By Danielle Esposito
I’ll preface this article by saying I’m a chick from Queens who loves Long Island. I’m partial to Queens, we are a very loyal breed, and to this day I still feel pretty bad ass when I say I have grown up in the best, most culturally diverse and food-centric borough (sorry, L.I., but our pizza and bagel joints will win in any food duel), but I’ll admit that I’ve enjoyed a long love affair with the Island.
As a Queens native, I’ve definitely viewed Long Island in all sorts of ways growing up—and as a lot of my family currently lives on the Island (shout out Wantagh), I can resoundingly say that a lot of these remain true, at least in the eyes of us Queens folk, and in a totally loving way.
Without further ado, here are my (and some fellow Queens friends’) 14 Long Island Stereotypes:
1. Long Islanders can’t parallel park.
Truth be told I can’t blame most of you. I’ve heard on more than one occasion that “I haven’t had to parallel park since my road test” from my L.I. friends and family, but it still makes me laugh when a Long Island friend comes to visit me and I get that frantic phone call that they need help parking their car on my block—and rest assured, I’ll get it right—on the first try.
2. White BMWs! White BMWs everywhere!
As I know this to only be a half-truth now, growing up we did always picture Long Island as a sparkly alien land where all teenaged girls received white bimmers on their sixteenth birthdays. Although this might not reign true for everybody, I bet you still know someone who got one!
3. Speaking of sixteenth birthdays, what’s up with Sweet Sixteens?
Personally I feel that Long Island invented this crazy ritual of overly extravagant Sweet Sixteens. Or was it that terrible MTV show? Regardless, having a mini-wedding for your sixteenth birthday still makes no sense — although I will admit I did attend approximately 678 of them in high school, back when reggae music was a thing.
4. Long Islanders really like to hang out in malls.
Like after school, or when they’re cutting school, or on the weekends, and especially in the summer. Mainly in the food court. Sometimes whilst walking around with an iced Starbucks Frappuccino (extra whip, extra caramel, no coffee).
I still don’t get lacrosse, but Long Islanders sure do.
6. Long Islanders are scared of coming to Queens (and NEVER wear jewelry on the subway!).
This one makes me sad, but I’ve definitely heard it on way more than one occasion. If you come to visit me, don’t worry, you’re safe. We actually have trees, and sidewalks, and really cute puppies. Subways are a means of transportation and it’s definitely a faster way to get from neighborhood to neighborhood. You shouldn’t be scared of them. In fact, I’ve participated in some amazingly fun dance parties on subways before—seriously, a band was playing music on the 3 train on New Year’s Eve 2013 and IT. WAS. AWESOME.
7. If a group of 10 Long Island girls goes out on the town, at least three will end up crying (and they really like to yell “WOOOO!”).
I’ve seen a lot of crying drunk Long Island girls before. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen a lot of crying drunk Queens girls before, too. But the ratio is like 264:3. I don’t think I have to describe the latter; you guys are just really excitable—not necessarily a bad thing.
8. Long Island bars are always in strip malls.
You guys really do have a lot of strip malls. They’re cool and all—but why are there so many? And isn’t it weird drinking while squeezed between a vet’s office and a nail salon?
10. Shorts and slippers and polo shirts, bro.
A Long Island man’s casual outfit of choice.
11. Long Islanders have very unique beer pong abilities.
We’ll give you that—but your house rules tend to be unnecessarily intricate.
12. Everybody is some percentage of Italian.
You can also get into heated debates on whether that red stuff on meatballs is called sauce or gravy. Pick your battles? This one is worth it. And don’t forget, “We eat pizza on Fridays.”
13. Long Islanders love diners.
No argument here.
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14. Long Islanders have so much room.
Seriously. Or maybe I’ve just lived in the confines of New York City for too long—regardless, whenever we come here we can’t believe how much room you have. You guys also have actual backyards—and POOLS. Your Queens friends will be coming over all summer. We’ll bring meat for the barbeque.
Listen, I love Long Island. In fact, I very happily and consciously pursued finding a career on the Island. Trekking into the city (The City = Manhattan) was just not something I wanted to do any more, and I’ve found the people who reside on this Island aren’t so alien after all. I’ll keep my roots planted in my borough, but I do love heading out here each day. And even though I still feel a slight separation in the way Long Islanders do things (or maybe I’ve just had too many 40 oz on stoops in my time), I find the differences endearing.
At the end of the day, Queens and Long Island are really just like two arch enemies who secretly both love each other deep down. Frenemies, if you will.
I’ll make fun of you all day but don’t worry, I’ve got your back when Jersey butts in.