Thursday, June 12, 2008

No One Covers the Travails of the Wealthy Like The New York Times

No one covers the travails of the wealthy like the Times -- except, perhaps, New York Magazine. I've cited this before. As a media issue, it shows the Times covering a coveted advertising demographic: people who make multimillionaires look impoverished.

But as a cultural issue, it's kinda difficult to get all teary about people who have given up their NetJets for first class seats -- OMG: commercial flights!

The latest are two stories in today's paper, "When Conscience and Closet Collide: Recession fears and consumer guilt make high-end consignment shops chic destinations" by Ruth La Ferla in the Style section, about women who have jumped onto the green bandwagon -- because green is the new black -- and are finding new strategies during a recession to stay fashionable while reassessing their priorities.

“Instead of buying that ChloĆ© jacket that I want right now," one woman was quoted in the article, “I’m much happier purchasing something at a consignment store that is much less.”

If only more Americans spent their tax rebate checks like that!

The other great article was "Mystery on Fifth Avenue" by Penelope Green (no relation to "green is the new black") that appeared in the Homes section.

Describing the private-equity firm owners of "an enormous ’20s-era co-op with Central Park views (once part of a triplex built for the philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post)," Green describes them as "At first blush the family that occupies it looks to be very much of a type."

But here's the twist: the family wasn't happy with the 4,200-square-foot apartment for they had bought $8.5 million in 2003.

“I just didn’t want it to be this cookie-cutter, Upper East Side, Fifth Avenue kind of place,” the wife, a former managing director at Bear Stearns, said.

As a born-and-bred New Yorker transplanted in the Boston suburbs, I know what she means. That's why I left Manhattan -- I just couldn't stand the idea of living in a cookie-cutter $8.5 million 4,200-square-foot apartment.

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