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“You look like you’re from New York!” [Wow! It’s Wednesday]

“You look like you’re from New York!” a saleslady said to me as I walked home on Monday in yellow sweatshirt, covered by my flowered blazer and on top of my head, my hat with fur-lined floppy ears, from which¬†white earphones blasting rap music streamed out. I have recently committed to at least wearing jeans with my usual writing ensemble, so yes, dressed as I was for 60 degree weather (I chill easily) I suppose that I did look like a New Yorker.

This isn’t the first time that I’ve been told this. Actually it’s the third time I’ve been told this in 2011 alone. “You look like a New Yorker,” my friend Kalimba told me when I donned my hat and blazer ensemble to leave her post play, after drinks and pizza get to together.

“You make me feel like a bad New Yorker with that hat,” Dr. Miro told me the last time we met up for brunch while she was visiting L.A.

Even before this particular hat and blazer, people would ask me if I had grown up in L.A., I would answer that I grew up in St. Louis, but moved here from the East Coast and they would often say, “From where? New York?” And I’d answer, “No, Pittsburgh.” And then there’d be some surprised fumbling before we found another topic of conversation.

What’s funny is that when I did live on the East Coast, people always thought I was from someplace in West Africa, or that my parents were African. And then I’d have to say something like, “No, I’m American. Really American. Great-great-great-great parents on down.”

But now this has me wondering. Do you often get mistaken for being from someplace you’re not? And does it change depending on which city you’re in? Let me know in the comments!