1. A small suburban middle class town located in Somerset County, New Jersey. While technically the average household salary ($65k) in North Plainfield is signifigantly higher than the average household salary in America ($41k), the town and it's sister towns, Plainfield and South Plainfield, come off as extremely poor and trashy when compared to it's far richer and better off neighboring communities in the Somerset Hills such as Bernardsville, Warren, Watchung, Basking Ridge, and Bridgewater. These communities of course look down (and that's putting it lightly) on North Plainfield for not being as affluent . In fact, it's worth noting that Watchung township actually bought off the plot of land from North Plainfield that was then used to build the Watchung Square Mall, which now Watchung township is making millions off of. (Mostly North Plainfield patronage)
The crime rate in town is bit higher than the rates of surrounding towns (witht the exception of Plainfield) due to an apethetic and understaffed police force. In addition, the somewhat corrupt democratic party machine, and a recent in flux of minorities hasn't helped much either. Try doing 50 mph in a 35 mph zone, I guarantee that you won't be pulled over.
A side effect of the recent minority influx can be noted in the increased number of crumbling small homes that are shoved far to close too each other. Rest assured, each home has at least one beater car in the drive way. Residents use those cars for in town shopping just in case if someone damages anything or decides to steal the vehicle. A common example is a 1993 Honda Accord Sedan or an 1989 Caddilac Seville Sedan.
Unfortunately, the high school, North Plainfield High School has also depreciated. Once being one of the top high schools in New jersey during the 1960's, the school is now home to a mass of relatively poor (about 40% of the students recieve free or reduced lunch), underachieving (according to NJ Standarized testing results ) minority students. Unlike the better off students found attending the far more prominent schools of the Somerset Hills, designer label clothing and newer more sophisticated vehicles won't be in the possession of most North Plainfield Students. Some students have been known in North Plainfield to go through the entire high school experience without even a cell phone or Cable television. This explains the lack of any student parking lot. Essentially the school is just barely funded, aging poorly, and small.
Unsuprisingly, many citizens in North Plainfield have taken a side on how they view their vastly more successful, surrounding neighbors of the Somerset Hills:
10% feel or do this:
A) They aspire to work hard and ascend out of the muck of a town that they view North Plainfield as, and ultimately move to the Somerset Hills and live a better life, while making a few great friends with the Hills residents along the way.
Or far more commonly at 90% of North Plainfields opinion:
B) They view the wealth and vast success of the Somerset Hills residents, with an unjust amount of jealous hate. They then irrationally associate anything with the Somerset Hills with spoiled young people , and prejudice waspy, snobby , cold adults. Which of course is quite far from the real truth.
The amount of hate that people from North Plainfield have towards the Somerset Hills is generally allocated in the following:
The most hated- Watchung due to it's close proximity to North Plainfield, and land/mall area that it bought off from North Plainfield. In addition, it's extremely high relative altitude to North Plainfield (Watchung being on a mountain) , allows the rich town to prominently display a considerable amount of it's largest homes on a scenic mountainous ridge, which of course , reminds all of the North Plainfield residents how much of a lower quality standard of living they have compared to the Watchung residents. This can be quite annoying.
Second Most Despised - Bridgewater. There is some resident to Bridgewater due the amount of successful people from North Plainfield who decide to move out there and live a much better life. Many people from North Plainfield view this as mild form of betrayal and insulting to a minor degree. This is most common with non minority North Plainfield High School teachers with experience.
Third most disliked - Basking Ridge. While there isn't nearly any as much resentment found in the heart and minds of North Plainfield residents towards Basking Ridge as there is towards Bridgewater, there is a fair amount of jealousy and envy that can be found with the residents. This is due to Basking Ridge's reputation for being fabulously wealthy and home to many successful individuals. It also doesn't help that many residents do gloat, put down less affluent towns/individuals and flaunt wealth actively in general.
The same could be said for Bernardsville, however the town isn't really as rich to inspire such jealousy.
Fourth most disliked - Warren. The distance that Warren has with North Plainfield compared to other towns in the Somerset Hills has kept it's reputation for jealousy inspiring wealth certainly is strong enough to a bit of resentment to the comparably poorer North Plainfield residents.
Friend : Sigh , I live in North Plainfield, hopefully after I get a degree from college I can start a business, and make enough money to move up the social ladder to a town like Basking Ridge.
Other Friend: Why ? So you can be snobbier than people from Watchung ?