Today's column in the New York Observer discusses why people living here are upset at the latest price increases in apartments, taxis, coffee, brunch -- you name it, it costs more this year than last year and someone is mad about it. The most interesting part is the psychological need behind the willingness of New Yorkers to spend more to keep up with their peers and neighbors. It's more difficult to go back to eating at diners once you've had a taste of the Four Seasons, or shop at a discount store after years shopping at boutiques in Soho. Apparently the disappointment at regressing is much worse than the high you get when you make that upgrade. It hasn't happened yet, but one of these days sticker shock is going to convince me that it's time to move out of this town. It would have to be something utterly essential to my existence, like a major subway fare hike or a huge increase in our rent. And I don't think I could just move to the suburbs, either. I'd have to pack up and get out of the entire region.
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