Ask A Native New Yorker

Friday, June 20, 2014

A haggle over a hat in 1970s NYC (vhhammer/flickr)

Should you let strangers sit on your stoop? How old is too old to have roommates? Can Long Islanders be New Yorkers, too? We'll take questions and get answers from Jake Dobkin, publisher and co-founder of Gothamist, and the site's 'Ask a Native New Yorker' columnist, Brian and other natives on the phones about anything related to city life.


Jake Dobkin

Comments [39]

n6w from US

I have to agree with the others who felt this guest did a poor job and didn't provide a bit of knowledge or expertise. The callers who raised such interesting and fun questions would likely be more suitable guests or Brain's show. Please don't have this guy back on the air.

Jun. 27 2014 10:12 PM
Virginia from Manhattan

Your native New Yorker sounds like an out of town transplant. Wrong on many issues. The bodega/deli is a no brainer and glad he was corrected. His definition of native so off. And the Queens/Park Slope, off. Not sure why he is credited with being an authority, he's not.

Jun. 21 2014 09:29 AM
Mookie from Bklyn

Brooklyn is a Borough of Churches that have been converted into overpriced "luxury" condos.

Jun. 20 2014 01:58 PM
Blythe from Rego Park

My parents were born and raised in Brooklyn and Queens. I was born in Manhattan and raised on Long Island. I grew up spending time in Brooklyn and Queens with my grandmothers, cousins, aunts and uncles. I went to undergrad at SUNY Albany. I've been living in Queens for the past 10 years and my parents are still in the same house on Long Island. I consider myself a native New Yorker!

Jun. 20 2014 01:36 PM
Keira from Manhattan

My guess is that stickball along with the myriad of other NYC street games, has vanished because of the increase in traffic and the sheer number of vehicles on the street. New York families that in the 1950s through the 70s had one "family"car now have 2 or 3 cars or more. It's just too dangerous to play on the street and I would guess difficult to sustain play for any satisfying period of time between passing vehicles. TV and video games of course play a big part in the demise of street games as well.

Jun. 20 2014 01:33 PM

I agree with Footprint from Queens NYC, Kevin from Massachusetts & the others who reject Jake's definition of a native New Yorker. He doesn't get to decide. It _is_ like citizenship: I was born and raised in NYC; it doesn't matter when I left or how long I stayed away...I will always be a native New Yorker!

Jun. 20 2014 12:32 PM
Lars from Brooklyn

Regarding the caller concerned with double parking being allowed for churches: agnostics get their day, too. It's Alternate Side Parking--when the street cleaners come, everyone double parks to the other side. Technically, I think this is illegal but as long as the cars get moved at the end of street cleaning, no tickets are issued.

But on the same subject, what really burns me is that noise regulations exempt churches. A megachurch is down the block from me and once a year they have an all night dance party that goes til 3 or 4 in the morning. Blasting the Macarena at rock concert sound levels is NOT religious expression; and the Constitution, though protecting religious freedom, does not allow special treatment of religious groups either. I'd love to get this law changed but no politician would dare confront a church, regardless of the church's un-neighborly behavior.

Jun. 20 2014 12:25 PM
Amy from Manhattan

JonYoung: Pheasants. In Inwood Hill Park & on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Jun. 20 2014 12:14 PM
Amy from Manhattan

"Live & let live" for double-parking church goers? No! If there's a fire & the firefighters can't get through, people could *die*! This has happened in New York. No one has the right to endanger other people's lives, for religious or other reasons. The parking laws should be enforced for everyone. Let's not wait for someone to die...again.

Jun. 20 2014 12:01 PM
Mary from NYC

The reason queens addresses include the neighborhood not the borough like other boroughs (e.g. Bronx, New York, or Brooklyn, New York) is because Queens was never a separate city. It had separate towns and villages.

Jun. 20 2014 12:00 PM
Reuven from Washington Heights

Why is double-parking enforcement so different in different neighborhoods (precincts)? In some you can double-park with impunity (even without leaving windshield emergency/contact information), in others you can never double-park, even for a minute (even with leaving windshield emergency/contact information). Other listeners can contribute which neighborhoods do which.

Jun. 20 2014 11:59 AM

"Brooklyn is a borough of churches" -- Irish Catholic Brooklyn would say, Brooklyn is a borough of parishes, as in "you're from Brooklyn? Which parish?"

Jun. 20 2014 11:58 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, we must be polite about it, but we must not tolerate loud bus talkers, train music players, etc. And I'm sick of always being the only one who speaks up.

Jun. 20 2014 11:57 AM
juljo from Lefferts Gardens

On unlimited Metrocards... The MTA used the idea of not using your metrocard, let someone else use it as part of their advertisement for the benefit of the card. If they advertised it (and they did) than you absolutely can share your swipes.

Jun. 20 2014 11:56 AM
juljo from Lefferts Gardens

On unlimited Metrocards... The MTA used the idea of not using your metrocard, let someone else use it as part of their advertisement for the benefit of the card. If they advertised it (and they did) than you absolutely can share your swipes.

Jun. 20 2014 11:56 AM
Susan Beth from stamford CT

To the Brownstone owners across the street from "Ample Hills" ice creamery---THANK YOU SO SO MUCH FOR LETTING MY HUSBAND AND I SIT ON YOUR STOOP TO FINISH OUR ICE CREAM!!! As a visitor to Brooklyn from Stamford CT, I will always cherish this memory and your kindness.

Jun. 20 2014 11:56 AM
Alison from Bronx

I've always wondering about the address question like that other caller. I disagree with the answer - because the Post Office does not recognize Park Slope as an address, they won't always deliver a letter addressed that way. But they will for a Bayside or Sunnyside, etc. Queens address. Also, why NY in Manhattan, but no where else in the 5 boros?

Jun. 20 2014 11:54 AM
fuva from harlemworld

I always use 'Harlem, NY' instead of 'New York, NY'.

Jun. 20 2014 11:54 AM
JonYoung from Staten Island

Living in an urban environment, what is the most usual animal you have seen in NYC outside of zoos?
I have seen this year- turkeys, beaver and deer and there is a report that a bald eagle is nesting on Staten Island.

Jun. 20 2014 11:54 AM
Footprint from Queens NYC

So who gave this guy the right to determine who qualifies as a "native New Yorker"? I was born here, I did all my growing up here, I left for a few years and have been back for more than 30 years. As a 100% authentic NATIVE NEW YORKER, I say ignore this shlub, he doesn't know what he's talking about!!

Jun. 20 2014 11:53 AM
jf from ny

they don't play in the street now because modern drivers are impatient dangerous careless and angry. Kids don't want to be hit by cars. cars wont yield for pedestrians.

Jun. 20 2014 11:53 AM
antonio from baySide

Even though I was born in jerseyCity, my mom moved my sister and I to Hell's Kitchen when I was like 2...

I am the real deal and I'll break your face if you say otherwise...(j/k)

Subsequently my younger sister and brother were born in Roosevelt...

Jun. 20 2014 11:52 AM
Kevin from Massachusetts

Wrong! "Native" title is like citizenship. You are born in NYC you are a native.
Where was this guy born?

Jun. 20 2014 11:52 AM
steve from Manhattan (15 blocks from where I was born 55 years ago)

Jake is full of pastrami... A real native New Yorker is someone born here and who has lived much if not most of their lives here, but has never left for more than a few months??? FUGGETABOUTIT!!!! A REAL New Yorker is someone who has that NOO YAWKA attitude, who has that style and worldly but neighborhoody manner that is instantly recognized by other New Yorkers who have no idea of your biography but just know you're a native New Yorker...

Jun. 20 2014 11:51 AM
The Truth from Becky

The stoop is private property - they include that square footage in my property tax appraisal!!

Jun. 20 2014 11:51 AM
nana from nyc

I'm uncomfortable with anyone tying to police who canlabel themselves what.
"If you lived outside of NYC for 3 months you lose the card" - Nonsense segment.

Jun. 20 2014 11:51 AM
Nick from UWS

Stickball is gone because the fascism of the NYPD and the fact that kids are inside with their faces in a screen instead of playing outside.

Jun. 20 2014 11:50 AM
The Truth from Becky

"Am I a real New Yorker?" If you have to ask....

Jun. 20 2014 11:49 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Totally disagree with your guest on the stoop issue in most cases; it's one thing if it's a large building with a stoop or stairs that lead directly to the sidewalk, and residents and their friends congregate there. But many stoops are behind fences and gates with small front yards. I should "share" my stoop with the public? A stoop behind a fence or gate isn't a public bench.

Jun. 20 2014 11:48 AM

So, since Brooklyn and Queens are technically *on* Long Island, how come I have to suffer the label that I am *not* being a native New Yorker. Just because I didn't take the subway to school?
I have a NYC pedigree: born in Brooklyn, mom from Brooklyn, dad from Maspeth, grandma from West 67th Street in Manhattan, all manner of aunts and uncles in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Just like the current caller!

Jun. 20 2014 11:47 AM
Tim from Brooklyn

How and why did your guest, as a native NYer, lose his NY accent?

Jun. 20 2014 11:46 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, the no-drinking-beer-on-your-own-stoop law is dumb. Is it a pretext law? We must lobby against it.

Jun. 20 2014 11:46 AM
The Truth from Becky

That opener song makes me nostalgic!

Jun. 20 2014 11:43 AM
Madeline from NYC

What is the proper taxi etiquette? Does a man get in first so he slides across the seat or does he hold the door and have the woman slide in and across first?

Jun. 20 2014 11:41 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, donate swipes to the poor.

Jun. 20 2014 11:40 AM
fuva from harlemworld

'Should you let strangers sit on your stoop?' The question encapsulates the problem. It's asked from the perspective of someone to whom the peeps on the stoop would be a stranger. Like a gentrifier...

We grew up in Harlem sitting on stoops, as part of the vibrant street culture that made it safe enough for kids to play and not be stuck inside getting fat...

And, even if we did not personally know the homeowner/tenant, we were still not 'strangers'. And, yes, they would sometimes get in yo azz for dropping Jolly Rancher wrappers. But then you'd pick them up and it was all good. Really.

Jun. 20 2014 11:31 AM
BronxJack from South Bronx

The South Bronx is going national...on television. The first SOUTH BRONX show is being developed by a Producer from Burbank and filming should begin by the end of the year. Its comedy, drama and serious social commentary.

Here are some clips:

Jun. 20 2014 10:32 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Should you let strangers sit (read: smoke, spit, take up space and converse loudly) on your stoop?
- Not worth a reply.

How old is too old to have roommates?
- Never too old to share the rent in this expensive city. Depends on your situation - recently divorced, lost job, etc. get a free pass.

Can Long Islanders be New Yorkers, too?
- No. They're Lawnguylanders.

Any other incredibly stupid questions?

Jun. 20 2014 10:11 AM
Laurie from Mott Haven

Will the South Bronx ever gentrify? I choked hearing that. With all the garbage trucks, powerplants, highway traffic and racist stereotypes, it is not hosting glass tower condos and artisanal thyme coco deliciosos yet, but get involved.

See are people working for a better commnuity

Jun. 20 2014 09:33 AM

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