Tuesday, December 06, 2005

local color.

Local color ANYWHERE amuses me. I love observing little unwritten rules and inside jokes about a place. Where I grew up is wonderful for local color. Here's a list that's been circulating among my friends. I've added my annotations in italics for anyone who actually is planning on reading this.

You know you're from Binghamton when...

- You know how to say and the pronunciation of the 2 rivers in town. Susquehanna and Chenango. 'nuff said. Not as good as Oswegatchie, but still.
- You had DARE in school but still did some kind of drug when you got older. Drug Abuse Resistance Education!
- you know what the mascot for Grippen Park is. Some cartoon dinosaur, I think. Same thing with Otseningo park.
- you remember when the Town Square Mall was a drive in. I think I actually went there, too. Now it's a big sprawl-plaza complete with Wal-Mart, Barnes and Noble, Sam's Club, Pet Depot, TJ Maxx, Office Max, etc. Virtually the entire area is there on Saturday afternoons.
- you remember where Fudrucker's used to be and flip out when you seeone outside of town. I have no clue about this one. Nor do many of my friends. But maybe other people know it.
- Have a very strong opinion in the Lupos vs. Salamida's debate. Lupo's all the way, baby. www.spiedies.com
- You know that just because Blue Ridge has a snow day, doesn't mean you're getting one. Yeah, Blue Ridge; those wimps close at a flake.
- you have heard (and believe) the Greg Catlin hamster story. Too gross for me. Cardboard tube and hamster in butt, hamster gets lost, friend lights match for light, catches gas pocket, hamster comes out butt powered by natural gas explosion and lands in some guy's face.
- your always concerned that the ice won't be thick enough for theCrappie Derby. Dear God, no!!!
- you would never mix up Owego and Oswego. Darn tootin'! Oswego's in Western Northern NY. Owego's in the Southern Tier. Dummies.
- you think of the State Office Building as our skyscraper. all five stories.
- your elementary school went on a field trip to Frost Valley. where true coming of age occurs.
- you drive to PA for gas, cigarettes, and clothes. It's cheaper there, and only 20 minutes away. Why not?
- You can't listen to the song "I'm so Excited" without busting in at the appropriate time with "Jack Sherman Toyota, SUPERSTORE!" The sick thing is, I really can't.
- you're still shoveling snow in June. This is exaggerated. May, maybe. But not June. Usually.
- you remember Pudgie's. Baaaaaad pizza.
- you know where Endicott ends and Endwell begins. it's a fuzzy line, but you can kind of FEEL it when you change over.
- you have been places out of town that served Crowley products and proudly proclaimed that the yogurt is from where you're from. Good stuff, too. We use it as a generic. Other places it's a name brand.
- you still don't know what business is inside that lighthouse in Endicott. That's because it changes practically every month!
- you can tell where people live by the first three digits of their phone number. Easily. 785 is a long way from 754.
- someone you went to high school with works at Tzers and Madame Oars. Local strip joint.
- you have always wondered what the hell was in the Vestal Museum. Hell, I didn't even know there WAS a Vestal museum! Maybe they keep virgins there.
- more than one of your teachers in elementary school taught your parents. This would be true if I were not a transplant. People say you're not REALLY from Binghamton until you've been established for a couple generations.
- you have serious ethical problems calling it "Greater Binghamton." Well, no fooling. It's Binghamton, for Pete's sake.
- you consider being stuck in traffic more than five minutes a "traffic jam." It is.
- you've driven around the traffic circle more than once at a time just for fun. I did until they reconstructed it. Now it's more confusing than ever. Newcomers can actually get lost on it now. But they reconstructed it to make it easier.
- you know what NYPENN is and what it used to be. It's a "trade center" in an old high school building. I wish I could've seen the old school.
- you driven Kamikaze Curve and survived. Easily. But I love the name. Now they're talking about straightening it out. That would ruin my highway driving experience.
- you know who the phone number 797-9960 calls...and the tune that goes along with it. Brozetti's Pizza. Take-out only, they don't deliver. Customer service at its finest.
- You will never be able to call it I86, always 17. Of course. Because it won't BE I-86 until they straighten out Kamikaze Curve.
- You remember when a Crabb was mayor. Yeah. Good ol' Juanita. What a fantastic name. Juanita Crabb.
- When someone says "Enjoy", you think of a golf course. Yeah, but we also spell it "Enjoie." It's also right across from Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, or OLGC for short. Our Lady of the Golf Course.
- You still, to this day, don't know what Parlor City means. Come to think of it...
- You know how pronounce "Appalachin." repeat after me: apple-ACHE-in.
- You never call it "Johnson City," its always "JC."
- You worked at one of the 3,247 Giant Markets in the area. Pure, unadulterated hell. I made $5.15/hr after 3 years there, too. Every full-time Giant worker I know qualifies for WIC.
- You can properly pronounce the name of famed Binghamton Whaler's goalie Peter Siedorkowiecz. Your point?
- this road sign makes perfect sense to you: BOCES BR DEV CTR BOCES, Broome Developmental Center. But BOCES might be lost on most people. It's a vocational program called Board of Cooperative Educational Services. People who don't want to go to high school often go to BOCES.
- Most of your family's glassware was acquired at a bazaar Dime Pitch. of course.
- you used to save up your money for the park candy stand. that was part of going to the park. And then you saved the wrapper for a ride on the carousel.
- you used to buy candy at the Salvage Outlet.
- You know where to buy buttons for First Night. More importantly, I know when to buy them before the prices go up.
- your house has a fountain in the front yard, a vineyard on the sideand the Virgin Mary in the back. True, but mostly only in Endicott, and then mostly on the North Side.
- You have seen an 80 year old cowboy that wears baby blue wandering thestreets aimlessly with a toy gun. He's a great guy.
- You don't care for Hooters anymore now that there is a local one. Yeah, but I've always wanted to go in and ask for a job application. (note: I don't even fill an A-cup.)
- Nothing angers you more then people you spell Binghamton with a P in it! Bing had a Ham and the Ham weighed a Ton. Jeez!
- you have been to all the bars on State Street. Not really, because they all suck.
- you have had to leave your car in the parking ramp downtown because you were to drunk to drive. And it's pry the only town where you don't get towed for it.
- You are related to someone who works (or worked) at IBM. Of course. IBM started in Endicott.
- You are related to someone who used to work at "EJ." Endicott Johnson. Only for natives. Not transplants like me.
- You got excited when you saw an EJ Shoes store outside of the area. Well, yeah. I still remember the factory. Way cool.
- You grew up in an "EJ House." They're good houses.
- You have always known what "EJ" stands for. Endicott-Johnson.
- you remember when the Binghamton Senators were the BC Icemen were the Binghamton Rangers were the Binghamton Whalers were the Broome Dusters. Anywhere else, it would confuse people.
- Your idea of the ultimate date is dinner at Number 5. Which used to be a fire station. Good food. But I'd rather go to some hole-in-the-wall Italian place in Endicott.


