1. Jesus H. Christ, we are not “upstate” New York. The Hudson Valley is one of the south-most parts of the state. Just because you live in New York City and you have to go north to get here doesn’t mean we are “upstate” by any means. Syracuse, Binghamton, Rochester and Buffalo are upstate.
2. When people from out of town ask where you’re from, you usually just say, “Rockland,” because you assume nobody has heard of where you’re actually from. Other answers may include, but are not limited to: “Oh, like an hour outside of New York City,” “Have you heard of (insert high school here)? Near there,” or “You know Westchester? Near there.”
3. Everyone knows everything about everyone, and you’re always cautiously aware of that like a paranoid crackhead. Any time you see a sports movie about a small town (Friday Night Lights, Varsity Blues, etc.) you realize just how much Rockland has in common with them.
4. Even though it is technically not a mall, and it is newer than the Palisades, you still refer to The Shops at Nanuet as “the old mall.” You also never think to go there for anything.
5. On the same note, you still refer to the Palisades Mall — which was built in 1997 — as “the new mall.” Would you call The Backstreet Boys a “new” band?
6. Parking at the Palisades Mall during a holiday should be declared an official sport. The patience and skill level required? Absolutely.
7. You think of White Plains as “the other” New York City. If you don’t want to deal with the traffic, tolls, or outrageous prices, White Plains is the next-best (and often most decided upon) option.
8. Meanwhile, some Westchester people think you live sooo far away. I went to college in Westchester and some people thought that my commute from Rockland was like a cross-country tour.
9. You’ve had, or have been to, a birthday party at Hi-Tor Lanes, and it was the time of your life. #FactsOnly.
10. You miss the Discovery Zone. You don’t where it went, or why, but you still feel like there’s a piece of your childhood missing that you will never get back.
11. And Annie’s… Like, seriously, why did they get rid of that place?
12. When you went to Hoyer’s, it was either eat on the rocks, or GTFO. Eating at the tables or while standing up was unacceptable. If the rocks were taken, the judges will allow you eating on your car.
13. You went through a “Nyack” phase. For some period of time — weeks, months, maybe a couple of years — you were all about that life of loud music, drunken bar fights and 3 a.m. Tarantella’s pizza.
14. During the day, Nyack is one of the most beautiful towns around; then at night, it becomes Gotham City. I mean, we have cops on horseback to keep the streets safe.
15. You just naturally assume everyone from Pearl River is Irish. It doesn’t matter if the last name is Hernandez; you still think that there has to be some Irish blood pumping through those veins somewhere.
16. You just naturally assume every girl from Clarkstown is jappy. And if they’re not Jewish, you assume they’re spoiled. It doesn’t matter that you probably know nothing about them, that’s just your assumption.
17. You have considered Haverstraw to be “the hood” of Rockland. Hand to God, when someone found out I went to Haverstraw Middle School, the response was, “And you survived?” Yes, my 4-foot-9 scrawny self managed to make it out alive.
18. Once you hit the age of 18, you always knew someone who was pregnant or just had a baby. And when you found out who the father was you said, “They had a kid?!”
19. If you went to Thiells Elementary School, you still remember the first and last lines of the school song, if not most of the entire song. And you scream, “Thiells Elementary — THAT’S. MY. SCHOOL!” like you’re on something.
20. Whenever you hear someone in the county around your age range has died, there is a 75 percent chance you knew them in some capacity. All jokes aside, this is a pretty crappy truth about Rockland.
21. The Mt. Ivy Diner is like ‘Holy Moly’s Donut Shop’ in that you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever eat there. Terrible service and terrible food. They’re not even open 24 hours anymore, so it’s not even like they are a last-minute resort at 3 a.m.
22. All the potholes make every town seem like a different Mario Kart course. All we’re missing is red, green and purple shells.
23. Pedestrians in Monsey literally give zero f-cks when walking around town. It’s almost like they want to get hit by cars.
24. You’ve uttered the words, “God, I can’t wait to get the f-ck out of Rockland County,” an estimated 300 times or so. Yet, like the mafia, it keeps pulling you back in.
25. You feel like most of the county is still about 10-20 years behind in views on race, religion and gender. You know the paralyzing discomfort level of having be around while someone is ranting out of their ass about gay marriage or blaming Obama for literally everything.