A List Of Interesting People Who Did Not Grow Up In New York City

Let me begin by saying that I moved to New York City because it’s New York City. You get it. I get it. Jay-Z gets it. We get it. I’m not going to elaborate on what makes New York City New York City. I’m just trying to clarify that I understand — and believe in — the big great magic of this big great city. But, you don’t have to be born and/or raised here to be a big great person. This may seem obvious, but to several people, some native to the island and some not, strangely enough, being born/raised in NYC equates to being interesting and being born/raised outside of it, say, in a suburb (please, Native Manhattanites, don’t hate me forever for mentioning this word here!) means you are a farmer who allows your baby to play with guns and worse, watches network television.

Here’s the interaction I had that fueled this piece:

Me: I’m from the suburbs.

Lady: I moved away from the suburbs and to the city because I don’t want my kid to be boring.

I’ve repeated this story to a couple people who’ve retorted that maybe she meant she didn’t want her kids to be bored, not boring. Not to be all “when I was a kid we walked ten miles just to get to the bus we had to push ten more miles to get to school which was closed by the time we got there,” but from my recollection of childhood, children can find the fun in an empty box. There might not even be a box, and they can have fun imagining it’s there. So that addresses that.

As for the boring part, well, I’m from the suburbs of Chicago. Born and raised. Suburbia has definitely informed a big part of me. Wouldn’t being raised in a bubble impact you? Sometimes still, I feel like a child who is seeing and experiencing things for the first time. Like, that magical moment when I realized some men just like wagging their dicks at you on subways! But, despite my upbringing, hold on to your seats, I don’t think I’m boring. In fact, I think I’m interesting. I have friends from the suburbs who are interesting. Yeah, some people from the ‘burbs are definitely not interesting, but sometimes that’s interesting in itself. And what about farm kids? How are people who grew up on farms not interesting? Who do you know who grew up on a farm? Just like one guy and he knows how to tie knots and stuff. Do I really have to prove this point? Just let your mind wander and think of how preposterous it is to believe in such a blanket credo.

Here is some proof, provided in the form of a list of interesting people neither born or raised in New York City. Let’s hope Wikipedia has its facts right!

  1. Jack White
  2. Derrick Rose
  3. Barack Obama
  4. My grandma
  5. Alexander Hamilton
  6. Oprah
  7. Missy (my good friend)
  8. Snooki
  9. Hilary and Bill Clinton
  10. Abby Lee Miller
  11. RuPaul
  12. Amy and David Sedaris
  13. All of MTV’s Teen Moms
  14. Coach Taylor
  15. Emily Dickinson
  16. Donald Glover
  17. Walt Disney
  18. Sitting Bull
  19. That guy you met in college who grew up on a farm and makes his own cheese
  20. Sally Draper
  21. Thoreau
  22. Robert Frost
  23. Madonna
  24. Louis C.K.
  25. My great Aunt Sally the tassel dancer
  26. Buffalo Bill
  27. Elliot Smith
  28. Warren Buffett
  29. Jackson Pollack
  30. Jim Henson

Feel free to add your own (make double triple sure they’re interesting though!). TC mark

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