Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New York on a Minneapolis Budget

My friend Chris alerted me to this comparison of the cost of "lifestyle" in New York vs. Minneapolis from New York Magazine:
"Less quantifiable is the price of status, which tends to matter more in New York than elsewhere. You might be the best-dressed guy at a Minneapolis cocktail party rocking a Hugo Boss suit ($695) from Macy’s, but it might take a Thom Browne suit from Barneys ($4,330) to do the trick here. While these costs are difficult to measure, it is possible to calculate the added price of living in a city with the best of everything. Yes, we have better art, food, and entertainment, but you’ll pay a premium for access to it. Here, a side-by-side look at lifestyle purchases in Minneapolis—a city with a statistically average cost of living yet some semblance of a cultural life—and New York:"
And here, shamelessly cut and pasted is the aforementioned list:

Baseball tickets
Twins premium seats . . . . . $24
Yankee loge box seats . . . . . $50

Museum admission
Walker Art Center . . . . . . . . . $8
MoMA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $20

Movie ticket
The Prestige, St. Anthony Main Theater . . $8
The Science of Sleep, BAM . . $10

Prix fixe dinner at top restaurant
La Belle Vie . . . . . $80 a person
Per Se. . . . . . . . . . $210 a person

Annual gym membership
Minneapolis Life Time Athletic Club . . $1,439.40
Equinox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,895

Marathon entry fees
Minneapolis . . . . . . . . . . . . . $85
New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $116

There are other factors as well. Like taxes: In the Twin Cities, I got a Renter's Credit, which was basically a property tax refund for apartment dwellers. It gave me about $1,000 a year. No such thing in NYC. Also, here in New York I pay an additional city income tax on top of the state and federal. No such thing back in the Twin Cities.

I liked to tell people back home that my Brooklyn studio apartment has half the space for twice the price of my Saint Paul pad. That's not totally accurate -- I had a great deal in St. Paul and my place here isn't that small. But yes, it costs way more and it isn't a one bedroom.

On the other hand, I sold my car. I pay $70 a month for an unlimited subway pass. I very rarely take cabs. The savings over gas, insurance, and general auto up-keep are high.

And think about how much I've saved over the years in both New York and Minnesota by not joining a gym. Unfortunately I make up for that in booze and bad living.

But is it really fair to say that it takes a $4,300 suit to impress New Yorkers? I mean, which New Yorkers are we talking about? Maybe it's because I don't get out as much as I ought to, but I wear the same stuff I wore back in the Twin Cities. New Yorkers aren't all so well-dressed. I'm the only one at my office, a publishing company, who wears a tie to work.

It really pleases me that New York deigned to say that Minneapolis has a "semblance of a cultural life." Need I remind any non-Minneapolitans that the Twin Cities have more theaters per capita than anywhere in America outside NYC? That's a statistic I've been quoting for so long I that I'm not sure if it's true anymore. Anyone?

Anyone else notice any big lifestyle differences between NYC and the rest of the world? Comment.


Blogger The Masticator said...

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1:36 PM  

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