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Long Island

Misconceptions about Long Island and its residents

We've all been there: You leave Long Island, tell someone you meet where you're from, and suddenly the judging and questions begin.

No, we don't all go partying in the city every weekend. No, we don't all live at the beach. And for the last time, no, we don't know your cousin's old roommate, Steve, from Massapequa.

While some misconceptions about Long Island and its residents are based on truths -- or at least partial truths -- many are just downright out there. Here's a list of some of the most perpetuated misconceptions Long Islanders have to deal with.

Long Islanders aren't real New Yorkers

Just because we don't live in Manhattan doesn't
Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Just because we don't live in Manhattan doesn't mean we aren't true-blue New Yorkers. Long Island might be different culturally than NYC, but we have just as much New York spirit as anyone living in the Big Apple.

We don't know our way around Manhattan

We might not know the city as well
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

We might not know the city as well as someone raised in Hell's Kitchen, but come on, folks, give LIers some credit! It's not even that hard for tourists once they get the concept of higher street numbers equate to going uptown and lower avenue numbers mean you're heading east. We can hold our own...

Long Islanders are terrible drivers

Despite what you may hear, Long Islanders are
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Despite what you may hear, Long Islanders are not terrible drivers. Of course, we might drive a little more aggressively than some, but it's just because we have places to be and people to see.

We spend all of our free time at the mall

This one definitely has some elements of truth
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

This one definitely has some elements of truth to it. Online shopping may be the new normal, but Long Islanders will always have a special place in our hearts (and our wallets) for traditional shopping malls. However, there are plenty of other great things to do on Long Island that don't involve digging through clearance racks or clipping coupons, like visiting Walt Whitman's birthplace or hiking the bluffs at Montauk. If Long Islanders can be categorized as anything, its multifaceted.

Long Islanders are wine snobs

Long Islanders are lucky to grow up in
Photo Credit: Randee Daddona

Long Islanders are lucky to grow up in prime wine country, where the closest vineyard or tasting is only a short drive away. Just because we know our wine is the best in the country doesn't make us wine snobs, right?

Everyone in Suffolk lives near a farm

While there are a great deal more farms

While there are a great deal more farms in Suffolk County than in Nassau, there are plenty of residents who won't see barnyard animals or freshly grown vegetables unless they go out of their way. The further out east you go, however, the more likely you are to see one.

You don't need a car to travel on LI

Many people in other parts of the country
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Many people in other parts of the country think the Long Island Rail Road is an Island version of the New York City subway. They don't realize that the railroad is meant for commuting east to west, and most folks drive to a station near it. It's not just to get out to the East End on a Saturday.

All Long Islanders think pizza and bagels are better here than anywhere else

This isn't true...we KNOW pizza and bagels are
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

This isn't true...we KNOW pizza and bagels are better here than anywhere else.

All Long Islanders have met a Baldwin brother

Although the family was born on the Island
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Although the family was born on the Island and raised in Massapequa, let's make something clear. The answer is no: Most of us have never run into a Baldwin brother while standing at a deli counter or lounging in the Hamptons.

Long Island is a borough of New York City

While all Long Islanders know Nassau and Suffolk
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Burton

While all Long Islanders know Nassau and Suffolk aren't part of New York City's five boroughs, this misconception actually does have some historical truth. Prior to 1899, when Nassau County was established, the land that made up present-day Nassau was part of Queens County. In 1898, the western half of Queens County became an official borough of New York City, while the eastern portion was spun off into its own county.

All Long Islanders root for the Jets

While the New York Jets for years conducted
Photo Credit: AP / Darron Cummings

While the New York Jets for years conducted practices at Hofstra University -- until 2009 when the team moved to its current facility in Florham Park, New Jersey -- Gang Green isn't every Long Islander's favorite NFL team. In fact, more Long Islanders root for the New York Giants than the Jets, according to research conducted by Twitter Analytics.

All Long Islanders spend their summers in the Hamptons

Long Island has a thriving tourism industry, with
Photo Credit: Doug Kuntz

Long Island has a thriving tourism industry, with the Hamptons being a linchpin of that economic activity. Many Long Islanders do visit the Hamptons in the summer -- and all year round -- but the Hamptons has international appeal for tourists, attracting visitors from New York City, the United Kingdom and beyond each summer.

All Long Islanders are rich

Most Long Islanders don't live in mansions or
Photo Credit: Phillip Ennis

Most Long Islanders don't live in mansions or spend six figures on a car. In fact, 6.7 percent of Long Islanders in 2013 were living below the federal poverty level ($18,552 for a family of three). Forbes lists Long Island's median household income at $90,969.

We all drive fancy cars

No, most of us don't drive around in

No, most of us don't drive around in BMWs. While there are nearly 68,000 BMWs registered on Long Island, making it the ninth-most popular vehicle brand in the region, there are 257,733 registered Hondas and 244,344 registered Toyotas here, according to 2015 statistics.

All Long Island girls are princesses

Despite what you may have seen on a
Photo Credit: Bravo

Despite what you may have seen on a certain Bravo show, "Princesses: Long Island" is not a reality here.

All Long Islanders played lacrosse at some point

While lacrosse is one of the most popular
Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

While lacrosse is one of the most popular sports on Long Island, many of us have never played the sport nor do we understand the rules of the game.

All Long Islanders own boats

While it sure would be nice, the vast
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

While it sure would be nice, the vast majority of Long Islanders don't, in fact, own their own boats. The New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation reported there were 93,026 water vessel registrations in Suffolk and Nassau in 2014 -- representing just more than 3 percent of the Island's 2.86 million residents.

All Long Islanders drink Long Island Iced Teas

While the Long Island Iced Tea may have
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

While the Long Island Iced Tea may have its roots here, it's not the go-to alcoholic drink of choice for many residents. With more than 20 breweries and 40 wineries, Long Islanders enjoy a large variety of beverages to imbibe.

Long Island looks like 'The Great Gatsby'

No, not all of Long Island looks the
Photo Credit: AP

No, not all of Long Island looks the way F. Scott Fitzgerald imagined it. Although his 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby" was inspired by the North Shore, we haven't exactly run into Leonardo DiCaprio yet. Of course, we'll keep throwing lavish parties with fingers crossed.

All Long Islanders love Billy Joel

OK, so this one may be true.
Photo Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

OK, so this one may be true.

All Long Islanders have the "Lawn Guyland" accent

If Theresa Caputo, the
Photo Credit: TLC

If Theresa Caputo, the "Long Island Medium," is someone's sole knowledge of Long Island, then it's safe to assume they think all of us drink "cawfee." The truth is there are some of us who do order just "coffee." The Long Island accent -- and its forebear, the New York accent -- tends to get slightly less pronounced the farther east you travel into Suffolk County.

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