March 2024 cover of New Jersey Monthly featuring Jack Antonoff

March 2024: Pop Culture Issue

When New Jersey Monthly decided to put together a special Pop Culture Issue, we wanted a cover star who represented New Jersey’s past, present and future. Nobody was a better fit than musician, producer and proud New Jerseyan Jack Antonoff. 

He is one of the biggest names in music, not only creating his own unique sound with his band, Bleachers (and former band, fun.), but also helping to shape the sounds of other huge stars—most notably Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey—through producing and writing. He even joined Swift onstage during one of her massive concerts at MetLife Stadium last year. 

In addition to our interview with Antonoff, you’ll also find a look at the 50 biggest moments in New Jersey’s pop culture history, a deep dive into the state’s live music scene, and so much more. Enjoy!

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GARDEN VARIETY

WFMU’s Clay Pigeon: The Congenial Geezer Who Helps New Jerseyans Start Their Day

“A lot of DJs wouldn’t be caught dead playing some of what I play,” says Kacy Ross, host of WFMU’s Wake ’N’ Bake. “But you need someone in the morning to be accessible.”

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How Congestion Pricing Will Affect NJ Drivers Starting This Spring

Drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street will soon have to pay steep additional fees.

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Simeon Marsalis’s Jam Is Literature, With a Nod to His Jazz-Genius Father

Like his dad, the jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, Simeon Marsalis is a teacher—but his craft is writing. He’s now a professor at Rutgers-Newark, his alma mater.

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Hoboken Climbing Gym Teams With Nonprofit to Help Kids Reach New Heights

They’re teaching youngsters from underserved communities how to climb, boosting their fitness and self-esteem in the process.

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Baseball Legends Offer Wisdom for Young Players in Book by Former MSU Player

Billy Pinckney self-published Passion Prevails to help aspiring baseball stars avoid some of the pitfalls he faced.

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How NJ Shaped ‘The Sopranos’: New Book Goes Behind the Scenes of the Show

“Even though it’s a show about mobsters, it [provided] an awareness of New Jersey…. It’s a New Jersey phenomenon,” says author Mark Kamine, the show’s location manager.

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Whimsical Home Finds We’re Loving This Spring

Fun colors, patterns and textures are happy harbingers of a new season.

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Eric LeGrand Is One of New Jersey’s Finest Leaders

The former Rutgers football star is achieving great things while inspiring as many people as he can along the way.

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FEATURES

Beloved Festival Is Three-Decade ‘Thank You’ to the Pinelands

Linda Stanton’s free annual festival, Lines on the Pines, is a harbinger of spring that celebrates the Pinelands region’s residents, history and culture.

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6 Social Media Influencers From New Jersey Who Are Driving the Conversation

These digital stars tell millions of Instagram and TikTok followers what they should eat, watch, buy and find funny.

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The 50 Biggest Pop Culture Moments in New Jersey

New Jersey has made a huge impact on pop culture, from TV and film to music and memes.

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New Jersey Headlines That Shocked the World

From the Lindbergh kidnapping to the Bridgegate scandal, these news articles from the Garden State went national or beyond.

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Queen Latifah’s Jersey Tenacity Remains in Full Force

She got her start in East Orange’s nascent hip-hop scene and has been working on an affordable-housing development in her native Newark for the last several years.

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Martha Stewart Is a New Jersey Icon Who Always Keeps Fans Guessing

She’s always surprising us, keeping her relevant and interesting to an audience that seems to be expanding by the day.

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Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Aren’t Jersey Natives, But They’re Local Icons

The late-night hosts are doing the most to keep us laughing and thinking.

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Shaquille O’Neal Has Never Forgotten His Newark Roots

Nobody’s more of a giant on and off the court than this Essex County native.

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How Frank Sinatra Became Hoboken’s Favorite Son

Even after Old Blue Eyes traded Jersey for Hollywood, he returned to visit his parents on Hudson Street or to buy chocolate-covered apricots at Lepore’s.

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Why New Jersey’s Live Music Scene Will ‘Always Be Booming’

Homegrown bands and clubs are making the Garden State a hub for live shows.

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Jack Antonoff Is Producer of the Year, Taylor Swift’s Favorite Collaborator and New Jersey’s Biggest Fanboy

Jack Antonoff is one of the music industry’s hottest hitmakers. He’s also unafraid to wear his heart—and frenetic Jersey obsession—on his sleeve.

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Alpine Is the Beverly Hills of New Jersey: Why Celebs Are Drawn to This Bergen County Hamlet

Chris Rock, Tracy Morgan, Kellyanne Conway and Britney Spears have all called Alpine home.

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Why Jersey Is the Perfect Home for the Latest Era of Satirical Tabloid Weekly World News

An exciting film studio and the new movie shot there, Zombie Wedding, are poised to put Vineland on the map. (Plus, we’ve got Manasquan mermen and the Pine Barrens-based Jersey Devil!)

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Indie Bookstores Are Making a Comeback in New Jersey

They’re popping up all over the Garden State—and they’re so much more than just places to buy books.

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HOME & GARDEN

NBC Sportscaster Kathryn Tappen Built Her Dream Home in NJ

“Sports has embodied my life…but my hobby has always been home design and decorating.”

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EAT & DRINK

Lita, a Buzzy New Restaurant in Aberdeen, Deserves Every Recent Accolade

David Viana’s latest spot, serving creative and delicious Iberian cuisine, is a James Beard Award semifinalist for the best new restaurant in the country.

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MC Hotel’s Allegory Restaurant Is a Peaceful Respite From Montclair’s Bustling Dining Scene

Smack-dab in a competitive dining market, the hotel restaurant has struggled to fill its seats. But it actually offers many perks that even Montclair’s best eateries don’t!

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Minuteman Serves Up Some Truly Great Barbecue in Morristown

Barbecue is done right (and almost entirely nut- and gluten-free) at this laid-back, family-friendly restaurant and bar.

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Fast-Casual Belmar BYO Serves Generations-Old Greek Recipes

This friendly, family-owned spot is the real deal.

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EXIT RAMP

Stephen Colbert Is Montclair’s Man-About-Town

Like many Montclair residents, I’ve had some fun run-ins with the Late Show host.

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