Tag Archives: Long Island

19 Important Differences Between Long Islanders And New Yorkers


1. Long Islanders are better at basketball.

2. Long Islanders root for the New York Islanders. New Yorkers wait until playoffs, and if the Rangers make the playoffs, then they root for the New York Rangers.

3. New Yorkers think they’re eating the best pizza and bagels in the world. Long Islanders actually have the best pizza and bagels in the world. And Chinese food. And gyros.

4. Long Islanders and New Yorkers alike head east every summer to enjoy a hot day at Splish Splash water park out in Riverhead, but you can always tell which ones are the New Yorkers: they run around barefooted. Long Islanders always wear flip-flops.

Read the rest at Thought Catalog.

I was born and raised on Long Island

I grew up on Long Island, and like everybody else that grew up on Long Island, I feel like I developed this natural chip on my shoulder. It’s nothing that any of us did on purpose, it just happens automatically. I remember one of my friends from grade school had a cousin that lived two towns over. “Man, I hate Long Island kids,” he always used to say. And I didn’t get it. “What are you talking about?”


“I’m from Queens.” And that was it, I don’t think he really knew what that meant either, but I was left to sort of figure things out for myself. And I’m not even kidding you, I remember being in like fourth or fifth grade and finally looking at a map. And it was Long Island, my town somewhere in the middle, and Brooklyn and Queens clearly a part of the same geographical landmass.

And then my grandfather explained it to me, the boroughs, how New York City is more than just Manhattan. But cut it any way you want to, Long Island isn’t New York City. It’s Nassau County, that’s where I grew up, and Suffolk County farther east. And you’d never really think it makes too much of a difference. I mean, I grew up in the suburbs, I’m not trying to make my upbringing something that it’s not.

But why am I writing this, why am I trying to justify myself anyway? It’s what I’ve been conditioned to do. When I went away to college, I found out the hard way that I couldn’t just say I was from New York the same way some guy from the suburbs of Cleveland gets to say that he’s from Cleveland. Because any time that question comes up, wherever I am in the world, it doesn’t matter, there’s always going to be at least one or two real New Yorkers ready to put me in my place, to out New York me.

If you’re from Long Island, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and it’s really annoying. “Oh, you’re from New York?” the real New Yorker will cut you off, “What part? I’m from (insert New York City neighborhood here), born and raised.” Notice how they don’t even give you a chance to give an answer before throwing their origin story in your face.

Also notice the phrase “born and raised.” You’ll hear it a lot from people who grew up in the city. They must teach it at all the public schools. “OK class, if you ever hear anybody from Long Island trying to say that they’re from New York, make sure that you let them know where you were born and raised.”

I lived in Ecuador for two years and I couldn’t escape it. I met several expats who, after hearing me drop the NY, they’d kind of just appear, get in my face. “Where? Long Island? That’s not really New York.” I swear, I’d been living in Queens for two years before I went abroad, and I still felt pressured to display my bona fides, all while this guy from Staten Island and some girl from Brooklyn shook their heads at me in disapproval. “I’ve never even been to Long Island,” some lady from Manhattan once boasted to me. And I had to just stand there and smile and try not to get into a screaming match with a random stranger. Because really? That’s something to brag about? That you’re born on a tiny island and you’ve never once made the trip to the slightly bigger tiny island that exists fifteen minutes to the east?

Over the course of many years of bullshit New York conversation, I’d try to make the argument that, outside of Manhattan anyway, a lot of the outer boroughs are pretty much identical to suburban Long Island. But whatever, I’m not trying to defend myself, or Long Island. Long Island shouldn’t have to defend itself from New York City. One, it’s not fair, because a lot of Long Island towns are bigger than actual cities across the US. And two, who cares? For real? Who gives a shit? Why don’t you pick on Westchester? Huh? What, making fun of Jersey isn’t good enough for you? You have to take a dump on Long Island? By the way, don’t bother explaining where the Hamptons are. If you’re getting bent out of shape because of a conversation with someone who grew up in New York and vacations in the Hamptons, just leave, just do yourself a favor and make sure you never talk to that person again.

