New York

10 Bronx Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

New York Smash Magazine  

Originally published by

If you’ve ever played handball, swear without blinking and know where New York’s real Little Italy resides, there’s a good shot you’re from the Bronx.

1. Bronxites Are Bursting At The Seams With Pride For Their Borough

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Source: Wikimedia Commons user Bigtimepeace

Bronxites know how overlooked their borough is in New York, which is part of why Bronx pride runs high. If someone is quick to judge the Bronx in their presence, they’ll be quick to educate, pointing out that their Little Italy on Arthur Avenue is the best, most authentic Little Italy in the city, the cuisine at Zero Otto Nove stands up to any upscale Manhattan eatery and Bronx Beer Hall is one of the best places to throw a few cold ones back in all the boroughs.

Oh, and they laugh at the silly Manhattan walk-in closet or Brooklyn loft you pay $2,000 a month for. They know that their borough offers close access to everything Manhattan has at a ridiculous fraction of the price.

2. Bronxites Are Loud And Proud

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Source: Flickr user Incase

The conversations. The music. The bars. The Yankees games. The subways. It’s probably a good guess that foot for foot, the Bronx is one of the loudest counties in the country.

So don’t take it personally if someone from the Bronx is talking so loudly in your direction they seem to be yelling at you. Given the noise levels they face every day, gentle and quiet communication doesn’t really fly. Although, there’s always the possibility they actually are yelling at you.

3. Bronxites Could Sleep Through An Earthquake, Godzilla And The Apocalypse

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Source: Giphy

Because their borough is full of auto repair shops, construction sites, traffic, subway noise, thin walls, and folks playing professional and amateur sports all hours of the night, for Bronxites, sleeping sometimes requires near-comatose REM.

Bronxites also frequently develop an entire arsenal of strategies for getting their z’s, which includes but is not limited to: headphones, a pillow over the noggin’, ear plugs and a general immunity to jarring decibel levels and loud, absurd noises coming from outside. Because God knows any noise complaint is just going to be ignored.

4. Bronxites’ Lives Revolve Around The Yankees

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Source: Flickr user Gaspa

Sure, they’re the “New York” Yankees, but to people born and raised in the Bronx, they’re a cultural institution of their very own. Locals who support New York’s premier baseball team (face it, Mets fans) examine every player and roster move under a microscope, can rattle off the team’s history without pause and welcome the hate that comes along with hosting an “evil empire.”

Even for Bronxites who (God forbid) don’t really care about baseball still feel the Yanks effects during the season. If they’re commuting to and from Manhattan, they know to plan around the games, lest they end up packed like sardines on the subway for their afternoon or night commute.

5. Bronxites Are More Diverse Than Warren Buffett’s Stock Portfolio

Source: Flickr user NYCDOT

While significant parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn have largely priced out immigrant populations, the Bronx is still a hotbed of first generation Americans. In fact, the borough is so diverse, if you picked two Bronxites at random, there’s close to a 90% chance they would have different ethnic heritages.

With so many people of different backgrounds living in close quarters, this means growing up comfortable speaking a language at home in addition to English, and getting exposed and influenced by different cultures—and the delicious foods of those cultures—at a young age.

6. Bronxites Drop The F-Bomb Like It’s Their Job

Source: Giphy

For Bronxites, F-bombs exist as an adjective, verb, noun, interjection, exclamation and filler. If, when visiting the borough, someone slings one in your general direction, take it as a badge of honor, not a slight.

The Red Sox? F*** em’. The outbound traffic on the Whitestone? F***in’ nightmare. This slice of pizza? F***in’ delicious. You don’t like my language? What the f*** you talkin’ ‘bout.

7. Bronxites Are The Epitome Of Hip Hop Lovers

Source: Flickr user urban_data

The South Bronx has been called the spot “where hip hop was born.” Parties in the South Bronx during the 1970s are widely viewed as one of the birthplaces of hip hop, where music pioneers D.J. Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash helped popularize the genre by infusing elements of funk, jazz and soul by amping up the percussion and rapping over it.

Today, Bronx pride runs high regarding their hip hop roots—a walk through the borough will reveal murals to Bronx hip hop heroes like Big Pun, Fat Joe and Afrika Bambaataa. The genre still remains a huge incubator of hip hop talent and lots of the borough’s elder statesmen still boast about being there in hip hop’s earliest days.

8. Bronxites Are Handball Pros

Source: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

While the Yanks reign supreme when it comes to Bronx sports fandom, it’s more likely you’ll find Bronxites playing pickup games of handball—a kissing cousin of racquetball, where players win by getting a small ball past opposing players by hitting it against a wall—than playing baseball in their spare time.

While stickball used to be the borough’s street game of choice, these days It’s hard to go too many blocks in the Bronx without finding a park or a playground with handball game in progress during New York City’s warmer months, from friendly(ish) pickup games to fast-paced tournaments that draw crowds rivalling local hoops tournaments.

9. Bronxites All Have A Go-To Bodega

Source: Flickr user Jason Eppink

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a bodega fits somewhere between a grocery store and a small gas station on the shopping selection scale, where a selection of drinks, snacks and, notably, booze are available in limited quantities. They also generally have a cat and recurring cast of characters that seem like the spend 24 hours of every day there.

In the Bronx, having a good corner store to pick up the basics of life is a total necessity. Bronxites know how to navigate the endless number of bodegas in their neighborhood, and will tell you which ones actually make a decent sandwich, and which ones are good for only the most thoroughly sealed foods.

10. Bronxites Have Thicker Skin Than An Elephant

Source: Giphy

Bronxites tend to have a bit more life experience at a younger age than counterparts who grew up in small towns. The city is their backyard, where from childhood they’ve explored their block, navigated the subway and been fiercely independent. Because of this, folks from the Bronx end up just a little bit tougher and street smart than your average Joe, Jane or Jerome.

They’re also aware of the often less-than-stellar and narrow view their hometown faces from outsiders, but Bronxites generally don’t let it under their skin.