I’m leaving for California tomorrow and I’m thrilled.
Beyond thrilled. My suitcase is filled with bright colors, floral prints and easy breezy outfits, that I believe are “California-inspired.” I’ve even been stalking pinterest boards for inspiration.
However, I’m playing all my favorite NY-rap songs, getting pumped up for it.
I like when people ask me where I’m from. I’m not even from NYC or the five boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island), but my chest sticks out.
New York is a special place. People are excited about it everywhere you go. There’s a certain swagger NY people have, that most outsiders mistake for arrogance, over confidence and overall jerkiness.
It’s ok. New Yorkers have a tough skin. We are fighters. Especially in the city it’s a tough, strange place, full of equally tough, strange people. And more droves of people show up on a daily basis to chase their dreams permanently, or even just during a vacation from someplace halfway across the globe.
Because we know this, there is a pride that’s just hard to describe and New Yorkers start thinking we are more awesome than everyone else at an early age.
I remember my southern cousins always being impressed and excited when we came to town because we talked differently and dressed differently and we just seemed unfazed or unimpressed, too cool for school.
Even on an eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. I remember being in the bathroom at the Air and Space Museum, and some girls from some other school someplace else muttering, “Those girls think they are all that because they are from New York.”
While washing her hands, one of my classmates yelled out, “We do!”
Damn cocky New Yorkers.
Even to this day, although I reside in Maryland, I always preface it with, “I’m from New York.” Can’t help it. I can’t bring myself to say, “I’m from Maryland.”
It’s not really the truth. I do live in Maryland and I love it. But I’m not from here.
In my adult life, when I lived other places, I always said. I am from New York. It seems men who are not from New York, LOVE New York women, or either have stories about New York women ruining their lives. Either way. They all agree, there is something about us.
But there is something in particular about New Yorkers and California. (I’m going to watch Sex and the City when the girls go to LA for more inspiration. Carrie Bradshaw also mentions the New York Vs. Cali conundrum).
For some reason, I feel the need to be extra New York while I’m there. No, I will not thicken my accent, or wear Yankess caps everywhere I go, but, my New York soul is going to be turned up to the max. Oh, the swagger.
For some reason, there’s a geographic Hatfields and McCoys kind of rivalry that’s gone on for further back than I can remember. Both coasts being really proud and claiming its better than the other. Usually it’s playful, but yes, it eventually got serious among rappers, several years ago.
Here’s the list of ridiculous things I was trained to believe about NY and California. I’m so serious.
New Yorkers are supposed to hate California.
Even if you go for a visit, and you actually think it’s cool, you still have to point out everything you don’t like and explain why the East Coast is better.
You actually have to say, “This was cool, but…”
Yes, we know. We are professional haters. We are so friggin good at it. We take our hating seriously.
New Yorkers are supposed to be more cosmopolitan, and fast.
Californians are supposed to be laid back and slow and say things like “dude” and “gnarly.” All of the white people can surf and all of the black people are some how affiliated with a gang. Offensive? Totally.
New Yorkers have this ideal sense of culture and are serious and intellectual.
While Californians (particularly L.A.) are supposed to be vain and vapid.
All Californians are vegetarians.
California Pizza Kitchen is an oxymoron.
There is no bad sushi or Mexican food in California.
God hates California because of all of the earthquakes, fires and mudslides.
Don’t wear significant amounts of red or blue (The Bloods and Crips will kill you. Twice. Because neither group can be outdone in killing.).
Here are some of the songs in my mix:
NY Sh^& by Busta Rhymes
Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)
Blahzay Blahzay Danger (When the East Is in the House)
And let’s throw in my favorite California hip hop songs… California Love. Tupac
And let’s do “Going Back to Cali” with the Notorious B.I.G.
I love, love, love this song. I was going real hard with the Hip Hop. “It Never Rains In Southern California” by Tony, Toni, Tone!