And for real here, a lot of the stuff that New York is famous for is better on Long Island. I’m talking pizza and bagels. New York City staples, right? Yeah, well they’re both better on Long Island. Go ahead and deny it. Start throwing down the names of all of those world-class New York pizzerias you found on a BuzzFeed list while you should have been working. Sure, maybe there’s like one or two city pizza places or bagel shops that do a really good job, but in terms of consistent quality at basically every location, Long Island has NYC beat nine times out of ten.

That’s basically it. If you’re one of those real New Yorkers, do me a favor, and just save it, OK? I don’t care where you were born and raised, and nobody else does either. There’s no trophy. And you sound like an idiot. Also, if you ever say “Strong Island” to me like you think you’re making fun of me, or that I’m going to get upset, you’re not, and I’m not. In fact, I take it is a compliment.

This article was originally published at Thought Catalog.

Thanks Ed!

I ran the Long Island Marathon yesterday, and all I’ve got to say is, thanks Ed! Thanks for taking the entire race and making it all about you, Ed Mangano, the Nassau County Executive. I was so happy when I went to the race expo on Saturday, when one of the workers handed me my race bag. Imagine how excited I was to see your name, Ed Mangano, printed on both sides of the bag that contained all of my race stuff.

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“County Executive: Ed Mangano” front and back. Thanks Ed! And thanks for putting your name on everything that was inside the race bag also. Like the race t-shirt. Everyone loves getting race t-shirts, those wearable trophies that have become commonplace for even the smallest of races. I’m glad you saw fit to use these shirts as opportunities to further drive home the fact that you, Ed Mangano, are in charge of Nassau County.

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Thanks Ed, thanks for printing your name in bold letters on both sides of that race t-shirt. This is perfect, because now it doesn’t matter if people are running behind me or coming at me from the opposite direction. Never again will anybody who sees me wearing my race t-shirt ever have to ask themselves, “I wonder who the executive is for Nassau County.” They’ll just see me and they’ll know that it’s you, Ed Mangano, Nassau County Executive. Thanks Ed!

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But that’s only good for when I’m exercising. So thanks, Ed, for including that Ed Mangano Nassau County Executive lanyard in my bag of race goods. I’ve already attached it to my keys, so now the lanyard sticks out of my pocket, your name printed every three inches or so, Ed Mangano, over and over again. It’s perfect. I’m glad the seventy-five dollars I paid to run the race made it possible for you to have all of this political advertising printed across every aspect of race paraphernalia.

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Like the race medals. Thanks Ed, for having the foresight to have your name inscribed in the back of the medal. Some lesser people might think it a little much, overkill even, to have your name forged in metal hanging around the necks of every race participant, but years from now, if I ever decide to go through all of my race medals, I’ll never forget just who happened to be the Nassau County Executive in 2014. It’s you. Ed Mangano.

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The same guy who has his names on every taxi on Long Island. Ed Mangano. Thanks Ed! I was a little disappointed, looking back at all of those other races that I’ve run, the New York City marathon never said anything about Bloomberg. Doesn’t that guy know anything about being a politician? You have to get your name out there, everywhere.

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Thanks Ed, that despite my political leanings, I now get to proudly think of your name every time I even casually remember running the Long Island Marathon. Ed Mangano, County Executive. Thanks Ed. Thanks a lot. Thanks for making me look at your name like ten thousand times this weekend.

My friend Greg worked at haunted house on Long Island

When I was in school, I had this friend Greg. Every fall, Greg would work for one of those haunted mansion spook tours out toward the end of Long Island. I hadn’t been to one since I was a little kid, I remember I went with a friend and his parents, they took us on a hay ride from the parking lot to the house, and there were people running around outside with chainsaws, lots of screaming sounds projecting from inside.

creepy house

And yeah, it was cool, I think. I don’t know, I was little. It could have been circumstance that made it so exciting. Like, I was with my friend, and he’s acting all scared, so I could have been pressured to act scared, to fit in. It’s like when you go see a comedy movie with your friends, and everyone in the theater is cracking up, laughing out loud, and then months later you catch that same movie on cable and you sit back, ready to recapture some of those laughs, but nothing’s funny, you’re like, what the hell? Evan Almighty isn’t really that good. How did I enjoy myself the first time around?

