This is as good as you’d expect it to be.
“The chicest thing is when you don’t exist on Google. God, I would love to be that person!” - Phoebe Philo, Vogue
Philip Glass - Sesame Street - Geometry of Circles
Apparently I grew up listening to Philip Glass! News to me. Also: doesn’t this animation/song feel like it is preparing children for some Illuminati ceremony?
Selena Gomez - I Love You Like a Love Song (“Azerbaijan Version”)
This one has a surprise ending!
NELLY FURTADO - Say It Right (Azerbaijan Version)
Kids on TV - “Dazzler”
The long-delayed single “Dazzler” finally gets a video release, featuring a lo-fi, dazzling mutant battle at a disco roller rink. Can’t wait to see them tonight.
The average Manhattan apartment, at $3,973 a month, costs almost $2,800 more than the average rental nationwide. The average sale price of a home in Manhattan last year was $1.46 million, according to a recent Douglas Elliman report, while the average sale price for a new home in the United States was just under $230,000. The middle class makes up a smaller proportion of the population in New York than elsewhere in the nation. New Yorkers also live in a notably unequal place. Household incomes in Manhattan are about as evenly distributed as they are in Bolivia or Sierra Leone — the wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites make 40 times more than the lowest fifth, according to 2010 census data.
This article is such bullshit. I won’t harp on too much about Sydney’s real estate market except to note that if you live in inner city Sydney you’re paying more than these Manhattanites are in rent. (Don’t tell them that; daring to disrupt New Yorker narcissism is a cardinal sin.)
Most researchers define the middle class by calculating the median income for a place, and grouping people into certain percentages above or below the absolute middle.
By one measure, in cities like Houston or Phoenix — places considered by statisticians to be more typical of average United States incomes than New York — a solidly middle-class life can be had for wages that fall between $33,000 and $100,000 a year.
By the same formula — measuring by who sits in the middle of the income spectrum — Manhattan’s middle class exists somewhere between $45,000 and $134,000.
But if you are defining middle-class by lifestyle, to accommodate the cost of living in Manhattan, that salary would have to fall between $80,000 and $235,000. This means someone making $70,000 a year in other parts of the country would need to make $166,000 in Manhattan to enjoy the same purchasing power.
But absolutely nothing is stopping Manhattanites from moving away from New York to Houston or Phoenix and taking advantage of the cheaper rents there. Their choice to pay higher rents in Manhattan doesn’t mean they’re not middle class; it means they’re using their higher incomes to access the higher quality of life and access to opportunity they have in Manhattan. $166k is $166k wherever you are in America — the only thing that changes is whether you spend it on more land and more gas or higher rents and subway charges.
But the true folly is that, as delusional as the self-pity of these actually quite well-off New Yorkers is, it is entirely unnecessary that so much of their money needs to be eaten up by high rents. (The same goes for us even harder-suffering Sydneysiders.) If there are more apartments available to rent, the forces of supply and demand push the price of housing down. If New York permitted more apartments to be built, those Manhattanites earning $40k and feeling they have a choice between struggling to make ends meet (or moving to the Bronx or Jersey or Atlanta) would find they had more disposable income and thus could enjoy the benefits of a lower middle class income as well as the amenities of a global city.
Manhattan is filled with people who would be considered well-off in any other American city. And they are well-off in New York too! But their city should have a housing policy that allows them to use their income for more than rent.
n.b. Like I said, all this counts for double in Sydney. The difference is:
- I don’t go around crying that I’m not really middle class even though my income says I am.
- When I hear about a new apartment block being put up, I think “great, this will stop my rent going up” instead of “this is going to ruin the aesthetics of my neighborhood.”
Yeah, nobody stays in New York because their family is in the area, and certainly there are no adults in the world who love their families and need to be nearby to help them with things. Nobody stays in New York because it is more safe for them and allows them access to more of the resources they depend on than other areas. Nobody stays in New York because up and moving across the country costs a lot of money, and takes a lot of time, both of which are things they may not be able to spare. (Also the idea that they’re in the city because it provides greater “access to opportunity” following the idea that there’s nothing stopping New Yorkers from leaving New York: lol what like a better chance of getting a job is such a frivolous reason to stay here?)
$166k is not $166k wherever you are in America — it’s not as simple as spending on rent and a MetroCard what you would spend on a bigger place and a tank of gas elsewhere. Health insurance is more expensive in New York City. Healthcare is more expensive in New York City. A good education is more expensive in New York City. Food is more expensive — not just at restaurants, but at grocery stores. And because people in the city tend not to have cars (remember we’re spending our car money on MetroCards) they can’t employ the same strategies people in other areas employ to save money — buying in bulk, making trips to multiple stores, etc.
Also, like, I’m not an expert on economics or real estate or the availability of apartments in Sydney, but I know that when new apartments start going up in a neighborhood, most people in the city don’t think “this is going to ruin the aesthetics of my neighborhood” or “great, this will stop my rent from going up” — most people in the city think, “great, now my rent is going to go up” or “oh, look, they replaced that old building/warehouse/school/store/whatever with a Chipotle and a bunch of apartments I can’t afford anyway” so I suspect there’s a big difference between what building does to the market in Sydney and what building does to the market in NYC.
I agree with girlboymusic, and I’d go further to say that the hidden issue here is classism and how we’ve all forgotten it exists. There are so many liberals and progressives who will agree about the oppressive nature of so much in our society but they drop the ball when it comes to the oppressions of class. And it’s interesting to note how we’ve come to internalize the thinking of business people: it’s supply and demand that is driving lower-income people away from New York; rising house prices are an “incentive” to move somewhere else. We don’t talk about how people should have the right to live in the communities that they feel safe in and that they’ve lived in their entire lives. We’ve decided that the flow of money should make decisions about where people should live and how they should live because we’ve decided that it is neutral, even though the people who control huge chunks of it (and the access to it) are definitely not very neutral in their beliefs.
Tori Amos - “Caught a Lite Sneeze (Live)”
Tori’s amazing - it looks like it’s from the mid ’90s, so that’s a given - but what’s surprising is that bass, thumping its way from side to side. I’d forgotten that the song is a bit jigsawed, and here you can feel the odd combination of that bass, the mechanical drums, Tori’s baroque piano and her ecstatic, mercurial singing. Banging past you, the song feels like an endless train, boxcars and boxcars and boxcars, this surging, rattling power that won’t let you shift your attention: I don’t really like metal, but I think this is what metal fans think metal sounds like. The best songs are insistent mysteries. I’d tell you that “Caught A Lite Sneeze” is achieving this, but I just want to go back and let it storm its way through my ears again.