NJ’s very own Arkham Asylum, East Jersey State Prison,
or as it was referred to for the majority of my life: Rahway Prison
With so many great films, TV shows, and mentions in popular culture, it’s easy to forget that the place pictured above actually houses criminals and not actors, cameras, and boom mics. Even if you aren’t from Jersey, chances are, you’ve seen or heard of Rahway Prison before. Maybe you knew it back when it was actually called Rahway Prison, before the people of Rahway, NJ disowned it and declared that it was technically in the neighboring town of Avenel, NJ, despite it’s mailing address. Finally, as they did with Newark Airport (now the fancy Liberty International), New Jersey’s balls dropped off and renamed the building East Jersey State Prison. And in yet another silly name change it became North Jersey State Prison for possibly it’s most high profile and memorable appearance thus far – the beginning of 2001’s Oceans 11.
If ever there was a film that did not need a sequel, it was Steven Soderbegh’s Oceans 11. If you’ve seen a Vegas heist film, you’ve pretty much seen them all, but I wouldn’t switch the channel if this was on cable. While nobody can come close to the Rat Pack, Clooney and Pitt’s fantastic chemistry makes the entire series worthwhile. Bare in mind that we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the duo’s quirky partnership if Danny Ocean had not been granted his release from East Jersey State Prison. Something about this building is incredibly ominous. Even though I pass the prison frequently, on film it looks even more intimidating.
A scruffy, overdressed, fresh out of jail Danny Ocean
Rusty, who is perpetually devouring food, will most likely hit up a local establishment
for a pork roll, egg, and cheese sandwich, then head into traffic and catch some good ol’ fashioned Jersey road rage!
Welcome to a new recurring column here at The Sexy Armpit called The Rahway Redemption. The legendary Rahway Prison, a.k.a East Jersey State Prison has quite a menacing look about it. Whenever I drive by the monstrous institution, I definitely get a little creeped out. Thanks in part to it’s unsympathetic and raw reputation, this slammer is a star in it’s own right. Well, at least a star enough to get a column dedicated to it here at The Armpit! I’m attempting to break out of the prison but I need your help! In this column I need you to read on as I present Rahway Prison’s most notable appearances in pop culture.
In Season One, Episode 6 (12/7/03) of one of the funniest TV shows of all time, Arrested Development, Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) attempts to get his father George Senior (Jeff Tambor) out of prison. First, Michael tried to get to the bottom of some of his father’s shady transactions. Michael decided to get some answers while visiting him at Orange County Prison. George Sr. was too busy to talk about anything important since he was practicing softball with other inmates.
I hate to be buzzkill, but I’m trying to get you out of here.
Yeah well, I’m trying to get us out of last place Michael!
We’re playing Rahway next week…word has it that they’re getting Jose Canseco!
I’m starting to wonder why I even bother coming.
<inmate softball player>
That is ridiculous!
You won’t even talk to me?!?!
I’M CATCHER OR I’M NOTHING!