By Josh Dinetz
There is no easy way to say this. However: We here in Roslyn live in a bubble. Roslyn is considered by us residents to be the greatest place. We have the greatest stores, restaurants, country clubs, citizens, temples, schools, hair salons, tennis facilities, cars, but do we really have the greatest attitudes? I was recently flying back from Palm Beach after spending some time with my grandparents. On my flight back, I had the opportunity to sit next to a fellow member of the Roslyn community.
Being a pretty sociable person, we struck up a conversation within minutes about the mutual people we knew, our favorite places in town, colleges (Syracuse Class of 2020), and then we got into the conversation about enjoying the area. However, we started thinking about it more and more: are we really enjoying it here? As I am only 17, almost 18, I don’t really know much different, so of course I love where I am, yet I know so many people who moved here and had/have a hard time adjusting to our lifestyle.
It is no secret that we live in an affluent area. I can’t even count the number of Mercedes I see on my way to school and it’s only about a mile down Glen Cove Road from where I live. Friends have moved to Roslyn from all over: Queens, the West Coast, Florida, even different countries and they say that life here is unreal. If I was to go to some of their hometowns, I would probably be lost. I’m not going to make myself look good and say that I’m not part of the bubble because I am, but I know a lot more about the outside world than others.
How many of us went to sleepaway camp, teen tours and are going to private universities that cost more than other nation’s per capital income? How many of us go on vacations every year and have a BMW, Mercedes or a Range Rover? Few places in the world, besides for some pockets of New Jersey and Westchester, are like it here on Long Island’s Gold Coast. I’m not saying that we are fake and not real people, but we aren’t living life like most and many of us don’t understand that. I only recently realized how fortunate I am to have parents who are able to send me away for the summer, go on vacation, send me to a great college and get me a car. But most importantly, they taught me the meaning of life.
It isn’t about what you have but it is about how you come across. Most people who know me think that I’m extremely outgoing, can talk for hours (Most Talkative 2016), loud, maybe a little cocky at times, but that’s somewhat good. Most people know that I am someone that will tell them how it is, make them feel better and genuinely be a good guy. My ultimate goal is to break out of this bubble. I hope that more young adults in Roslyn will also do so. There are so many things about life that I have yet to learn. It isn’t my parents fault. It isn’t my teachers fault. The blame lies on the culture of Roslyn.
The culture of Roslyn is extremely materialistic. Argue with me and tell me that it isn’t. Try. You can’t. This isn’t a healthy way to live life. There are people who would die to be able to send their kids to a great college like the majority of us. There are people who would love to drive a Mercedes and go out to a fancy dinner on the weekends. We overlook this. To the people who are less fortunate, everything that we do in Roslyn is a want. To the people of Roslyn, it’s a need. We all feel the urge to one-up each other.
It is always a major wakeup call when I meet someone and they ask where I’m from. “Long Island” I would say (first eye roll). They then ask where on Long Island. “Roslyn” (second eye roll). And depending if they make an excuse to walk away and be finished, they might ask this question: “Do you know so and so?” “Oh, that’s my _______.” That’s when they finally walk away. We are thought to be snobs, unrealistic, trying to show everyone that we live the perfect life. I do truly think that the majority of us are somewhat upset about how we live our life here. I think many would want to live in a place where society isn’t so harsh, where people won’t talk about you, where if you were to get a divorce, the whole town would know in a week (okay, fine, four days). My rant is over. Instead of hating me now and thinking that I called everyone here fake (which I didn’t), I really want you to think about this bubble and how it affects our lives. Do we really want this?
Josh, I knew you as an infant for I am the Real Estate Broker who sold your parents their home. You are misjudging a lot of us who live in Roslyn. There are people here that are weslthy that do not show it.. They rather have it in the Bank than on their body. It’s the way the values your parents instill in you that makes you a better person. One does not have to keep up with the Jones to be happy in this community. Do Not sell us short… It’s the youth in you that looks through different glasses. One has to find their place.. If some people are giving the wrong image of us .. Choose your friends wisely,, Good luck Josh in what ever you do..
