1) Talk smack about the Mets.
Sure, we’ve got our fair share of diehard Yankee fans here in Queens, but they all know better than to put the Mets down while they’re out drinking at a bar in the team’s home borough. If you have a death wish, try getting a “Let’s Go Yankees” chant started while you’re in Queens riding the 7 train toward the fanbase promised land that is CitiField. And for the record, Bartolo Colon is just big boned; and as far as we’re concerned, he can jiggle his belly all he wants while he’s in the dugout. Actually, we love him even more for it.
2) Tell us we’re a part of Long Island.
Is Queens physically a part of Long Island? Yes it is. But politically, we’re a borough of New York City (and the largest one at that, thank you very much). We vote in the NYC elections (Bill de Blasio, FTW!), and pay enough New York City taxes to be offended when we’re associated with a place whose noteworthy pop culture icons include a loud-mouthed medium with an unbearable accent. We don’t care about Billy Joel and we don’t know exactly where his “Italian Restaurant” is, so clearly, we’re not Long Islanders.
3) Take our parking spot.
Trying to find parking in Queens is an experience more frustrating than a weekend visit to the DMV. That being said, after we’ve moved our car to adhere to the strict street sweeping schedule and circled the streets around our apartment thirty times looking for a new place to park, cutting us off and then pulling into the spot that finally appeared like a mirage right in front of us a few seconds earlier is going to make us pretty damn angry. If you’re looking to test your strength and see how hard you can take a hit, steal a spot out from under someone on 30 Ave during prime brunch time on a Sunday.
4) Make fun of our street names.
Sorry that your avenues in New York City only go as high as 12, but here in Queens we do them on a larger scale — with avenues in the 20s, 30s, all the way up to 70s and beyond. This doesn’t give you an excuse to ask us for directions, or complain to us that our streets are “so confusing” either. Most parts of Queens are set up pretty similarly to the way that New York City is, grid-style. If you can make it to that super hipster party that your buddy is throwing in Bushwick, you can figure out how to navigate 63rd Drive.
5) Disrespect our bodega owners.
We feel strongly about the Queens residents that own and operate our go-to bodegas, and if you give them a hard time we’re going to step in and say something. Don’t roll your eyes when you’re told that you’re at a cash-only bodega, or that there’s a card minimum — if you’re really hell bent on purchasing that bag of Doritos, whip out that debit card and use the bodega’s ATM machine. Just about every bodega has one. We also don’t care to hear you whine about all the “weird knock-off brand” products at this store. You’ve clearly never had a Mexican Popsicle, and for that we feel bad for you.
6) Assume we’re all Italian.
Yes, Queens has a lot of Italian residents, and there are a ton of movies, like Goodfellas, that were shot and set in our borough based around Italian characters. But we’re actually an extremely diverse borough, with many other ethnic influences. If you need more proof of that, just walk our streets and watch the storefront names change from Greek to Egyptian to Russian. It’s completely normal to walk into a coffee shop in Queens on a Saturday and hear four or five different languages being spoken by the local residents.
7) Tell us we’re not as cool as Brooklyn.
Our landscape is full of Greek grandpas playing cards on stoops, kids drag racing on scooters down the sidewalks, and couples pushing strollers, while Brooklyn boasts young, hip 20-somethings all trying to outdo each other with their latest Thrift Store finds — but if you looked a little closer, you’d see that we’re just as, if not cooler than, the Brooklyn crowds. Queens is home to lots of up-and-coming artists, actors, and musicians, all of whom display their work locally and perform here on the regular. We’re a plenty hip borough — we just don’t flaunt it like they do in Williamsburg…or measure our “cool factor” in previously-worn threads.