19 Signs You Grew Up Latina in New York
1. The people at your local bodega have seen you grow up (and still call you by your childhood nickname).They are also very surprised when you come back from college and suddenly you're old enough to buy your own Corona.
2. The Italian ice carts were the best part of your summer. To this day you can hear them yelling from across the street in your head — "COCO, CHERRY, MANGO, RAINBOW!"
3. Unless you were an ice cream kid, in which case, Mr. Softee was the best. Let's be real, the vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles will never get old.
4. Birthdays only meant one thing: Dominican cake. And of course it had the pineapple filling.
5. You distinctly remember running through an open fire hydrant in your neighborhood at some point in your childhood. You also remember how pissed your mom was after you came home soaking wet, ruining the floor in the sala.
6. Having to take the 1 train from El Barrio to the Heights to see your tía, or vice versa. Or worse, traveling from either of those places to Queens. (Sorry.)
7. You've never been to see the New Year's Eve ball drop. Because that's a time to be at home drinking coquito and salsa dancing with family.
8. You've been going to get your blowouts at the Dominican salon ever since you can remember. Then you have to wrap your hair in a doobie afterward, so it won't get messed up.
9. You know it's cleaning day when you smell the Fabuloso cleaner and hear Marc Anthony blasting through the speakers. And every time you're home for a visit, you know there is nowhere to hide from the inevitable grito that awaits you if you don't get out of bed to help within the next five minutes.
10. You have your favorite cuchifritosspot. If you lived in Manhattan, it was the one on 116th Street, and your family has been getting frituras there for your whole life (and probably even before that).
11. You had to wake up early every Sunday for church. If abuelita came over, you'd get dragged to the Spanish misaas well…
12. You also have vague memories of going to botanicas. Your mother would slap your hands if you tried to touch any of the figurines of los santos or bottles in the shop.
13. Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches from the bodega were the second-best breakfast delicacy toplatano, salami, y queso frito. People still don't understand how you can stomach so much grease in the morning.
14. You were a cool kid if you had a Nextel or Boost Mobile phone.Honestly, you just wanted the walkie-talkie function so you could do the chirping noise. Extra points if you had "Oye Mi Canto" as your ringtone.
15. You don't know how to drive, ride a bike, or swim. But that didn't stop your primos from trying to dunk you in the pool.
16. You either had a Quince or a Sweet 16. But you always knew at least one person who ended up having both.
17. Everyone in New York knows what nationality you are, but if you travel outside the tristate area, everyone always just assumes you're Mexican. Or they tell you that you "don't look Latina." They're also amazed that you can speak Spanish "so well."
18. All your friends had way more independence than you, whereas your super-strict Latino parents wouldn't let you out of their sight. "But, dad, I'm only taking the 6 train two stops!"
19. You might love your Starbucks, but Cafe Bustelo will always have your heart. Dunkin' Donuts also gets an honorable mention, just because it's everywhere and is the cheapest of the three.
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