By Leo Capobianco Jr.
Long Islanders have a reputation for having a short fuse. As the home to America’s first suburb, we can be wary of change. You know we’ve got an attitude, so a number of things are surefire ways to set us off.
There are far too many things to do for us to stay in one place for too long. We have an on-the-go lifestyle that requires us to be in and out of places quickly, and when service is slow at a restaurant, our train is late, the WiFi slows down our web-surfing or the person in front of us on line is taking forever, don’t be surprised if one of us goes ballistic.
Between the Belt Parkway and the Long Island Expressway, Long Islanders have their fair share of traffic-related horror stories. Aggressive driving coupled with poor infrastructure conspired for us to have one of the nation’s longest commutes. It’s no wonder horns regularly start honking if cars don’t start moving the second the traffic light turns green.
Before the summer starts, we have shorter waits on lines, shows aren’t sold out as quickly and more breathing room in general. But when everyone’s favorite season returns, LI becomes a hot spot for nightlife, beaches and performances. And with it, out-of-towners flock to the Island and only add to the already obnoxious populace.
Poor Beach Etiquette
The beach is an extension of our homes on Long Island. Just like there are social norms in a restaurant or a movie theater, beach-goers must consider what behavior is acceptable and unacceptable. Before littering, kicking sand around or tossing a Frisbee into someone’s seaside picnic, remember that where you are is a part of someone’s home and not a vacation resort. High Prices
There is no question that Long Island is an expensive place to live. We have some of the highest property taxes in the nation. Sure, we get to say we live on the same Island as the rich and famous, but for us little guys, staying close to home comes with a hefty price tag—and that can be a real drag.
Being Compared to New Jersey
We get it: Jersey and Long Island both have the bar scene, the spray tans, the implants and their fair share of Guidos. But we’re two completely different places. NJ has nothing on our bagels, pizza or beaches, and we’d really appreciate not being compared to the armpit of America. Calling Us “Bridge and Tunnelers”
Just because we come from the suburbs doesn’t make us any less sophisticated than people from New York City. It’s not like NYC is the only place where you get exposed to culture. We have our share of arts, entertainment and a slew of respected universities and colleges like Hofstra, Adelphi and Stony Brook, to name a few. Perhaps it’s the city folk who should take some notes. Mocking Our Accents
“Lawn-guy-land,” “Dawg,” “Cawfee.” Guess what: we think you talk funny, too! Most of us never realized that we had an accent until we spent some time out-of-state. Making our accents the butt of every joke gets old. Honestly it’s low-hanging fruit. Time to get some new material. If that’s the best you got, your sense of humor sucks.
Talking S*** About Billy Joel
Everyone on Long Island has “that one time I met Billy Joel story.” Billy Joel made a career out of writing music that makes direct references to places on Long Island and our unique lifestyle. Most stars who grow up on the Island end up leaving and moving to wherever famous people go when they skip their hometown (cough, Howard Stern, cough), but not our Billy. Faux “NY bagels” or “NY pizza”
Let’s get this straightened out right here, right now. There is only one place to get New York pizza and bagels–and that’s New York. Long Island is essentially the Jewish and Italian capital of the US. If someone promotes their food as being “NY authentic” and they’re not in NYC or on LI, they’re probably lying to you. Truth.Asking Us About NYC
The answer is always “no.” We never have visited the Empire state Building or the Statue of Liberty when we go to visit NYC because we’re not tourists. If you want to wait in line for 10 hours to see the ball drop in Times Square, be our guest.
No, We Don’t Know The Long Island Medium
While Long Island feels like a small place, there are about three million of us. We probably know exactly where a Long Island celebrity went to high school, but our chances of knowing them personally are pretty slim. So stop asking. Diner Withdrawal
The Long Island diner is a real wonder to behold. Around here, the quality of a diner is judged by the strength of its coffee and the length of its menu. It’s mind boggling to even think how a restaurant could possibly have so many options. Mainland diners are just not the same.
Changing at Jamaica
Oh, you thought the Long Island Rail Road would take you straight to where you wanted to go? You must be new here. Sorry, first you have to give up your seat and wait for a second, smellier and more crowded train in the bowels of Queens. Offering us a Long Island Iced Tea
They don’t even have iced tea in them! The drink is essentially a dumpster of cheap alcohol. Yes, they were invented here on the Island, but they were most likely created to get tourists trashed as quickly as possible. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Us natives just have a little more class than that. Not Understanding What “The City” Is
If you’re from Long Island, you refer to New York City as “The City.” We all know New York is the greatest city on the planet. Why would it deserve any title other than “The City”? Keep up with the lingo, people! And yes, we know, that if you live in the outer boroughs “The City” means Manhattan. We Live “ON” Long Island, Not In It
Remember when we mentioned that Long Island is home to a number of colleges and universities? Well, here is a grammar lesson. No one lives “in” an Island, you live “on” it. Do you walk “in” a roof or “in” a beach? A Deli Sandwich is a “Hero,” Not a “Grinder” or a “Hoagie”
Long Island is home to some of the best delis in the world. Like Cheers, everyone knows your name and your order. But be warned: if you walk into one of our delis and ask for a “grinder,” you’re going to get some weird looks. We Don’t Care That the Jets and the Giants Play in NJ
MetLife Stadium is barely in New Jersey. The football field is closer to New York City than any other metropolitan area and is clearly placed where it is to represent New York. The location and micro-analysis of the branding aren’t necessary. If we were to apply purist logic to all of NY’s NFL teams, the “Buffalo Bills” should instead be called the “Orchard Park Bills.” Doesn’t quite sound right, does it? The Long Island Sound Isn’t a Band
The Long Island Sound is the body of water that lies between the North Shore of Long Island and Connecticut. There’s a reason why it’s called the Long Island Sound and not the Connecticut Sound. It’s ours! Explaining That Brooklyn and Queens are Part of Long Island
Contrary to popular belief, Long Island is actually comprised of four counties. Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Kings counties are all located on the Island we call Long. But because Queens and Brooklyn are boroughs of New York City, we don’t often associate them as a part of the Island but rest assured, we all share this land we call home.