The New York Times has an article on strategies kids take to get by living in the most expensive city in North America. Funny how it reminds me of something:
Peter Naddeo, a 24-year-old musician, earns $15 an hour working as a temp in Web development in Chelsea, and has perfected the tricky art of stretching lunch into dinner. He moved to New York from Pennsylvania last fall and can barely afford his $80 monthly college loan payments. He listens to a hand-me-down CD player because iPods are out of reach. He pays $600 for a 10-by-10-foot room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that has one saving grace: a window that faces east. For lunch, Mr. Naddeo usually orders a $3.50 plate of yellow rice and beans from a Latin American diner on Eighth Avenue, and eats late to ward off hunger pangs. Sometimes he hits up a bar in his neighborhood where a $6 pint comes with a small pizza. Or he relies on friends to feed him.
In the ’80s this was called living through a recession and no one had pals who fed him. Though that isn’t quite true as I recall buying groceries for a roommate who was down to eating carrots only. She was getting a little orange. One pal had a bag of maple leaf cookies that were put out on a plate whenever we came over. No one liked them so it was a cheap way to be hospitable. He was on mini-wage and there was only tea, cookies, cards and hockey of the black and white when we were over there. I do like the line above about a “hand-me-down” CD player. Boo frikkin hoo.
Isn’t this just called being young? Don’t you have to be broke for at least half a decade after school? And where is the New York of Archie Bunker? I blame George Jefferson, movin’ on up and all that. Everyone wants to live like people on TV.