>My apartment has a separate kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. All of the rooms are quite reasonably sized. In any other city in the United States, none of this would be remarkable. But for Manhattan, my apartment is a palace. The only reason we were able to afford it is because it is on the ground floor. The sidewalk runs right up to the windows in our bedroom and living room, and our door is just a few steps into the lobby. We have no privacy, but that's the trade off we accepted for a place where we could fit our collection of furniture that we found on the street, books, and other important crap, like Husband's fake mustache collection, a helmet he purchased from eBay on which he wrote "Born to Finance," and his Vegas lounge singer costume.

Thanks to the absurd real estate market in Manhattan, only millionaires can afford to buy apartments in our building now. (I just realized that I live amongst millionaires. Craziness.) Many of them have moved in and run for the co-op board. (Incidentally, no one bothered to oppose them because no one wants to deal with the responsibility and shit that comes with being on a co-op board.) As a result, changes are taking place in how the building is run. Some are very good and important changes, other are stupid and wasteful. No matter what, however, the hundred-thousandaires (you know, the po' folks) who've lived here for over a decade are up in arms.

There is something very insane about living in a place where the haves and the have-mores do battle to see who is less fortunate in life. I often wonder what planet I am on when I witness a woman living in an apartment that she bought for about $200,000 and is currently worth of $850,000 complain that people are "stealing" from her by raising maintenance fees to pay for the higher cost of heating oil. Then I listen to the millionaires complain that their budgets are just as pinched since they leveraged every cent they earn to buy a $1.5 million apartment.

Poor babies. Maybe we can set up a relief fund for them or something. None of them might be able to afford their family trips to Europe otherwise, and I just can't stomach such tragedy. Brother, you gotta dime or 250,000,000?

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