Well I'm convinced everyone in that Airbnb has bedbugs now and forever, so I think the peace of mind of not having them is worth the loss of passive income. On top of everything else. Also, ever since Airbnb has tried their manipulative strategy of pretending that they're just here for ordinary New Yorkers, and that they're in fact good for NYC, I've vowed never to ever use them again.
The only thing suspect about this story is that it doesn't mention cigarettes. When I studied abroad in Buenos Aires the university classrooms had ashtrays. It turned me into a chimney. Where's the part about you sneaking cigarettes or even smoking them out in the open with Alice?
@sreidw That's a good point and a good question. I did read the NY article, and it was written with the help of additional data compiled the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists.
Saying that "the house she had just bought had already lost the entirety of its value" is an outrageous mischaracterization. They bought it for $240k, its value depreciated to $150k. Which sucks but is not the same as saying the house wasn't worth the paper the title was written on. It's still a dramatic story without the hyperbole. And I agree with Allison that so much of the weight of this story and attendant coverage of it comes from her being a "nice/pretty white lady." But so does the fact that she got to tell the story herself and show how an individual story forms part of a larger narrative. I know the fact that she's a journalist is part of why she got to write the article, but compare this to the Post's normal coverage of poverty, in which its sufferers rarely get so much space to use their own words to talk about their own lives. That's what reporters are for, and what Pulitzers are meant to reward.
I just feel like Amtrak should pay attention to these horror stories and try to offer lower prices. Even if they sold tickets that were $10 less each way of certain routes, they'd be more accessible to a lot of the people who ride Megabus/Bolt. Because, and I wish the linked article at the Daily Dot mentioned this, people keep going back to these terrible service providers because they often have no choice.
@forget it i quit Did you take a helicopter home? That's always my fantasy when I walk into Port Authority on my way to AC. I'm like, "screw you plebs, I'm using my winnings to ride back in style." I always say the same thing on my way back to Port Authority, too. (I guess that's my answer to the question in the post.)
It was Vanity Fair, not Vogue. It's right there in the link! I read that piece last night/this morning and found it fascinating in terms of how much money she made in tips (like one night she brought in $50k) and was curious to know what that changed in terms of her lifestyle since she was always worried about being fired thanks to crazy-eyed Tobey Maguire. But I don't find her writing style compelling enough to read the whole book, especially since, if the article is any indication, she recreates the most banal conversations. Never has the act of winning and losing so much money in so little time come off as so boring.
@gyip I agree as well. For awhile I was feeling like this site was becoming more "what do I do with my 'small' inheritance?/I feel awkward that my parents always pay" and speaking less to the reality that Mike and Anna describe above. I find the latter much more emotionally resonant, which is part of what I loved so much about The Billfold when it started out. There seemed to be more of a balance between the two types of financial experiences than there is now. I know that Mike can't shoulder that narrative burden on his own, so I look forward to more stories like it from other folks.
It's hard to tell if there is some huge, unacknowledged debt lingering in the background (and to which all the author's money goes, at the expense of food etc), or whether this is just self-denial gone haywire. Because I would think that an employed person saving money on rent would be free to eat better than a street urchin. I love travel. I really do. But I don't love it at the expense of stability in my day-to-day life. In fact I feel like too much self-denial for the sake of travel puts too much pressure on the experience itself, because now it has to "be worth it" to make up for all the sacrifice and asceticism. So I'm really trying but failing to understand the motivation to live like this, especially when, as folks above have noted, the author seems devoted to the "principle" of the thing above all else. Basically I'm totally mesmerized by this series, and kind of sad that this is the end of it, because so many other questions remain.
This is one of the best things I've read on Billfold 2.0. That's partly because it involves actual writing rather than just an intro to a linked article on another site, but also because it gives such keen insight into the financial sacrifices, risks, and rewards involved in following such a cool career path. More pieces like this, please.