My Favorite Thing about New Jersey...

... is standing on the state's Hudson River shoreline and looking back at New York City. It sounds pretentious, but I'm not sure I've done much else while over there, plus it really is magnificent. This isn't a revelation to locals, but if you're reading this from afar, know that the trip over is worth it. There's some spectacular views of Manhattan and a behind the scenes perspective of Lady Liberty can be enjoyed from Liberty State Park. One of the most profound offerings though, is watching the sunrise at the hauntingly beautiful Empty Sky Memorial, the state's dedication to the N.J. locals who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks. The high stainless steal walls reflect the sun, creating a kind of heaven's gate apparition. The names of the departed glow like embers while the few people who are around that early pass through it as anonymous silhouettes. It's difficult not to become overwhelmed as you reflect on the tragedy and look at so many names etched onto the walls.

I've provided a few of my own example images taken along the state's line, but for further proof of the buena vistas, check out Gary Hershorn's epic Instagram page-> @garyhershorn. On an almost daily basis, the former Reuters shooter walks to the waterfront and takes incredible photos, always unique, always beautiful, and then posts them to his Instagram account. He's been doing it for years and it's inspiring to see someone so dedicated. Gary has become stuff of Instagram legend in the city and around the world with his archive of the passing years, seasons, sunrises, lightning strikes and people taken on the riverside. His Instagram account is one of the great contemporary collections, in my opinion.

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