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There's always that place that we call home. Everyone's meaning of home is different it can be a house, a person, or a city. Mines just so happens to be a city where anything and everything happens.

Whenever people ask me where I'm from of course I say "New York"  at that moment I see the starry eyed look on their face. They always go on to ask me where in NY. I go on to say "The city. Manhattan". If you wanna go into more details I can say the lower east side but what good would it do when they've completely tuned me out by this point and all they are seeing is the New York City they see in movies. As expected they go on shooting off questions on what's it like, are people really rude, on how dangerous it must be, or how glamorous and how much fun I must have.

Those type of people really get under my skin. I get it, they're not from here. They all hear these horror stories about the city and they see movies that portray a certain type of lifestyle. A lot of time people simply think of 9/11. My problem with their way of thinking of the city is just that it's beyond wrong. 

I was born and raised in the lower east side in NYC. I went to a public school that was 2 blocks away from our apartment. We walked to and from school. Our apartment was a one bed room on the first floor with four (later on 5) people living in it. My brother and I shared the room, while my parents slept on the futon in the living room. Later on, when my little brother was born his crib was set up in the living room too. We lived on a street that was surrounded by bars and clubs. Our nightly form of entertainment came in the from us looking out our window at the drunken people outside. Friday nights were filled with walks to SoHo. Loud neighbors seeped through the walls. Honking from traffic filled the nonexistent silence at night. 
Those were some of the best days. 

There is definitely a stigma that come with living in NYC. But being from here, I would of never known that the way I grew up was weird or different until I met people from other places and we'd talk about our childhood. They would listen to my stories and have all these questions to ask. 

To me, the city way of life was all I knew. It was my normal. I am use to the people on the train asking for money, I'm use to the drunks, I know what time to start catching a cab and not get on the train, I can tell which borough someone is from by the way they talk and dress. It's just the way of life we are brought into. Nothing about it seems different. 

So yes it bothers me when I meet someone who from the second they learn I'm from NYC they run their mouth about all the things they've heard or some crazy story. 

I realize now that I'm older that a lot of people avoid New York cause of stories they've heard. Or some stupid fear they have of being robbed or jumped (those people irk me the most). Others come to New York for vacation. Others comes to chase dreams. But for those of us native New Yorkers, it's just home.


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