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.

    1. You've been to Cherry Valley.

    2. You ordered the Bushman.

    3. You took at least two buses, or at least a bus to a train, or at least two subway lines, to get to high school every day.

    4. You had a school trip to this place EVERY YEAR.

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

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    OK, we can go to the gift shop now.

    6. Your parents would always take you to Flushing Meadows Zoo...even though you begged and cried to go to the Bronx Zoo JUST ONCE.

    Once you got there, there was a barren pond...

    ...a red panda that showed its face every few years...

    ...and a petting zoo.

    Cool zoo, bro.

    7. There were actually more animals to see on the Flushing Meadows carousel.

    8. You were all like this when you got the day off for Brooklyn-Queens Day:

    9. And like THIS when you found out that other kids in the city still had to go to school that day:

    10. The amount of strings on your Jansport were directly proportional to your social status in junior high school.

    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.

    12. All of your best friends from childhood speak at least one other language fluently.

    13. You ate at Pastrami King at least once as a kid.

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

    15. Bonus shout-out to Briarwood and Auburndale, the other two Queens neighborhoods no one ever knows about.

    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.)

    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.

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

    19. You know who this guy is.

    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.

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

    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.

    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.

    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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    26. You stand "on line," not "in line."

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

    28. You got your first tattoo (a star) or piercing (cartilage) at Pete & Cubo's in Ozone Park or True Blue Tattoo in Middle Village.

    29. You know the best bagels are actually at a place called Hot Bialys...

    30. ...the best Indian food is in Jackson Heights...

    31. ...and the best Chinese food isn't in Chinatown, but in Flushing.

    32. All your rich friends had cool parties at their mansions in Forest Hills Gardens or Malba.

    33. You were well-aware that you could easily polish off a five-course meal at the bus stop before the next Q54 or Q55 arrived.

    34. You went to see friends' bands play all-age shows at Castle Heights and Redzone.

    35. You engaged in underaged hijinks behind the Woodhaven Lanes bowling alley.

    36. Sometimes you actually even went inside to bowl.

    37. This guy could be found hanging around somewhere in your home.

    38. You didn't move out of your parents' house until at least age 25.

    39. You've spent more than one hungover morning with a greasy plate in front of you at this place.

    40. Depending on how old you are, you may have spotted The Jerky Boys (1995)...

    41. ...Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004)...

    42. ...and Men in Black 3 (2012) being filmed in Queens.

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

    Until this happened.

    At least we still have Nas.

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    The Ramones.

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    Simon & Garfunkel.

    Christopher Walken.

    And Lucy Liu.

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