Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fudging Where You Live

18 of the Fifth Month 5771
A: Where do you live?

B: Rockridge

A: Where's that?

(mumbled) It's on the edge of Oakland, right next to

Dude. You live in Oakland, or Oaktown, or whatever you want to call it. Get over it.

People say they live in Rockridge, even if they don't, because they don't want you to know that they live in Oakland.

If you have never lived in Northern California, though, then you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.

Well, many of you have heard of La Jolla. Many of you have even met people from La Jolla.

Well, this may come as a shock to you, but La Jolla is just a neighborhood in the City of San Diego. that's right. It's a neighborhood, and not its own, incorporated city. Yes, it has its own special, non-San Diego, zip code, but it's still, just a neighbor. It has famously incredible sunsets, but still, it's just a neighborhood, not a city.

News Flash! Hollywood isn't a city either, its own honorary mayor aside; it's a NEIGHBORHOOD in Los Angeles. And, if you live a mile away from Hollywood, guess what! You do NOT live in Hollywood.,

If the California context still isn't working for you, then please allow me to translate.

It's kind of like saying you're from Riverdale, instead of The Bronx. Riverdale is in The Bronx. For years, as a non-New Yorker, I was fooled into believing that Riverdale was its own separate entity, sort of part of New York City, and sort not. No one from Riverdale was ever willing to make this clear to me. Instead, the subject of the conversation was quickly changed. Heaven forbid anyone should know that Riverdale is in The Bronx!

It seems that not so recently, Park Slope has also declared its independence from Brooklyn.

The same sort of shenanigans occur in Israel, like when people say that they live in Ramat-Aviv, instead of Tel-Aviv. Unlike the incorporated cities of Ramat-Gan and Givata'im, Ramat-Aviv is just a neighborhood.

Only when it works to their advantage do they, all of a sudden, become residents of Tel-Aviv.

Israeli Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzgar was the rabbi of the Ramat-Aviv neighborhood. Yet, one sometimes hears that he was "a former chief rabbi in Tel-Aviv." This is a true statement. But, why is the name of the exclusive neighborhood of Ramat-Aviv suddenly omitted?

Most of the time in Israel, though, people do not try to cover up their city; they just fudge their neighborhood a bit.

The area making up the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia has magically grown, over the years.
Nope. Sorry. Look at the map. You do NOT live in Rehavia; you live in ROSCO.

People also like to say that they live in the trendy neighborhood of Baq'a, instead of Talpiot.

After all, Talpioth is know for malls, dance clubs, and an industrial park. So, who would want to live there?!

When confronted with this little white lie, the excuse which invariably get fired back is "I say that I live in Baq'a, because Americans don't know where Talpiot is."

Yeah, right! Like Americans have never heard of Talpiot! It is the home of Papagayo, one of the most popular restaurants among American. I suppose that pretty soon, people will start claiming that Papagayo is in Baq'a.

Somewhere in between Rehavia and Baq'a is the super-duper, industrial strength, trendy neighborhood of Old Qatamon. Somehow, its borders have also magically expanded over the years. I have even heard people who live in Pat claim Old Qatamon as their neighborhood of residence. You may be close to Qatamonim, but you're nowhere's near Old Qatamon. In all fairness, I used to get those neighborhoods all mixed-up, too.

A friend just reminded me that there are those, too, who say they live in Sanhedria instead of Ramot Eshkol. Why? Much frumer.

So, where do you live? Or, rather, where do you say you live?


Anonymous said...

Ha! This post made me laugh, especially the part about Park Slope! I haven't been in Bklyn in years and had no idea (though can't say I'm too surprised).

Esser Agaroth said...

Thanks, Yocheved! :-)

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