I’m surrounded with wealth in NY. And just to be clear – I’m not talking about my own wealth. I always knew that there were rich people here, but I had no idea what level of wealth we’re talking about. I recently visited a building where Sting and Jennifer Lopez have their apartments. It’s right next to Columbus Circle, Trump Tower, and Central Park. The building was nice, I admit – you could practically smell the money – and it looked like a luxurious hotel (all those buildings look like that). I went to one of these apartments: it was pretty, but not overwhelmingly pretty, and then I found out that that it’s $15,000 a month and it stopped looking pretty to me right away. When you think of it, it’s a fucking lot of money.
There are restaurants where you can easily spend a few hundred dollars on one meal (like Per Se) and I heard stories about guys from Wall Street (from the guys themselves) who can spend $2000 on a bottle of champagne (and they can easily buy a few of them during one night). Once I was talking to a friend at the bar and he pointed out a lady (I wouldn’t even have noticed her) and asked me how much did I think her watch and her ring were worth (answer: around $25,000). I witnessed groups of people who walked bars and easily spent a few thousand dollars in 2 hours – just for drinks.
And all these are merely people that I can see – I am not even talking about all those at really expensive spots that I don’t have the access to. There is a whole other level of people you would probably never even see here. They don’t walk down the streets, they are in their cars with their drivers. You may just spot them when they leave the Plaza Hotel or expensive buildings I talked about at the beginning. They don’t see you, either. You don’t even exist for them. They have never been on the subway or did grocery shopping by themselves. My friend is a financial advisor here in NY and his clients usually invest millions of dollars – this is the kind of money we’re talking about. You would be shocked what people spend their money on and how easily they waste it. Clothes, jewelry, furniture for a few thousands of dollars is nothing for them. While you wonder if that skirt for $100 is “too much”, they wonder if they want to buy an apartment for tens of millions of dollars. That’s the difference.
But as I said before – it’s not like you’ll be dealing with these people. Unless you are not rich yourself, you wouldn’t be even able to talk to them. Not that you would want to. As I found out, their reality level is too far away from our reality level. Most of them just don’t get the things that are very obvious for us, poor people; things like – why do we have to go at a certain time to get on a boat since we’re always the ones to decide what time we want to leave. (Seriously, my friend said that it was difficult to explain to them that the boat can’t leave whenever they want to: that there is a schedule. It was far beyond their level of understanding.). Those people wouldn’t be able to order pizza for themselves (I’m not kidding), because there was always someone who did it for them. Most things were done for them. Their mind works in a different galaxy and you would not be able to understand the way it operates. They would never understand what you’re talking about, either. Those two worlds just don’t belong to each other. And I realized that I don’t want to be part of that world, even if that means that I have to hustle for a bit longer.