Monday, May 31, 2010

Or I could buy a summer home

It's not that I hate rich people. I've known some very kind, generous souls who could have bought and sold me before breakfast. But sometimes I stumble across something so extravagant, so stinky with money, that I feel compelled to yawp.

Something like this.

For those who simply can't live without an in-home DJ booth, "Sandcastle Estate" features 12 bedrooms (and 12 1/2 baths), an elevator, a 10 seat theater, a rock climbing wall, virtual golf, 2 lane bowling alley, full bar and disco, spa, full gym & steam room - and 31,000 square feet of living space - all for only $49,500,000.00.

Ready to cut a check? Sweet!

Don't bother grabbing your calculator - I've already done the math. That averages out to a montly payment of approximately $348,996. With our current income it'd take us 6 years to make one month's rent. While that seems totally feasible, I started to wonder what else $49,500,000.00 would buy. So I made a list.

1. A zoo in the UK. (Includes all animals and a cafe!) $797,940
2. A place for Grandma to stay when she comes to visit $2,350,000
3. Can't forget Grandpa! $1,559,000
4. Why not throw in a summer place? $1,995,000
5. Housekeeper $30,000
6. Tasting menu at Per Se $550
7. Dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns $220
8. A week at Mohonk Mountain House for 10 of my closest friends, including daily spa sessions $27,020
9. Action Comics 1 $440,000
10. Every item in the Anthropologie catalog (500 items at roughly $100 each) $5,000
11. A house from Habitat for Humanity $70,000
12. Jacques Torres chocolate chip cookie $2.50
13. iPad (so Matt will stop honking about it) $700
14. Kindergarten through graduation at The Calhoun School $153,000
15. Ivy league education (@ $40,000 per year) $160,000
16. A school in Haiti $60,000
17. A 1940's Ford pickup $14,995
18. Health insurance for every unemployed New Yorker for 1 full year $8,794,440
19. Lifetime supply of Le Pens $300
20. Vintage Cartier watch $855
21. A My Little Pony $14.99
22. 1st edition Franny and Zooey $950
23. $200,000 a year for the 50 years $10 million

And I'd still have $23,067,033.51. Again I say, sweet.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Forgive me. I've had a margarita.

Happy long, luxurious weekend! The city always empties out over Memorial Day which makes for some much needed breathing room. Who needs the Berkshires or Cape Cod or Mohonk Mountain House? We've got a half-empty Toys R Us! (If you've ever tried to maneuver an economy-sized box of Pampers through a horde of dazed European tourists, you'll understand my relief.) We were even able to get a seat at the $3 margarita place which is practically an urban miracle.

After Owen had his morning grump (at 2.6 years, I thought we'd managed to avoid the Terrible Twos. Then came the shouting. And the hitting. And the furious, nonsensical crying. Once he's awake he's my regular sweetheart but man, that first 30 minutes is rough. If there is milk to be spilt or toys to be thrown, my boy is on it. Did I mention that he's still not sleeping past 6 am?) we headed to the pool and tried to ignore the 68-story building that's going up across the street. I'm sure it's amazing to live that high up but all I can think is, that's 68 floors of people waiting for the elevator. How aggravating must that ride get after a long day bilking grannies? (Or whatever it is you do to afford a penthouse in the sky.)

And how was your weekend?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Terrible parents, take note.

For the record, I am about to pass judgement.

I understand that it is hard to be a parent. It is often frustrating and exhausting, and the learning curve is steep. But walking around this city makes me privy to parenting "choices" that make me want to say some R-rated things. Choices like these:

- Dragging your sobbing, obviously exhausted child though the overstimulation that is Times Square at 10:00 at night - and then yelling at him for crying. (I'm talking to you, guy with beer gut and gold chains.)
- Bringing your preschooler to any movie that is not rated G.
- Bringing your preschooler to any movie after 7 pm.
- Make that 5 pm.
- Posing for really, reeeeally inappropriate pictures with your 6-year-old son. (That would be you, tube top-and-short-shorts mama who instructed your child to grab your a** during the shot.)
- Filling your infant's bottle with Pepsi. Or letting them teethe on Doritos.

Of course sometimes I see bad parenting choices that break my heart. I remember riding the subway home after catering gig and watching a very young mother in a McDonald's uniform fall fast asleep while holding her new baby. Parenting is hard - but that is really hard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Question for the day

Would you have had a second child even if it didn't make financial sense? (REALLY didn't make financial sense.) Or would you have chosen one child and potential security?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Scene 1: We're at the pool. Owen is inching up the ladder, trying to climb out. Suddenly a little girl with a kickboard swims over and starts slapping the water because she wants to use the ladder. When that doesn't cause us to disappear, she starts screaming. No words, just loud, piercing shrieks. When her mother swims over to tell her (very quietly, very calmly) that she has to wait her turn, the girl starts ramming her mother with the kickboard. When her mother (very quietly, very calmly!) tells her that she should not hit, the girl turns and tries to ram me with the board. When her mother tells her to go around us, the girl lets out another scream and swims off. The mother just rolls her eyes and takes another lap around the pool.

Scene 2: We're at the playground. A friend of Owen's begins hitting his father on the face. Hard. The father asks his son to please stop. The son sticks out his tongue, hits his father one more time, and walks off. His mother looks at me and giggles.

There seems to be a new trend in parental discipline these days. It involves a lot of eye contact and phrases like "emotional ramification." It does not, however, appear to involve the word NO. I happen to love the word no, which makes me a bit of a pariah on the playground scene. I'm happy to explain that we should keep our hands to ourselves, but if a manic 4-year-old pinches my kid, I am going to tell him to stop. I am not going to say it gently or suggest an alternative. ("Let's clap our hands instead!") I am going to say it firmly and with a very hard look in my eyes, and if it doesn't stop, I will make it. I will not stand there and shrug. And I certainly will not giggle.

Is this strictly a NYC thing? Has it hit the Midwest yet? (Just you wait...)