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43 Signs You Grew Up In Queens

All the cool kids may be in Brooklyn these days, but the borough next door is far too modest for all that fanfare. We're just the largest, most picturesque, most ethnically diverse New York City borough. NBD, guys.

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5. First stop: GIANT-ASS BUBBLES!!!!

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OK, we can go to the gift shop now.


11. All you wanted on a sweltering July afternoon was an Italian ice from the Lemon Ice King of Corona, but if you didn't live nearby you'd settle for Uncle Louie G's or Ralph's.


14. You know damn well that there's a Ridgewood outside of New Jersey. And that it's way/sort of cooler.


Full disclosure: I grew up and also now reside in Ridgewood. Every conversation I've ever had about where I live, as far back as I can recall, goes something like this.

Stranger: "Oh, Ridgewood, New Jersey!"

Me: "No, Ridgewood, Queens."

Stranger: "Oh. Never heard of it."

Me: "Do you know where Middle Village or Glendale are?"

Stranger: "Um, yea...I think?"

Me: "It borders those two neighborhoods. It's next to Bushwick too."

Stranger: "Oh, OK, Bushwick!"

16. You experienced your first night out "clubbing" at age 15 at the European bars in Astoria because they never ID'd anyone. (Or they were the only bars that accepted the out-of-state ID you bought in the village for $40.)


"Karen from Ocean City, Maryland, you say...? Well come on in, totally legal 21-year-old patron!"

17. And if you couldn't get into a bar, you'd just hang out at a pool hall instead — taking turns sneaking sips from a beer the one person who barely passed for 18 was somehow able to snag.

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Austin Street and Bell Boulevard were swarming with kids who had the same idea.

18. You hung out at either Queens Center or Bay Terrace, like, every day after school.


And you remember filling up bags of jelly beans from Candy Candy and going back to get, like, 10 samples of chicken teriyaki from the Japanese place in the food court.


20. If you were a girl shopping for your prom dress, your first stops were Austin Street in Forest Hills or Steinway/Broadway in Astoria.


You know you rocked a prom dress that looked like this. And you rocked it hard, as only Queens girls can.

21. You know you're capable of ANYTHING in this lifetime after successfully crossing Queens Boulevard (aka the Boulevard of Death) on multiple occasions.

Leave off the last "s" for "scary." Over the last two decades, roughly 10 people have died each year crossing or walking beside Queens Blvd. :( BE CAREFUL, FELLOW QUEENSFOLK.

22. And when you're standing on Queens Blvd., you have no clue which way is east vs. west or north vs. south — just that "LIC is this way and Jamaica is that way."

23. You chuckled and made corny jokes EVERY time you passed by Goldfingers and Wiggles.

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And when you were finally of age and someone decided it would be "funny" to check out Wiggles after bar-hopping, $100 later, your experience could be summed up by one of these reviews.

24. When your friends got their licenses, all you did was pile into the car to cruise the 'Lew (or Bell Blvd. or Woodhaven Blvd.) for hours — beeping at/exchanging glances with other teenagers on the road.


You finally settled at a cafe or the movies and then your one friend with the car drove everyone home.

25. Going to "the city" was a big deal — and you'd round up at least 10 of your friends to do so. Must-stops: St. Mark's, Rockefeller Center, Times Square (just for TRL, though).

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27. The college application process was way less daunting than the high school application process.


1) Consider your zoned high school out of the question, because someone got shot and/or arrested there last week.

2) Read through a book that's twice your body weight.

3) Pick the 10 schools you want to go to.

4) Take approximately 346 tests.

5) Have a magic unicorn race with other incoming freshman to see who makes it to your No. 1 pick first.

6) You're in!

7) Just kidding. You're wait-listed.

43. At one point, you were pumped to call LL Cool J a fellow Queensite...


(Fine, it doesn't roll off the tongue as smoothly as "Brooklynite" or "Staten Islander," but we need a word to describe ourselves, OK?)

At least we still have Nas.

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The Ramones.

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Tell us why you love (or loved growing up in) Queens in the comments below!


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