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."

“Cops Are Basically Revenue Collectors”

Did the NYPD accidentally reveal that one of its primary mandates has little to do with general well-being and much more to do with raising money for the city at the expense of its most vulnerable?

“The Cost of ‘Daddy I Want a Pony’” as Experienced by Josh

"So when children ask for a pony, what are parents to do?"

How an Entry-level Investment Banker Does Money

"The general finance mentality is that you don't spend a lot of money during the week, so during the weekend -- the weekends that they are not working -- they like to spend a lot. They want to get a girlfriend or just hook up with girls, and it takes money to go out and meet girls."

Madison Is A Great Small City, Unless You’re Black

Madison won’t tell you how many hundreds of people touched my hair in the twenty-three years I lived there without asking first and called it “neat.”

Our Vanilla-and-Guilt-Flavored Real Estate Fantasies

Fantasies and gratitude for reality aren’t mutually exclusive! Or maybe fantasies distract from gratitude. I don’t know! It’s not greedy! Or is it?

The Post-Modern One-Percenter Version of the Brady Bunch

The story is that the ex wants to move out but doesn't have the financial wherewithal to do so. So, until Levy can sell the mansion-like apartment where the entire brood currently lives, she and Lipman are stuck sharing a kitchen and squabbling over inanities.

The Cost of Things: Staying Sane By Riding Horses In NYC

Horses connect me to my personal and collective past and I think without them I would die a sad, slow, urban death.

Quitting in a Blaze of Glory, NYC Waitress Edition

A waitress’s open letter to the oh-so-seductive customer who manhandled her has gone viral. I should excerpt it but the whole thing is so fantastic, I’m reprinting it here in full:

Dear Brian, You came into the restaurant where I work and ordered a Stoli on the rocks. When I asked you and your companion if you’d be eating, or needing anything else from me, you put your hand – ever so gently – ON MY ASS and asked if you could take me “to go”. When I immediately stepped away and said “Sorry, what?” you probably gathered that I was and am not receptive of such advances from customers. We were in a family-friendly restaurant, around 6:30pm, and I was wearing a loose-fitting, long sleeve shirt, jeans, and no makeup…so I’m not sure where the confusion arose as to what kind of service you were being provided. You left soon after, leaving a signed credit card slip and a two dollar tip (see picture included!). Your name is Brian Lederman. I found you, instantly, via a quick Google search online. I looked at your face on Linked In, the World’s Largest Professional Network. You work at Swiss Performance Management and Truehand AG, in Investment Management. Of course you do. 

I work as a bartender, and have for more than five years now. I graduated NYU with honors, and have at some point held down every conceivable part time type job including but not limited to food service, administration, and even temp work at firms such as yours. So far, bartending allows me the most flexibility to pursue my artistic career, while comfortably covering my basic living expenses, including my outrageously high student loan payments. I have a good job that I’m grateful for. The environment is low key, I have incredibly supportive coworkers and managers, and – in general – the clientele is nice. But I still hate being a bartender.