Blogger JenniferJ said...

Makes ya wanna move to Binghamton...maybe not!

December 07, 2005 9:16 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Nice stuff ;)

Actually, it's funny I should happen to see this today. Just a little while ago on my way home from work, I was behind a car whose license place frame was advertising a car dealer in Endwell! I can't remember what the name of the dealer was for the life of me (and I drove behind the car for about 4 1/2 miles!), but it made me think of you.

Love and miss you! *big hugs*

December 07, 2005 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aucun doute n ' est possible , Emily , tu es une native de Binghamton !!!! C ' est cela la culture locale pourrais - je dire en plaisantant .
J ' ai tardé à te répondre car je n ' étais pas à mon domicile depuis Dimanche dernier .
Amitié à toi
Michel ( de Xanga )

December 08, 2005 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Michel said...

A coup sur tu es une native de BIGhamton , Emily pour connaître ces petits délices de langage.
J ' ai tardé à te répondre car je n ' étais pas chez moi ces jours - ci .

December 08, 2005 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stumbled on your site and your Binghamton list made me laugh out loud! As i read it, i nodded along with all of it! Do you remember when the Binghamton 'skyscrapers' were lit up in lights during xmas time? That was during the Crabb era. I miss that! Thanks for sharing your list.

January 11, 2006 10:45 AM  

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