Part of the joy of living on Long Island is proximity. Proximity to New York City, proximity to miles and miles of sandy ocean shoreline and proximity to 3 major airports so that you can leave it. Now, before the hate mail starts rolling in, let me set the record straight by saying I love Long Island, I would never even consider living somewhere else (with the exception of Rome). But sometimes I have to get away from the cartoonishness that plagues us.
I believe that Long Island has fallen into a bit of reputational bad luck. We just don't have a whole lot of highly vocal, positive representation. There are 7.5 million people on Long Island. But if you were to ask the average American who they are familiar with that comes from Long Island, who immediately comes to mind for most people? Amy Fisher? The Long Island Medium? Lindsey Lohan (You're welcome for that one TMZ)?
I can remember back when I was first starting my career, when I learned that I would have to deal with companies outside of New York, I panicked that I would sound like some gum snapping bimbo to them. I spent hours and hours trying to shed my accent, practicing into a tape recorder to make sure that I pronounced my Rs and struck phrases like "Oh my gawd" from my vocabulary. What I probably ended up with was a forced sounding Larchmont-lockjaw, like the one Martha Stewart has adopted (she's from Nutley, NJ. c'mon Martha, who do we think we're kidding?), but at least I didn't sound like this: