, and read blogs from NJM staffers will keep the discussions humming on a variety of topics (and hey, you know the drill—NO CUSSING, NO LIBEL, NO GRATUITOUS POTSHOTS, NO HITTING BELOW THE BELT, NO VIRAL POLITICKING, ETC. OR WE WILL YANK THE POSTS DOWN QUICKER THAN YOU CAN SAY “WHAT THE $%^*?” )

One of our cool new toys is a video “Best Bets” clip featuring NJM New Media Editor Ashley Neglia and some Howdy Doody-looking dweeb (read: me). We’ll post one a week to give you some tips for finding things to do. Ashley does an amazing job on these posts and I fully expect that in one month’s time you will be plenty sick of seeing my mug on the computer screen (of course, that may or may not mean that I will go away).  I’d also like to give a shout-out to Don Seckler, our Associate Publisher/Circulation Director, whose technical savvy helped guide this project from “you want to do what?” status to reality.

Remember, we’re just starting to realize what we’re capable of, so please don’t hesitate to let us know what else you’d like to see and we will try to accommodate you. In addition, you’ll be able to check back on this space to hear from a variety of our staffers, who will take a few moments out of their crazy days to give you some updates on what we’re hearing is transpiring around the state. Please be patient as we work on some new features that we will be adding to the site along the way. It will always be a work in progress as we fiddle with the content that best matches your Jersey-centric view of the world.

Speaking of your view of the world, we’ve gotten a bunch of calls about our January issue. “Garden State, Between The Sheets” had some folks about ready to kill us. I’ve been called “a filthy animal” and a pig. I’ve been told by one caller that they’ll pray my children can overcome the influences of their father and grow up to be productive human beings. And that was just by my wife (kidding, just kidding…)! 

We’ve also had calls in support of raising issues about teenage sexuality and about grownup sexuality as well. The supportive calls were far outweighed by the negative calls, which is no surprise at all.

In either case, I want to thank all who took the time to share their opinions. We did not try to shock our faithful readers just to shock them, nor did we try to provide a voyeuristic thrill ride for a bunch of horndogs out there. We merely took a look at our hypersexualized world and tried to show what is going on in our communities.  And not to put too fine a point on it, or seem too self-righteous, but if we keep one kid from teenage pregnancy or another STD-free, then we’re okay with your vitriol. If only we could have given Jamie-Lynn Spears a complimentary subscription, I wouldn’t have to explain to my eight-year-old and five-year-old why “Zoey” weighs more than “101”.

So here, we go off on a new adventure. Hope that you’ll come along for the ride and give us some directions too…

David Chmiel
New Jersey Monthly

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