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If you live in, are trying to stay in or seek to get into the ‘glitzy scene’ in NYC, the effort can take a toll that was apparently evidenced by the recent suicide of designer L’Wren Scott!
Of course there’s the expensive real estate that makes owning or renting in NYC a challenge and the costly lifestyle that includes such things as private elementary and high schools with price tags commensurate with private college and university tuitions.
But along with high price tag for everything from parking a car to eating in some of the world’s best and best-known restaurants comes the stresses and pressure that’s felt by some to maintain a public persona that may be very different from their private reality!
And for those of us who are not members of the glitterati class, many have witnessed the phenomenon both in NYC and in suburbia that’s known as ‘keeping up with the Jones’ or doing whatever it takes to maintain outward appearances and the status quo for a given neighborhood, whatever that may be.
From the New York Post:
‘…As of September 2013, the median household income in New York City, according to the US Census, was $50,895. According to a 2012 report issued by the City Comptroller’s Office, 49 percent of New Yorkers had unaffordable rents — and rent, for half of us, gobbles up more than 30 percent of our income. This month, Forbes magazine ranked New York City the most overpriced metropolis in America.
Ironically, the New Yorkers most expected to live with no budgets, no cares and no limitations are members of the creative class, people with typically low-paying glamour jobs in media, the arts, fashion, publishing.
And the closer their proximity to wealth and fame, the higher the pressure — recall celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, one-time owner of three conjoined West Village townhouses who found herself $24 million in debt in 2009.
“How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?” asked New York magazine. In 2004, Leibovitz was caring for her father, who had cancer, as well as her partner, Susan Sontag, who had also been diagnosed with cancer. She spent thousands shuttling Sontag around the country, in a private plane, for treatment.
But Leibovitz was also done in by reckless spending, possibly aggravated by too much time in the company of cultural and political power brokers.
“I see this a lot,” says Norah Lawlor, a longtime publicist who met Scott several times. “You come here, change your name and want to be fabulous. You get caught up.”
Scott was originally Luann Bambrough and was raised in a small Utah town by adoptive Mormon parents. But at some point, the persona she projected in the pages of Vogue — cool-girl courtesan to a rock ’n’ roll lothario, designer to A-list clientele — became her reality.
Until it wasn’t.
“She was turning 50, her business was closing, and she’s friends with celebrities but can’t go to them [for help],” Lawlor says. “People come to New York City and want to be part of a certain clique, and think they are. But it often catches up to them…” (Source)
The moral of the story?
Be yourself and live within your means!