To this day, anytime a rendition of this question has come up, I hesitate to respond. Yes, I did live in the Garden State for sixteen years, but I never noticed the smell. No, really. Say what you will, but maybe my neck of the woods wasn't necessarily located in the exact geographical "armpit" of America. You'd think the word "garden" in the state's nickname would make a difference...
But when it comes to talking about Jersey "stinking," the criticism goes further than just the stench (Jersey Shore, anyone?) And if you're a fellow (or former) Jerseyite who can't stand the comments anyomre, there's a group of people who hear you loud and clear. Jersey Doesn't Stink is an online campaign to end the "putdowns about pollution, wisecracks about wise guys, and cheap shots about corruption." The site allows calls on residents of the state to sign a petition and show their "Joizy Pride" As this group of Northeasterners claim, "Only the strong survive."
These days, I claim Atlanta has my hometown — it has nothing to do with the Jerseyisms. But it's hard those of us who have moved on (including TOTN's own Neal Conan and Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! host Peter Sagal) to forget the fond memories of the shore, the parks, and the people. Smells not included.