Long Island

Seinfeld commercial filming

Part of living or working in New York is being occasionally inconvenienced by the street you need to use having been shut down for the filming of some movie or episode of Law & Order. And part of being a New Yorker is sneaking a peek at the actors at work. Both happened to me today, but just outside of New York City.

Jerry Seinfeld has spent the past couple of days filming a TV commercial right around the corner from my house. And with all the news the past couple of weeks about mishaps during the filming of a movie in Times Square, I figured this was close enough to mention here. The photo above is from today’s shoot, as is this one of Seinfeld chatting between takes:

Seinfeld on Cedarhurst Ave

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Every region has its own linguistic quirks. I’m not talking about accents (don’t get me started on people who say “Lawn Guyland”). I mean words and phrases that are unique to the area. Here are some of my favorite bits of NewYorkese.

1) New Yorkers don’t stand in line. We stand ON line.

2) New Yorkers say “the floor” when they mean “the ground.” Example: you’re walking down the street with someone, and they drop a piece of food, and then they pick it up. Your response: “You can’t eat that! It fell on the floor!” Many New Yorkers do this without even realizing it. And when you tell them, they don’t even believe you, because it seems like a nonsensical way to talk. But it’s pretty widespread.

3) We call a whole pizza a “pie.” Comedian Brian Regan attributes this to New Jersey, but it really belongs to the whole tri-state area.

4) “The City” means Manhattan.

5) Queens and Brooklyn are geographically part of Long Island, but when people say Long Island they always mean Nassau and Suffolk counties. NEVER Queens or Brooklyn.

More New Yorkisms to come in a future post. Meanwhile, enjoy Linda Richman.

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I was out late last night and found myself, as I often do, in Penn Station looking for a train home to the burb. When I looked up at the big board, I could swear I saw not one but two trains to Babylon listed, one after the other. Now, knowing that after a drink or three my reading ability might not have been at its peak, I did a double take, and then a triple take just to confirm that there was indeed a train leaving Penn Station for Babylon at 11:31 p.m., and another one right on its heels, at 11:34.

Perhaps I’m grossly underestimating the number of drunken Babylonians heading home from Manhattan late at night, but the trains to my town run only once an hour, and fares are constantly being raised and service cut. Babylon seems like an odd basket to place all one’s eggs.

By the way, my crappy camera phone makes it hard to tell, but that big board in the photo lists 7 trains. Three of them are bound for Babylon.

It’s not often you’ll find me quoting the bible, but a quick SweetSearch turns up this wish for the future:

“And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.”

Sounds like the LIRR is gonna have a lot of trains to cancel.

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