The Suburbs Want More Young People

In the Times, Joseph Berger writes about how more young people are steering clear from the suburbs after they graduate from college and deciding to move and stay in urban cities instead. Suburban towns are trying to figure out how to get young people to come back to them:

Thomas R. Suozzi, in his unsuccessful campaign to reclaim his former position as Nassau County executive last year, held up Long Beach, Westbury and Rockville Centre as examples of municipalities that had succeeded in drawing young people with apartments, job-rich office buildings, restaurants and attractions, like Long Beach’s refurbished boardwalk. Unless downtowns become livelier, he said, the island’s “long-term sustainability” will be hurt because new businesses will not locate in places where they cannot attract young professionals.

The suburban towns face increasingly tough competition from the city. Jennifer Levi Ross grew up in Jericho on Long Island and moved into the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan a few years after graduating from college. She liked living in the city so much — the easy commuting to work, the night life, the cornucopia of things to do — that when she married another Long Islander, Michael Ross, a Syosset boy, in 2012, they decided to stay put. They say they may eventually end up in the suburbs, but they are not in a hurry.

“It’s something in the distant future,” said Ms. Ross, a 32-year-old advertising copywriter. “We want to hold out as long as possible.”

There’s another theory for why young people are not moving to the suburbs: They’re not just ready yet. Previous generations married, had children and settled down earlier in their lives (my mother had me in her early twenties), and twenty-somethings today are still navigating relationships and their careers and are not ready yet (especially in financial terms) for a house in the suburbs.

Photo: Daniel Ramirez

The Rarity of the Alpha Investor

According to the Time, an Alpha investor is someone with "the ability to beat an index fund without adding risk to a portfolio." If you have a retirement account or an investment account, the standard advice has been to invest in low-cost index funds and not touch your money for many many years (which is what I practice).

The Cost of Building a Micro-Housing Village for the (Formerly) Homeless

Quixote Village is a community of formerly homeless adults in Olympia, Washington, who until recently lived in a self-governed tent city that rotated between church parking lots. Now these 29 adults live in 29 separate 144-square-foot tiny houses, arranged in a horseshoe shape. Each house has room for a bed, a desk, and a tiny bathroom with a sink and a toilet. There is a shared garden and a community center with showers and a kitchen shared by all the residents. If residents have income, they're asked to pay 30% of that income towards monthly rent. Otherwise, living there is free.

True Life: I Am Addicted to Money

I know, a sadder story has ne'er been told. Nevertheless, not many former Wall Street traders pen first-person essays about how much they love money and are addicted to it the same way they are addicted to drugs and alcohol, so it is a pretty good read.

The Tax Preparation Industry Is Like the Wild West

NYU law student Alex Levy writes about shady, unregulated tax preparers in an editorial today explaining that in most states, anyone can set up a business to prepare your taxes if they wanted to.

The Bait-and-switch Apartment Listing

It goes like this: You see a listing for an apartment on Craigslist (or a realty site) that sounds like it might be a great fit for you, but after contacting the broker you learn that it's already been rented. The broker convinces you to look at similar apartments, but none of them have the same qualities of the apartment you were initially interested in.

Is It Weird For a Brother and a Sister to Share a Room?

I wouldn't have thought so but this article about families in New York sure makes it seem weird.

It’s Hard Out There For an Adjunct

Admittedly, academics are not the first people on my list of people to feel sorry for, but things are looking bleaker and bleaker for them by the year. The rise of non-tenured faculty members, many of whom are adjuncts, is up to 70% nationwide, which means a whole lot of very educated people working for no benefits, and with no job security and no path to full-time employment.

Writing Obituaries For a Living

Margalit Fox has written more than 1,000 obituaries for the Times, where she's worked for the past decade. Today she writes about the job itself, and the challenges of choosing whose life is newsworthy enough to write about.

Young People Terrible Though Great For Exploiting

via Malcolm Harris, the award for best final paragraph in an article about how millennials are immature, entitled, and bad at their jobs goes to Mitchell Hartman at the New York Times

Make Your Own Non-’Meh’ Pizza

Have you heard? Pizza, the food item, was on The New York Times Magazine's "Meh List" this weekend.

What Happens to Olympians After They Win Gold?

I am fascinated by what Olympians do, per se, after they win gold medals. Or moreover, after they win no medals! Or, really, what does any person do after great success? Lucky for me we have an entire profile on Shaun White a.k.a. The Flying Tomato -- a name he no longer appreciates, by the way -- who is apparently a two-time snowboarding Olympic gold medalist who will be heading to Sochi for more Olympics stuff in February (okay I kind of knew that already but now I definitely know).