Opinion By ROBERTO CAPOCELLI Can I see some ID? Your IDNYC is no good here A municipal identification card on display during a press conference as Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the launch of IDNYC. Photo Credit: Uli Seit June 24, 2016 10:22 AM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email When the flight that brought me to NYC from Rome landed at Kennedy Airport, the Big Apple welcomed me with a warm, bright sunny day and a light breeze. It was Aug. 2 last year and, for me, the first time on U.S. soil. Still, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand everything was new: the cars, the roads, the bridges. I have an image in my mind of the History Channel billboard standing at a distance as the taxi neared the Bronx. But on the other, a sense of déja vu was pervasive: the atmosphere I smelled was like the NYC of the movies I had experienced. A few hours later, I was riding the 1 train from Washington Heights to Times Square, and as I entered the subway that sense of familiarity grew stronger. After staring at riders for a while, the subway ads caught my attention. In particular, one that read “I Am NYC” on the image of a young man holding a kid. The promise of “one ID for all New Yorkers” was tempting: “Oh yeah! I wanna be a part of it.” I thought about Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” IDNYC not welcome here A few days after, I called the number on the ad to make an appointment and, while adjusting to the pace of NYC, I popped up to the public library near Bryant Park to claim my brand-new New Yorker identity: the IDNYC. When I received a letter two weeks later containing the card I was surprised: Despite my visa expiring in a year, the card said I was a New Yorker until 2021. My face was over-imposed on the map of the five boroughs for five years! Two months later, as I tried to get into a well-known Hell’s Kitchen bar, the bouncer asked for proof of age. An occasion to unsheathe my card! I was baffled when he shook his head and said: “We don’t accept this, this is not valid. You need a state ID.” “This is from the city of New York,” I said. “Yeah, we don’t accept this.” My Italian driving license opened the gate. I downgraded the episode, labeling it a misunderstanding. Kafka at the zoo But after a while, it happened again. This time I couldn’t even get in to a Williamsburg bar, despite my friends’ assurances about my age. And I wasn’t carrying my Italian driving license anymore. “Why do I need this,” I thought of the license, “if I have the IDNYC.” My wife laughed at me that night. She didn’t want to get the card after I showed her mine. “You wasted your time,” she said. I was convinced there must’ve been a mistake, even though I remembered the bank had refused a check without an identification other than my IDNYC. Finally, the coup de grace came in May. I went for a jog in Prospect Park, and I was returning home when I thought to stop by the zoo. As an IDNYC holder, I was entitled to free entry: finally some privilege! I approached the gate and showed the card. I was told that I first needed to go to the Bronx Zoo (physically) to register before I could gain free entry. Rome is well-known for its byzantine bureaucracy. I have lived in New York for about a year, and I don’t carry my IDNYC card anymore. I now feel at home. Roberto Capocelli is an intern with amNew York. This is the first in an occasional series of guest columns. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.