Saturday, November 2, 2013

Getting by in NYC

New York City is home to some of the richest people in the world. It also has some of the biggest concentrations of poverty in the world, with areas of the Bronx competing with Africa and India. Being middle class has become increasingly hard in Mayor Bloomberg's NYC and, as his twelve-year reign comes to an end, Bill De Blasio is poised to become his successor in large part because of this fact.

But what about those people who certainly aren't rich or middle-class but aren't really dirt poor? What about those people just scraping by without the help of the welfare state, trust funds or a regular job?

A few recent articles shed light on this and show us what the Bloomberg era has led to for this people as we close it:

First, last year's hurricane has already exacerbated the inequality in this city. Wealthier New Yorkers did just fine, using their money either to flee the city during the hurricane or using it recover. Poorer New Yorkers were devastated. Meanwhile, many others have had to take multiple jobs and get more inventive in scrimping and saving.

Second, what's it like to be a doorman in NYC? At first blush, it seems like a cushy gig -- union protection and you just have open and close building doors and occasionally buzz people upstairs. But oh no. This is a tough job, dealing with heaving packages, drunk and insane building residents, isolation, even dead bodies. Rough. Anyone working at a job like this should be paid a fortune .

Third and finally, in order to save money, some people are resorting to living in libraries instead of renting rooms. This story about a grad student living in NYU's Bobst Library is both harrowing and uplifting at the same time. No one should find living in a dorm more appealing than a room or an apartment. At the same time, it's gotta toughen you up.

So if you're just trying to get by in this town, you're in very good company.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep it civil, intelligent, and expletive-free. Otherwise, opine away.