There’s a recent trend within the youth culture in New York City which may have been growing, or might already be in full swing, but it’s bothersome either way. It’s when people who move to New York City from another city, or another town, simply refuse to say anything good about their hometown, or worse yet, find fault in hometown pride.

I was at Siren Fest a couple weeks ago, and I saw this amazing band called Screaming Females. They were an excellent band, they were from New Jersey, and they were proud of both. After the set, walking through the masses, I overheard someone complaining that “they kept mentioning they were from New Brunswick like it’s something to be proud of.” To that person, I say: so what?

There’s a lot that’s said about the wide range of people, nationalities, and cultures that can be found within New York City. Though that’s very much true, it doesn’t all come from people from other countries. A lot of the time, the uniqueness of people found in this city come from people with their hearts truly rooted in other parts of the States. New York City does not exist in a vacuum. It thrives on being a cultural sponge, soaking up what’s best from different parts of America, and feeding off of those who take pride in the land that they call home, and doing what that place does best, but in NYC.

I’ll admit, when it comes to hometown pride, I do sit in a comfortable seat. It might seem a lot easier to be proud of being from Brooklyn, NY than some place like, I don’t know, Dearborn, MI, but I’m not from there, so I wouldn’t actually know. But what I do know is that a sense of place is the most essential thing a person can have. It’s what feeds us emotionally, personally, and creatively. I mean, what would the world be like if Bruce Springsteen decided that he wasn’t proud of New Jersey? It’d be a lot worse off, I can tell you that.

Now, I’m not calling for pride of the overeager, chest-thumping nature. Nor am I telling anyone who isn’t from New York not to be happy and proud calling it their home. But there’s something about knowing where you’re from, and being proud of that, and bringing the best of it to New York City that makes it such a great place to live.

-Andrew Limbong

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