I sat down yesterday morning to do my favorite Sunday thing; read the local rag, which takes about five minutes, and then thoroughly enjoy the New York Times, which takes all day.
In the Time's Sunday Magazine, there are always ads for special things (obviously intended for special, i.e., wealthy people). $9,000 bathtubs. $1000 shoes. $25000 necklaces. I pretty much skip through these ads, knowing I'm definitely not the intended market target.
But one ad in particular drove me a little nuts yesterday. It was for an apartment overlooking Central Park, priced at around $5,000,000. It showed an all white family, mom, dad, boy, girl, (all blond, of course) sitting in their lovely, albeit antiseptically white, surroundings. Boy was in a suit. Girl was in prep school outfit, complete with white knee highs, velvet headband and patent leather shoes.
First of all, you dress an 8 year old in a suit and if you're taking him anywhere (except maybe a funeral), he's going to get his nose punched for being a pretty boy. The girl is just a heroin addict waiting to happen, in my opinion, but I'm a cynic. Dad probably sees some downtown model and pays rent on her place, too. Mom shoplifts because buying things you don't need is too boring. More fun to steal them. Those kicks just keep getting harder to find!
Now, let's just be realistic for a minute. There are no ads for subsidized housing apartments in this publication. No picture of a kitchen table piled with empty beer cans, a gun and a couple of crumpled baggies of crack. No blunt burning in the ashtray. No happy family waiting around the mailbox for a food stamp debit card. No barred windows proclaiming building security. Reality, as we all know, just does not sell here in the United States of America, Inc.
I suppose what makes me unhappy is the thought that the blond family is typical of the people who have completely taken over New York City. Invasion of the trust funders, day traders and Wall Street hustlers. Although I do love New York and all the energy that flows through it, the people who actually can afford to live there is a sad commentary on how WHITE BREAD our society has become. Yes, I am aware that people of color can also have a lot of money and afford to live in New York. More power to them. It takes some kind of savvy to beat the white man at his own thievery! But they are definitely in the minority, once again. All they've done, really, is confuse the door men.
I digress. If I had $5,000,000 to spend on an apartment in New York City, overlooking Central Park, I just could not bring myself to have the blond family as my neighbors. Ugh. Give me a good old 'hood any day of the week.