New York’s Upper East Side

At my last job for a high frequency trading software firm people used to criticize me and say I was obsessed with money. They probably could not be more right. I am obsessed with money and if I had more of it I’d want the Brooks Brothers’ camel hair topcoat and an Upper East Side apartment.

The problem before: I was barely making enough money. The problem now I am only getting unemployment benefits which are due to expire for me very soon. If I was making alot of money I wouldn’t mind letting the women of Dick spend some of it. Instead of bubble tea and Bread I will take the women of Dick to places like Nello and Daniel.

In conversation, one of my friends who lives on the Upper East Side told me some stories. She claims that most women who live with their boyfriends or husbands and don’t work on the Upper East Side actually have full time jobs. I asked her what their full time job was and she said that living with your boyfriend/husband when you don’t work is a full time job because it takes alot of energy to be able to put up with your man. The woman knows that a guy like that could probably kick her out and find another woman to live with them. So their job duties/skills include good people skills.

Another story involves a couple who lives next door. The couple barely scraps by in their $2000+ apartment and the wife lives off food stamps and her student loan money. She knows this because one day the two of them went out and she tried to use the electronic benefits card (EBT) to buy hot food. Since EBT can not be used for prepared food (such as sandwichses) and hot food (rotisserie chicken, hot soup) and the wife did not have cash she asked for an even swap.

Still another story involves a beautiful twenty-something year old who lives across the hall. According to the neighbors she is actually a prostitute because each day like clockwork the same five people always come to the apartment at a certain time. And the alleged clients always leave before another person rings the buzzer for the apartment.

I guess it is not all well in Upper East Side land as one would think with that much money….happiness can be bought.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Gainfully Unemployed, Life in the Ghetto, The Women of Dick

One response to “New York’s Upper East Side

  1. Grover Mannings

    Dick,

    This is an interesting post and social commentary. Many times, the glitz and glamour of what appears to be an ideal lifestyle is actually just smoke and mirrors. It wouldn’t surprise me if some people in the Upper East Side pay rent on a credit card with one of those 0% APR offers for 12 months. Then, when that offer expires, they either move out, get evicted, or gamble their credit rating by procuring another card.

    To be sure, there are definitely people that do well enough to live comfortably in this posh section of the city, and probably have plenty of cash leftover to boot. This is where the trophy wife phenomenon kicks in: male residents head out to club, mention where they live, and women throw themselves at them. It’s not hard to land girlfriend if you have it made financially and can prove it with a ritzy apartment pedigree. The women choose not to work because they don’t have to; and instead spend their time keeping fit, buying the latest fashions, or hanging out with friends.

    In many ways your post is also a story about trade-offs and what people are willing to sacrifice in order to live well. With respect to the prostitute, it’s possible she’s working for a high-end call girl agency that rents the apartment for encounters only. However, it’s also possible she is an independent operator who scores big cash from wealthy male clients by advertising on Craigslist, BackPage, or other forms of advertising. In this case she is willing to live a slightly more risky lifestyle in exchange for plenty of money to buy the things she wants. In an extreme instance she might be an illegal alien working to payoff her coyote from Europe, Russia, China, or Latin America.

    Getting money is really only half the battle. The other half is choosing how to spend it. I actually have a lot of respect for people that live modest lifestyles and save their money for emergency situations, a college education for their children, or for retirement. Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Even though you often lament the fact that Chinese Americans are particularly parsimonious and thrifty, it is actually a brilliant survival strategy in an unforgiving world.

    Best,

    Grover Mannings

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