Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I love NY.


Overheard today:

Scruffy tourist dad with thick outbouroughs accent to his wife and 2 teen kids: Hey. Hey. Why donchu guys wait up, huh? Hey... Hey... look up there (more like "dare").. you see dat? See dat? They got trees up dere...

Bedraggled wife: Yeah, that's a PENTHOUSE.

Just a totally awesome exchange of regular people in awe at NY buildings and money and power.

You might think you're doing ok in life until you're in NY. NY is like, take your lame off-the-shelf YSL Muse bag and go home, I am a Russian oil heiress and I've got the new Uptown in Ostrich. You just cannot keep up in NY. And in NY, I feel more like the Queens dad than anyone who might possibly own said penthouse, and I love it. New York magazine had a cover all about money recently, and they polled new yorkers to ask how much they thought one would have to earn to be "rich." It was amazing. Amazingly low. And then the Seattle Times recently did a story on how Americans view class and money... it was also really interesting how households earning $300k still considered themselves middle class (which I would say is true, although it's totally messed up...).

How much does it take to be "rich" these days? Is it earnings or savings/net worth? What's middle class anymore?

12 comments:

S. said...

Ugh, I agree. And it's not just money; it's the talent and brain-power and beauty that exists in Manhattan. Makes me feel like the inconsequential prol that I am... and I love it!

How much makes someone rich? Um, I'd say it's more about net worth than income. But sure that rich counts for as much these days (not to imply that your question is foolish!)as the whole notion of class. The NYT had a fascinating segment on the subject: they state that money counts but so does education and career. Here's the link, in case you're interested:

http://www.nytimes.com/pages/national/class/index.html

The "where do you fit in" exercise is especially fun...

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

I'd say that most people that read your blog are middle class. You should do an anonymous survey on income - it would be interesting to see what on average most of your readers are as a family earning.

PS just mentioned you today on my post about someone definitely upperclass :-)

beachbungalow8 said...

well, as my grandmother always said, 'you can't buy class'

Anonymous said...

I have low-class urges, but I'm on medication for them.

Brilliant Asylum said...

To me, you are "Rich" if you can pay your bills when they are due, have the freedom to travel, and the time to be creative. Anything more than that is negligible--varying degrees of designer bags and all. More power to you if you can get that done while living in New York!

Anonymous said...

"Anything more than that" is not neglible to the family looking up at the penthouse.

SGM said...

I think this is the most interesting question. My guess is that the show-boaters are exactly that--and a lot less rich than we think. Great post!

katiedid said...

Totally depends on where you live if you are talking pure $ I think. That is why the tax codes are so messed up. It is VERY expensive to live in NYC and California compared to many of the midwestern and southern states. But you still enter those higher tax brackets none the less. I could be making a mill a year in California and still be considered "middle class" the disposable income just does not go as far. But I agrre with BB8, money definitely does not buy class!

nunu pepe' said...

Anonymous you are hysterically witty :)

Iheartfashion said...

Great question! Wealth is certainly a matter of perspective. I tell my children that we're rich compared to most of the world, although by U.S. standards we're just comfortably middle-class. I agree that the ability to work at a job you enjoy, with enough money to live comfortably and travel occasionally equals wealth to me. Anything beyond that gets too morally complicated!

Tara said...

My son is attending college in Manhattan and has a great apartment on campus in midtown that he's sharing with 3 guys. When I dabbled around the NYT to see how much like apartments were going for in the area, it was well above one million. Whew. But he is having the time of his life, it's a great place to be young!

Alkemie said...

Great Post Decorno! What one considers as "rich" or wealthy could vary greatly from others. I can definitely see how a household who earns $300K would view themselves as middle class if where they live is expensive and your dollar doesn't go quite as far. It's like feeling normal here with my American dollars until you go UK and then I feel poor :P It is fascinating to see how the ultra-rich live their lives though - recently I watched the program Forbes List of Heiresses...They are definitely in a whole class and other world altogether - not even comparable...

Karen