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5:59 am - Thursday December 8, 2016

I Want To Be A Part Of You, New York New York

| Economics | Rating: 4.5
by Numan
I Just returned from spending two working weeks in Manhattan, one of mankind’s most amazing creations. I’d like to share 7 observations I’ve had during my visit.



The accomplishments of mankind

Walking around Manhattan I always feel humbled by the achievement represented by this small island. I love the moment the skyline reveals itself as the taxi approaches and the feeling of driving through the streets of Manhattan for yet another time.
There are very few places in the world one can experience mankind’s potential realized before one’s eyes. Walking amongst the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan is just that.
They say you can recognize a tourist in Manhattan by how their heads are always tilted back. I’ve been to Manhattan quite a few times but I guess I’m still a tourist since I can’t resist looking up at those magnificent buildings.
Makes you feel at home
From my very first visit to Manhattan I felt right at home. I’m a city dweller myself so I might be biased towards cities, although compared to New York City not many cities can claim that title.
It might be the familiar streets I’m used to seeing on the cinema coming to life before my eyes that give the welcome feeling but I doubt that. I think the high degree of accessibility and the cultural and ethnic diversity of the city play a key role.
I’ve been too many foreign cities and none greets you like NY City. The people may not be the most courteous but they are straightforward, to the point and usually warm towards both tourists and local residents.
You will usually be judged by one standard and that is how much money you have. This is a complement, although nothing at its extreme is good.
Social inequality and the ability to make money

Being in the state of mind I am, and that is an economic, personal finance, state of mind, I can’t help but think of the many Manhattanites who can actually afford an apartment to rent or let alone buy.
Apparently there are enough very rich people in this world to populate the many luxury apartments throughout the city. I would probably have to work two lifetimes to start thinking of buying a 3 bedroom apartment in Manhattan. That social difference is amazing.
I understand many of Manhattan’s residents are successful foreign individuals. Paradoxically enough the place everyone wants to live in (thus the high demand and prices) probably has a very high number of empty apartments as many of these individuals are usually out on various businesses.
Consumption as a state of mind
Shopping in New York is an entirely different experience. I’ve been to Macy’s at least 5 different times and each and every time I get lost between the various buildings. It takes a certain skill to shop in New York as the vast array of anything and everything is mind blowing.
Floors on floors of clothes, electronics, entertainment and what not will get you dizzy in no time. It is very hard to resist the temptation of such abundance.
You can also better understand consumption as a state of mind. It isn’t possible to be happy while so many good things I don’t have are available, and relatively cheaply.
Recession?

When I came to New York I half expected to find amazing sales and empty lines. With recession news pumped all day long and with the financial industry badly hit I really thought I’d see a change.
Well, you can probably understand I found everything to be the same. Lines were there, sales were not. Times Square and Broadway theaters were packed full as they’ve always been. I heard a show or two are closing but I didn’t see any supporting evidence in the field.
Manhattan is obviously more recession proof but I did expect to see some impact on the city.
The sale gambit – Psychology of sales
Shopping is a part of a visit to Manhattan. I’m not a big shopper but since everything is available is such a small area I can’t resist shopping for a while as well.
As I’ve written already I was surprised by the lack of sales but did notice, yet again, the psychology of sales and its effect on us or “the sales gambit” if you’d like.
It seems that no matter what, the size, color and design you like is never on sale. You usually settle for something close to enjoy that “got a great deal” feeling but you also buy another item to justify your visit to the store.
I’ve visited 3 different department stores only to find this pattern repeat itself over and over again.
Best steak I’ve ever had and a lesson on brand names

Peter Luger. I’ve heard that name every visit to New York. Everyone insists it’s the best steak in New York and probably the entire USA. I’d be careful in making that assertion but I will contribute to the reputation of Peter Luger and say it’s the best steak I’ve ever had.
More interesting is the location of the restaurant and its ability to attract visitors despite it. The brand of Peter Luger is so strong and well known people actually make the trip to Brooklyn for the experience. It’s a 30-40 minute train ride from midtown Manhattan into a not so welcoming neighborhood (though I can’t really judge as I don’t know the place).
It seems certain brand names, once created, have a sort of inertia that keeps them going, that and the fabulous steak. Still, I don’t think such a reputation is easily maintained. They offer the guest an experience, not just a steak. That’s the key to their success, in my opinion.
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