Josh, I applaud your courage to write this editorial!!!!
I absolutely love this article! Its so true! Congratulations on this article!
I appreciate your feelings about Roslyn. I guess I am very fortunate to have grown up in Roslyn village back in the 1960s and 70 when it still had that Norman. Rockwell small town feel. There were wealthy people but the majority were middle class. I feel blessed to have a childhood where I knew every storekeeper by name, rode my bike climbed trees spent the day at the duckpond marched in the Memorial day parade, firehouse events, auntique and craft shows that closed the road and not to mention as a young adult hanging out in town at the local bars_ terra firma us blues and raffles to name a few. One of my fondest childhood memoroes is going into the bank and getting a balloon and studying the beautiful mural on the wall. And not to mention the endless hours spent at Stone Cellar looking through albums. I moved away 25 years ago and im sure the town has changed but im still proud to tell anyone who asks that im from Roslyn NY!
I am now 43. I grew up at 77 Carriage Lane, daycare at Temple Sinai, summer camp, and went to Wheatley until 10th grade. I cannot complain about my childhood. Roslyn (especially the Heights) is a beautiful place. Don’t be embarrassed by the morons. I even used to get into trouble with one of the short-lived (THANK GOD) Princess Of LI….but I’m not judged by their idiocy. Everywhere in this world has morons.
Be proud of your life, but also be grateful of your life. You are right, many people would kill for your opportunity…..so don’t squander it.
Reflective, thoughtful, wise beyond his years.
Never apologize for speaking the truth.
Interesting article….can’t say it isn’t so..but still love it here….you find your own wherever you are. Yes there are many Mercedes, BMW, and Range Rovers when you drive through the village at any given time, but there are also historic beautiful homes, and parks and trees, and flags for holidays such as today for Presidents day…it’s all comes down to your perspective….my parents taught me at a very young age…”never look at what somebody else has, be happy with what you’ve got.” It’s words to live by and what I teach my children.
A very insightful commentary! You are a brave and sensitive young man! As parents, we try to instill in our children the values we feel are important.
Your parents have taught you well!
That about sums up my perception of Roslyn.
When you have children you will understand. The answer to your question is “yes” the bubble is good.
I grew up in Roslyn in the 60’s and 70’s, before this culture had solidified, but one could see it coming. My Dad bought a house just inside the school district for the benefit of me and my sister, and I do recall the obvious better-than- thou attitudes of the Cadillac drivers (Merecedes and BMW’s were rare). I later became aware of the culture when it was brought to my attention that residents considered it a requirement to pay outrageous sums to throw a bar mitzvah because “everybody does it”. I was horrified to later return to visit St Francis Hospital and getting cut off in the parking lot! Hopefully, our children can sort through this culture and find happiness and fulfillment.
Live in a different area of the country for a while , you will appreciate Roslyn for the things that matter and ignore the rest
Excellent article. Very true. Not only did I grow up in Roslyn, my children grew up in Roslyn and I work in the HS. Roslyn has and always will be a bubble. It was just different when I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. My parents always instilled in myself and my brothers that someone is always going to have more than you or less. Therefore, appreciate what you have. I also taught my children this as well. It’s the obnoxious and snotty ignorant people who ruin the reputation of beautiful communities. I’m glad your parents taught you well. You seem like a bright individual. Good luck to you.
RHS alums here – the bubble is real and it gets blown away when you go away to college so don’t worry about it. You will meet people from all walks of life and either Roslyn is your home or you choose your new “bubble.” Life is a set of choices. Enjoy everything about your choices including weather or not the “Roslyn bubble” is right for you. It wasn’t our favorite place and we couldn’t live there now as adults but visiting is still fun and we like to see how it has changed in both good and bad ways. We will always have a soft spot in our hearts for Roslyn because it’s not only our joint history but a tie that binds us to the great friends that we are thrilled to still have in our lives over two decades later.