So when Greg kept bugging me to make the trip out east to see him in action, I was pretty unenthusiastic. I’d have to take the train, I wouldn’t know where to get dinner, it would have been a huge thing. But he was persistent, “Rob, you coming this weekend? Only two weeks left. Come on man, I promise, it’s a really cool time, for real.”

And I don’t know, he caught me in a moment of weakness, I relented, and two Fridays before Halloween I found myself on the Long Island Rail Road, taking the train out somewhere far away. I got off at the stop and, you know how Long Island is, you need a car. There are usually a bunch of cabs everywhere, but not tonight, there weren’t any.

I considered calling a taxi service, but I really didn’t feel like waiting, and then I looked up the address on my phone, it was only a mile and a half away, I figured, I could walk a mile and a half, that’s not too bad.

So I made it to the house, the first thing I noticed was the total absence of any other people, no parking lot, no cars, no haunted hay ride. But my friend Greg, well, he was cool and everything, but if there’s one person I could think of that would work in an unpopular haunted mansion, well … well that’s a weird way to put it. Greg wasn’t weird. But if someone told me, “Hey Rob, do you know the haunted mansion that Greg works at? Yeah, I went last weekend, and there wasn’t anybody there. Like, I don’t know what kind of business they’re running, but the place was totally empty,” it wouldn’t be that hard to believe.

It was already dark out, and I’m not stupid, like if I walked up to an abandoned house, I wouldn’t assume that it was some sort of under-attended event, no, but there was a flickering light coming from somewhere inside, and so I figured this had to be it, maybe I was early, or maybe it just sucked and nobody wanted to waste their money.

The front door was open so I walked in. There wasn’t any ticket booth, no signs anywhere, in fact, the place looked pretty decrepit. If I wanted to set up a haunted mansion, I’d go over the top, add some fake cobwebs in every corner, maybe paint “HELP ME!” or other creepy stuff on the walls. No, this place was just old, it smelled old, dusty, like mildew.

And I don’t know why I wasn’t scared before, like I hadn’t even considered that I was walking into some creepy real abandoned house, but the sudden realization that this probably wasn’t where I was supposed to be hit me all at once, and I knew that I needed to get out immediately.

I turned around to leave and there was old man standing behind the open door, his face twisted into a grimace, I didn’t expect it, I freaked the hell out and tried to run, but he slammed the door before I could make a break for it. What could I do? I didn’t want to run any further in the house, should I try to get past him? Make a break for it?

“Boo!” he said. And then he just kind of stood there, he relaxed his face, and then he said, “OK, five bucks,” and he held out his hand. And I said, “Wait, this is the haunted mansion?” And he said, “Yup. Pretty scary, huh? You were pretty scared, I could tell. Five bucks.”

I said, “Where’s Greg?” and he was like, “Greg? He doesn’t work here. I’m a solo act. He gets a cut from everybody he sends over.” I said, “But, you didn’t even ask who referred me. If I hadn’t asked about Greg, how would you have known who to pay?” He went, “He should have told you to make sure to mention his name. I figured he had. He’s not the brightest, right? I mean, you see that, right?” I felt like I had to say something, try to defend my friend, but then I got pissed, because if Greg wasn’t the bright one, what did that say about me, apparently one of the only guys he successfully suckered all the way out east to give this old guy five bucks.

“Five bucks,” he repeated. I paid, I mean, I was pretty scared, if only for a second. I got back to school like two hours later, everyone had already went out for the night, Greg left a note, “Hope you had a great time at the haunted house! By the way, I drank your beer. I’ll get you later. Greg.”

Hillside Support Facility

EDIT: 09/01/2014 – I see that this story is getting a lot of traffic from some train forum called SubChat. This story is fiction. I am a fiction writer and I make myself write a fictitious story every day. No, I didn’t really sneak into the Hillside Support Facility.

