NY Times: Starting Salaries but New York Tastes

(14 posts)
by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago

 NYC... such a great, but pricey city!

“If I shop,” said Ms. Werkheiser, “I can’t have a social life and I can’t eat.”

 

Having one’s mother mail rotating boxes of old clothing is just one of the myriad ways that young newcomers to the city of a certain income — that is, those who are neither investment bankers nor being floated by their parents — manage to live the kind of lives they want in New York. Every year around this time, tens of thousands of postcollegiate people in their 20s flood the city despite its soaring expenses. They are high on ambition, meager of budget and endlessly creative when it comes to making ends meet.

 

Some tactics have long been chronicled: sharing tiny apartments with strangers. Sharing those apartments with eight strangers. Eating cheap lunches and skipping dinners — not just to save money, but so that drinks pack more of a punch and fewer need be consumed.

 

...

She and her friends have also located just about every B.Y.O.B. brunch spot in the city, plotting them out on Google maps. The cost-consciousness, Ms. Werkheiser says, is worth it: She adores New York and lives, with two roommates, in a $3,450-a-month three-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side, verily the center of the universe for Manhattan’s young and hip.

 

Drinking and eating carry their own complications. Especially if you are, say, Noah Driscoll, a 25-year-old project manager for a Chelsea marketing company whose salary is comparable to what a rookie teacher might make.

 

“For a little while I only ate grapefruits for my lunch,” said Mr. Driscoll, who pays $400 a month on his college loans, “because they have a lot of nutrients and they got me through the day.”

 

Mr. Driscoll has since started packing two peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for lunch. Dinner might be two baked potatoes. On a recent Monday, it was franks and beans. On a good night, he might spend up to $6.

... 

“To live like a human being on the salary that I make is very difficult in this city,” he said. “You’ve got to forget about brands, you’ve got to forget about, you know, what your mom made you growing up, and take what’s out there.”

 

Mr. Driscoll’s rent is reasonable: $725 for a room in a converted loft space that he shares with five friends in Gowanus, Brooklyn, near Park Slope. Most of his friends, however, earn far more than he does, and Mr. Driscoll is guilty of that quintessential New York sin: coveting thy neighbor’s salary. One recent night, his roommates went to Peter Luger Steak House. Mr. Driscoll waved them goodbye and stayed home.

 

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.

...

Another trick is to become a semiprofessional “plus one,” and tag along with connected friends to events and shows. Strapped partygoers the city over often sell the contents of goody bags online. The truly bold scrimper, armed with designer swag, might “return” items to a department store for credit.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/25/nyregion/25scrimp.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

by chris
78 Posts
Stabby McStab Stab
5 years, 8 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
daba pays me in ramen :(     
by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago

Ramen is some tasty stuff!

:) 

by Mike
1193 Posts
loves prefix
5 years, 3 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
I will never live in New york!
by jimallen
4 Posts
6 years, 2 months ago
Further on in that article, there's an account of a guy who works in marketing (I think) and only makes (gasp!) $60K a year. As evidence of the hardships he encounters they explain how he buys his electronics through Craigslist and eBay. The poor soul! 
by Al
4433 Posts
6 years, 2 months ago

Being hungry sucks.

Ive never seen such a happy and fun article on the hardships of urban poverty.

 

by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
One good thing about NYC is that you don't need a car to get around so you do save some money because of that.
by lili mumu
74 Posts
wishes she was at the beach...
6 years, 1 month ago
6 years, 2 months ago
Why wasn't I interviewed for this piece? Hellooooo. NY Times. I coulda wrote that shit.
by lala
82 Posts
likes pizza in the morning. BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS!
5 years, 11 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
stop defining yourself as a "musician" and try being a FULL-TIME web developer; instead of williamsburg, live in queens; and instead of buying a beer for $6 and eating pizza, skip the beer and get an entire rotisserie chicken and a side of avocado salad from one of those peruvian places. i'm so over the whining. then again, the dude lives in williamsburg where whining about being poor is pretty much a requisite--along with being an "artist" and having a mullet.
by joydivided
427 Posts
photo editing.
5 years, 5 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
i feel bad for the dude that eats franks and beans for dinner every night. But most of these people are doing alright, if not way better than I am. 
by Dipseth
1689 Posts
Free Prefix
2 years, 3 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
Well said lala
by OMNIS
722 Posts
Self-Made Wizard
5 years, 2 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago

yeah, not seeing the big deal here.  granted, i'm living loan free, but it doesn't seem like such a big deal to be living in the 30-40k/yr range. OH NO! I CANT GO TO THE $200 STEAK HOUSE!? TRAVESTY!

 

also, it's not like mp3 players are that expensive. this is sensationalist garbage.

by Chris Owyoung
16 Posts
6 years, 2 months ago

Yup, pretty sensationalist. Sure, I know a lot of people who work their asses off to make ends meet (myself included), but it's not like all first-job-in-new-yorkers are eating mayonnaise sandwiches.

 

Well said lala.  

by Daba
18083 Posts
Ready to get things pooping
3 years, 4 months ago
6 years, 2 months ago
Mayo sandwiches. Ugh.

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