If another New Jersey guy, Anthony Bourdain, had not already taken the title “Parts Unknown,” Mickey Franz could have used it for his video series. Instead, he went with “Destination Anywhere” and it’s on a YouTube channel called “The Mickey Shuffle.”

I stumbled onto this from my colleague Jeff Edelstein. He turned me onto Mickey’s amazing work because he knew I was a New Jersey guy born and raised and thought I would like it.

He was wrong. I love it.

Mickey does a series of short documentary-style videos on the things you probably never knew about New Jersey. But we’re not talking boring things. We’re not talking who made the first anvil at Allaire State Park.

No, we’re talking like the time he went and did his own investigation of the gravity hill road in Titusville.

Or the one that really got me hooked, the time he did the Duck Island murder case. It was about a serial killer back in the late 1930s near the Delaware River. He stalked lovers’ lanes. Does that remind you of anybody in New York City in the 1970s?

Yeah, we are looking at you, Son of Sam.

Son of Sam of course is one of the most famous serial killers in the United States. But I had never known about these Duck Island slayings or this serial killer until Mickey came along. And that’s the beauty of his series.

Again it’s called “Destination Anywhere” and you can find it under “The Mickey Shuffle” on YouTube. He has several thousand subscribers and it’s free, of course. Another fun thing is you can send him messages with suggestions for other things he should cover.

Why is it called the Mickey Shuffle?

It’s a play on the “Ickey Shuffle,” the end zone dance Ickey Woods did as a running back for the Bengals in the 1980s. You see, Mickey Franz is a big sports guy. He’s written on high school sports then worked in newsrooms for the Home News and the Trentonian. These days he’s all about unearthing every cool thing you didn’t know about the Dirty Jerz.

Franz grew up in Monroe Township in Middlesex County. As a kid he worked for his father’s construction company which meant traveling all over the state where he got to see “the vastly different faces of New Jersey.”

You’ll see those faces reflected in the many episodes of “Destination Anywhere” on “The Mickey Shuffle” channel on YouTube.

I highly recommend it!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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