I grew up on Long Island, but now I live in Queens, so every time I want to go home and visit my parents, I have to take the Long Island Rail Road. It’s expensive, yeah, but I don’t have to take it every day, and so I don’t really have any reason to complain about the price, seeing as how it’s fast, it runs very regularly, and I don’t have to deal with rush hour or anything.

But it always drives me crazy, there are like four or five stops in between where I live and where my parents live, and one of them is this place called the Hillside Support Facility. Every time they announce Hillside Support Facility, the conductor makes it a point to tell us that it’s for Long Island Railroad employees only. And sure enough, we pull into this mystery train station, it’s like all industrial looking, like we’ve arrived at the second level from Sonic the Hedgehog, and all of the sudden all of these guys in orange vests and hardhats and work boots are standing up and getting off or coming on.


Every time it just drives me crazy, I want to go to the Hillside Support Facility. Why should employees get their own private train station? I’m sure they’ve got like cool soda machines and maybe an air-conditioned waiting room. Why won’t they let me get off? Why can’t I just walk along the tracks and see what’s going on? I’m not going to walk into any offices or anything, like, if I find some closed doors, I’m not just going to start opening them up and peeking inside. And worse case, I do open up a door and snoop around a little, I’m not going to just leave the door open after I’m done, I’ll shut it behind me, I promise.

It’ll be like I was never there. And these thoughts, they flash through my mind and I’m like, I’m going to do it, I’m going to get off at the Hillside Support Facility, but then the doors close and I’m stuck in my head, just daydreaming about the Hillside Support Facility, I’ve blown my chance, the conductor gets on the loudspeaker, “Next stop, New Hyde Park.”

And I mentioned before how rarely I take the LIRR, so it’s not like I can really build up some momentum with these daydreams. I figured, all right, I’ve just got to do this. I’ve got to go home, I’ve got to make a plan, and I have to make this happen. So I went back to Queens and I found this store by my place that sells all of those worker looking clothes, all of that stuff I was talking about earlier, the orange vests, the safety goggles, I was ready.

I got on the train and sat down, and the conductor started working his way through the car right away. “Tickets, all tickets please.” I figured, OK, I’ve got to make this look convincing, so I’m not going to give him a ticket. I’ll just act the part, like I’m working at the Support Facility, like I’m not going to pay a ticket to get to work. Right? Those guys have to be able to at least use the train for free. Right?


“I’m uh, I’m working at the Support Facility.”

“OK, I need to see your tag then.”

“I … I …”

“Your ID? What subsection are working at? What are you electrical? Maintenance?”

“It’s just that, I just … the Support Facility …”

“Wait here a minute.”

Shit. I really didn’t plan this out too well. I should have made it seem like I had an interview or something, like I was going there for a meeting. And I should have been way more casual. But then what about all of this working gear? I could have said yes to whatever he said, electrical. The conductor came back with another guy wearing an orange vest and a hard hat.

“Hey, where’d you say you work at?”

“At the Support Facility,” I tried to act even more casual, like I was talking about before, “I’m maintenance. Electrical maintenance. Support.”

“All right, well, I’m shift leader today. Stay close. What are you a transfer? Let me see your tag.”

I froze. Just then the doors opened up. We were here, Hillside Support Facility. I made a break for it.

“Hey! Wait!”

It was just like any other stop, there were stairs leading up from the platform. I raced up, down some hallway. There was a soda machine, but nothing special, just Coke, Diet Coke, Dasani. I checked real quick to see if the sodas were complimentary for employees. Nope, a dollar fifty, just like in the civilian world.

After the hallway there was a door, outside an employee parking lot. I ran past all the cars, there was a security guy at a gate letting vehicles in. I sprinted past him too, “Hey! You!” and then I was outside. I had no idea where I was, Hillside, I guess, and I had no idea like how to get home, how to get to a civilian train station, which direction I might start walking to get to my parents’ house. What a bust.