I was born in Puerto Rico. I was raised traveling back and forth between New York and Puerto Rico. I love them both. I love that Puerto Rico is warm in climate all year-long and the people are just as warm. I love that Puerto Rico has beautiful beaches and delicious food. I love that people are very hospitable and I love that being friendly is not only expected but embraced. Puerto Ricans are extremely generous even if they have very little to be generous with. Expressing ourselves with hugs, kisses and touch in conversation is very common. I guess you can say we are very touchy feely people but not in a pervish way. Puerto Ricans live for God, any religion or no religion they always count on God for everything and I love that. Family is very important and we take care of our own. Nursing homes are not very common as families try to take care of their parents as best as they can. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with nursing homes, I’m simply stating how it’s done in Puerto Rico.
In my years going back and forth between PR and NY I did notice that Puerto Ricans raised in the island are in fact very different than those raised in New York. Puerto Ricans raised in New York are not any less Puerto Rican but even if standing side by side you’d notice the difference. The Puerto Ricans that live in the island are very proud of where they live but once you leave there is a different sense of pride. I guess it’s because that is when one realizes all the things that were taken for granted while living in the island. I’m not saying Puerto Rico is all peaches and cream but I have to say that to ME it was pretty darn close.
I love New York because EVERYTHING happens there. There is always somewhere to go and plenty of people wanting to go with you. I love that there is where I’ve made most of my lifetime friends. Although I am not too fond of cold (freezing, bone-freezing, frost bite cold) bundling up can be not only interesting but fun. Fashion has no limit. You are in New York and you can literally have “your own style” and not necessarily follow any particular trend and it’s fine. Quite fashionable actually.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that the people are so real and blunt that anywhere else in the U.S. they are CONFUSED with being rude. It’s definitely not rude, not to us that have lived there and understand each other when it comes to communicating and absolutely not to those that still live there. New Yorker’s are definitely NOT passive aggressive people… and I LOVE THAT. This trait may be a little intimidating to many that visit from other states but just think about the way your state is viewed, how other states “label” yours and while there, in New York, go with the flow. You just may have a great time.
While I lived there I enjoyed knowing that the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and once upon a beautiful time… the World Trade Center were Gorgeous land marks that I had such easy access to. Restaurants, my goodness the restaurants! Felt like Italian, Japanese, Indian, French, American, Latin, Greek or any type of cuisine? Too many to choose from. Hungry late at night or after a wonderful night of dancing? DINERS! Oh how I loved that middle of the night breakfast.
Transportation? No problem, call a cab, take a taxi, the subway, the bus or the Long Island RailRoad at Penn Station in Manhattan and go ANYWHERE. Most of us that have worked in Manhattan commuting from Long Island knew the best bet was to jump on the LIRR and beat the traffic, save on parking, read a book or take a nap. Leave your car at home and only use it for long trips, visiting friends or grocery shopping. So, I guess what I’m saying is… I LOVE NEW YORK.
I’ve been in California now for 11 years, and 8 months. Why did I move here? That’s a whole other blog but lets just say that when I got here (to Sacramento) it was not what I expected. I’m not the best at geography and if you tell me to go North, South, East or West I’d appreciate it if you point in that direction. I visualized rollerblading at the boardwalk with my short shorts, bikini top and my 1 year-old daughter (now 12) in a stroller. Catching the waves and sun bathing till I looked like charcoal. I tan easily and beautifully so I was right on board with California.
When I got here…
I couldn’t stand California for a while, almost 2 years to be exact. I did not like the way people drove and their lack of directional use (I think Californians call them “blinkers”). That road rage was so common and as far as I was concerned for good reason but pulling up in front of me and slamming on your breaks or speeding up when you see me trying to move into the lane you are on because I need to exit the freeway was a recipe for disaster because not only was I going to be rude but I was going to go haywire on you NEW YORKER STYLE, now making it seem like I’m the one with road rage. For those of you thinking that in NY driving is crazier just think about this, bus, train, taxi –lots of people needing to get somewhere “yesterday” and if you are in one of those you will appreciate aggressive driving as the quicker you get there the less meter time $$, using every bit of the road available. Big difference between agressive driving and just being a plain ol’ asshole. –Somebody had to say it, might as well be the New Yorker 😉
Another thing that drove me nuts was that there was NOTHING here in Sacramento as far as I was concerned and that people just seemed so fake and judgemental of my New York ways and accent. That when I expressed a dislike I was viewed as rude.
My view today…
I love my “awesome” dudes and dudettes (picked those words up here in Cali) I love it that many people are so into healthy lifestyles. I love the weather, summers are scorching and winters are mild. I love that it is a wonderful place to raise my 3 children and that the education my children are getting is outstanding. I love it that my oldest is 12 and has never had so much as a verbal confrontation and that their schools are always involved in something good. I guess you can say that California has grown on me.
So after 11 years of living here, is it about time I consider myself a Californian? I can’t seem to do it. I am native from Puerto Rico, a New Yorker at heart and a due to time… Californian. I guess you can say I am a NewYorCaliRican. I kind of like the sound of that 😉