New York City Teenagers Are Drinking And Grinding


There are two big developments in the lives of New York City teenagers this week. Number one is that the Post has exposed a third of them as underage drinkers, especially in Staten Island; the second is that the New York Times has introduced a column just for them, or rather about them. It’s “a monthly column that will explore the social lives of teens and adolescents.” Brace yourselves.

First, the teen drinkers. They’re kids, and they’re drinking, and a lot of them are from Staten Island. Camille Dodero has already covered this ground better than anyone else out there. But regardless, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has discovered that one-third of underage kids in New York drink alcohol now and again, some to excess. It sounds like high school, but perhaps it’s something much more nefarious — Staten Island.

Staten Island teens say the lack of anything going on in the most suburban of the boroughs may explain why they’re tops in the city for underage imbibing.
“It’s boring on Staten Island, so, of course, everyone will get high and drink,” said Victoria Nespica, 15, who is “waiting until college” to drink.
“It’s really easy to buy alcohol, and I know kids whose parents are totally fine with them drinking. They don’t supply the alcohol, but they stock the fridge with it, and the kids take it out.”

Sounds about right.

And then there’s this new Times column, about which there’s not much to say. Except for “Hmmmmm!” The first one concerns the dance known as grinding, which everyone under the age of 35 should know about already from experience, and everyone over the age of 35 should know about because they’re probably not living under a rock.

What is “grinding”?

“Grinding is exactly what it sounds like,” said Tom Rosenbluth, head of the middle school at Francis W. Parker, a K-12 independent school in Chicago, who says he has had so much experience with this style of dancing among his seventh and eighth graders that he cannot help but refer to himself as a “grinding expert.” He added: “It’s basically sex with your clothes on in public.”

He just can’t help but refer to himself as a “grinding expert.” We’ve been there. So, the news hook for this column is…um, there isn’t one, because people have been grinding since, what, the early 90s? Even before? And will grinding get your kids into the Ivies? Find out more next month, on “After Curfew” (ed. note This is actually the name of the column).