Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 14:32:32 -0600 From: debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIUC.EDU Subject: Re: new york city and upstate I'm from New York City. Queens, to be exact. And when we went to Manhattan in the 1950s we said we were going "to the City." But if someone asked if I was from the City I would say yes, since Queens is part of the city. We were well aware of the ambiguity, and often had to explain which "the City" we meant on that particular occasion. Everything else was upstate or on the island (Long Island). Or, of course, Jersey. Brooklyn was somewhat vague. Though it was attached to Queens, it remained a strange place we went to only to visit those relatives who were too old to leave. One always feared attacks by overzealous Dodgers fans. Even though Queens was on the island, we didn't claim it as being "on the island," a phrase that usu. referred to Nassau and Suffolk counties, which were outside the city, in all senses. The people from upstate referred to NYC as the city, so far as I can recall, though of course being from the city, I spoke to very few people who were really from upstate. One of my teachers in college grew up upstate. He remembered being told "the City" was as closed to Hell as one could get on this earth, and his first visit to the City, when he saw steam rising from the manhole covers, confirmed the worst he had been told. Our local subway stop, a 20-minute walk from my house in Forest Hills, was in the part of our neighborhood we called The Village. You had to go to the Village to get the subway to go to the city. Once in the city we usually went to the Village, meaning Greenwich Village, quite a different place from our own "the Village" in every sense, including the steam coming up from the manholes. Those were the days. Now that I've been in the Midwest for over 25 years, I know that what Mephistopheles replied when Faustus asked him where hell was (in Marlowe's play) is true. Dennis -- Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Department of English 217-333-2392 University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321 608 South Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801