1. You could tell how cool someone was by how many Jansport strings they had on their bookbag.
2. If you were born in a year that ended with a round number, getting into bars with your chalked ID was a cinch.
1983 + red pencil + white pencil = easy one-way ticket to boozetown. 1981 took a little more skill. (And you never forgot to change the expiration date too.)
3. When bouncers got hip to chalking, you spent $40 on a fake ID from some sketchy tattoo or "tobacco" shop in the Village...and it never worked.
4. So you learned to avoid the bars and clubs that had scanners (aka most of the cool ones).
RIP Limelight, The Tunnel, and The Roxy.
5. And if all else failed, you could always go to an all-ages show at Castle Heights or the Knitting Factory.
6. Shutting down all the strip clubs in Times Square somehow made it even more intolerable...except for this saving grace.
7. And the chances of your face actually being seen on camera on TRL were slim to none, but it was still worth cutting school early to try.
8. You were both devastated and intrigued by the switchover from these to these:
9. And you tested the limits of your student MetroCard on holidays — praying you wouldn't get caught by a transit officer and served a ticket.
"Oh, sorry, officer! I thought it was totally legal to use my card on Columbus Day..."
10. You knew which train stations it was safe to jump the turnstile at and which weren't.
11. And you felt a weird nostalgia for the graffitied trains of decades past, mourning a colorful bygone era every time you spotted one in the wild.
12. Becoming a bona fide celebrity dermatologist was as easy as putting up approximately 100,000 subway ads and never, ever updating them.
13. The giant keyboard at FAO Schwarz was just as cool IRL — if not cooler — as it seemed in Big.
14. If you went to public school, you knew which lunch options to avoid like the plague. Lukewarm fish disc with a square block of cheese in the middle? Uh, no thanks.
15. You knew what every illicit drug was by the time you were 7 years old because of the "drug-free dances" (?) your school held.
16. You were convinced you were going to die of asbestos poisoning every time you stepped foot into your decrepit school building.
18. The kids in Brooklyn and Queens always felt like this on their day off on Brooklyn-Queens Day.
19. During after-school bodega visits, you learned that sometimes a potato chip is not just a potato chip, but the very thing your existence depends on.
Me + Crazy Calypso = 4eva