The rich are different than you and me—they’re insane

I’ve been working down in Soho for the past several months but now I am, happily, back in midtown Manhattan. It’s where the action is. Casual observation: Soho tourists are all from Europe. Midtown tourists are from the U.S.

My morning walk takes me past the Brooks Brothers store on Madison Avenue. This window display caught my eye. Initially, I couldn’t figure out what kind of nutty theme they were going for with the lemonade stand. I then realized that these clothes are for children!

Who the hell goes to Brooks Brothers to shop for children’s clothing?! Rich New Yorkers are a crazy lot. There seems to be a constant push to fashion their kids into tiny adults. I think a lot of Upper East Side children are treated more like fashion accessories than individual personalities. They’re mirrors that mom and dad can peer into and see themselves. I don’t think they have normal upbringings. Look at these clothes! They’re ridiculous!

Who’d want to wear a blue jacket with a gold Brooks Brothers crest on the breast? And are people still tying sweater arms around their necks? These clothes AREN’T CHEAP and if you have kids, you know that they grow out of them in very short order.

It’s not envy. Even if I had the money to buy The Daughter’s clothes at Brooks Brothers, I wouldn’t do it. I’d feel like a pretentious idiot.

Do you know who buys their kid’s clothes at Brooks Brothers? The same dopes who wait in a line outside Grand Central Station that stretches out the door to buy a $4.95 cup of coffee.


You can walk one block in any direction and get a perfectly acceptable cup of coffee from a coffee cart for $1. No waiting!

* * *

Early morning Bryant Park behind the Library. The lawn was watered overnight so all the chairs were removed. Some guy carries an arm full of chairs onto the lawn, places them at equal distances apart in a perfect line, and walks away.


I understand why people feel this place is uninhabitable. Country legend Buck Owens wrote a song called I Wouldn’t Live in New York City (If They Gave Me the Whole Damn Town). But I love this joint and all its crazy citizens.

20 thoughts on “The rich are different than you and me—they’re insane

  1. I got quite a few gift vouchers (for ‘good’ clothes shops) for my birthday. And even though it’s costing me nowt, I still find it hard to pay 40e 0r 50e for a t-shirt! What would I be like if I were rich? (Though I just might be on the right/wrong side of insane to handle it!) I do love your pieces about NYC! :¬)

  2. SF: I don’t mind living in New Jersey too much. But I think I’m always going to look at my years in the city as my golden age. Sav: Yes. It’s about perception. And I perceive wealthy New Yorkers as crazy. Ponita: I agree. I think fame is a losing game. I wouldn’t want to play it. But I could handle wealth. I think. Jo: Yes, they’re binocs. They’re exploring the wilderness. And selling lemonade. In expensive clothing. So silly. Map: Do you know what’s insanely expensive? Belts and ties. It’s crazy. Thanks for the compliment. With material like NYC at my disposal, the posts practically write themselves.

  3. Pat: Snobbery is part of the human condition. Just like my favorite sin, envy. Daisy: I have no idea what popped collars are. Turned up, I assume. A girl once did that to me. Wanted to impress her so I didn’t turn it down. Felt foolish. It didn’t last.

  4. Those poor rich kids don’t have normal upbringings, i believe Bret Easton Ellis (rich kid name) made a career and new genre out of it, it’s a genre a avoid because when you are a lumpenprole who really wants to hear about the how hard it is to be wealthy.

  5. Kono: That genre is nothing new. Pick up any of the many P.G. Woodhouse novels about Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves. Same thing. Nurse: I am kind of surprised at New Yorkers for behaving in such a manner. They’re not supposed to be sheep but there you go.

  6. Great stuff. I never had the $ to outfit my kids (I think the rich say “outfit” as opposed to dress) in Brooks Brothers clothes when they were young and since one of them grew up to have a law enforcement gig in which a weapon is standard-issue, I am happy that is one parenting decision I can comfortably defend.

  7. Esq: Welcome! That’s an old nugget you dug up. On could say, if you’ve got it, spend it, but it seems foolishness to me.AK: Well done on your parenting skills. A son who chose a profession protecting snobs like this is a fine thing.Ellie: Let me check…Just as I though. NO.

  8. No doubt the style is a bit lost in translation, but from this side of the pond those clothes look absolutely laughable.Maybe it’s in fact a prop supplier to film and theatre producers who want to make films caracaturing the rich.

  9. I have a friend whose parents dressed her and her little sister like this. She dropped out of college and took to drugs (all of them!) before being rescued by love, and her little sister has attempted suicide five times and is bulimic. Starbucks, gross!

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