Last week while waiting on line at the deli I met an interesting character. He wore a loud, Island-type shirt and came in like he owned the place. Reminded me of a wise-guy on vacation.
"Ay! The joint's hoppin' today." he boomed and then proceeded to make small talk with the workers behind the counter. I immediately made him for someone from the East Coast.
He grabbed a ticket and stood near me and of course I couldn't resist engaging him in conversation.
Me: You're from the East Coast.
Him: What gave it away? My big mouth?
Then he laughed and so did I.
Me: No, your accent. I'm from back East, too. You don't lose the accent.
Him: Yeah, I lost a lot of things but not the accent.
Me: Whereabouts are you from?
Then he told me he was from the Bronx and I nodded and told him I thought as much. He asked me where I was from and I replied that I used to live across the Hudson - New Jersey. We made more small talk about where exactly in Jersey I'm from. He seemed pleased when I mentioned living near the Meadowlands and said Oh yeah, home of the Giants, so I'm guessing he's a fan.
I asked him if he missed all the snow to which he replied: No way! Then we name-dropped a few grocery stores we shopped at back East. Next thing I know my order was done and I had to go.
So, how can you tell someone from the East Coast, specifically NY/NJ area?
Easy. It's the way we talk, or tawk. We don't drink coffee. We drink cawfee. We don't turn things off. We turn them awff. And we don't just walk our dogs. We walk our dawgs.
I was out with my family one night and ordered a coffee for my mom and the waitress said to me, NJ, right?