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40 Signs You Grew Up In Brooklyn

An ode to everyone who always knew Brooklyn had the coolest neighborhoods in America — way before they became the coolest neighborhoods in America.

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5. If you grew up in the Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, or Williamsburg vicinity, you had at least one neighbor with a rooster that would wake you up (literally) at the crack of dawn.

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11. ...but you soon learned to love the fact that you no longer needed to leave a two-block radius to have a fun night out.

Kenn Wilson / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: kchrist

(i.e., drink cocktails in a bar frequented by more than two stinky alcoholic regulars and eat a meal that wasn't prepared behind the Domino's counter.)

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14. You went to metal and hardcore shows at L'Amour (and feel weird reading it spelled like that because you always called it L'Amours).

Via visualingual.wordpress.com

And if you didn't have a car, after shows ended you waited in angsty packs on the subway platform for a train back home...for like, an hour.

16. Sucked to be you if you lived in Marine Park, Mill Basin, or Red Hook, because you knew none of your friends were coming over to hang in the hood that was roughly 1738921 miles from the nearest subway stop.

17. You remember when the L train was the LL — and if you don't, as a commuting teen you were totally confused by your parents calling it the LL train for years after the second letter was dropped.

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18. When you hear the word "freestyle," your mind doesn't turn to rap but to the purest form of dance music created by angels from above:

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TKA, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, Lil' Suzy, Exposé, Shannon...

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24. And if you don't, your accent usually gives you away immediately. Or at least when you're drunk and/or really angry.

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Also, you don't understand how people can't differentiate Queens, Bronx, and Brooklyn accents in a heartbeat.

28. Your junior high and high school dances looked something like this:

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And to this day, you're still not really sure how to dance any other way.

29. Favorite school trip? The one you made here every year. Penguinnnnnnns!

David Shankbone / Creative Commons / Via en.wikipedia.org

PS: The aquarium had been temporarily closed due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and it partially reopened on May 25. Donations to help rebuild the aquarium can be made here.

31. Applying to high school took roughly as long as the Seven Years' War and required more effort and tears than planning a wedding.

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You could build biceps the size of The Rock's by weight training with the high school directory book.

CC: all other boroughs.

32. You secretly hoped you'd score high enough on the specialized high school exam to get into Brooklyn Tech but not Bronx Science or Stuyvesant so your commute would be sweeeeeet.

33. Before romantic dates here were part of the equation, you spent the surly summer nights of your youth discreetly drinking 40s on the promenade in Brooklyn Heights.

38. This song is totally played out, but you still get pumped and sing along when you hear it.

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And cornily shout out your neighborhood when it comes up.

39. You're proud to share your hometown with some of the greats: MCA, Biggie, Jay-Z, Barbra Streisand, Tony Danza, Joan Rivers, Basquiat...

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