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The Age of Austerity


We're seeing a seismic shift in social mood.


"You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people." Billy Ray Valentine, Trading Places

Have you ever had vuja de? It's the feeling you get when you experience the same thing and wish you never had the feeling in the first place.

As September turns to October, perception catches up to reality and social mood turns for the worse, we find ourselves back at an all-too-familiar table.

On the one side is government intervention.

On the other is the "free" market.

We spoke about this dynamic in September but the stakes have risen exponentially. It's not just about profit and loss, it's about right or wrong.

It's about faith in the system and credibility on a global stage.

It's about our name and our word and our core belief systems.

It is, in many ways, about survival.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Through that lens-and as a function of pure exhaustion-I share the following fare for the benefit of ye faithful:

Stomping Grounds

I'm a creature of habit that enjoys creature comforts. Living in New York City -and working the incessant hours I do-one of my few indulgences is the consumption of food and beverage.

I like what I know and I know what I like. There's comfort in familiarity and I tend to frequent the same spots.

Serendipity 3, for a Frozen Hot Chocolate.

Raouls, at a cozy corner table in the back.

BLT Steak, for a hot popover with buttah.

And the Four Seas Hotel Bar.

Given the Age of Austerity
, the mere mention of luxury properties is considered bad taste in some circles.

We have entered class war-Wall Street vs. Main Street, the "Have's" vs. the "Have Not's," the fortunate vs. the slighted-as societal acrimony continues to build.

Old School Minyans know my story-I appreciate the little things in life-and they know the Seas is my haunt. I've been going there for 15 years, I'm friendly with the staff and they always circle the corner for me.

It's the little things that make me happy-consistent smiles, familiar faces, table treats. Or that's my post-rationalization every time I drop $17 for a Grey Goose martini (up, stirred, olives).

Last night, after another day in the stressful fray, Billy Meehan and I popped into the Seas for a quick schnitzel (just like his dad and I used to do). Rather than sit in a spot of our own, we pulled up to a table with some friends.

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