There’s a lot of money here in New York City. Passing from old hands to new, getting lost and being made, lusted after and envied. It’s so easy to find wonderfully indulgent and satisfying ways to spend your money here, in a land where bespoke and niche are commonplace. Not to say that everyone is rich, but that serious money is being spent independent from a person’s financial standing. New York City is like a vacuum that sucks money from your pockets when you step out the door. You can almost see the $20s fly out of your pockets and float up into the air like that feather in Forest Gump. You spend a $100 here, like you would spend $20 somewhere else. You don’t even need to try. I save money when I go on vacation.
I have this internal battle about money: on the one hand I am totally turned off by overindulgence and how the hell so much money can be spent when people in this country are in need, and on the other hand I’m daydreaming about a bag full of cash and four hours in Barney’s. I mean, I work my ass off to make money, I save, I am not an excessive person, but I get these pangs of guilt when I spend. Before I buy something I go through this ridiculous rigorous discussion in my head filled with justifications and tallies and validation. It’s exhausting. And stupid. Because the other part of me knows I’ll be dead soon so I should buy the boots and shut up about it. I also have a tendency to let my mind wander off the grid and imagine myself in some luscious wood, with a massive garden, self-sustaining with no need for money, churning my own butter. But those whimsical little visions get blown away with the allure of really good late night takeout.
I have to accept that money is a driving force in this city, a presence that stands on it’s own as if it were a living thing. The tone of privilege and power that floats over this city is loud and captivating. But it does not drown out the warmth and welcome that is felt here. Affluence is just a smaller stone, sitting on one side of the scale, that balances New York City.