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Smelling New Jersey

Posted by Word Camel on January 29, 2003

In Reply to: Knowing California posted by R. Berg on January 29, 2003

: : : I know its a movie, and I know that Chris Cornell sings it in the Soundgarden song "Outshined" ("I'm lookin California, but feelin' Minnesota, oh yeah") Can one of you enlightened Americans explain to me what this means. (From the context I would think it means either feeling 'cool' or feeling depressed, but thats just a kiwi point of view!!) Spank you very much

: : Just a guess:
: : From the lyrics comparing California and Minnesota:
: : California and Minnesota are two of 50 US States.
: : California is always warm and sunny while Minnesota, especially Northern Minnesota, can be rather harshly cold and snow bound from November thru April.
: : The lyrics are contrasting the two states as a metaphor, as you stated, for emotional states.

: California is not really always warm and sunny, but people believe it is. In fact, "sunny California" is a cliché. The southern part of the state is sunny much of the time. That's what drew the movie industry there: more available shooting days in a year. I'd say Bruce is correct and the lyrics mean "I look happy, but I feel dismal."

Just across the border with New York, New Jersey smells like a mix of rotten eggs (from the land fills and salt marshes), car exhaust from the turnpike and something vaguely metallic from its industry past and present.

A friend who moved to Hoboken awoke to a terrible smell the first morning after she moved. It was so putrid she rang her land lord who informed her "Honey, Hoboken has smelled that way for the last fifty years." Which is not meant to insult Hoboken. It just takes some getting used to.