I was born and raised in NYC. A proud Bronx native. I left after college and lived in TN for several, long, just too many years. When I moved back to NYC I noticed a lot of changes. The most annoying were/are the transients. People from other states (excluding the Northeast states because the majority of them don’t do this) who move to NY and call themselves New Yorkers after a year of living here. Never in the time that I lived in TN did it occur to me to drop my accent, and call myself a Tennessean. But lots of people move to NY and just put that title on as if just saying it makes it so.
Be proud of wherever you’re from. Don’t pretend you had no history before you moved to NY, because you did. You had a strong history, an accent, a way of living that makes up who you are. If you are from Montana, you are not a New Yorker. If you are from Idaho, you are not a New Yorker, and so on. Embrace that shit. Kudos to those people who move to NY and admit upfront that they moved to NY, and are not from NY. Those who are proud of where they are from, and he flavor that they bring to the city.
No matter where I move in the world, (and I will be moving soon) I’m always from the Bronx. I don’t know any New Yorker who gives up their title and says they are from somewhere else. I know New Yorkers who moved away in elementary school and still call themselves New Yorkers. When I was in TN I had a coworker who had been in TN for thirty years. She claimed Brooklyn like she’d just left. Be as proud of wherever you are from, as we are of where we are from.
Ask your local native New Yorker what they think about you calling yourself a New Yorker. They will be glad you asked and even happier to answer. There’s even a Meetup.com group specifically for native New Yorkers, and they have some interesting questions for you to answer in order to join. I’m a member, though, admittedly not active (but then I’m not active in any of the 50 or so meetup groups I belong to). There’s even a song dedicated to us, “Native New Yorker” by, Odyssey. Of course when I sing it, I change the words from “you’re a native New Yorker” to “I’m a native New Yorker”. Click the pic below to listen.
My mom asked me what I think about my grandmother who is from South Carolina. Well, she’s been in NY since she was twenty-one. She’s in her 80’s now, and she still claims SC. But I think after 60 plus years, she’s a New Yorker, so if she wanted to claim that, she could. But she’s proud of SC. You go ahead and be proud of whatever state you’re really from.
And if one more of you call a supermarket, a grocery store, I’m gonna snap!