My “Jersey Shore” birthday

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MTV may be premiering Season 4 of “Jersey Shore” tonight, but I’ve already caught a glimpse of Season 5!

Move over, Florence: The kids are back in Seaside!/All photos by Ava Gacser

I was down the Shore last Tuesday, July 26, to celebrate my birthday at Island Beach State Park, which is adjacent to Seaside Heights, the home of “Jersey Shore.” On a whim, I decided to drive by the infamous den of iniquity just to see what it looked like in person. Seriously, I had no expectations other than that.

Well, guess what? I drove (then walked) right into the middle of filming for the show! Happy birthday to me!

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“Jersey Shore”: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

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Guess what? They’re baaaaaaaaaack!!!

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And from the looks of things, the “Jersey Shore” cast is GTL’ing and acting as insanely idiotic as ever (thank God).

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VH1 tells Jersey girls: “You’re Cut Off!”

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Watch out Snooki, Sammi and JWoww: These privileged, bratty girls are angling for your spots in the limelight.

And guess what? They’re actually FROM Jersey.

Jessica from Howell definitely tans and may hit the gym, but she most certainly doesn't do laundry./Photos credit VH1

Meet Jessica, a Howell resident who is jobless and lives at home with her parents. She is one of nine women – two from the Garden State – from obscenely well-off families who are part of a new VH1 series called “You’re Cut Off.” The premise is simple: The women’s families are allegedly fed up with supporting them in extravagant lifestyles and have decided to kick them to the curb, where a life coach is there to pick up the pieces.

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Snooki, Chris Rock trade barbs Jersey-style on “Leno”

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New Jersey was all over “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” again last night.

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Interestingly enough, this time it was a little hostile.

Jay was interviewing “Jersey Shore” star (but non-Jersey resident) Snooki (aka Nicole Polizzi) as his previous interview subject, Chris Rock (an Alpine, N.J., resident), sat beside her.

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There’s nothing more “Jerseylicious” than… Franklin Township?

I knew “Jerseylicious” was filmed in the general vicinity – aka Somerset County, New Jersey – but I had no idea it was in my backyard.

Welcome to Franklin Township, the fifth best place to live in America!/All photos by Ava Gacser

In the first two episodes alone, the ladies of Green Brook’s Gatsby Salon have ventured into my neck of the woods a whopping three times.

The sign may be relatively new, but the Somerset Diner has been part of my stomping grounds my entire life.

In episode 1, Olivia and her new roommate, Briella, wolfed down “disco fries” (french fries with gravy and mozzarella) at the Somerset Diner on Easton Avenue. (Quick note about the Somerset Diner: This is THE diner in my town. I’ve known it my entire life and to see it on television is just, wow, surreal.)

But that was just episode 1. Little did I know “Jerseylicious” would be back this week, with two more stops in my lifelong hometown.

Franklin tip: If you're looking for apple cider vinegar with *the mother,* then Nature's Weigh is exactly where you need to go.

Next up was Tracy and boyfriend Lorenzo (who also happens to be Olivia/Snooki’s ex), who dropped by the health food shop Nature’s Weigh (which is located in Village Plaza, right next to the diner) to buy some creatine so Lorenzo can bulk up some more. While there the pair discussed Olivia and her faults. “She’s going to be late for her own funeral,” joked Lorenzo.

Then the show moved on to the new digs Olivia shares with Briella… which just happen to be a Korman Community called AVE Somerset on Pierce Street near Elizabeth Avenue (close to the Franklin/South Bound Brook border).

What strikes me as funny is that AVE Somerset is an upscale, fully furnished apartment complex for “short or long-term stays.” Somehow I doubt management would approve of the hot pink paint Olivia and Briella used on their living room wall, but hey, I’m sure the Style Network has that covered.

“We’re from Jersey,” Olivia said while picking up a paint brush. “We don’t pump gas and we definitely don’t paint.”

Another area establishment that was featured prominently in episode 2 was Alfonso’s Family Trattoria in Somerville (which may also appear on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” this season as Teresa Giudice was filmed eating there in September with her father), site of this ridiculous exchange between hairstylist Gigi, her boyfriend Frankie and some hapless waiter. All of them need serious acting lessons:

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Gigi and Frankie (who lives somewhere in Hunterdon County) are the embodiment of the typical Jersey love story (not): The pair met at Dunkin’ Donuts at 3 a.m. He made fun of her rhinestone-studded license plate cover. She sassed him back and that was it. “Who knew he was going to like me when I told him to go f*** himself?” Gigi jokes.

Other Jersey joints featured in”Jerseylicious” include the 46 Lounge in Totowa (episode 1) and Planet Chicken in Dunellen (episode 2), the site of Alexa, Anthony and Gigi’s lunch.

“Anthony, very classy place,” Alexa cattily commented about the eatery. “I have white (wine) in a merlot glass.”

(If Anthony were super-quick on the uptake, he should have responded with this “Seinfeld” zinger: “Merlot? I never heard of it. Did they just invent it?”)

There’s no telling where on Easton Avenue “Jerseylicious” might take us next week.  Blockbuster? Stop N Shop? Unclaimed Freight?

I have no idea, but it sure is fun finding out.

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