I have lived in New York City for nearly 10 years. Most of my friends have long since left New York City for a quieter life in the suburbs. I have chosen to stay not only for the short commute and fine dining, but also because NYC has become a part of my identity. No one wants to be known as Tommy from Teaneck when they can be Tommy from New York. It doesn’t quite have the same cachet. To stay in New York, you need to make certain sacrifices and be willing to spend more money on, well, everything. From rent to groceries to taxes, everything is more if you live in NYC. So why do it?
Some of us have chosen to fight the good fight because to leave is to give up. And some of us have not completely ruled out staying even once we start a family. The problem is, NYC is like a casino. And one way or another, the house always wins. Take my sister for example. She has been fighting the good fight with her husband for over 12 years. They have 3 children and a spacious three-bedroom apartment. All these years of betting it all on black with $500 parking spaces, expensive private school, and an overall reaming from the everyday expenses of living in NYC have cost a pretty penny. Look at it like a game of roulette, my game of choice:
(a) When it was just the two of them, they had a one-bedroom apartment.
(b) Need more space for kids, double down and buy a three-bedroom.
(c) Send the kids to private school, double down again.
They kept doubling down because they felt that if they held on long enough, they could finally beat the house. What they forgot is that this table has a limit, otherwise known as their income. In roulette, if you had no limit, you could keep doubling down until you win. In the NYC casino, that is not possible. And even if it were possible, the only “win” you can have is to live to die another day. Take it from me, the house always wins.
Good luck at the tables my friends. If only NYC provided free drinks while we play. How funny that would be to have a scantily clad woman serve me a martini while I pay $6 for a carton of orange juice or while I write my overpriced mortgage check.
Bright Lights, Big City.