Things You Only Understand if You're From Long Island

You live ON Long Island, not IN Long Island 

I never realized this one until I started going to school outside of Long Island where I heard “Oh, so you live in Long Island?” I’m sorry that’s just not correct. I’ve had this argument too many times and my final point is always that I am the one who lives on Long Island, therefore I know.

You can throw a rock from your house and hit a bagel place, a deli, a nail salon, or a pizza place. 

Also included in this list could be a Dunkin’, a car dealership, a gas station, and a diner. 

Getting into fights over the definition of a good bagel.  

I’ve had many arguments over bagels because Long Island bagels (especially the ones from my favorite bagel place) hold a special place in my heart and I’m always ready to defend their honor. People not from Long Island go on and on about how their bagels are the best right after saying how they’ve never had a Long Island bagel. Case closed. 

You are a regular at said places in/near your town. 

The people at your favorite deli know your order as soon as you walk in, you’re on a first name basis with 2 or more employees at the Dunkin’ around the corner, they ask you about school at the bagel place you go to every single day

Everywhere you go can be described as “20 to 30 minutes away”. 

The beach? 20 minutes. Best friend’s house? Half hour tops. All American Burger? Oof, that’s a far one, 35 to 40 minutes depending on traffic. I mean you can drive the entirety of the island in four hours if you tried hard enough. That’s the beauty of living on a small island, you can only go so far before hitting water, then just head to the nearest parkway and turn back. 

Being able to go to the beach whenever you wanted 

We can’t comprehend the idea of being landlocked, never seeing the water unless you go on vacation or you specifically travel to the coast. The exact opposite of landlocked is Long Island where everyone has “their beach” that’s no more than 30 minutes away. You can’t fathom the idea of not being able to drive to the beach on a summer day with a large iced coffee or half iced tea half lemonade and bacon, egg, and cheese with your windows down and music up. Personally, I love going to the beach whether it’s an 85-degree day in the middle of the summer, midnight in the dead of winter, or to watch the sunset at any point in the year. 

Concerts at Jones Beach 

The ideal Long Island summer includes at least one tailgate and concert at Jones Beach. There’s nothing else like it. Whether it’s Wiz Khalifa, the Zac Brown Band, Big Time Rush, The Jonas Brothers, or literally anyone, you better believe that every teenager on Long Island is trying to get their hands on those tickets. 

You LIVE for when Ralph’s opens for the summer 

You best believe that the line is already out the door in 35-degree weather in the beginning on March. I’ll have a medium Blue Hawaii with no cover please. 

You hear the words, “transfer at Jamaica”, and just sigh. 

The LIRR is a nightmare in general, especially at rush hour, and then adding a transfer at Jamaica into the mix just makes it THAT much worse.   

You or someone you know has some sort of affiliation with Billy Joel 

Your teacher met him in a deli. Your cousin docks their boat at the same marina as him. A friend of a friend lives 3 houses down from him. The list goes on. It’s Billy Joel’s island, we’re just living on it.  

4 Word: Long Island Children’s Museum. 

This one sparks a memory from deep down inside our brains that we didn’t know we had until we hear its name, and if you don’t have a memory from it then your childhood was incomplete. It had everything that a kid could’ve wanted: a maze that one kid always got stuck in, being inside a bubble, making slime, a miniature house, I could go on. These are all the fix-ins for a great childhood.  

The belief that Long Island should just become its own state. 

Someone in school actually told me, after telling him I was from Long Island, that people from Long Island are their own species, and ya know what? He’s right. We have our own way of life, our own traditions, our own accent and slang just like every other state. When we say we’re from Long Island, there is no need to specify the state because it’s practically its own state already. Also, I’ve been told this by my non-Long Islander friends, that everyone from Long Island is always passionate about it and they were right again. So slap another star on the flag and add us to the state song, give the people what they want.