Lots of Mattresses on Lots of Floors, And a Bunk Bed That Smelled Like Italian Food (New Yorrrrrkkkkkk!)
Emily Gould has written a really wonderful thing about New York and class and debt and food and hot sauce and winter—it’s great and you should read it. (“It’s cold here and a lot of people are awful. Good things disappear and bad things take their place. Rich people have too much power and they abuse it. The worst men you can imagine are fucking beautiful, talented women. Young people’s idealism and energy is siphoned off vampirically by exploitative bosses. Basic things are too expensive here, and expensive things are often offensively mediocre. Like the dinner we were eating. Or maybe I just wasn’t that hungry.”)
In New York, Rebecca Flint Marx explores why guacamole is so expensive, and discovers that maybe it isn’t so expensive after all. In fact, maybe those of us who scoff at $12 guac are ACTUALLY just racist and terrible: “Part of our expectation that guacamole is expensive may also come down to the pervasive and unfair assumption that, as [Empellón’s Alex Stupak] says, ‘anything Mexican should be cheap.’ The same diners who will fork over $23 for eggs Benedict or $40 for a bottle of wine that retails for $10, kvetch at the notion of paying more than $3 for a taco. As [La Newyorkina owner Fany Gerson] points out, ‘people have no problem paying $30 for a bowl of pasta, but if you go to a Mexican restaurant and they ask for $30 for mole enchiladas, then people [think] because it’s from Mexico it should be less.’”
Over on his blog today, Anil Dash offers a few timely “Stupid Simple Things SF Techies Could Do To Stop Being Hated.” He talks about how the New York tech community has escaped similar degrees of disdain and resentment because 1. Wall Street will always be worse, and 2. in New York, tech workers have a better “ethos of community involvement.”
His first suggestion is simple, but legitimate:
First, people in tech should use their voices to push the leaders of their companies and industry to do the right thing. It is just as easy for a CEO to ask the city to accommodate affordable housing as it is for them to demand tax rebates. And if a CEO believes their employees expect this kind of request, most tech company execs will do anything to keep their engineers happy. If Google is the symbol of entitlement in San Francisco right now, Larry Page could simply and consistently amplify the voice of those already working on housing solutions and make a huge impact.