How a Times Square Spider-Man Does Money

“I was working full time at a clothing factory lifting boxes, but the company closed down and I was out of a job. Then I was walking by Times Square one day and saw the dressed-up characters. I asked one of them about the job, went out and bought an outfit, and I’ve been here for six months.”


What Is It Like To Go Luxury Shopping In Sweats

Some high-end salespeople will be courteous even if you’re in sweatpants, but don’t count on it.


Learning from Patti Smith

“I’m not a celebrity, I’m a worker. I’ve always worked.”


How Chelsea Fagan, Founder of The Financial Diet, Does Money

I wasn’t someone who was addicted to shopping or addicted to spending. I just was really bad at managing money. I never had a budget, I never knew how much was in my account at any given time, and I didn’t build any credit.


Taylor Swift Trademarks “This Sick Beat” and Other Swiftian Quips

From this point forward, I can only buy products printed with the words “This Sick Beat” directly from the Taylor Swift merchandising empire.


The Rich Are Different From You & Me: They’re Full of Poison!

People who can afford sushi and other sources of aquatic lean protein appear to be paying the price with a buildup of heavy metals in their bodies.


Oprah Is Or Is Not The Richest Black Woman In The World

Earlier this month, the Internet reported that Oprah was no longer the richest black woman in the world. Meet Nigeria’s Forlounsho Alakija

Alakija’s networth is estimated to be about 300 million dollars more than Winfrey’s and that gap is pretty hefty. Forlounsho’s immense wealth can be attributed to her high-end label, Supreme Stitches, and her oil-exploration license. 

Want to know more? I did! According to Time:

The 62-year-old started her career as a secretary at the erstwhile Merchant Bank of Nigeria, but moved to England in the early 1980s to study fashion design. She then returned to her native country and set up a high-end label called Supreme Stitches.

Although she amassed some wealth from the label, a significant proportion of Alakija’s fortune comes from an oil-exploration license granted to her company Famfa Ltd. in 1993. The 617,000-acre oil block would go on to become the highly lucrative OML 127, in which Alakija’s family retains a 60% stake.

Today, Forbes puts Alakija’s net worth at $2.5 billion, making her one of the richest people in Africa, alongside Angola’s Isabel dos Santos.* (Note: of the top 10 richest people in Africa, 9/10 are male and 7/10 look like they’d fit right in at St. Andrews.) That doesn’t seem to exceed the spending power of Lady O, though, whose fortune Forbes estimates at $3 billion. Hm. I guess Oprah caught up fast? Never underestimate a woman who gives away cars for fun.

Forbes also mentions that Alakija is one of 52 children. And you thought you were scrunched up in the backseat of your parents’ car! 


How to Get Your Very Own Golden Globes Style

For $79.50, you can get a Loft Beach Crossover Maxi Dress that doesn’t look anything like Stella McCartney’s autumn 2015 collection but is purple, goes all the way to the ground, and has a plunging v-shaped neckline.

Good enough.


Michael Keaton/Douglas, Hollywood, and the Empathy Gap

The man I will always think of as Beetlejuice won a Golden Globe last night for his performance in the heady, propulsive comedy Birdman. In his emotional acceptance speech, Michael Keaton revealed that his original name is Michael Douglas. (The other famous Michael Douglas with whom you might be familiar is the firstborn son of actor Kirk Douglas, who became Hollywood royalty but started from very modest circumstances: he was born Issur “Izzy” Danielovitch to Russian-Jewish immigrants in New York.) This Douglas also revealed that he grew up rough:

In the household in which I was raised, the themes were pretty simple: Work hard, don’t quit, be appreciative, be thankful, be grateful, be respectful, also to never whine ever, never complain, and, always, for crying out loud, keep a sense of humor.

My name’s Michael John Douglas, I’m from Forest Grove, Pennsylvania. I’m the son — seventh child — of George and Leona Douglas. And I don’t ever remember a time when my father didn’t work two jobs. When my mother wasn’t saying the rosary or going to mass or trying to take care of seven kids in a rundown farmhouse, she was volunteering at the Ohio Valley Hospital where I was born in the hallway.

It was a rousing speech, and it reminded me that we in America love stories of hardship, as long as they have happy endings.