What's It Like To Live on Staten Island? 20 Things Only Us Natives Understand

Unfortunately, most of us Staten Islander's have had to defend our home to the New Yorkers around us — and yes, we're also a part of New York City, thankyouverymuch. Say what you want about this place, but once upon a time New York and New Jersey had a good old fashioned duel over this borough. We're desirable, damn it!

If you're from Staten Island, or are lucky enough to live there now, you know what I'm talking about. And there are some things only we can truly understand. You know you're from Staten Island if...

You assume that everyone here is Italian

Even if they're not.

You frequent this bad boy religiously from the months of March-October...

Ralph's Famous Italian Ices has been a Staten Island staple since 1949, when Ralph Silvestro opened his flagship storefront in Port Richmond. The chain has been passed down through three generations and their ices just get better each summer.

...and you know you can only pay cash here

And it is so incredibly worth the inconvenience. Denino's is deeply rooted in Staten Island history as well. Functioning as a tavern in 1937, Denino's expanded to a pizzeria in 1951 and our taste buds have never been the same.

Commuting to Manhattan is an absolute nightmare


The only transportation we don't take is hovercraft. You can also take a bus across, if you enjoy wasting your time.

It's not "mozzarella" and "calamari"

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Don't insult us. IT'S MOOZ-UH-RELL and GALAMAD.

You've had someone apologize to you when you told them where you're from

Staten Island really gets an unfair shake. This poor little island was actually quite a nice place to grow up! It's a little pocket of suburbia right in the middle of The Big Apple.

You've told anyone who would listen that Christina Aguilera was born here. But then you realize...

But we do. We really do.

You had to get a tetanus shot after exploring the abandoned Sea View building

That is, if you made it out alive.

The Staten Island Rail Road was your only form of transport pre-driver's license

You: BYE MA, I'm taking the train to Nicole's!



If you went to a Catholic high school, you knew the slut-shaming name it was also known by

With about eight different Catholic high schools, (boys and girls and co-ed) people had to get pretty inventive.

You have four cousins named Joseph

Or Anthony.

Walking around the Staten Island Mall was your only viable after-school activity

Starbucks and Hollister? Talk about FUN!

The Sweet 16 parties you've been to were more elaborate than most weddings

Parents take out a second mortgage just to pay for them. But most of your friends acted like ungrateful little brats when they didn't get what they wanted.

It's a normal occurrence to see Method Man at the mall

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It is Shaolin, afterall.

As a child, you were terrified by the legend of Cropsey, the deranged escaped mental patient who murdered little kids in the woods

Your fears were eased by around age 13. That was, until you watched the real life documentary on Cropsey as an adult. Now you're terrified all over again.

You've gone sledding at LaTourette or Mount Loretto

The upside to being the "forgotten borough" is the vast amount of unexplored/unused land that is free for the frolicking.

You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that The Old Bermuda Inn and The Conference House are haunted

But like, you don't need proof or anything...

You know there is only one god damn Taco Bell on the ENTIRE ISLAND

There was a great Taco Bell purge in the early 2000s, and we've been deprived ever since. When we do reunite with our cheesy gordita crunches though, it's something beautiful.

You understand that diners = Fine dining

Make a good tzatziki sauce and you've got yourself a business. Woodrow and Annadale have some of the best.

You use the word "cousin" quite liberally

Your cousin can be your actual blood cousin, your mother's best friend's kid, your aunt's ex-boyfriend's son, your next door neighbor that you grew up with, your best friend, or someone you met once but is somehow related to your stepdad.

You get the jist. We're all family here.

Images: ralphsices.com, Denino's,