There are two types of people in New York City: those who have read Harry Potter and those who missed out on the most magical cultural phenomenon of the new millennium. The former
pity the latter occasionally lug their giant hard bound copies of Deathly Hallows onto the subway because nothing makes a commute go by faster.
If they find themselves in a group of like-minded individuals, the topic may very well come up. Especially after a
butter beer or two. What’s your favorite book? Can you believe what JK said about Ron and Hermione? And my personal favorite: What if New York City was Hogwarts? How would you sort the boroughs into Houses? Questions as open for debate as election season.
Let’s start with something everyone can agree on: Staten Island is for Squibs.
The rest? There’s a case to be made most every which way. But I will stand before Wizengamot and all of NYC and declare what I believe most accurate, to the best of my muggle-born ability.
Manhattan is Slytherin. Cunning, ambitious, and resourceful.
No other island in the world is better known for ambition than Manhattan, and no house values it more than Slytherin. The competitive and cut throat nature of everything from Wall Street to Condé Nast, real estate to date nights positively hisses Slytherin. Cunning and resourcefulness are your only hope for ever scoring an apartment on this skinny little island, even in Washington Heights. If you walk into a shop along Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side, you’ll meet New Yorkers who consider themselves just as pure-blood as Draco Malfoy ever did.
Brooklyn is Hufflepuff. Loyal, hard working, and patient.
There is one thing Brooklynites have in common, loyalty. Whether it’s to the underground band they have tattooed on their back, the public school where their kids go, or to the religion of Judaism, Brooklynites are as loyal as Helga herself. Brooklyn was Hufflepuff before it was cool, natch. No other borough has the patience to endure constant L train track work, how long pour-over drip coffee takes compared to regular, and waiting for families of fourteen to cross the street. Co-ops and community gardens satisfy the proclivity Hufflepuffs have for Herbology. Plus, only hard work will get a man bun so lush it resembles the leafy top of a mandrake.
Queens is Ravenclaw. Wise, witty, and learning.
If there’s one borough that prefers quiet nights curled up reading to nights on the town, that borough is Queens. Wise New Yorkers move here, knowing they’ll get more space, cheaper rent, and fewer vegans than the trendier boroughs. With NYC’s two airports both located in the borough, Queens soars in stride with Ravenclaw’s eagle mascot and association with the element of air. The large population of actors in “Actor-ia”Astoria literally study wit, taking improv classes to be more clever than the Slytherin thespians up in Hamilton Heights.
The Bronx is Gryffindor. Courageous, brave, and daring.
Ted Cruz (Peter Pettigrew’s cousin?) made the mistake of visiting the Bronx and was essentially forced out by Dumbledore’s Army (AKA Bernie supporters). The Bronx still has the reputation of being the toughest/least-gentrified of the NYC boroughs. It only follows that courage, nerve, and daring are as essential to Bronx residents as they ever were to Harry Potter. Can’t you just imagine the Weasley Twins riding the 4 train? Fred yells “WHAT TIME IS IT!?” and George replies, “SHOW TIME!” and they wiz around subway poles on broom sticks. Slytherins, Hufflepuffs, and Ravenclaws on the train all fear getting broomed in the face, but fellow Gryffindors think it’s positively hilarious.
Westchester is the Forbidden Forest, Hagrid lives on Randall’s Island. Hoboken = Hogsmeade. If we look hard enough, we could probably find a giant squid in the contaminated waters of the Hudson.
That is the magical world of New York City imagined as Hogwarts. If you want to quarrel that I got Queens and Brooklyn mixed up, go right ahead and try, just don’t send a howler.
Special thanks to my former roommate for Harry Potter consultation for this post. She has a tattoo of a snitch on her ankle so you know she’s legit. And a Hufflepuff.
Thanks for reading! Until we meet next post. Or check me out on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat @newyorkcliche. Leave a comment telling us your favorite Harry Potter book and what house you’d belong in!