After marveling at the cleanliness of the bathroom, I decided to take a morning stroll over to Chelsea Market since it was closed last night. The Anthropologie at Chelsea Market is PHENOMENAL. Seriously, one of the best Anthropologie's I've ever seen. Gorgeous layout, multiple floors... I felt like I was in a museum. And? Despite the beauty surrounding me, I didn't purchase a single thing. Which leads me to my next point...
This is a city of consumerism, for sure. Besides the multitude of beautiful shops, there's the food... oh the food. The amount of money I've spent on food since I've gotten to the city (not even one whole week) is astounding, and well, I am nervous. Because, you see, I am (or I'm supposed to be) on a strict budget here, and I've already blown the food bit. And it's hard because I've never had to pay that much attention to the money I spend on food. No, I don't go out for $200 dinners frequently (or EVER if I'm paying), but I don't hesitate to drop $40 here for dinner or $5 there for an iced coffee. Food is a basic human right! It's not like buying shoes or makeup, right? Wrong. I've got to get my food spending in control, but I'm just not sure how. Right now I'm scheduling meeting after meeting with friends of friends and other contacts, and they all revolve around food. That's not always going to be the norm, but what am I supposed to do now? I need to meet people! Not just for social reasons, but to make professional connections as well.
Tonight, for example, I met up with a friend of a friend at The Smith in the East Village for a late dinner. Although this dinner was fairly cheap (I didn't get a drink, and I ordered an appetizer salad and a side dish) at $18, it's still $18, ya know? But the time spent with her was priceless, and let's be honest, you have to multitask in this city. People have little time as it is so if it's not over brunch or dinner or drinks, it's not happening. And although cooking saves money, it still ain't cheap. Groceries here are expensive, AND my roomies don't cook which means there's no cookware. (So far my "cooking" has consisted of making green smoothies and heating Amy's frozen burritos.)
This is what I signed up for - living in a city that 2-3x more expensive at probably 40% the salary (and I don't even have a salary yet!). This is all part of the journey, the adventure, the struggle, but just thinking about my lack of spending money is un peu depressing. Sigh. Despite all that, I'm still in love with the city. I just need to learn how to live in it without spending a fortune.