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New Jersey – Always on the run

This shirt offers a humorous interpretation of the New Jersey mafia stereotype. In conducting research for this shirt I found there is truth to the stereotype. According to the FBI, Italian organized crime in the United States is most concentrated in southern New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia.

The mafia is known for being involved in drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal gambling, political corruption, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, counterfeiting, infiltration of legitimate businesses, murders, bombings, and weapons trafficking. Industry experts in Italy estimate that their worldwide criminal activity is worth more than $100 billion annually.

Designer, Jennifer Baart

New Jersey – Pumping our pedals, not our gas since 1949

Full service gas stations are part of New Jersey’s identity. New Jersey is one of two states, Oregon being the other, that does not allow customers to pump their own gas. New Jersey banned self-service gasoline in 1949 after lobbying by service station owners. The Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act, part of the New Jersey Administrative Code, states that only trained gas station attendants may pump gas. The purpose of this law is to prevent accidents associated with untrained drivers pumping their own gas, and to increase the overall safety of gas stations. Safety concerns include not exposing customers to harmful toxic gasoline fumes they may inhale while pumping their own gas.

Designer, Jennifer Baart

Detroit – Put it in gear

Joe Louis (May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981) was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949 and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Louis spent twelve years growing up in rural Alabama but moved to Detroit in 1926 after his family was shaken by the Ku Klux Klan. A memorial to Louis was dedicated in Detroit at the intersection of Jefferson and Woodward on October 16, 1986. The sculpture is a 24-foot-long bronze arm with a fisted hand suspended by a 24-foot-high pyramidal framework. It represents the power of his punch both inside and outside the ring. Because of his efforts to fight Jim Crow laws, the fist was symbolically aimed toward the south.

Designer, Birgit Keil

Michigan – great lakes. great legs.

The Great Lakes include Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario and form the largest body of fresh water in the world. Michigan is nicknamed the Great Lake State because it’s shores touch all of the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario and is home to more than 11,000 inland lakes. Standing anywhere in the state, a person is within in 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. I was born and raised in Michigan so it holds special place in my heart. It is often thought of for the big three auto manufactures and for being cold. But I am here to tell you that all the lakes and the woodlands make for some incredible exploring. Special shout out to my parents who took us “up north” often and let us get dirty.

Designer, Birgit Keil

Austin – Bikeman

Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America. Each summer night at dusk, more than 1.5 million bats emerge from the underbelly of the bridge for food runs producing an amazing river of bats in the sky.
Designer, Jen Hardina

Austin – Tune up, tone up

Austin’s official motto is the “Live Music Capital of the World”. The city has a vibrant live music scene with more music venues per capital than any other US city. Austin is also home to two well known music festivals. In the spring, Austin hosts South by Southwest (SXSW), a music, film, and interactive festival. In the fall, the city comes alive with the Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival, a 3-day festival which brings together more than 130 acts from all over the world.

If there is one thing Austinites love besides music, it is their dogs. One of my favorite Austin spots is Lady Bird Lake, which offers miles of hiking and biking trails for man and man’s best friend. The trails also offer incredible views of the lake and Austin skyline.
Designer, Jen Hardina

Washington DC – United we ride, divided we fall

The Democratic donkey was first associated with Democrat Andrew Jackson’s 1828 presidential campaign. His opponents called him a jackass, and Jackson decided to use the image of the strong-willed animal on his campaign posters. Later, cartoonist Thomas Nast used the donkey in newspaper cartoons and made the symbol famous. Nast also invented the Republican elephant. In a cartoon that appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1874, Nast drew a donkey clothed in lion’s skin, scaring away all the animals at the zoo. One of those animals, the elephant was labeled “The Republican Vote”. That’s all it took for the elephant to become associated with the Republican Party.

Designer, Ben Pierce