Let's start with the word 'Yo.'
It means hello. Sometimes it means hey you. You say it in New York it makes perfect sense. In Nebraska not so much. A friend of mine, Ray White, told me this tale. He was getting off a train and was walking across the platform to his transfer. Ray is a disc jockey now, was then. I tell you that to tell you this--a guy recognized him and began yelling, "Yo!" at him from across the tracks.
Ray kept walking, the guy kept yelling and Ray, in telling me this story, said the funniest thing.
"I was thinking, stop Yo-ing me."
Only in New York can 'Yo' be a verb.
One of my best friends, Tony Mirante, is from New York. He would say when he saw a guy with his hair messed up, "Looks like he combed his hair with a firecracker."
Tony also taught me to point to a knuckle on my hand and then point to my head, when a person was doing stoopid stuff.
Knuckle Head. Knuckle Head. Knucklehead.
When the Rangers finally won the Stanley Cup, the hockey championship, in 1994, the place went nuts. They hadn't won since 1942. That's a long time, baby. Instead of overturned cars and mayhem in the streets, like you have seen all too often on television after a win, there was a classy calm and happiness that prevailed all across the city.
It was also the only time I saw nuns with Ranger caps, on their heads, on top of their habits.
Sixth Avenue in Manhattan is also known as Avenue of the Americas.
Not by locals.
They always call it Sixth, never call it by it's other name. Also Lexington Avenue is always Lex to New Yorkers as well.
People always ask me what do I miss about New York.
I miss a few things.
When you go out to eat here in Orlando and look across the restaurant you see Orlando people looking back at you. In New York you might see Mick Jagger.
New York is known for it's diverse food so I have to say I miss that.
You can get great eats delivered to your door that cover all kinds of cuisines. Japanese, Indian, great Chinese, Mexican, delicious deli food, and don't get me going on Italian.
There's so much more that it's a wonder that everyone in New York doesn't weigh 400 pounds.
While we're talking, Dominoes, Papa John's and Pizza Hut don't stand a chance in New York.
There are pizza joints on every corner. Each one has great pizza. New York has great pizza.
Trust me on this one.
Now let's talk about things I don't miss.
The gruffness of, well, everybody. When I first moved there I was surprised by it. But you learn to deal and you find out there are good people underneath that gruff.
I don't miss the traffic.
Sometimes you can walk faster than you can drive.
I learned to enjoy a backup on the other side of the freeway.
Even that might not help. When I first got there I parked my car on the street. I got up early one day to go to work. I went out to my locked car and when I went to turn on my radio my arm went right into the dash.
Now, that could happen anywhere but the odds of that happening go up in New York.
I don't miss that.
One time when I lived there I went to Seattle for work. I was waiting in line at an ATM machine and the woman in front of me finished. As she was leaving she said to me, "Have a nice day." My first, I live in New York, thought was, "What does she mean have a nice day?!"
I learned that what she meant was to have a nice day.
Just a knucklehead.
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