Saturday, April 3, 2010


I'm an outer-boroughs New Yorker, which is different from being a Manhattanite. (It's like distinguishing between male and female turtles. Outsiders can't tell the difference, but it's important to the turtles.) I grew up in Queens (although no one from Queens thinks of themselves as being from Queens - the old town and developer names are still religiously used, so, accurately, I am from Flushing and a close friend is from...wait for it...Ozone Park) and now live in Brooklyn. One of the ways you can tell if someone is from the outer boroughs is how they refer to Manhattan. It's "the city," as in, "I'm going to meet a friend in the city." This makes sense in a suburban-urban-relationship way, but keep in mind that Brooklyn and Queens each has a population well over two million and would be damned big cities on their own.

Looking just at the Americans who've posted comments here, we've got people from Yonkers, L.A., Milwaukee, and Boston. Among the long, long list of stupidities I was guilty of in my teens and early twenties was arguing with people about where was the best place to live. The short answer that I couldn't see then: where you're happy. Any other answer leads to Yakov Smirnov telling Cleveland jokes and any life path that ends in a shithole like Branson...oops.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I live in one of many "sixth boroughs". The City of Y____ has almost a quarter of a million inhabitants- if it were dropped into just about any location in the country, it would be a major city. We also tend to refer to Manhattan as "the city" or "downtown" (even though Yonkers has a "downtown" of its own).

Substance McGravitas said...

The short answer that I couldn't see then: where you're happy.

Or a place with enough distractions that you can't concentrate on your miserable miserable existence.

Boo hoo!

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

or where there's enough rampant alcoholism that no one notices your own excesses.

Repeating Substance, with a bit more specificity.