When you say you're from New York, what exactly do you mean? If you're from upstate (say, Schenectady), does that entitle you to have a knish in Manhattan? Do you consider the nuts and pretzels sold by guys shlepping carts back and forth on the BQE the official foods of the five boroughs? Not if you live in New City, you don't. Or maybe you do. Opinions vary.
For my money, being a New Yorker is one thing and a New Yawker another. If you live north of the five boroughs, you're a New Yorker. In the five boroughs or on Long (accent on the g), you're a New Yawker. I grew up on Long Island, and lived in Brooklyn for 10 years, so enough said. I'm a New Yawker, and if you don't believe me, know that I have an Uncle who's available to sit down with you and explain what that means.
Once you know where you stand vis a vis your New York birthright, you can start discussing the romance of living New Yawk style, which is what the great Mark Bacino has done with his latest album, Queens English. There is a romance to being able to buy fresh, hot bagels at 2 am, believe it or not, and the experience of buying the Sunday paper on Saturday night is nothing like it is in New York. What's more, the Washington Post is no Daily News.
Do you have to have been born in New York to even contemplate New Yawker status? No. I was born in North Carolina and blew out of the state before you could say "Take the D train to Sheepshead Bay!", riding in the baby seat in my parent's car along the Belt Parkway on the way to...well, what do you know about that, Sheepshead Bay! Full circle, yes?
The point of all of this is that you can be a New Yawker, too, and all it takes is a single listen (in one sitting--sorry, no leg stretching allowed) to Bacino's album. This will make you an honorary New Yawker. Eventually you'll have to move to the boroughs or Long Island. At that point, it's all on you. We can only do so much.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. Sorry for the longest break from this site I've ever taken. Medical probablies persist. We do what we can, and we thank you for your patronage.
buhdge is looking for writers. If you'd fancy having a go at writing a review or a column or an article, contact me by clicking here. I'll get back to you post-haste, or right away, if that's more your bag.
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buhdge is © 2011 by Alan Haber.
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