There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home!
Home for me resides on Long Island, where I was born and raised, and though I might complain about living there 3/4 of the time, I do truly love it. There are some things about Long Island that no place else quite lives up to, and if you're able to call Long Island your home as well, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
But just in case you seem to have forgotten or you're not native to "lawn-guy-land" (just the typical Long-Islander pronunciation), here are some reminders as to why living on Long Island is the best place (and sometimes, just sometimes, the worst) to call your home:
1. Our bagels are incredible.
Most say it's the quality of our water that makes them so great, I just say it's magic, but no other area in the country's bagels can compare to the perfection of a Long Island bagel. I will literally have these babies shipped up to me by my parents while I'm up at school in Pennsylvania.
2. And while we're at it, our pizza is amazing too.
Again, it has something to do with the water. And possibly the amount of Italian-Americans living on the island— but you haven't tried good pizza until you've come to Long Island to try a slice from Little Vincent's or La Piazza.
3. You do not live in Long Island.
You live on Long Island. There is no argument there...period.
4. The LIE is the worst.
There is nothing worse than being stuck on the LIE for two hours to travel just 5 miles. Rush hour on Long Island is absolutely brutal, and with the temper of most drivers, it's likely to be a very unenjoyable ride home.
5. Delis are the go-to stop for every meal.
Breakfast, check. Lunch, check. Dinner, check. Long Island delis have everything you need. From the incredible egg sandwiches to subs and amazing prepared foods, delis are a way of life for Long Islanders. There's also one in almost every single shopping center you encounter.
6. We have the best beaches around.
Whether you're on the North Shore or South Shore, you're sure to find some beautiful beaches. Check out the North Shore for the rockier Long Island Sound beaches or head to the South Shore to take a dip in the Atlantic and walk along the boardwalk of Robert Moses. There's a beach in every direction you go and it makes summers a blast.
7. The 631 vs. 516 Rivalry.
It'll be a never-ending debate on which county is better: Suffolk (631) or Nassau (516). Both offer incredible diversity and lots of sites to see, but there's no unbiased way to determine which of these unique counties tops the other.
8. We have a special kind of accent.
Travel anywhere off the island and people will immediately point out an accent you never knew existed. Others love to mock the way we pronounce "coffee" and "dog," among many other words, but it's just the way we are.
9. Nobody outside of Long Island can pronounce our town names.
The history surrounding Long Island is rich, especially when it comes to the Native Americans who settled on the land before us. In honor of them, many of our town names are based on their tribes and people, such as Ronkonkoma, Amagansett, Cutchogue, and Patchogue. However, it's a special talent of Long Islanders to be able to pronounce every single one of them and a very difficult task for those not around here to absolutely butcher their pronunciation.
10. The LIRR is the worst transportation system ever.
Constant delays, changing tracks in inconvenient locations, and over-crowded trains at rush hour are just a few of the reasons why the Long Island Railroad is the absolute worst. Not to mention that there is nothing more stress-inducing than waiting in Penn Station and waiting for your track to be called and almost losing your life to the mob that ensues.
11. Billy Joel is our anthem.
We worship Billy Joel on Long Island like a God and are extremely proud to call him ours. You will most likely never meet a Long Islander who doesn't know every single lyric to his classics and won't be down to huddle together and belt out "Piano Man" together.
12. The End is more than just a phrase.
The End, aka Montauk, is one of the most popular spots for a quick summer trip and one of the best spots to hit the beach for some fishing, surfing, and sunbathing. The Lighthouse is an extremely popular tourist destination and summers at Montauk are usually a tradition in most households.
13. The Hamptons aren't just for the rich and famous.
Yes, the Hamptons may be the summer homes to some of the biggest celebrity names, such as the Kardashians and Beyoncé, but they're also the home to some of the most beautiful beaches, wineries, and shopping villages on the island. Whether it's summer or winter, the Hamptons are always a great place for families to visit.
14. Adventureland isn't just a movie.
Believe it or not, the movie "Adventureland" is based off our special little amusement park in Farmingdale, and it's every single kid's favorite place to visit in the summertime. A day at Adventureland consists of endless rides on the Ferris Wheel, Giant Swings, and Crocodile Run, and no matter how old you are, it's always fun to visit for the day.
15. Your grandparents probably live in Florida.
If your grandparents don't move down to Florida when they retire, did they really ever live on Long Island?
16. The winters are harsh, but snow days are plenty.
It's highly unlikely to have less than 3 snow days each school year with the number of snowstorms that hit Long Island each year. Getting 8-10 inches of snow is nothing to us because we're used to shoveling ourselves out of a foot or more in most storms. However, no matter how many snow storms we get each winter, the grocery store shelves will be empty of bread, milk, and cookies each time.
17. The Kings Park Psychiatric Center is the real horror house.
While the Amityville Horror House is, in fact, a real house and people flock from all over the country to see it in real life, the real horror house of Long Island is really the Kings Park Psychiatric Center, a real abandoned psych center that people illegally sneak into all the time. The ghost stories surrounding this place are plenty, and if you're brave enough (and take the right safety measures) to sneak inside, you'll probably see some pretty disturbing things.
18. Lacrosse is a huge deal here.
Yes, football and soccer are fun to watch, but nobody loves lacrosse more than Long Islanders. We've produced some of the best players in the country, and our high schools are extremely passionate about the sport.
19. Ralph's Ices is the best place for a cold treat.
No other ice cream or ices shop beats Ralph's, and with over 50 different flavors of water ice, cream ice, and ice cream, you'll likely spend most of your summer waiting in line there.
20. If you don't know what to eat, go to the diner.
Can't decide if you want Mexican, Italian, or breakfast for dinner? Just head to any diner. Most are open 24 hours and serve nearly anything your heart desires, so you can please the entire family. Who doesn't love being able to get waffles or a cheeseburger at 3 o'clock in the morning on a Saturday?!
21. If you live "upstate." you are not a New Yorker.
No offense to those that actually do live in upstate New York, but to most Long Islanders, the state consists of us and the city. That's about it.
22. Leaving is the hardest decision you'll ever have to make.
Whether it be temporarily leaving to go away for school or having to move away for work, leaving Long Island is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. You make complain incessantly about the traffic or how over-populated the island is becoming, but deep down you know that Long Island will always be your home, and nothing will ever replace it in your heart.