By Jeff Gordinier
Updated April 14, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

Frankly, the Howard Stern Rest Stop doesn’t look like a pop-culture mecca. It looks like most of the other highway rest stops in New Jersey. Pay a visit- it’s a quick ride out of Trenton, just off southbound Interstate 295-and you’ll find a squat brick building that resembles an abandoned Pizza Hut, complete with tinted brown windows, candy machines, and plenty of toilets. Bleak? You bet. But ever since New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman christened the scraggly nook after Stern early last month as a promised payback for his support in the 1993 election, the shock jock’s pilgrims have been pouring in-and wreaking havoc on this once-peaceful pissoir. Vandals stole a small plaque that was bolted to the building in late March and then had it delivered to Stern. ”We’ve had about 5,000 people stopping by, looking for the Howard Stern plaque,” moans Ralph Carr, a supervisor for R&R Professional Office Cleaning, the company contracted to keep the site clean. ”It costs me $30 a case for toilet paper, and every time 10 people come looking for the plaque, half of ’em have to use the john! We have so much traffic coming through here we have to sanitize the toilet seats five times a day.” As for Stern’s plans to patronize the place, ”I don’t think he’s planning a visit,” says his agent, Don Buchwald. ”He’s greatly honored, but he has his own facility.” And while some say Stern’s gotten the monument he deserves, many travelers have no idea they’re paying homage to the man who wrote Private Parts. And they couldn’t care less. ”I’d think there are people more deserving of it than a deejay,” opined Pennsylvania trucker Ed Federico, installing a new radiator in his rig on a Friday afternoon. ”But this is America. You have the right to be an a