Our wonderland of delis.
These pseudo grocery, beverage, sandwich shops have transformed over the years from Jewish butchers to sandwich emporiums and more. To a Long Islander, a deli signifies sustenance in all forms. It has alcoholic beverages, milk, cold cuts, and the infamous egg sandwich. A deli run is synonymous with hunting and foraging – you hunt down the perfect Gatorade flavor and forage for the little powdered donuts hidden amongst the packaged bakery items. It’s a wonderland of random condiments, paper towels and lottery tickets, all housed together like Wonkaland.
Our pronunciation of Long Island.
It is pronounced Long – Island, but to the foreign untrained ear Long-Guy-Land is what they gather. If you meet someone from Long Island, the first thing you might want to say is “Oh, you’re from Long-Guyland!” No. Just no. Back away, and don’t go there because we may sound like we pronounce it that way, but we in fact don’t, nor appreciate it when others who aren’t used to our accentuated speech like to point out a slight difference to which they might say it.
Bagels that are better than yours.
You have no idea how much we value our bagels. Sesame, poppy, everything, egg, plain, cinnamon raisin, you name it, we eat it up on a regular basis. To anyone who thinks their local bagel establishment, or a Dunkin Donut’s plain with cream cheese is good, your carb-o-meter is way off. It’s a morning moment of breaded bliss and nothing less.
North Shore vs. South Shore.
This debate is even bigger than the Dems vs. Repubs. The North Shore, or “Gold Coast” as it is sometimes referred to, goes back to the turn of the twentieth century when wealthy city goers were buying up lavish green estates all along the rocky northern shore. The South Shore is for beach enthusiasts with more than 1,000 miles of beaches. It’s no wonder the famed Hamptons villages adorn the eastern tip, making the South Shore a destination for the ultra luxe. Regardless of your social status, the North and South Shores will always be at odds as to which area reigns supreme on the island.
Our specific geography.
People who grew up in Brooklyn (not you hipster transplants) will say they are from Brooklyn. People from Queens will say Queens. On the island, we are distinct about the area we come from, whether that be the town or county. We all have different opinions on other towns and counties, and can get quite offended if you believe Long Island is just “The Hamptons.” Each area has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes their people distinct, yet purely Long Islander.
Our train system.
For anyone who’s grown up on Long Island and had the pleasure of riding the Long Island Rail Road, this one’s for you. A railroad that connects Manhattan to Montauk (the very eastern end), we all love to commiserate over this system. The shiny blue seats your legs have gotten stuck to, the weird smell lingering from the bathroom carriage, or better yet the dreaded middle seat – a fate I wouldn’t wish on my enemy. The cattle car of commuters have to endure this less than stellar railway every day, twice a day. But, we are lucky enough to be able to endure a little pain for a whole lot of pleasure in NYC. And we love to love the decrepit, iconic Penn Station.